SUCCESSFUL RECAPITALISATION Marinos Vathis, president of the executive Board of Vojvođanska Banka a.d
nov ‘10 / issUe nO. 76
HISTORY IS NOT FAITH dubravka stojanović, historian
ENLARGEMENT AND OTHER CHALLENGES H.e. wolfram Maas, german ambassador to Serbia
interviews opinions news comments events price 250 rsd SPECial EDiTion inTErnaTional BUSinESS SECTor
BELGIUM &HOLLAND CarGo 10
UNITED REGIONAL RAILWAYS
By signing an agreement Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have undertaken the first concrete step towards regional economic integration SPorT
THE STATE VS HOOLIGANS
Hooligans have conquered a lot of space, made their way into leading football clubs and have been bestowed with great benefits MEDia PrESS SUMMiT 2010
THE REGION MEETS
The first regional summit of print media has taken place in Belgrade, demonstrating a need for getting acquainted with other regional players
SnEŽana MaloVić serbian minister of justice
DECISIVENESS Against Crime
12 - Diplomacy
40 - tourism
ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK
A CURE FOR THE ECONOMY
Vera Didanović, Editor
DECISIVENESS AGAINST CRIME
Snežana Malović, Serbian Minister of Justice
A TIME OF CHANGE
H.E. Stephen Wordsworth, the British Ambassador to Serbia
ENLARGEMENT AND OTHER CHALLENGES
H.E. Wolfram Maas, German Ambassador to Serbia
HISTORY IS NOT FAITH
Dubravka Stojanović, Historian
William S. Infante, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia
UNITED REGIONAL RAILWAYS
Robert Vuga, the first Director of the Cargo 10 Company
RIVAL TO ROADS
Dragan Grujić, director of the Transport Directorate of the public company ‘Serbian Railways’
editorial director: Tatjana ostojić, firstname.lastname@example.org editor: Vera Didanović, email@example.com assistant editor: Philomena o’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org art director: ilija Petrović, email@example.com contribUtors: zorana Stakić, Jelena Jovanović, Vojka Vignjević, ilija Despotović, Vladimir Stanković, Ana Stojanović, Srbislava Sinko
4 CorD 76 / November 2010
SWISS PRECISION – SINCE 1928!
Goran Galić, Managing Director of Schindler Serbia
Marinos Vathis, President of the Executive Board of Vojvođanska Banka a.d
INTRODUCING EUROPEAN STANDARDS
Euromoney Conference in Belgrade
TICKET FOR THE WORLD
NEW COUNTRY PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY
60 - Sport
Vili Mitova, general manager of regional branch office of the German tour-operator DERTOUR and owner of the chain of tourist agencies Travel House
RESPONSIBLE LOAN POLICY
KfW and ProCredit Arrangement
Bosnia and Herzegovina
A BELATED IDEA
photos: Časlav Vukojičić, Darko Cvetanović, Dejan Dimitrijević, Aleksandar Anđić, Goranka matić translation: Goga Purić. Snežana Bjelotomić editorial Manager: Tanja Banković, firstname.lastname@example.org project Managers: Vesna Vukajlović, email@example.com; marija Savić, m.savic@ aim.rs; Snežana Terzić, firstname.lastname@example.org financial director:
Ana Besedic, email@example.com general Manager: ivan Novcic, firstname.lastname@example.org printing: rotografika d.o.o., Segedinski put 72, Subotica CorD is published by: alliance international media kneginje zorke 11b, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Phone: +(381 11) 308 99 77, 308 99 88
PARTNERSHIP OR BUSINESS RISK?
FACES & PLACES
THE REGION MEETS MEDIA PRESS SUMMIT 2010
THE STATE VS. HOOLIGANS
CULTURE NEWS & CALENDAR
A SERBIAN CORNERSTONE
Biljana Bogovac, Director in the Audit divisionPricewaterhouseCoopers Beograd fax: +(381 11) 244 81 27 e-mail: email@example.com www.cordmagazine.com www.allianceinternationalmedia.com iSSN no: 1451-7833 All rights reserved alliance international media 2010
This issue is audited by
One step forward, two steps back Serbia managed to suppress the encouragement brought by the America Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in record time and to become the antihero in global media for the second time in two days
he public’s attention was focused on the good news from Belgrade: Hillary Clinton, American Secretary of State, praised Serbia’s progress and promised the USA’s help on the European road for just a few afternoon hours on October 12th. During her visit to Belgrade, she even estimated that Serbia could not only become a member of the EU, but also something much more - a European leader. On that very evening, for the second time in just two days, Serbia managed to fight the position of the antihero in global media with its own powers. Due to the rampage of Serbian hooligans, the EURO 2012 qualifier match between Serbia and Italy was cancelled in Genoa. Footage of the vandalistic behaviour of the Serbian supporters at the Genoa stadium was very much like the photos taken on the streets of Belgrade on October 10th. The staging of the Pride Parade that day, which had already been twice unsuccessfully scheduled by the members of LGBT population of Serbia, was the motif for multi-hour demolition of the city and the harassment of citizens by ‘young resentful people’, mostly members of extremist right-wing organisations. One hundred and fifty eight people (130 policemen) were injured in the riots, and financial damage, according to first estimations, is about one million euros. However, the total damage is much greater. This is not only about the bad image of the country and discouragement of foreign investors who, either way, have not rushed to Serbia as had been expected. The newest escalation of violence has clearly pointed out the numerous weaknesses of institutions, but also the profound crisis of the system of values of society, the substantial part of which regards efforts for tolerant relations toward
A lot of words about fighting society’s and the country’s diseases are being spoken, and citizens cannot do anything but take politicians’ word for it minorities as ‘propaganda of homosexualism’ and ‘intrusion and blackmails from the West’. After the Genoa scandal, there have been speculations on a possible re-introduction of the visa regime, less than a year after November 30th 2009, when the European Union reached a long awaited decision on the cancellation of Schengen visas for Serbian citizens. Soon, the second reason for speculations on the possible cancellation of visa liberation appeared. European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Home Affairs, warned Serbia and Macedonia of ‘a rather worrying phenomenon’ of citizens of the two countries who are demanding asylum in the member-countries of the EU, particularly Belgium and Germany. 6 CorD 76 / November 2010
The Commissioner warned that it could seriously jeopardise the visa liberalisation process in the Western Balkans and asked for concrete measures to solve the problem. The state replied to all the above-mentioned challenges with firm promises. The state will not allow itself to fall prey to criminals and violent people, the Serbian President Boris Tadić said, and Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Ðelić promised that the country would do everything in its might to prevent the abuse of visa liberalisation. Changes of the Criminal Proceedings Law, which as has been announced should facilitate the legal framework for dealing with perpetrators, have been rashly prepared. Human rights activists have critically reacted to the planned extension of the maximum duration of custody in abridged criminal proceedings from eight to 30 days. By claiming that it is necessary to establish instruments for dealing By Vera Didanović, with hooliganism, the state is trying to reply to that criticism, but it can Editor hardly offer a convincing answer to the question - why has it waited until now? For more than a year, a request for banning 14 violent supporter groups has stood before the Constitutional Court, and police reports against hooligans, if they ever make it to the court, stand little chance of resulting in suitable punishments. Vladimir Stanković highlights this devastating data in this issue of CorD, and also points to the fact that the recipe for fighting hooliganism has already been tested in other countries. There has not been a willingness to seriously face this problem. The situation is similar in other areas - a lot of words about fighting society’s and the country’s diseases are being spoken, and citizens cannot do anything but take politicians’ word for it (just the way Minister Mlađan Dinkić recently replied to them on the topic of spending the money from the selling of ‘Telekom Srbija’). Most frequently, there are no necessary timely, long-term and uncompromising actions, which would be a logical follow-up to the state’s promises. Establishing approved European rules in Serbia is the only way to fulfil the key promises of all the most relevant domestic political factors - and that is to bring Serbia to the European Union. The decision of EU Council of Ministers, to request that the European Commission draft an opinion on the readiness of Serbia to become a candidate for EU membership, is just a small encouragement on that long road. n
interview SnEŽana MaloVić, SERBIAN MINISTER OF JUSTICE
DECISIVENESS against crime
The chaos which has ruled the judicial system for almost 20 years cannot be corrected overnight, but the dynamics with which the reform is taking place and the initial results point to the fact that we are on the right path
By vera dIdanOVIć Photo Aleksandar anĐIć
n October, Serbia again became the anti-hero in the global media - firstly due to the street violence in Belgrade during the first Pride parade, and only days later because of similar scenes of violence which were staged by Serbian hooligans at the football match in Genoa. The state has announced decisive action, which is, among other things, something we discussed with Snežana Malović, the Minister of Justice in her interview with CorD. The minister also talks about the judicial reform process, which has been followed by great expectations as well as severe criticism of the domestic and global public sphere. n After the most recent scenes of violence, has the time come to question the penal policy - considering the examples in question, such as penalising the attackers of journalist Teofil Pančić with three months in jail, which is two times less than the legal minimum? r The Ministry of Justice has repeatedly called attention to the mild penal policy which does not accomplish its most important function, which is general prevention. The laws prescribe severe punishment for hooligans and it is neces8 CorD 76 / November 2010
sary to apply them consistently, which means fast proceedings and long prison terms. The rampage of hooligans is unacceptable and we are being decisive about putting an end to any form of violence with efficient proceedings and the application of laws. The criminal charges which have been filed against rioters, and on which no legal steps have been taken, and the sentences imposed below the statutory minimum in a certain period of time prove that judicial reform is necessary. I am sure that a reformed judicial system would demonstrate maximum professionalism in the proceedings of these cases. A step further in the fight against hooligans is the alternation of the Criminal Proceedings law. This alternation will enable more efficient legal proceedings against leaders and all others from supporters and extremist groups. Also, setting custody for these offences for which custody has not been able to be set so far, such as violent misconduct at sport events and festivities, is now possible.
n The joint commission of representatives of the Ministry of Justice and European institutions has been working for almost half a year. What have been the key problematical questions they have dealt with? r Priority in judicial reform forms a permanent constitution of the High Judicial Council (VSS) and the State Council of Prosecutors (DVT), and that is one of the findings of the joint commission of the Ministry of Justice and representatives of the European Commission. The permanent constitution electoral process for those two bodies will be finalised by the end of November, bearing in mind that the electoral process has just begun, that presidents, members and deputies of the electoral commission have just been elected, that the decision on starting the process of nomination of candidates for electoral members of VSS and DVT who are judges and prosecutors has been reached.
n What particularly satisfies you about the judicial reform so far, and what do you perceive as a weak point in n At the beginning of November, the European Commisthe process? sion will publish the annual report on Serbian progress in the European integration process. What do you expect r The judicial reform represents a comprehensive process of from this report, in respect of the judicial system? the improvement of the Serbian judicial system which takes place on three parallel planes: the first one relates to estabr I do not want to prejudice, but I expect a positive report from lishing the new judicial network; the second one provides for the European Commission. Of course, there are some matters reform on personal level, whereas the third one involves the which demand further intense work from Serbia, and in the reform of procedural laws. This is the only way in which it is next 12 months our activities will be focused on them. It is only possible to establish and strengthen a transparent, independnatural that a large process, such as judicial reform, is followed ent and efficient judicial by various points of view, opinions, agreements and now, for the first time, we know exactly system, which is the necessary pre-requisite for disagreements. The general election of judges, which is how many cases each court has, how many further European integraa minor but certainly the cases each individual judge has and how tions. I am pleased with the results accomplished most sensitive part of the many cases he has completed by the business courts, as reform, stirred up the most well as with the dynamics fuss in the public sphere. In of the trials in the higher courts. Now, for the first time, we relation to this, it is often manipulated with certain viewpoints know exactly how many cases each court has, how many cases of the European Commission or international organisations. each individual judge has and how many cases he has comThe representatives of European institutions had certain sugpleted. It is unacceptable that trials last even 20 years and cases gestions regarding some issues, but they were considered and become outdated. The fact that in 2009 we had 6,000 outdated all constructive suggestions which contribute to the full capaccriminal cases and 1,000 criminal proceedings that has lasted ity of the development have been accepted. over 10 years speaks in favour of the necessity for reforms. Judicial reform is a process. The chaos which has ruled the What we cannot be satisfied with are litigations, but that matter judicial system for almost 20 years cannot be corrected overwill be resolved by the enactment of procedural laws. night, but the dynamics with which the reform is taking place and the initial results point to the fact that we are on the right path. The foundations of the judicial institutions have been put n What has been the most difficult thing in the process in place and now we have to work on strengthening them. so far?
resIstAnCe we came across substantial resistance, not only from criminal groups, but also of all nomenclatures of society inďŹ‚uenced by those criminal structures.
LeGAL seCUrItY Companies which intend to do business in Serbia must have legal security, and in the process one of the most significant roles is that of business courts.
foUnDAtIons the foundations of the judicial institutions have been put in place and now we have to work on strengthening them.
CorD 76 / November 2010 9
r That would be changing awareness among the judiciary. It is necessary for the judges to understand that they should be worthy of the legal profession. It must not be permitted that judges with improper conduct and faulty behaviour insult the institution where they work, that citizens suffer because of neglect and incompetence, that they are connected with organised crime. Also, it must not be allowed that judges be susceptible to political or any other kind of influence. The institutional solution, which enables for a fair and merit-based process to select future judges and prosecutors, has been defined by the enactment of the Judicial Academy Law. On the initiative of the Ministry of Justice, key system laws have been adopted, which has brought about an allencompassing reform of the judicial system. We came across substantial resistance, not only from criminal groups, but also of all nomenclatures of society influenced by those criminal structures. That is exactly why we did not begin the reforms as a legally-technical project and ‘homework’ done at the request of the European Union, but as a result of our profound understanding that this is about changing the awareness of the system of values.
ments, which means new jobs for the citizens of Serbia. Companies which intend to do business in Serbia must have legal security, and in the process one of the most significant roles is that of business courts. With great pleasure I can say that during this year, the business courts have accomplished exceptionally good results. Statistics show that in first six months, the first-degree business courts solved 30% more cases compared to the same period last year. It is important to point out that the number of cases older than two years in these courts in the first six months of 2010, compared to the same period last year, was reduced by 36%, to be more precise from 2,375 to 1,523. In the business appeal court, the number of cases older than two years was reduced by 84% in the January-June 2010 period compared to the same period in 2009.
n Serbia has signed an extradition agreement with Croatia, and by time this issue of CorD is published, the same agreement with Montenegro should be signed on 2nd November. What results do you expect from those agreements? r The extradition agreement we signed with Croatia has already produced the first results. Let me remind you that right after the signing, Srećko Kalinić was to Serbia. I expect n What are the next steps The fact that in 2009 we had 6,000 extradited that such good practice will be planned within the judicial continued with Montenegro reform? outdated criminal cases and 1,000 Those agreements reprer The Ministry of Justice will criminal proceedings that has lasted too. sent an efficient mechanism continue to put in efforts toward the further strengthening over 10 years speaks in favour of the in the fight against organised crime and corruption, because of the judicial system, the fight necessity for reforms they enable the processing of against organised crime and all the people who have been avoiding arrest and trial for a long corruption, harmonisation of regulations and the adopting of time, hiding behind citizenship claims. By signing such agreeEuropean standards in the domain of its jurisdiction, as well as ments we will create a unique mutual space in the fight against strengthening capacities of the existing institutions. In addition organised crime where it will not be possible for the citizens of to enacting procedural laws, the Execution Law, the Criminal signatory-countries to protect themselves from prosecution of Proceedings Law Book and the Civil Law Book, one of the criminal offences by clutching at citizenship. The agreement priorities within the reform is the election of the permanent with Montenegro will represents a further step, because it will constitution of the High Judicial Council and the State Prosencompass a wide range of serious forms of other offences ecutors’ Council. Before us is also the election of disciplinary - like money laundering, terrorism and war crimes, not only bodies, bearing in mind that the High Judiciary Council has crimes such as organised crime and corruption. adopted the Disciplinary Proceedings and Responsibility rule book. Moreover, the additional challenge of filling the judges’ vacancies is ahead of us. n In which phase, and on which matters will your ministry participate in the negotiations with Kosovo officials? n Can the recent results in the business courts have a r The Ministry of Justice has been intensely negotiating with positive effect on the arrival of foreign investors and dethe EULEKS for a long time on the need for the existence of velopment of the financial sector? court protection for Serbs in Kosovo. The fact is that for ten years there has been no functional judicial system in Kosovo, r With adequate legislation and an efficient judiciary, the busiand I think that the international community bears a great deal ness environment for domestic and foreign companies will be of responsibility for that, considering the fact that the judicial promoted, which is the best basis for attracting foreign invest10 CorD 76 / November 2010
system is one of the most important pillars of every society. n How far has the establishment of the Regional Centre for the Fight Against Organised Crime progressed? r The Regional Centre for the Fight against Organised Crime should start working by the end of the year at the latest. This body, within which the foundation of operative teams will be possible and where the key contribution will be given by prosecutors, will enable a more efficient fight against organised crime in the region. That fight will be additionally promoted by the setting up of a regional Balkans Arrest Warrant. The initiative for signing the agreement for the setting up of such a mechanism was started at the latest ministers’ conference which was dedicated to strengthening cooperation in the fight against organised crime, and was held at the beginning of October in Belgrade. The Balkans Arrest Warrant should be based on the European model. The EU countries’ practice in the implementation of this institute has demonstrated that the application of the warrant significantly reduces the length of the extradition process, from nine months to 45 days. n How far will things go in the seizure of crime-gained property? It is clear that the worth of the property seized so far does not even remotely reflect reality. r A major blow was struck to criminal groups by the seizing of crime-gained property; because criminals are willing to spend a long time in jail if they are certain that all the things they gained through their crime awaits them when they get out. It is exactly the application of this law that has demonstrated what the crime structures are willing to do to keep their assets. It shows not only the threats directed at bearers of the fight against organised crime, but also through an entire range of other activities which are mirrored in the déjà-vu of state bodies, the judicial system and the public. The results of the law of the seizure of crime-gained property are indisputable. The value of temporarily seized property is estimated at over €200 million. I expect, bearing in mind the financial investigations which are still under way, that the figure will
The rampage of hooligans is unacceptable and we are being decisive about putting an end to any form of violence with efficient proceedings and the application of laws be substantially higher in the forthcoming period. To all those who are found to have acquired property through crime, it will be taken away regardless of their social status and power. n At what stage are negotiations on the extradition agreement with the USA? r Negotiations of the state delegations of Serbia and the USA in regards to signing the new extradition agreement between the
two countries are currently ongoing and there is absolute willingness of both countries to finalise them as soon as possible. The current agreement was signed in 1902 between the Kingdom of Serbia and the USA, and it is necessary to revise it. n The State Department is not satisfied with the level of punishment for Miladin Kovačević, could that be a problem in relations with the USA?
The Regional Centre for the Fight against Organised Crime should start working by the end of the year at the latest r It will not pose a problem with Serbian-American relations. The State Department is pleased that the proceedings against Kovačević have been completed, but they have pointed out that the prison sentence could have been longer. Let me remind you that the trials of the two attackers of Bryan Steinhauer have been held in America, and that they got two years in prison each, which indicates the identical proceedings of the Serbian and American judicial system for this kind of offence. n On October 11th, the judicial system started a general strike because of extremely low salaries. What can the state do about it? r The Ministry of Justice has started the initiative to increase salaries for the employees in judicial administration. Our proposition is to increase the lowest salaries by 30% starting on January 1st next year, as well as to pay them an additional bonus of 6,000 dinars by the end of this year, in October, November and December, an amount from the incomes from charging court taxes to the employees in judicial system. This increase represents the maximum during the economic crisis conditions. I expect that unions will have enough of an understanding of this, and that of course, they will reach an adequate decision. ■ CorD 76 / November 2010 11
comment H.E. STEPHEn WorDSWorTH’S FAREWELL COMMENT, PRIOR TO LEAVING SERBIA AFTER FOUR YEARS OF BEING ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FOREIGN OFFICIALS IN SERBIA
A time of CHANGE The process of negotiating Serbia’s EU accession, in 35 detailed ‘chapters’ will take several years of hard work. But we will support Serbia throughout that process. The destination is no longer in doubt. And Serbia will reach it
t’s almost time to pack my bags and leave Belgrade. It’s the end not just of four years in Serbia but, for now at least, of almost fifteen, off and on, working on the Western Balkans. So people naturally ask me how I feel about it, or what I think has changed in that time. A better question might be – what hasn’t? I first got involved in the problems of this area in 1995, when I was seconded to work as a Political Adviser at the NATO military HQ at Mons, in Belgium. The UN mission in Bosnia was failing, as the result of a weak mandate which had left the UN forces powerless to stop the fighting. Eventually, the various parties were brought together at Dayton in Ohio, and a peace agreement was worked out. NATO took the lead in pulling together an international military force to separate the armed forces of the different factions, supervise the cantonment of their weapons, and create a secure environment for the civilian forces to start the process of re-building Bosnia’s shattered institutions.
Having lived through the elections in 2007 and 2008, when there was a real and worrying question mark about serbia’s direction, we are now, at last, on firmer ground My job was to work as an interface between the NATO political authorities in Brussels - represented by the Ambassadors of the NATO member countries - and the military planners and operations staff in Mons. This was the first operation NATO had done ‘for real’, after years of exercising for very different scenarios. There was a fair bit of nervousness about. Not surprisingly. We were, after all, about to put 50,000 men and women, and a great quantity of military equipment, into a potentially dangerous situation in the middle of winter. We did not know whether one group or the other would try to resist. We had to assume they might. So the commanders took the decision, which the political authorities endorsed, to go in ‘heavy’, with tanks, heavy artillery and helicopters all on the basis that, if the other parties can see that you have got a big stick, you probably won’t have to use it. H.e. Stephen Wordsworth, the British ambassador to Serbia
For the next three and a half years I was head of our Foreign And it worked. We had some problems with the weather, Office department dealing with the Western Balkans. I well reand with some individual local commanders and politicians, but member 5 October 2000 as a day when we all just stopped work almost nothing in the way of serious armed resistance. and watched the live TV from Belgrade, as parliament was ocBut Bosnia was a mess. In Sarajevo, the area around the aircupied and smoke billowed out of the windows. There was a port, and much of the rest of the city was in ruins. When I first sense of a new beginning. We were also working hard to try to looked down on it, from the abandoned Bosnian Serb gun poprevent new big conflicts breaking out, in Macedonia and in the sitions in the hills around, it seemed extraordinary that anyone ‘Presevo Valley’ region of southern Serbia. The region was cencould have survived. Yet at night, somehow, lights still came on tre stage in world politics. I remember Madeleine Albright, then in individual apartments, often at the top of blocks in which the the US Secretary of State, attending a Ministerial meeting devotlower floors had been almost completely blown out. How? I ed to the Balkans, and brushing away an aide who was telling never worked it out. her that her plane was due to depart by saying, ‘Nothing is more I travelled widely across Bosnia over the next few years, by important than this’. road and by helicopter. Time and again, particularly from the Within a year, Milosevic was in The Hague, to face war air, we saw villages where one end was still intact, while the crimes charges; in Macedonia, the Ohrid Agreement had been other had been almost completely destroyed - ‘cleansed’. Even signed, opening the way to a peaceful settlement; and the isolated houses, up long valley roads, were burnt out - not just ‘UCPMB’ had ended its campaign in the Presevo valley area. in one case, but dozens. In Mostar, the famous old bridge had I made my first visits to Serbia, and to Kosovo, during this been blown into the river. I crossed over the gap on a temporary time. Hundreds of thousands of people were still trying to rebridge of steel cable and wood, watching Hungarian military enbuild broken lives, in desperate circumstances. Many had no gineers trying to fish the old stones out, so that it could, perhaps, jobs, and little hope of finding one. Yet, despite all the problems, be rebuilt one day. All around, the buildings were shattered, Serbia seemed to be moving forward. I helped to arrange a visit their remains pitted with thousands of bullet holes. Driving into to London by Prime Minister Djindjic, and attended a lunch with Prijedor, we drove past ruined houses for ten kilometres. him there. I remember being struck by his clear view of what he It was hard to imagine the hatred that made such actions poswanted to achieve – to make Serbia a ‘normal’ country, a normal sible. And many people had been left desperately poor, far from member of the international community. their homes, and with tragic personal losses - husbands, sons, I left that job, to move to Moscow, at the end of 2002. And mothers, whole families. But, slowly, the various military and within a few months, Djindjic civilian implementers got on with their tasks, life stabilised, the recent past is still very present in was dead, murdered by an assassin’s bullet. Serbia, and and the long process of recovmany people’s lives. But there was a the whole region, was still far ery could begin. By the time I left SHAPE, sense also of a country finding its way from being normal. I came back to Serbia, afin 1998, another problem was back towards europe ter four years, in November rising fast up the international 2006. Already, it looked difagenda, in Kosovo. As fightferent. Outside Belgrade, there was, and still is, real hardship. ing escalated between Serbian forces and the Kosovo Liberation The recent past is still very present in many people’s lives. But Army, ordinary civilians became, once again, the main victims. there was a sense also of a country finding its way back toAlready in September 1998, the UN Security Council expressed wards Europe. its concern at reports that some 230,000 people had been drivThat sense has grown much stronger over the last four en from their homes by the ‘excessive and indiscriminate use of years. Yes, we have had ‘ups and downs’, to put it mildly, parforce by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav Army’. ticularly over Kosovo; I have written a lot about that, and don’t Some of these people were already trying to escape, as refneed to do it again. But having lived through the elections in ugees in surrounding countries. Back in London, I became the 2007 and 2008, when there was a real and worrying question head of a unit helping to coordinate our response to the humanmark about Serbia’s direction, we are now, at last, on firmer itarian crisis. Eventually, NATO was forced to take military acground. Particularly since September’s UN General Assembly tion to try to stop it, but the violence on the ground only intenmeeting, when Serbia and the 27 members of the EU finally sified. Eventually, by the early summer of 1999, over 850,000 came together in a joint approach over Kosovo, the way forpeople from Kosovo were living in exile, many of them in ward seems clear. Of course, there is still an enormous amount camps, in the neighbouring countries. I visited one of the largto be done, to make life better for all the people in Kosovo est camps in Macedonia at that time, and heard many stories of and to take forward Serbia’s EU process. The process of nethe suffering that people had endured. Yet when they went back gotiating Serbia’s EU accession, in 35 detailed ‘chapters’ will home, another wave of suffering began, as many Kosovo Serbs take several years of hard work. But we will support Serbia in turn fled their homes to seek safety in Serbia, joining the hunthroughout that process. The destination is no longer in doubt. dreds of thousands of Serbs who had sought refuge there after And Serbia will reach it. ■ the conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia. CorD 76 / November 2010 13
interview H.E. WolFraM MaaS, GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO SERBIA
and other challenges The EU has to be more than a free trade area. This means that the political integration alone can guarantee that the European nations will remain subjects and do not become mere objects of history in a multi-polar world
By vera dIdanOVIÄ‡
t the beginning of October, Germany celebrated the 20th anniversary of unification. On this occasion, H.E. Wolfram Maas, German Ambassador to Serbia, talked with CorD about the challenges that Germany faced in the process of unification, and also about the challenges the European Union is facing, relations between Germany and Serbia and his personal impressions of Belgrade.
