CorD magazine No.124

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Writer and the Recipient of the NIN Award FEBRUARY ’15 / ISSUE No. 124

hip-hop artist and writer

President of the Board of Directors of Société Générale Serbia


interviews opinions news comments events PRICE 300 RSD EU FINANCE

ECB Launches €1 trillion


Key Issues:


King Seeks to




The Ice is Not Yet


ISSN 1451-7833





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Do not miss the Building Trade Fair in Belgrade! Building products and systems. Materials, equipment. Tools and technologies for construction. Machinery and equipment. Consultancy services and design. A large number of exhibitors.

International Building Trade Fair April 15 - 19 , 2015 th

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February 2015 • Issue No. 124

EDITOR: Saša Marić


ART DIRECTOR: Ilija Petrović







VLADIMIR VULETIĆ Ph.D. Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade

MIODRAG MITROVIĆ CEO of Miteco-Kneževac d.o.o. 36



JOHANNES HAHN EU Commissioner for Regional Policy





GORAN PITIĆ President of the Board of Directors of Société Générale Serbia 18










FILIP DAVID Writer and the recipient of the NIN Award for his novel ‘House of Remembrance and Oblivion’

Advertising 51

COMMUNICATIONS IN SERBIA CorD’s special edition 71






DRAGANA JOVANČEVIĆ Marketing Department Manager at Alpha Bank

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Fulfil Promises

Give the Youth a Chance VLADIMIR VULETIĆ

Ph.D. Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade

Brutal scenes of violence have moved from the margins of the world system to the centre of world capitals, creating the impression that the world is sliding towards new barbarism


ictures from the small screen – whether covering tribal Islamic civilisation is essentially unresponsive to democracy and if conflicts in Africa or brutal scenes of graphic violence – we today, due to demographic expansion and strengthening of selfare now struck by news showing places we recognize as confidence, it is gaining strength by bringing Muslims around the where we walked that day. The shock is even greater beworld together? Although Huntington’s original response is in the cause the events are in complete contrast to the expectations we spirit of strengthening multiculturalism, his analysis in the hands of have adopted. politicians provides an excuse for understanding that the still domNot so long ago the promise of globalisation and post-Cold War inant economic and military power of the West should be utilised in optimism created the idea of a world dominated by the idea of coorder to prevent the expansion of other civilisations. operation, an absence of conflict, the spread of democracy and ecoOn the other hand, however, the question arises as to whethnomic prosperity. Indeed, in the early 1990s the only stain on this er the West is itself being influenced by such ideas, accelerating picture was caused by the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. To the self-fulfilment of Huntington’s “prophecy”. Has the undermake matters worse, that violence was no less cruel than that which mining and destruction of secular Muslim states not created the occurred almost simultaneously in the heart of Africa - in Rwanda. space for the emergence of the so-called Islamic State? Is the incaIn response to these conflicts, i.e. the theory of the “end of hispability of liberal-democratic states to fulfil their promises not actory”, did not foresee that which appeared in the book The Clash tually the main driver of discontent among youngsters – not onof Civilizations and the Remaking of World ly in once secular Muslim countries, but alOrder by Samuel Huntington. In short, so among young people in developed counThe aimlessness, Huntington tried to explain these conflicts tries who belong to second and third generhopelessness and through the gradual weakening of the powation Muslim migrants? meaninglessness in which er of Western civilisation and its failure to The aimlessness, hopelessness and younger generations impose on the rest of the world the princimeaninglessness in which younger generaples it is based upon. Instead of leading to spin dizzily are becoming tions spin dizzily are becoming fertile ground the spread of democracy, the disintegration for the spread of radical ideas of different fertile ground for the of the Soviet bloc led to the strengthening kinds. The foundations of nationalism and spread of radical ideas of religious fundamentalism become a haven of specific cultural identities. A particular problem is emphasised as the strengthenfor disenchanted masses of primarily young, different kinds ing of Asian and Islamic civilisation. educated and abandoned generations. From this perspective, conflict and violence in which memRadical Islamism, like all other radical ideas, is the enemy of the bers of the Islamic culture participate only confirms the assumpliberal-democratic order. However, this is not about the culture of a tion of an inevitable clash of civilisations. It is not surprising, therepeople predisposing the acceptance of radical religious and nationfore, that after the Charlie Hebdo case, a series of articles appeared alist ideologies, while others accept democracy. The fact is that the evoking Huntington’s already almost forgotten concept. unfulfilled promises of liberal democracy have pushed atomised inThe seductiveness of this concept is only partly a consequence dividuals under the wing of radical communities. In order to prevent of the similarity between reality and the basic idea of the book. The this, it is necessary to fulfil promises. popularity of the book owes much more to the fact that, consciousThis means giving a chance to the growing army of young peoly or not, it absolves the West of responsibility for the situation in ple with no prospects to engage in the world of work in a dignified which the world finds itself. way. The price of such a project is not low, but is lower than the Indeed, it appears that the West can do little if the foundations price necessary to protect the world from the reactions of those of the conflict are identity based, and that those identities are rootwho are left, due to the lack of real opportunities, to become easy ed in the deepest layers of religious belief. What can be done if the prey for the cruel soldiers of radical movements. ■

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The Ice is Not Yet



Being ambitious about the date of Serbia’s EU membership is far from wrong, but the quality of negotiations is more important than the speed, while the gradual normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, including implementation of all agreements reached, is a clear condition to which all parties – Serbia, Kosovo and the EU Member States – have agreed EXCLUSIVE


lthough the Serbian government claims to have completed the job with regard to the Brussels Treaty, in this exclusive interview for CorD, senior EU official Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, insists that the “homework” is not entirely done, though he does not reveal what remains lacking. He denies that Chapter 35, regarding Kosovo, is too complex and undefined, as some process insiders claim, and believes that starting with challenging issues, such as Kosovo and chapters 23 (legislation and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security), is a better approach than shying away from them. These last two are already well on course and Hahn is hopeful that these chapters can be opened by mid-2015.

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Serious work on chapters 23 and 24 is already on-going in Serbia and I hope these chapters can be opened by mid-2015.

As a candidate country, Serbia is expected to align its policies progressively with those of the EU .

EU funds, totalling €200 million annually, will support key reforms in Serbia in the coming years.

■ Some analysts claim that you wanted to break the ice on the Kos-

start of negotiations being different?

ovo-Serbia issue at the very start of your mandate. Is that correct?

- Tackling challenges earlier, rather than shying away from them, is not such a bad idea – both in real life and in accession negotiations! I can only reaffirm that the pace of negotiations will very much depend on Serbia’s ability to deliver quality results in key areas, such as rule of law and the normalisation process with Kosovo. As set out in the negotiating framework, chapters 23, 24 and 35 will need to be tackled early and throughout the negotiation process.

- This would be to the benefit of all sides. Serbia and Kosovo’s progress towards the EU depends on their continued engagement in dialogue, and on implementing all agreements sealed there. This is a clear condition to which all parties – Serbia, Kosovo, and the EU Member States – have agreed. ■ What do you think is served by the formal rec-

ognition of Kosovo, given that almost all other important attributes of statehood have already been granted to Kosovo?

- What counts is continued engagement on improving relations, so that both sides may advance and not block each other. This should gradually lead to the comprehensive normalisation of relations, so that in the end there are prospects for both Serbia and Kosovo to fully exercise their rights and fulfil their responsibilities.

■ After the message you purportedly conveyed to President Nikolić, he claimed that if Serbia recognised Kosovo’s independence today the country could become an EU Member by the end of his mandate (2017)? How realistic are those expectations? - I am glad to see Serbia’s high level of ambition for the negotiations! On our side, however, there is no set timeframe. The actual duration of accession negotiations will depend primarily on Serbia and its pace of implementing the necessary reforms. I always say that quality is more important than speed. This is not only true from the EU perspective, but is also better for you: a well prepared country is more likely to reap the full benefits of EU membership. Of course, the reform process is not easy, but you can count on our help. Ambassador Davenport and the EU Delegation in Belgrade will continue to provide concrete support to Serbia’s accession process, both through targeted EU projects and other forms of advice and assistance, not least when it comes to harmonising legislation with the EU acquis.

Serbia and Kosovo’s progress towards the EU depends on their continued engagement in dialogue, and on implementing all agreements sealed there. This is a clear condition to which all parties – Serbia, Kosovo, and the EU Member States – have agreed

■ The first membership negotiations chapters are expected to open this year. Although there are 35, and some are fairly easy, such as the one dealing with culture issues, the EU has taken the position that Serbia should start from the toughest, Chapter 35, which Germany insists, by way of a Bundestag resolution, officials of these countries must respect. Do you see the possibility of the

Serious work on chapters 23 and 24 is already on-going in Serbia and I hope these chapters can be opened by mid-2015. Intense work is also continuing on the Commission’s side and a series of screening reports are expected to be sent to the Council this month. This is a tangible sign that things are moving forward. ■ Insiders say that Chapter 35 is com-

plex and that there is no clear definition of what that chapter should include. How can it even be opened and what would be the starting point?

- The content of this chapter is very clear and well known to the Serbian authorities. The chapter will cover the normalisation of relations with Kosovo, as well as a number of side issues, such as accession to the European Development Fund and the European Investment Bank, transitory arrangements, etc. In this respect, chapter 35 will monitor Serbia’s implementation of the commitments taken on in the framework of the dialogue. |

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Last year’s first screening of these issues was already successful. The next step will be a screening report that will form the basis of the EU Member States’ decision on the opening of this chapter. For this, all existing commitments undertaken under the Brussels Agreement of 19th March 2013 will need to be implemented. Although some good progress has been made, there is still more to be done. ■ You have said that, regardless of

the institutional crisis in Kosovo, which was only recently resolved, Serbia itself could have done more regarding implementation of the Brussels Agreement. However, from Belgrade it is insisted that the government has completed its job. What is lacking, in your opinion?

- The EU facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo is a process where the two sides discuss and agree solutions and a joint way forward. However, each side has its own “homework” when it comes to implementing these decisions. We expect both sides to fulfil their part.

■ What do you expect from Serbia’s chairmanship of the OSCE? In the context of the need to align with the EU position, will Serbia be expected to be close to the positions of the “West” when it comes to the Ukraine crisis?

and principled position on Russia’s actions in and around Ukraine, while remaining open to dialogue with Moscow.

■ Can the Serbian government rely on financial support from the EU, in terms of IPA funds already earmarked and due to reforms that will, among other things, mean tens of thousands of people losing their jobs?

- EU funds, totalling €200 million annually, will support key reforms in Serbia in the coming years. These funds will co-finance Serbian reform strategies, to ensure the changes have a long-term, sustainable impact. They will help stimulate growth and improve the competitiveness of the Serbian economy, as well as its connectivity with other countries of the region and in the EU, via investments in transport, energy, environment and telecommunications.

■ You were heavily engaged in the wake of the floods that hit the region in May last year and the EU set aside in excess of €160 million to address the consequences of flooding in Serbia – partly from IPA funds and partly from the Solidarity Fund. Since August €30 million has reached Serbia. What will be the dynamics of utilising the remaining funds?

