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H.E. Mr. Ján Varšo Slovakian Ambassador to Serbia

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October ‘13 / ISSUE No. 108

Serbia must change itself

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Understanding Everyone’s Truth I was curious to see if we could get out of the shadow of time, leave it behind us and start living a normal life

Tanja Fajon Member of the European Parliament

Europe Must Advance EXCLUSIVE |

108 October 2013 | 3

COVER Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament

Europe Must Advance

October 2013

I do believe that we need the European Union. We also need new direction, in the same way we need strong and credible leaders with vision who will manage to regain citizens’ confidence to support their ideas.


Page 8


 Comment: Define one’s own interests


Professor Tanja Mišević, Head of the Negotiation Team for the EU Accession of the Republic of Serbia


Srdan Golubović, film director and producer

Europe Must Advance


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Serbia must change itself


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Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament


Branko Ružić, Serbian Minister without portfolio in charge of European integration

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Define one’s own


The biggest negotiation is the one “at home”, in order to determine Serbia’s strategy for every area to be negotiated in the best possible way, or what sort of country we want to be

By Professor Tanja Mišević Ph.D, Head of the Negotiation Team for the EU Accession of the Republic of Serbia


egotiations on EU membership are a speThe first process of negotiating is an analytical review of legcial type of negotiations between the Union, islation, known as screening since the time of negotiations with its member states and candidate countries. the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, during which the During its experience on expanding memberEuropean Commission and the candidate country evaluates ship through five waves of enlargement, the EU the compatibility of the state’s legislation with the existing rules has poured much into the procedure of negotiations which is of the European Union. In fact, during this review process it is established what the issues are – both in terms of necessary today far more complex and extensive, but has remained unlaws and in terms of institutional capacities – that need to be changed in relation to the end goal – an agreement on when addressed during the membership negotiations. The process is and in which way the new member will accept all elements of carried out separately for each chapter of the negotiations and EU legislation. the candidate country is expected to demonstrate that it will be In order to become an EU member a state must adopt able to fully adopt the EU acquis in certain areas and harmothe acquis communautaire, communitarian heritage/innise identified inconsistencies or request a transitional period heritance, primary and secondary EU laws respectively. for adoption and implementation after gaining full membership. That is, in fact, the heart of negotiations to agree conditions and deadlines under which the candidate country will Actually, the biggest negotiation is the one “at home”, in adopt, implement and enforce the acquis, as well as aporder to determine Serbia’s strategy for every area to be neproval of any transition/conversion period that must be gotiated in the best possible way, or what sort of country we limited in scope and duration. Complete exemptions from want to be. Only when we know that can we assess when and the application of EU law are extremely rare and always rein what way and, certainly not of lesser importance, calculate fer to those European standards which least disturb the rehow much adjusting to European standards will also cost us. alisation of the functioning of the Union and the protection Of course, we are not alone in the whole process – the asof European values. In order to become an EU member, a state Following the experience of other counmust adopt the acquis communautaire, tries that have traversed the negotiation route, it is possible to reach the conclusion that the communitarian heritage/inheritance, primary main task is actually to clearly define the interand secondary EU laws respectively ests of the candidate country in the negotiation process, technically prepare the negotiation team and sistance, both technical and financial, coming from member ensure the undisturbed flow of the domestic reform prostates and the EU itself is of immeasurable help. cess, in order for the efficiency of protecting the interests That’s also why the first steps that are ahead of us will be of the state after its accession to be as good as possible. In directed towards reviewing all our plans and results to date fact, the essence of the entire negotiations is the continuain the reform process and the harmonisation of legislative, in tion of Serbia’s European integration process and actually order for us to be as ready as possible for the opening of neits internal reforms. They ensure that the negotiation progotiations with the Union. cess flows, while at the same time showing the credibility of The order of steps in the process of accession negotiaSerbia. That is why negotiations imply the openness of all tions is determined by the European Commission, but our technical and essential preparation is of great importance. participants – the National Assembly, civil society and the professional community. Likewise, it must also be transparSerbia can also rely on the experiences of the neighbourhood on that issue, but for a start Serbia has a very good adminisent in order to enable citizens to follow its course and be aware of all these major changes. tration, which the EU itself has confirmed. ■ 6 |

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By Jovana Gligorijević

interview Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament

Europe Must

advance I do believe that we need the European Union. We also need new direction, in the same way we need strong and credible leaders with vision who will manage to regain citizens’ confidence to support their ideas.


lovenian MEP Tanja Fajon is a strong supporter of the EU integration of the countries of the Western Balkans and was a staunch opponent of the recently adopted mechanism for the suspension of the visa-free regime. This month she speaks to CorD about life in the EU during this time of crisis and the future of the European project. ■ The long-time fear of the Western Balkans actually happened on 12th September when the European Parliament adopted a mechanism for the temporary suspension of the visa-free regime. You claimed that by doing that the European Parliament made a complete mess. What are the possible adverse consequences of this de8 |

108 October 2013 |

cision, both for the citizens of the EU and those of the Western Balkans? - We adopted a very bad compromise on 12th September in the European Parliament, bad for all Europeans. We gave away our parliamentary powers, in fact our citizens’ rights - when will we discuss and decide about such important and tangible EU policies in the future, such as freedom of movement, freedom of citizens to travel without visas, to study and to visit family and friends. There will be no democratic control over the possible decision of the Council and the Commission to temporarily suspend visa free travel for one or more countries in our neighbourhood. I fear that this new mechanism might become a political tool for the nationalist and populist forces which are on the rise in Europe, especially in times of economic and financial crises.

■ You personally lobbied until the last moment against the bringing of this decision. What did you undertake in that regard and what kind of responses did you receive? - We have been negotiating with the Council and the European Commission (EC) for two and a half years. I would like to remind you that the EC put forward a proposal for the introduction of a safeguard clause (suspension mechanism) immediately after we have witnessed the first waves of “fake” asylum seekers from the Western Balkans entering Schengen countries. Though it was presented as a purely technical measure of last resort in the case of a sudden and substantial increase in the number of asylum seekers, it was a political decision. We have witnessed several calls and




I fear that this new mechanism might become a political tool for the nationalist and populist forces which are on the rise in Europe

The compromise text on the reciprocity mechanism has caused major legal chaos and, as such, is unacceptable for the Commission

I believe we are at an important crossroads in Europe. We face severe crises, not only economic and financial ones, but also social and moral crises

letters from EU Member States during this period of negotiations seeking to adopt a suspension mechanism as soon as possible. One could feel the permanent eagerness to have this mechanism in place. The Council has not shown much flexibility and, on the contrary, has been exerting a lot of pressure on the EP. We have been blackmailed and furthermore they have threatened to block other important dossiers as well. I believe that was also the reason our rapporteur finally accepted that very bad compromise.

■ You also highlighted the possible illegality of this decision. In what way is that reflected? - Unfortunately, we were voting on two mechanisms in one package. The first one has been already mentioned – that is the mechanism for temporary suspension of visa free regimes for citizens of third countries. This is a completely new mechanism in the EU, while the other one was just an amendment of an existing reciprocity. The latter one was especially important for the citizens of our six EU Member States that are still not included in the visa waiver programmes of the U.S. or Canada, meaning that their citizens still require visas when entering the U.S. and/or Canada. The compromise text on the reciprocity mechanism has caused major legal chaos and, as such, is unacceptable for the Commission. The reciprocity is legally problematic, because it consists of two stages which are regulated by different legal acts. Before our vote the Commission reconfirmed in the debate that it will use its right to challenge it in court. It is still unclear whether that will be the case, when and how. But even if that happens, I don’t think the decision on the introduction of the suspension mechanism will change. It has, unfortunately, been adopted by a majority in the parliament. ■ You are known for the strength of your commitment to the visa-free regime for citizens from outside the EU. What’s the importance of a visa-free regime? - I don’t think I particularly need to stress why the visa-free regime is important for the citizens of Western Balkan countries. This has been the most tangible step on their route to the EU, for some countries more than others. I still remember the celebration day in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Albania, which had visas abolished a year later than Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro. The freedom of travel without visas is especially important for strengthening economic, political, cultural and sporting cooperation and for contacts between people in general. There were black holes in the map of our region, with people never having had a chance to visit their families and friends and being completely isolated. Here I am thinking especially of the young and those less fortunate, especially the poor. Today they can travel, of course with certain limitations, but they can feel like Europeans. I wish to see us able to abolish all our borders, not only on the map but also in terms of our “walls” in our minds.

■ You also assessed the decision as being a result of action undertaken by conservative and populist currents in the European Parliament. Do you think that behind this decision is a conservative tendency towards closing the EU and tougher policies towards non-member countries? - Having followed European politics closely for almost the last 20 years, I fear that growing extreme right, radical and nationalistic

freedom of movement is a symbol of European integration and we must not allow circumstances that would take this right away from us. In times of crisis it is very dangerous to adopt such sensitive mechanisms forces in Europe might change our great European project of integration, peace and solidarity on our continent. I fear they can lead our European states into a dangerous isolation, which would consequently also mean the closure of borders. For me, freedom of movement is a symbol of European integration and we must not allow circumstances that would take this right away from us. In times of crisis it is very dangerous to adopt such sensitive mechanisms, which might limit our freedom of movement and put our future EU visa and neighbourhood policy in danger. I sincerely hope that this suspension mechanism will remain only on paper and will never be introduced for any of the countries of the Western Balkans, as that would be a major setback for their citizens. |

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■ How does the general balance of power within the EP look between conservatives on the one side and social-democratic and socialist minded forces on the other? - After the 2009 elections, the Europeans Peoples Party (EPP) remained the biggest political group in the European Parliament and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) remained the second strongest group ahead of the Liberals (ALDE). We can say that the EP is somehow split in half. Both political groups play a major role, but in order to manage to win a vote they need their allies among the smaller groups. Therefore the outcome of a vote often cannot be predicted. We, the Socialists and Democrats, most often form an alliance with the Liberals and the Greens in the European Parliament. Sometimes the votes of individuals can even change the outcome. So, we really have to be very well prepared, especially ahead of very sensitive and highly important issues.

responsibility of national states. We have to define them through dialogue with our citizens.

■ Your position is that this decision will increase intolerance of minorities, who are the most common asylum seekers. Have you already noticed such tendencies in Europe? - Certainly. There is growing nationalism and populist rhetoric in Europe. We are facing the growing popularity of extreme rightwing parties. Why? They utilise and manipulate people’s fears. The crisis is a perfect platform for their creation and existence. These parties most often pursue policies relating to immigrants and asylum seekers without discussing the real problems. Europe is ageing, our societies are aging. In a few years we will need immigrants as a workforce in Europe. Furthermore, the present atmosphere has paved the way for more and more rhetoric of hatred, intolerPeople have lost confidence ance and homophobia. Do we want to live in such a Europe? In a Europe, and are living in fear. The where the representatives of minori■ As a European parliamentarian unsuccessful measures of ties, from Roma to LGBT, communities who is a social-democrat, how are permanently under threat? I am you see the current state and fu- conservative governments in strongly convinced that Europe is still ture of European social democ- the last few years have created the best example for other parts of the racy - both in terms of the global millions of jobless people all world when it comes to the respect of economic crisis and the fact that even the Netherlands declared over Europe and a generation of human rights. It is not without reason that we have received the Nobel Peace the end of the “welfare state” a young people without a vision Prize. We have to remind ourselves few days ago? every day that peace and freedom are not something self-evident. - I believe we are at an important crossroads in Europe. We face We have to fight for them every day. severe crises, not only economic and financial ones, but also social and moral crises. For the first time we have a situation where more ■ Although the UK is not in the Schengen system, can than half of Europeans do not trust EU institutions; politicians and the recent scandal of the alleged campaign against Ropolicies have lost their credibility not only at the European level, manian and Bulgarian immigrants be viewed from this but also at the national levels. People have lost confidence and are perspective? living in fear. The unsuccessful measures of conservative govern- I am not aware of any specific affair in Great Britain or any camments in the last few years have created millions of jobless people paign against Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants, but I am aware all over Europe and a generation of young people without a vision. of Britain’s negative attitude towards workers from Eastern and I believe that the Party of European Socialists (PES) has delivered Central European countries. Officially London has always been many proper responses to the crises, especially when it comes to very critical and cautious towards newcomers in the past, espethe preservation of the social state, equal opportunities for all and cially towards the Polish – you are aware of the “Polish plumber” investments in new jobs and education. However, the socialists phenomenon. However, the fact is that fears and negative propawill also need to deliver more concrete results. First of all, we have ganda were much more present than the reality merits. Of course, to renew citizens’ confidence. The EU will most likely never be the we have to do everything to fight illegal immigration, whether that same again. We have to redefine our project and we need new direlates to a Schengen country or not. But we also have to do much rection. There are areas we will have to work on closely together, more to establish an efficient EU migration policy and be able to while there are others that would be better off remaining in the 10 |

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■ Although the measures adopted by the European Parliament are not an effective solution, there is a genuine problem of false asylum seekers in the EU. Where do you see adequate mechanisms for its solution? ■ You have also said that the Roma minority is better - Primarily in the further implementation of all the necessary criteintegrated in some Western Balkan countries than in ria set by Brussels as a condition for abolishing visas. It is important certain EU countries. Which examples were you thinkto continuously raise citizens’ awareness about the limitations of viing of? sa-free travel. Secondly, the also EU has to do more. We do not have - In Europe we have a shared problem of the Roma community. a common asylum system, so people We have to do much more to inteI recently read reports from tend to apply for asylum in “asylum grate them into our societies, to offer children a proper education and European nongovernmental friendly” countries, such as Sweden Germany. Several times in the past ensure healthcare and housing faorganisations claiming that the or we have called on these countries to cilities. There is still too much ongosituation for Roma is better in shorten their asylum procedures for ing discrimination and intolerance. We have severe difficulties when it Macedonia and Serbia than in citizens of Western Balkan countries. Austria has introduced a good solucomes to the Roma population in some EU member states tion. It has put the countries of the many EU member states, such as Western Balkans on the so-called “list of countries of safe origin” Hungary, Slovakia, Romania etc. I recently read reports from Euand as a consequence the number of asylum seekers has dropped ropean nongovernmental organisations claiming that the situasignificantly. We have to be aware that in most cases – more than 99 tion for Roma is better in Macedonia and Serbia than in some EU per cent – citizens from the region are refused asylum. There are no member states. And I do believe it is so from what I have seen. economic or political reasons, so in the main they only present an Nevertheless, these two governments, as well as those from the administrative burden and a huge cost for the governments, who rest of the region, need to invest much greater effort into imhave to send them back to their respective countries. prove living conditions for Roma. manage the flow of newcomers who are legally searching for new jobs and life opportunities. |

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■ What part of resolving the problem of false asylum seekers is the task of the EU and what is up to the countries they come from? - For the countries of the Western Balkans it is extremely important they are permanently on alert and continue to implement the necessary criteria. It is especially important to improve conditions for Roma, as they are the ones who travel the most. But at the same time it is also important to bear in mind that there should be no discriminatory measures or all measures taken to prevent abuses of the visa-free travel regime must respect basic human rights. On the other hand, in the EU we must find a way towards a common asylum system and in the meantime treat applicants from the Western Balkans through faster procedures and not open an even larger window of opportunity for abuse of the system.

- It is impossible to wrap up almost 10 years of the history of my country in the EU in one answer, so I will try to tell you in short. Slovenia has changed tremendously since its independence. We have been quite successful in absorbing EU funds since we entered the EU and Slovenia is still a net receiver from the EU budget. You can see the results all around in many very successful EU projects, from infrastructure to education, farming, businesses etc. We are part of the single market, which has opened up enormous possibilities in economic trade with partners, and young generations live completely different lives than just a decade ago. Today they can study abroad and gather many new experiences through the EU education programmes. We have open access to the EU labour market. Our citizens can search for job opportunities abroad. Not to mention the free travel, no borders and the common currency. But the main value of our EU project, for me personally, is peace and stability, very high norms and values of our solidarity, democracies and respect for human rights. Europe is the most modern part of the world when we put all these Our region has always been a achievements together and I wish part of Europe. It is true that it will remain as such.

■ Before entering the European Parliament in 2009 you spent eight years as a Brussels correspondent for Slovenian national radio and television. Are the complexities of European politics and EU values better viewed from the perspective of a journalist or a European parliamentarian? enlargement is not the highest - This is not an easy question to ■ How do you see the future answer. I believe it is important to point on the EU agenda at the of the EU and how do you remain consistent and critical tomoment, but it is alive and think the further process of wards EU policies in both profesnecessary enlargement will progress? sions, furthermore it is good at the - The future of the EU lies in our hands, in the hands of our Eusame time to know when to praise and point out good examples ropean governments, all responsible politicians, civil society and achievements. I have tremendous respect for journalists. They and our citizens. The EU is in crisis, but we can already see the have an enormous responsibility to inform the public in a credible light at the end of the tunnel. I believe the EU will never really and balanced way. Unfortunately, due to the crisis and unsettled be the same again, but I am certain that we need more strength ownership or other sorts of pressure, mainly political in our region, and even more integration in certain areas, such as the banking we face quite a drop in the quality of journalism. The same might be union. We live in a globalised world. Not a single country, even said for politicians, especially in the eyes of our citizens, who do not not a big one like Germany, can survive the shared challenges of see an end to the ongoing crisis in Europe at the moment. Therethe 21st century alone. We have to get even stronger and more fore, the complexity of the present crisis, the worst in the history of united. And that necessarily means being united with the Westthe EU, must be taken with all seriousness from both perspectives. ern Balkans. We need each other. Our region has always been But I do believe that we need the European Union. We also need a part of Europe. It is true that enlargement is not the highest new direction, in the same way we need strong and credible leadpoint on the EU agenda at the moment, but it is alive and necesers with vision who will manage to regain citizens’ confidence to sary. We have just welcomed the 28th member state in Croatia. support their ideas. Integration with the region will not only make the European Union richer in economic, political and cultural terms, it will make ■ Next year will mark a decade since Slovenia’s entry us a stronger and more credible partner in the world. And that into the EU. When you compare Slovenia from 2004 and is what we need today, to be competitive with the fast growing Slovenia today, what has EU membership changed and economies around us and worldwide. ■ brought to Slovenian society? 12 |

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By Jovana GligorijeviĆ, Photo by Zoran PetroviĆ

Branko Ružić, Serbian Minister without portfolio in charge of European integration

Serbia must change itself When we realise that we want reforms because of us and not because someone else is forcing us; because we need to equip society and the state to improve in every aspect and every sphere, then it will be much easier because of Europe. Everything we do we should do because of ourselves

pean legislation with our, or ours with the EU, in each individual chapter. “That is very important symbolically. We expect certain chapters to be more specific and more important than others. Some chapters will only be opened and closed, while some will require a certain period in order to negotiate every that, primarily, is in the interest of our country and in line with the negotiating framework that we expect. Of course, all this should be in accordance with the standards and value system of the EU.” ■ European Parliament rapporteur Jelko Kacin recently

hinted once again at the possibility that the Intergovernmental Conference to formally launch negotiations with the EU could be held by the end of this year. What do you expect when it comes to the beginning of negotiations?


ranko Ružić, Serbian Minister without portfolio in charge of European integration, will soon visit Brussels as part of the Serbian delegation to attend a meeting for the explanatory screening of Chapter 24 – covering justice, freedom and security. “In a practical sense the explanatory screening primarily involves our group being introduced to all chapters, of which there are a total of 35, with the spirit of the legislation of the European Union,” said Ružić at the beginning of his interview for CorD. “After that follows bilateral screening of each chapter, when we will point out what is the spirit of our legislation in these chapters. The epilogue will be the readjustment of Euro14 |

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- As an optimist, I always expect that the Intergovernmental Conference, which is a symbolic act of the beginning of the political part of negotiations, will take place at the very moment when all the necessary conditions are in place. We would all like to see it happen before Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, following the adoption of the negotiating framework, which we expect on 20th December. But if that does not happen it doesn’t mean at all that the commitment and desire does not exist, rather it will be caused by the simple fact that the whole of Europe is focused on the Christmas holidays at that time. However, I expect the Intergovernmental Conference to be organised by the final deadline of the end of January 2014. I think that is also symbolically very important when it comes to the dynamics of the process itself. It would be precious for it to happen before the holidays, because it would mean a great recognition for our state by the European Union.


new era


I expect the Intergovernmental Conference to be organised by the final deadline of the end of January 2014

This is a new circumstance; this is the writing of history and a new era of European integration

Nobody is forcing us to do anything, but we have political, economic, cultural and civil benefits from the integration process

■ What essentially does the difference between starting at the end of this year or in January 2014 mean to Serbia? - In addition to the symbolic, we must also think of the fundamental importance. That’s why it’s important that the intergovernmental conference definitely be held. The essential importance of holding it is closely connected with the structure and content of the negotiating framework. It is an act that will determine our fate and the dynamics of our EU accession. The symbolism of the date can be noted in the sphere of sympathy, if it occurs earlier. But whenever the conference is held it will not impede what is strategically important. For us it is essentially important that the negotiation framework corresponds with the real possibilities, capacities and needs of the Serbian state, which pretends to participate in the process of accession in the coming years.

- In our mentality and the mentality of our politicians there is a constructional error. That is the attitude that we have to do something because of Europe. Everything we do we should do because of ourselves. When we all are aware that we will carry out reforms in all sections of our society this will be a new era of European integration. When we realise that we want reforms because of us and not because someone is forcing us; because we need to equip society and

■ After a recent meeting with Ombudsman Saša Janković

you said that full respect for citizens’ rights and greater accountability in the work of state authorities are preconditions for fulfilling all state and social objectives, including accelerating the process of European integration. Where do you currently see shortcomings in the areas you mentioned?

- I think we need to inherit a value system that is largely compatible with the value system of the EU. That value system is contained in our highest legal document - the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. It is not only legally binding, but rather applying what is in the highest legal act of the state to all relevant political factors and the whole society is also a moral obligation. We will always make a mistake if we get into a position where Mr. Janković has to be the one to point out errors in the work of state authorities. That’s why I’m appealing for us to understand what sort of environment and framework we are moving in and what we actually need to do as a country and society if we really When we all are aware that we will carry want to present ourselves in the best light. reforms in all sections of our society this ■ What are your personal experiences from the

be a new era of European integration

perspective of a new minister when it comes to “greater accountability in the work of state bodies” or your colleagues in the Serbian government?

- There are objective obstacles, but unfortunately there are also those that are of a subjective nature. I wouldn’t like to exaggerate and rush to give qualifications of somebody’s work, but I am deeply convinced that the condition can advance and be better. That’s why I expect all state bodies to work more in that domain. For me, as a socialist and leftist, citizens should be at the epicentre of our society and our work. That’s precisely why I’m interested in that value system not merely being words on paper, but rather for us to prove in the implementation process that we are a society and a state whose primary interest is the welfare of citizens. ■ In addition to that there are chapters 23 and 24, which are

other areas where Serbia needs to improve in order to accelerate European integration?

out will

the state to improve in every aspect and every sphere, then we will find it much easier. It is not the point to prepare for some deadlines, but rather to enable the process to continuously flow. Of course, some chapters are more demanding than others and of course there will be many challenges, even some negative marks from citizens, but it is important that the final epilogue will be positive.

■ When it comes to the negotiations themselves, from the moment they start to their completion, precisely how much work is ahead of Serbia, what does it entail exactly and which phases does it include?

- As a state and a society we must understand that a huge job awaits us. Our comparative advantage is a valuable fund of people who are very capable in terms of their administrative capacity to carry out negotiations relating to all the chapters. It is important to absolve all administrative matters, because they are a political issue par |

108 October 2013 | 15

lence, because that is the way reforms are actually implemented. I expect us to pass through this process in a manner that will be compatible which that which we have been preparing for all these years. Our great quality is that the Office for European Integration has been working for many years and has a creative function in the educating of those who will be active in this field and, thus, it will practically take an exam. The Office has so far provided a flywheel and traced the dynamics of the process and now it has gained a responsible mentor in the form of the Serbian government. The political support it gained with that is for the first time so powerful that it can push the whole job through in a manner that is in the interest of citizens.

■ How do you assess the level of preparedness to start negotiations?

- In an administrative and professional sense, our preparedness is at a very high level. There are some nuances that could lead towards improvements and that will of course be discussed. But all in all, in this part of the beginning of the process I do not see any obstacle or problem, thanks to the previous training and preparation. This is a new circumstance; this is the writing of history and a new era of European integration. Now we are finally working to reform ourselves, our society and our country, at full capacity, as a partner of the EU. This is what the challenge is, what we need to have strength, courage and desire for. I am sure that we have those qualities and that we can do the job. ■ What is entailed by the new set

of decisions of the Serbian government related to European integration?

What is the strategy of any serious government is to have responses ready to the major challenges and obstacles that will surely be

- The Serbian government has adopted a set of decisions about the acts that determine the initial negotiating position of our country. Similarly, a coordinating body for EU accession has also been established and will be led by Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, together with First Deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić and the responsible ministers in charge of areas that are of interest to the EU integration process. It is important that heads of groups for each chapter of the negotiations are appointed. In that way the structure of the personnel to lead us through the negotiation process will be formally completed, accompanied by political support. Ahead of us is also the setting up of a negotiating team and raising it to its full capacity. The head of the negotiating team, Tanja Miščević, will propose the composition and it will be absolved in the most reasonable deadline possible. ■ Do you expect new pressure and conditioning from the EU and is the government ready in the case that this happens? 16 |

- There are no new conditions. We are specific in this part of Europe, as we passed a very a heavy fate in a political, economic, social and every other sense. All political conditions that have been placed in front of us we have resolved since the year 2000 onwards, in an easier or harder way. The last political “Gordian knot” was untied with the Brussels agreement. The implementation of this agreement is a guarantee of the government’s credibility and a guarantee of the fact that there are no new political conditions, nor will there be in the future. So there is no need to think about a strategy in the case of the new conditions. However, what is the strategy of any serious government is to have responses ready to the major challenges and obstacles that will surely be. But I think the Brussels agreement will be forgotten for two or three years; that we’ll talk about how to preserve the comparative advantages of our agriculture and not disturb the common EU policy in the field of agriculture, how to implement legislation on environmental protection without unsustainably overwhelming of our budget, how to reform the pension system while ensuring it is socially based and fair. Those will be the topics and that’s what we will talk about. There are no prerequisites. There are only standards that we want to incorporate into our society and we want to inherit a common value system. We also want our citizens to have the benefits of this system. In the end, in addition to this being a political integration process, it is also a process that should bring some economic benefits.

108 October 2013 |

■ When it comes to chapter 35, relating to the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Priština, do you expect there to be some difficulties due to the fact that relations do not depend only on Belgrade, but rather also on Priština?

- It is important that the negotiation process includes an instrument that allows us to include technical issues related to Kosovo in chapter 35 until its “maturation”. The normalisation of relations will be sustainable until such time as it distorts our strategic orientation as a state. With the passing of time, at the end of the negotiation process, we will reach a position where we can treat these questions in a formally complete way. That’s why it’s important that the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Priština is not present in every chapter, as that would only create a formal basis for blocking a valuable process that is important to Serbia, as well as the EU. Serbia is after all the heart of the Western Balkans and our European partners are aware of that. I expect the definition and structure of the negotiating framework

to reflect a realistic and pragmatic policy in terms of enabling the document not to be a hindrance for the process, but rather the initial spark for its acceleration.