n What would you say are the key successes following the unification process? r Today after 20 years, the anniversary of the Day of German Unity is a day of great joy for Germany. We may not forget that 20 years ago, the people in East Germany peacefully toppled a totalitarian regime, for the first time they elected freely a parliament, and this freely elected parliament decided that the former GDR will join the Federal Republic of Germany. 14 CorD 76 / November 2010
an iMportant step towards eU This decision didn’t mark the end of all problems; in many ways, unification meant the beginning of tackling new challenges. East Germany had to undergo the transforn following the latest news that the eu council of ministers has requested the european commission draft an opinion on the readimation process as did all socialist countries in Eastern and ness of serbia to become a candidate for eu membership. What, in South-Eastern Europe. This task was and still is tough. But your opinion, is the significance of this decision? I dare say, we have come a long way and above all, the tremendous assistance flowing from West to East Germany r I want to congratulate Serbia on this step, which brings it closer to the Union. The decision is important primarily as a sign of encouragement. has made it much easier for East Germany to adapt to the This is just one step in a long process. It is necessary to take many steps, new reality then it was and still is for other former socialist but signs like this are an important part of the trip. It is very important for countries. the government of Serbia and its citizens. When during the process of unification Chancellor Helmut Kohl voiced his conviction that in only a couple of members, it is easy to guess that you will find a couple of years we would see prospering regions in East Germany, million people who were pillars of the totalitarian regime he was laughed at and ridiculed. Over the past 20 years, and who lost in the process of unification power and privipeople in East and West Germany have continuously been leges. I am not surprised that there are people who haven’t asked, whether they see these prospering regions in East arrived yet in the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany. It is no great surprise that 20 years ago a vast majority doubted that assessment – the margin in the East n When will the Germans stop asking themselves being even considerably higher than in the West. I consider whether the 3rd of October, 1990 marked the true uniit one of the biggest successes of the unification process that fication of two states or did West Germany just assimiin recent polls those who support Chancellor Kohl’s statelate the country in the east? ment today outnumber those who doubt it – and this is true r October 3rd, 1990 marked the unification of Germany, in the East and West! What is even more encouraging is that which was brought about by the GDR joining the Federal the support for this assessment in East Germany is almost as Republic of Germany on the high as in West Germany. That means that, first of all, people In the past 10 years, aside from the basis of a free decision by the GDR’s first and only freely realise that the unification process is working and secondly, roughly two billion euros which the elected parliament. this judgement is almost equaleU made available to serbia and n According to some interly shared in East and West. to which Germany contributed the pretations, Germany has n Still, not everything has been increasingly turning run smoothly and not all dif- largest part; Germany on a bilateral inwards and has become ferences have been erased. basis has supported serbia to the more sceptical when it A survey conducted in early comes to EU enlargement. amount of 970 million euros September by a voluntary orThe media claim that Gerganisation called the Nationmany sees the global downal Solidarity showed that a quarter of German citizens, turn not only as a financial or economic crisis, but as a living in the country’s east, did not feel as ‘real citizens conflict between ideas, values and cultures. Is there any of the Federal Republic of Germany’. What needs to truth to such interpretations? be done in order for this process to be successfully fir It is undoubtedly true that German unification brought nalised? great challenges for German domestic policy. But I absor I think no one can expect that a situation is judged the lutely cannot see that unification in any way reduced supsame way by 100% of the people. If you consider that memport for EU enlargement. bers of the Communist Party and of the secret police countNevertheless, it is also true that Germany is taking a ed close to two million in East Germany, add to them family much more thorough look at countries who apply for EU
from the very beginning of the european unification process, Germany was prepared to demonstrate its solidarity even if this came at considerable costs.
the overwhelming majority of German businesses in serbia do not regret their investment in serbia and would come again, if the decision was up.
the faster the conditions are met and the ‘acquis communautaire’ is adapted, the earlier serbia will be ready to become a full member of the european union. CorD 76 / November 2010 15
membership. It is a simple lesson learnt from the last rounds of enlargement. By accepting new members who carry with them unresolved territorial conflicts, who have not yet come to terms with organised crime and corruption the EU has created itself considerable problems. Germany is not interested in this experience repeating itself. Therefore, we consider it as of highest importance that every new applicant not only shares our common European and transatlantic values, but also fully implements them.
step by step are benefitting from a legal framework which is getting closer to European standards month by month.
n In your opinion, which development direction will the European Union take and what do you see as the basic strategy for this development? r The European Union has always been confronted with a dual challenge: to accept applicant countries as new members and to deepen the integration process. Obviously, the number of possible applicants for membership n What is the communication is limited and will continuously between Germany and Serbia decrease by the ongoing enlargelike in terms of ideas and value ments. Deepening the integrasystems? tion in my judgement By accepting new members who carry r We have very close is therefore the greater and trusted relations with The EU has to with them unresolved territorial conflicts, challenge. our Serbian partners. be more than a free trade Discussions on shared area. That means that the who have not yet come to terms with values are always part political integration alone organised crime and corruption the EU can guarantee that the of political meetings between representatives of has created itself considerable problems European nations will reour two countries. Admain subjects and do not ditionally, we jointly run a number of projects to improve become mere objects of history in a multi-polar world. the implementation of policies, rules and regulations which guarantee our shared values. n In which way does Germany treat other EU memBut Germany is not only offering cheap words, we are bers which have been experiencing grave economic difvery substantially supporting Serbia on its path to a better ficulties, like Ireland, Portugal or Spain? future. In the past 10 years, aside from the roughly two bilr From the very beginning of the European unification lion euros which the EU made available to Serbia and to process, Germany was prepared to demonstrate its solidarity which Germany contributed the largest part; Germany on even if this came at considerable costs. Therefore, it cannot a bilateral basis has supported Serbia to the amount of 970 be considered a surprise that Germany also took an active million euros. Just this October our negotiating team compart in discussing viable structures to cope with the diffimitted another 100 million euros of support in grants and cult financial problems of highly indebted EU countries. Of loans for Serbia's further economic development. course, this support will only be accepted by the German electorate, if the EU manages to prevent the kind of misuse n Serbia is slowly progressing in harmonising its legisof European solidarity we experienced in the past. lation with that of the EU, although a lot of work still needs to be done. During your stay in Serbia, did you n In addition to the EU countries being given instrucsee the European standards and way of thinking being tions to exercise financial discipline, do you see any applied in everyday life? chance of the entire EU economic policy being rer Since the forming of the Serbian Government in July viewed? 2008, Serbia has effectively streamlined its EU accession r Already today, the EU plays a very significant role in process. Government, parliament and administration are shaping economic policy decisions. When we take the working hard and increasingly effectively to adapt the â€˜acdeepening of the integration process seriously, it will be quis communautaireâ€™. Just remember the new rules of prounavoidable that in the medium and long term along with cedure of the Serbian parliament, which made the parliastrengthening the political decision making process also mentary processes in this context so much more efficient. economic issues will be determined by action on the EuroWith this adaptation proceeding, Serbia and its citizens pean Union level. 16 CorD 76 / November 2010
+0:8"/54:0650)"7&*5"-- #FIJOEUIFXIFFMPGUIFBMMOFX#.89MBZTPQIJTUJDBUFEFMFHBODFBOEFOEMFTTQPTTJCJMJUZ*OTJEFBOEPVU +PZEFMJWFSTTIFFSESJWJOHQMFBTVSF XJUIBOBFSPEZOBNJDTJMIPVFUUFQSFDJTFMZTDVMQUFEBSPVOEBWBSJBCMFBOENPEFSOMZUSJNNFEJOUFSJPS3FJOGPSDJOHJUTCFTUJOTFHNFOUUSVOLSPPN UIFEJWJTJCMFSFBSTFBUCFODIBOE趒FYJCMFMVHHBHFDPNQBSUNFOUNBLFJUUIFQFSGFDUBDDFTTPSZUPBOZBDUJWJUZѮVOJGZJOHGPSNBOEGVODUJPO XJUIPVUGPSFHPJOHBOZTUZMF5IFTUPSZPG+PZDPOUJOVFTBUXXXCNXST
5)&"--/&8#.89 #.8&GꗅDJFOU%ZOBNJDT 9Y%SJWFE
%FMUB.PUPST 3BEOJÍLB #FMHSBEF 5FMFQIPOF
MLN L8 ,4
3BEVMPWJÇ(SPVQ %SBHPTMBWB4SFKPWJÇBCC #FMHSBEF 5FMFQIPOF
3BEVMPWJÇ(SPVQ /PWPTBETLJQVU /PWJ4BE 5FMFQIPOF
3BEVMPWJÇ(SPVQ 7JĉOKJÍLBB #FHSBEF 5FMFQIPOFGBY
.JUJÇ$PNQBOZ 4UFWBOB/FNBOKFB /Jĉ 5FMFQIPOF
"VUP(BSBOU.PUPST *CBSTLJQVUCC ÌBÍBL 5FMFQIPOF
4UFGBOPWJÇ"VUP 7MBĉLP1PMKF .MBEFOPWBD 5FMFQIPOF
in which areas? r Today, more than 250 German companies have invested more than 1.5 billion euros in the Serbian economy and have created directly more than 20.000 jobs in Serbia. Not so bad – don't you think? But I do not know of anything that couldn’t be improved. That is definitely true for economic relations between Germany and Serbia. I am quite pleased these days to see a constant flow, not a flood, of German companies newly setting up shop in Serbia or expanding on already existing businesses. Drawing from the German experience, where small and medium sized companies are the backbone of our economy - providing more than 80% of the jobs - I think, what works for us might also work for Serbia. Thus I am quite happy to see here some 180, there some 500 and in a third place some 50 jobs created in Serbia by German companies. A sound mix of different areas activities of these as of highest importance of companies will help to applicant not only shares strengthen the basis of the Serbian economy.
n To what extent have economic problems, as experienced by EU members, affected the EU enlargement process? r Economic problems of EU members have no immediate effect on the enlargement process. But there are indirect repercussions: First of all, problems in other areas dissipate energies and resources from issues like enlargement. Secondly, the circumstances of the mentioned economic problems clearly demonstrated that the EU has to have every interest to make sure that European rules are observed and taken seriously. Safeguards against cheating have become unavoidable.
n Several months ago, the German business community in Serbia presented its annual survey conducted among German businessmen which said that, generally speaking, they were satisfied with their business operations in Serbia. Has something changed in the meantime, particularly bearing in mind that We consider it WAZ is withdrawing from Serbia? that every new r It is true; the overour common European and transatlantic whelming majority of German businesses in n What should Serbia values, but also fully implements them Serbia do not regret their do in order to join the investment in Serbia and EU in five years’ time, would come again, if the decision was up. Therefore, the as Serbian President Tadić has said? How realistic is difficulties WAZ encountered in Serbia and the unfortunate this forecast? media coverage as a consequence of WAZ's problems were r I always refuse to speculate about time-frames in the even more deplorable, as they, of course, at least partly context of EU enlargement. Everybody knows what time overshadowed the positive overall sentiment of German it took in the past from the moment an application for EU business vis-à-vis Serbia. membership was tabled to the moment, a country became a full member. I do not see that this time-span can be conn The media have speculated that Deutsche Telekom siderably shortened. Additionally the Treaty of Lisbon has could be acquiring Telekom Serbia, but these specularesulted in new regulations, the consequences of which we tions have died down somewhat. Do you dispose of the still have to explore. information on Deutsche Telekom’s intentions and the But beyond all that, I want to stress again two points: problems that they might have encountered? First, Serbia herself is setting the pace of Serbia's accesr To the best of my knowledge, Deutsche Telekom was sion to the EU. The faster the conditions are met and the and still is interested in examining the options concerning ‘acquis communautaire’ is adapted, the earlier Serbia will the acquisition of a majority stake in Serbia Telekom. But be ready to become a full member of the EU. Second, in as always in business, in the end conditions and that means the history of EU enlargement, there has never been a case foremost the price has to be right. that the accession process started and the applicant didn't make it to full membership – except in cases where the apn Germany is one of the key economic partners to plicants had second thoughts. Thus in my view, only SerSerbia. Do you think that the economic relations bebia can prevent herself from becoming a full member of tween the two countries could improve, and if you do, the European Union. 18 CorD 76 / November 2010
n During your stay in Belgrade, did you change your sponsible in this country that it is in the best interest of opinion about Serbia, and if you did, in regard to what? Serbia to go after those who instigated violence in the What has surprised you the most? streets during the past three years, then the events in Belr When you come to a country, to a region you have grade and Genoa last month should have convinced them never worked in, every of something better. day provides new expefor the single Today, more than 250 German companies mostAsked riences and therefore I surprising fact, I am learning something have invested more than 1.5 billion euros stick with what I said alnew every day. A clear ready two or two and a change I witnessed was in the Serbian economy and have created half years ago: I am very the determination of directly more than 20.000 jobs in Serbia. positively surprised by the the new government to friendliness Serbs display make accession to the towards me â€“ and I am EU its undisputed number one priority and to implement here not talking alone of my encounters with Serbs as the the policies and values which go with that decision. I Ambassador of Germany, but even more of private meethope that in this context, the last areas of impunity will ings in jeans and T-shirt where the opposite number doesn't be cleared out. If there was any doubt among those renecessarily know who I am. â–
interview DUBraVKa SToJanoVić, HISTORIAN
History is not Faith In order to read the road signs of history, we should become critical toward our own history; otherwise we will see it through the wrong glasses. As long as we stick to the mythical perspective of our own history, we will stay put
By vera dIdanOVIć Photo: Goranka MatIć
ubravka Stojanović, general contemporary history professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, primarily deals with matters of democracy and modernisation processes in Serbia and the Balkans at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. She has recently published a collection of essays titled ‘Oil on Water - samples from the current history of Serbia’, and CorD was able to interview her in October on the tenth anniversary of the downfall of Slobodan Milošević’s regime, and at the height of depressing disputes on whether anything has changed in Serbia in the last decade. 20 CorD 76 / November 2010
n When it comes to the predominant cultural and political paradigm, has anything changed in Serbia in the last century? r As a historian, I have dealt with the end of the 19th century, and now in the essays published in the book ‘Oil on Water’, I have tried to more freely to contemplate those long-lasting processes, which create a context for ‘doing’ politics. In the 20th century, we went through: civil, local and world wars; monarchies and republics; revolutions and coups-d’état; small and big countries, and so on, but still, some essential problems in the functioning of the state or political culture have not changed substantially for more than 100 years. That cultural and political model has almost remained intact and it is still dominantly colouring our lives. For example, the fact that every distribution of power is quickly annihilated and all authorities end up in one hand; or the party state; or the permanent tearing down of institutions; or the dysfunctionality of laws; or the fact that, beside all the possibilities, from the press to parliament, from the non- governmental sector to state institutions, you constantly feel powerless because, in fact, society has no mechanism of influence, and a bunch of other system problems which have not changed in a whole century. n You say that Serbia is one of the most controversial countries of the European continent, that society is divided in two, almost equal, halves which cannot reach the minimal consensus over a strategy for the future. How did that happen to us? r That is also a constant. The matter of European integration
the enlargement of the economy was prevented at the very beginis also the most important litmus test, because it is the synonym ning. Since then, decisions which have disabled the creation of for relations toward development itself. And it is exactly what a developmental framework have been systematically reached, the most controversial thing about us is. It is said: we want to which is the job of the elite who formulate goals and write laws. go to Europe, but that is quickly and easily abandoned, almost For example, the debate on the enactment of the Belgrade Law on daily basis as soon as we stumble upon an obstacle. So when and general urban plan lasted from 1885 to 1924! And that is necthere is an obstacle, then it is either said “we do not care they essary framework for development, without it there would be a do not like us” or “we will never catch up with them” or “we conflagration, which is the main characteristic of our ‘system’. Or, do not care they do not like us and we do not care we will never shall we use this example: only during my life, there have been catch up with them, we do not even want to go there”. In my three decisions not to go down the road of the development and opinion, that is a constant wandering between inferiority and modernisation of the economy and society - in 1972 when Marko superiority complexes. It is not being approached as a developNikezić’s liberals were removed from the scene, in 1989 when mental project, but as if getting married with obscure emotions. a war took place instead of transition, and in 2003 when Zoran So, then we behave as a moody bride, which also lasts for a Ðinđić was murdered for the same reasons. Actually, it is very long time and a lot has been missed. I do not say that it is somesimple - our elite still thinks it is better off in a poor, neglected sotimes easy to make such decisions – the road of development ciety; that there is nobody who can control it and that nobody has and modernisation is difficult and demanding, but in our case, the strength to ask tricky quesit always boils down to giving in tions; that it could become even to the line of least resistance, we the road of development and richer in the poverty of others. It always give up. The authorities modernisation is difficult and still does not understand the first think that they will win over voters if they say “ok, don’t stress demanding, but in our case, it always lesson of modern society - that over it so much”, that is the bot- boils down to giving in to the line of everyone is better off if society is progress! Here, the idetom line of our populism, of that least resistance, we always give up making ology best expressed in Dobrica flattery to the people. That is Ćosić’s maxim ‘neglect as an advantage’ how during the 1880s Stojan Novaković is still valid. We are comfortable in that introduced the obligatory six-year long neglect, we preserve that national identity primary school education, but the next in it, whatever that means. Here, it is still authorities, in order to make the people better that the neighbour’s cow dies than happy, cancelled that decision and deto get one ourselves. A Copernicus twist is creased it to four years. This is the deep needed to change that. corruption between the people and authorities, the deal which nobody dares to break. Everyone is scared of losing n By dealing with matters of democthe little they have if they indulge in ratisation and modernisation during changes. The famous saying ‘a bird in the 19th and 20th centuries, you have the hand is worth two in the bush’ can reached the conclusion that, like in be applied here - and that is the reason numerous other instances, Serbia’s why we cannot move forward. In order progress was being stopped. to move forward, you have to have a vir I have investigated such historical situasion, courage, take risks, but also have tions as when the authorities enacted good a system, concept and plan on how to laws, democratic and in accordance with achieve that. You cannot do that with a the European standards of the time. Howbird in the hand. ever, it was always observable that the authorities themselves soon started to give up on democracy, the institutions it had established and the laws it had enacted, and that n Unlike the widespread opinion of poorer society being it did business outside the institutions and against the law. We are unable to follow the modernisation impulses of the elite, still getting that system which reproduces itself: power is conyou point to the elite as being responsible for Serbia’s centrated in the hands of the ruling party, that is to say, its leadstagnation. ership, or even more precisely, its leader. The government starts r Numerous surveys of social history, also performed by my ruling with decrees instead of laws, parliament is as relevant as colleagues Latinka Perović and Olga Popović- Obradović, have a ‘fichus’, and the judiciary is powerless. So repeatedly, the very shown that the elite have given up on development in a series authorities have been tearing down the system, and everything of situations when they had the chance of reaching such a decicrumbles down until a revolution or a coup-d’état tears it down, sion. The first laws enacted by Prince Miloš were such that they which is also our tradition. A peaceful shift of power has only stopped the development of agriculture, trade and craftsmanship even taken place twice since elections have existed here, since the - they were an obstacle for the accumulation of capital, and thus, CorD 76 / November 2010 21
last decades of the 19th century. This is not some fate, some tragic destiny, but it comes from the fact that power is not in institutions, but outside them. Since you cannot catch them, since there are no responsibilities, then the opposition is also becoming non-institutional, and that state of things leads to a coup- d’état. Then we spend an entire generation of people recovering from the overthrow and stabilising society. That is why bringing down institutions and the legal framework by the very authorities is playing a part in slowing down society’s progress.
r This is also a matter which has been on the agenda for more than two centuries. But, when it was asked in the 19th century whether progress should be sacrificed for the sake of territories, it was in accordance with the time and the overwhelming imperialism which saw a great source of power in the great country. We have not seen that values have changed in the meantime, which the 20th century has shown with the numerous examples of Germany, Austria or Japan, that the fight for countries’ ratings takes place in some other areas, primarily economic ones. The philosophy of let’s first solve the territorial matters, and everything else will be a piece of cake, still holds ground here. Let’s first decide what to do about Kosovo, then the highway; let’s first resolve the matter of the Republic of Srpska, and then of industry. Our elite are tragically lagging behind in that area and it still does not understand what counts as a factor of modern success of a country and of a society. Or maybe it does understand, but it is easier and nicer this way, this way, it crazes the people For over a century, ideologies and works very little. It is much based on collectivism, more difficult to develop a country. If so, then the responsibility whether left-wing or rightfor slowing down the progress in wing collectivism, populism, favour of imaginary territories is communism or nationalism, even greater.
n One could say that some current wanderings and ad hoc solutions to problems are rooted in history - you mention numerous examples which say that lack of money is not necessarily an obstacle in development, but more the lack of a plan and ideas. r A whole series of examples demonstrates that. No matter which one we choose, we come across the same problem - from the history of constructing a sewer system to waterworks, from fixing the streets to the construction of representative buildings. I have analysed those problems in a period that covers over 40 years, from the 1880s until World War I. I have also tried to express this in quantitive terms and it have been has been irrevocably proven that the financial problems were barely mentioned, and that matter was not even brought up during several decades of fierce disputes. Passions were gaining strength on the matter of who would get the project, from whose bank the loan would be taken out, whose idea would win. I have even made a chart for the sewer debate, which shows that the disputes lasted for 30 years, that projects were adopted and discarded, committees were formed and dissolved, authorities were shifted, together with teams of engineers close to them, while the citizens of Belgrade died at the average age of 35 for women and 45 for men, mostly due to the lack of sanitary conditions. There, that is the lack of the awareness in the public interest and the citizens of this country. n On the list of the areas from which the current elite has not drawn any suitable conclusions from the past, there is also the constant matter of deciding between territories and modernisation. 22 CorD 76 / November 2010
n Kosovo is once again a central topic. You say that the discussion on whether Serbia will lose it is superfluous, since that happened in 1912. r Yes, I dealt with the Balkan wars and the great political debates which were led then in Serbia. The authorities claimed that the population on a lower level of civilization lived there and that it was necessary to introduce a special militia regime, whereas the opposition advocated the introduction of rights equal to those of Serbian citizens, including the right to vote and participate in political life. Of course, the authorities instituted the militia regime, so the population over there never saw Serbia as their country or as ‘liberation’ compared with the Ottoman Empire. Something similar happened later on with Yugoslavia where former Austro-Hungarian provinces received fewer rights than they had had in the previous, underdeveloped empire. Researchers have shown that Serbia could not manage the much desired territories and it never really cared about the rights of the population living there. Eventually, under such circumstances, the territories have to be historically lost.
n More recent history also provides us with devastating data - there are no final numbers of victims for a single war led in the 20th century! Why is human life worth so little here? r Here, an individual is not worth much, thus a dead individual is worth even less! For over a century, ideologies based on collectivism, whether left-wing or right-wing collectivism, populism, communism or nationalism, have been prevalent. That is also one of the sad continuities. All those ideologies submit the individual to the community and its imaginary needs. Afterwards, those victims are used for political purposes and are manipulated in order to scare one’s own people or threaten someone else’s. Then it is not enough that there were 100,000 dead people in Jasenovac, there has to be 700,000 of them! Those victims are used in constant clashes, for example with Croatia, and not to be truly remembered and respected. n Despite numerous examples which point to the constant repetition of the same mistakes, you say that there is no room for depressing conclusions such as ‘if nothing has changed in 200 years, it will not change in the future either’. Where does your optimism spring from? r Well, it is more of a hope than optimism. Hope lies in the fact that history is not faith; it is a consequence of somebody’s decisions made in corresponding circumstances. There is the belief that different decisions will lead us to the right, and not constantly to the wrong way. There is also the hope that this time we will have the time to lay down the conditions for different decisions; until now, something dramatically terrible on the global level would also happen, starting with the two world wars to various divisions in the world. n Recently, the second edition of ‘History Reader’, a joint textbook of all the Balkans countries, was published. As the editor of the Serbian edition, how do you assess the range of that project, which has already spurred criticism in all the participant-countries? r Criticism is the same everywhere, and springs from nationalistic, xenophobic, traditionalistic circles. Those readers were com-
pleted with the mutual effort of 60 historians and history teachers from all the countries of South-Eastern Europe, from Slovenia to Turkey. We did them by selecting the most painful topics of the mutual history (the Ottoman Empire, creation of national countries, Balkan wars and WWII), collected representative historical sources and presented them via a multi-perspective method - so that all the different perspectives of the same situation could be seen. We feel that in that way, the historically ‘clashed’ people in the Balkans would see the differences in opinions and that it would be the first step towards a better mutual understanding. That
We have not seen that values have changed in the meantime, which the 20th century has shown with the numerous examples of Germany, Austria or Japan, that the fight for countries’ ratings takes place in some other areas, primarily economic ones is exactly what the nationalistic circles had problems with - they do not want to be compared with those they hate nor do they want to acknowledge somebody else’s perspective. They believe there is only one truth, which is ours, of course. That is why this book razes nationalistic outlooks on the world to the ground. Regardless of the criticism, the book was accepted by history teachers, it helps them to give answers to tricky students’ questions, and it gives them the opportunity to create active classes. n Can the history of the present times, which is your field, tell us something about what can we expect in the future? r It can tell us what the pre-conditions are for the future, what our limitations are and what are our advantages. History is always complicated, it offers various outlets. The question is whether we want to or whether we can read those road signs. In order to do so, we should become critical toward our own history; otherwise we will see it through the wrong glasses. As long as we stick to the mythical perspective of our own history, we will stay put. ■
In order to move forward, you have to have a vision, courage, take risks, but also have a system, concept and plan on how to achieve that
Our elite still does not understand the first lesson of modern society - that everyone is better off if society is making progress
A peaceful shift of power has only even taken place twice since elections have existed here, since the last decades of the 19th century CorD 76 / November 2010 23
interview WilliaM S. inFanTE, UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN SERBIA
new coUntry partnership strategy Over the next ﬁve years, the UN will implement its new strategy that will advance accountable and transparent governance, sustainable and inclusive development, and regional stability and cooperation
By Zorana stakIć
he UN will help build further capacity among governmental and non-governmental counterparts to address challenges in these areas, and it will continue to mainstream values tied to human rights, tolerance, and governance in all programming. The new five-year strategic program that was approved and adopted in 2010 will engage the expert coalition of existing UN agencies, and a growing number of specialised agencies, such as the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the UN Environment Programme, and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), says UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Mr. William S. Infante in an interview with CorD. He added that the composition of the UN country team is evolving in order to address the needs of Serbia, a middle income country that is positioned for growth, prosperity, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and EU membership. n How does the mission of the United Nations (UN) in Serbia respond to national needs?
fighting corruption and promoting governance demands partnership among all levels of government and civil society 24 CorD 76 / November 2010
r Serbia has made significant progress on a wide-ranging reform agenda, and it is progressing well towards meeting its national Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. Still, challenges remain, and some of the most daunting are associated with promoting inclusive economic growth, and reinforcing governance and accountability. Legal and administrative capacity is building, but requires further improvement in order for the country to sustain and advance political, social, and economic reforms. The UN family of agencies is well placed as a result of its longstanding role in Serbia’s reform process, during which we have supported the Government of Serbia on its path to becoming a modern, democratic, market-oriented and EU member state. The UN focuses on three strategic areas that are anchored to the government’s own expression of needs, and which also reflect the input received from civil society and other partners. Over the next five years, the UN will implement its new Country Partnership Strategy that will advance accountable and transparent governance, sustainable and inclusive development, and regional stability and cooperation. n Can the Millennium Development Goals provide a pathway to social justice? r When world leaders met in September at the MDG Summit, they assessed their promises to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and to ensure access to education and health, and to promote human rights and gender equality. But promot-
The UN Country Team in Serbia ing social justice was among the key questions discussed in New York, and which Serbia has a good answer for. In 2007 Serbia achieved its poverty reduction goal, well ahead of the A family of more than two dozen agencies helping people achieve bet2015 target. Poverty nationwide was cut in half, and despite ter lives. In Serbia, 21 agencies contribute directly to the development of these goals. The wider UN Country Team for Serbia also includes four the global economic crisis, poverty remains largely in check. financial institutions. Serbia’s economy grew at rates of around five percent in the years leading up to the crisis, but the benefits of growth are changes on vulnerable populations, and found that although not evenly enjoyed: there are disparities. Reducing disparithe changes could promote growth and job creation, that it ties in income, access to health, education, services and opwould hit the elderly and others on fixed incomes hard. Reportunity are among the elements of the UN’s social justice search contributes to policy dialogue, and also helps us at the agenda, and contribute directly to the achievement of the UN focus our programs MDGs. The UN is workon the crux issues that ing to reduce disparities The strength of the UN in promoting need to be addressed. The among people living in different geographic ar- social justice lies in the strength of the two UN partners with national and local grass-roots oreas, between women and dozen agencies active in Serbia ganisations to implement men, and which commoninitiatives that strengthen democracy and social services dely affect cultural and other minorities. In order to increase livery. With assistance from the EU Delegation and various impact, the UN is implementing an increasing number of bilateral partners, the UNDP and the Ministry of Labour and programs jointly, capitalising on the specialised skills of key Social Welfare launched the Social Innovations Fund (SIF) UN agencies. UNICEF, the International Labour Organisathat is recognised as a potent fast-track mechanism promottion and others are implementing the Youth Employment ing access to social and Migration project which has already created opportuniservices through colties for more than 700 youth, some of whom are disabled, laboration with civil and some of whom represent ethnic minorities. The SWIFT society organisations. project, spearheaded by the World Health Organisation with Recently, the Mintechnical input from the International Organisation for Miistry of Interior and gration, is employing minority communities, thereby generthe UNDP launched ating income for households that can be invested in better an effort through the nutrition, medical care, and education. The strength of the Southeast European UN in promoting social justice lies in the strength of the two Police Chiefs Assodozen agencies active in Serbia. ciation and the WomWilliam S. Infante, UN Resident en Police Officer’s n In what ways does the UN support the development of Coordinator, visiting a collective Network, which are civil society in Serbia? centre in Bujanovac also civil society orr The UN, through the UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and other ganizations. The project mainstreams gender in the police agencies engages civil society actively in virtually all activiforce which contributes directly to democratic policing. It ties. From our experience, civil society is a critical partner in also represents a significant paradigm shift from that of ‘enpromoting inclusion, fighting discrimination, and combating forcer’ to that of ‘service provider’. This cultivates a ‘kinder gender based violence, and in strengthening transparency gentler image’, reducing perceptions of threat, and fuelling a and accountability. The UN is well-positioned to facilitate sense of enhanced security, particularly in areas like Souththe dialogue between government and CSOs, and supports ern Serbia. Women in police are also better equipped than broad engagement in policy-making. The UN collaborates men to address crimes, such as gender-based violence, rape with local think-tanks in to conduct research that contributes and trafficking in persons. to knowledge and therefore better-informed policy dialogue. UNICEF and the Centre for Liberal Democratic Studies (CLDS) recently examined the impacts of proposed tax law n Serbia continually receives negative marks for its efReforms Legal and administrative capacity is building, but requires further improvement in order for the country to sustain and advance reforms.
