BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Milka Planinc Tuesday said the next year will be no easier than 1983 -- plagued by a 50 percent annual inflation rate and a 10-percent drop in the standard of living.
It will be the first stage of a stabilization austerity program that should pull 22.8 million Yugoslavs out of the serious economic crisis.
'Ac:ording to all the facts, the year of 1984 does not promise either less hard efforts or less sacrifices than the year which runs out,' Mrs. Planinc told a parliamentary session.
Some 300 delegates of the federal parliament and Mrs. Planinc's cabinet members had spent many hours in exhaustive debate that included overnight sessions since Saturday before they delayed a final session from Monday to Tuesday and adopted the 1983 economic resolution. The delegates from Yugoslavia's six constituent republics and two autonomous provinces reached compromise agreements Tuesday morning on issues that reflect differing economic interests of the differently developed regions of multi national Yugoslavia.
Mrs. Planinc, 58, said Yugoslavia in 1984 should strengthen 'confidence in the forces of our economy and the self-management system to find out a solution to the present situation.' This should help Yugoslavia to regain confidence at Western creditors as a reliable partner, she told parliament.
With $20 billion of outstanding loans, Yugoslavia is the world's 10th most indebted country and it makes desperate efforts to repay more than $4 billion a year, including rescheduling of debts. From 1984 on, Yugoslavia should start lowering its foreign debt.