Blic - This Government represents a defeat of 5th October

June 30, 2008

DS-SPS Government indicates that we haven’t made a resolute split with the period before 5th October, there hasn’t been improvement of state institutions, the responsibility issue has also been avoided, intelligence services remained untransformed, and the files remained undisclosed… Therefore, we have governance continuity. SPS remained unreformed and still unwilling to take responsibility for the past. They are on their favorite field and we have lost a battle for creating a normal country. It is actually a defeat of our expectations from 5th October – says Verica Barać, President of the Anti – Corruption Council in the interview for „Blic nedelje.“  

Do you believe that the new government shall combat corruption properly? 

It is my opinion that they haven’t got either willingness or sincere intention for combating corruption. It can be easily seen in the new government’s negotiations where the most important issue is division of ministries. It is important to appoint party’s people regardless their abilities for conducting an entrusted job. Same people simply go from institution to institution depending on which ministry is currently in the hands of their party according to coalition agreement, like some renaissance people who knew everything about everything. The number of ministries responds to the needs of political parties to employ their members. Afterwards, state affairs are designed according to the election campaign requirements, like NIP, concession for Horgos – Pozega freeway and number of other projects harmful for the country, but useful for the party. The authorities are playing with legislation and institutions. Therefore, we still have party oriented state!  

Situation in judiciary, prosecutor’s office and state administration in general is very bad nowadays. There have been various attempts and we have been going a little forward and backward, but basically we still have party oriented country. The best proof for this statement is the Law on Financing of Political Parties, because we still don’t know who finances our political parties. Instead, parties have received a lot of money from the budget in order to hide who actually supports them.  If we add a fact that, except for Vatican, we are the only European country without Audit Office, it suggests that there isn’t any control regarding spending of budget funds or control of public finances, funds and public companies. Therefore, public companies can be mainly used for employing of parties’ members as well as financing of political parties. So, it is clear that the authorities deliberately avoid establishing control mechanisms. It is my opinion that the corruption level shall stay unchanged and thus it will be system corruption which cannot be altered very fast.  

How do you comment roomers according to which the new government will have 28 members?  

It means that we shall have a very expensive, corrupted and irresponsible government where everything is about division of takings. Political parties are in position to receive more budget funds than it has been laid down by the law, and the Minister of Finance can tell them that they aren’t obliged to return them. Every year, we have bigger and bigger government in order to make all the parties satisfy. We have seen in the former government that, according to the coalition agreement,      Mr. Velja Ilic got a concession for motorway to Pozega, just because he comes from Cacak. If he had come from Negotin he would have built something there. That’s the way of establishing priorities in this country and without control of authorities their wishes are growing and our potentials are declining. Our politicians have realized that one can govern like Milosevic avoiding any kind of responsibility.

Will EU make pressure on authorities to low down the corruption level and to pursue European standards? 

It is very hard to be forced by someone else, if one doesn’t want to do it. EU has influenced our authorities, but they managed to make the adopted pieces of legislation unclear, incompatible, accompanied with creating insecure institutions that are to implement those legislations. The Law on State Audit foresees that 20 deputies can initiate a procedure for deposition of State Audit members. Even that wasn’t enough to allow that institution exists. According to the law it had to be established two years ago, but it hasn’t started yet. It is also laid down in the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interests that Committee for Resolving Conflict of Interests is not allowed to verify and publish any information from officials’ Disclosure Reports. Therefore, the Law has been revoked. 

From these reasons I am convinced that our path to Europe will take longer than the government promises.

What do you think about the influence of giant capital and tycoons on government’s composition? 

The influence is undisputable, because tycoons are trying to protect their own interests. None of the cases like „C market“, Belgrade Port or Mobtel has happened by chance. People who finance some political parties have benefited a lot from these jobs. Thus, they impose their will to public interest, in other words, the interest of powerful people becomes more important than state interest through financing of political parties. If someone finances you providing you very expensive campaigns accompanied with a great number of deputies in the National Assembly, you have to take care about his interests. 

Do you believe that Mr. Ivica Dacic as future Minister of Interior shall combat criminal and corruption appropriately?  

Everyone who remembers those terrible events from Milosevic’s era will not understand his appointment as protection of safety. We are unable to move forward without punishments for robberies, crimes and violations of human rights from the nineties. It isn’t directly connected with the named person, but with the entire system from nineties. However, events from the previous eight years have just led to SPS’s comeback, and the Constitution issue is the best example. We should have a Constitution which revokes party oriented state and provides opportunities for building of democratic institutions. Instead, we have been forced to accept the Constitution which has been passed because of Kosovo preamble, which has actually fastened party- state. Therefore, all judges are still waiting for reelection; prosecutors are in acting status and prosecutor’s office is more dependent on executive authorities than before. Institutions that are to fight crime and widely spread corruption are kept in this kind of insecure position. 

Against spectacular arrest of Dragan Džajić 

In order to answer citizens’ dissatisfaction regarding corruption, the Government has been simulating fight against corruption – allegedly discovering and spectacular arrests of all kinds of mafia in different fields like bankruptcy, traffic, football. The government has created media jangle regarding individual arrests which are always selective, sometimes unsynchronized, but almost always targeted. For example, even it was clear that there had been some serious irregularities in Commercial Courts’ activities regarding Sartid bankruptcy, but nobody reacted until Goran Kljajevic had a disagreement with Miskovic regarding takeover of  „C market“ . Afterwards, president of Belgrade Commercial Court was arrested and escorted handcuffed through court’s building.  People who are familiar with football matters say that Miskovic has been trying to acquire Red Star FC and his greatest opponent was Dragan Dzajic. That is why he was arrested later on, and the arrestment of the football legend as he was a serial killer could be seen in media. It will be very hard to prove possible innocence of those people after they were declared guilty through media campaign and the question remains if the judge will be able to fight fabricated public pressure. 

The election of Mr. Cvetković – no fight against corruption

What’s your comment on the newly election of Mr. Cvetkovic for a Prime minister? 

I see it as a complete betrayal of citizens’ proclaimed will on elections, who voted for democratic state by giving their votes to DS. Some powerful circles in Serbia who managed to maintain their positions close to the every regime during the last eight years impose so called liberal way for the fight against corruption which is completely outgrown in the world. Basically, it means that the fight against corruption and monopolies should not be conducted during transition period. Financial magnates created by the former regime, who have fastened their positions during the last eight years should acquire the entire economy in the circumstances of system corruption, and afterwards they will, as an established economic elite who controls Serbian political life, decide what kind of state they need, what is the best way for combating corruption and monopolies in order to protect their business interests. In 2003. Mr.  Mirko Cvetković was at the same time the director of the Privatization Agency and director of the CES MECON consulting firm which was frequently engaged by the Agency for advisory services regarding privatization issue. His election for a prime minister means continuity with the policy which understands the fight against corruption as unnecessary until the end of ownership transformation and restructuring of economy. 


The Anti-Corruption Council web portal takes no responsibility for the content of the published comments. All opinions, suggestions, critics and other attitudes expressed in the comments are personal attitudes of their authors and therefore do not represent the attitudes of the Anti-Corruption Council website editorial.

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