Growth Serbia’s economy grew at rates of around five percent in the years leading up to the crisis, but the benefits of growth are not evenly enjoyed.
Improvement The single result that UN wants to achieve through all of its programmes is to foster tangible changes that make people’s lives better. CorD 76 / November 2010 25
RtS broadcast sixteen episodes of “Pridji Blize,” under the eU-funded anti-discrimination program
ed impetus for ministry focal points to conceive individual action plans. These plans will comprise achievable goals, such as the adoption of Codes of Ethics or Codes against Conflict of Interests, and harder-to-achieve goals associated with the creation of internal audit functions and controls, for instance. According to research conducted by the UNDP, the government is beginning to dent corruption. The fraction of households paying a bribe dropped in the six months ending in April when the last survey was conducted. We hope to see continued gains, just as we see an increasing number of corruption cases opened. Sustained effort must be invested to prosecute and adjudicate these cases. Enforcement is a powerful deterrent to crime. Fighting corruption and promoting governance demands partnership among all levels of government and civil society. The UN, through all agencies, but especially through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UNDP, will sustain efforts to ensure that the successes realised by the Government of Serbia to date are reinforced and redoubled.
forts in fighting corruption. What are your experiences in this area and where do you see the main problems? r Corruption is an issue in Serbia, as it is in every other country on the face of the planet. This is not to understate the importance of efforts to combat corruption, but simply reflects a reality that all countries are grappling with. And Serbia is doing well. The UN mainstreams governance in all programs, since the country and every person benefits from transparency and accountability. Over the past two n How do you measure the performance/success of your years, the government has produced a chronicle of achieveprogrammes? One of the programmes for example proments that is increasingly impressive. The UN and many vides support to institutions with the implementation of partners have supported these efforts. Laws have been the anti-discrimination law – what are the accomplishpassed, and authorities strengthened. Institutions promotments in light of the recent incidents in Belgrade? ing good governance have either been strengthened or crer The single result that UN wants to achieve through all ated. And a three-pronged approach comprising enforceof its programmes is to foster tangible changes that make ment, prevention and public awareness is gaining momenpeople’s lives better. For this reason, the UN monitors and tum. The Anti-Corruption measures impacts and according to research conducted by the results aggressively. For Law ratified in 2009, and other laws, provide a example, the EU has Undp, the government is beginning to sound legal basis for the supported an important Ministry of the Interior to initiative to promote toldent corruption investigate and enforce erance and combat discorruption-related wrong-doing. A battery of young insticrimination. The project supported drafting of the Law on tutions is at the vanguard of prevention, including the Antithe Prohibition of Discrimination, and is helping to strengthCorruption Agency, the Public Procurement Office, and the en the Commission for the Protection of Equality. Together, Ombudsman. These institutions are relatively well-funded the Commissioner and the Ombudsman are powerful advoand well-staffed, and serve as testimony of governmental cates and protectors of human and civil rights. The Comwill and commitment. missioner has examined more than 50 complaints, and the Ombudsman has investigated hundreds. The existence of This past summer, Prime Minister Cvetkovic convened a these institutions, and the 30 lawsuits that they have already very high-level forum for all Ministries and major Agencies brought, are evidence of governmental will and commitin order to advance Anti-Corruption Action Plans, also known ment, and are testament to the impacts that the country is as Integrity Plans, for each. More than 50 Ministers, State delivering. In addition to these objective measures, we also Secretaries and Agency Heads attended, which is a powerful measure subjective change. This past year, for instance, RTS signal of governmental commitment. EU Ambassador Vincent broadcast sixteen episodes of “Pridji Blize,” under the EUDegert and I were honoured to join this event, which providfunded Anti-discrimination program. Poll numbers indicate that kids between 15 and 25 are watching the program which Mr williaM s. infante will raise awareness and educate, and ultimately change behaviour related to tolerance and inclusion. Although social UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. William S. Infante represents and coordiattitudes change slowly, we believe that the dignity of every nates the work of the UN family of agencies in Serbia, ensuring coherperson living in Serbia, and their right to a life without disence and effectiveness of all support in Serbia. Each Agency is supportcrimination, is now better safeguarded, and that this makes ed by home and regional offices that are based in New York, Geneva, Serbia a better place to live in. ■ Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Sofia. 26 CorD 76 / November 2010
Don’t know where to spend your annual bonus? WE MIGHT HAVE A COUPLE OF RELAXING IDEAS...
DELUXE ROOM NIGHTLY WITH BREAKFAST
NAIADE RESORT - DIVA 5+* 35% OFF for arrivals 1.11.-20.12.2010. Airline ticket from € 638 + taxes
STANDARD ROOM HALF BOARD
BEACHCOMBER LA MAURICIA 4* 10% OFF for reservations 30 days earlier Airline ticket from € 570 + taxes
SUPERIOR ROOM NIGHTLY WITH BREAKFAST
LE MERIDIEN FISHERMAN’S COVE 5* 40% OFF for reservations 90 days earlier Airline ticket from € 472 + taxes
OF COURSE, DON’T LET THESE EXAMPLES LIMIT YOUR IMAGINATION. WE BELIEVE THAT DESIGNING YOUR OWN UNIQUE VACATION, TAILORED TO YOUR WANTS, NEEDS AND INTERESTS, IS THE ONLY WAY TO RETURN HOME COMPLETELY SATISFIED. WE HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD FOR YOU. VISIT US AND LEARN WHY TRAVEL HOUSE IS NUMBER 1 FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL.
NJEGOŠEVA 52 011 383 6677 NUŠIĆEVA 21 011 334 5827, 334 5837
OMLADINSKIH BRIGADA 90A 011 222 0620, 222 0621 YUBC NOVI BEOGRAD 011 311 7815, 311 9273
UŠĆE SHOPPING CENTER 011 285 4420, 285 4421 BUL. OSLOBOĐENJA 95, NOVI SAD 021 426 882, 426 883
interview roBErT VUGa, THE FIRST DIRECTOR OF THE CARGO 10 COMPANY
United regional RAILWAYS Instead of taking the usual 30 hours, the train from Paraćin to Sežana travelled ten hours less without a euro being invested in railway infrastructure. The interest is so great that we have already concluded an initial contract stipulating the transportation of 50,000 tons of goods freight trains under the name of Cargo 10, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have undertaken the first concrete step towards regional economic integration. All three sides have expressed a firm belief that the new company will simplify the transport of goods through these three countries with each side having a one third share in this new legal entity. The point of establishing Cargo 10 d.o.o. was not solely to generate profit for the alliance, but also to create conditions conducive to By Zorana stakIć achieving higher competitiveness. The main priority is to optimise transport activities by primarily cutting back on commuting hours which, in turn, will lead to the higher compethe first international freight train, operated by itiveness of railway operators on Corridor X. The end result the joint Serbian/Slovenian/Croatian company of this joint venture is to increase the volume of operations, Cargo 10, departed for Sežana from Batajnica i.e. the market share – according to the first director of Cargo station on the 4th of October at around noon. 10, Robert Vuga from Slovenian Railways (SŽ). The train was made up of 32 freight cars and “The market share of regional railway companies varcarried from Paraćin (Serbia) to Sežana (Slovenia), wood ies from country to country. So, depending on the market briquettes intended for the Italian market. Every week, one and the destination, the trains departing from Germany to train will commute between these two towns, and the relTurkey have a six perevant annual contract stipulates the train trans- the efficiency of our services and the higher cent market share and porting a total of 50,000 operations volume will certainly serve as two percent in the opposite direction. I am confitons of goods. an additional argument and an incentive dent that this percentage By signing an agreeto governments which are responsible for will go up following the ment establishing a joint activities carried out by venture that will operate investing in railway infrastructure
28 CorD 76 / November 2010
the alliance of Cargo 10. It is also worth mentioning that the market share of Corridor X is only 10%, while Corridor IV has almost 90%. Our goal is to increase the market share of Corridor X. During our first year of operations, we plan to increase the volume of freight transport on this corridor by between 30% and 50%,” Vuga says. n What markets have the highest potential, client- and destination-wise? r We expect most of our clients to come from the countries that are connected by Corridor X. One of the first projects that will generate a wider client base is Yana, which will serve as a link between Padova and Sofia. n What interest have the ports of Trieste, Koper, Bar and Thessaloniki shown toward participating in this project? r All the major players in the logistics chain in the region have expressed a great deal of interest, including the ports that you have mentioned.
Our first train was the perfect example of how to significantly reduce the time spent on freight transport by being well organised and optimising border procedures r Our first train was the perfect example of how to significantly reduce the time spent on freight transport by being well organised and optimising border procedures. Instead of taking the usual 30 hours, the train from Paraćin to Sežana travelled ten hours less without a euro being invested in railway infrastructure. In order to accomplish the best results possible, investments in infrastructure are a must, but this issue is not something that Cargo 10 or any individual transport company can make decisions on. On the other hand, the efficiency of our services and the higher operations volume will certainly serve as an additional argument and an incentive to governments which are responsible for investing in railway infrastructure.
n How big is the level n How interested are of interest shown by investors in taking part On 13th October, railways of Bosnia the potentially big users in this project? What do and Herzegovina signed an initiative from Triglav Mountain banks think about it? to Gevgelija? r As I have mentioned to join Cargo 10, while the national earlier, logistics compar The interest is such railway company from Macedonia signed nies are the ones expressthat we have already conan annex to the main cooperation ing the biggest interest cluded our first deal for and since no investments transporting 50,000 tons agreement in Opatija in april 2010 have been envisaged at of goods. We have other the present time, we have not looked for potential investors negotiations regarding new business pending. or contacted banks about the project. n How high will the charges be for using Cargo 10 services compared to the existing price lists? n What is the status of national railway companies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia? r The prices offered by any company operating in a market need to be competitive in order for the company to be sucr On 13th October, Railways of Bosnia and Herzegovina cessful - such will be the prices of the railway cargo transport signed an initiative to join Cargo 10, while the national railmanaged by Cargo 10. But, I do need to outline that each of way company from Macedonia signed an annex to the main the freight transport operators formulates its own prices. cooperation agreement in Opatija on April 2010. Representatives of the Slovenian Railways, Croatian Railways-Cargo, Railways of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Railways of Sern Could you tell us something about the project in terms bia attended the meeting. The Railways of Montenegro are of advancing the existing infrastructure with the aim of still negotiating with Cargo 10. ■ increasing speed and cutting back on transport time?
Growth we plan to increase the volume of freight transport on Corridor x by between 30% and 50%.
Interest all the major players in the logistics chain in the region have expressed a great deal of interest.
InfrAstrUCtUre In order to accomplish the best results possible, investments in infrastructure are a must. CorD 76 / November 2010 29
interview DraGan GrUJić, DIRECTOR OF THE TRANSPORT DIRECTORATE OF THE PUBLIC COMPANY ‘SERBIAN RAILWAYS’
Rival to ROADS
We hope that, once we have proven the potential of ‘Cargo 10’ and have achieved the goals we set, we will stand a better chance of receiving funds for investments in infrastructure By Zorana stakIć
by Cargo 10, these engines along engines of other railways will be able to run at the aforementioned speed,” says Dragan Grujić, director of the Transport Directorate of the public company ‘Serbian Railways’.
erbian Railways’ and the European Bank for Reconstrucis expected, considering the fact that the tion and Development signed a railroads between Serbia and Croatia are contract for a loan worth €100 dual rail. million; €35 million of which n What is the current condition of railwill be aimed at infrastructural projects, and way traffic in the region? €65 million will be invested in the purchase r The current situation in the market, when n How big are the total investments in of multi-system engines. A contract for the it comes to railway traffic, is such that railthis project? modernisation and electrification of a part way companies have been severely struck r Disregarding the potentials of infrastrucof the Corridor 10 railroads, between Niš by the crisis, in comparison to the results tural capacities and business potentials of and Dimitrovgrad, has been signed the project, the start-up investment with the Czech government. It is exfoundation of the ‘Cargo 10’ the aim of the company is primarily for pected that the works will commence company is €100,000 (each railway by the end of the next year. Next year to be an efficient sales tool for railway company is investing €33,333). It it is also expected that work on the is expected that all railways will transport service members Belgrade-Niš railroad, on the Giljecompletely fulfil their business poĆuprija Bridge will commence, the fitential through this project. nal goal of which will be the establishment of 2007, which were the best results of the of dual rail between these locations. In addilast 15 years. Evaluations from within the n What will be done in regards to the tion to this, other significant infrastructural Community of European Railways (CER) matter of improving infrastructure, in investments have been planned, according and UIC say that the 2007 levels cannot be order to accomplish greater speed and to ‘Serbian Railways’. With these efforts of expected to be reached again before 2015. shorten transport time? Serbian Railways and endeavours to modWhen we talk about the ‘Serbian Railways’ r Infrastructure demands vast investment ernise the railroads of Serbia and with the and ‘Cargo 10’, it needs to be said that the and this is one of the forthcoming priorities. foundation of the mutual railway company ‘project’ covers the direction of Corridor 10 Infrastructure can be a decisive factor for ‘Cargo 10’ (with the Slovenian and Croatian which comes from Slovenia and Croatia and transport volume, but in this initial period railways), there is a chance that secured, goes via Belgrade to Bulgaria and Greece, we feel that it is not realistic to expect that electrified dual rails for the entire length with the addition that Corridor 10 in Serbia funds for the necessary investments in the of the pan-European corridor will soon be also covers the direction toward Hungary renewal of transport be provided. However, passing through Serbia. which has a more intensive goods transport. we hope that once we have proven the po“Currently, in the territory of the SerThe railroad from Belgrade to Subotica and tential of ‘Cargo 10’ and have achieved the bian railroads there is not a single section the Hungarian border is mono-rail and is goals we set, we will stand a better chance where it is possible to travel at the speed of utilised very well considering its capacity of receiving funds for investments in infra160kph, but it is important to point out that and the state of the infrastructure. The fastructure - primarily by joint application for inter-operability is a characteristic of multivourable direction in terms of capacity and credit funds, regardless of whether those system engines. It is possible that in three which can really contribute is the direction are EU funds, accession funds, EBRD, EIB, to four years on certain sections covered on which an intense operation of ‘Cargo 10’ WB credit assets or commercial loans. ■
30 CorD 76 / November 2010
quotations If the gays are going to bring me to the European Union faster and help me stay in it, then it is better for me to leave politics and start being a shepherd. One must be pragmatic. Dragan Marković Palma, president of ‘Jedinstvena Srbija’ and mayor of Jagodina
I would give Ms. Clinton the advantage of having the first say, since she is a lady. I think that would be our entire conversation. Matija Bećković, writer and member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art
For us, the Serbian Constitution represents a firm bastion and the last line of defence, and it has confirmed that Kosovo is an integral and unalienable part of Serbia. Vojislav Koštunica, president of the Democratic Party of Serbia
I do not know when I will get married. But, when you become the director of ‘Srbijagas’, all of a sudden you become more handsome, intelligent and better. Dušan Bajatović, director of ‘Srbijagas’
There is no festivity without folk music. The first time I sang to
the police was at the Serbian New Year’s party, and now I regularly sing… How could I say no, and I also feel good. Ivica Dačić, Serbian minister of police
The most perfect form of dealing with politics is business. Rodoljub Drašković, president of ‘Swisslion Takovo’ concern
The most important accomplishment of the ‘October 5th’ changes is that the authorities in the last 10 years have not tried to steal the elections, not even once. Ivan Marović, one of the leaders of the ‘Resistance’ movement
Ten years later, Serbia is still a country where only foreign banks and politicians, criminals excluded, make serious money. Željko Cvijanović, editor in chief of the Standard
The fact that I sing is not a preelectoral trick, but it is the way in which my supporters and I relax. I am a man from the people, I en-
joy singing. Everybody says I sing well… I definitely do not consider myself a star. Milorad Dodik, president of the Republic of Srpska
Nowadays, there is a great crisis which is observable at every step and some normal households and normal people lead difficult lives. But then again, we tend to quickly forget how bad it had been back then. My example is the most obvious one: in the structure of our capital, only four percent of our assets were made before October 5th, and 96 percent after October 5th, under some democratic conditions. The democratic ambience helped us a lot and set some rules under which we do well. Željko Mitrović, owner of Pink TV
Public companies, especially not great ones and not always, are not led by partisan people.
Boris Tadić, president of Serbia and of the Democratic Party
This government could unpack, but it would be difficult to pack it up once again.
Slobodan Antonić, political analyst
The Serbian Progressive Party will not form a coalition with either the Democratic Party of Serbia or the Democratic Party, because they are behaving schizophrenically. Tomislav Nikolić, president of the Serbian Progressive Party
The government has a conflict of interest with itself. On the one hand, it wants the budget to be oriented at capital investments, and on the other, it wants to increase salaries and pension cheques. Mirko Cvetković, Serbian Prime Minister
If the Democratic Party goes any further left we will be the only country where the rich people vote for the left wing and the poorer ones vote for the right wing, that is to say the Serbian Progressive Party. Ðorđe Vuković, CESID
If I was mean, and it is well known I am not, I would say that the RTS nowadays more resembles the BBC than some MPs resemble European members of parliament. But I would never say that, I respect institutions. Aleksandar Tijanić, director of Serbian Radio-Television CorD 76 / November 2010 31
A Cure for the Economy Serbia is characterised by low economic growth and a high level of unemployment. According to official data, there were 721,043 unemployed people in September, and the monthly survey of ‘Macroeconomic Analyses and Trends’ (MAT) showed that the owners of every sixth company plan to reduce the number of employees in the next three months. The average salary is about €330, which is insufficient for basic needs. The inflow of foreign investments is meagre, and despite the optimistic statements of some politicians, there are no convincing indications that it could increase anytime soon. Foreign debt is currently at about €21.8 billion. For this reason CorD asked a number of experts the following question:
In your opinion, what three key weaknesses of the Serbian economy need to be resolved in order to speed up the development of Serbia? Goran Nikolić, economist at the Centre for New Politics Lack of foreign investment The key challenge for Serbia is attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), while insufficient FDIs are the major weakness of the domestic economy. The new development model for Serbia (covering the period between 2011 and 2020) stipulates an annual FDI influx in the range of 2.3 billion euro, as well as extensive structural changes in the domestic economy and a thorough public sector reform. Low exports and the need for them to significantly grow, at least to 47% of the national GDP by 2020, or by 15% on average per annum (expressed in euro), are closely linked to the structural changes and the reform of the public sector. The third weakness of our economy is a high unemployment rate (the aforementioned development model specifies the creation of 400,000 new jobs). However, all of this will remain a theory if a dramatic change in the spending / investment ratio does not happen with a much higher share of investments whether domestic of foreign, private or public over the next ten years. In the period from 2000 to 2010, Serbia’s GDP was four percent on average, which is twice as high as in Western countries. However, this is still unsatisfactory, bearing in mind a very low base. The overall industrial dynamics in the country, especially in the processing indus-
What we need is a dramatic change in the spending / investment ratio with a much higher share of foreign, domestic, private and public investments over the next ten years try, is discouraging (although, there is a hint of better times ahead). In addition to this, certain branches have recorded growth while others have declined which indicates the formation of a healthy industrial core, albeit a very small one (basic metal production, rubber and plastic industry, food processing companies...). In Serbia, reforms not been any slower than in other transitional countries, but bearing in mind that we were already a decade late to start off with, the reforms need to be much faster. The current living standard of Serbian citizens resembles that of their Bulgarian counterparts (GDP PPP pc is very similar in both countries). On 32 CorD 76 / November 2010
the other hand, there is, for example, the Czech Republic in which GDP PPP pc is 2.5 times higher in 2010. Not finding a proper way to re-launch formerly successful large companies remains the biggest problem with the privatisation process in Serbia. There are a few shining examples of this – Zastava, Smelting and Mining Basin Bor (RTB) and Petrohemija. Corruption is certainly not a Serbian invention. Serbia’s GDP pc is 70% of that in 1989, which was the most economically prosperous year for both the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) and Serbia. The living standard in Serbia today is much better than during Milošević’s regime and far below the one from 1990 (which coincides with the first six months of Marković’s reform), not to mention 1979 which was the end of Broz’s era. It is shocking to see that the average salary in Serbia today, in 2010, is lower than it was in 1971. If we consider the income mass (which is a good indicator of the standard of living), the comparison to the 1970s and 1980s is devastating particularly in terms of a drop in the number of employed persons. Deficit and inflation are structural characteristics of the Serbian economy. The inflation is largely due to an expansive fiscal policy and production ‘bottlenecks’ (in addition to monopolies formed in certain sectors), while the deficit is just a natural result of a desperate need for both businesses and citizens to import, and of an expansive monetary and fiscal policy from 2004 to 2008. On the other hand, with the onset of the crisis, the deficit of the nation’s balance of payments account halved and, in 2010, it will stand at 8.5% of the national GDP, which, according to the EBRD, is tolerable. In the last couple of years, the foreign currency exchange rate absorbed many of the economic shocks brought on by the economic downturn (the dinar depreciated against euro by over 28%, or 14% realistically), and coupled with the fiscal policy, these two factors have reduced the country’s foreign trade deficit. Thanasis Katsiroumpas, President of the Management Board Vip mobile Sluggish administration It’s my opinion that the main weaknesses of the Serbian economy are related to bureaucracy and slow administrative procedures. In terms of the telecommunications market, the new Law on Electronic Communications was adopted in June 2010, and the corresponding
bylaws should be adopted at latest in a year. In the meantime, the existing regulations are still in place with all unnecessary certifications and taxes which significantly slows down the introduction of the latest devices to the market and increases the cost to the enduser. Also, non-uniform application of the regulations in municipalities is a major problem to all investors. For example the new Construction Law was adopted in autumn 2009, but we see that
provement of these factors via its dealings and development of the export-oriented production sectors, both in energy and agriculture. The third, but not the least important factor is the lack of quality staff.
Serbian authorities have good intentions to adopt the EU regulatory framework but have not yet developed mechanisms to unify interpretations and implementations of the new regulations
The three key weaknesses of the Serbian economy are: 1. Lack of consistent strategies relating to business’ areas, national brands and commitments in its implementation on annual levels through macro-economic measures. 2. Lower purchasing power, based on the exhausted reserves of each individual during last 20 years, burdened with their loans and unpredictable future for survival on a daily basis.
procedures for building telecommunications infrastructure are sometimes even more complicated than before, due to the poor application of some clauses of the Law by local authorities. Serbian authorities have good intentions to adopt the EU regulatory framework but have not yet developed mechanisms to unify interpretations and implementations of the new regulations. I hope that more steps will follow soon to align the Serbian economy with EU best practices. For all investors, political and economic stability and a quick return of investment is crucial. Macroeconomic stability is very important because it helps companies to achieve sustainable economic growth. For example, good and modern infrastructure is mandatory if Serbia wants to attract new businesses and grow the existing ones. More investments in highways, railways, and internet broadband are crucial for quick access to goods, services, new markets and the information needed for decision-making processes. Aleksandar Skulić, CEO Rudnap Group Underdeveloped production The previous period showed that the countries with developed production were the least struck by the crisis (Germany, France…), whereas the countries with service economies coped with the crisis with much more difficultly. I feel that the key weakness of the Serbian economy is the problem of insufficiently developed production. By developing production and via re-industrialisation and the
development of agriculture we would certainly influence the increase of exports, which is our second great weakness. Rudnap Group is putting a lot of effort into active participation in the im-
Lack of consistent strategies, lower purchasing power and instability in a lot of macro categories are the major weaknesses of the Serbian economy 3. Instability in a lot of macro categories (exchange rate, financial ratios, input prices, etc.) which are the most important issues for all budgeting processes and long-term planning. Professor Mihailo Crnobrnja, Dean of the Faculty for Economics, Finance and Administration Stop the brain drain 1. Poor utilisation of human capital. A recent comparative report on labour in Europe shows that Serbia is almost at the bottom of the list when it comes to the percentage of highly educated workers in the total labour force. When attracting foreign investment we tend to claim that we have a cheap and highly skilled work force. It is neither cheap nor highly skilled. To move to a higher stage of development Serbia should invest more into education, particularly into providing skilled workers and highly educated professionals. At the same time, Serbia should devise policies to stop the brain drain and create adequate jobs at home. According to the latest Global Competitiveness Report, Serbia is next to last on the list of 139 countries when it comes to brain drain. Talent is educated here and then leaves to lead a productive life elsewhere in the world.