■ What was the decisive factor in you deciding to participate in the Pride Parade and how would you comment on the fact that many of your government colleagues did not support this event in that way?

■ How would you comment on what we often hear from officials in the government who say that we have to implement certain things because it is required of us by the EU? Does it not lose the essence of European integration, which is that legislation and its application change for the benefit of our citizens and not because of the EU?

- I did not decide to go there as Branko Ružić, but as the minister in charge of European integration. Personally, I believe that respect for the Constitution in the area of human rights and the right to be different is not exclusive in relation to European standards. I think that this It’s important that the normalisation in no way should be motivation for anyone to gain politiof relations between Belgrade cal points by being on this or and Priština is not present in every that side. This is about human - We have to change psychologirights. We have more imporcally. Reforming society is tantachapter mount to reforming our mentaltant issues in society that we ity. For me that is essentially the most important message. Nobody need to resolve, instead of dealing with issues that affect the is forcing us to do anything, but we have political, economic, cultural human rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Why is notoriand civil benefits from the integration process. We don’t want to be ety raised over this? We can talk about the LGBT population, left like a desert island. I personally don’t want that and I believe about national minorities, about Roma inclusion. Those are all everything we do is in our own interests. But it will not be easy. Many topics from the field of human rights that I have to consider states have gone through that and I don’t see them complaining that as a politician. My message is that we have to unburden ourthey now want to leave the European Union. We have to be pragselves of that problem and avoid extreme positions, because matic and look at other countries to see what we get. I think that we do not need them. That is of no use either to us or those changing our mentality is a starting point. who represent them. ■ |

108 October 2013 | 17

Priority “Stabilizing the euro, making Europe more competitive and ensuring the parts are in place to prevent future crises… this will be one of the absolute top priorities in a new term.” — Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

global diary 03.09.2013.

Life Sentence for Brotherhood An Egyptian military court has sentenced 11 Muslim Brotherhood members to life in prison for violence targeting the army in the port city of Suez last month. Fortyfive other Brotherhood members were handed five-year jail terms, and eight defendants were acquitted. The Islamists were accused of “shooting and adopting violent means” against the army in Suez on August 14 following a military crackdown in the streets of Cairo against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile in the Sinai Peninsula,

Egyptian helicopter gunships fired rockets at militants, killing at least eight and injuring 15 others in an ongoing campaign to put down Islamic radicals who have escalated attacks in the largely lawless region, Egypt’s official news agency said. 05.09.2013.

G20 Divided on Syria

Costa Concordia Righted


EU Warns Croatia


Engineers succeeded in righting the Costa Concordia cruise liner off the Italian island of Giglio, where it had capsized when it ran aground in January 2012, killing dozens of people. “She is standing upright better than anyone thought she would be,” said Nick Sloane, the senior salvage master, about the vessel three football fields in length. “When she started moving, she moved slowly but surely. There was no twisting at all. It was exactly as the plan said it would be.” In an unprecedented and painstaking process that involved massive pulleys, cables and steel tanks, the 500-person salvage crew from 26 countries rolled the 114,000-ton vessel off the rocks on which it had rested since it ran aground. Petersburg, Putin greeted Obama with a thin smile and a businesslike handshake, a clear sign of the strains between them over how to respond to a chemical weapons attack in Syria. The rift over Syria overshadowed the discussions on how to revive growth but not before splits emerged within the group over a U.S. plan to wind down an economic stimulus program. The G20 accounts for two thirds of the world’s population and 90 percent of its output. The first round at the summit went to Putin, as China, the European Union, the BRICS emerging economies and a letter from Pope Francis all warned of the dangers of military intervention in Syria without the approval of the U.N. Security Council. 07.09.2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama faced growing pressure from Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies in St. 18 |

by what he termed a “record” rise in the number of tourists, which could add “more than 11 billion euros ($14.43 billion) directly, and 30 billion euros ($39.35 billion) indirectly, into the economy.”

Greece: Recovery by 2020 Greece’s economy will start to recover next year and by 2020

108 October 2013 |

will reach pre-crisis, and probably higher, levels of prosperity after six years of deep recession, the prime minister said Saturday. Antonis Samaras said most of the efforts to get the country out of the crisis have been completed

and that revenue will exceed spending in 2013, excluding debt repayment. “Greece has turned the corner ... After the end of the year, we will achieve a new lightening of the debt burden, which our creditors have committed to,” Samaras said in a speech opening up the annual international trade fair in Thessaloniki, Greece’s No. 2 city. Samaras said his optimism was fueled by data that showed the economy shrank less than expected in the first half of 2013 and

The European Commission has warned Croatia it may face legal action soon if it does not quickly change a law that clashes with EU extradition rules.Last July, the small Adriatic state became the 28th member of the European Union, marking a recovery from years of war after Yugoslavia

collapsed in the 1990s.It quickly fell into disagreement with Brussels over amendments to its extradition laws, which effectively ensured protection of veterans from Croatia’s 1991-95 independence war from facing inquiries elsewhere in the EU.Following pressure from the EU, the Zagreb government pledged last month to apply European rules in full, in an effort to avoid sanctions which could include loss of EU aid. But the EU’s top justice official, Viviane Reding, warned Croatia in a letter to the country’s Justice Minister Ornate Miljenic that its promise to change how the European Arrest Warrant will be applied in Croatia next year was not enough 13.09.2013.

Romania to Put Down Thousands of Strays A deadly dog attack on a four-yearold boy in Bucharest has brought new attention to an old problem:

Solution Any action has to involve a long-term view and everybody has to realize that there is no quick solution to the Syria crisis.” — Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Romania’s hundreds of thousands of stray dogs. Government plans for mass euthanasia have animal welfare activists up in arms. After

agreeing swiftly on a resolution that will give further authority to the whole process,’’ Ashton said in a statement. 19.09.2013.

Pope Francis on LGBT Rights Romanian President TraianBasescu called on the government to quickly pass a bill that would permit the dogs to be euthanized, lawmakers approved the legislation Tuesday with a large majority. Under the new rules, stray dogs can be killed if authorities are unable to place them in animal shelters and if they are unable to find an owner within 14 days after a dog is captured. The new law has unleashed protests by animal rights activists. 15.09.2013.

EU welcomes USRussia Agreement The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton welcomed a Russian-US agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles and offered

the bloc’s help with implementing the agreement. Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States and Russia have agreed a plan to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva. The US and Russia agreed on the scope, the verification and monitoring and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. “I call on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities in

Pope Francis spoke openly about his opinion about the Roman Catholic church’s focus on gay marriage, abortion and gay

rights.Francis said the church has a right to its opinions but cannot “interfere spiritually” in the lives of homosexuals. The statement follows a similar comment he made in July.“It is not necessary to talk about these

issues all the time,” the pope said in an interview with Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a fellow Jesuit and editor of La CiviltàCattolica. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” 23.09.2013.

Eurovision announces rule changes Eurovision organizers have announced changes to the song contest’s jury rules, amid allegations of bribery.From next year, the names of each country’s jury will be revealed ahead of the competition in an effort to increase openness and accountability.For the first time, individual juror scores will also be published immediately after

Thirty Killed in Nairobi 20.09.2013.

Masked attackers stormed a packed upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday, spraying gunfire and killing 30 people and wounding dozens more before holing themselves up in the complex.The gunmen were “pinned down” after hours of painstaking evacuations, with police going shop to shop to secure the Westgate shopping mall, a security source told AFP.”The attackers have been isolated and are pinned down in an area on one of the floors. The rest of the mall seems to be secure,” a security source told AFP at the scene.Senior police sources said they believed a well-organised “terror gang” numbering around 10 was behind the assault on the shopping centre, which was packed with around 1,000 shoppers when it was besieged at midday.

the final.The changes come after it was alleged votes had been

bought for the Azeri contestant at this year’s contest.Previously, the identity of jury members whose votes account for 50% of the points each country awards it competitors - was not disclosed until after the final. 24.09.2013

Dragan Djilas dimissed as Mayor of Belgrade The leader of the Democrats has been removed from his post as Mayor of the Serbian capital, paving the way for early elections in the city.The vote was carried by 60 out of 106 deputies in the city assembly. The coup came after Serbia’s governing Progressive Party, and the Democratic Party of Ser-

bia, submitted a proposal to the city assembly on September 24 to axe Djilas, which the Socialist Party then supported. According to the motion, Djilas bears most responsibility for the poor financial situation of the Serbian capital. Djilas described his removal from office as the result of “a political deal”, which he said showed that the country was “sliding into dictatorship and a one-party system. |

108 October 2013 | 19

interview H.E. Mr. Ján Varšo, Ambassador of Slovakia to Serbia

Friends and partners

Photo by Zoran PetroviĆ

Slovakia and Serbia have always had a good and friendly relationship... We believe that the close political cooperation between our countries and nations will intensify even more in the process of Serbia’s integration into the EU


would say that it is excellent to have a good relationship with somebody who is far from you, but it is more important to find the modus vivendi with your neighbours with whom you are “condemned to cohabitate”. We believe that regional co-operation, in all its forms, constitutes a fundamental essence of the European idea – so says Slovakian Ambassador Ján Varšo, speaking for CorD. ■ On its European integration path, Serbia has had the same experiences as Slovakia, in relative terms. What could we learn from your experience?

- The democratic Slovak Republic was established on 1st January 1993, after the constitutional dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. Since then Slovakia worked on three priorities at the same time: the building of statehood, transformation of the state on the basis of democratic principles and the rule of law and integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, especially the EU and NATO. 20 |

108 October 2013 |

In building state structures and through the transformation process we focused on the future rather than the past. It was not possible to achieve sustainable prosperity and growth without joining the common market, without introducing joint standards or without an effort made in order to enhance the rule of law and the area of freedom, justice and security through the fight against corruption and organised crime. Through the integration process we wanted to become a part of the European Union, as a credible partner able to contribute to and benefit from the basic freedoms and values upon which the EU has been established. We were also seeking to become a member of NATO, taking into account our geopolitical location and common aspirations with our neighbours. Since then Slovakia has cooperated closely with its friends from the Visegrad group. In all these fields Slovakia is prepared and willing to share experiences with our Serbian friends.

■ Slovakia has been fully supporting Serbia on its road to EU membership. However, if we take a closer look at what Serbia has done on this journey, what do you think we could have done differently, more swiftly or more efficiently?

- Each and every country has its own geographical and geopolitical location and also its own past and future. I avail myself of this opportunity to commend the Serbian political leadership for all its decisions taken on Serbia’s real European path. Those decisions have really paved the way for Serbia to become the 29th member of the




In building state structures and through the transformation process we focused on the future rather than the past

We are close in our historical experience, in our culture and we believe that also in our joint European future

We believe that regional cooperation, in all its forms, constitutes a fundamental essence of the European idea

EU. I am sure that Serbian politicians are very well aware of what they could do better in internal reforms and in order to strengthen regional cooperation. The most important thing is to adopt the relevant legislation and have competent institutions and mechanisms for implementing that for the wellbeing of Serbia and its citizens.

■ What do you think of Belgrade and Pristina reaching an agreement in Brussels, considering that Slovakia is one of the few EU countries that refused to recognise Kosovo’s independence?

you expect our economic cooperation to evolve even further?

- The new impulse for strengthening our mutual trade and investment led to the Mixed Commission on economic cooperation between Serbia and Slovakia last June, where businessmen and investors were involved. The mutual trade reached its peak in 2010 (€492.6 million), while in 2011 we registered its decline. In 2012 our trade grew by 5.6% and we believe that this positive trend will

- The Slovak Republic has always had a very transparent position concerning the Western Balkans. We support its integration into the EU, taking into consideration its past and the concerns and expectations of all relevant subjects. So, Slovakia supports the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. We are of the opinion that only negotiated and well balanced solutions, especially here in the region of the Western Balkans, may endure the test of time. Therefore, only dialogue, agreements and their implementation is the way to overcome problems of the past and concentrate on the future. This attitude has been embedded in the Declaration of the National Council of the Slovak Republic already in early 2007. The Brussels Agreement, under the auspices of the EU, together with its implementation plan, is the fruit of those negotiations and represents the backbone of the future directed attitude. At the same time, it provides important impetus for stabilisation of the whole region.

■ How would you rate diplomatic relations between our two countries?

- Slovakia and Serbia have always had a good and friendly relationship. This year this has been proved during the visit of the President of the Republic of Ser- Through the integration process we wanted bia, Mr. Tomislav Nikolić, to Bratislava and during two to become a part of the European Union, as visits of Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister a credible partner able to contribute to and of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, to Serbia. There are also contacts at the local level, due benefit from the basic freedoms and values to the relations of the Slovak community in Serbia with upon which the EU has been established relevant partners in Slovakia. We believe that the close political cooperation between our countries and nations will intenalso continue this year. We see scope for increasing the mutual trade sify even more in the process of Serbia’s integration into the EU. in the areas of export-import of machinery industry products, agricultural products, equipment for the energy sector and environ■ Which segments of these relations are the most advanced? mental protection and also as far as the transfer of technology and know-how is concerned. I believe that business people from the Slo- Our good relations go beyond just regular cooperation. We are close in vak community in Serbia can also contribute to strengthening our our historical experience, in our culture and we believe that also in our mutual cooperation. joint European future. It is the historical link that makes the political segment the most advanced. On the other hand, we see the narrowing gap ■ What branches of the Serbian economy would be the most in reflecting those political relations into mutually beneficial economic cooperation. We see the scope for more and bigger projects. appealing to Slovakian investors? - Slovakia ranks among the top 20 countries in terms of the value of ■ Economic cooperation between our two countries is mostly its foreign direct investments. In the last couple of years Slovak companies have invested about €129 million in various sectors - tourism based on trade, which has been constantly growing. When do |

108 October 2013 | 21

(Aqua Therm Invest - aquapark “Petroland” in Bački Petrovac), mechanical engineering (Tatravagonka Bratstvo in Subotica, Goša FSV in Smederevska Palanka, ATI-TERMING in Kula), the textile industry (Bemaco Serbia in Valjevo) and energy (Energocontrol in Kovin). We have recorded very high interest of Slovak companies, especially in the last mentioned sector. ■ What segments of the Slovak economy would be the most suitable for our investors?

- Serbia can also boost investments in Slovakia and we are glad that we feel the interest of Serbian companies. However, currently we are only working on investment in a manufacturing facility for processing meat products. There is also potential in the agriculture sector. Generally speaking, Slovakia has a long tradition in several industries, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, woodworking and the food industry. Nevertheless, we are shifting the focus to promoting production and services with high added value and also support for information and communication technologies, shared service centres and, in particular, research and development projects.

I am sure that Serbian politicians are very well aware of what they could do better in internal reforms and in order to strengthen regional cooperation

■ Together with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, Slovakia is a member of the Visegrad Group. Could you tell us more about the group’s concept and its importance, particularly given the fact that all these countries are also EU members?

- Since its very beginning, the Visegrad Group was intended and formed as an informal grouping with one of its primary aims to support the integration of its member states into the democratic EuroAtlantic community. The Visegrad Group has confirmed its viability by the entry of our countries into NATO and the EU. Its unique potential, derived from its flexible consultation mechanism, has proved to be usable virtually for any kind of question of common interest as required by circumstances, for benefit and stability. Naturally, there have been, are and will be issues and areas where our interests and positions differ. But the important lesson from our 20 years of cooperation is that we “have learned to disagree” and to act and proceed without harming the interests of our partners.

■ Do you think that the former Yugoslav republics can operate along the same principle of association as the Visegrad Group?

- I would say that it is excellent to have a good relationship with somebody who is far from you, but it is more important to find the modus vivendi with your neighbours with whom you are “con22 |

108 October 2013 |

demned to cohabitate”. We believe that regional cooperation, in all its forms, constitutes a fundamental essence of the European idea and it is this essence that lies at the heart of the Visegrad cooperation. Having our own experience, the V4 countries feel a special responsibility to contribute to the successful transformation of our neighbours and friends in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe and to bring them closer to the EU and NATO. So, my answer to the question is, yes, and we are very glad to see different formats of cooperation within the Balkans region. In this context, we also cannot forget the security and defence aspect of cooperation. The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in the Republic of Serbia was appointed as the NATO Contact point embassy in Belgrade for the 20132014 period. Our embassy represents one of the channels of communication between Serbia and NATO, cooperating on the basis of the Partnership for Peace programme, which Serbia has been included in since 2006. Through public diplomacy, we also try to foster awareness about NATO activities. ■ The Visegrad Fund, estab-

lished by the Visegrad Group, has backed many projects in Serbia. What have been the most significant ones?

- I am very glad that Serbian applicants have been very proactive be it the dozens of individual students coming every year to Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, or Polish universities within the Visegrad Scholarship Programme, or grantees representing the various diverse fields of Serbian civil society. As a result, Serbia receives the biggest share of the fund’s support among the Western Balkan countries. Just last year alone when we launched a call for proposals targeting the Western Balkans and Serbia received more than €170,000 in funding. The grant projects, as such, are quite diverse and cover areas such as the rule of law, freedom of the media, legislative transparency, or security cooperation based on our priorities for the given year. Last year we prioritised sharing our region’s best practices and specific transformation know-how with the Western Balkans. Given how broad such priorities are, many topics can fit in from different areas depending on the demand. We could thus support a Belgrade university course on rural ecology or a project on structured regional dialogue with Serbia’s neighbours, submitted by a regional think-tank network.

■ This year the Slovak National Council in Serbia celebrates its 10th anniversary. What do you think of the position of the Slovak national minority in Serbia?

tion, in order to ensure the system of financing the minority com- Slovaks came to the Vojvodina area almost 300 years ago and munities in general and implementing adopted legislation. they represent the most compact Slovak community abroad, even though its number has decreased from 59,021 citizens (census in 2001) to 52,750 (census in 2011). The churches, schools and Slovak ■ Our two nations have been fostering vibrant cultural coMatica in Serbia are the major holders of the Slovak language, culoperation, particularly in naïve art. What else should be singled out in this cultural exchange? ture and traditions that enriched the multiculturalism of Serbia. Ten years ago the Slovak National Council in Serbia joined them with the - You are right, in Slovakia, like in Serbia, we are very proud of the main purpose of monitoring and improving the rights of the Slovak Slovak naive art from Kovačica and its surroundings. Their paintminority, as well as the quality ings reflect the life and feelings The Brussels Agreement, under the of people at work and within the of exercising those rights in the fields of education, culture, pubauspices of the EU, together with its family, which have been passed on from generation to generalic information and official use implementation plan, is the fruit of tion. Cooperation between Sloof the Slovak spoken and writthose negotiations and represents vakia and Serbia in the fields of ten language. The Slovak community is loyal the backbone of the future directed culture, education and science to the Republic of Serbia, where has particularly developed in attitude it is fully integrated. It is also connection with the Slovak coma bridge between Serbia and Slovakia in keeping contact with its munity. It includes the exchange of visits of folklore groups, theapartners in Slovakia. The Government of the Slovak Republic has tres, scientists, teachers, students and sporting clubs, particularly at closely cooperated with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the local level. The biggest cultural event of the Slovak community is the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the the Slovak national festivity organised in Bački Petrovac every year local authorities in the regions of Bačka, Banat and Srem in order to at the beginning of August. The cultural, artistic, sporting and other support the activities of the Slovak ethnic community in Serbia. We social events take place with the involvement of partners not only now face new challenges, especially in the process of transformafrom Slovakia, but also from other regions of Serbia. ■ |

108 October 2013 | 23

German elections

Merkel Victorious

But Faces Tough Talks Chancellor Angela Merkel won a historic election victory as her conservatives scored their best result since reunification in 1990. It’s a personal triumph for her, but she faces tough negotiations to form a stable government.


ngela Merkel’s conservatives won a stunning victory in general election held on September 22nd, sharply increasing their share of the vote by 7.7 points to 41.5 percent and putting her on track for a third term. It’s the best result for the conservatives since the heady days of 1990, when Germans handed then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel’s former mentor, his third term in a wave of gratitude for his role in reunifying the nation. Germans are similarly grateful to Angela Merkel, it seems, for steering them through the euro crisis. Merkel’s junior coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), crashed out of parliament. Their share of the vote collapsed to 4.8 percent, according to preliminary final results released by the Federal Returning Officer early on Monday September 23rdmorning. That was below the five percent level needed for parliamentary representation. In the last election in 2009, the FDP had scored its best ever result of 14.6 percent. “We can already celebrate today because we did great,” a beaming Merkel, 59, told ecstatic supporters at the CDU’s headquarters in Berlin. Bild, Germany’s best-selling daily, ran the banner headline “Merkel’s Greatest Triumph” on Monday morning, after the elections and com24 |

108 October 2013 |

mented: “It’s a phenomenal victory for the woman whom the majority of Germans trust -- and only that seems to have counted at the ballot box. Taxes, justice and the euro weren’t the decisive factors. This question was: Who do people trust to rule calmly, sensibly and with strong nerves?” It was her personal victory. Her party, the Christian Democratic Union, focused ts campaign squarely on her, with election posters showing her with her trademark enigmatic style and bland slogans like “Successful Together” and “Chancellor for Germany.” “Merkel has represented Germany at a difficult time and on all the red carpets and in her whole demeanour, she has given Germans the feeling that she’s stood up for their interests in difficult times. It’s the Mutti factor,” Heinrich Oberreuter, a political scientist at the Bavarian University of Passau, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. But while her position as queen of Germany and of Europe has been reinforced by her success, Merkel faces difficult days of horsetrading to form a stable coalition.

SPD Would Extract High Price Her conservatives fell only five seats short of an absolute majority. For a number of tense hours on election night as the votes were being counted, it looked as if she might be able to govern without a coalition partner. The last time a conservative government had an absolute

Germans are grateful to Angela Merkel, it seems, for steering them through the euro crisis

majority was in 1957, under Konrad Adenauer, West Germany’s first post-war chancellor. She may well have been relieved when results finally confirmed that Germans had spared her an absolute majority. Such a triumph could have been a poisoned chalice. She would have faced the uncomfortable prospect of governing with a wafer-thin majority of seats and a hostile, opposition-dominated upper house of parliament with the power to block her policies.

She now needs to find a coalition partner, the most likely candidate being the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which will want to extract the highest possible price for its cooperation in a so-called grand coalition, both in terms of cabinet posts and policy concessions. The prize, however, would be a left-right government with an overwhelming majority in both houses of parliament. She wouldn’t have to worry about backbench rebellions against upcoming euro bailouts or domestic reforms, which she will finally have to address after years of postponement. A grand coalition suits Merkel’s political style. She has always been a more skillful mediator than she is a leader, and she governed successfully with the SPD in her first term between 2005 and 2009. Her center-right coalition with the FDP was marked by in-fighting and political stalemate over the last four years.

given that most Greens don’t want it and they’ve got other problems to tackle after their poor result. And the only other option -- a new election if no coalition can be found to elect a chancellor in parliament -- would probably only result in an even stronger result for Merkel.

European Partners Favor Grand Coalition So Germany faces tense days and weeks of coalition talks with the most likely outcome being a grand coalition. It’s a constellation most of Germany’s European partners would prefer. Many of Germany’s European partners regard a grand coalition between the conservatives and the SPD as the best possible outcome. It ensures continuity at the helm of Europe’s most powerful economy and it will likely force Merkel to put a bigger focus on stimulating economic growth and curbing unemployment in the euro zone.

Kingmaker Slain Merkel, asked on election night if she could imagine governing even if she had an absolute majority of just one seat, was typically evasive. “I don’t want to respond to all this speculation, “ she said. “Let’s wait for the final result to come in.” Her current partner, the FDP, was left reeling from its disastrous result. The party, a traditional kingmaker in German politics, has been in parliament continually since the Federal Republc was founded in 1949. “This is bitter for me. This was my passion,” a distraught looking FDP leader and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler told supporters. The SPD reached 25.7 percent, up from 23.0 percent in 2009. The Greens fell to 8.4 percent, down from 10.7 percent in 2009 after a tepid campaign beset by controversy over its unpopular call for a meat-free day in public canteens and, in recent weeks, revelations about its support for legalizing sex with minors in its early days in the 1980s. In a significant development, the anti-euro Alternative for Germany Germany faces tense days and weeks (AfD) party, which was formed in February and calls for an “orderly of coalition talks with the most likely dismantling of the euro zone,” came close to the five percent threshold, outcome being a grand coalition scoring 4.7 percent. Its platform included calls for curbs on immigraA grand coalition would also, thanks to its huge majority in parliament, tion and rival parties accused it of right-wing populism. The Left Party fell strengthen Merkel’s hand in managing the euro crisis. to 8.6 percent from 11.9 percent, making it the third biggest party. With the SPD in her coalition, she may even be able to muster twothirds majorities needed to change the German constitution if future ‘The Ball is in Frau Merkel’s Court’ changes to Europe’s institutions should warrant that. Merkel’s SPD rival, Peer Steinbrück, told supporters: “The ball is in Frau Her hands will, however, remain tied by rulings of the Federal ConstiMerkel’s court, she has to find herself a majority.” SPD leaders are untutional Court, which will rule next month on the European Central derstandably reluctant to form a coalition with Merkel. They would be Bank’s bond-buying policy, which put a lid on the crisis when it was the weaker partner by far in a power-sharing government -- the conannounced last year. servatives got almost 16 percentage points more than the SPD. Durng “A grand coalition could actually strengthen Germany’s leadership role at the last coalition between 2005 and 2009, the two political camps were the European level, with less scope for domestic opposition,” said Joanna almost equal in parliamentary seats-- and even then, the SPD lost big McKay, a political analyst at Nottingham Trent University. in the 2009 election because Merkel got all the credit for that governGermany is an island of prosperity in a crisis-ravaged Europe, with ment’s success in handling the financial crisis. unemployment of 6.8 percent compared with 12.1 percent in the “I can’t imagine that central projects of ours (...) could be implemented 17-nation euro zone. in a grand coalition,” said Sascha Vogt, the head of the SPD’s youth orMerkel offered her own explanation for the election outcome on Sunganization. But the SPD may have to bite the bullet. It has ruled out day night: “There are many, many people who find that in view of the forming a coalition with the Left Party, which there won’t be a threedifficulties all around us, we’re living in a pretty good country, perhaps way alliance of SPD, Greens and Left Party, even though it would have we should dare to say that.” ■ enough seats to govern. A coalition between the conservatives and Greens is equally unlikely David Crossland/SPIEGEL ONLINE |

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Mercedes S-Class “The best car in the word” - The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class – in Belgrade - Yugoslav Drama Theatre, 26th September

Musical Dedicated to the


Showing that glamour, style and elegance always go hand in hand was the spectacular première of the “best car in the world”, the new MercedesBenz S-Class, in Belgrade

Rolf-Juergen Seyerle, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Serbia and Montenegro


t a never-before-seen performance in this area the timeless design of this model was presented and visitors enjoyed the synergy of the senses which our best artists created with visual grace, perfect music and lighting design, spectacular costumes and amazing special effects on stage. In charge of ensuring that everything is subordinated to the magic, just like the S-class deserves, was Milan Alavanja, creative director of one of the world’s most renowned studios for special visual effects, and the high standards were also maintained by the artists’ costumes, which were spe-cially sewn at the National Theatre for this occasion. Professional dance pair from the National Theatre, Jovan Veselinović and BojanaŽegarac, as well as dancers of the Theatre on Terazija, showed that “the sky is not so far away”, under the choreographic direction of Milan Gromilić, while guests were led across the evening cabaret by famous local actor DraganVujić.

