INTRODUCTION: Mounting foreign debts, coupled with stagnation of the economy at home, have forced the government in Yugoslavia to adopt drastic measures to stop the flow of money out of the country.
LJUBELJ & SEZANA, YUGOSLAVIA 30 NOVEMBER, 1981 (REUTERS - JUS TURK)
GV Cars line-up at border posts /
CLOSE of customs sign in various languages including Russian 0.05
SV Customs official looks at papers as cars line-up. (2 SHOTS) 0.17
GV Customs official checks documents at border point. (2 SHOTS) 0.37
GV Road sign at Italian border post PAN TO cars. (2 SHOTS) 0.54
GV PAN Cars in line approaching border post. 1.05
SV TRAVELLING SHOT Cars in long line. 1.22
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Mounting foreign debts, coupled with stagnation of the economy at home, have forced the government in Yugoslavia to adopt drastic measures to stop the flow of money out of the country. Special transit taxes have been imposed on Yugoslavs wishing to travel to neighbouring Italy and Austria, countries where they regularly used to shop in more prosperous times.
SYNOPSIS: Until recently, Yugoslavs could drive easily trough the country's northern border posts, enjoying greater freedom to travel than other Eastern Europeans. This freedom reflected Yugoslavia's independent political and economic line in the communist world. New restrictions on travelling have led to long border delays.
Those driving to Austria, or at this border crossing at Sezana, into Italy now have to pay a special transit tax. It is just one of a number of new austerity measures designed to reverse Yugoslavia's deteriorating balance of payments, and bring down the rate of inflation.
Yugoslavs have long passed through this frontier point on the way to shopping trips in nearby Trieste. They traditionally made the journey in greatest numbers over Yugoslavia's National Holiday long weekend at the end of November. The drivers in this queue on Monday (30 November) were determined to complete the annual spending-spree over the border despite the new tax. It is the money they spend abroad that the government wants to save.
Yugoslavs also face higher sales taxes as the government tries to overcome the country's economic difficulties. Line like these may well become common place as the people try to maintain a living standard until recently thought of as the best in Eastern Europe.