- Indeed, I have very vivid memories of visiting Obrenovac and Šabac in - We are looking forward to workMay last year, where EU Civil Proing closely with the Serbian OSCE tection teams were working hand chairmanship this year. Serbia in hand with Serbian rescuers and has taken over the helm of the orfire fighters. ganisation at a very challenging The first €30 million assistance Ambassador Davenport and the package time. Both Serbia and the EU are in is being implemented well EU Delegation in Belgrade will complete agreement that finding a and on time. A new €62 million package will provide direct support to the peaceful resolution to the Ukraine continue to provide concrete government’s priorities for recovery crisis will remain the top priority support to Serbia’s accession needs and help upgrade the emergenon the OSCE’s agenda. process, both through targeted cy response and prevention systems. Another important task will be EU projects and other forms of An additional €10 million will be to reaffirm the fundamental principles of the OSCE and to ensure advice and assistance, not least available to Serbia from the “‘regional they are respected by all members. envelope” of the floods package. when it comes to harmonising In Ukraine, the OSCE will play a key In addition, over €60 million from legislation with the EU acquis role in supporting the implementathe European Solidarity Fund will help tion of the Minsk agreements, which Serbia cover part of the emergency aim to establish a durable ceasefire and lay the foundations for costs. In particular, it will help restore vital infrastructure and services, reimburse the cost of emergency and rescue operations, and help a sustainable political resolution of the crisis. An important responsibility of the chairmanship will be to bring the conflict parcover some of the clean-up costs in the disaster-stricken regions. ties together and ensure that the OSCE can fully play its role in ■ Are you satisfied with the work done so far to repair flood dammonitoring both the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the border aged houses and infrastructure? between Ukraine and Russia. - Ambassador Davenport heads an experienced EU Delegation As a candidate country, Serbia is expected to align its policies team in Serbia. They have been working flat out with Serbian with those of the EU progressively. In the EU we have taken a firm 10 |

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partners, to ensure EU funds translate into successfully concluded projects, rebuilding infrastructure, schools and private homes. The €30 million flood relief package has so far helped repair over 600 houses and build around 150 new houses, with basic furniture and appliances in some cases allowing people who have lived without electricity for decades to now be connected to the power supply. Thirty schools and nurseries have been repaired and furnished. Some vocational high schools will receive specialised teaching equipment in the coming months. Some 17,000 farming families have received - and will continue to receive - support in the form of animal feed, seeds, fruit tree seedlings, greenhouses, livestock and farm animals, farming equipment and machinery. The EU is also providing machin-

Serbia has taken over the helm of the OSCE at a very challenging time. Both Serbia and the EU are in complete agreement that finding a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis will remain the top priority on the OSCE’s agenda

ery and equipment for hundreds of small family companies that have been destroyed, in order to revamp their production, because this is their means of making a living. Some of these small companies employ people, so we are talking about creating jobs, or giving people back the jobs taken by the flood. Surplus funds from the €30 million package will allow reconstruction and the building of more houses than we had initially thought. Our expectation is that an additional 200 homes could be refurbished and equipped and another 20 or so new houses built. All in all, over a thousand households will soon be able to return to their normal lives, many of them in better a condition than they were prior to the floods. The EU and its Member States are by far the biggest donors to the flood relief effort in Serbia. I am extremely proud of this. ■ |

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Ingredients “There are four ingredients in true leadership: brains, soul, heart and good nerves.” — KLAUS SCHWAB, Founder and Executive Chairman of Davos, the World Economic Forum

Danish Royal New Year’s Receptions

DENMARK EVERY YEAR THE DANISH QUEEN HAS THREE NEW YEAR’S RECEPTIONS The Danish Royal New Year’s Receptions have been around for many centuries, traditionally leaving the old year behind and wishing for a good New Year for the whole of Denmark. The first (and most formal) reception is held on 1st January and takes place at Amalienborg Palace (The Danish Royal Residence). Only members of the royal family, the government and the court are invited to this reception. The second reception takes place on 6th January and sees the Royal Family welcome representatives of the judiciary, the Royal Guard and diplomats. This one took place at Copenhagen’s Christiansborg Palace. The third reception comes a day after the second, and this time the military are invited, as well as other special guests, individual of acclaim and renown, and holders of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranks of the various Orders of Denmark.

Foreign Minister Burkhalter is Swiss Man of the Year SWITZERLAND EX-PRESIDENT IS 2014 SWISS MAN OF THE YEAR Switzerland’s outgoing President, Didier Burkhalter, was named both Politician of the Year and Swiss Man

of the Year for 2014 at the 13th annual Swiss Awards, held last month in Zurich and broadcast in all of the country’s language regions. Burkhalter was honoured for his role as co-President of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which included mediation in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. His efforts earned great respect both domestically and internationally. Accepting the award for Swiss Man of the Year, Burkhalter thanked his staff, his wife and the people of Switzerland for their support. The Swiss of the Year is selected by the public from among the 15 nominees in five categories. 12 |

Burkhalter received 46.43% of the vote, as well as a standing ovation from the audience.

Monaco Can't Trademark 'Monaco' MONACO TOO WELL KNOWN ON

ACCOUNT OF ITS ROYAL FAMILY AND FORMULA ONE RACE Monaco cannot register its own name as a trademark, because the principality is too well known on account of its royal family and Formula One race, an EU court ruled last month. In 2010 Monaco was allowed to trademark its name by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a UN body. However, the 28-member EU then refused to allow Monaco to do so on the grounds that the word referred to the country, a playground for the rich and famous.

The General Court of the EU upheld that decision, saying that people would automatically think of the country when they saw or heard it. “The word ‘monaco’ corresponds

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QUEEN MARGRETHE of Denmark, PRINCE HENRIK of Denmark, CROWN PRINCE FREDERIK of Denmark and CROWN PRINCESS MARY of Denmark, attending the New Year’s reception for international diplomats

to the name of the principality of global renown, not least due to the fame of its royal family, its organisation of a Formula One Grand Prix and its organisation of a circus festival. As such, there is no doubt that the word ‘monaco’ will evoke the geographical territory of the same name, regardless of the linguistic background of the relevant public.” the court said.


NASA: 2014 Earth's Hottest Year WORLD LAST YEAR WAS THE EARTH'S HOTTEST SINCE 1880 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the North American Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that 2014 was the Earth’s hottest year since 1880, reinforcing a long-term global warming trend. Last year was reported as 0.7°C above the 20th century average. Several European countries registered record temperatures, while the U.S. states of Alaska, Arizona, California and Nevada had their


A rare coin dealer from Beverly Hills purchased a 1792 American penny for nearly $2.6 million, the most ever paid for such a coin at auction. Named after its engraver, Robert Birch, the so-called "Birch Cent" was among the first pennies struck for the United States, part of a series of prototype coins. Only 10 are believed to exist and collector Kevin Lipton said the coin he purchased is in the best condition of those 10.

According to credible sources, there are almost three billion people connected to the global internet right now; by 2020 that figure will approach four billion. According to Cisco, by 2020 the world will have over 50 billion net connected devices.

Values “Europe is not simply a place of economic choices. Europe is a place of culture and common values.” — MATTEO RENZI, Italian Prime Minister

warmest years on record. Record highs were reported in the northeastern, central and western equatorial Pacific, northwestern and southeastern Atlantic, and central to southern Indian Ocean.

Scientists stated that the ten warmest years recorded occurred since 2000 and include 1998, which are consistent with a long-term global warming trend.

New Saudi King SAUDI ARABIA SAUDI'S KING ABDULLAH DIES, SALMAN BECOMES NEW RULER Saudi Arabian King Abdullah died early on 23rd January, with his halfbrother Salman becoming king, according to the royal court in the world’s top oil exporter and the birthplace of Islam. King Salman has named his halfbrother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of a succession crisis at a moment when Saudi Arabia faces unprecedented turmoil on its borders. The rise of ISIL in war-torn Syria and Iraq has brought to the kingdom’s frontiers a militant group

Pope in Manila Draws World-Record Crowd PHILIPPINE

that vows to bring down the Al Saud dynasty. King Salman promised to continue Abdullah’s reforms, but has also demonstrated a populist edge by demanding banks serve the interests of Saudi citizens more fairly.


Pope Francis has drawn a record six million people as he celebrated mass in the rain-swept Manila bayside park in Philippines capital, delivering a powerful message for the poor to a rapturous audience in a triumphant finale to an Asian tour. Filipinos are famous for practising a passionate brand of Catholicism and they turned out in force on January 19 despite the wet weather, determined to see the charismatic 78-year-old pontiff, and in a celebratory mood that defied the gloomy skies.

LED-Illuminated Hikaru Upskirt Skirts JAPAN THE HIKARU SKIRTS ARE MEANT TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN EVERYDAY FASHION AND COSPLAY Japanese designer Kiyoyuki Amano has combined fashion and technology to create futuristic short skirts that illuminate the wearer’s thighs. Aptly named ‘Hikaru Skirt’, which means ‘Shining Skirt’, the garment comes equipped with LED lights and miniature gyro sensors

on the inside. This ensures the skirt lights up, while the colour and pattern of the light changes every time the wearer moves. Amano said he first placed light bulbs inside a skirt on a whim, and that’s when he noticed that it created a pleasant illumination of the thighs. So he continued working on the design and soon created a whole line of LED-illuminated minis. He explained that the Hikaru skirts are meant to bridge the gap between everyday fashion and cosplay.


1 Moldova 8.9% 2 Serbia 7.9% 3 Russia 7.4% 4 Lebanon 6.5% 4 Slovenia 6.5%

Hoax Caller Put Through to UK PM Cameron UK ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS HAVE NOW BEEN PUT ON ALERT FOR SUCH CALLS The British government is reviewing security procedures after a hoax caller claiming to be the director of Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency was put through to Prime Minister David Cameron late last month. In a separate hoax call to GCHQ, a mobile phone number for its director, Robert Hannigan, was given out. The government said the number provided is not used for calls involving classified information. “The Prime Minister ended the call when it became clear it was a hoax. In neither instance was sensitive information disclosed,” a spokeswoman for Cameron’s office said in a statement.”Both GCHQ and Number 10 take security seriously and both are currently reviewing procedures following these hoax calls, in order to ensure that the government learns any lessons from this incident.” |

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Persisting With Reforms


The economic performance of Serbia, as a small country exposed to geopolitical influences, will be dependent on the direction and intensity of these influences. However, what is of utmost importance is whether the commitment to reform will resist various inevitable populist pressures


ifteen years after the democratic changes, Serbia is again confronted by some of the issues we had at the beginning of the third millennium, and which the “colour” of its future will depend on, says Goran Pitic, President of the Board of Directors of Société Générale Serbia, speaking in this interview for CorD.

■ What do you think are realistic expectations in terms of eco-

nomic growth in Serbia in the following three years; are you more inclined towards the conservative forecasts of the IMF, EBRD and the Fiscal Council, or the government’s more optimistic expectations?

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- Great challenges lie ahead for Serbia, but also many other economies in the world. The world has new geopolitical hot spots opening up that may prove a substantial burden on the functioning of the global political and economic system, while on the economic front there are a lot of unknowns that will influence the predictability of global economic trends in the years ahead. Serbia, as a small country, is exposed to those influences and the performance of its economy will depend on their direction and intensity to a great extent. However, the most important factor is what happens with us and whether the commitment to reform, and the steps already taken in this direction, will prove to be a long-term commitment that will resist various inevitable populist pressures in the years ahead of us. Important preconditions for the success of this process include strengthening the reform capacity of the government and administration, raising the efficiency of the state and significantly improving the management of state resources, as well as freeing up space for the strengthening of the private sector. The primacy of knowledge over ignorance and primitivism, but also reformist energies, represent key leverage points for long-term sustainable development. Fifteen years after the democratic changes, Serbia is again confronted by some of the issues we had at the beginning of the third millennium, and which the “colour” of its future will depend on. How to engage its reform potential to a greater extent,




The most important factor is whether or not this course of reforms, and some steps taken in that direction, will turn out to be a long-term commitment that will resist inevitable populist pressure.

Reducing the share of the grey economy in our country's GDP, which currently stands at approximately a third, is certainly a good way to increase budget revenue.