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This evening of elegance in honour of the S-Class began in the foyer JDP with a welcome cocktail reception and the performance TijanaMilošević and the string quartet of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. With three development priorities – “Intelligent Drive”, “Efficient Technolo-gy” and “Essence of Luxury” – the new S-Class pushes the boundaries of technology in many fields. Besides the car’s

perfect design, also taking the breath away is the fact that the pursuit of luxury is especially noticeable in the vehicle’s interior, then in its united comfort and safety, but also in its significantly reduced fuel consumption. In addition to being able to familiarise themselves with the new model, guests also had the opportunity to hear about the development journey of the S-Class through its 100-year-long history, permeated with numerous in-novations and an unmatched level of comfort, as well as learning which of the world’s “jetsetters” have been the biggest fans of Mercedes models for decades. After travelling through history, guests exchanged their impressions about the car that came “from the future” to attend this cocktail reception. ■

oct 2013 business leader’s meeting point

Page 30

Page 34

Thanos Trimis

Rita I. Lozinsky

Largest UK Investor in Serbia

Growing Leader

General Manager for Serbia, Montenegro & Bulgaria, British American Tobacco

Since the privatisation of DIV ten years ago, BAT has directly invested more than €200 million in Serbia, of which €115 million was invested in the purchase and modernisation of the Vranje factory Page 33

CEO & Managing Director of ALUMIL YU INDUSTRY A.D.

Despite the global economic and debt crisis, Alumil’s strategy places an emphasis on Serbia and the company continues to invest in the country, with its latest investment approaching a value of €6 million Page 38

Coface Adriatic/Balkan Top 50

The International School of Belgrade

The ‘Coface Adriatic / Balkan Top 50’ rankings of the turnover of the biggest companies from the six countries of the Adriatic region

The International School of Belgrade welcomes students representing 45 different nationalities

Difficult time for Adriatic Region

Orienting to a New School and a New Country |

108 October 2013 | 27

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108 October 2013 | |

108 October 2013 | 29


Thanos Trimis, General Manager for Serbia, Montenegro & Bulgaria, British American Tobacco

Largest UK Investor in Serbia Since the privatisation of DIV ten years ago, BAT has directly invested more than €200 million in Serbia, of which €115 million was invested in the purchase and modernisation of the Vranje factory

reason why we made the aquisition of the Vranje factory ten years ago. The privatisation of Duvanska industrija Vranje (DIV) was a major milestone in our business operations in the region. With this aquisition BAT became one of the most important foreign investors in Serbia, and up to date, the biggest UK investor in the country. So far, the experiences in Serbia have been mixed. Still, we are not achieving the desirable financial results due to a number of external factors.First the growing market share of our portfolio and especially the Global Drive Brands. Second, there are also elements that we are extremely satisfied with, for example, the fact


n the occasion of this anniversary year for BAT in Serbia, we spoke to Thanos Trimis, BAT General Manager for Serbia, Montenegro & Bulgaria, about the experiences of the last decade, as well as the Serbian business environment and the company’s future plans in the country. October will mark the tenth anniversary of the privatisation of Duvanska industrija Vranje by British American Tobacco (BAT). BAT represents the world`s most international tobacco company, with operations in more than 180 countries. The company employs more than 56,000 people worldwide and owns 44 factories in 39 countries. Over the past year BAT has sold nearly 700 billion cigarettes and contributed more than 32 billion UK pounds to the budgets of the countries where it operates. The company has been present in Serbia for the last 17 years, with a major milestone being marked by the acquisition of Duvanska industrija Vranje in 2003. With that privatisation BAT became one of Serbia`s most important foreign investors, as well as the biggest British investor in the country, which it remains to this day. ■ This autumn marks ten years since BAT bought Duvanska industrija Vranje. What do you consider the greatest success and biggest failure of the past ten years? The Serbian market has always occupied an important position in our business operations in South Eastern Europe, which is the

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We always emphasise that the predictability of the regulatory environment, together with the political and macro-economic stability of the country, are of crucial importance to attracting further foreign investments that talented people from Serbia represent an invaluable resource for the whole BAT Group. In the last ten years, more than 30 colleagues of mine have gone to work in BAT subsidiaries abroad – from the Czech Republic, Germany, to our headquarters in London and all the way to Aserbaijan. For example, today in our headquarters in London, there are altogether six Serbs working in very responsible positions for the Company globally. This is the best indicator that Serbian managers can be very successful in comparison with other colleagues from over 180 countries in which we operate. These are things that we are really proud of. ■ What has been the specific contribution of BAT to the Serbian economy in the last decade? BAT was one of the pioneers of foreign investment in Serbia. Since the privatisation of the factory ten years ago, we have directly invested more than €200 million in Serbia, of which €115 million was invested in the purchase and modernisation of our Vranje factory. As a result of this investment, some of the leading global brands – such as Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Viceroy – are produced in Vranje today. Some of those brands are also exported to the CEFTA region. We believe that the fact BAT is one of the biggest tax payers in Serbia is much more important for the Serbian economy and its finances. In the last decade we have con-

tributed €950 million to the Serbian budget, primarily through excise and other taxes. Therefore we contribute an annual average of €100 million to the Serbian budget. ■ How does BAT contribute to the Serbian business climate? BAT is one of the founding members and has a place on the board of directors of the Foreign Investors Council, which is one of the leading international business associations in Serbia. Since the beginning of our presence in Serbia and through the activities of the FIC we have put all our efforts into improving the business climate in the country in order to attract new foreign investors. Our most important formal contribution is the socalled FIC White Book, which is published each year and contains concrete recommendations addressed to the government,

The new Law on Excise, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, represents precisely a step in the right direction towards Serbia’s further, gradual harmonisation with the EU with the aim of improving the business climate in Serbia. We always emphasise that the predictability of the regulatory environment, together with the political and macro-economic stability of the country, are of crucial importance to attracting further foreign investments in Serbia. Ultimately, BAT is a company that has always been a true Ambassador of Serbia and has promoted the country as an attractive investment destination at all international forums we have been invited to and we will certainly continue this practice in the future. ■ What does the expected start of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations mean for BAT as a foreign investor? How will regulatory harmonisation with the EU impact on the tobacco industry in Serbia? The beginning of formal negotiations on EU membership will mean further security and stability for investors, both foreign and local. The manner in which Serbia approaches the EU will certainly serve as an additional signal to potential investors that Serbia is a country with transparent rules of the game that is well known to them. As a company, BAT welcomes every step that Serbia takes on the road to formal membership in the EU. Although there are many prejudices and misconceptions, Serbia in fact already complies with the current legal framework of the Union in most of the regulations related to the tobacco industry. In some areas, such as the advertising of tobacco products, its regulations are even more stringent in comparison to the practice in many EU member states. In the field of excise duties we are harmonised with the EU in terms of the mixed excise system defined by the EU, as well as in regard to the methodology of calculating the minimum excise.

Where further harmonisation is necessary is in the area of calculating the amount of the minimum excise itself, which in Serbia is still far from the minimum requirements set by the EU. The new Law on Excise, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, represents precisely a step in the right direction towards Serbia’s further, gradual harmonisation with the EU in this area. ■ Your company invests significant funds in Corporate Social Responsibility projects and in assistance to the local community. Can you name some of the most relevant ones? BAT has always strived to improve conditions in the local communities in which we operate. As a responsible company we respect our customers and their respective cultures, as well as the countries and local communities where we conduct our business. BAT is one of the pioneers of corporate social responsibility in Serbia. In the past years BAT has invested around €1 million in CSR projects. In Serbia, as well as in other countries, our Company is strongly dedicated to the economic development of the local community and, to that end, BAT supports the promotion of entrepreneurship as a key factor for progress. In addition, we have implemented numerous CSR projects, focusing not only on the local community but on the whole country. Programmes aimed at supporting entrepreneurship in the Pčinja district by awarding the best small and medium-sized entrepreneurships, as well as the development of their knowledge and skills, are just a small part of our contribution, along with volunteering activities by our employees, support to numerous educational and cultural institutions and programmes and help to the most vulnerable. In 2011 we demonstrated our dedication to helping those who are most in need of assistance by donating two apartments to two families who were left without a roof over their heads after the devastating earthquake that hit Kraljevo that year. As clear confirmation of our CSR efforts in Serbia so far, our company has received many awards, both at the national and local levels. In the future we will continue our cooperation with the local community by supporting local projects. We will continue to have transparent communication regarding all matters of common interest to ourselves and the local community. As a company with a socially responsible business focus, we believe that international expertise applied to the local market, with the engagement of domestic resources, will contribute to the further benefit of the whole society in Serbia. ■

BIOGRAPHY Thanos Trimis – BAT General Manager for Serbia, Montenegro & Bulgaria Thanos Trimis began his career at Unilever in Greece 1997. In 2000 he moved to The Coca-Cola Company working in Greece and the Middle East. He joined BAT in Greece in 2005. In January 2013 he was appointed GM for Serbia and Montenegro and recently he assumed responsibility for Bulgarian market. |

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local news

Business Dialogue 01

Telenor Group

Goals “Our goals are clear – cutting of the fiscal deficit and public debt, increase of economic activity and employment. That cannot be achieved overnight, of course.” — JorgovankaTabakovic, the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia

Among top Global Sustainability Leaders According to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) published its annual ranking of corporate sustainability leaders. In the telecommunications sector, Telenor Group is ranked among the global leaders in terms of sustainability This is the 12th consecutive year that Telenor Group has been recognized by the DJSI. This year’s indexes reveal that Telenor Group’s total score was 90 (out of 100), up seven points from last year. In addition the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 ranks Telenor Group 3rd, up from 10th place last year. For the first time, Telenor Group has also been included in CDP’s Global 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI). This annual index highlights those companies listed on the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (Global 500) that demonstrate commitment to the environment. Achieving the so called ‘A band’ for climate performance is a prerequisite for a position on the CPLI. This is based on a number of criteria associated with measuring, verifying and managing carbon footprints. 56 Global 500 companies feature in the 2013 CPLI. “Sustainable growth and corporate responsibility is an important part of how Telenor Group operates, which is once again being recognized today. The mobile industry has proven positive effects on economic and social welfare. Our industry has the power to transform society, and we aim to extend the benefits of telecommunications into all markets where we operate,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group.



Talks With IMF on Budget Adoption Serbia will discuss the possibility of talks on the new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the adoption of the 2014 budget and finalisation of the technical mission in early October, Serbian Minister of Finance Lazar Krstic stated. Speaking at the Reuters investment summit, Krstic said that thorough talks with the IMF could be launched in the first quarter of 2014, the Finance Ministry posted on its website. Krstic announced that his Ministry is trying to keep the budget deficit below 5 percent of the GDP while the public debt should total 65 percent by the end of the year. Krstic recalled that he expects the IMF technical mission should arrive in Belgrade in early October as part of government preparations of the 2014 budget and the long-term fiscal strategy until 2016. 32 |

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Coface Adriatic/Balkan Top 50:

Difficult Time for Adriatic Region

In 2012, the overall revenue of the biggest regional companies grew by 5.6% to approximately €41bln. However, their net profit declined by 1.2%. The top 50 companies employ almost 151,000 people (a 3% decline relative to 2011). This development demonstrates that, albeit on a very different level when it comes to individual country risks, the whole region looks back on a very difficult economic year. Most big companies in the region are based in Croatia With a turnover of approximately €3.59 billion, the Croatian oil & gas company, INA d.d., ranks first in 2012. INA was able to maintain the top spot despite a slight decrease in turnover compared to 2011 (-2%). The Slovenian company Petrol (€3.26 bln, +14%) comes in the second place and Petroleum Industry of Serbia (Serbia, €1.99 bln, +21%) is ranked third. This means that the top three spots remain firmly in the hands of the three oil and gas “giants”, no change compared to the 2011 rankings. Slovenian energy supplier Holding SlovenskeElektrarned.o.o. is fourth (turnover of €1.96 bln, +43%), which moved up three places compared to 2011. The next on the list is Croatian retail company Konzumd.d., which took the fifth spot (€1.78 bln, +1%). 16 of the Top 50 regional companies are based in Croatia, with the country ranked second in terms of turnover. The number one spot belongs to the 15 Slovenian companies (among the Top 50) in the region which recorded the highest turnover. 13 companies on the Top 50 list come from Serbia, 4 are Macedonian and two companies are from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Montenegro was also considered in this ranking, but the country failed to get into the final Top 50 listing. While the companies from Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have made it to the Top 5, the biggest Macedonian company was ranked 20th, while the biggest company in Bosnia and Herzegovina took 32nd place. Turnover, profit and employment The highest turnover was reported by the Slovenian Top 50 companies (€15.5 billion, +9.5%), followed by Croatia (€14.1 billion, +1.5%) and Serbia (€8.6 billion, +6.8%). The development of the net profit paints a somewhat gloomier picture for the Top 50 companies in the region. Overall, it declined by 1.2% to €1.9 billion – 18 out of the top 50 companies recorded a net loss in 2012. In terms of the number of employees, it was reduced by almost 3% in all of the Top 50 companies. 30 out of 50 companies had to lay off workers in 2012. The highest layoff rate was in Serbia (5%), while the overall unemployment in the region has reached a disquieting level.



“Serbian Labour Law should be copied from those in the South Korea, or China, or in the USA.” — Miodrag Kostić, owner of the MK Group


Agreement on Plant in Nis Nis Mayor Zoran Perisic and Johnson Electric Directors Loran Kardon and Michael Friedrich signed in Nis the contract on free cession of public construction land for the construction of the plant. The value of the investment adds up to between €15 and €20 million. Perisic said after the agreement signing that the plant would employ around 1,000 workers and that it would start operating in June 2014. The memorandum on cooperation was signed in Nis in late June and officials said that the company from Hong Kong achieved a USD 2 billion worth of turnover in 2012. A quarter of employees in the Nis factory will be engineers and engines will primarily be aimed at automobile industry, officials said at the memorandum signing. Representatives of the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency said that Johnson Electrics would apply for subsidies and that the assessments for such investments can be granted up to EUR 9,000 per employee. Source: Tanjug

Placements & Postings

Michael Davenport MBE, New Head of the EU

Delegation to Serbia

Former UK Ambassador Mr Michael Davenport has been officially accredited as Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia on September 17th. Michael Davenport presented his ambassadorial credentials to the Serbian President in January 2011. Immediately before this appointment he was Director for Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. Between 2007 and 2010 he advised successive Foreign Secretaries on Britain’s relations with Russia and the wider region and was responsible for the FCO’s network of twelve diplomatic missions. His first foreign posting as a British diplomat was to Poland in 1990, where he was responsible for establishing the first British Know-How Fund, supporting Poland’s early political and economic reforms after the fall of Communism. In the mid-nineties Michael headed the FCO’s UN Peacekeeping Section before learning Russian ahead of a posting as First Secretary to Moscow in 1996. In 2000 Michael returned to Poland as Commercial Counsellor and Consul-General in the run-up to Polish accession to the European Union, and in 2004 was appointed Deputy Ambassador to Cairo.

Menha Mahrous Bakhoum, New Ambassador of Egypt

to Serbia

Mrs. Menha Mahrous Bakhoum has been appointed as the new Egyptian ambassador to Serbia. Born in 1958, her experience has focused on multilateral diplomacy in both the political and economic domains. She has represented Egypt in many diverse fields and within different international and regional forums in Geneva, New York, Paris, London, Budapest, Italy, Bahrain, Doha and elsewhere. Mrs Bakhoum joined Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983 as a diplomatic attaché and a student of Diplomatic Institute Cairo. She has held the positions of Media Department Director and Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as serving as ambassador of Egypt to Cyprus.

H.E. Mr. Toufic S. JABER, Ambassador of Lebanon Mr. Toufic S. Jaber has been appointed as Ambassador of Lebanon to Serbia. Born in 1962, he has a PhD in Economic Development and Marketing efficiency Analysis from the University of London, Wye College, and received an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in July 1988. Throughout his career in diplomacy, he has served as Director for International Organisation ad interim, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Alternate Political Coordinator in the UN Security Council, Expert on West African issues in The Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UN in New York, Director for Asia, Africa and Australia Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Head of Mission Chargé d’Affaires in the Embassy of Lebanon in Japan and Indonesia, and Head of the Consular Section in the Embassy of Lebanon in Japan.

Danny Kondić, new CEO of JAT Kondić was born in Australia to Serbian immigrant family and graduated from Sydney’s New South Wales University in 1987 in the field of trade and gained his MBA in international business and marketing from Sydney’s University of Technology in 1997. From August 1997 to October 2001 he worked for airline Qantas as Business Development Manager for South East Asia. In November 2001 he moved to Malaysia Airlines, where he served as the carrier’s head of worldwide sales until December 2004. In the period from 2005 to 2007 he was director of the representative office of one of the largest travel agencies in the world, Kuoni Travel, in Hong Kong, while between 2008 and 2010 he served as vice president of Kuoni Travel’s subsidiary for Northern Asia. In 2011 he became commercial director and vice president of channel management for the company Abacus International, based in Singapore. |

108 October 2013 | 33


Rita I. Lozinsky, CEO & Managing Director of ALUMIL YU INDUSTRY A.D.

Growing Leader Despite the global economic and debt crisis, Alumil’s strategy places an emphasis on Serbia and the company continues to invest in the country, with its latest investment approaching a value of €6 million

the top suppliers of branded aluminium systems for architectural use in Europe. Despite the global economic and debt crisis that plagues the countries of Southern Europe, and despite the fact that the headquarters of Alumil S.A. Group is situated in Greece, about 80% of Alumil’s activity takes place abroad. The de facto extroverted strategy of Alumil places an emphasis on Serbia. For that reason Alumil continues to invest in Serbia - the new investment approaches a value of €6 million - in an effort to: 1. reinforce its presence and market share on the local marketplace; 2. accelerate growth rate on the Russian market with sales through Serbia; 3. succeed in further penetrating markets in Central Europe due to proximity. ■ How has the company’s development progressed from its creation until today?

The importance the group gives to Serbia...led to the group’s new decision in 2012 to double the capacity of the Nova Pazova industrial complex

lumil has been present on the Serbian market since the mid 1990s and has continued to grow and experience success ever since. After completing its own local production facilities in 2005, the group has continue to give importance to its presence in Serbia and in 2012 the decision was made to double the capacity of its Nova Pazova industrial complex. To discuss this and other developments, we spoke to Rita I. Lozinsky, CEO & Managing Director of Alumil Yu Industry A.D.

Alumil started its commercial activity in Serbia in the mid 1990s. The acceptance of our products by the market has resulted in the continued growth of our commercial network that finally led to the top management of Alumil group deciding to invest in production facilities in order to support the demand. That decision was made in 2001 and gradually completed by 2005. By the end of 2011 the industrial facilities in Nova Pazova consisted of an aluminium extrusion line with an annual capacity of 7000 tonnes, a state of the art powder coating line with an annual capacity of 5000 tonnes, two thermal break assembly lines and a logistics centre covering an area of over 15,000 square metres. The importance the group gives to Serbia, as I mentioned before, and a continuous path of growth and successes, led to the group’s new decision in 2012 to double the capacity of the Nova Pazova industrial complex with the installation of a new aluminium extrusion line with a total annual capacity of 7000 tonnes.

■ Despite the global crisis, Alumil continues to invest in Serbia. What is the value of the latest investments and what do they bring to the company? Alumil S.A. is the largest privately-owned aluminium extrusion group in South-East Europe, in terms of production, distribution network and range of aluminium profile systems. It is among

■ How was this decision implemented? It’s worth noting that the investment decision I mentioned earlier was taken almost a year ago. One year may seem like a long time period, but nevertheless one should consider that a similar investment requires at least three years to implement. It’s very easy for someone to consider the scale of effort exert-


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ed by the company’s executives paid off so that the investment could be operational according to initial planning. With this recent investment, Alumil Yu Industry industrial complex intends to be one of the biggest in the country in the aluminium extrusion branch. ■ How many distribution centres does Alumil have at its disposal in Serbia and what characterises them?

Aluminium has a unique and unbeatable combination of properties, which means that it is an extremely versatile, attractive, strong and bright material….just like a woman Alumil currently operates seven distribution centres covering the whole of the territory of Serbia. Our capacity and the modern facilities of the industrial complex in Nova Pazova ensure the orderly distribution of our products to customers daily. ■ Which markets does Alumil place its products on?

Alumil operates through an international sales network in 45 countries worldwide. It has 27 subsidiary companies in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and the U.S. Another high priority for us is development through partnerships on the markets of Africa and Australia. ■ How significant is Alumil YU Industry in the context of international companies? As previously mentioned, with the new investment plan that Alumil YU Industry recently completed the goal is not only to enhance its presence on the local market, but also reinforce its

international activities, taking advantage of synergies offered by the Alumil group. ■ How do your products differ from those of others in the same and similar categories? Alumil is one of the top suppliers of architectural aluminium systems, by covering the following increased needs of the market for: Security (highest level of protection from burglaries, vandalism, fire, smoke, earthquake etc.); Energy saving and energy production (by using the highest thermal brake aluminium systems, solar protection, controlled ventilation system and integrating photovoltaic systems into building cells); Protection in extreme weather conditions (highest resistance to wind and water resistance); Solutions for disable individuals and high aesthetic combined with the latest architectural trends. However, Alumil’s most important asset is its human resources and especially our multinational engineering team, with more than 100 engineers from 20 countries, that offers comprehensive technical services and gives complete solutions to our partners all over the world. ■ Women in Serbia rarely hold leadership positions, yet you have headed up the regional representation of a major company for many years. How challenging is it to be a woman in such an important position of leadership? In a multinational group of 2000 employees, where creative people from different cultures coexist, it is completely normal for equal opportunities to be given to women. Aluminium has a unique and unbeatable combination of properties, which means that it is an extremely versatile, attractive, strong and bright material….just like a woman. ■ |

108 October 2013 | 35


Business Dialogue 01


Victory “I’ve won a number of Grand Slams but nothing compares to sharing the joy of victory with your team mates, who are there for you and cheer on every shot you take on the court in the Davis Cup.” — Novak Djokovic, tenis player


Production of Forest Assortments Increased 21.6%

Economy to Accelerate Growth in 2014 Bulgaria's economy will record a meagre growth of about 0.6 percent this year on slow investment but will expand towards 2 percent in 2014 as policies focused on aiding growth and employment bear fruit, Finance Minister PetarChobanov said, cited by Reuters

Chobanov told a Reuters Investment Summit held in Sofia on Tuesday his Socialist-led government will target a lower fiscal deficit next year against this year’s 2 percent of gross domestic product. Bulgaria may seek up to about €400m in a yet to be decided syndicated loan or eurobond later this year, he added. The government had revised this year’s fiscal target upwards to 2.0 percent of gross domestic product from 1.3 to spur the economy and help the needy, overturning a presidential veto and defying street protests over raising fresh debt.



Over €63m From Nuclearelectrica Listing



Production of forest assortments from state forests in Montenegro increased 21.6% for the period of January – August 2013 compared with the same period of previous year

Production of forest assortments from state forests decreased 0.3% in August 2013 compared to August 2012. Production of broadleaf logs in August 2013 compared to the same month last year recorded an increase for 67.2 %. Production of hardwoods publicly owned in Montenegro for period January – August 2013 compared with same period of previous year has been decreased for 4 633 m³, i.e. for 10,0 %. Production of cord coniferous wood for period January – August 2012, compared with same period of previous year has been increased for 2 655 m³, i.e. for 34,7 %. Production of fuel wood of of hardwoods publicly owned in Montenegro for period January – August 2012, compared with same period of previous year has been decreased for 3 222 m³, i.e. for 15,6%. Source: Montenegro Statistical Office


Interconnection Line Kosovo-Albania

Romanain government raised RON 281 million (EUR 63 mln) from listing a 10 percent stake in state-owned Nuclearelectrica, the nuclear power producer

Following the listing, the company increased its share capital by €70m, which includes a 1.07 percent stake of minority shareholder Property Fund. Nuclearelectrica’s listing of the Bucharest Stock Exchange is part of an ambitious program pursued by the Romanian Government through the privatization calendar, in relationship with the IMF. The government sold 90 percent of the shares at a price of RON 11.2, covering the tranches of institutional investors (85 percent) and of major investors (5 percent) that subscribed more than 15,000 shares. The rest went to small retail investors, which paid RON 10.3 in the first subscription days for a share and RON 10.8 for the remaining offering period. The tranche of 10 percent for small retail investors was oversubscribed almost six-fold, while that of major investors more than two-fold. Nita told reporters that almost 30 percent of the investors that subscribed the shares were based in the US. Nuclearelectricais one of the biggest players in the energy sector, covering 20 percent of Romania’s power consumption. It operates two nuclear reactors with a combined installed capacity of 1,413MW. Source: 36 |

Minister of Energy and Industry of Albania, Damian Gjiknuri, guaranteed good work to finish soonest possible construction of the interconnection line between Albania and Kosovo. Gjiknuri in a meeting with the German Ambassador in Tirana, Helmut Hoffman, emphasized that the new government of Albania guarantees the Federal Republic of Germany that will soon complete the power trans line conductor between Albania and Kosovo. Implementation of the project of 400 kilovolt between Kosovo and Albania, has seen stagnation by Albania side, whilst currently it is the stage where the two sides are close to sign the contract, said on Monday, NaimBejtullahu, director of Operator of Transmission System and Market (KOSTT), after signing the agreement with KfW, for credit and funding in the amount of 23.5 million Euros for the improvement of the transmission network in Kosovo.

108 October 2013 |


Bosnia and Herzegovina

TRD Considers Opening Another Plant The representativesof Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina N, Federal Ministry of energy, industry and mining and representatives of Zenica-Doboj Canton Edina visited TRDddVares in Bosnia Herzegovina, TRD is Italian investor, currently has 160 employees On this occasion, with the general manager SelvedinaGondzo, it was discussed the experience of doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina, obstacles and problems faced by the company and their future plans. TRD’s ambitions are focused on maintaining the existing level of employment, but it is also considering opening another plant. The visit was carried out within the Aftercare Program for 2013 through a network of cooperation for post-investment support to foreign investors in BIH writes FIPA.




“Talks are ongoing with six to seven very serious, previously privatized public utility companies over state buy-backs.” — Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister

Set to Cut Rates to Record Low Hungary’s central bank will probably cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low after inflation slowed and the U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from paring monetary stimulus

The Magyar Nemzeti Bank in Budapest will reduce the two-week deposit rate to 3.6 percent from 3.8 percent, according to 15 of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Three expect a cut to 3.7 percent, one to 3.65 percent and one to 3.55 percent. Monetary-policy makers slowed the pace of easing last month to 20 basis points after 12 consecutive monthly quarter-point cuts as they seek to safeguard financial stability and the attractiveness of local assets. Central bank President GyorgyMatolcsy said Sept. 11 that “loose” monetary policy in developed countries and a central bank plan to boost corporate lending in Hungary are expanding rate-setters’ room to maneuver. “Fundamentals such as weak growth and nose-diving inflation remain supportive, and it’s unlikely that recent market developments are ‘frightening’ enough for the dovish Monetary Council to stop cutting rates,” analysts led by MariannTrippon at IntesaSanPaoloSpA (ISP)’s CIB Bank in Budapest, said. Hungarian policy makers were split on how much to cut rates in August, with five Council members supporting the 20 basis-point reduction and two voting for a 10 basis-point cut, according to the minutes of the meeting.