When attracting foreign investment we tend to claim that we have a cheap and highly skilled work force 2. Low competitiveness. According to the already mentioned Competitiveness Report, Serbia is 96th out of 139 countries in
By developing production and via reindustrialisation and the development of agriculture we would certainly influence the increase of exports, which is our second great weakness
Miroslav Miletić, CEO Koncerna Bambi-Banat Lack of consistent strategies
CorD 76 / November 2010 33
leaders terms of competitiveness. Furthermore, over the last few years the situation has moved from bad to worse: after a ranking of 85, Serbia slipped to 93 last year and this year to 96. Without improved competitiveness Serbia will not be able to execute the new strategy of export-led growth. 3. Lack of a clear development strategy. Over the last 20 years Serbia has stumbled through transition without a clear vision and a longer-term horizon. Strategic documents have not been utilised. Let us hope that the recent announcement of a strategic plan that runs until 2020 will change that. Bojana Ristić, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia (AmCham Serbia) Focus on structural reforms One of the key disadvantages of the Serbian economy is the fact that a stable and predictable regulatory framework has not yet been established and the ease of doing business is not being facilitated. The administrative burden is still high on all levels. The government needs to focus on structural reforms, since this will have a positive effect on the economy as a whole. There is room for improvement in the area of labour relations (elimination of the negative effects of the General Collective Agreement on the business sector and detailed amendments to the Labour Law), and regulations relating to the real estate market, while one of the most urgent issues is to speed up the implementation of measures within the Guillotine of Regulations project, aimed at reducing business costs and the simplification of various administrative procedures.
Investments need to be directed into infrastructure and export-oriented sectors, while the third required factor is the rationalisation of the public sector The road to a stable economic environment is definitely based on the preservation of macroeconomic stability through efforts to maintain existing investments and attract new ones and to strengthen the country’s export capacities. We believe that Serbia is implementing a responsible and transparent macroeconomic policy, owing to the arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At the same time, we would like to point out that the IMF has appealed to the government to accelerate efforts in establishing a more competitive investment climate, which we fully support. The period in which Serbia will need to switch to the new model of business growth by facilitating production for exports and increasing the share of exchangeable goods into the GDP is ahead. In addition, investments need to be directed into infrastructure and export-oriented sectors, while the third required factor is the ra34 CorD 76 / November 2010
tionalisation of the public sector. We believe that faster economic growth is expected in Serbia in 2011, with a slight increase of the deficit in the balance of payments of the country. Božidar Laganin, Director of SIEPA Transform administration The biggest challenges which the Serbian economy is facing are a high rate of unemployment, infrastructure development and slow administration. Improvement of infrastructure (especially telecommunications), as well as a more efficient administration, would certainly lead to an increase in the inflow of direct foreign investment, which would reduce unemployment. However, this is a process which Serbia has commenced and which cannot be easily or successfully finished.
Organisation of the state administration should be transformed - from the position of an instance which manages the country’s economic trends toward an efficient service for businesses Major changes in the economic system have taken place in Serbia in the previous period, for example the concept of public property and management of economic entities was replaced by the private property model. Thus, organisation of the state administration should be transformed - from the position of an instance which manages the country’s economic trends toward an efficient service for businesses, regardless of whether they are foreign investors, domestic businessmen, entrepreneurs or start-up companies. The experience of everyday life tells us that this transformation is taking place extremely slowly, with great resistance from the institutions themselves, which results in an inefficient system of public administration, of unsuitably structured organisations and bad connections among them, as well as with numerous unnecessary and confusing procedures which are often intertwined and sometimes contradictory. Let us hope that ‘the guillotine of regulations’, enacted by the Ministry of the Economy, will soon contribute to improvements in this area. It should be pointed out that the slow justice system also hurts the economy. We are witnesses to the fact that disputes in business courts last for years, that it takes on average almost two years for the completion of the forced recovery of outstanding debts, as well as the fact that companies with blocked accounts function for years without any troubles. All of this brings a great deal of insecurity into closing business transactions, which in turn discourages the emergence of new businesses and the expansion of existing business activities. Still, it should be noted that Serbia is heading in the right direction, but to reach the ultimate goal - which is a functional state and a developed economy – more time is needed. ■
interview Goran Galić, Managing Director of Schindler Serbia
Swiss precision – since 1928! “There is one major issue that we are currently facing in Serbia.The key and most critical area is safety on the construction site.This is something that Schindler does not compromise with, no matter what” By Srbislava Sinko
peaking of Schindler, we may say that we are the leader in the modernisation business in Eastern Europe. Our product line and know-how give us an excellent starting position and we do hope that better times are around the corner,” says Goran Galić, Managing Director of Schindler Serbia to CorD magazine.
and, consequently, give companies from our industry a significant opportunity. n Schindler designs and installs, and is also modernising the transport system in buildings. Belgrade is expecting a large modernisation of its elevators. How necessary is this work at the moment? r Currently in Belgrade there are 12,000 elevators in operation. The average age of those elevators is approximately 35 years. Our estimation is that 500 hundred units are potential ‘killers’ and must be replaced tomorrow. There are two main drivers that will shape this business. The first and ultimate driver is the safety of users. The second driver will be the future alignment of local regulations with European ones, especially with SNEL that is a mandatory regulatory act in the EU. However, although at least 5000 elevators just in Belgrade should or must be replaced in next eight to ten years, the lack of financing makes this project still uncertain. The good news is that there are some promising movements supported by local officials and we may expect some changes in years to come.
al experience in the area of large residential projects and residential construction. How do you integrate quality and customer requirements with the latest advances in safety and ecology? r What all residents want from the elevator is to be safe, for it to be reliable, spacious, silent, low in energy consumption, ‘green’ and affordable. At first glance it seems that all those features cannot be contained in one product. Luckily for our users and for us this is possible and, furthermore, this has been proven over the last years. Schindler is proud of two ‘pillars’ in elevators in the residential segment: the Schindler 3100 and Schindler 3300. A more-thanaffordable investment, with excellent energy efficiency, zero pollution and the lowest exploitation costs are key features of both products.
n Schindler is the world`s largest manufacturer of escalators and moving walks, and is second in the world in elevators. Your company is well positioned in the Serbian market. What are the needs of this market? r The first official appearance of Schindler in this market was in 1928, when the company from Ebikon, Switzerland opened its first agency in Belgrade. Since then, Schindler has been present in this market in various ways which eventually led to the decision to establish Schindler d.o.o. in 2008, as a daughter company of Schindler Holdings AG. Today, although the overall effects of the current global crisis are still present and are influencing our economy sigToday, although the overall effects of the nificantly, our market is still conn Schindler has been involved in sidered in the industry as the mar- current global crisis are still present and are capital projects on all five continents. ket with the biggest potential in the What so far has been the biggest chalinfluencing our economy significantly, Western Balkans. For the sake of illenge on the Serbian market? lustration, Belgrade with almost two our market is still considered in the industry r There is one major issue that we million citizens has only two re- as the market with the biggest potential in are currently facing in Serbia. The key al shopping centres, compared with and most critical area is safety on the the Western Balkans Vienna which has the same populaconstruction site. This is something tion and roughly five times more retail space. The key for success is that both governments, that Schindler does not compromise with, no Not to mention a significant need in the resiBelgrade’s and Serbia’s, have to support such a matter what. Our main goal is to create such dential segment which is currently, almost froproject and extend it to all the cities in Serbia. a working environment and such a culture zen. However, such potential cannot be mateSpeaking of Schindler, we may say that that everybody in the chain has the awareness rialised without serious changes in the busiwe are the leader in the modernisation busithat safety is something that goes naturally ness environment, health economy and health ness in Eastern Europe. Our product line and with our personality and is not something that investments. Projects such as a the first mass know-how give us an excellent starting poshould be considered a ‘necessary evil’. Conresidential project in Belgrade, initiated by the sition and we do hope that better times are stant education of our staff and cooperation government, is an excellent move that should around the corner. only with reliable and professional partners boost the local construction industry and also has brought us to the desirable level that may provide affordable apartments in the market make us proud, but cautious. ■ n You have a long tradition and internation-
CorD 76 / November 2010 35
interview MarinoS VaTHiS, PRESIDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF VOJVOĐANSKA BANKA A.D
sUccessfUl recapitalisation The return of NBG Group to international banking markets with the aim of further ﬁnancing is at the same time, a sign of the normalisation of the Greek ﬁnancial market
By ana stOJanOVIć
t the beginning of October, the Head Office of the National Bank of Greece in Athens officially confirmed the end of the recapitalisation process worth €1.8 billion. Shareholders responded over-positively by offering the sum of €3.32 billion. Moreover, foreign investors completely fulfilled their rights, at the same time maintaining their 35% share in the Bank’s capital. These results of the recapitalisation represent the support given not only to the National Bank of Greece Group, but also to the Greek banking system and the entire Greek economy. We talked to Marinos Vathis, President of the Executive Board of Vojvođanska Banka a.d., about what this recapitalisation of the NBG Group means for the Greek banking system in practical terms, as well as for Vojvođanska Banka a.d. itself. n The Head Office of the National Bank of Greece officially confirmed in Athens, on October 12th this year, the finalisation of the recapitalisation process amount36 CorD 76 / November 2010
ing to 1.8 billion euros. What does this recapitalisation mean for NBG as a group, and what does it mean for Vojvođanska Bank, a member of the NBG Group? r The T successful completion of the Capital Strengthening Plan of the NBG Group has reaffirmed the decision of the top management of the Bank to take a rather active role in the process of the stabilisation of the Greek banking system, and also the development of banking business in the entire region of South-Eastern Europe, where the NBG Group is present via its subsidiaries, local banks. The successfully
amount which has derived from the appreciation of this investment which will further strengthen its capital base. n Following this recapitalisation, it is expected that the National Bank of Greece Group will achieve the high-
the financial crisis is definitely not over. all economies show in varying degrees, signs of stress, others more, others less completed recapitalisation is the first in a series of measures and activities undertaken by the bank in order to accomplish greater independence from the European Central Bank, and to overcome the instability on the financial markets. n It is interesting that shareholders offered the amount of 3.32 billion euros, which is over 1.83 times the expected amount. How do you explain this situation, especially as the recapitalisation occurred during the economic crisis? r In addition to the fact that 83% more than the expected 1.8 billion euros was offered, one should certainly stress the fact that 208,000 shareholders from 77 countries participated in this part of the NBG Group capital strengthening programme. This is a clear sign of confidence and faith in the Bank’s vision and at the same time, it supports the strategic strengthening and reinforcement of the NBG Group at the leading position in the region. The positive results of this recapitalisation process further enforce the trust and confidence that markets have demonstrated towards the Greek Banking system and the Greek economy as a whole. n A decision was made simultaneously to sell 20% ownership of Turkish Finansbank, a member of the National Bank of Greece. Do these steps indicate a restructuring of NBG Group? r To the contrary. By maintaining majority ownership and control of the management, NBG will draw a substantial
fInAnCIAL sItUAtIon The financial situation is quite fragile therefore our strategy continues to be very conservative and our expansion, selective
the successfully completed recapitalisation is the first in a series of measures and activities undertaken by the bank in order to accomplish greater independence from the european Central Bank, and to overcome the instability on the financial market est capital adequacy ratio (Tier I) in Europe, which will reach 15%. What does this mean for NBG Group in a practical sense? r The high level of the capital adequacy places the NBG Group in the fifth position, in terms of capital strength, on the list of banks throughout Europe. It is realistic to expect that gradually international routes for financing the Greek banking system will open. There are real indications that this could even happen by the end of 2010, beginning of 2011. The return of the NBG Group to the international financial markets for further financing will be at the same time a sign
mAIn ChArACterIstIC the main characteristic of business sector dealings will be measures and activities aimed at stabilisation and normalisation
reCApItALIsAtIon proCess The head office of the National Bank of Greece officially confirmed the end of the recapitalisation process worth €1.8 billion CorD 76 / November 2010 37
of the normalisation of the Greek financial market. n How do you rate this business year, which is slowly coming to an end, and what do you expect in the year following, as many economists are predicting the so-called W Effect - the second wave of the crisis? r This business year has been one of consolidation, portfolio cleansing and slow but cautious expansion. The financial crisis is definitely not over. All economies show in varying degrees, signs of stress, others more, others less. It is certain that the financial situation is quit fragile therefore our strategy continues to be very conservative and our expansion, selective.
n The NBG bank is probably also facing the illiquidity of the economy and the appeals of the state to have banks open the doors of their vaults for loans, which will stimulate the economy. What do you see as the solution to this problem between the state, banks and the economy? r The main aim of the recent capital increase that the NBG Group has just successfully completed is to be in a position to support its clients through the course of financing. The Banks alone cannot solve the problem. The solution to the current problem will result from a combination of factors, one of which will be bank financing, the others being state support programmes in the form of incentives and viable business plans on the part of the companies.
n In the previous periThis business year has been one of od, you have frequently n How do you view the talked about the process consolidation, portfolio cleansing and possibility of banks enterof the consolidation and ing the ownership strucslow but cautious expansion enlargement of Greek ture of debtor companies? banks. What can you tell r There are special financial us about this process, in terms of your bank, as well as vehicles for such cases in the form of either venture capital other banks? Do you expect a similar process in Serbia or private equity. The main aim of any Bank will be to assist as well, given the size of the market and the fact that companies facing financial difficulties if the latter possess Serbia probably has the largest number of banks in the a viable story to restructure their debt in such way that it region? will be possible to repay their bank debt through the normal course of their business. r There have been various scenarios of mergers between Greek banks. These will not materialise unless it becomes very clear that such moves will create economies of scale, n In its ‘White Book’ for 2010, the Foreign Investors in other words cost reductions in a way that it will become Council put forward a number of objections to the govmeaningful to our customers and shareholders. ernment, which are mainly related to the predictability of business conditions and legislation. What are your Looking at past examples of other developed countries, it experiences in this field? seems that it is inevitable that the Serbian banking sector will eventually go through a similar phase of consolidation. r Dialogue with the government, such as FIC’s ‘White Book’, is proof of the transferring of positive experiences which foreign investors bring with their engagement in n The majority of banks in Serbia have shown solid Serbia. business activity in 2009, what do you expect after the annual balance sheet for 2010? r The 2010 annual balance sheet will reflect Vojvođanska n Now we are already at the end of the year, what do Bank’s success in materialising, as much as possible under the you expect the main characteristics of banking sector current market conditions, its strategy to improve the quality business activity in 2011 to be? of the lending portfolio, to better control costs and to become r Globally, I think that the main characteristic of the bankinnovative with regards to the range of products offered. I being business sector dealings will be measures and activilieve that our clients, in their dealings with Vojvođanska Bank, ties aimed towards stabilisation and normalisation. When will recognise the experience of the NBG Group, a leading it comes to Vojvođanska Banka a.d. our activities will be financial institution from a country-member of the European focused at creating a strong and healthy Bank with clients Union, an institution with 169 years of banking experience. who receive value added services. ■ 38 CorD 76 / November 2010
conference EUroMonEY ConFErEnCE in BElGraDE
introdUcing eUropean standards
uromoney’s flagship meeting for SouthEast Europe took place in Belgrade in October for the first time. Attracting over 600 delegates and speakers from as far away as the United States and Asia, the Regional Finance and Investment Conference took place against the background of continuing uncertainty about the effects of the global economic and financial crisis. But most speakers agreed that since the last meeting, a year ago in Dubrovnik, the region had stepped back from the brink of economic catastrophe. Opening the conference, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic highlighted the continuing resilience of the Serbian banking sector, the commitment of his gov-
Serbian prime minister Cvetković stressed that Serbia is not concerned that the problems in Western European countries will slow down its pace towards the EU membership as the country’s aim is primarily to introduce the European system and standards
”serbia is moving forward and it will become an eU member state,” Cvetkovic said, adding that the eU is based on the principles of peace, stability and strong economy, and that serbia strives for the same goals ernment to continuing the reform process and to joining the European Union. These were themes that flowed throughout the next day-and-a-half. In between networking meetings – and maybe even a few deals being signed – delegates attended specific sessions on infrastructure, energy, municipal finance, capital markets and banking. A session on direct investment in Serbia was well attended. Central banks representatives from all over the region highlighted the difficulties of conducting monetary policy against a background so much volatility. But they also pointed to the successes they had enjoyed in reining in some of the excesses of banking and consumer behaviour – lessons that might be learnt further west. But the overriding message from the Forum was that countries from the region need to continue to press reforms in key areas such as public administration, education and labour markets if they are to ensure their place in an increasingly competitive world. ■
Cvetkovic is taking part in the twoday conference euromoney which was focused on finances and investments in south-east europe, and which was attended by over 300 bankers, businessmen and officials from about twenty countries CorD 76 / November 2010 39
interview Vili MiToVa, GENERAL MANAGER OF REGIONAL BRANCH OFFICE OF THE GERMAN TOUROPERATOR DERTOUR AND OWNER OF THE CHAIN OF TOURIST AGENCIES TRAVEL HOUSE
ticket for the world
Passengers in Serbia and the region have the opportunity to choose and buy tickets for tourist trips to all the countries of Western Europe under the same conditions and prices
mind that those are developing markets. Howthe results in the sphere of ‘outbound’ travel, s regional manager of one of ever, it seems that the liberalisation of the viwhich is our primary area of business dealing, the largest tour-operators in sas regime happened at the moment when it are much better than in 2009 and they show a Europe, DERTOUR (a member was needed the most, thus easing the negative positive trend. After the initial negative wave of REWE Gruppe), Vili Mitova effects. The latest statistical data is very posiat the end of 2008 and practically a freeze in cooperates with tourist agentive, showing that 17% more tourism services 2009, we scored an increase in the number of cies not only in Serbia but across the region. users made pre-arrangements for As the owner of the largest retail chain their winter holidays, compared for tourist services in Serbia, Travel the latest statistical data is very positive, to 2009, so our expectations are House, she directly communicates with showing that 17% more tourism services certainly related to further stable the ultimate buyers of tourist services. We talked to Ms. Mitova about tourists’ users made pre-arrangements for their winter growth. needs, habits and the opportunities for holidays, compared to 2009, so our expectations Serbian citizens. are certainly related to further stable growth n Has the touristic offering in our market been adjusted to the economic situation and n How do you judge the results of this passengers of about 15%, and thus a growth will the effects of the economic crisis have year in tourism and what are your expectaof the total turnover of 7.5%, during the suma long-term effect on redefining tourism tions for the forthcoming winter season and mer season of 2010. That concretely means products? the next business year? that the economic crisis stopped the originally r Bearing in mind that the economic crisis r It is very important that the ultimate consumplanned growth of 15-20% of the domestic had a negative effect on tourism in the region, ers, the travellers in Serbia and in the region, market and markets in the region, bearing in as well as on all the other economic segments, have the opportunity to choose and buy the 40 CorD 76 / November 2010
tourism arrangements offered in the countries of Western Europe under the same conditions and at the same price, in other words – that all tourist products which are foremost in quality, variety and price in Europe, are also available here. This, of course, relates not only to the offers of European tour-operators, but also of hoteliers, airline companies and all the other suppliers in the sphere of tourism. This means that nowadays travellers in Serbia can match their tourism arrangements with the budget they have at their disposal, while at the same time their safety and the quality of services chosen are guaranteed. The redefinition of tourism products actually means a wider selection of touristic arrangements adjusted to various target groups, greater accessibility via easier communication with ultimate consumers through all channels of sales, and at the best possible price, meaning ‘the best value for money’. Regardless of the economic crisis, the future in the sphere of touristic arrangements is exclusively related to flexibility and communication.
n How can the maximum levels of protection and security be provided to passengers? What is your interpretation of the matter of security? r The first and the basic principal is that the passenger has the criteria to ‘choose’; that he is informed about his rights and duties and that n What is the concrete advantage of forhe clearly states his demands, to approach the eign tour-operators compared with domesorganisation of his seasonal holiday or busitic ones? ness trip seriously. In order for the ultimate r Of course, the rather substantial advantage consumer to approach the matter in this way, of the competition is experience, as leading there needs to be special effort to European tour-operators have been present in the European market for Regardless of the economic crisis, the future ‘educate’ passengers and that is everyone’s assignment - from suppliers over 80 years, and then stable and inin the sphere of touristic arrangements of tourism services, tour-operators, novative business systems, outspread is exclusively related to flexibility and travel agencies, and of course socihorizontal structures all over the ety. One of the best ways, of course, world, financial possibilities, bearcommunication is that there is healthy competition ing in mind that we are talking about change in the travel industry in the last 20 between those who offer tourism services on the achieved turnovers of over €2 billion, high years is that nowadays, each touristic prodthe market, and with time, the bigger the commandatory quality standards and guarantees. uct is available to ultimate buyers via, I repetition and the greater the variety of agents For a traveller, this primarily means: quality, peat, various channels of sales - from tourthere is, the easier it will be for the clients to variety, safety, and price. Those are the imperist agencies and the Internet to home-based orient themselves and gain the experience to atives not only for the so called ‘mass market’ travel agents. Today, within just half an hour, ‘choose’. tour-operators, such as DERTOUR, but also which is the time you need to choose, you Of course, the legal framework within for specialised tour-operators, who offer servcan make reservations for your trip around which all agents have to do business must be ices only in particular segments. such that both the competition and the rights the world, at a time that suits you, for as many days as is optimal for you, choosing of passengers are protected. Responsibility is n What is the target group for tourism a matter which has to be legally interpreted, services which are in exact accordance with services for individual journeys and what and there are various kinds of responsibilities your budget. is their advantage? What is the profile of a traveller who travels individually? Today, within just half an hour, you can make r There is a simple answer: anyone who does not want to travel in a group, usually on a charreservations for your trip around the world, ter flight, and to be accommodated with dozens at a time that suits you, for as many days as is of people from the group in the same hotels, to optimal for you, choosing services which are in go to optional excursions within the same journey’s itinerary, which had been predesigned. exact accordance with your budget Those who seek extremely flexible tourism services, so as to adjust their journey to their time, interests and expectations only, are people who travel individually. In fact, nowadays in Europe the term ‘group journey’ refers primarily to so called ‘study tours’, those being journeys whose programme is bound to sightseeing and getting to know a certain destination, and those journeys are aimed at a specific target group. As I said at the beginning, the biggest
CorD 76 / November 2010 41
which are commonly being completely disregarded. The responsibility of the tour-operator is completely different and substantially larger than the responsibilities of the tourism agencies which are the ‘middlemen’, and the responsibilities of airline companies or hoteliers. To differentiate these responsibilities, it is necessary to first separate who is who in the chain of organisation and the sales of tourism arrangements. After having created a clear distinction and awareness, clients have clear models, which we do not have to design, but we just take over the way in which that responsibility is guaranteed in the world.
number of tourist agents, who place new, innovative and quality products on our market and in the market of the region. We opened the regional branch office of DERTOUR in 2006 and bearing in mind the growth and results we have accomplished, we believe that we will not be the only ones - after all it is only a matter of presentation. About 30 European tour-operators, who do not have their branch offices here, but whose services are successfully being sold to the ultimate consumers, sell their arrangements via Travel House.
n How do you see the future development of the tour-operation business, n Do clients differ when it comes to what and the dealings of tourism agencies on they want, and can you compare clients our market? from Serbia and from abroad? r To continue with the previous question, I r Only those who adapt to new trends, would just say that clients from Serbia and the who do business in accordance with gloregion are no different in their demands bal quality standards, who guaranfrom clients from Western Europe. What Those who seek extremely flexible tourism tee their passengers’ safety and who currently differentiates them is the better services, so as to adjust their journey to their offer ‘the best value for money’ will orientation and criteria when choosing. survive on the market. There will time, interests and expectations only, are be new ones, who will succeed on Travellers in Europe know their rights people who travel individually precisely, and of course duties and they those very criteria. Tour-operators are much more confident when choosand tourist agencies have to difOnce again, I touch upon quality, the vaing a travel agency or tour-operator or airline ferentiate and have to cooperate as a single riety of offer, security and price. That is what company. Here, the average price of tourism arhealthy system, so as to satisfy passengers’ a passenger in Serbia and anywhere in the rangements is higher than on the European marneeds. Tourist agencies are the connection, world wants. ket, meaning that there are certain differences the middlemen, who advise and place servin the level of services chosen by the passenices neutrally and always strive to satisfy gers in Serbia or Croatia and a passenger from travellers’ expectations. n Are you satisfied with the legal frameGermany. Expressed in percentages, the ratio work within which tourism agencies and of expensive and luxury arrangements sold in tour-operators in Serbia do business? n How do you personally spend your vacathe region as opposed to those sold in European tion? r I feel that a lot of effort is being invested, countries is much higher, but those are indicawith the aim of adapting the laws to European r I travel individually with my family and altors which change every year, and one could not laws, but I feel that there is a part of the frameways at the last moment, so I always have to say that it is a long-lasting characteristic. work which is somewhere ‘in between’, which give up something, because, unfortunately, my keeps us coming business obligations do not offer me the possiback to square one at bility to plan my holiday too much in advance, a certain moment. regardless of the fact that I know it is the way to fulfil all my wishes. The destination is usually chosen at the n Is there large last moment. We have two favourite destinacompetition in Sertions - those are the Maldives, for the times bia and the region, when we dream about a vacation for months, and is the arrival and America, when we crave adventure and of other European endless fun. tour-operators on I go on my holiday absolutely carefree, the Serbian market because experience has taught me that if you expected? go on a journey with negative energy, it will r It is a rather posifollow you, so not even the most perfectly ortive thing that there ganised trip will satisfy you. ■ are an increasing 42 CorD 76 / November 2010
banking news KfW and ProCredit arrangement
RESPONSIBLE LOAN POLICY
In a country where the business sector owes over 20 billion euros to banks, ProCredit Bank is still receiving development credit-lines in high amounts
bility. Mr. Siller 840 million euro invested in Serbia concludes that KfW is a patient Acting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW and serious bank Development Bank implements German Financial Cooperation which works on with Serbia. Investments through KfW have so far reached the levthe principle of el of about 840 million euros, including 430 million for the enerlong-term efgy sector, 170 million for the improvement of water supply, as well fects. “KfW has as 240 million for the strengthening of the financial sector, particalready particularly for the promotion of medium and small-sized enterprises in ipated in many Serbia, municipal infrastructure, and energy efficiency investments. credit arrangements in Serbia throughout the years, and our commitment is to support the development of Serbian regions. You can find us from the far north of the country, to the southern end. Our general policy is: a balanced overall development of all regions is most important for the future of any country. And, we are here to stay,” he remarks. However, in a country where the busiactual results, but also from the stability that ness sector owes over 20 billion euros to ProCredit Bank maintains, confirmed by albanks, ProCredit Bank is still receiving demost a decade of experience, hard work and velopment credit-lines in high amounts. We cooperation with our clients.” asked Mr. Borislav Kostadinov, Chairman of Ms. Svetlana Tolmacheva, Chairperson the Board of Directors of the ProCredit Bank of the Executive Board of the ProCredit Serbia how he explains this big financial Bank Serbia, comments on the bank’s spepush in a time of general loan stagnation? cific strategy during the crisis period in “Besides its obvious business signifiSerbia. cance, this credit line agreement indicates “We are not isolated from all the current the trust that KfW and other partners have in problems which are affecting the Serbian our operations. It certainly comes from our economy. We have defined as our mission to support our existing and potential clients Importance of energy efficiency in their development, and at the moment it means helping them to overcome all the ac“ProCredit Bank has so far invested over 2.4 billion euros in Serbia. Over 375,000 loans tual challenges that are being imposed by have been approved, 80 percent of which are loans to small and medium-sized enterthe crisis. Therefore we are constantly imprises, entrepreneurs and agricultural producers. With over 280.000 clients, ProCredit proving and developing our services, all the Bank’s deposit basis exceeds 340 million euros. We consider the financing of energy time being aware that, despite the difficulefficiency and renewable energy as one of the elements of a sustainable development ties, this is the way of doing proper business in Serbia. The banking sector has a key role to play in this respect. The government of and that we simply have to be there for our the Federal Republic of Germany and KfW have supported the development of the ficlients. On the other hand, both our portfonancial sector in Serbia for the past ten years and this credit line confirms that they allio volume and quality, despite the crisis, reso recognise the importance that energy efficiency and renewable energy will have in main high, which just confirms that we are future development,” says Mr. Borislav Kostadinov, Chairman of the Board of Directors taking the right approach.” ■ of the ProCredit Bank Serbia.