The core of long-term stability is the aforementioned fiscal stabilisation, coupled with creating conditions for sustainable long-term economic growth and development.

especially among young people? How to harmonise short-term goals with the long-term needs of the times? How to ensure that the engines of growth and change are education, innovation and entrepreneurship? I understand fully the government’s endeavours to achieve quantitative indicators (from GDP growth to all others), as those are indicators that every government in the world presents as a measure of its performance. Provided negotiations on the Železare steelworks are successful, if energy returns to normal flows, if we are more successful in building Corridors, we achieve an arrangement with the IMF, FIAT has a successful year and we receive a few more good news items, then I think we will be closer to the EBRD estimate. However, an even more important result for me will be whether or not we succeed in terms of fiscal consolidation, the professionalization of public administration and public enterprises and, most importantly in the long run, whether we have devoted enough attention and resources to education reform, with the aim of utilising our precious human capital and building a modern, competitive Serbia, capable of providing a chance for new ideas and new knowledge, as well as responding to the challenges of the modern era. ■ What do you think are the main prerequisites for achieving fiscal consolidation?

another important prerequisite for successful consolidation, both due to the need to raise the performance of the operations of these companies, but also in order to break with an existing practice that has had a harmful impact on their operations. ■ Do you believe it is possible to secure relatively substantial budget revenue through the adoption of strict measures to combat the grey economy?

- Reducing the share of the grey economy, which in our country currently stands at approximately a third of GDP, is certainly a good way to increase budget revenue, and to increase it significantly, but that is a lasting process. The grey economy has not been completely eliminated anywhere in the world, but it is possible to reduce it to an acceptable level. It is necessary to develop and implement appropriate measures, to harmonise the activities of relevant institutions by creating an appropriate institutional and legal framework for combatting the grey economy and securing a model to adequately monitor the implementation of regulations in this area, in order for the budget to make more serious gains at the expense of the grey economy in a deadline of a few years, but also to lessen its negative impact on companies that operate in accordance with regulations.

The key leverage points for long-term sustainable development are the primacy of knowledge over ignorance and primitivism, but also the energy to carry out reforms

- For us to spend in accordance with our possibilities and create conditions for long-term, sustainable economic growth. A healthy budget is the foundation of macroeconomic stability, but also the best guarantee of private sector support. Unrealistic increases in the budget rights of individual users in the previous period had to be harmonised with the budgetary reality. The challenges of an unsustainably high public debt are immeasurable and, as such, the first step has to be measuring up to reality. It is also essential to improve the work of the tax administration. In general, serious fiscal consolidation requires progress in the work of institutions at all levels. Experience also teaches us that it is very important to improve the mechanisms for managing the resources the state has at its disposal (much of this is transferred to the taxpayers’ burden, due to poor and irresponsible management). This year it is necessary to finalise the process of privatising enterprises undergoing restructuring. The reform and professionalization of public enterprises is

■ How much do these reasons provide an explanation for the very low level of FDI in Serbia, and how much is that due to internal problems relating to the overall business environment? |

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- It is difficult to say which factor has a greater impact on the level of foreign investment in our country, primarily because investors themselves must be in a situation where they can invest, and then they make a decision about where to invest. Last year there was a certain increase in investment volume, but we nevertheless need to continue working to improve the investment climate. In this sense, last year saw the passing of important laws, such as the Labour Law, the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction, and the Law on Bankruptcy Procedures, but it is essential to continue the process of harmonising regulations with European standards, reducing delays in adopting required bylaws, shortening administrative procedures and ensuring efficient implementation of regulations. Predictability in doing business and reducing administrative barriers would additionally convince investors that Serbia is a more attractive country for investing than others in the region.

■ There are economists who expect that, even under the best case scenario in the following three years, in 2017 and 2020 Serbia will face a sovereign debt crisis and, as such, we should already be thinking about the restructuring of some financial obligations. How do you, as a member of the team that dealt with this exact problem in the year 2000, view the possibilities of reducing the debt burden?

est number of cases, the state has proved a poor manager of its resources, and because of that taxpayers suffer, but also society as a whole. At least equally as important is the fact that, for some companies, this also means a loss of time and some competitive advantages. The telecommunications sector is developing at unimaginable speeds and maintaining market positions also requires serious investment and management with an understanding of global flows, thus the size of the companies themselves need to follow the demands of the times. And if we add to this prism the need to think about the quality of services for users, then it is certainly undeniable that the introduction of a third serious international operator on the competitive market in the Serbian telecommunications sector would mean improving services for clients. In terms of the funds received from any eventual sale, I support the position of those who consider that the best option is for an important part to be used to relieve the debt burden, while I also find it a reasonable request that a smaller part be used for certain reasoned development projects. ■ What are the consequences of austerity measures when it comes to banks’ crediting policy plans?

- Banks in Serbia, in particular the biggest banks on the market, in- Serbia is in a serious situation when cluding Société Générale Serbia, are it comes to its level of indebtedness, branches of major European banking groups, with access to substanbut this is also true for the global tial funding sources, so our crediting market to a greater or lesser extent. capacity has never been brought into Quality management of debt would question even for a moment. At any ensure long-term stability, improve given moment we are able to respond the credit rating, reduce the overall It is even more important to to high quality demand, although this risk exposure of the country and, know whether or not we will demand has been somewhat diminthereby, also lead to a reduction in succeed in fiscal consolidation, ished as a result of well-known marinterest rates and raising the attractiveness for new investments, both the professionalization of public ket trends. Austerity measures will domestic and foreign. The basis for certainly have a negative impact on administration and public long-term stability is the aforementhe public’s purchasing power and, enterprises, than whether we tioned fiscal stabilisation and creatconsequently, demand for loans, but ing preconditions for long-term suswe will invest our maximum in order achieve GDP growth estimates tainable economic growth and develto be a reliable partner to them in this opment. Those are the basic levers for avoiding bigger problems situation, and to support them not only by continuing to approve in the future. This also implies a good part of the revenue from loans, but also by adjusting our offer to suit the current situation. announced privatisations (Telekom Serbia and others) being used ■ How much do you think the end of pegging the Swiss Franc to for the early repayment of part of expensive loans. A responsible the Euro will impact negatively on the repayment of retail loans policy of new borrowing is certainly required, directed towards in Swiss Francs, and which modalities for easing the position of maintaining liquidity, relieving the burden of previous unfavourable loans and orientation towards development projects. these debtors are possible here? - Loans denominated in Swiss Francs comprise around 10 per cent ■ Do you think now is the right time to sell Telekom Serbia and of all active loans, and their users have been hit directly by the recent decision of the Swiss central bank to abandon the pegging of other enterprises, and what should be done with that money? - Telekom should be sold. Experience teaches us that, in the greatthe Swiss Franc exchange rate to the Euro. And despite low inter16 |

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est rates on these loans, the hit sustained by the budgets of their users is certainly not negligible, considering that the ramifications are greater in the region than with us, because these loans account for a greater proportion of the total credit portfolios of banks elsewhere in the region than, luckily, is the case in Serbia. The models applied to address this issue differ from state to state, but we should bear in mind the overall situation in Serbia, in order for this problem to be resolved in a way that is suitable to our market and the situation in which we currently find ourselves. I believe that, for their part, banks will find a way, each in line with its own capacities and operational policies, to amortise this hit and help their clients continue making regular loan payments, which is in the interest of banks equally as much as it is in the interest of clients. I have no doubt that in this matter we will have the full support and understanding of the National Bank of Serbia and other state institutions, but in all of these joint efforts we should not violate the principle of equal treatment of all loan clients, or rather, within the solutions that are in circulation we must not, as a responsible community, favour any segment of clients or the individual interests of any bank.

sion to reduce the total percentage of required reserves on foreign currency sources, but alongside simultaneously increasing the participation of the dinar share in that total percentage, is aimed at freeing up foreign currency sources, which will either be used for new foreign currency placements or for the deleveraging of banks towards their foreign creditors, though the positive effect on the price of foreign sources is partially reduced by the counter effect of increasing dinar allocations. However, any effect in that direction, even the most minimal, is valuable, both for the banks, because it enables them to adjust the prices of funding sources downwards, and for the clients, of course. I would add that for more significant loan growth, and with that economic growth, it is necessary to continue the reform process, primarily in the domain of creating a better investment climate, as well as in the area of conditions for improving the country’s credit rating. ■ Do you think that, as a country, we

missed a chance to resolve the issue of bad loans through so-called bad banks, or do you believe, through trading with negative assets, that this issue can be resolved to a certain degree?

- The amendments to the Law on Banks is already under parliamentary pect further pronounced weakening procedure and with these amendments, along with several other legal of the Dinar, which could also endanger the repayment of loans denomiregulations, a legal framework has finated in Euros? nally been created for the restructur- The situation on the global foreign ing of banks, which has the primary currency market shows that we are objective of preserving financial staTelekom should be sold in bility, with minimal use of budgetary awaited by a period of fluctuation, order to improve the company’s resources for this purpose. With these harmonisation and a battle for the positioning of certain currencies. Unperformance and a good share amendments there is also a more precertainty and unpredictability are the cise and more comprehensive definiof the revenue from this and tion of the role played by special purwords that best describe the trends other upcoming privatisations pose banks, i.e. “bad banks”, as you of the global economy and foreign exchange markets. There are also differreferred to them. With these amendshould be used for early ences in the estimates and evaluations ments our banking system will be and partial repayments of the effects of ECB monetary relaxacompletely harmonised with EU diof expensive loans tion, and we know that movements on rectives when it comes to the restructuring process. Will this help resolve other markets also influence Serbian issues associated with problematic loans? In and of itself, probably Dinar fluctuations. However, there are grounds for us to believe that not, but it will contribute to better and higher quality management it is possible to have a scenario of relative stability of the national of banks and risk management. With appropriate interventions in currency. The arrangement with the IMF is an additional positive tax policy, when it comes to problematic loan write-offs, as well signal of support to the Dinar. The best long-term factors of support as implementing agreements on their restructuring, alongside are reforms and the strengthening of Serbia’s economy. full harmonisation with international accounting standards, also ■ In your opinion, how much will the reduction of the required in the hope that this will lead to positive developments in judicial reserve ratio on the part of foreign currency reserves impact on a and extrajudicial procedures, opening up possibilities for sales of greater offer of bank credits for the economy? bad loan portfolios on the market, it would be reasonable to ex- I have already mentioned the deficit in high quality demand for pect that, in the foreseeable future, the domestic banking system loans, and this is precisely the decisive reason when it comes to will fix its infamous record on the list of the highest rates of nonloans to the economy as opposed to the population. The NBS deciperforming loans in the region. ■ ■ Do you think it is realistic to ex- |

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ECB Launches €1 trillion

RESCUE PLAN The European Central Bank (ECB) took the ultimate policy leap on 22nd January, launching a government bondbuying programme that will pump hundreds of billions of new money into a sagging Eurozone economy


he ECB said it would purchase sovereign debt from this March until the end of September 2016, despite opposition from Germany’s Bundesbank and concerns in Berlin that it could allow spendthrift countries to slacken economic reforms. The ECB’s quantitative easing (QE) program marks the most farreaching attempt yet by the ECB to prop up the 19-member common currency bloc. In all, the bank intends to spend €1.14 trillion over 19 18 |

The prospect of dramatic ECB action had already prompted the Swiss central bank to abandon its cap on the franc against the euro. Denmark cut its main policy interest rate on Thursday for the second time this week after the ECB announcement, aiming to defend the Danish crown’s peg to the euro