Croatia May Issue Dollar Bond Croatia will probably shake off last week’s downgrade to junk by ratings company Fitch and issue a dollar bond to tap investor appetite fueled by Federal Reserve stimulus, analysts in London and Croatia said. Facing €2 bln in payments for debt maturing by next April, Croatia could benefit from the Fed’s surprise decision end September to refrain from paring back its bond-buying program, said Abbas AmeliRenani, an emerging-markets strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. The Finance Ministry in Zagreb didn’t immediately respond when asked for comment today. “I expect Croatia to issue a 1-billion to 1.5-billion dollar bond before year’s end,” Ameli-Renanisaid to Bloomberg . “The next big maturity comes in April so they could wait until early 2014 if they wanted to, but the market is unlikely to be as generous with its cash in 2014 as it is now.” Crfoatia has struggled to keep public finances in check during the economic crisis, which has knocked more than 10 percent off economic output and squeezed foreign direct investment by 80 percent since 2008. In its downgrade, Fitch said it expected Zagreb to overshoot its 2013 budget gap target.

Placements & Postings

FREDERIC COIN, New President of Foreign Investment Council

Mr. Frederic Coin is a President of the Executive Boord of Societe Generale Srbija since June 22nd 2012. He joined the Societe Generale Group in 1993, first as general inspectorate of the bank and went on to be head of the commercial program in Nice, France. From the year 2000, he had been head of the sector for retail banking and small businesses in Egypt. As of 2007, Mr. Coin was general manager of the Banque de Polynesia, the Societe Generale Group subsidiary and the second largest bank in that area. He is also a President of Business Leaders Forum (BLF), representing the first coalition of international and local socially responsible companies, established in 2008. Frederic Coin graduated from IEG in Paris (political sciences) and did his postgraduate in economics and management at the University of Paris Dauphine.

SRDJAN LAZOVIC, Vice-president of Foreign

Investment Council

Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs CEFTA Region British American Tobacco South East Europe Mr. Lazovic began his career in the Serbian Government, first at the Ministry of International Economic Relations, from where he went on to work in the EU Integration Office. He was one of the pioneers in Serbia’s EU integration process, in the period from 2002 till 2005. From 2005 he has been working in British American Tobacco SEE d.o.o. Beograd, the local subsidiary of the most international and the second largest global tobacco company. He assumed the position of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director & Member of the Board of Directors in January 2008. In the meantime, his responsibilities were also Legal and Security. Mr. Lazovic is a member of the Board of Directors of the Red Star Basketball Club and member of the Board of Directors of the Serbian Association of Managers. He is also member of the International Advertising Association, Business Leaders Forum and the Serbian PR Association.

mARTIN KNAPP, New Director of the Delegation of German

Industry and Commerce in Serbia

Martin Knapp was born in Germany in 1958. Following studies in history and ancient, Byzantine and modern Greek philology in Germany and Greece, he joined the Press Office of the Greek government in Athens and also worked as a correspondent for several German media companies. In 1988 Knapp joined the network of German bilateral chambers, serving initially as a branch manager of the German-Hellenic Chamber in Thessaloniki. His served his first term in Belgrade as Delegate of the German Economy from 2001 to 2005, before returning to Germany in order to join the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). After three years of service as coordinator of the worldwide network of German chambers, he relocated to Athens to take on the position of general manager of the GermanHellenic Chamber. Finally, in 2012 he once again returned to DIHK, where he has been dealing with the Euro crisis and in particular the problems of the real economy in the countries most affected by the crisis.’

Dragan Radivojevic, New CEO of Apatin Brewery Dragan Radivojevic, former director of Kamenitza Brewery and President of Molson Coors Europe based in Bulgaria, is the new CEO of Apatin Brewery and regional president of Molson Coors Europe for Serbia and Montenegro as of 1st September. A graduate of Economics and Finance at the University Montclair, New Jersey, USA, he began his career in New York as financial consulting manager, before going on to work for the Coca Cola Company in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Radivojevic began working for the Apatin Brewery in 2006 as Commercial Director for Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during which time he gained the necessary experience to successfully manage a large company. During 2009 he was appointed President of Molson Coors Europe for Bulgaria and director of the Kamenitza Brewery, where he quickly elevated the brewery to the leading position on the Bulgarian market. |

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The International School of Belgrade

Orienting to a New School and a New Country In order to integrate all new members of the ISB community as quickly and completely as possible, we have several orientation (also known as ‘induction’) programmes. We welcome students representing 45 different nationalities business office begins to work with them on logistical matters, such as obtaining visas and arranging for shipments and flights. Our principals set up individual ‘mentors’ for each one, who are selected based on similarities of teaching assignments, nationalities or family composition. One of our members of staff acts as “Orientation Coordinator” and begins to send relevant information on living in Belgrade and Serbia.

Our orientation programme for new students begins as soon as they are admitted, which can be at any point during the year


he International School of Belgrade (ISB) opened its doors to begin our 66th year of operation on August 26th 2013. We welcomed 388 students representing 45 different nationalities, including 17% U.S. nationals, 24% Serbians and the remaining 59% from 43 other countries from around the world. We also welcomed over 70 members of our educational staff, who represent a dozen different nationalities. Having such rich diversity of cultures and languages naturally lends itself to developing attributes from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile, such as open-mindedness, caring, communication skills and genuine inquiry in learning from each other. On the other hand, many of our students whose parents work in embassies and missions of international organisations, NGOs and the international business community are only with us for a relatively short period of time. The turnover of some of our international teaching staff also occurs regularly. In order to integrate all new members of the ISB community as quickly and completely as possible, we have several orientation (also known as ‘induction’) programmes. The first of these generally begins in February of the previous school year. Most of our foreign teachers are hired at international recruiting fairs which take place in January and February in places like London and Boston. Once hired, our

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108 October 2013 |

This year we are fortunate to only have five new foreignhired teachers - a relatively small number - as well as two Canadian citizens hired locally for expansion positions. These new members of our ISB community spent four days in early August with our Orientation Coordinator familiarising themselves with places to shop, places to eat, how to ride buses and the sights and sounds of all that Belgrade has to offer on a fine summer evening. Following this, another three days were spent with administrators on orienting to ISB itself, a process that was greatly facilitated this year due to the fact that all new staff had training and experience with the programmes of the IB that ISB follows. Finally, the new staff joined the returning staff for a full week of orientation in preparing for the year. Our orientation programme for new students begins as soon

as they are admitted, which can be at any point during the year. Our Admissions Coordinator ensures all families receive extensive documentation to help them learn about the school, as well as life in Belgrade. Much of this information is also available directly from our website: This year we began with 105 new students, a record number for ISB and perhaps a positive sign of increasing foreign investment in Serbia. The students come to ISB with a wide range of knowledge, skills, understanding and dispositions. They enter with different levels of English language ability and come from national systems in their home countries, including Serbia, as well as from other international schools from around the globe. Each new student and their families meet with the divisional principal for interviews that include orientation information. During the week before school starts all new students and their families are invited

munity. One highly successful event for doing so is the “Back to School Picnic”, which is held on the lawn of our Upper School campus on the first Saturday following the opening of school and is a very popular and well-attended event. A goal for all members of our community is to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our host nation, Serbia. In recognition of this goal, this year we concluded our full week of orientation for all staff by inviting the Abrašević Artistic Company dance troupe to our campus. The visit was arranged with help from officials of the Savski Venac municipal district and featured 12 dancers with an accordion player. The Abrašević Folk Dance Ensemble performed several Serbian folk dances, explained the origins and significance of their traditional clothing and invited members of the ISB community to join them in learning some dance steps. The event capped a successful week of orientation for our staff, students and parents, and served to exemplify the phrase from our Mission Statement: “ISB is a collaborative learning community…” ■ Rob Risch, Ed.D. ISB Director

A goal for all members of our community is to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our host nation, Serbia

to a half-day of orientation on campus. Students meet with counsellors and other teachers for a tour of the facilities and group-building exercises, while parents meet with administrators to gain programme and logistical information. At the beginning of the year each new student is also paired with a student-mentor, who are chosen by principals and school counsellors on the basis of matching nationalities, languages and for their leadership qualities. Student-mentors act as initial guides for new students, answer questions and helping them develop friendships with others. During the third week of the school year all students in grades 5-12 participate in overnight trips within Serbia, which further helps to integrate new students with returning ones and helps teachers and students get to know one another on a personal level. In addition to the previously mentioned orientation sessions for parents, our Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) actively works to help integrate new families into our com- |

108 October 2013 | 39

world news

Business Dialogue 01


Negotiations “We have to notice at the moment that there has to be some movement from Turkey before starting with negotiations in a new chapter.” — Michael Spindelegger, Vice Chancellor of Austria

British-GermanKorean Consortium to Build Petrochemical Plant A consortium of Petrofac (Great Britain), Linde AG (Germany), and GS Engineering & Construction Corporation (South Korea) will build a $3.7 billion petrochemical plant in Kazakhstan’s Tengiz and Karabatan regions, about 1,500 kilometers southwest of the capital Astana. GS E&C, South Korea’s fourth-largest builder, said today that its share of the project came to $1.4 billion, with British energy services provider Petrofac and Linde AG, the German industrial gas producer, holding the rest, Yonhap reports. Petrofac will lead the consortium for the execution of the Integrated Petrochemicals Complex and Infrastructure (IPCI) project and subject to satisfactory conclusion of the OBE and successful contract conversion, it is contemplated that the IPCI project will move into a second phase, in excess of $3.5 billion, for a polyethylene plant comprising two streams each producing 400,000 tons of product per year.



Apple Sold 9milion New iPhones Apple Inc sold 9 million new iPhones during their first three days in stores after China joined the list of launch countries for the first time, prompting the company to issue a rosier financial forecast. The record sales and beefed-up forecast reinforced expectations of strong demand for Apple’s latest gadgets. Phones based on Google Inc’s Android software and made by the likes of Samsung Electronics have steadily eroded its market share, as customers flocked to lower prices and larger phone sizes proved popular. Sales of the new models were nearly double those of the iPhone 5’s 5 million in the first weekend after its launch a year ago, and far surpassed the roughly 6 million that analysts had projected. But forecasts for Apple’s latest iPhone had proven trickier than in the past, because the company introduced two models simultaneously in 11 countries -- including the crucial Chinese market. Apple launched the iPhone 5 in just nine countries. Another factor was that this time around, Apple signed on NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile carrier. China joined a rollout that included Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Australia, Japan, Britain, Canada, Germany, France and Puerto Rico. Previously, Apple began selling phones in China only months after the global launch. 40 |

108 October 2013 |



Dubai Landlord Puts 300 Apartments up For Sale A Dubai landlord has put 300 apartments in Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) up for sale. Real estate agency Cluttons has been instructed by the unnamed landlord to sell all 300 units in the Shams 1 tower in JBR, where average prices start from AED1.2m ($326,726) and up to AED3.2m for a four-bed loft apartment. During the first six months of this year alone, average residential values in Dubai rose 30.6 percent, Cluttons said. Average prices in Dubai Marina at the end of the second quarter of this year stood at 34.2 percent higher than the same period in 2012. “The Jumeirah Beach Residence community within Dubai Marina remains the top target for most buyers in the area, due to its beachfront location and extensive Jumeirah Beach Walk retail colonnade,” said Lucy Bush, head of residential sales and leasing at Cluttons



Money Worries for Modlin Warsaw’s Modlin airport is currently looking for investors and there are plans in place to present a potential list by the end of the month. According to DziennikGazetaPrawna, CEO of PL Warszawa ModlinPiotrOkienczyc says so far there are a number of bodies and firms that have spoken about investing. “Most of these are financial companies,” he told the paper. But insiders claim the airport is struggling to secure investors, mainly due to the fact it’s believed PL Warszawa Modlin will only break even in 2015 and also because Ryanair is currently the only airline using it.



Gazprom: No Talks on Loan From China for Gas Supply Russian gas giant Gazprom is not considering borrowing from Chinese partners under a supply contract, Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev told reporters at an industry meeting on September 24. “An advance payment for gas supplies is not being discussed,” Medvedev said. Gazprom, which earlier agreed on almost all conditions to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually, plans to reach an agreement on the price and sign the contract by the end of the year, Medvedev said.




“To win the markets’ trust we have to show that we can do it. And all our targets are perfectly achievable if we will have political will and stability” — Enrico Letta, Italian Prime Minister

Transport and Communication Sector set to Invest US$22bn Peru’s transport and communications sector is set for US$22bn in investment by 2016 Carlos Paredes Rodríguez, transport and as part of a government drive communications minister to “reduce the infrastructure divide” and make the country more competitive, said transport and communications (MTC) minister Carlos Paredes Rodríguez. Road infrastructure will be one of the primary targets for investment. “By 2016 some 85% of the national road network will be paved, and 100% will be maintained to a level which ensures accessibility,” said Paredes. The entire Longitudinal de la Sierra highway will be paved in that time, some 1,000 bridges will be built or rehabilitated, and 13 highway tenders will be launched with a planned investment of US$4.86bn, said the minister. Paredes also cited the deployment of Peru’s 13,500km fiber optic network, the Red Dorsal, which will bring broadband to all the country’s regional capitals.



Undeveloped Oil and Gas Discoveries Worth $125bn

Placements & Postings


Dominic Martiniak, until recently employed at Carlsberg headquarters as director of sales for Western Europe, is the new CEO of Carlsberg BH. Dominic took over as the head of Carlsberg in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which operates within the Carlsberg Srbija Group, as of Sunday 1st September. Martiniak was responsible for sales in Western Europe for over three years, setting strategies and plans, as well as supporting local teams in their sales efforts. Prior to taking up employment at Carlsberg, he gained experience and expertise mainly in sales management positions at companies including SAB Miller and Procter & Gamble

Andreas Graff, Acting CEO/CMO of Vip Mobile Serbia Born and educated in Vienna, Andreas Graff graduated from the Vienna University of Economics where he first studied commercial science and subsequently attended the International Economic Relations academic programme. He started his career at A1 Company and three years later was appointed Director of the Controlling Sector at Croatia-based Vipnet. He returned to the HQ of Telekom Austria Group in Vienna where in 2001 he assumed the duties of Director of Controlling for the entire Group, which operates in eight countries. On December 1st 2011 Graff was appointed CFO of Vip mobile. He also oversees the company’s controlling, accounting and purchasing.

DIMITRIJE KNJEGINJIĆ, CEO Lafarge Serbia Mr. Dimitrije Knjeginjić is the CEO of Lafarge Serbia, effective as of September 2013. Mr. Knjeginjić has gained a rich international experience working for Lafarge in Serbia, North America and France. His professional career within Lafarge Group started in 2002 on the position of Production Manager in the Beocin Cement Plant. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Knjeginjic performed as a Vice President Organization and Human Resources for Central and Eastern Europe in the Lafarge head office in Paris, taking over the position of a Vice President Organization and Human Resources Cement in 2012, continuing his career as a CEO Lafarge Serbia. Mr. Knjeginjic is a graduated engineer of technology and holds IEDC - Bled School of Management certificate.

John Kyritsis, COO – Delhaize Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro The value derivable from the barrels of oil equivalent (boe) reserves in conventional undeveloped oil and gas fields in Africa is estimated at $125 billion, according Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research company. This includes nearly 1.1 trillion boe of ‘technical reserves’ – a term Wood Mackenzie uses for reserves for which there are no firm development plans in place. “Over half of these discoveries which we classify as ‘good technicals’, are potentially economic under our current price assumptions. These have an indicative collective value of about $760 billion,” said David Highton from Wood Mackenzie.



John Kyritsis, who has been the COO of Alfa Beta since May 2011, will become COO of Delhaize Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. John Kyritsis was born in Greece, but most of his life he spent in South Africa. He studied and majored in finance at the University of South Africa. He had been working for Delhaize Group since 1993 in various executive positions across various operating companies in Europe and Indonesia. He is coming to Serbia to succeed David Vander Schueren who had been leading Delhaize Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro as its COO since it was acquired by Delhaize Group in 2011, and who will be assuming a new role as Senior Vice President of Direct Procurement Synergies and Private Brand for Southeast Europe (SEE), located in Greece.

128 Whales Caught During this Season

Gunnlaugur F. Gunnlaugsson, manager at the whaling station in Hvalfjordur fjord, Iceland says that 128 whales have been caught during this season, but the quota is 154 whales. The season began on July 16th, so the rest of the quota will be used up during the next few weeks. All the meat will be shipped to Japan, but it is unclear how much meat they will get from the whales. “We are just hunting now and the rest will follow” said Gunnlaugur when asked when the meat will be shipped to Japan. He added that the hunting has gone according to plan even though the weather has been quite bad this summer. |

108 October 2013 | 41

faces & places

Josip Joška Broz, President of Serbian Comunist Party and Ms.Valdez 28.08.2013

Farewell reception for HE Ms. Martinez Valdez, Cuban Ambassador to Serbia A farewell reception was held for Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Serbia, Mercedes Martinez Valdez, at the QP Lounge, in the presence of numerous guests from public life, including the head of the Serbian Communist Party Josip Joška Broz. 30.08.2013

Victory Day of the Republic of Turkey The Turkish Republic’s Victory Day was marked at the Hotel Hyatt’s Crystal Ballroom. Hosts of the reception were Ambassador H.E. Mr. Mehmet Kemal Bozay and Military Attaché Mr.. Gungor Giindogdu. Among the many guests from public life and the diplomatic corps were also representatives of the Serbian government.

HE Mr.Kemal Bozay (left), HE Mr. Eldar Hasanov, Ambassador of Azerbajan to Serbia and rasim Ljajić, Minister of ForeignandDomesticTr adeandTelecommunications of Serbia 04.09.2013

Slovakian National Day A reception to mark the National Day of the Slovak Republic was held at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Belgrade. Guests of Ambassador H.E. Mr. Jan Varšo included representatives of the Serbian government, the diplomatic corps and the media, as well as Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević.

H.E.Mr. Jan Varso and Tanja Miščević, Head of the negotiatingteam for Serbia's EU accession

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108 October 2013 |


Seven years of Telenor operations in Serbia

Uve Fredhajm, CEO Telenor (left) andNils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia

On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of Telenor doing business in Serbia, the raft bar Play provided the venue for the company’s reception attended by representatives of state institutions, the business sector, as well as a number of well-known celebrities. Telenor is largest individual foreign investor in Serbia, which came with an initial investment of €1.53 billion. After seven years of successful operations, Telenor Serbia has 1,150 employees, 120 retail outlets in 85 towns and cities and 3.25 million users. 05.09.2013

Indonesian National Day

Mrs Samson (left), Mrs Nikolić, H.E. Mr.SemuelSamson, Nebojša Stefanović, President of the NationalAssembly of SerbiaandOliver Antic, Advisor to Republic of SerbiaPresident

Speaking at a reception on the occasion of the national holiday marking Indonesian Independence Day, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Serbia, H.E. Mr. Samuel Samson, said he is confident that Serbia and Indonesia will deepen cooperation in various sectors. The reception at the Hotel Hyatt was attended by many guests, including president of the Serbian Assembly Nebojša Stefanović and Serbian First Lady Dragica Nikolić, as well as representatives of the government, parliament, diplomatic corps, church, military, culture and other public figures.


National Day of Malaysia Hotel Hyatt’s Crystal Ballroom provided the vnue for a reception on the occasion of Malaysian National Day, hosted by the country’s Charge d’Affaires a.i. Mr. Yubazlan. The reception was attended by numerous representatives of religious communities and political and public life, including new economy minister Saša Radulović.

Mrs. and Mr. Yubazlan |

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faces & places

Kiril Kravcenko, Direktor NIS (left), Miloš Đurković, President AmCham, Aleksandar Vučić, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, HE. Mr. Michael Kirby, US Ambassador to Serbia and Draginja Djuric, President of Banka Intesa 06.09.2013

AmCham Business Lunch The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) organised a business lunch for member companies and the media at the Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom. The topic of the working lunch was the economic challenges, objectives and prospects of the domestic economy following the restructuring of the Serbian government. First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić spoke to representatives of major international and local companies gathered at the American Chamber of Commerce regarding economic challenges, goals and prospects for the domestic economy after the restructuring of the government.

Sir Paul Judge, President of the British - Serbian Chamber of Commerce (left), Princess Katherine, R. H. Prince Aleksandar II, Princess Jelisaveta and David MacFarlane, Charge d’Affaires of the British Embassy


24 hours of elegance

Mrs. Odilia Dorothee Baroness van Boetzelaer and H.E. Mr. Laurent Louis Stokvis Ambassador Extraordinary Royal Netherlands Embassy

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Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Aleksandar II and Princess Katherine hosted the official opening of the event “24 hours of elegance” - an exhibition of elegance and saloon of luxury at the White Palace. Guests were welcomed by HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar II, Sir Paul Judge, president of the British - Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. David MacFarlane, Charge d’Affaires of the British Embassy in Serbia, and Mr. James Sherwood, famous British writer and historian.

108 October 2013 |


Brazilian National Day The celebration of the Brazilian National Day (September 7th) took place at Vila Jelena, in Belgrade, on September 11th. The reception was also H.E. Mr. Alexandre Addor Neto’s farewell as the Brazilian Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, is leave the post in October. There was very good attendance, and both classical (Villa-Lobos) and popular music -all played by Serbian artists- were presented to of the guests, who clearly enjoyed it.

H.E.Ms.Mercedes F. Ruiz-Zapata, Ambassador of Mexico and H.E.Mr.Alexandre Addor Neto, Ambassador of Brazil

Sasa Radulovic, Minister of Economy (left) and Mr. Giuseppe Manzo 12.09.2013

New Italian Economic Affairs Team Italian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Giuseppe Manzo, held a reception at the Italian Embassy following an official presentation of the embassy’s new economic affairs team. The reception was attended, amongst other distinguished guests, by Serbian economy and agriculture ministers Saša Radulović and Dragan Glamočić.


Mexican Independence Day The Embassy of Mexico hosted a reception attended by numerous guests from public life and representatives of the Serbian government, diplomatic corps and the local business and culture communities, at the Hotel Hyatt’s Crystal Ballroom. The event marked the 203rd anniversary of the independence of Mexico.

H.E.Mr.Alexandre Addor Neto, Ambassador of Brazil H.E.Ms. Mercedes F. Ruiz-Zapata, Ambassador of Mexico, Ivan Tasovac, Minister of Culture and Media and Sasa Radulovic, Minister of Economy |

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after work Uni Credit

Workshop on EU Banking

Claudio Cesario CEO of UniCredit Bank in Serbia

Workshop entitled “The EU banking union and its impact on non-EU members” was held on September 9th at Belgrade based Faculty of Economics Among numerous participants at this event, which was organized for the first time in Belgrade by UniCredit & Universities Foundation, Faculty of Economics and UniCredit Bank, were also representatives of National Bank of Serbia, representatives of diplomatic corps, professors, state officials, representatives of international financial organizations, economic experts and Serbian economy representatives. After welcome speeches of Mihail Arandarenko, Vice-Dean for International Cooperation of the Faculty of Economics and Claudio Cesario, CEO of UniCredit Bank in Serbia, Franco Bruni, Chairman of UniCredit & Universities Foundation Scientific Committee and Bocconi University Professor, shortly presented the idea of European baking union creation, in order to discuss afterwards about biggest challenges that Europe is facing today.

Branko Urosevic Faculty of Economics, Belgrade University, Pavle Petrović, President of the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Serbia, Diana Dragutinović, NBS ViceGovernor, Franco Bruni, UniCredit & Universities Foundation Scientific Committee and Bocconi University, Aurelio Makario, Head of Strategic Planning at UniCredit Group

Societe General Bank and ArtLink

Most Promising Young Artist Award The concert season at Kolarac Endowment officially opened with the concert of an ArtLink laureate. In an effort to promote musical culture in the region, patron Societe General Bank in Serbia has forged a partnership with ArtLink, thus becoming the benefacFrederick Coin and Jovanka Višekruna tor of the ArtLink – Societe Janković Generale Most Promising Young Artist Award. “Our main goal is to encourage young talented people to reach their maximum in their artistic careers”, said Frederick Coin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Societe Generale Bank. “It gives me great pleasure to know that the award has found its patron and that I could announce a new strategic partnership in promoting young music artists”, added Art Director of ArtLink, pianist Jovanka Višekruna Janković.

Patrick Collin, President of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Sanja Ivanic, director of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce

lazar krstić, Minister of Finance and H.E. Mr. François-Xavier Deniau, French Ambassador to Serbia

French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce

French Gala for Notable Guests The official gala of the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce was held at the Metropol Palace Hotel in Belgrade for the second consecutive year. The gala was attended by 250 notable guests, including representatives of the most successful French and Serbian companies. Guests were greeted by Patrick Collin, President of the FrenchSerbian Chamber of Commerce, and French Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Mr. François-Xavier Deniau. Serbian Finance Minister Lazar Krstić and Siniša Mali, economic and financial affairs advisor to First Deputy Prime Minister Vučić, were also in attendance.

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108 October 2013 |


“World Markets and Opportunities”


2013 Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 47

As of 2011 Norway was the world’s 5th largest oil exporter, ahead of Kuwait, Nigeria, Canada and the U.S., and the 3rd largest natural gas exporter, after Russia and Canada

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The present Sovereign is King Harald V

Hundreds of deep fjords that cut through the coast give Norway an overall coastline of more than 19,312 km. The most significant fjords include Baknafjord, Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, Moldefjord, Sognefjord, Trondheimfjord and Vestfjord 48 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

Norway is the world’s leading producer of Atlantic salmon and the second largest seafood exporter in the world.

Although Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, Norway remains one of only two Nordic countries outside the EU, the other being Iceland

During World War II, the Nazi’s interned 3,840 Serbs in 13 camps in Norway. Of them 1660 managed to escape the death camps thanks to the help of Norwegian people who provided them with food, medicine and other necessities

Photo: The house of Norwegian-Serbian friendship

The World Audit ranked Norway first in the world for Freedom of the Press in 2012, 4th for democracy and 7th for corruption out of 150 countries surveyed.

Norway is far and away the dominant Winter Olympic Games force, taking home a whopping 62 medals per one million people

Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 49


H. E. MR. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia

Progress is Evident A number of elements in the economy can be changed withouth great costs. It is important to make it easier to invest here through better, more efficient and more transparent procedures. I have to note, however, that during the three years I’ve been here the climate has changed, especially when it comes to certain municipalities that are very focused on attracting investors by improving regulations


he friendship between Norway and Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia is a longstanding one. A special relationship was forged after the Second World War on the basis of relations developed between returning Yugoslav Prisoners of War from German concentration camps in Norway and civilian Norwegians trying to help them during their stay in Norway. The relationship has developed and broadened since then. Norway is not a full member of the EU, but it is a member of the EEA (European Economic Area), which covers most economic aspects of EU cooperation, and is also a member of the Schengen Treaty. The Norwegian government’s view is that the rapid EU integration of all the countries of the Western Balkans is important for peace, political and social stability, cooperation and economic development in the region and, as such, it has a considerable assistance programme to further assist in the EU integration

of these countries. Norway continues to show commitment to the development, prosperity, stability and integration of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia into European structures by focusing on cooperation, particu-

equality, women’s rights and minority rights. Norway’s assistance is channelled both through cooperation programmes with the different governments and through civil society organisations and local governments.

Norway and Serbia deployed forces together in 2011 and it was the first time that Serbia deployed forces together with any other nation

50 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

larly within the areas of the rule of law, independent supervisory bodies like the State Auditor, anti-corruption bodies and Ombudsman, defence and security sector reform, energy and climate issues and furthering gender

■ You are well informed regarding political relations and the economic situation in Serbia. Under current circumstances, how do you evaluate bilateral relations between Serbia and Norway?