n light of the credit-line arrangement worth 30 million euros signed on 01 October with the ProCredit Bank in Serbia, Mr. Roland Siller, First Vice-president for Europe of the KfW Development Bank gives us his assessment of the overall development and economic climate in Serbia. “There have been many structural reforms which have improved the general climate for foreign business, although there is a lot to be done yet. Serbia has a hard-working and highly skilled labour force, which is one of the huge assets and potentials of your country. If you continue the way of the reforms for EU accession, I’m quite optimistic regarding your future in the years to come. Also, the better the general infrastructure you have, the more investments you will attract,” says Mr Siller. The credit-line arrangement of 30 million euros is a huge amount in terms of the potential risk considering the difficulties of Serbia’s economic and monetary sta-
CorD 76 / November 2010 43
region BoSnia anD HErZEGoVina
sILaJdŽIć’s defeat In his ﬁrst public appearance after the elections, Izetbegović, winner of the elections for the Bosniak entity’s member for the BiH Presidency, announced that he would lead ‘a policy of an extended hand and cooperation’. Nebojša Radmanović and Željko Komšić from the Serbian and Croatian entities, respectively, have been re-elected By vojislava VIGnJeVIć
of Srpska he had won. Dodik said that the SNSD now remains firmly on its foundation regarding the Republic of Srpska’s stahe biggest surprise of the gentus, and the slogan stated by that party dureral elections in Bosnia and ing the electoral campaign - ‘RS forever, Herzegovina, which were held BiH as long as it is necessary’, will be demon October 3rd, was the defeat onstrated in the practical activities of the of the leader of the Party for BiH, Haris SNSD. Silajdžić. He did not win enough votes for In terms of the elections in the Federation the position of the Bosniak member of the of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the SocioBiH Presidency. The position went to Bakir Democratic Party of BiH (SDP BiH) of Izetbegović, son of Alija Izetbegović, the Zlatko Lagundžija, won the most votes, but founder of the Party of Democratic Action was not able to independently come to pow(SDA). Izetbegović won 34.76% of votes, er, but instead has to seek coalition partners. which placed him ahead of the candidate For analysts, the victory of the SDP of the Alliance for a Better Future BiH represents the biggest novelty of BiH, Fahrudin Radončić, whereas after the elections, according to since it is a party of a distinctly liberal Silajdžić, until recently a member of the (expected) ratio of political and civil orientation which advocates the BiH Presidency, came only third. employment and investments before It is claimed that Radončić ‘drew powers, (old) divisions in Bosnia and anything else. As was emphasised by away’ Silajdžić’s votes and that he this party, focusing on the economwas the ‘main culprit’ behind why Herzegovina have remained standing ic issue (which is crucial for a legal yesterday’s favourite of the Bosniaks for the member of the BiH Presidency lost Socio-Democrats (SNSD), won the majori- country), social reforms and health and edthe electoral match. In his first public ap- ty of mandates in the Republic of Srpska’s ucation for everyone, drew the most voters, pearance after the elections, Izetbegović an- National Assembly and the Parliament of predominantly from among Bosniaks. After the elections, according to the (exnounced that he would lead ‘a policy of an Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his first public extended hand and cooperation’, and his appearance as President, Dodik said that his pected) ratio of political powers, (old) diSDA party stressed that the victory of the responsibility was further increased after the visions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have party’s candidate would reduce political great support of the citizens of the Republic remained standing, primarily regarding
Bakir Izetbegović 44 CorD 76 / November 2010
tension in the country. Nebojša Radmanović and Željko Komšić from the other two entities, the Serbian and Croatian ones respectively, have been reelected as members of the BiH Presidency. In the Republic of Srpska, Radmanović beat his opponent from the opposition, Mladen Ivanić, whereas Komšić won thanks to the votes of the Bosniaks, and not the people it represents - the Croats. Just as was expected, Milorad Dodik, who has until now been the Prime Minister, was elected as the president of the Republic of Srpska. His party, the Union of Independent
constitutional reforms - parties in the federation are in favour of Constitutional changes, which are also being insisted on by the European Union, whereas the ruling party in the Republic of Srpska, SNSD, opposes them. After the elections Dodik and the SNSD increased their warnings that the Republic of Srpska, should there continue to be pressures for constitutional changes (which they perceive as an alternation of the Dayton Peace treaty), will have a referendum on independence. Even without the matter of constitutional change, the new authorities are facing a myriad of issues - from the deep economic crisis with more than half a million unemployed people and a weary economy, to the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina still does not have the visa liberation regime, and that it faces exclusion from the Council of Europe because has not been able to ap-
the new authorities are facing a myriad of issues - from the deep economic crisis with more than half a million unemployed people and a weary economy, to the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina still does not have the visa liberation regime
alBania anD BoSnia-HErZEGoVina
ePs gave their backing to proposals to exempt nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania from visas by the end of 2010, believing like the european Commission, that these two countries meet the required conditions on document security and combating illegal immigration and crime. on 30 November 2009 the eU decided to waive visa requirements for citizens of Serbia, montenegro and macedonia, a decision which took effect on 19 December that year. At the time, BosniaHerzegovina and Albania did not meet all the criteria on illegal immigration, public policy and security. This may however, the Commission decided that the two countries had made good progress and recommended that Parliament and the Council give the go-ahead to abolish the visa requirements by the end of the year, for visits of less than three months. the proposal to waive visa requirements still needs to be approved by the Council of Ministers by a qualified majority in November.
urkey plans to launch its first satellite to collect intelligence information in 2012, Prime minister recep Tayyip erdogan announced on october 5th. The satellite, called Gokturk, is expected to reduce Turkey’s dependency on US intelligence in operations against the outlawed kurdistan Workers’ Party (Pkk).
lack of incoMe despite booM ply the decision of the Human Rights’ Court and enable minorities to stand for election. At these elections, the sixth after the war, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for the members of the Presidency from the three constitutive ethnicities, one from the Republic of Srpska and two from the Federation of BiH. New parliament members on the national, entity and canton levels were also elected. Three million voters had the right to vote. There were 8,236 candidates, 39 parties, 11 coalitions and 13 independent candidates who participated in the electoral race. The elections cost €6.5 million. n
he Bank of Albania published a report on tourism showing lower than expected incomes, given the record number of tourists visiting the country. Tourism development in Albania has been trumpeted by the government as a sector experiencing a boom in recent years. The number of tourists has increased tenfold since 2004, the Central Bank confirmed, but at the same time, state revenues from the sector have grown only 2.1 times, compared to six years ago. Local media commented that the report casts a shadow on government statements touting its success in attracting flocks of tourists that boost revenues. CorD 76 / November 2010 45
a belated idea
So far, the Sandžak autonomy project has been supported only by the vice president of the Bosniak party, whereas other politicians refute such a manner of resolving the ‘Muslim-Bosniak matter’ By Ilija despOtOVIć
ctualisation of the idea of the autonomy of Sandžak, as promoted in Novi Pazar, has not met with wide acceptance in Montenegro and has not jeopardised the stability of the state, but the police have announced that they will address the problem, just in case. The only politician who has so far publicly supported the idea regarding Sandžak’s autonomy is the vice president of the Bosniak party (BS) Hazbija Kalač. Many other political representatives of Muslims and Bosniaks in Montenegro have refuted the Sandžak autonomy as the solution of the ‘Muslim- Bosniak national matter’. The negative attitude towards the Novi Pazar project is primarily being voiced by the observation that it is ‘a belated idea’ (which was the assess-
However, Kalač referred to the agreement of the ruling Democratic party of Socialists (DPS) of Montenegro and the Bosniak Party on the eve of the independence referendum, which allegedly agrees to support the plan to make Sandžak an over-border territory. According to Kalač, that was the ‘key reason’ why the Bosniaks voted in favour of an independent Montenegro. Nonetheless, Kalač’s claims have been denied by the DPS and marked as ‘an unfair and malevolent interpretation of the pre-referendum agreement’. The two parties even now form the
time ago’. His fellow-citizen, official of the Bosniak Party, Suljo Mustafić, said that the Muslims and Bosniaks have ‘unequivocally’ supported the renewal of the Montenegrin state independency and that by that act, they had recognised the existing regional borders, thus, the Montenegrin-Serbian border, which divides Sandžak.
CroaTia Source: Southeast european times
espite a good yield from the 2010 tourist season revenue, Croatia still faces a two billion euro budget deficit, prompting speculation about IMF intervention. “The IMF did not initiate any talks with Croatia, but if the call comes from Zagreb, the IMF will enter talks,” a spokesperson for the Fund, Simonetta Nardin, told the Croatian weekly Globus. The IMF still maintains a strict policy that impacts a country’s social and welfare policies. It usually recommends freez-
ment of the historian Šerbo Rastoder) or by estimations on the non-attainability of the idea. However, some of the MuslimBosniak politicians have distinctly said that Muslims and Bosniaks find independent Montenegro, exactly as a civil state, ‘sufficient’ for their national status. 46 CorD 76 / November 2010
ruling coalition and there are no indications that Sandžak might set their alliance off balance. The DPS official, Melvudin Nuhodžić, said that Bosniaks and Muslims are devoted to a ‘civil and democratic Montenegro’. Nuhodžić said that the story of the territorial autonomy of Sandžak ‘had been told long
Moreover, Kurpejović said that the other cultural institutions, such as the President of the Muslim Montenegro Centre, Avdul Kurpejović, is the fierc- Muslims in Montenegro were Islamised ‘Almanah’ association, advocate the use est opponent of the Sandžak autonomy. Christians, but in time, through complex his- of ‘Muslim-Bosniak’, whereas the Muslim He said that Sandžak has never been a torical processes, they have grown into a Montenegro Centre uses the term Bosniak. political-territorial unit neither in Serbia specific ethnic community. He opposed re- Of course, the citizens themselves, members of the Muslim ethnicity, describe nor Montenegro. Sandžak is not a geo- naming Muslims as Bosniaks. ‘It is unfoundedly being claimed that the themselves differently. According to the graphical entity, but it is a product of the Ottoman Empire. As soon as the Ottoman Muslims have not existed as an ethnicity af- 2003 Montenegro census, out of about Empire disappeared, Sandžak appeared, ter the disintegration of the SFRY, that the 100,000 Muslims in Montenegro, 63,000 declared themselves as Bosniaks. Kurpejović explained. However, the Novi Pazar ideas He assessed that ‘autonomous the novi pazar ideas about former about former Sandžak’s autonomy Sandžak’ is in fact ‘a nationalistic, sandžak’s autonomy have not left the have not left the Montenegrin poassimilatory and utopian project’, grounded in the 1975 Islamic decMontenegrin police indifferent.they have lice indifferent. They have stated that these ideas were ‘isolated cases’, but laration of Alija Izetbegović. stated that these ideas were ‘isolated that they would be monitored. Based Kurpejović said that the project had cases’, but that they would be monitored on this, some Muslim-Bosnian repbeen verified at the founders’ sesresentatives have assessed that, in sion of the Party of the Democratic this way, doubt in the loyalty of MuslimAction in 1990. The project implies Bosniak current Montenegrin Bosniaks and native assimilation of all Muslims in the former Muslims are one people - the Bosniaks’, Bosniaks to Montenegro has been expressed once again. The police administration then SFRY territory, establishing a Bosniak iden- Kurpejović said. replied that the police were not threatening At the moment, there are three nationtity of Sandžak, with special ties to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a national, political and al names for the members of the Muslim anyone, but they would keep track of the respiritual centre of all new Bosniaks in the en- ethnicity in Montenegro. Kurpejović him- gionalisation ideas ‘strictly from the aspect n self insists on the name Muslim, but some of Montenegrin security’. tirety of Europe.
iMf or no? Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor insists her country can handle its budget deﬁcit on its own. Not everyone agrees
ing wages and pensions, cutting public spending and improving
financial discipline. In light of the global recession, however, it has sought to improve the conditions for financial assistance and make itself an attractive business partner for governments struggling with economic woes. Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has so far rejected any notion of the IMF getting involved. She says such talk is just being driv-
en by the coming parliamentary elections. “Croatia will handle the crisis on its own. There is no need for the IMF, and the government has not considered it,” she said. Kosor has the support of Finance Minister Ivan Suker, who fiercely opposes the IMF’s involvement in Croatia’s economy. The opposition and President Ivo Josipovic disagree, saying the Fund could be a last resort solution. “The IMF is not a bogey,” Josipovic said. Some economists argue that if Croatia
croatia goes digital Croatia officially switched to digital TV broadcasting on October 5th. Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor symbolically pressed a button turning off the analogue TV signal after 54 years of broadcasting, noting that the digitalisation project was completed sooner than the European Commission’s deadline of 2012. The government has invested 11.8m euros in it.
cannot solve the budget deficit, it would be better off seeking help rather than risk a growing deficit and a deepening crisis. The IMF issued a report on the state of the Croatian economy last June. The Fund’s Executive Director for Europe, Age Bakker, explained that the global economic crisis significantly affected the economy. “With a reduced capital influx, subdued export demand externally, and tight credit conditions domestically, real GDP fell by 5.8% in 2009, and unemployment rose sharply to 17%. The economy remained in the midst of a severe downturn in the early part of 2010, and positive growth is gradually expected in the second half of the year, with a forecast for zero growth in 2010,” said Bakker. ■ CorD 76 / November 2010 47
conference THE FIRST ANNUAL CONSULTATION BETWEEN THE BANKING SECTOR AND THE ECONOMY "BANKS AND THE ECONOMY IN 2011 - STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP OR BUSINESS RISK?"
partnership or bUsiness risk?
Neoclis Neocleous (left), Branislav Grujić, Bojan marković, Bogdan lissovolik, Francis malige, toplica Spasojević, Vladimir Čupić, aleksandar Vlahović, Dejan janjatović and Bojan kordić
The consultation was organised by the Business Dialogue Company and the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) and its topic was “Banks and the Economy in 2011 - strategic partnership or business risk?”
the Association of Corporate Directors and he National Bank of Serbia’s Branislav Grujić, the President of the Serbian Vice Governor Bojan Marković; Business Club Privrednik participated in the senior representatives of interconsultation session. national financial institutions In an open discussion, leading bankers, the EBRD and IMF, Francis economic experts and businessmen talked Malige and Bogdan Lissovolik; Vladimir Čupić, Chairman of NALED Managing Board and Hypo-Alpe-Adria Bank You cannot have a successful Executive Board; Neoclis Neocleous, economy without having successful Chairman of the Piraeus Bank Executive banks and vice versa Board; Dejan Janjatović, a member of the ProCredit Bank Executive Board; Bojan about the issues of risk and business perKordić, Executive Director of the Corporate spective in the crisis and post-crisis period. Sector at Komercijalna Banka; Aleksandar Special attention was given to the problems Vlahović, a partner at EKI Investments; which banks, businessmen and the state often and representatives of business associations, face in implementing their business policies. Toplica Spasojević, Deputy Chairman of the Bojan Marković, the National Bank of NALED Managing Board and President of 48 CorD 76 / November 2010
Serbia’s Vice-Governor, said that compared to regional countries Serbia has weathered the economic downturn, adding that the country is currently structurally adjusting to sustainable economic development. “This road is still ahead of us. Structural adjustment will certainly affect the corporate sector. With regard to the banking sector, Serbia is one of the few countries in the world that provided no financial aid to the banking sector during the downturn. Owing to a restrictive monetary policy in the pre-crisis period and prudent supervision, banks in Serbia are now highly capitalised.” Bogdan Lissovolik, the standing representative of the IMF in Serbia, said that the real sector was the key weakness of the economy. “One of the reasons lies in the fact that most of the Serbian economy is orientated towards goods which are not the subject of international trade exchange. As you know, imports stood at only 20% of the national GDP, and during the five years before the crisis close to 80% of FDIs was made in sectors that produced goods that were not the subject of international trade exchange,” Lissovolik outlined.
Branislav Grujić, the President of the results are we going to accomplish. The Francis Malige, Director for Financial Serbian Business Club Privrednik, said: same thing applies to the National Bank of Institutions at the European Bank for “Currently, we are in a sort of a frozen conSerbia. The bank is currently implementing Reconstruction and Development, comdition, caused by the state which is both the a monetary policy in a situation when 70% mented that: “You cannot have a successful biggest investor and the biggest illiquidiof the market prices are indexed. The issue economy without having successful banks ty source. The IMF forced the state authorihere is how efficient this monetary policy and vice versa. Here in Serbia, both sides ties to behave in a more rational manner, and can be when it actually covers only 30% of have demonstrated certain weaknesses, but in order to prove this rationality and that the the market. We need to carry out so-called there are plenty of opportunities to form a budget deficit has not exceeded the set lim‘dinarisation’.” good, rather than bad synergy. There are it, the state just transferred most of the burThe Chairman of the Executive Board of many strong companies in Serbia, but due den to the rest of the system. So, all of us are Piraeus Bank in Serbia, Neoclis Neocleous, to the market size, you cannot expect to bein a Catch-22 situation. In order not to exceed who has just recently arrived in Serbia, offered come the world leader in a certain business the set budget deficit, the state is purposefulto become a ’devil’s advocate’ and posed two area. You cannot build Serbia’s future on ly failing to fulfil its obligations, from VAT questions: “Your experience in this country is the idea of a great export leader. Hence, the returns to paying the investment work it commuch more extensive than mine, but we have SME sector is so important for Serbia. There missioned to settling its own expenses.” been familiar with these issues for quite some is a lot of potential in this sector for creatBojan Kordić, Executive Director time, even years. Hence, my first questions ing a sound economic base, predominantly of the Corporate Sector at Komercijalna is – why aren’t we more successful in iman export one.” Banka, says that 2010 will be more diffiplementing the things we already know and Toplica Spasojević, CEO of ITM Group, cult than 2009 since “We have a totally difmy second question, which is more imporsaid that “Serbia’s economic recovery should ferent situation in the banking secbe based on re-industrialisation, investments in agriculture and the ener- One of the most important conclusions from tor. This sector remains highly liqgy sector, which is why the economy this session was that, in the future economic uid due to the measures and decimade by the National Bank needs long-term bank loans. Serbia growth should be based on exports, higher sions of Serbia which limited credit exdoes have a future, but we need the competitiveness and better collaboration, pansion. This was also done due to know-how in order to determine development direction. When it comes between the state on one side, and domestic an inadequate and poor quality deby the real sector and the gento the new development format, we and foreign institutions on the other, during mand eral population,” Kordić added. need to simplify business procedures, the economic recovery period Bogdan Lissovolik said that respect private property and increase he was sorry to see that no governthe economy’s efficiency.” ment officials were present at the consultatant, is – if we are not successful enough in Aleksandar Vlahović, co-owner of EKI tion. One of the most important conclusions implementing the things we know, how can Investments, suggested “a bold implementafrom this session was that, in the future ecowe become successful in accomplishing true tion of the remaining transitional measures, nomic growth should be based on exports, progress in the future when it comes to all which primarily entail reforming public enhigher competitiveness and better collaborathese wonderful ideas that we have?” terprises and state administration.” He also tion, between the state on one side, and doDejan Janjatović, a member of the highlighted a “misguided economic policy mestic and foreign institutions on the othProCredit Bank Executive Board, cited an that, in the period from 2003 to 2008, coner, during the economic recovery period. All example of the bank he works for, which prestantly changed”, which, in the end resulted participants agreed that the Serbian banking dominantly services small and medium enin a lack of direction and ambiguity in terms sector managed to survive almost intact in terprises: “We can see that the there were of an economic development format. the last two, quite difficult, years, as well more applications for debt consolidation in Vladimir Čupić, Chairman of the Hypo as that quite a few new measures ought to 2009, than in this year. This shows that a cerAlpe Adria Bank Executive Board, combe implemented which would help the burtain level of stabilisation has been reached. mented on the diverse data on public secdened banking sector and the over-indebted Of course, there are certain limits applied in tor losses which ranges from 500 million to economy. It was also outlined that the entire debt consolidation which pertain to liquidity a billion euro and his opinion is that, soonsystem should carry on with transitional reand solvency of a company. If a company is er or later, the taxpayers will have to pay forms, including the justice, education and both illiquid and insolvent, it is very difficult for these losses. “We need to deal with this health systems, as well as with creating a fato find enough room for debt consolidation. I issue in a more agile manner. A substanvourable climate for further investments priam confident that banks are willing to help if tial number of reforms that we are trying to marily in exports, infrastructure and capital there is an even a remote possibility for debt implement pertain to 50% of the national projects. The consultation ended with a call consolidation and this is what we have been economy. Bear in mind that between 50% for continuing the dialogue between the reldoing on a regular basis. Banks are behaving and 60% of the businesses are privately evant factors in both the business and bankin a very responsible way in this segment and owned, while close to 40% are state-owned, ing sectors in Serbia. ■ I think that that will continue.” so we are not absolutely sure what kind of CorD 76 / November 2010 49
Diplomats, business people and guests at the reception celebrating the National Day of Spain on 12th October 2010, at the club Jelena.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić and H.E. Inigo de Palacio Espana, the Ambassador of Spain to Serbia at the reception on the occasion of the National Day of Spain on 12th October 2010 at the club Jelena.
Dragan Šutanovac, Defence Minister of Serbia and Dr. Falah A. Abdulsada, the Iraqi Ambassador to Serbia, at the opening of the exhibition of the artist Hussein Al-Jaman on 3rd October at Dom Vojske.
Mr. Flaminio Farnesi (left), Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Serbia (one of the oldest Christian institutions of Western civilization), gave Mr. Miodrag Babić the High Order ‘Pro Merito Medal Melitensem’ as per the decision of ‘per Motu Proprio’ from the Prince and Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festinga at a ceremony on 30 September.
On the occasion of presenting his credentials to the Serbian President Boris Tadic, the French Ambassador to Serbia, FrançoisXavier Deniau on 18 October placed a wreath at the Monument of Gratitude to France at Kalemegdan.
50 CorD 76 / November 2010
H.E. Mr. Kamal Faqir Benaissa, Ambassador of Morocco to Serbia and H.E. Mr. Mohammed K. M. Nabhan, Ambassador of Palestine to Serbia, at a dinner which was organised by the Embassy of Palestine on the occasion of the departure of the Ambassador of Morocco to Serbia, on 29th September at Restaurant Ada.
H.E. Mrs. Denise De Hauer, Ambassador of Belgium to Serbia, opened the exhibition of ‘Belgium in Serbia to 1918’, on 6th October at the SANU Gallery.
The Belgian Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Denise De Hauer organised on 30th September a reception for the departure of H.E. Mr. Kamal Faqir Benaissa, Ambassador of Morocco to Serbia and H.E. Mr. Georgi Dimitrov the Bulgarian Ambassador to Serbia.
H.E. Mr. Jonghae Kim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea with his wife Mrs. Lee Kwiock at a reception celebrating the National Day of the Republic of Korea, on 1st October at the Hyatt Hotel.
faces & places
Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, and H.E. Wolfram Mass, German Ambassador to Serbia at the reception celebrating 20 years of German unification, on 6th October.
CorD 76 / November 2010 51
H.E. Christer Asp, Ambassador of Sweden to Serbia and Philomena O’Brien, Assistant Editor of CorD exchange business cards at the opening of the Belgrade Book Fair on 25 October, at which Sweden is this year’s ‘honorary guest’. Serbian President Boris Tadic speaks with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in Belgrade on October 12th.
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Nikolai Makarov, laying a wreath at the Monument to the Liberators of Belgrade in World War II on 20 October.
Ambassador of Mexico to Serbia, Mercedes F. Ruis Sapata, at the opening of the exhibition ‘Meeting with Mexico’ in the University Library "Svetozar Markovic" on 25 October.
Meeting of the Serbian Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Rasim Ljajić, and Head of Mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Serbia, Albert Jaeger, during the official talks between the IMF and the Serbian delegation at the sixth revision of the credit stand-by arrangement, in Belgrade, on 25 October.
52 CorD 76 / November 2010
On September 30th in the famous Belgrade club ‘Cinema’, ‘Mercedes-Benz celebrated the release of the first issue of ‘Mercedesmagazine’. In attendance were numerous visitors, public figures and media, and the magazine which is available in most of the countries where ‘Daimler AG’ does business, was presented.
At an impressive party on October 21st at the Cultural Centre ‘Grad’, Adidas promoted its new collection for fall/winter 2010. On the occasion, the company ran an ‘Originals’ competition, and the winner of the competition for the most original Adidas style, Katarina Veljković, won a white Vespa. Members of the jury were the editors of famous lifestyle magazines: Nataša Davidov (Cosmopolitan), Sonja Kovacs (Elle), Beba Dragić (Story), Olivera Krajnović (Joy) and Daško Milinović (CKM).
On October 7th 2010, the company Messer Tehnogas officially delivered a donation to the Cutting and Welding department of the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, in the form of equipment for the technical gases network for the Welding Technology laboratory. With this act, Messer Tehnogas continues its long-term cooperation with institutions for the education of production engineering profiles, especially in the technology of assembling, on the basis there is a lack of staff in this area, and they are necessary for Serbian industry.