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months to spur inflation and encourage lending in the real economy. Together with existing schemes to buy private debt and funnel hundreds of billions of euros in cheap loans to banks, the new quantitative easing program will release €60 billion a month into the economy, ECB President Mario Draghi said. By September next year, more than €1 trillion will have been created under quantitative easing, the ECB’s last remaining major policy option for reviving economic growth and warding off deflation. The flood of money impressed markets: the euro fell more than two U.S. cents to $1.14108 on the announcement, and European shares hit seven-year highs. “All eyes were on Mario Draghi and he has delivered a bigger bazooka than investors were expecting,” said Mauro Vittorangeli, a fixed income specialist at Allianz Global

Investors, adding that the news marked “an historic crossroads for European markets”. The ECB and the central banks of Eurozone countries will buy up bonds in proportion to its “capital key”, meaning more debt will be scooped up from the biggest economies such as Germany than from small member states such as Ireland. The prospect of dramatic ECB action had already prompted the Swiss central bank to abandon its cap on the franc against the euro. Denmark cut its main policy interest rate on Thursday for the second time this week after the ECB announcement, aiming to defend the Danish crown’s peg to the euro. Draghi has had to balance the need for action to lift the Eurozone economy out of its torpor against German concerns about risk-sharing and that it might be left to foot the bill.

monetary policy is not a single one. That’s a bad signal to markets and a bad signal to everybody in the Eurozone.” The ECB is trying to push Eurozone annual inflation back up to its target of just below two per cent; consumer prices fell last month, raising fears of a Japanese-style deflationary spiral. But there are doubts, and not only in Germany, over whether printing fresh money will work. Most Eurozone government bond yields are at ultra-low levels and the euro had already dropped sharply against the dollar. Lower borrowing costs and a weaker currency could both help to boost economic growth but there is a question about how much further either can fall. The ECB could create the basis for growth, Draghi said, but he put the onus on governments to follow. “For growth to pick up ... you need structural reforms,” he said. “It’s WILL IT WORK? now up to the governments Economists noted that to implement these structural Draghi had said only 20 per reforms. The more they do, cent of purchases would be the more effective will be our the responsibility of the ECB. monetary policy.” This means the bulk of any Draghi was echoing the potential losses, should a Eurozone government default on view of German Chancellor its debt, would fall on national Angela Merkel, who said: “Regardless of what the ECB does, central banks. it should not obscure the fact Critics say this casts doubt that the real growth impulses over the unity of the Eurozone must come from conditions set and its principle of solidarity, One Eurozone central banking source by the politicians.” and countries with already said five policymakers opposed the The ECB has already cut inhigh debts could find themselves in yet deeper water. terest rates to record lows and expanded asset-purchase plan: the “It is counterproductive left its refinancing rate, which central bank chiefs of Germany, the to shift the risks of monetary determines the cost of EuroNetherlands, Austria and Estonia, along zone credit, at 0.05 per cent. policy to the national central Greece and Cyprus, which banks,” said former ECB poliwith Executive Board member Sabine cymaker Athanasios Orpharemain under EU/IMF bailout Lautenschlaeger, a German nides. “It does not promote a programs, will be eligible for single monetary policy. This the ECB program but subject path toward Balkanisation of monetary policy would signal that to stricter conditions. the ECB is preparing for a break-up of the euro.” In practice, Greek debt does not currently qualify as another A German lawyer who has been prominent in attempts to halt rule stipulates that a maximum 33 per cent of the bonds issued by Eurozone bailouts said he was already preparing a legal complaint any country may be bought. The ECB and other Eurozone central against the bond-buying program. banks already own more than this, although they may start purchases once enough of their Greek bonds have matured to take the Draghi said the ECB’s Governing Council had been unanimous total below the 33 per cent threshold. Reuters in agreeing that the step to print money was legally sound. There was a large majority on the need to trigger it now, “so large that we didn’t need to take a vote”. WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY? “There was a consensus on risk-sharing set at 20 per cent and Here are what strategists and other experts made of the move 80 per cent on a no-risk-sharing basis,” he added. Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser to PricewaterOne Eurozone central banking source said five policymakers opposed the expanded asset-purchase plan: the central bank houseCoopers: chiefs of Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Estonia, along The ECB programme of QE launched is larger in total size than with Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger, a German. expected, at over €1 trillion, but it is modest in scale in relation Guntram Wolff, head of the Bruegel think tank, said the plan’s to the size of the eurozone economy. The ECB plans to buy €60bn size was impressive. “But the ECB has given the signal ... that its of assets each month, equivalent to around 7% of Eurozone GDP. |

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When the Bank of England launched its QE programme in 2009, expectations. Market reaction has therefore been relatively muted, bond purchases totalled £25bn, per month, over 20% of GDP. with stock markets rallying slightly on the announcement and Other concerns about the effectiveness of QE remain. The ECB then falling back, and the euro left marginally weaker. has left it much longer than the UK and US to launch QE, and the Overall I believe the risks of not acting are greater than the experience of Japan in the 1990s and 2000s suggests that delayrisk of the measures announced today. In many ways the fact that ing policy responses allows economic and financial problems to Draghi has finally been forced to use his silver bullet is a measure become more deeply embedded. of how bad the economic situation in Europe has become. Neil Williams, Chief Economist, Hermes Group: Colin McLean, Managing Director, SVM Asset Management: By launching €1.1trn in asset purchases over the 18 months The leaked proposal has already let markets do most of the starting this March and keeping the door open for more, the ECB work needed, lowering the Euro and government bond yields. will cement the impact of low borrowing costs, add liquidity, and, Coming later in the cycle, it is less clear if the measures will by trying to take the rug from under the euro, aim its first ‘bazooka make the same impact as those in the U.S., UK and Japan. The U.S. shot’ at deflation. and UK were dealing with a cyclical downturn, not deep-seated This and his prior pledge to do “whatever it takes”, means Mr structural failure. Draghi is doing a good job of addressing the symptoms of the criIn the Eurozone, QE might further delay the need for strucsis – escalating funding costs and, tural reform in France, Greece and more recently, deflation. others – particularly in labour The challenge is now to make flexibility and the public sector. sure the Eurozone does not follow More of business financing, particularly SMEs, in Europe is via Japan and let deflation take root. bank loans; the effectiveness of There, QE has been running for 16 QE depends on whether banks’ years with little inflation impulse. behaviour changes. The ECB’s ‘tap’ may be finally on, Jonathan Loynes, Chief Europebut, as Japan found out, QE acts an Economist, Capital Economics: like a drug: the more you use it; The €60bn monthly total inthe more you need it. Eurozone cludes the existing bond purchase QE could thus be with us for many programmes, which amount to years to come something like €10bn per month. Anthony Doyle, Head of Fixed So the additional purchases are Income at M&G Investments: €50bn per month, in line with reThe ECB clearly feels that its cent reports. Meanwhile, those price stability objective is under purchases will consist of both inthreat due to falling prices and it vestment grade sovereign debt and is expected that the measures undertaken will assist in generating the debt of “agencies and European institutions”. And most of the inflation in the Eurozone. government debt purchases will Markets have reacted by focusing on the size of Quantitative easnot be subject to “loss-sharing” – in ing (QE) package and the impact other words, the risks will remain that a such large buyer of bonds with national central banks, as had will have on the market. We bebeen mooted over recent days. “For growth to pick up ... you need lieve that in the short-term QE This will surely limit the beneficial structural reforms. It’s now up to the effects on the indebted peripheral could force European government governments to implement these bond yields lower, meaning that countries. investors will increasingly look Stephen Macklow-Smith, Portstructural reforms. The more they folio Manager, JPMorgan European for higher yielding investment do, the more effective will be our Investment Trust: opportunities. As a result, investmonetary policy.” – Mario Draghi ment grade and high yield bonds Today’s ECB announcement could benefit from the announceundoubtedly means a lower Euro; ment. In addition, the euro will likely come under increased presit will continue to lose value against major competitors over the sure as European investors seek to invest globally in their hunt for medium term. a positive yield. This is a boost for European equity markets and in particular Ben Brettell, Senior Economist, Hargreaves Lansdown: will support higher-yielding stocks. European financials will be Initially markets had expected the programme to be around incentivised to redeploy their assets out of cash, where they are €500bln in size, but hopes for a larger injection of liquidity have likely receiving negative deposit rates, and instead invest in the been growing. As such the ECB’s announcement of a €60bln per wider economy. For banks that means more and healthier lending month programme lasting at least 18 months, or longer if deemed activity. For insurance companies that may include buying corporate debt and even equity at the margins. ■ necessary to achieve the ECB’s inflation target, has largely matched 20 |

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■ By Radmila STANKOVIĆ


Negligence Does Not Justify Photo: Miljana Vuković



Notable without a fanfare, loud without being noisy, catchy without effort, deep without being pathetic, industrious without reward – this is how Marko Šelić, aka Marčelo (32), was described by Serbian ombudsman Saša Janković when he handed him the 2014 Real Man award in the name of the jury. He could have added more attributes - unthinkable without rebellion, sharp critic of unpleasant occurences of everyday life, an artist who points out stupidity, lies and deception 22 |

124 February 2015 |


Photo: Ana Kašćelan

his young man has a tendency to correct journalists the song Čep was included in the campaign to combat human trafficking and labour exploitation, launched by NGO Astra. when they present him as a versatile guy: “That compliment belongs to someone who is simultaneously He is releasing the eighth edition of the novel Together Alone, an astrophysicist, a carpenter and a gynaecologist. All which is also to be dramatised, and the new novel Malterego my activities are related to one and the same thing: Book One: Rubik’s chair, which launches a trilogy he will work on writing. And everything I write is about people, dogs and mice.” for the next few years. The first edition was sold out during the Marčelo does this through prose, newspaper columns and music. 57th International Belgrade Book Fair, while that same year Šelić opened the 49th Niš Fair of Book and Graphics. Malterego won Just a few final exams separate him from the title of professor of the Popboks award for the best book of 2012, while in 2013 Šelić Serbian language and literature. found himself on the list of the 100 most influential Serbs accordHe has released five studio albums – De facto (2003), Puzzle shock! (2005), Treću stranu medalje (The Third side of the ing to the magazine Nedeljnik. Last year he was also engaged in Medal) (2008), Decu i Sunce (Children and The Sun) (2010), the theatre as a songwriter and script writer for several plays, and Napet šou (Tense show) (2014, with an accompanying book while his latest release, Tense Show, enjoyed its sixth print run of essays) – the novel Zajedno sami (Together Alone) (2008), a within three months. collection of articles O ljudima, He says that he lives and works psima i mišima (On people, dogs in Belgrade on weekdays, while on and mice) (2009 ), a second novel, weekends he roars through the Balkans together with his comrades Malterego – knjiga prva: Rubikova from the band Filter or holds literstolica (Malterego - Book One: Rubik’s chair), as well as hundreds of ary readings and discussions. columns for various publications. He was born in Paraćin, a town He has attracted particular atof 25,000 inhabitants in the Potention from the public with the lyrmoravlje District. He took away ics of his songs, which have brought from his parents’ house a sense of him awards such as the TV Metropodecency and social education, which lis Award (best song) and the Davoris so lacking among many people, in Award for 2006 and 2009 (best especially those on the public scene: urban/rock album), while his music “We have lived in nervous times video Pozorište is the first Serbian for a long time, and I have tried for a video to be listed in the World chart long time to ensure that, in terms of express of European MTV. a sense of decency, I do not change His first album was the highest that; as much as that is in my power. selling release of the year on the IPS People fight over the slightest thing list, considered the most relevant in the supermarket, in the queue list in the country when it comes at the bank or the post office, anywhere, and that resembles ranting. to alternative music. For several For me, courtesy and politeness are years he authored a column in top part of home education: that way is daily Politika, but also in Hooper, better for your surroundings, and for where he also ran a column about The situation in the public arena you personally – that’s a small thing comic strips. This engagement was and on the media scene cannot that makes the world a more beaucrowned with the Award for best tiful place. I have been taught to be young comic essayist at the Tenth be considered as collective content with what I have, that which festival of young Balkan comic artjustification for individual ists (2010), and since 2009 he has I have created, and not to be greedy, impoliteness, arrogance, insolence as it is popularly said. Of course, this been one of the editors at Vesor tastelessness of any kind eli četvrtak (Happy Thursday), the does not mean being deprived of any largest domestic publisher of comic ambition – on the contrary, without strips. He has participated in several campaigns launched by REX, ambition you are jogging on the spot – but I’m not unhappy if I do the Centre for Non-Violence and the Centre for War Trauma, on not get something, especially when it comes to the material. the topic of tolerance between the former Yugoslav nations and ■ How is it possible to be polite and mannered, and to live on the the impact of music and literature on shifting the consciousness Serbian public scene? of young people. - The situation in the public arena and on media scene cannot be The Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Vojvodina considered as collective justification for individual impoliteness, awarded him the title of ambassador of books and reading (2007), arrogance, insolence or tastelessness of any kind. It is saddening while the novel Together Alone earned earned him the Popboks that it turns out basic decency is a kind of protest, which is treated Audience Award for best book of 2008. Theatre DADOV adapted as rebellion, although it actually comes to non-compliance with the this book for a play in 2010. That same year, magazine The Men general lack of culture, which should be a given. The fact that negdeclared him “Man of the Year” in the New Idol category. In 2012 |