- In general, relations are very good, as is cooperation in a number of areas. In particular, cooperation in the military field is very well developed. For instance, Norway and Serbia deployed forces together in 2011 in an UN-operation in Chad. I think that was the first time Serbia deployed forces together with any other nation. We have really good relations when it comes to police cooperation, environment and energy. Political relations have been very strong in the last few years, but economic relations are shaped by the fact that we are two small countries that are relatively far away and the fact that the Serbian market is not such a big one. So, economic trade between our countries is limited. However, Norway is very high on the list of investors in Serbia and, according to Serbian government data, Norway is the 4th biggest investor. ■ In which areas are these relations most developed and where does the untapped potential lie? - If we are talking about trade, I think there is high potential for Serbia to increase trade with Norway. Despite the fact that Norway’s population is only five million, we have a strong economy. It’s an attractive market and it would be very good for Serbia to export more to Norway. In terms of Norwegian export to Serbia, as the second largest exporter of fish in the world we would like to convince Serbs to eat more fish. When it comes to investments, being a major energy producing country, Norway has a number of big ebergy companies.. Our state oil company is among the biggest oil companies in the world, Statkraft is the biggest producer of sustainable energy in Europe and we are now the biggest exporter of gas to Europe. Our biggest investments are in the energy domain. Our energy companies have been looking at the market here and have made major investments in the region, unfortunately not in Serbia. As examples Statkraft has invested more that 1 billion Euros both in Albania and Turkey., The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), with Statoil as one of

the main owners and providers of gas, will transport gas from the Caspian Sea through Turkey, Albania and Greece to Italy. The final decision on building the pipeline will be made before the end of the year. TAP will offer an interesting potential for the whole Balkan region.. Norwegian investments through Telenor are big in the telecommu-

One very nice example off the potential in this sector is projects to further honey production and exports, supported by the Norwegian Embassy. In 2012, the Norwegian Business Innovation Programmes (BIP) facilitated export of an initial 120 tonnes of good quality honey from Serbia to Norway. That means that Serbian honey captured 10 % of the Norwegian market already the first year. This year there are indications that the export of honey to Norway may be tripled. ■ In which ways does the Norwegian Embassy assist in the linking of our two countries in the economic domain? - We don’t really have any specific project with that aim, but we do have projects focusing oncapacity building, improving production and economic development. The embassy also tries to be as helpful as possible providing information to both Serbian producers and Norwegian companies trying to export to or invest in Serbia.

The most important thing is a highly unified political agenda – every party in the parliament, except one, supports Serbia’s European integration nications sector in Hungary, Montenegro and Bulgaria. ■ What are the demands that Serbian entrepreneurs have to fulfil in order to be successful on the Norwegian market? - The biggest issue, not only for Serbia but all countries in the region, is quality control. That’s absolutely the key matter. For instance, Serbia clearly has high potential in terms of agricultural products. We have had projects, not only in Serbia but also in neighbouring countries, to help further exports in agricultural products. Serbia has great potential for export of agricultural products; good climatic conditions and the soil is of the best quality in Europe.

■ As a country with a strong economy, Norway is potentially a major investor in Serbia. What is hindering the process of attracting influential investors to Serbia? - Weak rule of law, corruption, poor infrastructure and inefficient public services are probably main barriers for investing in Serbia. However, particularly when it comes to fighting corruption I think the Serbian government is sending clear and encouraging signals which will encourage investors. Serbia’s EU integration will address all of these issues. The EU integration also gives Serbia a development framework, focusing on implementing EU-legislation. For investors that is important because this is a very clear signal on Serbia’s future orientation. I think it is very important is that the Serbian government is trying to improve the economy taking step which do not necessary involve great costs with very little. There are lots of nonmonetary things that can be done to

Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 51

strategies are now in place, but on actual implementation of regulation there is room for improvement. Serbia seems well prepared for the negotiations, having already established a structure for dealing with

improve the economy through better, more efficient and more transparent procedures, better institutions and improved legislation. It will make it easier to investThe last rankings from the World Economic Forum, which saw Serbia ranked 101stin global competitiveness is not good news for investors, but should serve as a wake-up call for the government that lots remains to be done. I note however, that during the three years I’ve been here the investment climate has improved. It is particularly interesting to note the strong will to improve regulations and procedures in many municipalities. ■ Apart from Telenor, as probably the most successful Norwegian company in Serbia, which other Norwegian companies should be noted as successful examples on this market? - Elopak, which is producing packaging and has a factory on the outskirts of Belgrade, and Rapp Zastava, which produces winches and lifts and has a very good development. There are also some other small companies, like Nera. ■ How would you assess Serbia’s progress to date on the road to European integration? - The most important thing is a highly unified political agenda on European integration. Every party in the parliament, except one, supports the European integration of Serbia. That gives a high degree of political confidence that Serbia eventually will become a member of the EU. There’s been great progress in solving the Kosovo issue. That has been and is politically very challenging for the government, but I think the government has shown considerable political courage and determination to find a lasting solution. As to the integration process so far, there are certainly a number of big challenges as illustrated in the progress reports, rule of law being one of the most important. Considerable progress has been achieved in some areas, less so in other areas. As far as I can see many action plans and

Even though Norway is one of the richest countries in Europe and has large reserves of oil and gas, its most important resource is people and their skills

52 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

the negotiations and having appointed a very well-respected expert as chief negotiator. That should augur well for the negotiations when they hopefully start next January. ■ The Norwegian Embassy is a major donor in the domain of civil society and you are one of the embassies to have supported the staging of the Gay Pride Parade. What is the importance of this event in the field of human rights and in terms of the political will of the government to carry out European integration to the full extent? - The key question here is is the fact that in any European country you

should have freedom to demonstrate and freedom of assembly. We all should be able to express ourselves through demonstrations and assembling without being prevented from that by groups not respecting such an important aspect of democracy. Actually, the authorities have the obligation to protect these rights. Things are clear when it comes to the Constitution and laws in Serbia, as ruled by the Constitutional Court. From that point of view it is important that this event takes place without any kind of incidents. As an embassy don’t want to interfere in domestic policies, but it is our duty to promote general and shared principles of human right and rule of law. ■ The Embassy of Norway is among the few to have devoted a lot of attention to women’s entrepreneurship in Serbia. How do you provide even greater support and what incentives are required in this area? - Gender equality is important in all modern societies, giving the same opportunities to all inhabitants. That is why we have a focus on this in our assistance globally. We support a lot of programmes promoting entrepreneurship in general, because we think it is a key area for furthering economic development not only in Serbia, but in the whole region. Knowing from our own country how important entrepreneurship has been and is for development of our economy, we have been introducing entrepreneurship programmes to schools here. As to women; you still have lower participation of women than men in the workforce. Looking at it from a purely economic perspective, there’s thus a big potential source of workers among the female population. In a modern economy women may have a higher potential for success than men. In most countries a higher percentage of women gain university degrees these days. It is therefore also of great economic importance to have a higher female participation in the workforce. ■

Support and donations

Strengthening Capacities As an integral part of Norway’s overall assistance to the Western Balkans, the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade manages a grant scheme for developing civil society and local communities in Serbia. As well as projects related to broader developments and civil society capacity building in Serbia, the embassy also manages a separate support programme


H.E. Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg opened the Student Fair in Belgrade

orway has contributed approximately NOK 1,950 million (€250 million) in bilateral assistance to Serbia since 2000. For 2013 Norwegian assistance is approximately 70 million NOK, a large part of which is realised through close and direct cooperation between the Norwegian and Serbian governments. Important priorities in this cooperation are energy and environmental issues; reform of the security, justice and domestic sectors; strengthening independent control and regulatory agencies and gender and minority issues. Defence-related cooperation between Norway and Serbia is particularly noticeable. Norway also supports confidence building measures among ethnic communities. As an integral part of Norway’s overall assistance to the Western Balkans, the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade manages a grant scheme for developing civil society and local communities in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The Embassy Fund is open throughout the year to various types of applicants, for initiatives usually lasting up to one year and to a value up to NOK 750,000 (app. €100,000).

When it comes to project proposals related to broader developments and civil society capacity building in Serbia, the embassy manages a separate support programme entitled “Strengthening Civil Society in Serbia” (SCS). This programme was initiated in autumn 2011 in order to renew, increase and focus Norwegian assistance to Serbia’s civil society sector. The goal is to assist civil society in contributing to diversity, capacity and impact on social development

and public discourse in Serbia. The programme is designed for three years, with a total amount of NOK 30 million (app. €4 million). During 2012 some 15 civil society organisations were supported through the SCS programme, with total donations amounting to €1.3 million. Following detailed monitoring and evaluation of the results achieved by the 15 projects supported in 2012, it was decided that five of them would receive continued support. These five projects received contracts in spring 2013 worth in excess of €500,000. As a result of the embassy’s experiences during the initial phase of this programme, it was decided that the second phase of SCS should provide funding for running costs to groups of CSOs active in the programme’s priority areas. As such, the embassy decided

The Strengthening Civil Society in Serbia (SCS) programme was initiated in autumn 2011 to support organisations with a long-term vision of how to develop their organisations, with a clear impact on society. Thus, following a new public call for proposals in autumn 2012, roughly 155 organisations throughout Serbia submitted their applications. From this call, the embassy selected five organisations which were granted support in the second phase of the SCS programme. Additionally, the embassy this year decided to also support the project Human Rights House. This specific project provides long-term support to five civil society organisations. Given that the premises were provided by the City of Belgrade for use by the organisations for an indefinite period of time, it was decided that the refurbishment of the Human Rights House would be supported with €300,000. ■

Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 53


Mihailo Vesović, Vice President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce

Potential That Needs to be Realised Considering the population’s high standard of living, the Norwegian market demands a designed performance, efficient marketing and good contacts with the appropriate companies and agencies. Chances for companies from Serbia are seen in the confectionery industry, agriculture and health food million last year, with Serbian exports worth $13.1 million and imports totalling $16.5 million. The deficit on the Serbian side was 31.4 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2011, when it stood at $10.7 million. We mostly export industrial machinery, road vehicles, metal products, sugar, honey, oil and oil derivatives to Norway. Imports are dominated by fish and fish products, plastic materials, special machinery, road vehicles and fertilisers. When it comes to investments, Norway’s biggest investment, and one of the biggest single foreign investments in Serbia, is that of Norwegian mobile telephone operator Telenor in 2006. According to the statistics


he traditional friendship between the two nations, coupled with good political relations and economic potential, represents a good foundation for the development of economic cooperation between Serbia and Norway. According to Mihailo Vesović, Vice President of the Serbian Chamber, significant advances have been made in the field of economic cooperation, but there is room for further improvement.

manufacturer of packaging for milk and milk products, Elopak Serbia is part of Elopak Norway. The company exports about 35 per cent of its total Serbian production to Italy, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark etc. The rest of the production is sold on the domestic market at almost all dairies in Serbia. ■ What is the strategy for the promotion of Norwegian investments in Serbia? Are there serious investment plans in the country this year? - Through its investment policy, Serbia seeks to attract as many investors as possible and many have recognised the benefits and advantages of investment and we expect

One of the results of Business Forum of Norwegian and Serbian companies in Oslo in 2010 was an agreement of the commencement of a project in the field of treatment of slaughterhouse waste

■ What are the most important aspects of existing economic cooperation between Serbia and Norway? - The current economic cooperation between the two countries is based on the exchange of goods and Norwegian investments in Serbia. The trade exchange reached nearly $30 54 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

of the National Bank of Serbia, total Norwegian direct investments in Serbia from 2005 to 2011 reached €1.3 billion. In that period Norway was ranked second in terms of the value of foreign direct investment, after Austria. During 2012 investments amounted to €3.4 million. A significant Norwegian investment was that of the company Elopak. A

there will be an even greater influx of foreign investment in the future, including from Norway. Potential Norwegian investors have shown interest in investing in the production of parts for the automotive industry. The project is still under consideration, but we should mention the company RAPP Zastava from Kragujevac, which operates

extremely well and is planning further investments in the expansion of production capacity. Namely, RAPP Zastava from Kragujevac is owned by Norwegian company RAPP MARINE GROUP, which has been present in Kragujevac since 2006, when it purchased the Zastava Mašine enterprise from the former Zastava Holding. RAPP Zastava is an example of a successful privatisation. The company exports all its production of parts for ships, oil platforms and machines. Last year saw production increased by a record of 65 per cent compared to the previous two years and this year’s results are also good. RAPP Zastava recently bought a section of the 21 Oktobar Factory in Gruža, which is under restructuring, complete with approximately 10,000 square metres, additional facilities, equipment and about four hectares of land. RAPP Zastava intends to become the main manufacturing centre of the parent company RAPP Marine Group by 2014, which implies the doubling of production, investment in equipment and additional production space. ■ In what ways does the Serbian Chamber of Commerce help to connect Norwegian and Serbian business leaders? - The Serbian Chamber of Commerce uses every opportunity to promote Serbia’s economic potential and investment opportunities and to create an environment for the establishment of direct contacts between businesses in the two countries to exchange information and examine possibilities for cooperation. One of the most significant events in this field was the Business Forum of Norwegian and Serbian companies in Oslo, which took place in May 2010 and was organised as part of the visit of a state-business delegation from Serbia to Norway. One of the results of this visit was an agreement of the commencement of a project in the field of treatment of slaughterhouse waste.

The main task of the project “Waste Management in the Slaughter-Processing Industry in Serbia”, which was initiated by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Norwegian company IDN and with the financial support of the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, was to raise awareness of the importance of waste management and the development of new business opportunities.

oped in recent years? - Norway could be classified among the economic partners of Serbia of medium importance. Of the 164 countries’ markets where Serbia placed goods in 2012, Norway was ranked 42nd according to the value of exports and was 53rd among the 204 countries Serbia imported products from. The trade exchange growth tendency, particularly good growth in Serbian exports, which had a value almost equal to that of imports in 2008, was interrupted by the global financial crisis in 2009. One should also consider the fact that until the year 2000 the exchange of goods was characterised by a surplus on our side. Considering the population’s high standard of living, the Norwegian market demands a designed performance, efficient marketing and good contacts with the appropriate

Of the 164 countries’ markets where Serbia placed goods in 2012, Norway was ranked 42nd according to the value of exports and was 53rd among the 204 countries Serbia imported products from ■ How is the Norwegian chamber of commerce system organised and what kind of cooperation do you have with it? - There are 16 local and regional chambers of commerce in Norway. Their work is coordinated by the Norwegian Association of Commerce (NAC), as an association of chambers of commerce of Norway. Membership in Norwegian chambers is voluntary. Cooperation with these chambers is mainly achieved on a commercial basis. The embassies of Norway in Belgrade and Serbia in Oslo provide significant support for the implementation of various projects and activities aimed at establishing closer ties and cooperation. ■ How have economic movements in cooperation with Norway devel-

companies and agencies. Chances for companies from Serbia are seen in the confectionery industry, agriculture and health food. The Norwegian economy has also developed high technology and boasts significant resources to finance projects. ■ What are the most important bilateral agreements between the two countries? - Norway is a member of EFTA – the European Free Trade Association – and it signed a free trade agreement with Serbia in December 2009, which came into force in 2011. The advantages provided by this agreement should be exploited and specific prospects for increasing exports from Serbia to Norway can be seen in the agriculture sector and the food industry. ■

Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 55


Ove Fredheim, CEO of Telenor Serbia

Leading Player The fact that we became Serbia’s market-share leader in revenue is one of our greatest successes. This has proven that we have made bold and smart decisions on the market Serbian telecommunications market and make new attractive offers for our business users. This year Telenor Serbia has bought Belgium’s KBC bank with the goal of introducing advanced and latest mobile financial services to our customers in Serbia that will make their life easier. In terms of corporate responsibility and community relations, we are more than happy with the projects we have done, such as, for example, opening over 30 internet parks across Serbia or the project “Povezivanje” elenor is not only the leading investor in Serbia, it is also the in partnership with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, through which leading player in its sector and Telenor Serbia is the leading over 120,000 Roma were registered and their healthcare improved. We member of the Telenor Group in many areas. In order to dis- are the first Serbian operator to implement filters that limit access to cuss the amazing successes of this company, but also its future websites with child sex abuse content. Telenor also wants to create an “internet for all” environment, but in a safe way. Just as important is our plans, we spoke to Telenor Serbia CEO Ove Fredheim. Telenor Collection of Contemporary Serbian Art. It has been our wish to • Last month Telenor marked seven years of its operations in Serbia. use that as encouragement to inspire artists, particularly young ones, to develop their potential and continue their work in Serbia. How would you describe those seven years? - In three words: exciting, challenging and successful! In this period the As an investor and a member of the Foreign Investors Council, we are market has gone through a development process, from voice to data. Us- advocating a stable and predictable business environment, which is ers in Serbia are currently just as demanding as those on the developed sometimes rather challenging in Serbia. For example, the postponemarkets of Europe, in terms of mobile data usage, internet speed, data ment of fixed number portability prevents our customers from changing capacity and good coverage. They are buying smart devices, moving operator and imposes unequal opportunities on our potential users. more toward post-paid and expect their provider to enable a seamless Then there is further implementation of technology neutrality, which should be speeded up. The governexperience and convergent solutions. ment has resolved several issues on Thus, we have launched our Smart At the end of the day, we have to maintain this topic. However, there is much work Network in such a way that it can cona good and progressive dialogue with the ahead, such as the swift implementastantly grow and get smarter along with our users. We have bought the government, but we should not forget that we tion of the technology neutrality plan allowing us to use current bands for fixed license and, despite the lack of are here to do business new technologies that end-users will fixed number portability, the number of our customers in this segment is constantly growing. We are moving benefit from, like the much talked-about LTE or 4G technology. toward offering total Telco solutions to our customers and are constantly improving our mobile services in addition. Likewise, just recently we ■ What are the company’s most significant investments in technology introduced HD voice, a free-of-charge service that allows our customers and development? to enjoy impeccable sound while talking over their smart devices. - Since entering this market in 2006 Telenor has invested €1.53 billion to date and still represents the single largest investment in Serbia. Ad■ What were the biggest challenges and greatest successes for the ditionally, we have invested several hundred million Euros in building infrastructure that can support increased data transfer and high user company in that period? - The fact that we became Serbia’s market-share leader in revenue is one expectations in terms of speed and data capacity. Besides investments of our greatest successes. This has proven that we have made bold and in the network and corporate social responsibility, the initial investment smart decisions on the market, delivering on a well prepared strategy in a in acquiring KBC Bank reached €40 million, mostly in the first year. rather tough business environment during a rough time for the economy. As I said, in 2010 we became the owners of the second fixed-line li- ■ In terms of innovation and development, how does Telenor Serbia cense in Serbia, which gave us an opportunity to further invest in the rank in the company’s global system?


56 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

- In some areas Telenor Serbia is the leader within the Telenor Group. For example, if we take customer satisfaction as an indicator of successful performance (KPIs), commonly used for the service industry around the world, Telenor Serbia is by far the leader in the group. This is a result of a good strategy and very diligent and competent people in the company and I think Telenor Serbia’s experience and good business practice can contribute to other business units of the Telenor Group. There are many managers from Serbia working for the group now helping other Telenor business units around the world and several of our high level managers are now in Bulgaria working for Globul, which was recently acquired by Telenor. We must not forget to mention the company’s very good financial performance, with double-digit growth last year placing us ahead of our other units across Europe.

■ How are Telenor’s operational results so far in 2013? - In terms of financial indicators, Telenor Serbia reported steady growth compared to the same period last year. Revenues in the first half of 2013 amounted to more than RSD 21 billion, representing a six per cent increase year-on-year. The number of subscribers has also risen and capital investments remain intensive in 2013, focusing on further expansion and improvement of the network and the IT stack. We are committed to continuing to improve the quality of service to our customers, while increasing network speed and data capacity through further investments in our infrastructure and information systems.

■ Telenor opened several free internet parks in Serbia this year. Tell us more about that project. - Internet access for everyone at any time in parks in open air is an idea we developed six years ago, in June 2008. The first Internet Park in Serbia was Students’ Park in Belgrade, which marked the beginning of Telenor’s new project aimed at improving PC literacy and making the internet available to as many people as possible. Since then internet parks have spread all over the country and Telenor has opened more than 30 parks in 16 cities all over Serbia. I must mention that local municipalities gave tremendous contributions to this project. Without their assistance many of these parks would still be internet-free green zones. Citizens all over Serbia reacted very positively to this original idea, which not only made their net surfing easier, enabling them to get informed and entertained, but also significantly contributed to development of the local community and society at large.

■ Telenor recently presented its new Android application, E-guide to eco destinations in Serbia. What is this project about? - Our Telenor Foundation has supported the Eco Virtour project, which includes the Android Application developed to provide information on eco travel destinations and the natural and cultural heritage of Serbia for all local and foreign tourists, as well as all people who like Our network is our competitive advantage nature and enjoy outdoor holidays. This virtual eco tour app targets users and we want to further improve the who want to experience protected outservice quality and network coverage we door areas in Serbia and those who want to connect with nature digitally before have in the region they actually go and see these desti■ As one of the leading investors in Serbia, how would you evaluate the nations. The app features some of the most beautiful parts of Serbia, current economic climate in the country compared to the period when like Fruška Gora National Park, Tara National Park, Kopaonik or Đavolja Varoš Natural Landmark. Telenor arrived here? - I believe that Serbia today has many opportunities, considering its With this project we have connected natural beauty spots with modcompetent workforce with high level skills, attractive cost level and ern technologies, presenting the finest landscapes in a modern fashion good geographic position. There is an opening to attract foreign inves- available to all users of smart devices and the internet. tors and develop the ICT industry and the Serbian economy. However, the government needs to stimulate this process by creating a stable ■ What new developments can we expect from Telenor in the near future? and predictable working environment with less red tape. -In short, new products and services, the latest smart devices, advanced Public consultations and active sector involvement in important legis- mobile financial services and convergent solutions for business cuslative decisions are a prerequisite for the creation of a predictable and tomers. stable regulatory environment, which would consequently bring more Looking at this region at this moment, Telenor has operations in Serbia, investment to Serbia. Montenegro, Hungary and Bulgaria. In order to deliver best-in-class exAt the end of the day, we have to maintain a good and progressive perience for customers in the region, we will strengthen our regional dialogue with the government, but we should not forget that we are cooperation and integrate the network and IT services. Our network is here to do business. The big international companies, along with the our competitive advantage and we want to further improve the service FIC, could assist the government in shaping the playing field in the best quality and network coverage we have in the region. A few days ago we possible form from a business perspective. The regulatory body is quite also opened our new Contact Centre in Subotica, which will employ adclear on where they want to go, but we can always challenge them by ditional Serbian and Hungarian agents who will serve customers from reminding them that they’re not getting there fast enough to follow both countries. Delivering the best-in-class customer experience is our market developments and needs. vision for the future. ■ Norway | World Markets and Opportunities | 57

Norwegian Economy

The World’s Best Functioning Country Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and fourth highest purchasing power parity (PPP) per-capita in the world. Today, Norway ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation


orway’s economy is an example of a mixed economy, with a prosperous capitalist welfare state featuring a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. The Norwegian welfare state includes free public health care (above a certain level), while new parents have 46 weeks paid parental leave. The income the state receives from natural resources includes a significant contribution from crude oil production and income related to this sector is substantial and carefully managed. Norway has a very low unemployment rate, currently at 2.6%, while some 30% of the workforce is employed by the government, the highest among the OECD countries. Norway’s hourly productivity levels and average hourly wages are among the highest in the world. The egalitarian values of Norwegian society ensure that the difference between the salaries of lowest paid workers and those of the CEOs of most companies is much smaller than in comparable western economies. This is also evident in Norway’s low Gini coefficient. The state has large ownership over key industrial sectors, such as the strategic

In 1994 the Norwegian government established the sovereign wealth fund, which is funded by oil revenues

58 | World Markets and Opportunities | Norway

petroleum sector (Statoil and Aker Solutions), hydroelectric energy production (Statkraft), aluminium production (Norsk Hydro), the largest Norwegian bank (DnB NOR) and the telecommunications provider (Telenor). Through these major companies, the government controls approximately 30% of the stock values at the Oslo Stock Exchange. When non-listed companies are included, the state has an even higher share of ownership (mainly from direct oil license ownership). Norway is a major shipping nation and has the world’s 6th largest

merchant navy, with 1,412 Norwegianowned merchant vessels. Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and fourth highest purchasing power parity (PPP) per-capita in the world. Today Norway ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Norway is a net external creditor of debt. Norway maintained first place in the world according to the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001–2006) and then reclaimed this position in 2009 and 2010. The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway bottom of its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world’s best functioning and most stable country. Continued oil and gas exports, coupled with

a healthy economy and substantial accumulated wealth, lead to the conclusion that Norway will remain among the richest countries in the world in the foreseeable future. Export revenues from oil and gas have risen to almost 50% of total exports and constitute more than 20% of GDP. Norway is the world’s fifth largest oil exporter and third largest gas exporter, though it is not a member of OPEC. In order to reduce overheating in the economy from oil revenues and minimise uncertainty from oil price volatility, and in an effort to provide a cushion against the effects of an aging population, the Norwegian government established the sovereign wealth fund (“Government Pension Fund — Global”) in 1995, which is funded from oil revenues, including taxes, dividends, sales revenues and licensing fees. The government controls its petroleum resources through a combination of state ownership in major operators in the oil fields (with approximately 62% of ownership in Statoil in 2007) and the fully state-owned Petoro, which has a market value worth about twice that of Statoil, and SDFI. Finally, the government controls licensing for the exploration and production of oil fields. The fund invests in developed financial markets outside Norway. The budgetary rule (“Handlingsregelen”) is to spend no more than 4% of the fund each year (assumed to be the normal yield from the fund). In March 2011 the controlled assets of Norway’s Government Pension Fund were valued at approximately

Norway is also the world's second largest exporter of fish and the 6th largest arms exporter in the world

Norwegian Government Building

US$570 billion (equating to US$114,000 per capita), which is about 140% of Norway’s current GDP. It is the world’s second largest state-owned sovereign wealth fund, second only to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Conservative estimates suggest that the fund may reach US$800–900 billion by 2017. Projections indicate that the Norwegian pension fund may become the largest capital fund in the world. The fund controls approximately 1.25% of all listed shares in Europe and more than 1% of all publicly traded shares in the world. The Norwegian Central Bank operates investment offices in London, New York and Shanghai. Guidelines introduced in 2007 allow the fund to invest up to 60% of the capital in shares (the previous maximum was 40%), while the rest may be placed in bonds and real estate. As the stock markets tumbled in September 2008, the fund was able to buy more shares at low prices. In this way, the loss incurred by the market turmoil was recuperated by November 2009. Other countries with natural resource-based economies, such as Russia, are trying to learn from Norway by establishing similar funds. The investment choices of the Norwegian fund are directed by ethical guidelines. For example, the fund is not allowed to invest in companies that produce parts for nuclear weapons. This highly transparent investment scheme is lauded by the international community.