CorD 76 / November 2010 53
‘Fill it to the Top!’ continues Piraeus Bank has, general social initiative and to start them after Nis, Vrsac, Kikinda and Pozarevac, thinking about the planned collection and placed two containers for the collection of recycling of paper. Recently, Piraeus Bank SA Athens has used paper in Sabac. The ‘Fill it to the Top!’ action is being promoted by the ceremo- embarked on a new innovative European project, entitled ‘Climabiz’ nial installation of one conPiraeus Bank is which aims to prepare the tainer in front of the Piraeus working on the Greek market for the timebank branch at 1 Pop Lukina Street, while a sec- ‘Let's Clean Up Serbia’ ly adaption to the new ond one has been placed effort together with conditions arising from in front of the elementary the Ministry of the climate change. Through school “Janko Veselinović” Environment and Climabiz, Piraeus Bank will contribute to tackling cliat 48 Karadjordjeva Street. Special Planning mate change by identifyThis donation has been received on behalf of the citizens of Sabac by ing the impacts and business opportunities arising from climate change, developMr. Miloš Milošević, the Mayor of Sabac. This drive called ‘Fill it to the Top!’ was ing applications and e-tools to estimate organised within the socially responsible the impacts of climate change and the adcampaign launched by Piraeus Bank to- aptation of opportunities for companies. Piraeus Bank Belgrade, in the course of gether with the Ministry of Environment and Special Planning and the “Let’s Clean its Corporate Social Responsibility strateUp Serbia” drive. Within the same project, gy, will adopt this and similar projects and Piraeus Bank also donated boxes for the also through its own activities, continue to collection of paper to Municipality rep- nurture and preserve the environment in resentatives, as well to the elementa- which it operates. ry school “Janko Veselinović“ with aim of encouraging students to take part in this Piraeus Bank CSR project promotion ’Fill it to the Top’ in Sabac From left to right: Arjana Dugajlić, Piraeus Bank Area Manager; Miloš Milošević, Mayor of Sabac; Ljiljana Stojanovic, Director of the elementary school Janko Veselinovic in Sabac; Nadja Blagojevic, Assistant Branch Manager of the Piraeus Bank branch in Sabac; Branislava Tešić, representative of the Ministry of the Environment and Special Planning
APPOINTMENTS@CMA.RS Aleksandar Vuksanović, New director of the Republic Institute for Health Insurance (RZZO) Professor Dr. Aleksandar Vuksanović has been appointed as the new director of the Republic Institute for Health Insurance (RZZO) following a decision made by the Institute’s Managing Board. The former executive director at the Institute, Ljiljana Zobenica has been appointed as the deputy director. Dr Vuksanović is a urology specialist and works as the assistant director of the Clinical Centre of Serbia. Over the past five years Zobenica has carried out executive duties at the RZZO, and the Managing Board decided that her experience would be beneficial in advancing the Institute’s operations.
54 CorD 76 / November 2010
shares for sale
On October 20th, the Serbian Ministry of Finance announced the tender for selling 51% of ‘Telekom Srbija’ shares, and the deadline for the application of interested buyers is November 26th. The requirement for participation in the tender is that the potential buyer is a telecommunications company which has provided telecommunication services for at least five years prior to the announcement of the tender, with at least 20 million users of fixed and mobile telephones and Internet at the end of 2009. The Serbian government owns 80% of Telekom shares, and other 20% is owned by Greek OTE, 30% of which is owned by Deutsche Telekom. ‘Telekom Srbija’ achieved a 13.3 billion dinar profit in 2009, making it the company with biggest net gain on the Serbian market. According to the company’s data, last year ‘Telekom’ had 3.2 million users of fixed telephones as a monopolist in that area of business in Serbia, whereas in the mobile telephone market it has market share of 60% with 5.9 million users. The total value of ‘Telekom Srbija’ is estimated at €2.34 billion. Jasna Matić, the Serbian Minister for Telecommunications, said earlier that four big and serious buyers were interested in ‘Telekom’- Telekom Austria, Orascom, France Telecom and Deutsche Telecom. It has been announced that the government will set the lowest bid for 51% of ‘Telekom Srbija’ shares, and the Minister of the Economy, Mlađan Dinkić, estimated that the price should not be under €1.4 billion. As announced, the money shall be used for infrastructural projects.
Petar Škundrić, New chairman of the Red Star Sporting Society Serbian Energy Minister, Petar Škundrić, has been appointed as the chairman of the Red Star Sporting Society (SD Crvena Zvezda). Škundrić was the only candidate for this position and was nominated by the Red Star Football Club. Škundrić was born 1947 in Gračac. He graduated and received his Masters degree from the Belgrade Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy. Mr Skundric is also a lecturer at St. Petersburg University of Technology. He has written and published over 200 specialised papers, studies and projects and is one of the co-founders of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and its first Secretary General.
APPOINTMENTS@CMA.RS Eurobank EFG
Eurobank EFG announced in October a range of initiatives aimed at promoting the export orientation of the Serbian economy. As a first step, Eurobank EFG will support this year’s award for the ‘Exporter of the Year’, organised by the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA). The Bank will grant the award for the best exporter in the category of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to the amount of €15,000. The award for the ‘Exporter of 2010’ will be granted for the improvement of export activities, and criteria include product quality, export markets and export volume. Eurobank EFG’s initiative to support exports is dictated by the need to improve the competitiveness and ‘openness’ of the Serbian economy, thus to establish favourable conditions for attracting capital into the country: “Eurobank EFG has introduced a range of products and services dedicated to exporters, including pre-export financing, tailor-made loans in terms of pricing and payments, interest rate hedging of FX loans and favourable terms for intra-group transactions,” explains Velimir Babić, Head of SME in the Eurobank EFG Corporate Banking Division. INTESA SANPAOLO
ACQUISITION OF CONTROL OF BANCA MONTE PARMA
Under the agreement the Intesa Sanpaolo Group shall acquire 51% of the Banca Monte Parma share capital
Intesa Sanpaolo has signed an agreement with Fondazione Monte di Parma for the acquisition of a majority stake in the share capital of Banca Monte Parma. Under the agreement the Intesa Sanpaolo Group shall acquire 51% of the Banca Monte Parma share capital from Fondazione Monte di Parma at the price of 159 million euros and subscribe, for an equal percentage, an increase in the Banca Monte Parma share capital of 75 million euro reserved for shareholders. This share capital increase is to be carried out through an issue of ordinary shares at the net book value per share.
H.E. Mr Christer Asp’s previous career postings have included the Ambassador to Turkey (2005-2010), Consul General in Thailand, as Head of the Swedish Tsunami Search and Rescue Task Force (Jan-Sep 2005), Deputy Director General. Head of Department of Export Control, MFA, Stockholm (20012004), Minister at the Swedish Permanent EU Representation, Brussels. Special assignment in view of the upcoming Swedish Presidency (20002001) and Head of Cabinet of the Swedish Commissioner, European Commission, Brussels (1995-2000). In 2008 he was honored with the Medal and Ribbon of the order of the Seraphim of His Royal Highness, the King of Sweden, for services rendered to Sweden in connection with the Tsunami rescue operations. Ambassador Asp has a Masters of Political Science from the University of Stockholm, and a Candidate of Medicine from Karolinska Hospital University, Solna. He is married and has two children.
H.E. Ali Rıza Çolak, New Ambassador of Turkey to Serbia
H.E. Ali Rıza Çolak was born 1956 in Nallıhan, Ankara. He served as Third Secretary at the Maritime and Aviation Department (19791981), Second Secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Oslo, Norway (1981), First Secretary in Beijing, China (1984), at the Department of Defence Treaties (1987) in Ankara and the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo, Japan (1988), as Head of Section at the Policy Planning Department (1992) in Ankara, and Deputy Consul General Houston, US (1993). He was subsequently assigned as Head of Departments of NATO and BAB in 1997, First Counsellor at the Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal (2000), Consul General at Frankfurt, Germany (2002), Head of the European Department at the MFA in Ankara, Turkey (2004) and Deputy Director General at the General Directorate of Consular Affairs (2005). In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador and appointed as Ambassador to Ethiopia, (2008-2010). Ambassador Çolak graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara University. He is married and has a son.
H.E. Charalambos Hadjisavvas, New Ambassador of Cyprus to Serbia
The Ambassador joined the Foreign Service in 1991, and his recent postings include the Ambassador of Cyprus in Libya - and also accredited also to Mauritania (2006-2010), Counsellor A, Political Division, Department of Middle East and North Africa (2005-2006), Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Cyprus in Lebanon (2001-2005) and Counsellor, Protocol and Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999-2001). His studies include the French language from the University of Sorbonne (19791980) and Diplomas on Arab and Turkish Studies, University of Paris III (I.N.A.L.C.O.) (1980-1987. The Ambassador has been previously awarded the ‘Commander of the Order of Phoenix of Greece’ (bestowed by the President of the Hellenic Republic) and the ‘Holy Cross of St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist’ (bestowed by the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle). H.E. Charalambos Hadjisavvas is married and has two children. CorD 76 / November 2010 55
Support for Serbian exports
H.E. Mr Christer Asp, New Swedish Ambassador
appointMents@cMa.rs MILOŠ ĐUrkOVIć, managing Director and enterprise Business lead of Hewlett-Packard Serbia HP has announced the appointment of Miloš Đurković as Managing Director and Enterprise Business lead of Hewlett-Packard Serbia. Đurković, a Serbian national, will lead the country’s management team and be responsible for driving HP’s Enterprise Business in Serbia. He will report to Josef Ehrenhoefer, Managing Director and Enterprise Business lead for the European Emerging Markets (EEM), a region that covers Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Djurkovic has spent more than 16 years in the IT industry, most of it in Serbia and neighbouring countries. From 2006 to 2009 he was General Manager of IBM Serbia. His previous roles include the head of CISCO in Serbia as well as sales management and engineering positions at Spinnaker New Technologies and Dziti Communications.
federico ghizzoni, Ceo of UniCredit SpA The Board of Directors of UniCredit SpA has unanimously co-opted and appointed Federico Ghizzoni as new CEO of the Group. As CEO, Federico Ghizzoni is a member by right of both the Permanent & Strategic Committee and the Corporate Governance, Human Resources & Nomination Committee of UniCredit. Federico Ghizzoni, 55, has served as Deputy CEO of UniCredit and Deputy CEO of Bank Austria. In 1980, he joined UniCredit (at that time Credito Italiano) and has since worked for the company while serving, among other places, in the UK, Singapore, Turkey and Poland. In July 2007, he was appointed as Head of Poland’s Markets Division at UniCredit, Head of CEE Banking Operations and Board Member responsible for the CEE Banking Division at Bank Austria AG. Ghizzoni played a major part in the development of UniCredit’s CEE franchise, strengthening the bond between UniCredit and the Group’s major CEE markets. Under his auspices, UniCredit was named “Best Bank in the CEE” by the magazine The Banker in 2009.
dejan veselinov, New Director of the Tourist organisation of Belgrade Since the 1st of October, the new director of the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade has been Dejan Veselinov, formerly the Head of the Public Relations department. In the course of promoting Belgrade’s touristic offer to domestic and foreign markets, Veselinov has gained vast knowledge and experience that also recommended him to the responsibilities of the new position. Veselinov has worked for the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade since the beginning of his career. He has a degree in management, and his colleagues claim that his best traits are professionalism, responsibility and fair-play. 56 CorD 76 / November 2010
inDiViDualisation oF preMiuM class The MercedesSport portfo- able in the individualisation lio includes specially designed market in three respects: They light-alloy wheels, a sports sus- are designed in accordance pension and mounted aerody- with the high quality criteria namic and styling components. of the Mercedes-Benz brand, These retrofitted parts empha- which in part imposes far strictsise the car’s sportiness as ele- er standards than existing techgant, eye-catching features. All nical norms. Their development MercedesSport products were is based on the extensive finddeveloped by Mercedes-Benz ings and experience gained Accessories GmbH in collabo- from the development work on ration with the same designers the base vehicle, as well as on the original veand engineers all CoMpoNeNtS hicle’s computer who were responsible for the HAVe UNDerGoNe data. This means that the compostandard producComPUTer nents fit with extion models. This SimULATioNS AND traordinary preensures that both cision, for examthe high standSophIStICateD ple. All compoard of the sophispraCtICal teStS nents have unticated design for reLiABiLiTy, dergone comidiom and the puter simulaquality criteria of DUrABiLiTy AND tions and sophisMercedes-Benz, fUNCTioN ticated practical which go well beyond standard norms, are met. tests for reliability, durability and As a result, everything appears function - also under extreme to have been cast from a single operating conditions. The aeromould. Thanks to their intelli- dynamic components have algent design, these products al- so been tested in a wind tunnel, so impress with their attractive and under the dynamic driving conditions of high-speed tracks. price/benefit ratio. MercedesSport is initially MercedesSport components are available for the E-Class Saloon, also highly dimensionally stable, and extremely resistant to Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet. MercedesSport compo- impact. And as MercedesSport nents distinguish themselves components meet the very highfrom other products avail- est standards, they are covered by the original MercedesBenz warranty.
APPOINTMENTS@CMA.RS Banca Intesa
a mobile phone. During the promotional period, until the end of the year, use of the Intesa Mobi service will be free of charge, after which a monthly fee of 50 dinars will be charged to the users’ current account. Clients who prefer other Banca Intesa has improved means of communication have the existing range of electronat their disposal services such ic services and introduced the as online and telephone bankunique service of Intesa Mobi to the market. This is an innovative ing, SMS permanent account, service on the Serbian market SMS notifications, as well as the thanks to which clients can now, bank sending monthly credit card statements via their mobile Over 70,000 users to users’ email phones, make financial transof Banca Intesa addresses. The number actions such as: are currently of active users of the payment of using Internet Internet banking monthly and other bills, performbanking services services of Banca Intesa is coning balance and transaction inquiries on all ac- stantly growing and currently counts and credit cards, check- stands at over 70,000, while teleing exchange rates and perform- phone banking services last year ing exchange operations, check- handled over 1.2 million calls. ing the expiry date of overdraft In addition, over 830,000 clients accounts, etc. A request to use use the SMS banking service. In the Intesa Mobi service can be the corporate segment in the submitted at every branch office first half of the year, about six of Banca Intesa, and the only re- million e-banking transactions, quirement for clients, besides an worth 785 million dinars, were open current account, is to have achieved.
Assistant professor Dr Milan Janković will remain in this position for the next five years.He graduated (1975) and gained his Master’s degree (1990) and PhD (1999) from the Telecommunications Department of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade. After 14 years he became the project leader in the development office of Yugoslav PTT, where he tackled the development and application of approach networks. He also participated in the realisation of three projects of the European Institute for Research and Strategic Studies in the area of Telecommunications (EURESCOM). Dr Janković was general director of Yugoslav PTT from December 2002 until March 2006, when he was elected as the executive director of RATEL. He was elected as assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, in the Telecommunications Department. Dr Janković wrote over 130 articles in proceedings from domestic and foreign conferences and in domestic and foreign magazines, and he is also a member of IEEE.
Bojana Lekić, New director of TV Avala Journalist Bojana Lekić has been appointed as the new Director General of the Avala TV station. She is known as the author of hundreds of interviews, TV shows, newspaper articles and columns. She has also been the editor at TV Studio B, the editor-in-chief at TV B92, the editor-in-chief of the news programme and deputy director of Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS), as well as the chief editor and director of BK TV. By taking up the position at TV Avala, Bojana Lekić is returning to the TV world after a four-year-hiatus.
Nebojša Spaić, New editor-in-chief of NIN Weekly
UNIQA Group Austria, via its daughter company in Serbia - UNIQA Insurance continued with the largest growth in the insurance industry on the Serbian market in the first six months of 2010. According to official data for the first six months of 2010, issued by the National Bank of Serbia, UNIQA achieved growth of 32.45% in gross written premiums, whereas the average increase of premium insurance on the Serbian market is 5.12% according to the official data and minor changes in the nine-month report are expected. By the end of the year, it is expected that UNIQA will continue the largest growth in comparison to the other nine companies in the insurance industry market and that its market share will be about 6%. Life insurance has been increased by 28.86%, which shows that a systematic approach to insurance promotion scores results.
The new editor-in-chief of NIN weekly is Nebojša Spaić (1961).He graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Philology, majoring in literature and the theory of literature. He became a professional journalist in 1986 by working for Radio Belgrade. As a representative of the Foundation for Peace he launched the first independent production in Belgrade in 1993 - a radio show called ‘The Age of Sanity” (Doba Razuma), which was aired on over 50 radio stations in the former Yugoslavia from the 1990s to the beginning of the 21st century. From 2001 to 2003, Spaić worked as chief editor at Radio Belgrade 202, and since 2005 he has been a media consultant and the co-founder of a media consulting agency. He has released six specialised and popular literature books. Since 1994 he has also been a member of the Association of Independent Journalists.
The largest growth in 2010 too
CorD 76 / November 2010 57
Milan Janković, Director of Ratel
conference MEDia PrESS SUMMiT 2010
the region Meets
Ivan Stanković (left), Bora miljanović, marija matić, marek Slacik, jelena Drakulić, jelena krstović and Dalila ljubičić
The ﬁrst regional summit of print media has recently taken place in Belgrade.The summit was organised by ABC Serbia and Business Dialogue, with assistance from the Association of Serbian Media.The summit demonstrated a need for the representatives of print media to meet more often, exchange opinions and get acquainted with other regional players
the strategy’s text and indicated they want he first Media Press Summit was to be included in writing it, along with all held in Belgrade in mid-Octoother media in Serbia. ber. The summit brought together Deputy Head of ABC Serbia, Milka over 130 leading managers from Forcan, talked about the importance of apthe print media in Serbia and the region, as plying European standards in the Serbian well as agencies and publishing companies media scene which is burdened by many that operate in Europe. The representatives tion and misuse of the media space, adding difficulties. She also pointed out that since of the biggest publishers from Slovenia, that this kind of environment was virtually the last gathering the total number of print Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia were also impossible to operate in. “All of this leads media in Serbia has declined from 426 to summit guests. The Editor-in-Chief of Ruhr to poor quality journalism, and the Serbian just above 300 and warned that this trend Zeiitung/WAZ from Germany, Rüdiger government needs to play the main role in was continuing. Forcan commented that the Oppers, gave a presentation about local improving this situation,” Oppers warned. print media in Serbia are having an increasprint media. An address titled ‘From a daily newsingly difficult time because of the insuffiThe Serbian Culture Minister, Nebojša paper to the network of distributed content’ cient support they are getting from the state Bradić, officially opened the summit and was given by Petar Pavić, the made comment that was no need for the state to meddle in the operations ”the state need to get involved in creating Director of Europa Digital and a of print media, but the state did need conditions for those media to operate in a member of the Board of Directors of Europa Press Holdings (EPH) to “get involved in creating condiquality manner and without any disturbances from Croatia. Pavić talked about tions for those media to operate in while not crossing the fragile line of the way in which EPH operates a quality manner and without any and said that the website of the disturbances while not crossing the influencing editorial policy” Croatian daily, Jutarnji List, has fragile line of influencing editorial links to over 1,500 other sites and that 15% and inadequate legislation, and added that policy.” of its visitors come from the competition. the state simply had to help with the develThe Head of the Association of Serbian Such a multi-platform development strategy opment of this sector. Media, Veselin Simonović, outlined the yielded positive results for Jutarnji List in “Only those media that are financially difficulties that print media in Serbia have under a year in terms of the number of webindependent can report in an objective manbeen facing, as well as the lack of state insite visitors. The next step is to pay for inner,” said Rüdiger Oppers, a representcentives that could help media in overcomternet content where Europa Digital has deative of WAZ and Editor-in-Chief of the ing the economic downturn. Simonović alcided to charge for only 10% of the website Neue Ruhr Zeitung from Germany. He held so talked about the Serbian Media Strategy content and give the other 90% for free. a presentation titled ‘Strategic Potential of and pointed out that print media were not Speaking about the media situation in Local and Regional Publishers’. Oppers adequately covered by the strategy. The Montenegro, Director of Podgorica-based pointed out the increasing level of corrupAssociation also made strong remarks about
58 CorD 76 / November 2010
than average in Serbia for this purpose. operations. Pobjeda daily, Miodrag Ivanović outlined According to Borislav Miljanović, Sales and Marketing Director of Telenor that the main problem that the Montenegrin the director of Serbia’s biggest PR agency Serbia, Marek Slacik spoke about the critemedia face is advertising budgets. The reMcCann-Erickson, journalists and PR manria and selection process when it comes to duced budgets have an adverse effect on the agers ought to change or they will simply the media that this company advertises with. print media in Podgorica whose number is quite low - there are only four dailies and one magazine. Serbian and Croatian magazines have the biggest market share in Montenegro. The CEO of Color Press Group, Robert Čoban began his presentation by showing ‘the cemetery’ of the many print media that had been terminated in Serbia in the last ten years. Speaking about the magazine industry in the region, Čoban outlined that only two publishers (Ringier and Color Press) audited most of their magazines and it was these two companies that recorded a business profit in the crisis year of 2009. Čoban Ivan Stanković, Rüdiger Oppers, Veselin Simonović, Nebojša Bradić, Robert Čoban, Petar Pavić, Milka Forcan, also said that auditing publications was unJurij Giacomelli and Miodrag Ivanović doubtedly a stressful move, but one that was ‘die out’, since it is social media that are Slacik outlined that, despite a lot of free adprofitable in the long run. He also warned now playing the role of the traditional mevertising space on TV, print media remain a about the so-called ‘W effect’ of the global dia. “We are witnesses of the fact that more very important communication channel prieconomic downturn which involves a drop and more journalists are becoming PR promarily because of many opportunities that in market activities in 2011. fessionals, and the relevant statistics show they offer. Slacik showed several useful exChairman of the Managing Board of that in England, for example, the number of amples with the intent of outlining the need the Delo daily from Ljubljana, Slovenia, journalists who are planning to cross over to for the media to show as much creativity Jurij Giacomelli, shared his experiences PR went up by 100% in the last two years,” and originality as possible when approachas a Slovenian publisher from the perspecMiljanović explained. ing large advertisers. tive of a country that is an EU member. Media Planning Director of the bigJelena Krstović the Corporate The economic crisis in Slovenia had the gest media buying agency in Serbia, Direct Communications Director of Serbia’s largsame effect as everywhere else in the world Media, Marija Matić spoke about the adest company, Delta Holding, talked about and has brought many changes to the way vertising trends in print media. She said the so-called mix of communication that in which print media operate. Giacomelli that in this era of digital communication, large corporations apply when communiadvised regional publishers that the periglobally speaking, the print media circulacating with print media in which partnerod just before the accession to the EU was tion figures were growing and trathe best time for building up social ”The print media in Serbia are having an ditional media still play a domirelevance through brand values, as nant role in the information transincreasingly difficult time because of the well as for increasing the quality of journalism. insufficient support they are getting from the fer process. Marketing Director at the Managing Director of Ringier state and inadequate legislation.The state Večernje Novosti daily, Dalila Axel Springer the biggest pubsimply had to help with the development Ljubičić, said that there is no busilishing company in Serbia, Jelena ness that, at a certain development Drakulić talked about the compaof the print media sector” point, does not need daily newspany’s ongoing reorganisation. Their pers. In newspapers, both small and large ship and professionalism are the keywords. modernisation process is intended to rebusinesses have their place, whether in reCompanies should make it possible for mesult in higher work efficiency and a decline spect of advertising prices or the theme, size dia to have access to timely, validated and in the company’s expenses. This is a mulor type of ad, and the possibility of tying authorised information, while media should ti-media approach of an integrated editorial in an ad with a topic that is close to a cershow more understanding and allow for betpolicy, where each journalist writes for both tain line of business. Mrs. Ljubičić added ter communication in the PR sphere, as well channels - print and digital - as well as all that cheap and fast advertising production, as potentially offering better advertising brands of this publishing company. This is with many available formats, prices and porates. Krstović also said that Delta Holding quite an expensive and long process which, sitions, brings additional benefits when adpaid a great deal of attention to print media, speaking long-term will bring great benevertising in print media. ■ adding that company set aside more funding fits to the company through more efficient CorD 76 / November 2010 59
the state vs hooligans By vladimir stankOVIć, NIN Weekly
Hooligans have ’conquered’ a lot of space, made their way into leading football clubs and have been bestowed with great beneﬁts. Anybody who dares to put a stop to this is immediately considered a target
n September of 2009, a horrible news item circled the globe – a group of football hooligans beat to death a French citizen, Brice Taton, in downtown Belgrade while he was having a drink with his friends in a cafe bar. He came to Belgrade to watch the Partizan-Toulouse match. Twelve days later, on 29th September, Brice lost the biggest battle of his life and returned to France in a coffin. This September, Belgrade remembered the unfortunate French man with flowers and by putting up a plaque at the place of his beating bearing the message ‘Never again!’ The police reacted swiftly and appropriso lead to the loss of sport prestige and a subing Serbian officials went on a media offenately – thirteen of the fifteen suspects are in stantial amount of money in revenue for the sive like never before. Tadić apologised to prison, two are still at large, but due to the tarSerbian Football Association. Of course, the Berlusconi, Foreign Minister, Vuk Jeremić diness of the Serbian justice system, the court much bigger damage done was to Serbia’s imdid the same to his Italian counterpart, Franco is still far away from making any ruling. age in the world sphere, which has been painsFrattini and many ministers raised their voicOn 12th October this year, barely a year takingly restored since the midafter the murder of Brice Taton in some are against serbia getting closer to 1990s when Serbs were the ‘bad Belgrade which (again) disgraced Serbia, a group of hooligans caused europe since, in europe, there are laws that boys’ who caused the disintegraof the former Yugoslavia. havoc in Genoa and because of this the you need to abide by, instruments that control tionThis is where the core of the qualification match for the European Championship between Italy and the enforcement of those laws, and penalties problem lies – some are against Serbia getting closer to Europe Serbia had to be stopped after only six for those who break them since, in Europe, there are laws that minutes of play. Serbia again made it you need to abide by, instruments that control es from those in charge of police, to youth and to the front page of the global press at same the enforcement of those laws, and penalties sport. One thing has been almost forgotten in time as the state authorities were making sevfor those who break them. In short, there is all of this and that is the damage being done to eral important steps toward EU candidacy. law and order. Admittedly, there are laws in the Serbian Football Association. Italy will be, After Brice Taton was murdered, the polSerbia too, but the problem lies in their immost likely, awarded the victory 3-0 by forfeit, iticians, ministers, high officials and poplementation which is insufficient and inconand the Serbian football team will probably lice directors all swore that hooligans would sistent. have to play the next few games without an be stopped. The same story is repeating itIt would be wrong to blame (only) footaudience which could result in Serbia losing self now with Serbian President Boris Tadić ball for the incidents in Genoa and the young the chance of ever making it to the European claiming that “hooligans will not rule Serbia”. hooligans which go by the collective term Football Championships of 2012. This will alAfter the serious incident in Genoa, lead60 CorD 76 / November 2010
of ‘football fans’, although they bear no resemblance to true football fans. Stadiums are the best venue for the demonstration of their criminal and fascist ideas. Football, of course, should not be exempt from responsibility, but football does not create or foster hooligans; that is rather the job of a mafia that fixes the results of football matches, orchestrates players’ transfers, during which huge amounts of money have simply vanished, and perpetuates corruption. We have seen that FIFA has launched an investigation into the dealings of two members of its Executive Committee on suspicion that they had asked to be paid substantial amounts of money for voting in favour of a certain county to be the host of the World Championships in 2018 and 2022. The voting is due to take place on 2nd December. There is a well-known saying that goes “The fish always begins to stink from the head”. Serbia did not invent hooligans. It rather ‘imported’ them from the west, just like many other things. The Serbian problem is that ‘the education’ that the country provided to these people was done through wars, sanctions, exorbitantly high inflation rates, crime, unemployment, political parties, and an inefficient judicial system... While the English, who invented both football and hooligans, are tackling their problem head on, the same problem has been constantly growing in Serbia as a result of social and political upheavals. Hooligans have ’conquered’ a lot of space, made their way into leading football clubs and have been bestowed with great benefits. Anybody who dares to put a stop to this is immediately considered a target, not only in a verbal, but also in a physical sense. So, is there a solution to this problem? Of course there is, providing that the state of Serbia agrees with the Serbian President when he says that “hooligans will not rule Serbia”. There are recipes that can be used here – from good solutions used by foreign countries to improving the enforcement of the existing laws in Serbia. Since we are talking about the most radical groups here, it is futile to use words like social care, upbringing, education and other preventative tools (these ought to be used for children who are ten years of age). So, all that remains is strict law enforcement. The Serbian justice system also poses a problem, due to its tardiness. On the other hand, when a judge takes his or her oath, they ought to be aware that they are going to arbitrate cas-
es involving criminals who are ready to use all means at their disposal. So, the solution lies in combining the existing systems. After the Heysel tragedy, the English football teams were banned from playing in Europe by UEFA for five years. They used this period to find a way to eradicate hooliganism. The criminals were imprisoned, quite a few of them were banned from entering football stadiums over a certain period of time and, instead of going to see a football match, they were ordered to report to the police. The English stopped over 3,000 blacklisted ’football fans’ from travelling to South Africa this summer. The Italians, who have been occupying the top spots when it comes to violence in football stadiums (it’s odd to see just how badly they organised the match in Genoa despite being given advance warnings from the Serbian Football Association and Serbian police), have introduced the so-called football fan ID card
of the time, but sometimes we are under the impression that they are doing Sisyphus’ work – they arrest the same criminals over and over again who are released even before they are sentenced. These criminals are usually freed due to ‘lack of evidence’ or have to pay very low fines. Recently, the Ministry for Sport and Youth has released quite unbelievable data – out of all the police reports, filed in the last three and a half years, only 51% were processed in the courts, 26% resulted in a court sentence (mostly fines) and only 2.4% of hooligans actually ended up in prison. The football fans, who threatened TV B92 journalist, Brankica Stanković, the author of documentaries about football fan groups, have all been acquitted by the Appeals Court. Belgrade is still ‘decorated’ with graffiti bearing the words ‘Justice for Uroš!’ which is aimed at making the authorities reduce Uroš Minić’s prison sentence, which is considered ‘unsuitable for the crime committed’. Minić was sentenced after
The Serbian problem is that ‘the education’ that the country provided to these people was done through wars, sanctions, exorbitantly high inflation rates, crime, unemployment, political parties, and an inefficient judicial system this season. So far, over 600,000 such cards have been issued, but radical groups (and certain clubs) have been wholeheartedly campaigning against this initiative claiming that it limits individual freedom. During the World Football Championships, a so-called lex specials (special law) was enforced in South Africa according to which judges tried hooligans along the principles of rough justice – a hooligan is arrested today, tried tomorrow and imprisoned the day after tomorrow. I am not saying that there are no similar practices in Serbia too, but shouldn’t we establish ad hoc courts in special cases? Coincidentally, a day after the Genoa violence, the Serbian Constitutional Court considered a document, filed over a year ago, requesting that 14 football fan groups, who are known to have engaged in criminal and violent behaviour or who have derogatory names, to be banned. The discussion was postponed, but I presume that the Genoa incident will push judicial authorities to become more efficient. The police are doing their job properly most
trying to set police officer Trajković on fire with a Bengal torch. To those who wrote this graffiti, we would ask them to look for websites like ‘Justice for Brice Taton’. In his defence, Mišić said that he “didn’t know that he was attacking a policeman”. The sentence he got was a ray of hope that criminals and hooligans will be tried by the law and conscience, but it also caused social rage among Mišić’s likeminded pals. In a matter of days, the antihero from Genoa, Ivan Bogdanov had 15,000 friends on Facebook who were sending him messages of support along the lines of “Go, brother, well done!”. This surely should worry any normal human being. By the way, why don’t you become a Facebook friend of Brice Taton? (http://www.facebook.com/people/ Brice-Taton/710284737 ). The more of these ‘brothers’ we put in prison, the fewer messages of support they will get on Facebook and in football stadiums and we are all going to feel better. Now, it’s up to the state to respond as the hooligans have said (and done) their thing. ■ CorD 76 / November 2010 61
European Capital of Culture
he committee for Belgrade’s candidacy for the ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2020 will officially put forward the candidacy to the European Commission in Brussels at the beginning of December; it was announced on October 14th in the City Hall. The president of the committee and deputy of the city’s culture secretary, Aleksandar Peković, said that in modern history Belgrade did not have a significant strategic project in the area of culture, as well as commenting on the fact that the ‘Cultural Capitals of Europe’ would benefit Belgrade a lot culturally, socially and economically. Belgrade’s competition for the ‘European Capital of Culture 2020’ are three cities in Romania and one in Ireland. Over the last
The ‘Cultural Capitals of Europe’ would benefit Belgrade a lot culturally, socially and economically three months, Belgrade has set up cooperation with Perugia in Italy, Banjaluka in the Republic of Srpska and Vilnius in Lithuania, last year’s European cultural capital. The title of the European Cultural Capital has so far been given to 43 cities, and this year‘s cities are Pečuj, Istanbul and Esen. The cities of Turku in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia will carry the prestigious title in 2011, and in 2012 the bearers will be Guimaraes in Portugal and Maribor in Slovenia.