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ligence is all around us is not an excuse to participate in that negligence. Does the rule apply here that you’re part of the solution by not agreeing to be part of the problem? That is another question. Alas, the main thing is to at least not make things tougher.

■ What was your first notion of rebellion? As a kid you were neither a pop fan nor a folk follower?

- On one occasion, my dear friend, writer David Albahari, said that as a young man he never felt rebellion as a need to change the world, but rather as a need to change consciousness, his own, and to direct himself towards that which he considers correct. I never asked Albahari whether that was a subsequent definition of the feeling of youth or wether at the age of 19 he not only felt it, but also consciously understood it as described above, but that does not matter: his definition of rebellion is the one I like most and is the closest to what I think about that. On the other hand, I am convinced that many people who are declared as rebels are in fact advocates

■ Do you think rebellion can change the world? - What is nowadays called hired engagement (which has in fact always existed, under the less pretentious names) is attributed to striving to change the world. And there is some truth in that, of course. Alas, I was closer to that whish David said on changing awareness and changing ourselves: in your creativity you are the

Photos: Ana Danilović

The everyday use of the word rebel sounds to me like a mark (not to say label) for people who try to emphasise normalcy in an abnormal space, time, or both

for the most normal things. So, the everyday use of the word rebel sounds to me like a mark (not to say label) for people who try to emphasise normalcy in an abnormal space, time, or both. When you’re a kid you have a terrible need to belong, and that unconsciously applies even to those who separate themselves as loners. When I realised that it was perfectly legitimate to belong to not belonging, my life became much easier. Of course, that comes later; prior to that there is the inevitably painful phase when you’re different in any way in a small community. If you do not belong to the pop scene or the folk scene, you represent a minority in a small town - and this has not changed from my days until today there (read: across the whole of Serbia beyond the capital). However, what does it even mean to belong to the majority in a small town? What does it mean to belong to any kind of majority? Does that say anything about someone’s correctness of their attitude about anything? As someone a little more direct than me would say: If a thousand idiots exclaim something stupid, it does not cease to be stupid. The obstacle that kids fall at comes down to the fact that that which they see in front of them represents their whole world, and they therefore think that adapting to the environment is necessary, following Darwinian adaptation and the sheer essence of life - in those years they cannot see if that is fitting into the medium, into 24 |

mediocrity, and that this environment itself (and any other) has never progressed as a result of those who have complied, but because of those who have not. Of course, at that age I also had barriers at all levels. You should have tried explaining to my parents at the beginning of 2000 that I wanted to study language and literature and that I’m determined to make a living from writing. Along with that somehow came my (to them strange and incomprehensible) music, and all of that represented an unclear and disturbing package to them, because such a determination does not inspire confidence in a certain future.

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places where it all intertwines and happens. That which they call engaged is in fact only a deeply personal reaction to a perceived injustice – and that’s your main reason, potentially saving the world is quite a secondary factor. That is as it relates to the personal; on the societal level, as in the song Pegla (Iron), which we made at the end of 2013, sounds to me like an example of what kind of role in the life of community a single song, or any engaged piece of work, can play: as a kind of finger in the eye, provoking a broad public debate and leading to something, at least for a moment, moving, something wavering. You add a question mark as a social traffic sign and people wondering above something. That’s how much creativity can do; the rest is up to institutions and laws.

■ Is it easier to react to the folk music freaks who fill our lives, or the political freaks who create our lives?

- I am not among those calculated people who will react to that which might cause maximum effect, or that which will not cause them problems. No calculations, no compromise - because, hey, this is not politics, so we don’t need to court the public. Where there is thinking, that is solely of a creative nature. Everything that engaged creativity has to say, conscious people mostly already know, thus the point is not what you say, but how to say it.

■ How difficult is it to convince people that you are a serious artist?

- Today’s definition of serious is different from yesterday’s, and certainly will not be the same tomorrow. The whole history of

Photo: Ana Danilović

Here’s the typical trouble: conscious people are, surely, already bored of talking about the horror of the reality era, the terror of Grand, Pink and other local offshoots of the consumer society that have made our life vulgar and expensive, and cheap; they act in accordance with the maxim the smarter let go, and that from those who are most intelligent are by nature real sadists, even if they did not originally plan to be. Googling is the start of the call. Therefore, it is not disgusting for horror to be called horror – because, no, everyone doesn’t know that and it is not clear to everyone. When it comes to politics and politicians, I am interested in finding a middle ground between the need for universality and condemnation of current stupidity. However, when you look at Domanović or Nušić, you see that in our nation it is possible to write exclusively about the present and for that to still sound relevant a hundred years later.

When it comes to politics and politicians, I am interested in finding a middle ground between the need for universality and condemnation of current stupidity

literature, but also other art forms, shows how people were able to play in assessing the worth of their contemporaries and their work. The curse of creative work is that you can never say og yourself that you’re an artist. You can say that you are enthusiastic about creative work and that you are trying to deal with it – just that much. So, whether you are serious artist or not is not even something you need to worry about, because you will not be on the jury when that is decided at any time, yours or in the future. My job is to write the best I can and as literate as I can, and where that rates according to the views of other people, I cannot influenc that even if I want to. I do not want to sit at a table with these or those people in order to convince them of the greatness of my work, nor to enter various circles to gain legitimacy from them. My career is going the way I think it should, step by step, without unnatural leaps. ■ Do the people in power show a desire to tame an artist such as yourself?

- I don’t think that what I do has such a range as yet that I would be viewed as an enemy of the state. And our enemies of the

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■ The connection between politics and Estrada showbiz is obviously common?

- It became common. That is a symbiosis that acts as a parasite on the tissue of domestic society. The only thing that fascinates me is how they do not comprehend that no government lasts forever. Governments are transient, why would anyone paint themselves in their colors and get dirty? Governments pass, dirt remains – despite the fact that the nation has a short memory, that does not apply to everyone: there are always those who remember. Why do people unnecessarily degrade the name they have gained through passion and work? Why would someone agree to prostitute their soul just for the sake of short-term benefits? I’m not particularly religious, but that has something to do with the word sin. ■ When you see artists involved in a

successful presidential campaign, you know they will be adequately rewarded afterwards?

Photo: Ana Danilović

state certainly provoke a need for taming. However, when you are not an enemy of the state and your voice has a range that is not so small, something else happens. You are not so dangerous that they would seek to tame you, but you could be useful if they could attract you to their side. That’s how some people turned up one time at a concert and asked if we needed any help. It is the same as with reality shows. They ask you whether you would participate, you say that you would not, and then they say politely: Wait, you haven’t heard our offer. That is a terrible sentence, because it implies that they do not even accept my “no” as a stance, but rather they think that “no” is merely the bargaining of bartering and raising prices. That’s how the Estrada [low platform showbiz] thinks, but also how the political elite think. They think that everyone has a price. For them it is totally, but really completely, inconceivable that anyone would not want for any price to sell their dignity and their credibility.

■ Are you surprised when you see the influence of what you do or say, its reach to places where you never expected?

- After ten years of being present in the public eye, almost nothing surprises me.

■ Do you have any misunderstandings or lack of understanding when it comes to your work?

- Essentially no, because Estrada showbiz is excluded from my life and there’s no problem in that. Nobody puts me in such contexts. The only question is how people understand what I am doing: serious or not serious - yet, I am never understood as being showbiz, and that is a compliment in itself. But artists can largely channel themselves in that way: I never believed in that dreadful maxim that all advertising is good advertising. Why is it good for everyone to recognise you if they recognise you as a fool? In this regard, I have never belonged to those who will appear in any media at all costs. Let’s say I have never appeared on Pink, but I never had an unpleasant experience with journalists from that broadcaster. I always politely explain that Pink is my cultural trauma of the ‘90s and everything ends with that. Unfortunately, those Pink germs have spread so much that my attitude has begun to lose meaning.

I absolutely oppose the famous saying that “the people seek it”. Cervantes once said that the crowd is not to blame for seeking stupidity, but rather he who is incapable of offering them anything else

- If those are really high quality artists and if that is the only way for such people come into that position, that is sad from a civilisational aspect, but is not fatal to society. However, here it has long been clear that nobody who is really industrious, honest, serious and capable – has ambitions to dirty their hands with politics. Politics in our country has long been a muddy affair, thus it is the profession of mostly the worst, and not the best, among us. My second novel, Malterego, was in the running for the prize of the City of Belgrade in 2012. I almost prayed to God not to get it, because I just imagined the scene of how I would have to have it handed to me by the mayor and how I would have to shake hands with him, which in our environment would not be seen as merely a literary award, but as some kind of an acknowledgment 26 |

of political correctness, which means a complete devaluation of your credibility. Paradox: if you want good for your country in the Balkans, do not collaborate with the state even by accident and avoid any such context.

124 February 2015 |

■ Television companies today quickly dump all shows that are not hits?

- The question is: who has imposed what will be watched? I absolutely oppose that famous saying that “the people seek it”. Cervantes once said that the crowd is not to blame for seeking stupidity, but rather he who is incapable of offering them anything else. And we remember well who imposed what on us and how taste(less) the thesis is that the people sought that. Hence, now, when everything is Pink, we do not forget that Pink is the carrier of the contagion.

■ How do you feel as the Real Man (Pravi muškarac) of 2014? - It’s comforting to gain such recognition, as it does not relate to modeling or having perfect figure, but rather nerdy discipline, such as the struggle for human rights and values of basic human dignity. I understand that as confirmation that the things my colleagues and I do are not invisible, not in vain. And that means something to you when you’re among the angry margins and alternatives against the Estrada and politicking all around us. ■






Waste is a

Green Can Also Be

Seeking New

Valuable Resource MIODRAG MITROVIĆ





Opportunities ZORAN PETROVIĆ




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NEGOTIATION “The Serbian government is negotiating with banks in Serbia to amend loan terms for some 22,000 clients who took loans denominated in Swiss francs in the early 2000s” — ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ, Serbian Prime Minister

Leadership Position Maintained Hemofarm experienced its best production year ever last year, with over 200 million boxes of medication and four billion tablets produced last year. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Serbia’s biggest pharmaceutical producer and biggest exporter of medications has managed to exceed its planned production volume, thereby confirming its leadership position. Hemofarm has plans to make more major investments in this important jubilee year, which marks its 55th birthday. Among other things, the company plans to invest in extending the Ampoules Production Department in Vršac, as well as making an investment worth several million euros in the Nasal Spray Production Department in Podgorica. “It is very important that Hemofarm, as a member of the STADA Group, has validated the fact that it has been a respectable partner worth of an investment that amounts to tens of millions of euros. Our factory in Vršac delivers 70% of its products to the EU market,” Hemofarm CEO Ronald Seeliger told press.