The future size of the fund is, of course, closely linked to the price of oil and developments in international financial markets. Norway’s trade surplus for 2008 reached approximately US$80 billion. With an enormous amount of cash invested in international financial markets, Norway had the financial muscle to avert many of the worst effects of the financial crisis that hit most countries in the autumn of 2008. As most western countries continue to struggle with burgeoning foreign debt, Norway remains a nation of stowed-away wealth and financial stability, with the economic power to meet the challenges of the worldwide economic crisis. In spite of the crisis, Norway still runs a 9% state budget surplus and was the only western country to run a surplus in July 2009. In 2000 the government sold a third of state-owned oil company Statoil in an IPO. A year later the main telecom supplier, Telenor, was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The state also owns significant shares in Norway’s largest bank, DnB NOR, and the airline SAS. Norway’s economic growth has been rapid since the year 2000, pushing unemployment down to levels not seen since the early 1980s (unemployment in 2007 totalled 1.3%). The international financial crisis primarily affected the industrial sector, but unemployment remained low and was at 3.3% (86,000 people) in August 2011. Norway was among the countries least affected by the international economic downturn. Neighbouring Sweden experienced substantially higher actual and projected unemployment figures as a result of the ongoing recession and in the 1st quarter of 2009 Norway’s GNP surpassed Sweden’s for the first time in history, despite a population numbering about half that of Sweden. Norway is also the world’s second largest exporter of fish (in value, after China) and the 6th largest arms exporter in the world. Hydroelectric plants generate roughly 98–99% of Norway’s electric power, more than any other country in the world. ■

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Economic cooperation

Progress Hindered by Global Crisis In 2012 Norway ranked 42nd of 164 countries receiving Serbian exports and 53rd of 204 countries that Serbia imported from.


orway could be classified as a relatively important trading partner of Serbia, considering that in 2012 it was ranked 42nd of 164 countries that Serbia exported to and 53rd of 204 countries that Serbia imported from. In terms of total Serbian exports and imports, Norway’s share is 0.11% and 0.09% respectively. In the period from 2005 to 2012, the export/import tendencies and the balance of trade between Serbia and Norway were characterised by growing trade activities, especially exports which were almost equal to imports in 2008. This tendency was interrupted by the global financial downturn in 2009. Serbia exported US$13.1 million worth of goods to Norway in 2012 and imported goods worth US$16.5 million from Norway, making the trade deficit US$3.4 million.

In terms of the export-import ratio in trading with Norway in 2008, Serbian imports from Norway were almost the same as exports. The growth of this indicator was also interrupted by the global economic crisis in 2009 and in 2012 the ratio stood at 79.53%. The biggest Norwegian investment in Serbia was the acquisition of mobile telephone company Mobi 63 by Norwegian company Telenor. In early August 2006 the Ser-

in Serbia, for which the company offered to pay â‚Ź1.15 million. Telenor was issued a ten-year license with the possibility of extending it for another ten years and an obligation to start providing commercial telephony services within a year of the allocation of the license. There are a total of 16 local and regional chambers of commerce in Norway. Their work is coordinated by the Norwegian Chamber Association (NHC), which

The biggest Norwegian investment in Serbia was the acquisition of mobile telephone company Mobi 63 by Telenor bian government and Telenor signed a sales contract stipulating the sale of Mobi 63 and the granting of a mobile telephony license to the Norwegian national company. Telenor was also allocated a license to become the second landline operator

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is an association of all chambers of commerce in the country. Membership of Norwegian chambers of commerce is voluntary for commercial companies and cooperation with these chambers is only possible on a commercial basis. â–

People and customs

Shy Lovers of Nature Norwegian society, with a population of just over five million, promotes cultural sharing


he name Norge (“Northern Way”) originally pertained to a region of the country before political consolidation under Harald Fairhair around 900 AD. In later use the country’s name indicates its location on the northern periphery of Europe. Some of the northerly sections of the country are home to at least two main groups (coastal and mountain) of an indigenous population of Sami (previously called Lapps), with their own separate language and distinct cultural traditions. Some groups of Sami practice nomadic culture based on the movements of the reindeer and range across northern Sweden and Finland. A smaller Gypsy population was also part of the otherwise homogeneous population. For humanitarian reasons, in the late 20th century Norway welcomed asylum seekers and immigrants from other countries. Norwegians have an acute sense of identity fostered by a 19th century national romantic movement and the country’s emergence in 1905 as an independent constitutional monarchy. The small scale of Norwegian society, with a population of just over five million, also promotes cultural sharing. Norwegians may seem a bit shy, but this is partly because they do not like to “meddle” or interfere with others’ lives, so normally they will wait to see how open you are and how willing you are to share with them, before they open up to you. Norwegians are great lovers of the outdoors and you will rarely meet one who doesn’t practice an outdoor sport or recreational activity (such as walking – often strenuous hikes on mountain trails or through woods.) They enjoy their rich natural environment and its great beauty, so they spend a lot of time outdoors, engaged in many different activities, come rain or shine or snow. In a most important perspective, Norwegians are very proud of their country and talk a lot about it (as many of us may do about our own country). They especially like it when visitors show an interest in Norway’s land, culture and heritage.

Norwegians are great lovers of the outdoors and you will rarely meet one who doesn’t practice an outdoor sport or recreational activity

Being punctual is a matter of showing respect. It is considered very important for business meetings (better to arrive five minutes early) and generally important even for private appointments, but for formal dinners it is acceptable and even customary to arrive some 10 minutes after the agreed time. Norwegians usually take off their shoes when entering a private home (unless expressly instructed to keep them on). This is particularly important in winter, as dirt, slush and salt may ruin the floors. For formal parties in the winter season it is possible to bring an extra pair of shoes.

The food considered by many to be most typically Norwegian is brown cheese that is thinly sliced with a cheese plane (a Norwegian invention) and eaten on bread. Breakfast (frokost) usually consists of coffee, breads (including flatbread or crisp bread), pickled or smoked fish, cold meats, perhaps boiled eggs and dairy products such as cheese, butter, yoghurt and varieties of sour milk. Breakfast may be more substantial than the noon meal (lunsj), which may consist of an open sandwich of bread, cheese, paté, or cold meat, perhaps accompanied by a piece of fruit and coffee. Fish and meat (pork, beef, lamb, chicken and whale) and boiled potatoes, usually served with gravy or melted butter, traditionally define the late afternoon meal (middag). Root vegetables, such as carrots, often supplement potatoes. Beer or wine is drunk occasionally in the evening. Pizza and hamburgers are popular occasional meals and are often served at fast food restaurants. Cafés and cafeterias serve open sandwiches with cold meats, smoked fish, or cheese, as well as simple but substantial meals of meat or fish and boiled potatoes. Chinese, Indian and other ethnic restaurants often occupy the medium-price niche, while restaurants with seafood and continental cuisine are the most expensive. In the last several decades the cuisine has become more diversified and international. The consumption of fatty foods has dropped in the last twenty years, while consumption of meat has never been higher and eating fish is less popular. ■

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Norwegian Culture

Creation in Ice and Wood The culture of Norway is closely linked to the country's history and geography. The unique Norwegian farm culture, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate, but also from ancient property laws.


emerged in Viking Age Norway and continued with little change into the age of firearms – and in many respects even into the early 20th century. It has been described as being unique in Europe and was widely celebrated in Norwegian literature during the romantic nationalist movement. The farm culture had to be preserved as such through idealism as the years passed and new music and other impulses reached Norway during the 20th century. Folk music in Norway and Nynorsk (New Norwegian – one of Farm culture The Norwegian farm culture (Norwegian: two official written standards for the Norwebondekultur) was a rural movement unique gian language, the other being Bokmål) were in terms of values and practices which first symbols of the Norwegian counter-culture for many years. When radio broadcasting began in Norway, the broadcasting company soon gained its own folk music programme and while this was welcomed in the rural areas (people gathered in silence each Sunday evening at the home of the nearest farmer with a radio), the folk music was resented in urban areas. Tensions were great and many angry readNorwegian farm ers protested against efforts to n the 18th century it brought about a strong romantic nationalist movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian language and media. In the 19th century Norwegian culture blossomed as efforts continued to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literature, art and music. This continues today in the performing arts and as a result of government support for exhibitions, cultural projects and artwork.

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bring the hardanger fiddle into their homes. As a rule, the people of Oslo neither liked nor understood this music. The protests also resulted in the throwing of stones through the windows of Eivind Groven, who was responsible for the folk music programmes. In the other area, Nynorsk, debates raged for many years and had to be silenced through political agreement as late as 1959. Prejudice, mostly directed against Nynorsk, prevailed for many years and is still a prominent feature amongst teenagers in Oslo. The right-wing parties are still trying to garner the votes of young people by using this argument. Film

Nils Gaup

Norwegian cinema did not receive international recognition until fairly recently, but as early as 1959 Arne Skouen’s Nine Lives was in fact nominated for an Oscar. Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, an animated feature film directed by Ivo Caprino and released in 1975, is based on the characters created by Norwegian car-

toonist Kjell Aukrust. It is the most widely seen Norwegian film of all time. The real breakthrough, however, came in 1987 with Nils Gaup’s Pathfinder, which told the story of the Sami. It was nominated for an Oscar and was a huge international success. Berit Nesheim’s The Other Side of Sunday was also nominated for an Oscar in 1997. Since the 1990s the film industry has thrived, with up to 20 feature films produced each year. Particular successes came for Kristin Lavransdatter’s The Telegraphist and Gurin with The Foxtail. Knut Erik Jensen was among the more successful new directors, together with Erik Skjoldbjaerg (remembered for Insomnia). Literature

Henrik Ibsen

Several Norwegian authors have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, namely Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1903, Knut Hamsun in 1920 and Sigrid Undset in 1928 for Kristin Lavransdatter. Though he was not awarded a Nobel Prize for his plays, as the first of these were awarded after he published his last play in 1899, playwright Henrik Ibsen is probably the most famous figure in Norwegian literature. Ibsen wrote plays such as Peer Gynt, A Doll’s House and The Lady from the Sea. Other famous Norwegian writers from the realistic era include Jonas Lie and Alexander Kielland who, along with Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Henrik Ibsen, are regarded as the “four greats” of Norwegian literature. Also of importance to Norwegian literary culture is the Norse literature and, in particular, the works of Snorre Sturlason, as well as the more recent folk tales collected

by Asbjørnsen and Moe in the 19th century. Norwegian literature attained international acclaim in the 1990s with Jostein Gaarder’s novel Sophie’s world (Sofiesverden) which was translated into 40 languages. Other noteworthy writers with an international profile include Erik Fosnes Hansen (Psalm at Journey’s End) and Åsne Seierstad, whose controversial work The Bookseller of Kabul proved particularly successful in 2003. Architecture Norway has always had a tradition of building in wood. Indeed, many of today’s most interesting new buildings are made of wood, reflecting the strong appeal that this material continues to hold for Norwegian designers and builders. In the early Middle Ages stave churches were constructed throughout Norway. Many of them remain to this day and represent Norway’s most important contribution to architectural history. A fine example is The Stave Church at Urnes, which is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Another notable example of wooden architecture is the Bryggen (wharf) in Bergen, consisting of a row of narrow wooden structures along the quayside. In the 17th century, under the Danish monarchy, cities such as Kongsberg, with its Baroque church, and Røros, with its wooden buildings, were established. Oslo only became the capital city after Norway’s union with Denmark was dissolved in 1814. Architect Christian H. Grosch designed the oldest parts of the University of Oslo, the Oslo Stock Exchange and many other buildings and churches. At the beginning of the 20th century the city of Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style. The 1930s, when functionalism dominated, became a strong period for Norwegian architecture, but it is only in recent decades that Norwegian

Borgund Stave Church

architects have truly achieved international renown. One of the most striking modern buildings in Norway is the Sami Parliament in Kárášjohka, designed by Stein Halvorson and Christian Sundby. Its debate chamber is an abstract timber version of a Lavvo, the traditional tent used by the nomadic Sami people. Art For an extended period the Norwegian art scene was dominated by artwork from Germany and Holland, as well as by the influence of Copenhagen. It was only in the 19th century that a truly Norwegian era began, first with portraits and later with even more impressive landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl (1788–1857), originally from the Dresden school, eventually

Kvalbein Farm: Kitty Lange Kielland

returned to paint the landscapes of western Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time. Norway’s new-found independence from Denmark encouraged painters to develop their Norwegian identity, especially with landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland (1843–1914), an early female painter who studied under Gude, Harriet Backer (1845–1932), another pioneer among female artists who was influenced by impressionism, Frits Thaulow (1847–1906), an impressionist influenced by the art scene in Paris, as well as Christian Krohg (1852–1925), a realist painter famous for his paintings of prostitutes. Of particular note is Edvard Munch (1863– 1944), a symbolist/expressionist painter who gained renown worldwide for his painting The Scream, which is said to represent the anxiety of modern man. Other artists of note include Harald Sohlberg (1869–1935), a neo-romantic painter remembered for his paintings of Røros, and Odd Nerdrum, born 1944, a figurative painter who maintains that his work is not art but kitsch. ■

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Power of the Nature As of 2008, Norway ranks 17th in the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report


orway is known for nature attractions like fjords, mountains and midnight sun, and is easily accessible by plane from most European countries.As of 2008, Norway ranks 17th in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.The fjords, mountains and waterfalls in Western and North Norway attract several hundred thousand foreign tourists each year. The culture of Norway evolved as a result of its sparse population, harsh climate, and relative isolation from the rest of Europe. It is therefore distinct from other countries in Europe in that it has fewer opulent palaces and castles, smaller agricultural areas, and longer travel distances.

Fjords Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world, and nowhere on earth are there more fjords than in Fjord Norway. Norway’s coastline stretches over 25,148kilometres; without fjords and bays, the length would be only 2,532 kilometres. Formed when the glaciers retreated, and seawater flooded the U-shaped valleys, the fjords have made Norway famous. Two of these, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Sognefjord, the longest, and the Hardangerfjord, famed for its cherry and

Sandviks Fjord

apple trees, are among the most visited. But the Lysefjord just outside Stavanger (home to the famous Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock), and the Nordfjord further north are also very popular holiday destinations. National Geographic Magazine has named the fjords “the best unspoiled travel destinations in the world”. And the respected American newspaper Chicago Tribune has included Norway’s fjords on its list Seven Wonders of Nature. Fjord Norway has been chosen as one of four pilot destinations by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for its program “Early adopters of the GSTC new Criteria for Destinations”. GSCT Criteria for Destinations outlines the minimum standard that a des-

Aurora Borealis The Northern lights (aurora borealis) are a common natural phenomenon, most commonly observed above the Arctic Circle between late autumn and early spring. The northern lights belt hits Northern Norway in the Lofoten Islands, and follows the coast all the way up to the North Cape. This means that no other place on earth offers better chances of spotting the lights, and one location in this area might be as good as another.

The northern lights belt hits Northern Norway in the Lofoten Islands, and follows the coast all the way up to the North Cape tination must achieve in order to be considered socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable. For a long time, many companies in the region have worked towards becoming sustainable and, as a pilot destination, Fjord Norway will analyse and provide feedback in regards to GSTC’s criteria. This is crucial for placing even greater focus on sustainable tourism.

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Northern Lights

Maximum chances of spotting the lights occur between the autumn and spring equinox (21 September - 21 March). However, the weather is also of importance, as the northern lights might be obstructed by clouds. You should avoid the full moon and places with a lot of light as they make the experience considerably paler. In summer, meanwhile, over the Arctic Circle the sun does not set, meaning visitors to Northern Norway enjoy 24 hours of daylight this time of year – a phenomenon known as “midnight sun”. Vikings Famed for their boat building and navigation skills, the Vikings also had a reputation as raiders. They were, however, also traders, explorers and settlers, and the legacy from the Viking Age (AD 800-1050) lives on in Norway. The Viking Ships Museum in Oslo is home to the world’s two best-preserved wooden Viking longships, both dating from the ninth century. Lofotr Viking Museum in Borg, in the Lofoten Islands; KarmøyKulturopplevelser in Rogaland; and Stiklestad National Culture Centre in Nord-Trøndelag are all good places to learn more about Viking history. Sami people The vast county of Finnmark is the home of the Sami - Norway’s indigenous people. The Sami are the indigenous people of Norway. Known for their colourful clothes and their huge herds of reindeer, the Sami have been living in northern Scandinavia for over 10,000 years. Today they have their own parliament in Karasjok (population: 3,000 inhabitants), the Sami capital of Norway, a town boasting a thriving Sami culture. Reindeer herding is still central to Sami culture, providing meat, fur and transportation - reindeer sledding is popular in Finnmark in winter.

North Cape Also in Finnmark, North Cape is the Europe’s northernmost point. The cape includes a 307-metre (1,007 ft) high cliff with a large flat plateau on top where visitors can stand and watch the midnight sun or the views of the Barents Sea to the north. A new visitor center was built in 1988 on Sami people the plateau with panoramic views, a cafe, restaurant, post office, souvenir shop, and a so-called super video cinema.Finnmark provides the perfect backdrop for a winter holiday, whether you are planning on plenty of activities or just to relax in peace and quiet. Every day, all winter, you can choose from a wide number of

Throughout history, Bergen has experienced many fires, since, traditionally, most houses were made from wood. This was also the case for Bryggen, and as of today, around a quarter dates back to the time after 1702, when the older wharf side warehouses and administrative buildings burned down. The rest predominantly consists of younger structures, although there are some stone cellars that date back to the 15th century. Parts of Bryggen were destroyed in a fire in 1955. This enabled a thirteen-year archae-

Norway's coastline stretches over 25,148kilometres; without fjords and bays, the length would be only 2,532 kilometres exciting winter activities: snowmobile safaris, dog sledging trips, swimming in the Arctic, a visit to the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, a visit to KirkenesSnowHotel, King crab safaris, Sami adventures, Hunting for the northern lights, a visit to the North Cape, cookery courses, deep-sea fishing… Bryggen Bryggen (Norwegian for the Wharf), also known as Tyskebryggen is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the fjord coming into Bergen, Norway. Bryggen has since 1979 been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. The city of Bergen was founded in 1070. The area of the present Bryggen constitutes the oldest part of the city. As the town developed into an important trading centre, the wharfs were improved. The buildings of Bryggen were gradually taken over by the Hanseatic merchants. The warehouses were filled with goods, particularly fish from northern Norway, and cereal from Europe.

North Cape

ological excavation to take place, revealing amongst other things the hitherto unimagined wealth of day-to-day runic inscriptions known as the Bryggen inscriptions. This area was used for the construction of Bryggen museum containing archeological remains, plus some old-style wooden houses, these being the six leftmost. Controversially, a brick hotel was also raised on the premises, which is seen behind these six houses. ■


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■ By Sonja Ćirić

Srdan Golubović, film director and producer



I was curious to see if we could get out of the shadow of time, leave it behind us and start living a normal life - says Srđan Golubović


n the last days of August, the Expert Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose Srdan Golubović’s film Krugovi (Circles) as the Serbian nominee for the Academy Award for best feature film in a foreign language. Then, just at the time of writing this text, it was reported that Circles had been chosen for the selection of the European Film Awards, the so-called European Oscars, thus this interview with director Srdan Golubović was held due to two current events. In truth, Golubović is one of those people whose work is sufficient cause for a newspaper interview without any actual reason. His first fictional feature film Apsolutni sto (Absolute hundred) competed in over 30 international film festivals (including San Sebastian, Toronto, Thessaloniki, Cottbus, Rotterdam and Pusan) and won 10 international and 19 domestic awards. His second film, Klopka (The Trap) premiered in 2007 at the Berlin Film Festival. It won 21 international awards and was on the list of nine best foreign Oscar nominees.

Circles, Golubović’s latest film, premiered this January at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. and won the Special Jury Award. In February it had its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it received the Award of the Ecumenical Jury, while the Serbian audience was also shown this film in February, with it premiering at this year’s Fest. Circles is based on the heroic deed of soldier Srđan Aleksić, who defended a

international awards and six or seven awards at local festivals.

Bosniak, his fellow citizen, from the attacks of four members of the Army of the Republika Srpska in Trebinje in 1993, as a result of which they beat and killed him, and it describes the implications of a heroic deed, repaying debts and the need for good to one day return.

car, while Europe is aware of you due to your success at the Berlin Festival. - The chances for that are very small. I think it would be a success if the film makes it among the nine films nominated for the world Oscar and it would be a real miracle if Circles were nominated for this award. The advantage always goes to large cinematography, thus small countries and cultures rarely receive an Oscar. It is good that Circles has a great seller in

■ There are chances for those to be joined by some Oscars, from world or European festivals. These chances are based on the fact that the American public knows Circles thanks to the Sundance festival and you’re known to the U.S. public through your previous film The Trap, which was among the top nine foreign competitors for an Os-

In a thematic sense, on the territory of the former Yugoslavia films that deal with the consequences of war sill persist

■ Do you know the exact number of awards won by the film Circles? - I know more or less. So far it’s been 15 |

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the form of French company Memento, which represented last year’s winner – Iranian film Divorce: Nader and Simin, and that they have a good distributor in America. It’s really hard to predict anything for any award, as there are many things that influence the result. ■ The film won three awards at this year’s 60th Pula Film Festival: Best Director, Best Actor (Leon Lučev) and Best Minority Co-production. You described the award for Best Director in Pula as the realisation

■ The basis of the story of Circles is an event related to the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia. If we know that the world public generally does not have a positive attitude regarding our recent history, you risked having your Circles greeted with this bias. However, it happened that the American and European audiences and critics experienced the film positively and with praise. How would you comment on that? - I tried to make Circles our story and for it to relate to and hurt us in the former

Art can influence the individual to be more humane, better, and I believe that such an individual can change the world with his deeds of a childhood dream. How was that dream formed? - As a child I went with my parents to the Pula Film Festival every year, given that my father was also a director. Pula was then filled with glamour and it was the most important film event in Yugoslavia. That is how I met and was close to many Yugoslav film stars and saw the brighter side of directorial work. I also shot my first film in Pula, with an 8mm camera. I was four years old.

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Yugoslavia, but also to have a universal idea and narration. I have always admired Kurosawa, who translated Japanese culture into Shakespearean narrative structure and thus made his works universal and understandable everywhere. At that time he suffered a lot of criticism in Japan that he had betrayed the Japanese tradition and culture, but today his work is a symbol of Japanese art. I wanted to achieve this kind of uni-

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versality with Circles. I think that the question of heroism, which the film addresses, is universal. Such a story could happen anywhere, in a different context and with other actors. This film speaks to people who are willing to be open. Among us there are this kind and that kind. Circles says that among us lived Srđan Aleksić, a great man, a hero, but there were also those who beat him to death in the middle of the square in Trebinje. This film tries to understand everyone’s truth. Therefore even Todor, who was one of the killers, played by Boris Isaković, has his truth and in the film he has the right to say it even though I disagree with him. I think, therefore, that the story is universal and that is what actually gives it that, so to say, aura of a movie that has success on all continents. ■ The film tells a story which is still a very sensitive subject here - the relationship between nations, without any political connotations. How did you achieve that? - The deed of Srđan Aleksić was not political, it was a human deed. That fact eliminated the possibility of a strong political context and political manipulation. And I am also not interested in making a political film. Politics is the set design of the film, but it is not its essence. Srđan Aleksić primarily did a human deed – it was a supranational and supra-religious act and I think it would not be fair on him and his heroic act for that the film to be on anyone’s side, except on the human side. It was important for me to explain that the film tells a human story, a story about people trying to get out of the shadow of events that marked their lives. ■ Critics positively noted your decision, and of course also the decision of screenwriter Srđan Koljević, to unload the film of dialogue in favour of emotion. Does that also open the film up to a foreign audience? - Circles is a film about that which is not spoken. For me the dialogue in the film is meaningless, it is important what heroes feel, not what they say. In this I see the beauty of the

human deed



The deed of Srđan Aleksić was not political, it was a human deed

Unfortunately, I do not believe that culture can change the world

The greatest wealth of Serbian cinematography is its variety

not with us. I just believe that art can into a comprehensive and powerful script. film and the power that this art form has influence the individual to be more hucompared to the theatre, where the word mane, better, and I believe that such an ■ As selector and artistic director of is important. Also, people don’t talk a lot in individual can change the world with the Herceg Novi Film Festival, you Herzegovina and it was logical to apply this his deeds. So art changes the world in gain an insight into regional cineprinciple in the film. I tried to make Circles a an indirect way. Our films represent our matography. Is there a common defilm with few words, to be a film about what country. I think politicians are poor at nominator? is not said, rather about what can be seen understanding how important that is. - In an aesthetic sense it does not exand felt. The scene at the cemetery, that shift Culture is the basic identity of the naist, not in the region and not in Serbia. I in Ranko, is a scene of forgiveness: Ranko tion, not politics and politicians. You think that the greatest wealth of Serbian realises that Bogdan tried in every way to cinematography is its variety. In prove to him that he is a good man thematic terms, on the territory of and that he does not want to carry the the former Yugoslavia films that burden of a past for which he is not to deal with the consequences of war blame. And Ranko realises all of that. still persist. War is the most powerThe scene at the cemetery was very ful event that happened in our lives important to me: we have to learn to and it would be hypocritical to preforgive. We do not need to give up of tend that it didn’t happen. all that is ours, but we have to accept the circumstances in which we are ■ How is the American remake and we must understand them. This of The Trap (Klopke) progressis what interested me, if we can get ing? We hear that Liam Neeson out from the shadow of time, to leave should play the main role and it behind us and start living a normal that shooting is scheduled to life. The answer is suggested by the begin by the end of this year. title of the film. I wanted to ask a ques- I don’t know. I think they are still tion, to give everyone an opportunity trying to get a big star for the film. to respond to it. I think that Ranko’s Without big stars it is impossible to road to forgiveness is the temptation find funding for a film in Hollywood. at the end of the film when he is in a position to save Bogdan’s life, thus the life of the son of the killer of his son, ■ Would you direct in another when he has to pass a physical and country? mental temptation to be able to con- For now I am not thinking about quer his pain and forgive, and get out There are a lot of themes and stoI tried to make Circles a film of that. of the circle in which he is located. Cirries in Serbia that I would like to tell. few words, to be a film about cles is a film about people who escape the circles of the past. That is why Cirwhat is not said, rather about ■ Circles has long since lived its cles is a very tormenting and difficult life beyond you. What are you what can be seen and felt film, but a very positive one. preparing now, having stated identify Russians by Tolstoy, not by polithat you will not make any more ticians. Culture is what creates the imfilms about the ’90s? ■ The death of a young Serbian solage of the nation and is what remains. - With Circles I moved away from the dier who defended a Muslim friend, And that’s why it is important. ’90s, I think I succeeded in intimately thus the actions of one man, receives leaving them behind me. Or, more prea universal scale and message in the cisely, I beat them. Circles is my most film. Do you, perhaps, belong to the ■ You took five years to prepare that complex and most comprehensive view group of authors who believe that film. Apart from raising money, what of the consequences that that time had culture changes the world? took up the most time? on our lives. And it is enough from me on - Unfortunately, I do not believe that - Very long work on the script and trying that subject. ■ culture can change the world, especially to shape a complex and complicated story |