A creative universe
he exhibition ‘The Creative Universe of Marko Čelebonović’ opened at the French Cultural Centre in Belgrade on October 11th, within the retrospective of his work which is located in the art pavilion of ‘Cvijeta Zuzorić’. Catalogues and invitations for exhibitions, photographs from the artist’s life and photographs which show his personal and working ambience are on display. There are also sketches for paintings, as well as newspapers clips with announcements about exhibitions, reviews, the artist’s memories and interviews, and texts published after his death. The backbone of the exhibition is the period of Čelebonović’s life and his creations associated with France, particularly Saint Tropez, which is presented to the audience via a reconstruction of the artist’s atelier. The painting ‘Interior’ from the memorial collection of Pavle Beljanski, which shows the interior of Čelebonović’s house in Saint Tropez is included in the exhibition, as well as pastels and drawings which have not previously been exhibited. The exhibition ‘Images from Family Life’, which runs until November 6th and which presents Čelebonović’s works from 1923 to 1984, is being presented by the artistic pavilion ‘Cvijeta Zuzorić’.
Portraits of architects
retrospective exhibition of the members of the architecture section of the Union of Visual Artists of Applied Arts and Designers of Serbia, called ‘Portraits of Architects’ was opened on October 15th. The exhibition is in the ‘Nama’ department store at the beginning of Knez Mihailova Street and will run until November 15th.
An important part of the event is a series of discussions and debates for experts and students of architecture, as well as all interested visitors 135 portraits of architects, that is to say their most significant works made in Serbia between 1953 and 2010, are on display. The exhibition is comprised of panels of an atypical size - 70cm wide and 220cm high - through which the visitor can observe the vast richness of creative artistic potentials and the various poetics of Serbian architects and constructors. An important part of the event is a series of discussions and debates for experts and students of architecture, as well as all interested visitors. The exhibition, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the Secretariat for Culture of Belgrade and Stari Grad municipality, is accompanied by an extensive monograph.
Great men of music Within the new chapter of the traditional series ‘Great guest will perform on February 5th at a concert celMen of the Musical Scene’ which will start in Kolarac ebrating the day of Kolarac, and on February 8th the on November 13th, noteworthy and interesting world grand opening of the Guitar Art Festival has been musicians will be holding concerts which will run until announced with a concert of the guitar quartet Los the end of this season. The series, in which each season Romero, who will perform the works of Jimenez, Villa Kolarac presents some of the newest musicians of the Lobos, Tarrega and Albeniz. The Luxembourg Philharworld scene to Belgrade, will The series will start on November monic Orchestra will perstart on November 13th with 13th with a performance of the form on March 13th under a performance of the pianist pianist Jevgeni Kissin, who will play conductor Emanuel KrivJevgeni Kissin, who will play Schumann’s ‘Fantastic Pieces’ and ine, and Bashmet and MosSchumann’s ‘Fantastic Pieces’ Chopin’s ‘Four Ballads’ cow soloists who played and Chopin’s ‘Four Ballads’. A concert of the Japanese pianist and composer, the original Stradivarius instruments in Russia last year Nobuyaki Tsujii, performing works of Chopin, Schu- for the first time will perform in Kolarac on April 11th. A mann, Liszt and Mussorgsky, has been announced for concert of the Richard Galliano Sextet, which will perform the ‘From Bach to Piaccola’ programme, has been December 15th. The Rubicon Quartet with pianist Itamar Golan as a scheduled for April 19th. 62 CorD 76 / November 2010
Gotan Project The concert of the famous French band Gotan Project will be held at Belgrade Arena on December 17th. Gotan Project has been on the music scene since 1999, and has won audiences around the world with their mixture of tango and electronic music, especially after the release of their debut album ‘La Revancha Del Tango’ in 2001. Their second studio album, ‘Lunatico’ (displaying elements of jazz)was re-
Berlin Wall in Belgrade
t the Belgrade Dramatic Theatre between October 24th and November 1st, the international theatre project ‘After the Fall’, marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, was presented. Within the project five plays from the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Germany and Serbia were preformed. Under the banner of ‘Europe in Belgrade - After the Fall’, the following plays were performed: ‘Bricked Down’ by the Czech theatre ‘Leti’, directed by Susan Rudin and Martina Schlegel; ‘Wall’ by the ‘Toma Karadžiju’ theatre from Romania, directed by Teo Hergelengiu; ‘A Bullet for Everyone’ directed by Nemanja Ranković and performed by the ensemble of the Croatian Cultural Centre in Sušak (Rijeka); ‘There Isn’t Enough for Everyone’ of the National Theatre from Dresden, Germany by German director Sandra Strunz; and the play ‘Forger’ by Goran Marković, performed by Belgrade Dramatic Theatre.
Within the project five plays from the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Germany and Serbia were preformed On the occasion of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Goethe Institute in cooperation with local theatres hired 17 dramatists in 15 European countries to write plays which dealt with reflections on great European changes in their own environments, subsequent to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The project began in 2008 and included hiring
the dramatists, the production of the plays, and finally the performance of those plays at the ‘After the Fall’ festival which was held in Germany last year.
‘Dom za Vešanje’ premiere
mir Kusturica’s punk opera ‘Dom za Vešanje’ will run five nights in a row at the Sava Centre from 10th to 15th No-
The libretto for the opera was written by rock musician Nenad Janković (alias Nele Karajlić), and was directed by Kusturica himself vember. The libretto for the opera, made for the movie with the same title, was written by rock musician Nenad Janković (alias Nele Karajlić), and was directed by Kusturica himself. Janković (with the other members of the No Smoking Orchestra) composed the music and also stars in one of the main roles. Other actors in the opera, a story about two young Roma in love, are performed by Milica Todorović, Stefan Anđelković, Gorica Popović and Dejan Sparavalo. The punk opera ‘Dom za Vešanje’, under the title ‘Time of the Gypsies’ and ‘Les Temps des Gitans’ had its premiere several years ago in the Parisian opera the Bastille, which was initiative of the producer, Marko di Domenico. The movie ‘Dom za Vešanje’, directed in 1988 and 1989, won Emir Kusturica the Best Director award at Cannes.
leased in 2006, and their new album, ‘Tango 3.0’ marks 10 years of the band’s existence and again creates the sound of traditional Argentinean tango with hints of electronic, dub and jazz sound. Tickets for the Gotan Project’s concert have been on sale since October 12th at the Belgrade Arena, SM ‘Ušće’, ‘Dom Omladine’, the bookshop ‘Delfi’ (SKC) and Eventim, and can also be purchased online at www.arenabeograd.com and www.tickets.rs
Erste Foundation contest
he presentation of the ERSTE Foundation contest for social integration was held at Belgrade City Hall on October 15th. The contest focuses on innovative and engaged projects of 11 countries from Middle and South-Eastern Europe, and the prize fund is €610,000. The deadline for applications to the contest is November 30th, and possible participants include non-profit organisations, state administrations, civil society organisations, private initiatives, religious communities and representatives of the media who support social integration and actively participate in projects aimed at raising public awareness and the integration of members of ethnic minorities, marginalised social groups and individuals with special needs. The award for social integration was established in 2007 and is awarded every other year in order to promote the devel-
The award for social integration was established in 2007 and is awarded every other year in order to promote the development of civil society in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe opment of civil society in the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe. The award is paying a public tribute to projects in the area of social integration which strive at enacting positive changes in the entire region. The award ceremony will be held in Budapest in June 2011. CorD 76 / November 2010 63
classical MUsic 30 years of “dragstor ozbiljne MUzike” (Classical Music Store) - the popular radio programme Sava Centre, Great Hall
04 November, 21.00 Tango Festival - opening beltango Quintet with guests Kolarac, Main Hall Guests - Gustavo Rosas & Gisela Natoli - Argentina, Monica Parra & Maximiliano Cristiani - Argentina, Josip Bartulovic & Petra Banhidi - Hungary
06 November, 20.00 Symphony Orchestra RTS Soloists: Ksenija Janković, cello; Nataša Veljković, piano; Stefan Milenković, violin; Sreten Krstić, violin; Vincent Aucante, viola. Conductor: Bojan Suđić
07 November, 20.00 Radmila Vardalic, violin and Ljiljana Vukelja, piano, Kolarac, Main Hall Programme- Kasado, Granados, Abril, Rodrigo, Entrance is free
belgrade philharMonic orchestra
13 November, 20.00 evgeni kisin, piano Kolarac, Main Hall Programme- Schumann, Chopin
Concerts in November Autumn Cycle All concerts are at Kolarac Hall at 20.00
05 November Conductor: Andres Mustonen Soloists: Yuri Zhislin, violin and Natalia Lomeiko, viola Programme: W. A. Mozart: Symphony no. 29 K 201 A major, M. Bruch: Concerto for violin and viola op. 88 E minor, L. van Beethoven: Symphony no. 4 op. 60 B flat major 12 November Conductor: Christoph-Mathias Müller, Soloist: dimitri ashkenazy, clarinet, Programme: R. Vaughan: Williams Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, J. Francaix: Clarinet concerto, R. Wagner: Parsifal excerpts 19 November Conductor: Predrag Gosta Soloist: Jean-Luc Menet, flute Programme: G. F. Haendel: Royal Fireworks music, R. HP Platz: Flute concerto Bulk G. F. Haendel: Water music HWV 348-350 excerpts 26 November Conductor: emiliano patarra Soloist: Aiman Musakhodzhayeva, violin, Programme: G. Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, overture, N. Paganini: Violin concerto no.1 op. 6 D major, H. Villa Lobos: Bachianas Brasileras nos.2 & 4
Tickets available at Kolarac Foundation Hall, Studentski Trg 5 www.kolarac.rs Phone - 011 263 05 50
ethno MUsic kUd “LaZar HreBeLJanOVIć” 27 November, 19.30 Sava Centre, Great Hall Concert of Serbian folk dance Ensemble
special events tIMe Of tHe GYpsIes,
64 CorD 76 / November 2010
cirQUe dU soleil saltiMbanco
24 November - 28 November Belgrade Arena Classic Cirque du Soleil at its best, Saltimbanco is a thrilling and kaleidoscopic celebration of awe inspiring artistry and agility. With a cast of 50 high-calibre artists hailing from 20 different countries, Saltimbanco features breathtaking acrobatics and unbelievable athleticism. Tickets available from the Belgrade Arena, Bulevar Arsenija Čarnojevica 58, www.arenabeograd.com Phone- 0900 11 00 11, 011 307 77 86 firstname.lastname@example.org
art renÉ block: love it or leave it
Until 21 November The ARTGET Gallery, Belgrade Cultural Centre Accompanying exhibition of the 51st October Salon 07 The Edition Block focuses on graphics and various graphic techniques as well as on the topic of original and multiplied art works.
punk opera 10 - 14 November Sava Centre, Great Hall The No Smoking Orchestra & the Garbage Serbian Philharmonic
silver cUps in serbia froM the 16th to 18th centUries
Tickets available from BILET Servis, Trg Republike,
The grand opening of a comprehensive exhibition under the working title ‘Silver Cups in Serbia from the 16th to 18th Centuries’ will begin on the 6th November 2010 when the museum traditionally marks its foundation date, and this time will also be marking its 60th anniversary.
zvonko bogdan 25 November, 20.00 Sava Centre, Great Hall
themed study exhibition 06 November 2010 - 15 January, 2011 Museum of Applied Arts, Vuka Karadzica 18
new iteMs in the collections of the Maa,
acquisitions 2001 - 2010 6 November 2010 - 15 January, 2011 Museum of Applied Arts This exhibition will pay homage to the donors and will display the most representative objects from the museum collections which were acquired by or donated to the museum in the past ten years.
Tickets available at Kolarac Hall Concerts at Kolarac Hall in November 04 November, 18.00 ristov Quartet - Piano quartet from Great Britain, Kolarac, Music Gallery Programme- Mozart, Brahms, Snitke Entrance is free
Phone - 011 30 333 11 and at the Sava Centre, Milentija Popovica, www. savacentar.net, Phone - 011 220 60 60
Zvonko Bogdan (born in 1942 in Sombor, Serbia) is an eminent performer of traditional folk songs of Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Romania.
filM annual events
L’OreaL parIs CIneManIa annUal filM review
29 October - 05 November In Belgrade and in Novi Sad Sava Centre, Main Hall Premiere Programme (Screenings are at 13.30, 16.30, 19.00 and 21.30)
WALL STREET MONEY NEVER SLEEPS 29 October, 19.00 Directed by Oliver Stone Starring- Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon
29 October, 21.30 Directed by Joann Star Starring- Eric Elmosnino, Laetitia Casta
30 October, 19.00 Directed by Ben Affleck Starring- Ben Affleck, Jeremy Reiner
30 October, 21.30 Directed by John Curran Starring- Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich
TROY 19 November, 20.00 Belgrade Arena Musical spectacle of TROY - FIRE Anatolia. World-famous dance troupe “Fire of Anatolia” under the creative leadership of Mustafa Erdogan will bring Homer’s legendary epic of love and war. Over 80 players, singers and musicians, with original music by Marojice Arzen, fascinating light effects, attractive costumes, 2000 props and scenery are make this one of the most spectacular stage productions in the world. The play of Troy is a story about love and the struggle between good and evil, from the beginning of human history, whose birthplace in Asia Minor (Anatolia). THE ROAD
01 November, 21.30 Directed by John Hillcoat Starring- Vigo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall
MOTHER AND CHILD
02 November, 19.00 Directed by Josh Gordon Starring- Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Juliette Lewis
31 October, 19.00 Directed by Robert Schwenke Starring- Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman
02 November, 21.30 Directed by Drew Dowdle Starring- Chris Messina, Logan Marshall -Green
LET ME IN
31 October, 21.30 Directed by Matt Reeves Starring- Chleo Mortez, Koddy Smith
01 November, 19.00 Directed by Rendall Wallace Starring- Diana Lane, John Malkovich, James Cromwell
03 November, 21.30 Directed by Neil Marshall Starring- Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko
04 November, 19.00 Directed by Jean Marc Vallee, Starring- Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Rupert Friend
GOTAN PROJECT, 17 November, 20.00 Belgrade Arena
04 November, 21.30 Directed by Duncan Jones Starring- Sam Rockwell
Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris, consisting of musicians Philippe Cohen Solal (French), Eduardo Makaroff (Argentine), and Christoph H. Müller (Swiss), formed in 1999. Their first release was Vuelvo Al Sur/El Capitalismo Foraneo in 2000, followed by the album La Revancha del Tango in 2001. Their music involves tango, but also uses elements such as samples, beats, and breaks. The Belgrade concert is the promotion of their third CD, Tango 3.0. released in April 2010. Tickets available from Belgrade Arena and Bilet Servis
05 November, 19.00 Directed by Rodrigo Garcia Starring- Naomi Watts, Annette Benning, Samuel L. Jackson 05 November, 21.30 Directed by Richard Gere Starring- Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin More information on www.tuck.rs Tickets available from BILET Servis, Trg Republike 5, Ph - 011 30 333 11 and the Sava Centre, Milentija Popovica 9, www.savacentar.net, Phone011 220 60 60
PREMIERES SOCIAL NETWORK
Starts: 04 November Director: David Fincher Starring- Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Bryan Barter, Brenda Song, Dustin Fitzsimons
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS 3D Starts: 18 November Director: David Yates Starring- Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Radcliffe, Clémence Poésy, Ralph Fiennes,
Starts: 04 November Director: Robert Schwentke Starring- Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren
Starts: 17 November Drama directed by Janko Baljak Starring- Sanja Popović, Ljubomir Bulajić, Aleksandar Radojičić, Lena Bogdanović, Nebojša Milovanović
Starts: 11 November Director: Tony Scott Starring- Denzel Washington, Chris Pine CorD 76 / November 2010 65
culture ‘EXPAT’ CLUBS Internations
www.internations.org InterNations is an expatriate community for people living and working abroad as well as all ‘global minds’. On the InterNations website you will find a local guide and useful forums. Each month in Belgrade there is a social/ networking event. Membership is invitation-only – jump onto the website for your invitation. Internations events are held on the LAST Thursday of each month.
Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club
www.belgradefvc.com Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club is a social club
and information resource for foreign residents and visitors to Belgrade. Regular social meetups are organised including theme nights and karaoke nights. The group is about connecting like-minded people and having a good time. Social events are updated on the site.
460 or email@example.com + The famous IWC Charity Bazaar will be held on Saturday, 04 December at Belgrade Sajam, Hall 3. For more information contact Christine Skrutkowska, Bazaar Coordinator, on 061 318 3765.
International Women’s Club, Belgrade
YDA Serbia - Young Diplomats Association of Serbia
www.iwcbelgrade.wordpress.com The IWC of Belgrade welcomes and assists newcomers to Serbia; promotes knowledge and understanding of Serbia; fosters friendship among members and raises funds for community and humanitarian projects. New members are welcome. The ‘IWC November Coffee Morning’ will be hosted by the Hyatt on the 15th of November at 10.30. For further information regarding new memberships or coffee mornings, contact Mrs Laetitia Gardt on 063 249
Available exclusively for Diplomatic and Embassy staff (for non Diplomatic and Embassy staff ‘Friends of The YDA’). Bringing you: diplomatic nights, networking nights, bar nights, tours through Serbia (single day and full weekend trips), VIP entry to events, concerts etc Website coming soon..... Contact: Vik on 064 397 0070 or VikJensenyda@gmail.com or Philomena on 062 767 323 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreign cultural institutions in Belgrade British Council FILM: Forward Motion On 23 November
Boy, a film by Rosemary Lee and Peter Anderson
Forward Motion is a collection of outstanding British screen dance works curated by experts into three programmes. A British Council project co-produced with South East Dance (supported by Arts Council England), Forward Motion creates a moving snapshot of Britain’s prolific screen dance industry. On 23 November the British Council and Belgrade Dance Festival will present this collection for its Serbian premiere screening, as part of the third Belgrade Dance Screen. Forward Motion features over 20 historic, seminal and groundbreaking films along with interviews and insight into artistic practice. It demonstrates the diversity of British screen dance and the inspirations and the influence it’s had around the world. Forward Motion will be shown at the Cultural Centre of Belgrade. www.britishcouncil.rs 66 CorD 76 / November 2010
Hellenic Foundation for Culture EXHIBITION: Nikos Kavvadias: The 100th anniversary of Kavvadias’ birth
Until 12 November, MondaysFridays,12.00-19.00 This exhibition aims to introduce the poet Nikos Kavvadias (19101975) - the Greek poet of the seas, unfulfilled love, of morals deriving from the relationships between seamen and the harbour women, and between people of different cultural backgrounds. The exhibition presents scenes from his life and travels, photographs of people and harbours, as well as poems and texts. In addition there will be the screening of the documentary ‘Men at Sea’ by Katerina Patroni and the film ‘Ena Tsigaro Vardia’ by Anais Konsta and Yiannis Theodorakopoulos. The documentary ‘Men at Sea’ is inspired by the work of Nikos Kavvadias and it presents the life of sailors at sea. The documentaries are shown every Thursday and Friday at 17.00 at the HFC Centre, Kneza Milosa 14, Ph: 362 8551/362 8550, info@ hfc-belgrade.com www.hfc-belgrade.com
American Corner LECTURE: History of American Photography, by Andrew L. Strout Wednesday, 03 November, 19.00
Born 1949 and raised in rural Western New York, Andrew completed a BA in Photography and a BA in Sociology from SUNY at Buffalo. This program afforded opportunities to interact with many leading artists including sculptor George Surls, performance artists Laurie Anderson and Pat Olesko, and composer John Cage and the Jofferey Ballet Company. While in graduate school, he developed a photography curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate studies which was approved and implemented. American Corner: Makedonska 22/I, Ph: 322 7694, email@example.com www.americancorners-sam.net
Instituto Cervantes EXHIBITION: Darkroom 1936-1946
Until 15 November This exhibition displays the works of Catalan photo-reporter Giuseppe Branguli Soler, whose efforts were later continued by his sons Žoakim Branguli Klaramunt and Xavier Branguli Klaramunt. Their archives, which were inherited by the Catalan government in 1992, forms part of collection of more than half a million photographs that offer a broad view of the social, cultural and political life of Catalonia of the twentieth century. The exhibition is organised by the National Archives of Catalonia, the Spanish Association of Veterans 19361939 and the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade. Instituto Cervantes: Čika Ljubina 19, Ph: 3034182, firstname.lastname@example.org www.belgrado.cervantes.es
To be included in this monthly summary please contact Philomena O’Brien at email@example.com
in memoriam DraGan SaKan
Departure of an
ragan Sakan, ‘marketing pioneer of the ex-Yu territory’ and one of the top marketing experts in the world, has died suddenly in Belgrade at the age of 60. A psychologist by vocation, he ruled the advertising world of the region over the last 30 years with his creative ideas. He received hundreds of local and international awards during his impressive career. Sakan brought the creative world to Belgrade by founding the BeogrAD Festival and placed the Serbian capital on the map of the Art Directors Club of Europe. Thanks to his work, Belgrade hosted international festivals and also outstanding individuals in the world scene such as Dr Edward de Bono, Jacques Seguela, Donald Gunn, Bob Garfield, Hermann Vaske, and others. He also brought the show with the most viewers in the world to Belgrade - Eurovision. Conversely, he opened the doors of the world to the creativity of
sakan brought the creative world to Belgrade by founding the Beograd festival and placed the serbian capital on the map of the art directors Club of europe Belgrade. The prominent ‘Advertising Age’ from Washington described him as an ‘almost a mythical figure, the man who transformed propaganda to advertising in the region’. He was the author of thousands of advertising campaigns and four books in the area of creative thinking.
