BELGRADE – The public administration has cut over 16,000 jobs – 1,500 more than planned – since the beginning of a rightsizing campaign, Minister of State Administration Kori Udovicki, who is also deputy prime minister, said on Wednesday.

Since the beginning of 2015, 9,500 administrative employees have retired, 4,800 departed as a result of rightsizing measures, while others left voluntarily, Udovicki said at a press conference in the Serbian government building.

Unlike in the past, large redundancy pays were not used as an incentive for early retirement, the minister noted.

Around 6,000 jobs were cut at local level, with the remaining 10,000 shed at central government level, she said.

Serbia now has 6.7 public administration employees for every 100 citizens, which is less than the 8-8.5 registered in European countries, Udovicki said.

The biggest sectors, such as health care, education, the interior ministry and the judiciary bore the brunt of the process, she said.