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culture calendar CONCERTS Index & friends Sava Centre 10th October @ 20.00 Concerts dedicated to the legendary group Index will be yet another in a series that pays homage to this group that defined an era but whose

songs are timeless, many of which can often be heard through electronic media in their original versions even today. In addition to the original members of the band, some of the greatest singers and musicians from the former Yugoslavia will perform. The Sava Centre concert will feature: INDEX’s: Ranko Rihtman, Neno Jurin, Fadil Redžić, Miroslav Šaranović, Kornelije Kovač, Peco Petelj and Muris Varajić FRIENDS: Arsen Dedić, Željko Bebek, Dado Topić, Hari Mata Hari, Mladen Vojičić Tifa, Seid Memić Vajta, Halid Bešlić, Tarik Filipović, Branko Đurić Đuro, Massimo, Kiki Lesandrić, Kaliopi, Leo, Giuliano and Jelena Tomašević Vaya Con Dios Kombank Arena 12th October @ 20.00 Legendary Belgian band Vaya Con Dios, led by sensitive voiced singer Dani Klein, will perform at Belgrade’s Kombank Arena as part of its farewell tour. The Belgrade concert will see the band remind all lovers of its greatest hits for the last time: “Nah neh nah”, “Johnny”, “Just A Friend Of Mine”, “Don’t Cry For Louie” and “Puerto Rico” in the original arrangement from the ‘90s, when this band reached the peak of its popularity worldwide. Tickets priced at RSD 3,800 and 3,300 for the floor (seating), RSD 1,700 (standing) and RSD 2,400 and 2,600 for the stands, can be purchased at all locations of Eventim, the Kombank Arena box office and through the websites of www. and This is not the first visit of Vaya Con Dios to

Belgian bands ever. The band was founded by singer Dani Klein, Dirk Shufs and Willy Lambregt in 1986. International fame was achieved with the songs “Just A Friend Of Mine”, “What’s a Woman?”, “Nah neh nah”, “Don’t Cry for Louie”, “Puerto Rico”, “Heading for a Fall”, “Johnny”, “Sunny Days” and “Don’t Break My Heart”. In the past 25 years this iconic band has released six studio albums and three compilation albums and has sold over 10 million albums and three million singles. Dani Klein turned 60 on January 1st 2013 and after his farewell tour she wants to devote herself to a quiet life. She recently published her autobiography entitled “Memoirs”. Mark Lanegan Dom Omladine 22nd October @ 20.00 Usually when a great and famous musician we’ve been waiting for decades to come to our part of the world finishes their concert and says “see you soon” it means that we’ve seen them in Serbia then and (usually) never more. In the case of Mark Lanegan, authentic rock and roll icon, poet and singer, this is not the case. Only

11 months after his concert at Amerikana, he is returning to Belgrade and this time will perform two new studio recordings. He is coming of his own volition, excited by the enthusiastic reaction of the audience at his first concert in Serbia, as part of his exclusive acoustic tour. On the stage of the Great Hall of Dom Omladine he will be joined by Duke Garwood and Lyenn, but also a few (for now) secret artists. The concert will be acoustic and Lanegan and Garwood will present their joint album “Black Pudding”, as well as Lanegan’s album of covers “Imitations”, which includes his versions of songs that his parents listened to when he was little, with a few songs by his friends. Gibonni Kombank Arena 25th October @ 20.00 One of the most popular singers of the regional music scene, Zlatan Stipišić, aka Gibonni, will perform in Belgrade for the first time this October. At his Belgrade concert, organised by AAA Pro-

Serbia and their previous concerts were sold out. At this last one at the Kombank Arena this October they are coming to say goodbye to their many fans in Serbia and the region. Vaya Con Dios is one of the most successful 70 |

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Peter Gabriel Belgrade Arena 5th October @ 20.00

In honour of the anniversary of 25 years since the release of his album "So", Peter Gabriel will perform the entire album at concerts across Europe in 2013. Following the recent release of a re-mastered version of "So", lauded by audiences and critics, and after successful performances across North America, Peter Gabriel is ready to bring his "Back To Front" tour to Europe. Gabriel will perform at the Kombank Arena with his original "So" band, offering a cross-section of songs from the best parts of his career, as well as performing all the songs from the album "So". ductions, Gibonni will promote his latest album, “20th Century Man”, and also perform the most important songs from his rich musical career. Although this Croatian artist has had a successful career spanning more than 20 years, it will be his first time performing in the Serbian capital. After a record-breaking sold-out concert in Subotica in 2010 and a three-hour spectacle staged by Gibonni in Novi Sad in 2011, the famous singer is preparing to make his long-awaited debut in Belgrade. The audience will have the opportunity to hear new songs at the Kombank Arena, along with some of his most legendary hits. Gibonni’s biggest hits, such as “Libar”, “Mirakul”, “Ne odustajem”, “Tempera”, “Oprosti”, “Žeđam” have been as popular in Serbia as Croatia since their release. Each song carries a unique signature and seal, with which he has built up and preserved his own musical identity like few others. Equally respected as an author and songwriter, Gibonni has received unanimous praise and has been awarded by the audience and critics for his albums and songs. CLASSICAL MUSIC Nigel Kennedy Kolarac 9th October @ 20.00 Charismatic British violinist Nigel Kennedy will perform at the Kolarac Great Hall on 9th October. Nigel Kennedy’s latest tour will see him perform in smaller acoustic halls, performing pieces by Bach and jazz classics by Fats Waller,

Released in 1986, "So" has become one of the albums that marked the music of the era and has won numerous international awards. The album has sold five million copies In the U.S. alone and earned a big hit for the song 'Sledgehammer', which to this day remains the most frequently watched music video in the history of MTV broadcasting. Just a year previously in 1985, when Gabriel started working on the album, the fifth of his career, he had no idea how explosive it would be and the lasting impact it would have on pop music. The album "So" is packed with hits, such as 'In Your Eyes' – the song which marked Cameron Crowe's movie Say Anything – and “Don’t Give Up”, a memorable duet with Kate Bush, as well as other collaborations with many renowned artists, including Laurie Anderson, Stewart Copeland, Daniel Lanois, Jim Kerr, Bill Laswell and Nile Rodgers. whose compositions and performances have influenced the development of jazz as we know it today - he is the creator of jazz standards such as “Ain’t Misbehavin”,”Squeeze Me” and “Honeysuckle Rose”. Nigel’s mentors, Yehudi Menuhin and Stéphane Grappelli, served as the

inspiration for this unique programme and the division of the concert between classical music and jazz performance. For over 25 years Nigel Kennedy has been considered one of the most talented violinists in the world. His unique talent has brought a new perspective to the classic and contemporary concert repertoire and made him the best selling classical violinist of all time. His first landmark recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling classical work of all time. It sold in excess of two million copies and the album remained top of the UK classical charts for almost two years. As well as several customised five string electric violins, Kennedy plays an instrument made in 1732 by the great violin maker Carlo Bergonzi of Cremona.

culture news Pierre Hommage Guarnerius 13th October @ 20.00 Pierre Hommage is an artist who has spent decades successfully building a career at all meridians, with great attention from the audience and critics who have called him “an exceptional violinist of powerful emotion and exquisite technique”. He was given an honorary degree by Kiđijana Academy in Siena in 1985 and began his solo career in Italy at the international festival in Cremona that same year, where he performed Bach’s famous “l’Intégral des Sonates et des Partitas pour piano seul”. His highly technical and musical skills and liveliness, intertwined with sensitivity and emotion, make his performances a unique musical experience. Pierre’s concerts are always accompanied by excellent reviews and long applause and critics consider him one of France’s best violinists of his generation. OPERA The Mandrake Madlenianum 21st October @ 19.00

Ivan Jevtić’s comic opera Mandragola (The Mandrake) has a special place in the history of Serbian music and the history of operatic literature in this area as extremely rare attempts to revive the comedy character. This is not a common genre even on a global scale and is composed very rarely. In the opera of Niccolo Machiavelli’s comedy The Mandrake (La Mandragola) is preserved through lyrics in Serbian and all elements of the textual sources, with the addition of typically Serbian famous symbols in order for piece to gain credibility, visibility, contemporary relevance, climate, language and the environment in which the opera was created.

Magic Flute Madlenianum, 15th October @ 19.00 This year sees Madlenianum launch a children’s programme befitting of every major opera house in the world. Their wish is to offer the youngest audience, school and pre-school children, a programme that would open the door for opera and opera houses to them and provide their first step to meeting this genre in the company of teachers and parents, as their first experience watching and listening to great music and a real show. This is why they have reduced Mozart’s very long opera The Magic Flute down to about an hour, leaving out the most important tracks and parts and excluding many others. Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute has thus been adapted to children and childhood and is the centre piece of the Madlenianum programme. The show is performed exclusively by young authors and singers, most of whom are appearing on the scene for the first time. As Mozart’s music is loved and listened to by everyone, both young and old, this opera does exclude out anyone, but rather includes audiences of all ages who love opera. Thus, all are welcome. DANCE Una Saga Serbica Sava Centre, 26th October @ 20.00 The project “Igre i zvuci Balkana” (Dances and Sounds of the Balkans) represents a new ethno - dance company that brings together young, talented dancers and artists. The spirit of the Balkans and cultural heritage are presented through this spectacle of dance, music and visuals based on the modernisation of the original dances, traditional music and visual aesthetics. This project is something completely new to the cultural creations of Serbia and is of interest to the public because it will contribute to the strengthening of ties with the Diaspora and Serbian representations in Europe and the world. The aim of the project is to engage young people in the participation and implementation of this project, which will promote artistic values and introduce the audience to the importance of dance in the preservation of folk and ethnic art. Through the involvement of young people, lesser-known folk and ballet dancers from the Lujo Davičo Ballet School, it will provide the possibility for young dancers to gain experience in the implementation of the project.

8th Festival of Serbian Sci Fi Film Dom Omladine/Yugoslav Film Archive, 16th – 19th October The Festival of Serbian Sci Fi Film (FSFF), established in 2006, distinguishes itself from other Serbian festivals as the oldest film genre review of its kind. In between the regular annual editions held in Belgrade, it is on a non-stop tour around Serbia and ex-Yugoslav countries, attracting fans of the strange and the scary. Its aim is to familiarise the wider audience with the significant Serbian fantasy scene, along with supporting its participants and contributing to the bonding of

cinematography and filmmakers from the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Winners are rewarded with the Oscull award – a skeleton like version of the American Oscar (last year’s winner was "Tales from Beyond the Grave" by Damir Romanov).

Musical Diaries KCB Art Gallery 4-22 September The exhibition "Musical Diaries" by filmmaker and artist Miloš Tomić opened on 4th September at the Belgrade Cultural Centre’s KCB Art Gallery. Miloš Tomić, who represented Serbia at this year's La Biennale di Venezia, uses this exhibition to connect music and childhood. The exhibition is divided into several segments: short films "Musica diaries 1-4" and "Musical intermezzo 1-6", a 30-minute documentary "Little Music Professors", a workshop, concert and other features. Parisian Experience by Sava Šumanovi Novi Sad, 113th September Sava Šumanović’s exhibition Parisian Experience, realised in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and the Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski, opened on Friday 13th September in the Memorial collection of Pavle Beljanski in Novi Sad. The exhibition presents 11 of Šumanović’s works from the collection of the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art and six works from the Memo-

"Musical Diaries" is a result of Miloš's unfulfilled wish to make music. Initiated as a daily play with everyday objects that consisted of amateur improvisations and attempts to forget oneself, paying attention to what household objects and musical instruments have to say. Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh, Šumanović built up his own expression towards the synthesis of cubist and constructivist principles, emphasised by expressively lush and thick layers of paint. The dominant themes of his work are landscapes and female nudes, located in the countryside or indoors. Šumanović’s cycle Šidjanke (Šid ladies) reveals the essence of his artistic expression, recognised in the context of the anthology of colour painting of the national art history. During the exhibition (13th September – 6th October) a varied accompanying programme has been organised in the form of the 1958 documentary film Putevi (Roads) by Aleksandar Petrović (screened on 19th September) and the interpretation settings (3rd October). Bitef Polyphony UK Parobrod/Bitef Theatre, 23rd – 29th September Bitef Polyphony, the ancillary programme of the Belgrade International Theatre Festival, opened at UK Parobrod on September 23rd.

rial Collection of Pavle Beljanski, created during three periods of his residence in Paris, when he was considered the most gifted Yugoslav artist present on the art scene in the French capital. The selected works (15 paintings and two sketches) represent themes and motives that Šumanović dealt with as a representative of the Parisian school: urban areas, landscapes, still life and nudes. The central pieces of the exhibition are the monumental paintings Doručak na travi (Breakfast on the Grass) from 1927 and Veliki Akt (Great Deed) from 1929. The exhibition is complemented by rarely exhibited letters sent by the painter from the French capital, as well as a geographic representation of Montparnasse and the most important places in Paris where he lived and worked. The artwork of Sava Šumanović (Vinkovci, 22nd January 1896 - Sremska Mitrovica, 30th August 1942) marked years of study and living in Zemun, Zagreb, Paris and Šid, where he formed his distinctive artistic sensibility. After spending time in the Paris studio of André Lhote in the early 1902s, although sympathetic to the work of Paulo

Bitef Polyphony explores and promotes innovative, participatory and socially-engaged theatre performed by and for young people. It takes on important social topics, promotes change and transforms established practices. Through roundtables, presentations, workshops and performances, Bitef Polyphony explores the use of drama, play and theatre as a method, instrument and technique in education, social engagement and humanitarian work. Bitef Polyphony was held at UK Parobrod and Bitef Theatre until September 29th. |

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Frankfurt 2013

CorD's Top 10

The Coolest Cars From

Frankfurt Auto Show 2013

Auto show season is upon us, and the 2013 Frankfurt show was quite a kickoff. Everybody who loves new cars and future cars focused their attention on Frankfurt Auto Show mid September to see who is coming out with what and who can impress the car-buying public with their genius. Since this was their home show, the Germans were out in force with production cars like the Mercedes, BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder, and concepts like the radical Audi “nanuk” Quattro. If there was an overall theme to the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, it would be “green.” Nearly every car that was unveiled there featured some form of green technology; plug-in hybrids and EVs were particularly numerous. Actually, a second theme might be “cool.” Regardless of what was under the hood, there were plenty of great cars in Frankfurt. Here is our list of 10 the best. Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Concept This is the Mercedes-Benz Concept S-class Coupé shown at the Frankfurt motor show, which gives strong clues about the production form of the company’s traditional flagship model. Once again, the replacement for the current CL is a substantial machine, some 5005mm long and 1958mm wide, with a 2945mm wheelbase. The coupé has the company’s new distinctive styling theme on the body sides, with raised edges running from the front wings to the rear wheelarch. Its interior is more conceptual, expressing what Mercedes calls “sensual clarity as an expression of modern luxury”. Much effort has been expended on new materials and finishes, as part of the modern luxury brief. The doors panels are made from computer-milled aluminium. Mercedes' concept is powered by a twin-turbo V8 that develops 449bhp and 71.3kgm of peak torque. The concept also uses twin ‘stereo cameras’ to produce a 3D view of about 50m in front of the car.

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Audi Nanuk Diesel Sportscar Concept The Audi Nanuk is powered by a newly-developed 5.0-litre V10 TDI engine mounted midships and longitudinally. Audi claims peak torque is developed at 1500rpm and power is transferred to all four wheels via a “beefed-up” 7-speed S-tronic gearbox and the manufacturer's Quattro system. The 1900kg Nanuk is consequently capable of reaching 100kph in 3.8sec. The Nanuk features 22-inch wheels with 235/50 and 295/45 tyres front and rear and carbon ceramic brakes. Four-wheel steering is fitted, allowing the rear wheels to turn in the opposite direction at low speeds to aid manoeuvrability. At higher speeds the rear wheels turn in the same direction, improving stabililty. Audi's Nanuk concept has a 2710mm wheelbase and measures 4541mm long, 1990mm wide and 1337mm high.

The Opel Monza Concept The Monza is designed by stylist Mark Adams who was asked to follow the design philosophy Opel calls “Sculptural artistry meets German precision”. The concept is 4.69 meters long and has seats for four. The design team wanted to endow the look of lightness to the car, and one step towards the goal was choosing side sills that taper off in the front wheel arches. The single swing-up door allows easy entry and egress for front and rear-seat passengers. The concept features a flat silhouette with a height of just 1.31 meters. The boot volume, Opel say, is unaffected at 500 liters, and that the cabin is 15 centimeters lower than in conventional models. Monza can be driven through many sustainable power trains. The concept brought to Frankfurt is fitted with an electric drive with a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) range extender. The range extender is a 1.0-liter turbo-petrol engine, which is also making its debut at the show.

BMW i8 The plug-in, mid-engined hybrid sports car BMW i8 is the sister car to the new BMW i3. The 4.7-metre-long i8 features the same unusual construction methods, using a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body shell sitting on a welded aluminium chassis. The i8 can hit 100kph in just 4.4sec with both the engine and electric motor engaged. Top speed — achieved by the petrol engine alone — is 250kph. It is partly thanks to the i8’s relatively low weight of 1490kg and an aerodynamic body shell. BMW i8 can reach 121kph in its pure electric mode. The car has three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and EcoPro. BMW claims a range of 499km in hybrid mode, or up to 35km on lithium ion battery power alone. The i8 has a 2+2 layout with the three-cylinder engine and generator mounted behind the rear seats, driving the rear wheels. The engine in the i8 develops a remarkable 228bhp, and its specific output of 151bhp per litre is said to be the highest of any production BMW engine to date. |

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Frankfurt 2013 Volvo Coupe Concept The Volvo Coupe Concept exhibits a new design philosophy for the carmaker’s future products based on the new Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The all-new XC90, which is due for a 2014 launch will be the first Volvo to follow the new design language. The SPA is developed in-house for Volvo cars only and henceforth the carmaker won’t use cross-brand platforms. The Volvo Coupe Concept showcases a very confident stance with the new design and styling cues. The Volvo Coupe Concept features a petrol plug-in hybrid power train under the hood. It is the new 4-cylinder Drive-E engine family with high performance figures. It is powered by a 2.0-litre supercharged petrol engine coupled with an electric motor that sits on the rear axle. The combined output of the hybrid engine comes up to 400 HP of power and over 600 Nm of torque.

Porsche's 918 Spyder Hybrid Set to go into production soon, the 344kph petrol-electric hybrid two-seater Porsche 918 Spyder is planned to be built in a run of no more than 918 examples, over the next 18 months. Spyder in its lightest form is weight 1634 kg, despite the inherent complexity and bulk of its petrol-electric hybrid power train and battery pack. Removable roof panels that stow away in the nose section allow the new Porsche to be used either as a coupé or a roadster. The 918 Spyder is powered by a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain based around a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 599bhp at 8700rpm. It is supported by two electric motors, one sited up front within the front axle and another at the rear, developing a combined 282bhp at 6500rpm. The 918 Spyder has a total system output of 875bhp at 8500rpm, which equates to a power-to-weight ratio of 535bhp per tonne and makes the new model the most powerful Porsche road car to date. In Race Hybrid mode, the 918 Spyder will storm from 0-100kph in just 2.8sec.

Golf R Powering the Golf R is the same 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine also seen on the Golf GTI. However, the Golf R gets boosted to 300bhp and 380Nm of torque. This is achieved thanks to new cylinder heads, exhaust valves, valve seats, a new turbocharger and high-pressure injector valves and pistons. Using VW’s 4MOTION technology, the Golf R sends power to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. While the manual takes only 5.1 seconds to reach 100km/h from rest, the automatic is even quicker at 4.9 seconds. The top-speed is limited to 250km/h. Visual upgrades include a new body kit, side skirts, rear diffuser, smoked LED taillights and a quad exhaust system. The interiors get new sport seats lined with Alcantara and the multimedia system can be chosen from a range of 5-, 5.8- or 8-inch displays. 74 |

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Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept Jaguar's C-X17 Sports Crossover marks the start of the most ambitious model expansion programme in Jaguar's 91-year history. According to insiders, the ‘sports crossover’ concept previews an upcoming new Jaguar C-X17 that will become part of a range of other new compact Jaguars. It also announces an all-new, lightweight and extremely stiff aluminium monocoque architecture, whose title iQ[Al] stands for ‘intelligent aluminium architecture’, will form the basis of an entirely new generation of compact Jaguars over the next few years. The C-X17 is a relatively long car for its ‘compact’ billing, and 1.65m tall. This gives it an arresting sleekness, while the radical 23-inch wheels help to accentuate the sporty side, as do the strongly raked screens front and rear, plus head and tail-lights reminiscent of those used on the F-type. The C-X17’s interior majors heavily on luxury, but there is leather trim but no wood.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

The 3-door Yaris Hybrid-R is powered by a 1.6 litre GRE (Global Race Engine) and a pair of electric motors. The engine develops 300 bhp and the motors are capable of additional 120 bhp (60 bhp each), taking the combined output to 420 bhp however the peak power can be produced only for about 5 seconds since the motors derive electricity from super capacitors. Transmission is a six-speed automatic unit. The layout provides all-wheel drive capability resulting in a very dynamic and powerful hatchback. The car borrows regenerative braking technology from the Toyota TS030 hybrid Le Mans race car. There is a third 60bhp electric motor located between the engine and the transmission which functions as generator to directly power the rear mounted motors when the situation demands a rear biased power delivery.

Range Rover Hybrid Both, the Range Rover and the Sport, draw their power from a 3.0-liter SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW (47bhp) electric motor assisting their propulsion. The combined power output stands at 340PS while the peak torque is rated at 700Nm. The Hybrid Range Rover does the 0-100km/h dash in 6.9 seconds and has a top-speed of 218km/h, while the Hybrid Sport takes 6.7 seconds and can reach 225km/h. Average fuel economy of both cars is 6.4L/100km The added electric motor, Li-ion battery and the inverter adds another 120kg to the weight of the SUVs, though the boot and cabin space has not been compromised at all. |

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Spas of Serbia

Restore Your Energy

Serbia is one of the richest spa regions in Europe. More than 1.000 springs of cold and warm mineral water.

Spas in Serbia are an ideal place to restore your spiritual and physical energy. There are over 1.000 springs of cold and warm mineral water and rich natural resources of natural mineral gas and medicinal mud that were once exploited by the ancient Romans. Spas in Serbia are situated in pleasant valleys or hill slopes surrounded by woods, pastures and orchards, cultivated parks and promenades. Modern accomodation facilities, sports areas, parks, swimming pools as well as many manifestations are part of quality tourist offer. This month we recommend some of Serbia’s top out-of-town destinations for those seeking rest, relaxation, recuperation and recovery from the toils and troubles of today’s world

1/15 Vrnjačka spa Vrnjačka Spa is Serbia’s biggest and most famous health spa and has attracted guests to its centre for rest and recreation for millennia. Located around 200km south of Belgrade, the first health spa here was built and used by the Romans from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD. It is the only site of healing in the world to boast four different types of high-quality mineral waters and different medicinal properties - three cold springs and one hot - within just three square kilometres. This ensures Vrnjačka Spa has exceptional importance as a health and tourist destination. Accommodation: Hotels, holiday apartments, villas and houses for rent, as well as at the “Merkur” specialised treatment centre. Aids: diabetes, jaundice post-recovery conditions, stomach and duodenum infections, as well as diseases of the kidney, bladder and urinary tract.



Niška spa

Prolom spa

Niška Spa is located in southeast Serbia, directly adjacent to the main Niš - Sofia national road, at the foot of MountKoritnjak, at an altitude of 248m. It is 10km from the city of Niš and 250km from Belgrade. Natural healing factors at NiškaBanja include a mild, temperate continental climate, thermo-mineral water and natural mineral-rich mud. The healing waters that are sourced from five springs are slightly mineralised and have a temperature of 36 C to 38 degrees. Accommodation: Niška Spa Health Centre and private accommodation. Aids: rheumatism and cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the motor system, gynaecological problems and respiratory illnesses.

Prolom Spa is located in southern Serbia, 85km from Niš and 23km from Kuršumlija, on the southern slopes of Mount Sokolovica. Prolom’s waters belong to the rare group of waters with high medicinal values, which provide the possibility of treating a very wide range of ailments. The main therapeutic values are alkalinity, the presence of ozone and silicon acids, as well as low fluorine content that allows the water to be consumed in unlimited quantities. Treatments are also carried out in mud baths. Accommodation: “ProlomBanja” Institute for Rehabilitation, the B-class Radan Hotel’s 440 beds, as well as 1700 beds in private houses. Aids: kidney, urinary tract and digestive tract infections, skin disorders, peripheral vascular disease and

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4/15 Mataruška spa Mataruška spa is located on the right bank of the River Ibar some 180km from Belgrade and 8km from Kraljevo. Surrounded by the mountains of Stolovi and Čemerno, it is rich in mineral springs and has numerous ‘baths’, the most popular of which are the “Staro” (Old) and “Novo” (New) baths. The water has a temperature ranging from 48°C to 52°C and boasts the highest concentration of sulphur in southern Europe - 127 milligrams per litre. Accommodation: Apartments and hotels. Aids: rheumatic, neurological and gynaecological illnesses, damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, peripheral vascular disease and pulmonary tuberculosis.


Bogutovac spa Bogutovačka Spa is located in central Serbia, 200km south of Belgrade and 23km from Kraljevo, in the valley of the lower River Ibar, at an altitude of 520m/asl. Due to its considerable altitude and position in a mountain valley, this resort is classed as an air spa. It has two springs of medicinal mineral water with a temperature of 24 to 27 degrees. It is rich in radioactive elements, hydrogen sulphide and silicic acids. Treatments here include bathing and drinking mineral water. Accommodation: Private holiday apartments and rooms. Aids: rheumatism and diseases of the digestive organs, functionality disorders of the heart and blood vessels, as well as neuropsychiatric illnesses.



Sokobanja’s six hot springs are among the most radioactive in Serbia. The water temperature ranges between 28 and 45 degrees, while emissions of radioactive gases are so great that every visitor is exposed to mild inhalation which has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system. Sokobanja, the first ecological municipality in Serbia, is located 234km southeast of Belgrade and 60km northeast of Niš. It is around 400m above sea level. A real haven of authentic folk art, Sokobanja offers a meaningful and original way of living in a natural setting. Accommodation: Hotels, private lodgings, holiday apartments and rooms to rent. Aids: milder forms of hypertension, chronic rheumatism and anaemia.

7/15 Gamzigrad spa The Gamzigrad Spa is located in eastern Serbia, 220km southeast of Belgrade and 11km west of Zaječar. Its micro-climate has the traits of continental and sub-mountain regions and it is rich in fresh and clean air, beautiful nature, greenery and flowers. Surrounded by forested hills, Gamzigrad represents a very pleasant and tranquil destination for healing, relaxation, recreation, sport and fishing. The spa has numerous thermo mineral springs with a temperature of about 42 degrees. Accommodation: Gamzigrad Special Hospital for rehabilitation and private accommodation. Aids: peripheral vascular disease, arterial hypertension, connective tissue diseases, rheumatism of the joints and other forms of rheumatism, orthopaedic disorders and post-traumatic conditions, anomalies in childhood development, neurological disorders and gynaecological problems. |

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8/15 Vrujci spa

9/15 Ribarska spa

Vrujci Spa is located in the valley of the River Toplica, in the foothills of the mountains of Divčibare and Rajac, about 90km from Belgrade. This spa has thermal springs of sulphurous and slightly radioactive water, as well as medicinal mud. There are five major springs and several minor sources, with temperatures ranging slightly from 26 to 28 degrees. Mineral water here emerges from the mud over an area of approximately 200m long and 60m wide. Accommodation: Hotel Vrujci, private villas, holiday homes, apartments, chalets and rooms. Aids: urinary tract infections, neurasthenia, musculoskeletal and motor system diseases, as well as chronic gynaecological illnesses.