A psychologist by vocation, he ruled the advertising world of the region over the last 30 years with his creative ideas
His abode at 14 Hilandarska Street under the different names of Borba, S Delo, Saatchi & Saatchi, and for the last eight years, the New Moment New Ideas Company, has been for years the most awarded advertising house in the Balkans. Sakan founded the Council for New Thinking, a non-profit organisation aimed at boosting ideas for society’s benefit, then the BeogrAD Festival, the Ideas Gallery, the New Moment Multimedia magazine for art and advertising, and the Ideas Campus, the European school for ideas. As a creative director, Dragan Sakan won several hundreds of local and international awards: Creative Person of the Year JFTK, Portorož 1986, a life achievement award, UEPS 2000, the Ambassador of Serbian Creativity 2008, the ‘Freedom’ award, the International Centre for Peace, Sarajevo 2008, the Creative Director of the Agency of the Year ‘New Europe’ 1998, and so on. He was the president and a member of numerous juries all over the world, a professor at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade and a visiting professor at universities throughout Europe. He marked his 35-year career jubilee by publishing the book ‘New Pretty Woman - My Profession is Dragan Sakan’, the promotion of which was scheduled for the beginning of October. He was married, and was father to two sons, Žarko and Lazar. CorD 76 / November 2010 67
a serbian cornerstone According to widely accepted interpretation, by celebrating the Slava, a family is remembering the day when the head of the family or a tribal chief accepted Christianity and re-named its patron saint
he Slava is an ancient custom which involves special rituals and a feast during which a family’s patron saint and provider is celebrated and is one of the characteristics of traditional culture which is particularly associated with Serbs. The Slava is a celebration, veneration, and observance of a family’s own patron saint and is also celebrated by churches, cities, tribes, political parties and artisan organisations. Religious historians and ethnologists say that the Slava, or patron saint day, is more typically a Serbian or national observance rather than a religious one. The Slava is one of the hallmarks of Serbian identity. According to widely accepted interpretation, by celebrating the Slava, a family is remember68 CorD 76 / November 2010
ing the day when the head of the family or a tribal chief accepted Christianity and re-named its patron saint. Sometimes, a family celebrates this holiday because they believe that the saint pleaded for a certain kind of redemption. The new patron saint sometimes replaced the old one, whose day would continue to be celebrated in a more modest fashion, typically by lighting candles. Every household celebrates one or two patron saint days a year (depending on the saint, as some saints have two days dedicated to the celebration of their name). Sons ‘inherit’ the patron saint day from the head of the family, usually the father. Daughters ‘inherit’ the celebration of the Slava only if they are single and continue living with their families. Married wom-
en usually celebrate their husband’s patron saint day. If a famiCandidate for UNESCO’s World Heritage ly moves far away, a son, with permission from his father, can celebrate his patron saint day at his home, but the usual pracFollowing the Serbian Parliament’s adoption of UNESCO’s tice is that sons celebrate the Slava with their fathers, as long as Convention on Non-Material Cultural Heritage, Serbia is most liketheir fathers are alive. Some scholars say that once he marries ly going to nominate a patron saint day to be included in UNESCO’s and has his own family, the son can celebrate his own patron World Heritage programme. saint day, regardless of his mother and father celebrating it in their own home. Of course, the parents need to give their blessings to this arrangement. saint, which according to church rules, should be placed facing The Slava is celebrated with one’s family and friends. East. The venerated water is treated as holy and is very careSeveral days beforehand the family prepares the home in orfully handled. der for the Slava to be as solemn and dignified as possible. The When preparations are over, a Slava cake is baked using the house is thoroughly cleaned and things are put away. Family holy water, wheat flour, yeast and salt. members, especially children, get new clothes, so they can The wheat is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. The make a fresh start on the day of the celebration. The atmoscake is then broken to honour Christ’s sacrifice. Pouring wine phere in the house is joyous in expectation of the celebration over the broken cake (which is symbolic of Christ’s blood) about to begin. means that believers are redeemed from their sins through the Many delectable meals are prepared for the Slava. In the blood of Christ. last few years, the celebration has become overly opulent which The cake is usually decorated with a wreath made of dough goes against the traditional notion of this holiday. In some casin the following way: two dough belts are put on the top of the es, the Slava is viewed as an opportunity for overeating and getcake as a symbol of cross, then four church stamps are pressed ting drunk, and often the host of the Slava books an entire resinto the dough carrying the letters IS-HS NI-KA (short for taurant for the celebration. ‘Jesus Christ wins’). The Sometimes, the way of obcake top can also be decSeveral days beforehand the family serving the Slava is to arorated with other symbols prepares the home in order for the Slava like doves, the symbol of rive at the host’s house at noon, bearing no gifts, and to be as solemn and dignified as possible the Holy Spirit, an ear of staying for a short period of wheat or grapes. time so that you can visit other families who celebrate the same The Slava cake is not cut with a knife but broken with hands. patron saint day. The cake is then turned from the left (traditionally thought of as Sometimes, the Slava falls during fasting, for example St. the negative side) to the right side (the positive one). This will Nikola, Ivanjdan, and St. Alimpije. In this case, the food is prebring abundance to the home. At the same time, the cake is liftpared without eggs, butter and milk, but fish and cooking oil is ed towards the sun which symbolises the head of the family’s allowed. The same applies to Slavas that don’t fall during fastdesire for wheat to be plentiful which will make the communiing, but are celebrated on a day when a Christian should fast anty’s life easier. yhow, that is, on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Slava candle Veneration of the water The Slava candle demonstrates that that the head of the Many families have priests who come over to their houses family and the family itself are ‘sons of light’, and not dark. to venerate the water that will be later used for the making of Just as the candle light destroys the dark, so does the light of ‘Slavski kolač’ (or the Slava cake). Christ. The family usually prepares a bowl with clean water, basThe candle should be made of pure beeswax. The candle il, a candle, incense and a vigil lamp. These objects should be denotes the purest and most innocent sacrifice, as bees are pure laid out on a table, turned toward an icon depicting the patron when they make honey by collecting sweet aromatic juice from
CorD 76 / November 2010 69
fresh flowers. Also, the prayer said by the head of the family and family members should come from a pure heart and innocent soul. Wheat Just before the celebration begins, wheat (in Serbian it is called koljivo), is boiled. A grain of wheat symbolises death and resurrection or eternal life. When a grain is thrown into the an icon depicting the patron saint. The items for the ritual inground, it sprouts and disintegrates, only to later produce an ear clude the following - the Slava cake, wheat (koljivo), a glass of of wheat with many more grains. red wine, a candle, a list containing the names of all living and The wheat is boiled immediately before the feast begins. As deceased family members so they can be remembered, a vigil soon as this is done, the water is thrown away, and the wheat lamp with incense and a box of matches to light it. A teaspoon is washed and dried. Afterwards, it is ground and sweetened is placed next to the wine and wheat, and a knife is placed near which symbolises the blessed and sweet life in heaven to which the cake. Just before the ritual begins a family member lights righteous Christians go after they die and who, during their lifea candle (incense has been lit the night before and left to burn time, acted in a way deserving of going to heaven. until morning). When a priest enters the house, the head of the Koljivo (wheat) is served to all family members and guests, family stands in front of the candle, makes a sign of the cross with the oldest ones being served the first. Before you take a and lights it. Afterwards, the priest reads the Lord’s Prayer and spoonful of wheat, you need to make then the prayer for the veneration In the last few years, the the sign of a cross while standing to of the wheat. During the ritual, the show that you respect the saint. celebration has become overly patron saint icon, the Slava cake, the wheat, the wine, the house in opulent which goes against the which the ritual is taking place and Going to church On the day of the Slava, the fam- traditional notion of this holiday everybody present are ‘incensed’. ily carries the cake, the wheat and Immediately after the ritual, the red wine to church where they are collectively sanctified. After priest cuts the Slava cake, while others sing the troparion (an that, the priest pours wine over each bowl of wheat and breaks Eastern Orthodox Church hymn). up each individual cake. Before the ceremony starts, the head of the family gives the priest a list containing names of all livThe troparion ing and deceased family members so they can be appropriateThe troparion is a short song of only few verses which is ly remembered. dedicated to the main theme of the Slava (whether the holiday The cake bearer, that is, the person who carries the cake or the saint). The troparion is usually sung in churches and is a into the church, gives his own gifts - incense, oil and wine. part of the most complex form of church singing - the canon. A Lately, a cash donation is usually given to the church. long time ago, the troparion was an integral part of any Slava, but today it is randomly sung. If a troparion is sung, it is usualCutting the cake at home ly during the cutting of the Slava cake at home. For some families the practice is to cut the cake in the privacy of their home. In that case, the procedure is the following Wine - late at night or early in the morning everything for the ritual is The priest pours wine over the cake and the wheat, and the head laid out on a table which is turned toward the East, and toward of the family drinks whatever remains in the bottle or in a glass.
The best known patron saint days 14th January - St. Vasilije the Great (also known as Serbian New Year or Little Christmas) 19th January - The Twelfth Night 20th January - St. John the Baptist 27th January - St. Sava 7th February - St. Grigorije Bogoslov 12th February - The Three Great Hierarchs 70 CorD 76 / November 2010
14th February - St. Trifun 22nd March - Mladenci (holiday of newlyweds) 15th April – Vrbica - Lazarus Saturday 23rd April - Easter 6th May - Đurđevdan - St. Georgije 28th June - Vidovdan 2nd August - St. Ilija
19th August - Transfiguration of Christ 27th October - St. Petka 31st October - St. Luka 8th November - St. Dimitrije 21st November - St. Mihajlo - Aranđelovdan 26th November - St. Jovan Zlatousti (St. John Chrysostom) 19th December - St. Nikola
year too. We wish your year to be fulfilled, chaste, happy and abundant and for all the years of your, and your children’s life to be the same.” belgrade’s patron saInt daY spasovdan Ever since Despot Stefan Lazarević granted Belgrade the The wine symbolises the bloodless victim. Drinking wine status of a capital city in 1403, the city has been celebrating during the Slava feast symbolises abundance - if the cake is its patron saint day - The Ascension of Our Lord, popularly soaked in wine, the home will be full of peace, life, health and known as Spasovdan. This centuries-old celebration symbolises goodness. the city’s ascension from ashes and its indestructible hope and belief in a better future. It represents an expression of the spirincense itual and moral strength of a nation who had a celebrated past, It is quite usual to find incense, or at least pieces of it, in the who is enduring in the present time and standing proud while homes of many Eastern Orthodox believers. Even the poorest facing the future. Because of wars and large social upheavals, of families buy a piece of incense for their Slava. The incense the celebration of Belgrade’s patron saint day has not been held is lit to create sacred smoke that ‘ascends towards the heavens every year, but it has stood the test of time. in order to please the Lord’. The Ascension of Our Lord, or Spasovdan, is one of the ten holidays dedicated to Christ. The Ascension of Our Lord icon always falls on a Thursday, forty On the day of the slava, the The patron saint icon and a days before Easter and ten days bevigil lamp are placed, if possi- family carries the cake, the wheat fore Holy Trinity Day. According ble, on the East side of the wall to Christian scholars, after his resand red wine to church where urrection, Jesus Christ spent forty in the nicest room in the house. According to religious rules, the they are collectively sanctified days with his disciples, appearing icon needs to be first sanctified in in front of them, teaching them and a church and only then brought home. The priest sanctifies strengthening their faith after them seeing him crucified at the the icon at the altar. According to Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović, hill of Golgotha. The act of ascension happened in the village sanctified icons are the channels of the powerful godly love of Bethany, on the east slope of the Olive Mountain, some two which heals, regenerates, encourages and exhorts. “The Lord kilometers from Jerusalem, on the way to Jericho. It marks the loves so much his saints and martyrs, they are like immediend of Christ’s stay on Earth, who came here to save and reate family to him. He gives power to their image, which is deem human race. Christ ascended to heaven after he blessrevered, and their names are called in prayer,” says Bishop ed his apostles and there he sits at the right hand of his father, Velimirović. the Lord. After the ascension, the apostles’ faith, joy and courage was renewed. the toast The most important historical and legal document of meVuk Karadžić (Serbian linguist and major reformer of the dieval Serbia - Dušan’s Code - was revealed to the public on Serbian language) had a vast collection of historical records Spasovdan in 1349, which is a testament to how important this documenting the Slava ceremony. He also talked about the holiday is to Serbian people. The Code’s supplement was also toast which is to be given at a specific moment during the released on Spasovdan, in 1354. ■ celebration. The toast goes like this: “We are drinking this wine and toasting your health and joy, to a bountiful yield of wheat, to wine flowing and to sons being born to you.” A guest, upon entering the house, addresses the head of the family in the following way: “May you celebrate (the patron saint’s name) for many more years to come, in health and happiness.” There is also a salute for other family members and guests: “May you celebrate what you are celebrating today, next CorD 76 / November 2010 71
what’s hot in gadget world PlayBook Tablet WHaT: Blackberry’s is vying for a slice of Apple’s iPad market with the new Playbook tablet. The device will feature a seven-inch multi-touch screen and a new operating system, and will be able to run Adobe Flash, which Apple’s iPad can’t. It weighs just 400g and includes dual HD cameras for video calling. WHEn: Available in the USA in the first quarter of 2011 and other markets in the second quarter.
Enterprise ready. Of course. Internet the way it’s meant to be
THE DaMaGE: Unavailable at time of printing
Fastest tablet. Ever. True multitaskin
Snoozing not an Option WHaT: The Aphelion is an alarm clock especially designed for slumberous souls. The clock launches a ball once the alarm sounds, forcing the user to get out of bed and place the retrieved ball back in the spot to reactivate the snooze feature. Other than this useful/annoying feature, the clock also blasts your favourite tunes through MP3 capabilities or your favourite AM station. WHEn: Currently a concept design awaiting a manufacturer.
THE DaMaGE: Unavailable at time of printing
72 CorD 76 / November 2010
Face-to-face conversations Breathtaking multimedia
Phiaton Earbuds WHaT: The new Phiaton PS 20 NC earbuds feature noise cancellation technology and a luxurious design. They combine a quirky ‘half-in-ear’ design with active noise cancelling that proposes to reduce ambient noise by 95%. The earphones come packaged with four different sizes of silicon ear-tips, an airline adapter, a small carrying pouch and a single AAA battery to power the active noise cancelling technology. WHEn: Available now.
THE DaMaGE: Between ¤75-¤95 / $99-$129 USD
Iomega eGo USB now 3.0 WHaT: Iomega has just announced that all its HDDs will support USB 3.0 interface BUT will stick to the older price points - this means faster drives at no extra cost! The portable drives will also sport backup software Roxio Retrospect Express, and have the benefit of Trend Micro Internet Security for a year. WHEn: Available now.
THE DaMaGE: $109.99 USD
Fixes Festering Feet
THE DaMaGE: $129 USD (about €95)
CorD 76 / November 2010 73
WHaT The SteriShoe is a new gadget designed for people with WHaT: athlete’s foot, chronic shoe odour, diabetes or those who are just grossed out by whatever might be lurking inside. Using UV light, the SteriShoe kills 99.9% of ‘problematic microorganisms’ after a 45 minute treatment, reducing health problems and probably improving your shoes smell as well. WHEn: Available now.
Cisco Flip UltraHD WHaT: The new-generation Flip UltraHD 8GB pocket camcorder retains the name of its predecessor but gets three upgrades - image quality has been improved, it now includes a removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, as well as a new FlipPort accessories port. The UltraHD’s front and back are wrapped in a thin rubbery material, which gives it a nice grip. WHEn: Available now.
THE DaMaGE: €105-€150 / $139-$199USD
Sharp Unveils New Technology WHaT: In an effort to stand out from the crowd, Sharp has released a new line of televisions called ‘Quattron LCD TV’, which hosts an additional colour scheme - yellow subpixels, which create more life-like images. Compared to more expensive and higher end models of its rivals, Sharp’s LCD TV is simply outstanding, and images are crisp, warm, and sharp. WHEn: Available now.
THE DaMaGE: €960 / $1300USD
World First for LG WHaT: LG has equipped its latest LG A510 notebook with TriDef which allows users to see all their favourite 2D shows and movies in 3D. The LED LCD screen measures 15.6-inches, and inside there’s an Intel Core i7 processor with an Nvidia GeForce GT425M graphics card and 1GB of DDR2 of RAM. It also boasts SRS TruSurround HD for the ultimate immersive audio experience. Included in the pack is a pair of polarised glasses, plus a novelty clipon pair for spectacle wearers. WHEn: Will be rolled-out initially through Asia, South America, and the Middle East starting in October 2010.
THE DaMaGE: Unavailable at time of printing
74 CorD 76 / November 2010
Backyard Theatre WHaT: The drive-in theatre may be a fond memory of a bygone era however the mystique of outdoor movies is still alive and well with the CineBox Home 3.6m x 2.10 Backyard Theatre System. This is the perfect way to enjoy the thrills and fun of movies under the stars without having to leave home. WHEn: Available now.
THE DaMaGE: $2699 USD
Sony Ericsson Mobile ‘remote control’
WHaT: The DP-20 is a digital voice recorder with a full-sized speaker and crystal-clear audio output. It is perfect for recording songs, recitals and even lectures. The DP-20 is easy to use and works just like the older-styled analogue recorders, offers 20 hours continuous recording time, a 1.7 inch display, and easy to use controls. WHEn: Available now.
WHaT: Sony Ericsson has launched a 1.3-inch mobile phone ‘remote control’. Designed for customers who think it’s too much of a hassle to actually pull their phone out of their pocket, the device connects to a phone and provides a quick snapshot of important information. The LiveView has an OLED touch-screen and pairs up to a phone via Bluetooth. It displays information like text messages, Twitter and Facebook feeds, the current time and date, and calendar reminders WHEn: Will be rolled out over the last months of 2010
THE DaMaGE: Unavailable at time of printing
THE DaMaGE: €39.90 CorD 76 / November 2010 75
Olympus Voice Recorder
out! SPANISH FATHERS ENTITLED TO BREASTFEEDING LEAVE
by half an hour during the first nine months following the birth of a child. The European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Thursday that the Spanish law caused an "unjustified discrimination on grounds of sex" because fathers do not have the same rights as mothers.
Europe's top court has declared that working fathers in Spain are entitled to take breastfeeding leave' everyday, even if the mother of the child is not employed. The new legislation means that both the mother and father are allowed to leave work for an hour during the day or reduce their working day
RUSSIAN SPACE HOTEL The Russian space group Energiya has partnered with Moscow tech company Orbital Technologies to build the first A sheep-sized cow in England has been named the world’s smallest by the Guinness Book of commercial space station. World records. Guinness says the tiny bovine The commercial space stafrom the West Yorkshire region of northtion is envisioned as “a ern England measures roughly 33 inchtrue gateway to the rest of the solar system," according to a statement es from hind to foot. The 11-year-old cow by Energiya. "A short stop over at our station will be the perfect benamed Swallow is a Dexter cow, a ginning to a manned circumlunar flight." With no announced launch breed known for its diminutive statschedule, it's a little too soon to call your travel agent to book a room ure, but is small even by Dexter on a commercial space station, and it's not known yet how much it'll standards. She has nine regular-sized calves and is pregcost to vacation there. (Source: www.aolnews.com) nant with her 10th. Guinness said her youngest calf has COLOURBLIND FACEBOOK CREATOR already grown The reason Facebook is blue is that its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, larger than she is. is colorblind. According to The New Yorker magazine, Zuckerberg (Source: is red-green colorblind, which means the color he can see best www.today.msnbc.msn.com) is blue. That also happens to be the color that dominates the Facebook website and mobile application. "Blue is the richest color for me," he told the magazine. "I can see all of blue."
UN ALIEN AMBASSADOR? The United Nations has dismissed media reports that it is planning to appoint an ambassador to be the first point of contact with aliens. Britain's Sunday Times had reported that a UN official had been given the task of co-ordinating hu-
manity's response if extraterrestrials make contact. However, the official in question, Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, says that while she likes the idea of being an ‘alien ambassador’, the job does not exist. (Source: www.abc.net.au)
SEGWAY OWNER DIES IN FREAK ACCIDENT Millionaire businessman Jimi Heselden (62) died when a Segway scooter he was riding, built by his own company, plunged over a cliff and into a river. He was found in the River Wharfe, near Wetherby, UK. Heselden, whose company builds and markets the Segway upright scooter, accidentally drove over a cliff into the river. Mr Heselden was as well-known for his charity giving as he was for his massive fortune (Source: www.independent.co.uk)
76 CorD 76 / November 2010
city of Oberhausen then drove more than 1,000 kilometres to give concerts in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He performed his final concert in Austria. "The concerts weren't all held at sociable times," he said. "It was a bit difficult to get the Swiss to come to a concert first thing on Sunday morning.”
A German musician, who wanted to break a world record while promoting his new CD, gave concerts in eight countries - all in 24 hours. Vicente Patiz, 34, first performed on his Mediterranean guitar in the north-west German
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Cambridge University researchers have, for the first time, proved humans are happiest when at home simply by monitoring a person’s mobile phone use. They say that by analysing people in ‘natural environments’, psychologists could reach better conclusions through unobtrusive methods when studying periods of happiness, anger or stress. They concluded that a person’s location had a ‘pronounced effect on the users state of mind’ with almost half of respondents found to be most happy when in residential locations while 54 percent recorded ‘sad’ emotions at work. In their study, a group of volunteers were given a modified Nokia 6210 Navigator phone over 10 days, while at the same time recording their emotions in a diary. Researchers then used mobile phone speech recognition software to track a person’s emotional behaviour.
EXOSKELETON FOR WAR
Iron Man-style power suits which make the wearer vastly stronger will be used by soldiers in war zones in the next five years, according to a firm developing them. The XOS2 suit produced by US defence technology firm Raytheon Sarcos allows the user to carry 70kg with apparently little or no effort and punch through four planks of wood at once. Raytheon test engineer Rex Jameson says: "If you push at the boards (planks), you are, like, "I'm never going to be able to do that" but then you walk up and do it and away they go." (Source: www.www.telegraph.co.uk)
1966 BATMOBILE FOR SALE The 1966 Batmobile has recently been licensed for full-scale car production. Batman-wannabes can actually buy this car now, to drive legally in all countries where it's legal to drive fire-spitting cars in spandex suits. For just $150,000 USD a replica will get you a full, exact copy of the 1966 Batmobile including:
• Rocket exhaust flamethrower • Show-car quality paint job • Car sports Radir wheels with accurately shaped bat spinners • Brand new GM 350 crate engine and brand new transmission • Centre console in aluminium trim • Chrome-painted seat buckets • Five highly-polished aluminium roll top dashboard doors that glide open
• Red beacon light • Detect-a-scope radar screen that glows green • Hood and trunk that raise and lower with actuator switches • High-end stereo to play back the original Batman theme
CorD 76 / November 2010 77
MIX IT UP
Cut out and sheer for winter? No, we haven’t got our seasons mixed up. Yes, sheer pieces are in for the cold months. Mixed with fine laces, the sheer trend in 2010 mixes elegance with sex appeal – and isn’t that the current, overarching theme to all fashion trends? Have the confidence to mix your sheer clothing with other trends and key looks and you’ll be onto a winner.
78 CorD 76 / November 2010
Leather remains dominant in everything from jackets to leggings to shoes to accessories, and letâ€™s not forget â€“ dresses. Donâ€™t count on achieving a biker chick look with these dresses, however. The clean lines and silhouettes bring on a very sophisticated and feminine quality.
CorD 76 / November 2010 79
The turtleneck is extremely versatile, easy to wear and chic. Layering your outfit with a bold turtleneck will definitely give you a high impact. Turtleneck dresses are a key piece to have during the winter months as they provide protection from the cold yet provide an exquisite look.
Push that wimpy little lightweight sweater to the back of the closet this season. This winter, seduction comes in the form of oversized knits. The newest sweater silhouette is an oversized sweater cardigan. Hitting anywhere from below the hip to knee-length, the chunky oversized sweater is the perfect cosy option for cooler days; it is also perfect for indoor offices that are too chilly to go sweaterless. Wear your oversized cardigan sweater with slimmer bottoms: skinny jeans or leggings tucked into tall boots. 80 CorD 76 / November 2010
This season turtlenecks and high collars encapsulate a good number of designs, yet there is still room for the scarf. Light airy fabrics in animal print and displaying metallics add a pop, especially when worn with blazers. Winter pronounces much thicker, over-sized knitted scarves that keep the warmth in.
With fashion putting an emphasis on the masculine styles, heavy ring ornamentation is the perfect way to maintain that feminine quality. Wear rings â€“ lots of rings â€“ on every finger!! Layer them as well to achieve a hippie sort of look. But instead of extreme bling, try using more subdued stones such as onyx, garnet, and turquoise.
CorD 76 / November 2010 81
profi proﬁ le le
”i aim as much as possible to make the best use of my time, either during work days, or when with family and friends during the weekend”
ime is the most precious element of human existence. A successful person knows how to put energy into time and how to draw success from time.” This quote from Denis Waitley, the American motivational speaker, is one of the key principles governing Biljana Bogovac, Director in the Audit division at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Beograd. Biljana therefore aims as much as possible to make the best use of her time, either during work days, or when with family and friends during the weekend. “Also, I always try to put maximum effort into things I do, so later on there is nothing to regret. If things do not turn out my way, this was/is outside of my control. I still have nothing to regret.” “When making decisions I try to make effective use of time. So, I do not let brainstorming take too long, but I do have to do it. I consult. I never do things without checking with my colleagues and the people I am surrounded by. I try to look at things differently, that is, from different perspectives. I take time to ‘be’ for a moment the person or persons who will be affected by decisions. Sometimes, these decisions are tough. Someone must make those too,” Biljana says. She believes that for success the most important factor is personal drive and motivation. “The definition of success is different to different people. So what is important is to have drive and motivation to reach your goals and therefore achieve your success according to your own pre-determined definitions. Secondly, success to me also means the respect of others. Both in personal and professional life the key to achieving success is that you show
I always try to put maximum effort into things i do, so later on there is nothing to regret. if things do not turn out my way, this was/is outside of my control. i still have nothing to regret respect to others, family, friends or colleagues. Without this, any success would mean less to me.” Biljana was born in Sarajevo, left the country at the beginning of 1992 when the war started, and moved to Sydney, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Business degree at the University of Technology in Sydney, with a major in Accounting and Finance. She joined Arthur Andersen Sydney in 1996 and since 82 CorD 76 / November 2010
then has been in the auditing profession. Biljana completed a professional qualifications programme with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) in 2000 and became a member of the Institute at that time. She has worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Belgrade since 2003, and is currently in the position of Director in the Audit division. Her professional goal is to be one of the first Serbian partners at PwC Belgrade. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been in Serbia since 2000. “The growth achieved over the years has been significant and just to illustrate this we have grown from one to approximately 150 employees in 10 years. PwC is a leading professional service provider worldwide and our goal in Serbia is to be exactly that: the numBiljana Bogovac, ber one professional serDirector in the Audit division, vice provider in Serbia, in all the lines of service we PricewaterhouseCoopers deliver,” Biljana says. Beograd To achieve this goal, it is important to be aware of Serbia’s specific business issues. “In Serbia things are done in the same way we live. Serbians always opt for ‘personal versus professional’ and this is also demonstrated in the business world,” Biljana says. “We like to be close to things, we find it easy to ‘fall in love’ with things, and you can see that even in the business world. Clearly, there are more feelings in Serbian business than elsewhere.” According to Biljana, this can be seen as both a positive and a negative. “There are times when having a very close relationship with the key market players or business partners really pays off. However, sometimes people take things too personally and get frustrated more easily than they should. But I do think that this is changing over time and the situation is not the same as it was 10 year ago. I think that having a local flavour in the business world is actually positive so we should just make sure we use what we have in the best possible way,” Biljana says. n