Centrosinergija and BAT Sign Distribution Contract Centrosinergija, part of the Centro Štampa Holding business system, has signed a distribution contract with British American Tobacco (BAT). The contract, which marks the start of a cooperation deal that will benefit both companies, will contribute significantly to the further development of Centrosinergija, which also owns the Moj Kiosk chain.



Two senior executives of the Telenor Group – Kjell Morten Johnsen, Executive Vice-President and Director of European Operations, and Jon Erik Haug, Executive Vice-President and Head of Group People Development – both met with the top managers of several different companies in Serbia, in order to relay their experiences in identifying executive leaders for companies like Telenor, with the goal of ensuring the healthy and sustainable

development of these companies. “Telenor Group has been working on the development and consolidation of our company culture. Our company brings together 30,000 employees in 13 countries and we stand out thanks to the way we operate. We call this The Telenor Way, which includes our code of conduct, a set of values and stances we nurture, our mission and vision, as well as our aspirations,” says Kjell Morten Johnsen. Telenor Serbia holds over 150 corporate training sessions each year, which are used to further encourage individuals and teams to advance in the company in a proper way.


Cross-Country Differentiation to Remain Key Feature of CEE Banking Although lending growth in Central and Southeast Europe has remained weak recently, a cross-country breakdown shows more encouraging trends. A slight acceleration of lending growth is expectUNICREDIT HEADQUARTERS ed to proceed in CESEE, with corporate lending providing a boost by year’s end 2015, while Russia will be affected by a significant deceleration. Some of the past vulnerabilities are being addressed, with external liabilities being replaced by domestic funding. With revenue margins still under pressure, non-interest income is foreseen as an important profitability driver. The CEE banking sector RoA is expected to remain comparable to 2014 levels, at around 1.0%. Overall, the differentiation across Central Eastern European countries in terms of banking developments will remain a key feature. These are some of the key findings of the latest CEE Banking Study, which was conducted by UniCredit´s CEE Strategic Analysis department and covers 13 different countries. Central and Eastern Europe remains a diverse region and the region’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2016, while the figures for the broader region will be 0.2 and 2.2 per cent, due to the contraction in Russia.

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DARKO BAJČETIĆ, CEO, Centro Štampa Holding

BAT has been present in Serbia for 18 years, with the major milestone in this period being the 2003 takeover of Duvanska industrija Vranje. This privatisation deal made BAT the biggest UK investor in Serbia, a title it still holds to this day. With contributions exceeding €1 billion in the last decade, BAT represents one of Serbia’s biggest tax payers. “The signing of the distribution contract with Centrosinergija represents a very important step in the improvement of BAT’s operations in Serbia. We are convinced that the synergy between these two successful companies will contribute to the further growth of our sales and market share,” said Thanos Trimis, BAT General Manager for Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.

SWISS FRANC “The National Bank of Serbia does not intend to introduce a Swiss franc rate fix, because that would cause immeasurable losses to the banking sector” 05 GENERALI


Generali Finalises Acquisition of GPH Generali has completed the 100% takeover of Generali PPF Holding B.V. (GPH) by acquiring the remaining 24% minority stake held by the PPF Group, in line with agreements signed in January 2013. With the acquisition of the full ownership of GPH, the holding company operating in Central-Eastern Europe will change its name to Generali CEE Holding B.V. According to Generali Group CEO Mario Greco, “This is the final step in an important acquisition for the Group. Central-Eastern Europe is one of our key European markets, with clear growth prospects, and is a region where the Group is already the undisputed leader in terms of profitability”. The purchase of the remaining stake in GPH has been completed in accordance with the terms previously announced to the market, for a final price of €1,245.5 million. The CEE market is Generali’s fourth largest, with premiums of approximately €3.5 billion in 2013 and over 11 million customers.

Placements & postings



Marko Čadež (37) was born in Belgrade and educated in Germany, where he graduated from the Academy of Marketing Communications in Frankfurt. He continued his studies at the International Institute for Journalism in Sofia, the Academy of Deutsche Welle and the Centre for television training in Sofia, the Network for Professionalisation of the Southeast European Media (SEENPM) and the Danish School of Journalism. From 2005 he served as spokesman of the German Embassy in Belgrade and programme coordinator and advisor for political affairs and communications at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Belgrade, as well as being a lecturer for the Foundation in Montenegro. From 2006 to 2014 he was employed as Deutsche Welle coordinator for Serbia and Montenegro. Čadež is one of the founders and chairman of the Forum Serbia - Germany association and since April 2014 he has held the position of director of the Forum. He takes over the position of president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce after having served as vice president of the SCC responsible for the modernisation of the chamber system.



The Government of the Republic of Serbia’s session of 31st December 2014 saw the appointment of Ljubomir Šubara as the new director of the Serbian Privatisation Agency, for a five-year term. Ljubomir Šubara, born 1965 in Belgrade, is a Master of Economics. His professional career has seen him serve as director of the directorate and department director of the National Bank of Yugoslavia until 2001, while he also served as an advisor to then-Governor Dragoslav Avramović on the introduction of the “new dinar”. He also held the function of Representative of state capital and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of “FAM Krusevac” during restructuring and “DIP Savremeni dom” Krusevac under restructuring.


Piraeus Bank Takes Over ATE Bank’s Stake in AIK Banka

Greece’s Piraeus Bank has officially become the owner of a 20.35% stake in AIK Banka (AIKB), which was earlier pledged to ATE Bank, since CSD finally completed recording. It is already known that Piraeus acquired healthy assets in ATE Bank, including the AIK Banka stake. ATE Bank became a shareholder of AIK Banka in 2006, buying shares at a price of RSD5,200 each. According to the latest price of RSD1,620 per share, Piraeus holds an AIK Banka stake worth three billion dinars, or €24.6 million. Source: CSD, Wisebroker.



The Executive Board of Serbian Railways’ first session of 2015 saw Miroslav Stojčić appointed as the company’s new director general. This is the first time that a director general of Serbian Railways has been chosen via public competition. All three appointed executive directors have been working for the Serbian Railways for a number of years. Stojčić is a transport engineer who has amassed a long career working in the railway sector, where he has served as head of the Belgrade Railway Station, Director of the Passenger Transport Sector, Deputy Director of the Transport Affairs Sector, Head of the Section for the Belgrade Intersection Infrastructure and an advisor to the Director of the Infrastructure Directorate.



Vice-president of Democratic Party and President of the Serbian parliamentary Committee on European integrations, Natasa Vucković was elected on in Strasbourg the President of the Committee on Rules of Procedure and Institutional Affairs of the Council of Europe. Committee on Rules of Procedure and Institutional Affairs, whose president is Natasa Vucković, is one of the eight Committees of the CE Parliamentary Assembly. Vucković is also a member of Monitoring Committee, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, as well as member of SubCommittee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights. |

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Waste is a

Valuable Resource MIODRAG MITROVIĆ


Environmental protection and waste management shouldn’t be viewed as burdens and sources of new expense, but rather as an opportunity for economic growth stemming from the utilisation of new resources, as well as an opportunity to create new jobs


nitial investments in waste management and its use in production are substantial. However, with the help of innovative solutions and improved regulation, as well as pooling together public and private resources, a new opportunity for economic growth and environmental protection could be opened – says Miodrag Mitrović, CEO of MITECO-KNEŽEVAC d.o.o. ■ This year’s Miteco Forum, dubbed “Is the Future Asking You?”, is being held for the fourth consecutive year. How aware is Serbia of the legacy we leave behind for future generations by neglecting environmental issues? - Environmental issues and issues relating to human habitat, whether we are talking about the way environment is treated or our response to climate changes and their environmental impact, are not dealt with sufficiently in Serbia. That’s why we chose this year’s slogan for the in-

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ternational MITECO Forum, to get people thinking about these issues. We don’t want to wait for the future to analyse us and point out the mistakes we made, but we should want to seek solutions and responses so we can keep our heads held high in the future. We should focus on waste management, climate change, industrialisation and similar topics.

■ What prompted you to make environmental issues

to analyse the progress made in waste management and compare our activities with those in the developed countries of Western Europe. The second reason is our desire to be different, innovative and, most of all, useful to people from industry. Every single one of our forums has dealt with current topics, which draws the attention of professionals, authorities and the media, all with the aim of together finding sustainable solutions and answers to some burning issues.

■ It is often pointed out that Serbia needs to make heavy environmental investments, so heavy in fact that it is highly unlikely we will comply with European standards very easily. What can we do with the

It seems that the Serbian government does have enough political will to clean up not-yet-privatised companies and thereby reduce the risk of future environmental catastrophes and waste management, topics frequently avoided in our country, the focus of your forums over the past three years? - Three years is enough time

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funds at our disposal? - You know, not everything is at it seems. I think that with our own money, as well as the creative ideas and innovative spirit of young and educated

people, we can solve numerous problems and also create a good investment environment. In order for investors in industrial facilities to come to the Serbian market in the first place, they need to have a clean location, in addition to clear administrative and fiscal procedures. One of the bigger ecological problems in Serbia is so-called historical pollution. Many now-dormant companies have amassed huge quantities of waste, which is an environmental hazard because they have been going through long periods of restructuring. We believe the money for the removal of this waste can be found in the state budget and in EU IPA pre-accession funds. In terms of raising waste management standards and applying the so-called circular economy (which implies waste being reduced, re-used or recycled into new products or used for energy), we can look to countries with a developed recycling industry financed by companies that pollute the environment.

■ Which topics do you emphasise in public debates at your forums and which of these topics have resonated with both the government and businesses? - Oh, they do resonate, that’s

for sure. Another issue is how capable decision makers are of dedicating their time and effort to this topic, considering how many other priorities they have to deal with. It has now become clear that, because we are in the pre-accession process, environmental issues are important. In this light, gatherings like the Miteco Forum are welcome. The Miteco Company has been actively participating in the work done by the Association of the Waste Management Industry, called ‘The Brave Cleaner’, which gathers together private waste management companies. The Association is a member of the FEAD, a Brussels-based European federation representing the entire waste management industry. ■ You are a waste management industry leader. How challenging is it to operate in this sector, given that the waste collection culture is not well developed in Serbia? - Serbia has been struggling with challenges and problems in this area that are similar to those faced in Austria, with one exception – the Austrians resolved these problems 30 or 40 years ago. True to our nature, we are also late in this respect. Generally speaking, there are two segments in waste management – collection and processing. If you consider that we, in Serbia, don’t have a single thermal destruction or energy conversion facility and that waste treatment is only just starting to develop, you can easily conclude that our waste management boils down to depositing waste in landfills and junkyards. And we are talking about the work done by public utility companies, not privately owned firms. We also need to work a lot on educating people and raising awareness, particularly among young people. On the other hand, the penalty system could be much more efficient.