Ribarskabanja (Fisherman’s Spa) is located in a forested area at an altitude of 540m/asl in the valley of the River Ribarska. It is some 290km from Belgrade and 100km from Niš. There are six sulphurous mineral water springs with temperatures ranging from 16 to 28 degrees. The water is used for bathing, drinking and rinsing. This spa’s springs were used by Romans as far back as the 4th century, while today it boasts the RibarskaBanja Institute for Treatment and Rehabilitation, which has several covered swimming pools filled with natural mineral water of a temperature up to 39°C. Accommodation: Villas, with a total of 570 beds, and private accommodation. Aids: orthopaedic, rheumatic and degenerative diseases.

10/15 Vrdnik spa VrdnikSpa is located on the slopes of FruškaGora, just 20km from Novi Sad and around 80km from Belgrade. It is known for its thermal healing waters that rise from the great depths of a former coal mine. Thanks to its clean air,Vrdnikis also classed as an air spa. Its waters are classified ashomoeothermic, with a temperature of around 32.8°C. This spa town is home to the Ravanica Monastery and the Vrdnička Tower, dating back to Roman times. As many as 16 Fruška Gora monasteries are located nearby. The town has numerous churches, museums, a magnificent baroque fountain and other attractions. Accommodation: “Termal” Institute for Specialised Rehabilitation, as well as private accommodation in villas, holiday apartments and rooms. Aids: joint and spinal column problems, all forms of rheumatism, soreness syndromes of different backgrounds, respiratory and gynaecological disorders and migraine conditions.

11/15 Sijarinska spa Sijarinska Spa is situated in a dense forest in the valley of the River Jablanica, 330km south of Belgrade. It has 18 mineral springs within a radius of just 800 metres, witha temperature ranging from 32°C to 72°C. All of these springs have different physical and chemical compositions and temperatures. The spa also has two hot water geysers with an 8-metre column that eject water every 10 minutes. Both are unique in Europe. Treatment is carried out at the “Gejzer” Institutefor Specialised Rehabilitation, which encompasses a medical unit with the latest medical equipment. Accommodation: Gejzer Hotel and Special Hospital, as well as private accommodation. Aids: musculoskeletal system, sciatica, lumbago, stomach disorders, kidney and urinary tract illnesses, liver disease, biliary tract and pancreas infections, gynaecological diseases, pulmonary diseases, neuroses, milder forms of diabetes and conjunctivitis. www. 78 |

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12/15 Selters spa Selters spa was established in 1898 and is located on the slopes of Mount Kosmaj along the Belgrade-Kragujevac road, about 50km south of Belgrade. Thanks to its favourable location, the air is clean and climate refreshing. Healing mineral water is emitted from two springs, one of which has a water temperature of 31°C 32°C and is rich in sodium and chlorine hydrocarbons, while the other has water with a temperature of around 50°C. Selters water falls under the category of mineral water with a wide range of medicinal properties. Treatment at Selters Spa is carried out within the “Belgrade” Institute for Rehabilitation - Selters Department in Mladenovac, using the most up-to-date medical equipment. Accommodation: “Selters” Institute for Rehabilitation, as well as private accommodation. Aids: motor system disorders, rheumatic degenerative diseases of the spine and joints, chronic respiratory diseases, peripheral blood vessels or peripheral nervous system

13/15 Lukovska spa

14/15 Rusanda spa Rusanda Spa is the only active spa resort in Banat. Located on the north shore of Lake Rusanda in the Zrenjanin settlement of Melenci, it was established in 1867 and has a health spa tradition based on the healing properties of mineral mud from the lake. Lake Rusanda’s bed is covered in silt that is mostly inorganic and very clean, with the smell of sulphur-hydrogen. The lake’s water is similar to sea water, with high salinity and alkaline content. Thermal mineral water is used for the purpose of hydrotherapy. Accommodation: “Rusanda” Special Hospital for Rehabilitation, as well as in private accommodation. Aids: diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, bone and joint injuries and muscle systems, vascular diseases, deformities in children, rheumatism, discopathy and skin diseases.

Lukovska Spa is located 297km from Belgrade and 101km from Niš. Here there are as many as 37 mineral water springs with a temperature of 3569.5°C and sodium-calcium-magnesium type waters. Such water can be used for medicinal purposes as a complementary tool in medical rehabilitation. The most curative ones are mineral water baths new “Šljivak” with a fever of 32°C to 43°C. The Upper Spa has two sources of thermal mud in which to bathe or smear mud which has a high therapeutic properties. Accommodation: Hotels Jelak and Kopaonik, as well as private accommodation. Aids: digestive organs, venous vessels, pressure control, and treatment of skin diseases, and rheumatic and skin diseases

15/15 Atomska spa Aids in the treatment of rheumatic and neuropsychiatric diseases, multiple sclerosis, diseases of the gastrointestinaltract and vascular diseases. AtomskaBanja (Atomic Spa) is situated between Čačak, GornjiMilanovac and Mrcajevci. It is 140km from Belgrade and 18km from Čačak. The Atomic Spa is situated in the valley of the River Banja, on the slopes of Mount Vujan in a dense forest area. The mountain air is clean and the area offers magnificent peace and tranquillity. Due to its favourable climate and unspoiled nature, this is an ideal place for people who are exposed to stress and the harmful effects of air, water and food. Accommodation: The dispensary station and chalets. |

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chill out

Brazil man weds Goat

Outfits to Wear One Every Day for a Year

Former stonecutter AparecidoCastaldo(74),from city of Jundiai, Brazil.has decided to marry his pet goat, Carmelita. “She doesn’t speak and doesn’t want money,” says the father of eight children - four women and four men from four different marriages. MrCastaldo has promised that the marriage will not be consummated.The ceremony is scheduled for midnight 13 October and will be followed by a big party on All Souls’ Day the following day. The widower said: “Whenever someone says I am doing something wrong I reply the goat does not speak, ask for money to go shopping and doesn’t get pregnant - and she can’t talk.”

Mary Saba is so obsessed with fancy dress she has collected 365 outfits - and worn a different one every day for a year. Mary, from Sydney, Australia decided to wear a different costume every day for 12 months as part of her 26th birthday challenge. “I was another year older and I wanted to do something special,” she said. . “My family thought I was mad at first, but they know how much I love fancy dress and a challenge.” The 27-year-old loves fancy dress so much that she’s even travelled on public transport dressed as the Mad Scientist and 7 Days singer Craig David. Even though her wardrobe is now full of weird and wonderful costumes, Mary hasn’t broken the bank in her quest to be the best dressed - indeed, she has only spent $400 as many of her outfits were homemade.

Moose vandalizes Norwegian School

Lego dress and shoes Ahead of London Fashion Week (held from 13th to 17th September) , art student makes the dress using 5,000 Lego bricks Anne-Sophie Cochevelou, a student at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, in London, designed the dress and shoes ahead of London Fashion Week. The highlight of the creations was the dress adorned with around 5,000 LEGO bricks, as worn by model Aspen Glen-Cross. The designs are hot on the heels of a comedy fan who used the popular building bricks to recreate six scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

An angry moose, probably upset by its own reflection, smashed through the glass doors of a Norwegian school. When students at the Risil secondary school in Vestby, southeast of Oslo, found broken glass next morning, security cameras showed the perpetrator was not a delinquent teenager. “The janitor looked through the surveillance tape, hoping to identify the thug who did this, but was shocked when he saw that the damage was done by a moose and her two calves,” school principal SolveigEid told Reuters. Eid believes the moose must have seen her own reflection in the glass door and charged towards it. A Norwegian moose can be as tall as 1.8 meter and weigh as much as 400 kg.

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Mysterious red postbox in the middle of a river Residents of a Berkshire town, England, are scratching their heads over the appearance of a Royal Mail letterbox - in the middle of the River Thames. An incredulous postman spotted the traditional box embedded into one of the buttresses of a brick bridge in the village of Sonning-on-Thames. As he didn’t have a boat handy, he took a photo from the riverbank to prove to his bosses just why he hadn’t been able to make this particular collection in his van. A spokesman for the Royal Mail, Val Bodden, said: ‘The recent appearance of a postbox frontage on the side of the river bridge at Sonning is a mystery to us and we have no knowledge of how it arrived at this location.’

'Vodka pipeline' Customs officials say a pipeline has been used to apparently pump thousands of litres of vodka from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz customs officials have shut down a pipeline that had been used to pump thousands of litres of vodka from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan under a river, Kyrgyz police say. The 20-centimetre-thick, half-kilometre-long pipe had been laid beneath the border river Chu, said the police official from the northern Kyrgyz city of Tokmok.It was equipped with multiple valves and lay on a track along the river’s bottom. “We assume that thousands of litres of alcohol were smuggled with it, primarily vodka,” said the police officer. It is believed the alcohol was smuggled this way for months.

Prince Andrew challenged by police in palace gardens Britain’s Prince Andrew was challenged by jittery royal protection officers in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, as they stepped up security following a break-in. The Duke of York, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II, was approached by two armed officers as he took an evening stroll on beginning September at the monarch’s official London residence, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said. However, the spokesman denied a newspaper report that the officers had pointed guns at the 53-year-old duke and shouted at him to get down on the ground. Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the incident.

Tomatina festival puts a price on tomatoes

Uruguayan found alive after four months lost in the Andes A 58-year-old Uruguayan Raúl Fernando Gómez Circunegui who disappeared four months ago in the remote Andes mountains was found alive, after he spent a brutal winter eating rats and raisins to survive, local media reported. He was trying to cross the mountains from Chile to Argentina on foot because his motorcycle broke down. Argentinian officials from the north-western province of San Juan stumbled upon Gómez in a shelter 2,840 metres above sea level when they travelled there to record snow levels. Sugar, raisins, rats and the shelter’s leftover supplies kept Gómez alive through the southern hemisphere’s winter. He lost 20kgs during the ordeal and is dehydrated.

Each summer, the 10,000 residents of Buñol, Spain like to paint the town red. They are joined in this by thousands of tourists who visit the Valencian town to take part in the world’s largest tomato fight, the Tomatina. What began as a foodfight between neighbours back in 1945 has grown into an international event. But this year one thing has changed. The Tomatina used to be a free-for-all, but like many other cultural mainstays of the Spanish calendar, it has been hit by the recession. For the first time, this year’s visitors have had to shell out at least €10 for the privilege of pelting each other and random passersby with tomatoes. For €750, you can go even further, and jump onto one of the trucks that carry the tomatoes into the town, thus giving yourself the advantage of launching the first attacks.

''Eagle Boy'' broke another record A five-year-old Chinese boy He Yide, nicknamed Duoduo, from Nanjing was reported to have made a 35-minute flight by ultra-light aircraft across Beijing Wildlife Park last month. A coach sat next to him, but he said he only helped a little. The boy has been known to Chinese people since last year when a video of him running in the snow only wearing underwear went viral online. The video, posted by his family, was shot in New York with temperatures -13 C. It earned the father the nickname “eagle dad”. After being shocked by the boy’s series of jaw-dropping feats, some support the father’s strict training, but others question if the father is just “using his son to gain fame”. |

108 October 2013 | 81

techno talk

Gadget & Gizmos According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a gadget is “a small mechanical device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one.” Gadgets are sometimes referred to as “gizmos”. Gadgets are becoming a part of our everyday life, and, like the mobile phone (one of the first gadgets), we are starting to become addicted to them, depending on them for our daily actions. As technology advances, so do these gadgets of which we are so fond, and we are amazed by the new concepts created by young and ambitious designers. These innovations spring from a necessity of solving the problems that old products have and, besides their new and improved functions, they also come with a beautiful design. For this issue we have chosen dozen of latest gadgets and gizmos that may have practical use.

Genius Gila: Latest addition to GX Gaming line Price:


Gila is the Genius’ latest addition to the GX Gaming line, and it’s a laser mouse that comes with 12 buttons and comfortable design, so you can use with both of your hands. This mouse comes with over-clocking SG Core II engine with a dpi range of 200 to 8200 that can be adjusted easily.

Logitech Fabricskin keyboard Price:

PocketStrings Price:


If you’re an avid musician but can never find time to practice, we may have found you a solution. Pocketstrings allows you to practice your skills with ease and simplicity, but keeps the volume down. Take your show on the road. PocketStrings is the perfect practice mate to take with you when you can't take your guitar. 82 |

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Three-month battery a nearmiraculous, magnetic iPad retention and waterproof keys for adding to those vital spreadsheets and documents when you’re on the beach.

Bladepad for iPhone 5 Price:


Stylish Apple accessory designed for gamers who like to play on-thego. Includes low-latency gaming controller that slides out when needed with illuminated joysticks and buttons. Additional charging power cable allows you to charge your iPhone/iPad whilst playing so you won’t have to fear your battery’s demise.

Sleepphones Price:


Audioline PowerTel M6900 mobile phone blue Price:


The audio line amplicomms PowerTel M6900 is an easy-to-use flip phone with large, illuminated buttons. Three speed-dial keys (M1, M2, M3) and the announcement of up to 10 names from the phone book for incoming calls easier to deal with the PowerTel M6900. An extra-bright LED flashlight serves as a call or as an additional signal. In addition, the phone has a strong vibration alert and is Hearing aid compatible (M3/T3).

Crafted from soft fleece, these comfy headbands incorporate integrated headphones that let you sleep soundly without pestering your partner or waking up strangled by a cable. Listen to lullabies or the sound of the ocean for that really relaxing underwater vibe with this pillowfriendly gadget.

Whistle Activity Monitor Price:


This utility belt is in fact an on-collar device that measures your dog’s activities including walks, play and rest, giving you an idea on your canine’s dayto-day ventures. You can even check-in on your Smartphone to see what your dog is up to whilst your at work.

Sony Alpha NEX-5T Price:


It’s a little camera with a lot of possibilities. The NEX-5T is an ultra-compact with a large optical sensor, a speedy autofocus, NFC capability & it’s compatible with 16 of Sony’s E-mount lenses. Silver and white versions of the 5T won't be available until 2014.


best choice

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techno talk

Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel (limited edition) Price:


Breffo Adventure Camera Kit Price:


Introducing the ‘Octopod’ that essentially grips anything with its rubber-coated metal legs whilst attached to your camera via a screw-mount. A handy solution for taking group photos without having to require the help of strangers.

Trakdot Luggage Tracker Price:


Frequent flyers can breathe easy as the Trakdot serves as a LoJack for luggage—monitoring baggage through the use of cellular technology instead of GPS. The palm-sized tracker slips into any back pack or large suitcase and sends alerts via accompanying app, email, SMS, or company website. It even shoots notifications for when your bag hits the claim carousel.


best choice

recommended by

50 years ago, back when America had a space program, some brave dude got in the experimental rocket and orbited the earth 3 times wearing a Breitling. To celebrate the anniversary of that historic flight, Breitling has created a new version of the classic Cosmonaute chronograph featuring a distinctive 24-hour display.

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Sony Xperia Z Ultra Price:


The Xperia Z’s phablet-sized relative has a 6.3-inch, full-HD screen and an inherited disregard for the perils of water – it’s encased in waterproof aluminium and glass that lets it dive up to 1.5m. Protected inside sits a 2.2GHz quadcore processor and there’s an eight-meg camera on the rear. It may be big, but at just 212gr it won’t sink like a stone. And at just 6.6mm thick it’s competing with Huawei’s Ascend P6 (p30) for the title of world’s slimmest smartphone, too.

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Lytro 'Light Field' Camera Price:

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recommended by


The Lytro camera is unique in that it allows viewers to selectively refocus a photo after it has been taken - and even move the lens around the scene. The device has an 8x optical zoom and f/2 lens, and a light field sensor which collects the colour, intensity and direction of every light ray which enters the camera. It features just two buttons power and shutter - and a glass touchscreen.

Bayan Audio Soundbook Price:


British fi rm Bayan drops in on the busy Bluetooth speaker scene with this stylish 15W effort. Connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0, using the apt-X codec for improved sound, and NFC for easy setup. It also incorporates an FM radio and works as a speakerphone, too. The battery offers up to ten hours of playback, while the nylon cover, available in a range of colours, doubles as a stand, which is, ahem, novel.

Sony Smartwatch 2 Price:


Pressing on with its wearable-tech revolution, Sony updates the Android-based smartwatch that it released to a chorus of groans last year. Having sold half a million worldwide since, the Smartwatch 2 looks rightly smug, pairs via NFC or Bluetooth 3.0 and lets you read messages, control music and answer calls. The 1.6-inch, 220x176 display is waterand dust-proof, with a “four-day battery life”.

Victorinox Slim 2.0 64GB USB Flash Drive Price:


The Victorinox Swiss Army Slim Flight USB Flash Drive is a small, lightweight portable storage option with anywhere from 4GB to 64GB of storage capacity, depending on the model you choose. Though it looks like a knife, there’s no blade component to the flash drive, meaning it can be taken on a plane with no hassle in the security line |

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fashion Fall 2O13

A Palette of Many Moods If you know how to dress and what to wear, autumn/winter season can become your favourite season.With the cold weather fast approaching, now’s the time to get your autumn/winter wardrobe sorted. We’ve rounded up some of the most fashionable buys of the new season to get you inspired. This season, designers express the many moods of fall with skillfully arranged collections that will enhance and enliven customers’ outlooks as the colder months set in. Similarly, colors come together to create moods that range from sophisticated and structured to lively and vivid. Here is your guide for the upcoming autumn/winter season



Alexander McQueenOne Button Jacket

Designed in brilliant red wool crepe, it features a great contrast of clean lines and rounded edges; sharp shoulders provide great structure while a frill hem adds a flirty finish. Ideal for work and social engagements, it will look especially impacting worn with tailored dresses and sky-high heels.





Saint Laurent Y Clutch Helmut Lang Peak Jacquard Biker Jacket The classic biker jacket silhouette is refreshed in this contemporary design and looks great styled with smart separates for day and evening.

LK Bennett Shirt Poppy

Alexander Wang Jamie Waxy Bowling Bag

Alexander Wang’s Jamie bowling bag is a luxurious leather handbag with waxy textured leather finish. The versatile graphite grey allows you to pair it with almost anything.

Vivid blues and rich reds set against black and navy will see your wardrobe bloom in the winter months. LK Bennett has executed this trend perfectly for the high street.

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In supple leather with a gold-toned metal ‘Y’ buckle, this Saint Laurent clutch is an unquestionably sophisticated accessory. Carry by hand or tuck neatly under your arm at evening events.



Royal Blue Waterfall Jersey Cardigan Brighten up your wardrobe essentials with this royal blue cropped cardigan from The Collection. It is made from soft jersey fabric with a waterfall draped front and has three quarter sleeves.





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MaxMara City Hudson Coat

Featuring a detachable hood, zipped cuffs and a selftie belt, the Hudson coat ensures practicality, warmth and streamlined style. Team with black skinny jeans and cute pumps to run errands in town.



Tory Burch Kiernan Riding Boot A classic equestrian style craft from pure leather and featuring a gold-tone metal logo insert. Pair with everything from sleek cigarette trousers to fresh floral dresses for the perfect finish. price:



Givenchy Rottweiler Silk Blend Scarf

Earn instant style points by opting for the vicious print in this soft silk blend scarf. Black, orange and with flashes of blood red, it will work with any number of ensembles.




ASOS Style Leather Dress Don’t pack away your leather pieces yet as it’s still a key cloth for winter. It will work for the office and on into evening.

Marc By Marc Jacobs Amy Two-Tone Watch Chic stainless steel watch, with a chunky, masculine look. It features a contrasting pale yellow gold-tone bezel and bracelet links, set against the cool silver tone of the stainless steel.

Betty Jackson Black Jacquard Knit Cardigan

Ben De Lisi Dark Grey Jersey Cardigan

This black longline cardigan is from designer womenswear range by Betty Jackson.Black. It has a chunky jacquard knit with two lower front pockets and an open edge to edge fastening.

This women’s jersey cardigan from the designer Principles range by Ben de Lisi comes in dark grey with long sleeves and an open edge to edge fastening.







Boden Chic Ankle Boot Another evergreen classic that’s still going strong. These ankle boots from Boden will be perfect with your skinny jeans for winter. |

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How to Choose Necktie The necktie is the focal point for men’s fashion and it’s not a purchase to be made hastily. Your tie is one of the first things people will see and remember about you. This is where you can express your personality and show your good taste. Classic is always in style. When going for a job interview, attending a wedding or any other formal event a simple dark tie with either a solid color or small pattern will work. Here are some tips we have compiled to help you choose what tie to wear.

Solid Twill Starting at the top: solid twill, semi-solid repeating pattern, dotted, repeating multi-pattern floral, paisley, thin stripe, thick regimental stripe, and plaid.

Solid Navy Blue A solid navy blue suit fabric paired with a blue contrast miniature herringbone shirt fabric. The top tie matches OK, but the second tie matches better and the final yellow & navy striped necktie creates a very regal and bold combination. 88 |

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f you’re wearing your long sleeves and coat or suit, the rule of thumb is to combine two patterns with one solid. In other words, if the tie is patterned and the suit or sport coat is patterned then the long sleeve should be in a solid color, or if the suit or sport coat is patterned and the shirt is patterned then the tie should be a solid. If you want to match it with a Striped, Checked or Plaid, then wear a solid colored tie with a striped, checked or plaid dress long sleeves. The trick here is to select a tie color that matches the dominant color of the stripes or checks in the long sleeves. Color selection. This is a hard one for most guys. Every year brings with it a new “hot” set of colors for neckties. The best

way to handle this se++lection is to bring your long sleeves to the store and match them up with the ties you’re interested in to see if they work together. Fat or thin? A simple rule of thumb is that your tie should be no wider than the widest part of the lapel on your suit jacket. The knot should also be in proportion. Don’t pay cash for flash. Stay away from loud, flamboyant ties. If you must wear a tie that reflects your interests, passions or affiliations try one that is understated. The fabric of our ties. When in doubt go for a silk tie. Whatever tie material you choose always make sure that it knots properly (dimple in the knot) without sharp corners or edges.

The Do’s and Dont’s Do choose a tie that is the right length in proportion to your height. If you are 185 cm or taller or have a neck size over 45 cm and a long torso, you will look best in an extra long tie. The general rule is that the tip of your tie should extend 1.5cm past your belt line. Do choose a good quality tie made of 100% Silk. The luster of silk and the brilliance of how it takes dye, will give you a polished appearance and the tie will last much longer. Do wear a tie appropriate for the occasion. Novelty ties may be cute and fun, but they are a big "no-no" on a job interview. Trendy ties are great if you are in a creative line of work and if you know how to coordinate them with your outfits. Classic patterns and traditional ties are always appropriate for all occasions and will give you a professional and polished appearance. Don't wear a tie with pulls or stains. Always make sure your tie is stain free and not tattered or worn looking. Don't wear clip-on ties. Clipon ties are considered cheap and unsophisticated. (That is,

Navy Blue Navy blue suit and a white dress shirt. At the top we have a very subdued combination that signals formality yet allows a man to blend in. In the middle a classic stripe, with a hint of color for individuality. The bottom is a bright attention grabbing piece of neckwear that would be used to call attention to the wearer.

unless you are a police officer or in law enforcement, where a tie around your neck could cost you your life.) Don't tie a Windsor knot if you are wearing a traditional or button-down collar. The tie knot will be too big. You are better tying a standard four-in-hand tie knot. Windsor knots are better suited for a wide spread collar.

Tweed Jacket A tweed jacket worn with a small blue check dress shirt - 3 tie combinations. Notice how the navy tie darkens the whole look while the light blue paisley brightens it.

Choosing the Right Knot

Not all knots are created equal. Size, symmetry and shape can vary greatly from knot to knot and all should be taken into consideration. Thick ties often necessitate the use of smaller knots like the Four-in-Hand or the Simple knot. Thin ties generally benefit from larger knots like the Pratt or Windsor. Every knot has a distinct character. The Prince Albert swaggers with a refined elegance. The Kelvin throws caution to the wind. The Murrell grins like a Cheshire Cat. The Van Wijk winks like a scoundrel with a secret. The Eldredge and Trinity knots twirl and fold like futuristic necktie origami. Every knot serves its master differently. |

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Hot intuition

and cold logic What motivates me are always new things, new technologies, work and success, my team’s victories, the strength of my company, as well as that I work in a place where every employee has the space to learn, progress, see new things and educate themselves


Natalija Jegdić Executive Director of the Telekom Srbija Direction for private users

atalija Jegdić, Executive Director of the Telekom Srbija

Telekom does that. And if we also communicate that to the users

Direction for private users, began her career as a legal

well, then it is an attained goal: satisfied customers and satisfied

practitioner at a law firm. She arrived at Telekom Srbija

employees. That is my greatest achievement. Intensive and con-

in 2000 as a member of the HR team and then as a Regional

tinuous communication and informing of employees and custom-

Director of HR in Niš and Belgrade, where she managed to intro-

ers – which is also close to your job, the work done by the media.

duce many innovations and convey to employees her enthusiasm

Telekom Srbija is one of the biggest companies in the coun-

and desire for change. She became Sales and Marketing Director

try and at the same time it is very modern, contemporary and dy-

of fixed telephony in 2005 and now works as Executive Director

namic. That is how we make it, its employees. Loyalty is one of

of the Direction for private users, where she successfully main-

the key features that I try to convey and manage to pass on to my

tains Telekom’s leading position on a highly competitive market.


We asked her about her motivations and the principles that lead

What motivates me are always new things, new technologies, work and success, my team’s victories, the strength of my compa-

her to success in business. Working as a manager in a senior position within a large com-

ny, as well as that I work in a place where every employee has the

pany such as Telekom Srbija primarily means working with peo-

space to learn, progress, see new things and educate themselves.

ple. That’s why I believe that the emotional intelligence of leaders

My company gave me a chance when I was very young and I’ve

is crucial in the development of staff and the establishment of the

learned to give a chance to young people and to believe in them.

system of values within a team. Openness, empathy, fairness and

My recommendation for success is: work, work and just work,

a high level of personal motivation among key leaders encourag-

maintain honest relationships with colleagues and continuously

es positive traits in employees and thereby recommends them for

improve yourself and your team. Vertical and horizontal advance-

the specific positions in which they will be satisfied and will give

ment is also very important for the development of management

their best. It is important direct to praise or criticism towards the

potential, but also for the company, which thereby utilises its hu-

right person to the right degree, in the right way and at the right

man resources in the best way.

time. Only in that way can one avoid the principle of adverse selection that would lead to passivity and a lack of initiative. If I would try to sublimate my work in a nutshell, I would say: FEED AND CULTIVATE HOT BUSINESS INTUITION AND CONTINUOUSLY CHECK IT WITH A COLD BUSINESS LOGIC!* My greatest success is the people I have worked

A good manager must also have good social skills. Participating

My recommendation for success is: work, work and just work, maintain honest relationships with colleagues and continuously improve yourself and your team

with and with whom I’m working today. That’s actually the for-

in sport is also an important part of my life. Good spirit and a grit-

mula for success: teach people, create a team that wants to work.

ty character are related to good health. I do fitness recreationally,

Only when we demonstrate motivation through personal exam-

ride rollerblades, go mountaineering and skiing. I read and travel a

ple can we convey that to employees. For managers it is very im-

lot. My favourite writer is Ivo Andrić and his books have taught me

portant to have the courage to decide and if employees recognise

how to lead and not to rule, how to be a leader and not to cease

that we will create the best team.

being human. ■

The success of our company is also directly linked to good communication with our customers, but also with our employ-

* A genuine recommendation for anyone interested in this top-

ees. Success means creating a good service at a good price and

ic “Emotional Intelligence in Leadership,” Goleman, Bojacis, Maki.

90 |

108 October 2013 |

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