■ What risk factors come with waste in Serbia and do you think the evaluation of risk associated with climate changes and accumulated waste is accurate? - The risk is extremely high. Consider what we went through in the last 15 years – from our country being bombed to catastrophic floods that also brought about

waste management and improving environmental protection could be a significant driving force behind economic development and job creation in Serbia? - I think the reason lies in the fact that we don’t understand the process sufficiently. Waste is not a burden, but a resource; a new raw material to be used in produc-

If communal waste is left only to public utility companies, there will be stagnation. However, if communal waste is handled exclusively by the private sector, you will end up with companies fighting for profit, which can be detrimental to the interests of society as a whole more devastation to companies. Let me just mention the fact that during the flooding we collected huge amounts of PCB waste from the Zorka Šabac Company, in an effort to prevent spillage and contamination of the entire area. It seems that the Serbian government does have enough political will to clean up not-yet-privatised companies and thereby reduce the risk of future environmental catastrophes. ■ Why do we pay so little attention to the fact that

tion. You don’t need huge working capital to manage waste. The problem lies with initial investments which are not small. There are potential investors available. Environmental protection and waste management carry incredible opportunities – waste can be used as a resource and as a source of jobs for young, educated people. ■ What role does public-private partnership play in waste treatment? - I think it is the only way to

improve the communal waste segment. If communal waste is left only to public utility companies, there will be stagnation. However, if communal waste is handled exclusively by the private sector, you will end up with companies fighting for profit, which can be detrimental to the interests of society as a whole. Moreover, there is the

issue of laws and an insufficiently developed private sector, another of the issues that should be addressed.

■ How up to date are the relevant laws in terms of providing incentives for the waste management industry? - It’s been five years since the adoption of the first set of laws in 2009 and we now realise that they must be changed. I think the current laws are not adapted to our industry, and certainly not to the EU standards we need to comply with. Let me just cite one example – the current regulation doesn’t even mention ‘by-products’ or the criteria for determining what material can be used further or should ecotax be paid on such materials, like ash from thermal power stations. We need to constantly advance regulations in accordance with real needs. ■ |

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POLICY “We need a sound, growth-orientated fiscal policy, we need investments by the state and, first and foremost, we need an environment which encourages private investors to make investments.” — ANGELA MERKEL, German Chancellor 02 BULGARIA

Personal Bankruptcy Law Worried by the plight of tens of thousands of borrowers with loans in Swiss francs, Romania is planning to adopt a law to help them declare themselves bankrupt. A commission within Romania’s parliament is to debate a draft personal bankruptcy law, designed to help borrowers escape from increasingly expensive loans taken out in Swiss francs. Authorities are concerned that the sharp rise in the exchange rate of the Swiss franc is dragging thousands of people who took out loans tied to the currency into insolvency. Prime Minister Victor Ponta said he was open to the idea of converting franc loans into loans in the local currency. However, some but local banks opposed the idea, and have announced their own measures to support their clients. Volksbank Romania on Monday decided to freeze the franc exchange rate for its customers at a level 17 per cent lower than the official rate announced by Romania’s central bank on 19th January.

Piccadilly Supermarket Put Up For Sale

A Sofia supermarket of Bulgarian chain Piccadilly has been put up for sale by a private enforcement agent at a starting price of 2.4 million levs (€1.2 million), a public auction notice showed in late January. Bids for the supermarket, which has a total area of 1,943 square metres and comprises two levels, can be placed by 23rd February and the winner will be announced the following day, according to the notice published on the website of the Bulgarian Chamber of Private Enforcement Agents.


State Help With Swiss Franc Loans

Hungary had been one of the countries most exposed to Swiss franc-denominated loans before the government took action late last year, fixing the exchange rate for conversion of euro and Swiss-franc mortgages into forints well below market levels. Though that saves a huge mortgage loan stock of about €10 billion from the impact of the Swiss franc’s strengthening, Hungarian households still have about €1.7 billion

of foreign-currency loans, mostly in Swiss francs and predominantly car loans. “I think banks and foreign currency borrowers must negotiate now,” Orban told public radio. “... the government can (only) play the role of mediator.” Orban said that the courts have declared that borrowers had to bear the exchange-rate risk on the loans. He praised National Bank of Hungary governor, Gyorgy Matolcsy, for playing a key role in the mortgage conversion programme. The central bank provided billions of euros to banks from its reserves, allowing lenders to buy the Swiss francs needed for the mortgage conversions.




Macedonian Airports' 2014 Passenger Traffic Rises 20% Passenger traffic at Macedonia’s two airports climbed by 20% to 1,278,343 in 2014, the airports’ operator, Turkey’s TAV Airports Holding said. In December alone, passenger traffic at the airports in the capital Skopje and the lakeside resort of Ohrid soared by 43% on the year to a combined 91,812, data released by TAV Airports Holding indicated. The number of commercial flights to and from the two airports increased by 13% to 13,969 in 2014 and was up by an annual 26% to 1,023 in December. TAV Airports Holding has been operating the Skopje and Ohrid airports since 2010.

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124 February 2015 |

1. Manage your cash. 2. Develop a data-based culture. 3. Develop a strategic and financial plan and track it on a regular basis. 4. Understand your margins on all your products and services. 5. Have a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent. 6. L isten online and monitor the internet every day. 7. Don’t spend money on marketing if you aren’t going to be able to measure the results. 8. T alk to your customers. 9. Know your competitors. 10. Have a higher purpose.

COIN “Sustainable development and climate change are two sides of the same coin.” 05 CROATIA

— BAN KI MOON, United Nations Secretary General




Parliament Unanimously Votes to Fix Swiss Franc

EMAIL Did you know the “cc:” in an email means carbon copy?

Hypo Alpe Unit Offers Help to Swiss Franc Borrowers

A special session of 23rd January saw Croatian MPs vote unanimously in favour of amending a consumer credit law which will see the Swiss Franc fixed for the next 12 months at a rate of 1 CHF to 6.39 HRK The amendment will apply to all those with mortgage loans in Swiss francs, as well as anybody who has a loan in the Swiss francs worth in excess of one million kuna (€113,000 ). Switzerland recently ceased pegging its Swiss Franc to the euro, which saw the currency rise 17% against the Croatian kuna in 24 hours. The rise spelt bad news for the large number of homeowners with mortgage loans in Swiss francs. Around eight per cent of Croatian mortgage loans (60,000) are denominated in the Swiss franc, currently worth 7.66 kuna.

The Bosnian unit of Austria’s nationalised Hypo Alpe Adria Bank said it would offer more favourable repayment terms to its 6,100 borrowers seeking relief from a surge in the value of the Swiss franc. The bank accounts for nearly all loans denominated in Swiss francs in Bosnia, the value of which has jumped to some 400 million marka (€211 million) since the Swiss National Bank scrapped its cap on the franc, compared with 340 million beforehand. The bank has already offered to convert loans into euros or local currency but at higher interest rates, or to let borrowers repay using fixed exchange rates under additional conditions, and it has also

offered to write off loan instalments. Nearly 10,000 Bosnians took out franc mortgages to capitalise on low Swiss interest rates in the early 2000s, only to lose out when the financial crisis hit and the value of the franc surged, driving up their debt-servicing costs.



World Bank Expects Growth

Work Starts on Montenegro-Italy Undersea Cable

The World Bank’s Albania Country Manager, Tahseen Sayed, has said that positive benefits to Albania’s economy are expected in 2015, according to Albania’s Telegraphic Agency. Sayed noted that “in the last months of 2014 economic growth was vibrant, as a result of improved credit, payment of arrears by the government and an increase in business confidence.” “We expect growth for Albania in 2015 to be around three per cent, provided the positive trends continue and growth is supported by large foreign investment projects.”

The Italian transmission system operator Terna confirmed that the long-awaited construction of the undersea started end January in Italy, although delays on the other side of the Adriatic Sea remain because of ongoing “expropriation processes”. According to the deal signed in 2010, the €775 million

cable will run for 390km under the Adriatic Sea while an additional 25km will be on shore. The terrestrial part, 10km in Montenegro’s Tivat area and 15km in Italy’s Pescara area, will run two metres underground. The Tivat-Pescara cable, a high-voltage electric interconnection, is supposed to connect Montenegro with Italy by 2017 with the aim of enabling Montenegro to export energy from renewable sources to Italy. The link between Italy and Montenegro will have a wider impact on the Balkans. In 2011 Serbia signed an agreement with Italy to export its own hydro-electricity through the cable. Source: BIRN


Joint Transit Customs Corridor Between Albania and Kosovo Albania and Kosovo have decided to create a joint customs corridor. The two sides are currently in the process of preparing the system. General Director of Albanian Customs, Elisa Spiropali, addressed the issue in a Tirana meeting with the head of Kosovo Customs, Lulzim Rafuna. The two officials discussed the preparation of the two respective systems for the application of a “joint transit corridor between Albania and Kosovo”.


Both sides announced that technical staff, backed by UNCAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development), are cooperating to format the modalities needed to activate the transit system. The two customs officials underlined that this joint transit project not only facilitates trade between the two countries, but also helps fight tax evasion and smuggling. Source: Independent Balkan News Agency |

124 February 2015 | 35



Green Can Also Be


Oven Elektro has been producing electricity from small hydroelectric power plants for many years and is considering taking advantage of an opportunity to launch such production in Serbia


lthough producing electricity from renewable energy resources is usually profitable only if subsidized by the state, CEO of Oven Elektro, Miroslav Prešern, believes production models that would be commercially profitable should also be sought.

■ You are focused on producing electricity from renewable energy resources. How profitable is this line of business today? - Most of our profits generated through electricity production from renewable resources is tied to small hydroelectric power plants. A certain portion of our profit comes from selling electricity to traders, and then there is revenue from subsidies. At this moment, and considering current prices, producing electricity from hydro sources is profitable even without state subsidies. Our other activities relate to producing electricity from solar stations and, in this area, profitability is possible only with the help of state subsidies. Our company advocates an economically justified pricing system which, in both cases, 36 |

would be much more profitable, even without subsidies involved. We think that state subsidies are actually a form of indirect taxation, which is not sustainable as a long-term solution.

tain and clean solar power plants, issue energy certificates and act as consultants. ■ What are the advantages and disadvantages of state subsidies for companies producing electricity from renewable energy resources? - The biggest advantage is undoubtedly the revenue, while the biggest disadvantage of using state subsidies is that they are not paid out regularly, due to the financial crisis.

profitability of various locations, particularly those for small hydroelectric power plants in Serbia. In terms of cooperation with the Serbian authorities, we are pleasantly surprised by the launch of international tenders for the construction of small HPPs and the terms and conditions of these tenders. ■ Which renewable energy resources in Serbia (wind, biomass, solar, water) are the most attractive for investment? - We think that the most interesting investments are those in water and wind, since there is minimal risk attached to profitability even if no state subsidies

We think that state subsidies for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources are actually a form of indirect taxation, which is not sustainable as a long-term solution ■ Apart from producing electricity from renewabe energy resources, what else comprises your production portfolio? - We sell electric bicycles, water filters and smart LED lighting for industrial facilities. We also main-

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■ You have been assigned several locations designated for the construction of small HPPs in Serbia. Do you plan to start implementing these projects soon? - We are still weighing up the

are allocated. Utilising biomass is both technologically and technically complex, while the revenue in terms of solar is tied to state subsidies. Hence, the two latter renewable energy resources are less attractive. ■



Seeking New Photo: Dušan Stojanović


As today’s leading engineering and consultancy company on the Serbian market, Tebodin is looking forward to new investments that may emerge through closer cooperation between the Balkans, China, Russia and other partners


f the new version of the Construction, Planning and Energy Law is implemented and adhered to, and if it proves efficient in streamlining and easing procedures, this would certainly be helpful in accelerating projects, some of which may came through new partnerships in the Balkans, says Zoran Petrović, CEO at Tebodin d.o.o.

■ How important are the announcements that the region’s countries could establish deeper cooperation with China, especially in terms of the development of industrial zones in Serbia? - It is extremely exciting that this East Asian powerhouse is looking towards the Balkan region for business opportunities, enabling us to finally utilise our traditionally good relations for prosperous business partnerships. For Serbia, as already seen through the Zemun-Borča Bridge, this is a great opportunity to improve our infrastructure network, which has always been criticised by investors

for being out of date, poorly maintained, and inadequate for realising the potential of their investments. On the other hand, this deeper cooperation at the state level has the potential to translate into more concrete investments from individual companies. After all, we are viewed as a gateway to Western Europe, with the added benefit of having access to the Russian market.

amendments. It seems that almost every single government that has come to power since 2000 has had ‘improving’ construction and planning legislation on its agenda. The intentions of these governments may have been just, but all these changes ended up creating was constant shifting and uncertainty, a lot of confusion and, in the end, not much in the way of improvements. Dealing predominantly with International investors, we have heard the constant complaint that permitting procedures are cumbersome and time consuming. The length of legally prescribed timeframes for approvals and permit issuance proved to be a major deterrent for many potential

■ In your opinion, how will the new Construction, Planning and Energy Law influence investment activity in this market segment and your own services? - When it comes to this particular law, one of the main problems we have always struggled with has been its constant

investors. The new law goes some way towards streamlining procedures and easing the pressure on investors to do the paper chasing from local utility providers. This has now been pushed onto the domain of the issuing authorities and has also provided definite timelines for granting approvals, which will

The quality of our engineering staff represents the biggest factor contributing to Tebodin having become the leading engineering and consultancy company on the Serbian market today

aid in the better scheduling of planning and understanding among investors. All these benefits, of course, can only be realised if the legislation is actually enforced and adhered to.

■ What are the expert assessment and the availability of skilled personnel in Serbia like in your industry; how much do you rely on local human resources in the execution of your work? - Being an international company, we can say with utmost certainty that the skills and expertise of our engineers are at a very high level. We have a well-educated employee base that can meet all challenges and requirements of international clients. Our internal HR policy goes a step further, seeking employees with rich, expert portfolios, as well as an international background. It is very fair to deduce that the general quality of our engineering staff, and our project managers in particular, represents the biggest factor contributing to Tebodin having become the leading engineering and consultancy company on the Serbian market today. ■ |

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“The price of oil is a shot in the arm in the short term...But it is just not enough to compensate for weaknesses in the world economy.”


— OLIVIER BLANCHARD, Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund



Record Iraqi Oil Output

Iraq’s daily oil production reached a record four million barrels in December 2014 and the country is planning to increase its share of the global oil market. The decision is likely to push oil prices even lower. Iraq increased oil production after a deal was reached between Baghdad and autonomous Kurdistan in December, following years of dispute over oil rights. Iraq and Kurdistan agreed to ship 300,000 barrels of oil per day from Kirkuk and 250,000 barrels from Kurdistan via the Kurds’ pipeline network to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The sides were prompted to leave divisions behind and unite against the jihadist group Islamic State, which has seized territory in northern Iraq. Iraq has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves and is rapidly restoring its power as a major producer after decades of war and economic sanctions.

Up to 730,000m2 of New Office Space Poland has 7.3 million square metres of office space and the number will be increased by an additional 730,000m2 this year, according to JLL analysts. Warsaw, which has 4.36 million m2 of office space, the biggest in CEE, will gain an additional 320,000m2. Kraków will see the second largest increase, by 114,000m2, followed by Wrocław (91,000m2) and the Tricity (87,000m2). “Demand for office space in Warsaw is driven by modern business services companies, which are increasing the number of employees and need additional office space,” said Matuesz Polkowski, Market Research Department Director at JLL.


Gambling Zone in Russia's Far East Fifty kilometres from the regional capital of Vladivostok and just a few hours’ flight from Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing, the new Russian gambling zone of Primorye will strive to attract gamblers from across Asia and Russia. A long-awaited gambling oasis designed to tempt wealthy Asian and domestic tourists into Russia’s Far East is finally getting off the ground, with total investment of $2.2 billion anticipated. The Primorye gambling zone is slated to contain 16 hotel-casino complexes on a territory of 620 hectares. It will boast a yacht club and wharf with space for up to 65 boats, ski trails, an exhibition center, beaches and more, RIA Novosti reported. The Russian government outlawed gambling across most of the country in 2009, but gave four designated zones the privilege to build gambling complexes. So far, only the Azov-City gambling center on the border of the Krasnodar and Rostov regions in southern Russia has managed to turn its special legal status into a real, money-making entertainment complex.




Bavarian Beer Sets New Record For the first time ever, Bavarian brewers produced over 2.2 billion litres of beer in 2014, more beer than their rivals in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. The main reason for these impressive figures is the great international demand, pushing exports to some 4.5 million hectolitres - a new record. Domestically there was a change in the 2014 figures as well: after years of declining demand the amount of beer consumed in Germany has seen a marked increase. One possible reason for this trend is thought to have been the football World Cup finals last summer. The approximately 600 breweries in Bavaria produce some 40 different types of beer and 4,000 speciality brands.

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124 February 2015 |

Identifying your company culture is not that different from a national, ethnic or religious culture. They all have the same elements. 1. Articulate your purpose and vision 2. Hire people with both emotional and technical capabilities 3. Set clear expectations 4. Provide continuous, gracious feedback 5. Lead with integrity

LEADERS “It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world.” 05 ITALY

— WINNIE BYANYIMA, Oxfam Executive Director




TIE There are 177,147 ways to tie a tie, according to mathematicians.

Bank of Italy Cuts 2015 Growth Forecast

Towns Today, Turbines Tomorrow

The Bank of Italy said that it has slashed its growth forecast for 2015, predicting an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.4% this year, compared to the 1.3% it forecast in July. The central bank added that the recessionbattered Italian economy should grow 1.2% next year. But it said that “considerable uncertainty remains” and that “the intensity of the recovery in investments will be crucial”. It estimated that Italy’s GDP dropped 0.4% in 2014.

Swedish energy company Vattenfall is buying up whole villages in rural Denmark, razing them to the ground and replacing the buildings with wind turbines. Mette Korsager, who is responsible for Vattenfall’s onshore wind projects in Denmark, explained that the strategy was to make it easier for the company to achieve the goal of installing 250 MW of wind turbines in Denmark by 2018-2019. “We typically buy up farms in bad condition and demolish the farmhouse,” she said. “Recently we bought most of Kølby village in northern Jutland to make a windpark.” “We solve the problem of unsellable properties in peripheral regions, we solve the problem of neighbours being critical of wind farms, and we make it easier to reach agreements about the installation of wind turbines at the municipalities because we go in and help them by developing problem areas,” Korsager said.




The report notes that in 2014 there were 1,645 people listed by Forbes as being billionaires and that around 30% of them (492) are from the USA. One-third of billionaires on this list started from a position of wealth, with 34% of them having inherited some or all of their riches. Some 85% of these people are over age 50 and 90% of them are male.

Top Consumer of Luxury Products Chinese spending on luxury goods increased 9 per cent year-on-year to 380 billion yuan (€52,8 billion) in 2014, accounting for 30 per cent of total global spending, according to Bain & Company’s 2014 China Luxury Market Study. Sales of luxury products on mainland fell one per cent from a year earlier to 115 bln yuan (€16 bln), the consulting firm said. Watches and men’s wear on mainland contracted the most, by 13 per cent and 10 percent respectively, while purchases of women’s wear continued its strong momentum, growing at 11 per cent. Consumers who bought their luxury goods while traveling abroad contributed to 55 per cent of Chinese luxury spending last year, with Japan and Korea being the hottest destinations, due to exchange advantages, easier visa applications and convenient flights.


Exports Ships, Yachts Worth $1.3bln Turkey’s ship and yacht exports reached $1.3 billion in 2014, a 10.1 per cent increase over the previous year, according to figures compiled from the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly database. Some 72 per cent of the exports were made from Istanbul, while 18 per cent were sourced from the northwestern province of Yalova. The most ship and yacht exports were made to Norway, with more than $224.5 million, followed by the Marshall Islands, with $165mln, Iraq, with $121.5mln, Malta, with $93.6mln, Germany, with $88.3mln, and Italy, with $64.6mln. Turkey’s total 2014 exports increased 4% last year, reaching $157.6 billion, a record in the history of the modern republic. Car sales have been a major drive, netting $22.3 billion, followed by textiles and chemicals. |

124 February 2015 | 39

DAVOS 2015

Key Issues:

Inequality, Climate Change and Terrorism Many of the world’s most influential individuals got together last month in Davos, a small and otherwise anonymous Swiss ski resort, to take part in the annual World Economic Forum. The event drew around 2,500 participants from more than 100 different countries, including 40 heads of state, 300 members of government, 14 Nobel Laureates and 1,500 business leaders, making Davos a unique gathering of the planet’s most influential, rich and powerful people


he World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 ended on 23rd January with a Co-Chairs debate on the 2015 Global Agenda. The session closed a week-long meeting on the world’s most pressing issues and long-term challenges, including inequality, climate change and terrorism. “To reduce inequality, the best answer is growth,” said Roberto Egydio Setubal, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 40 |

2015. Setubal said the world had endured a tough few years, but “now we are more optimistic, because the U.S. economy is coming back. We will see better results in the next five years than we saw in the last five.” Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, said: “We have to increase the impact that global growth has on the poorest.” Kim said improving healthcare and the quality of education are proven both to reduce inequality and foster sustainable growth.

124 February 2015 |

Katherine Garrett-Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Trust, UK; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum, said this year is

sense of urgency, especially from the business community.” Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, UK;

What could be taken from Davos this year is a huge sense of urgency, especially from the business community going to be the ultimate test “to see if public-private partnerships really work”. However, she sees reason for hope. “What I am taking from this meeting is a huge

Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum, said: “Growth must touch everybody and lift everybody if it is to be sustainable.” She said that she had met many business

leaders at the meeting who were ready to commit to reducing inequality and mitigating the impact of climate change, but that political leaders are falling behind. Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House, UK said: “Governments are being delegitimised in many parts of the world. They are struggling to keep up.” However, he also sees promising signs for 2015, including the European Central Bank’s adoption of quantitative easing and the boom in alternative energies, which low oil prices will not stop. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, was the first to tackle the inequality issue head on, on 21st January. “We need to ensure a relatively high employment rate, especially sufficient employment for young people. And we need to optimize income distribution and raise people’s welfare,” he said, outlining the “new normal” growth in China. Climate change was top of the agenda, following an invitation by the French government to galvanise public-private support for the 2015 UN climate change conference in Paris later this year. Al Gore, Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, and Pharrell Williams, Creative Director and Brand Ambassador, Bionic Yarn, answered the call immediately, announcing their Live Earth series of concerts. “We are literally going to unite humanity all at once,” he said. Ban Ki-moon, UN SecretaryGeneral; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, also supported the plea. “It’s a collective endeavour, it’s collective accountability and it may not be too late,” Lagarde said. Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy, talked about how to reignite Europe’s growth engine. “The European direction must stress the importance of growth and public and private investment, not only austerity,” he said.

Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, said that “so-called austerity is often pitted against so-called growth” and that “we need a growth-orientated, sound fiscal policy, we need investments by the state, and we need an environment which encourages private investors to make investments.” As the European Central Bank (ECB) prepared to announce its quantitative easing programme, Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University, said that “deflation and secular stagnation are the risks of our time”, while Gary Cohn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs, told participants the world is in a “currency war”. He said: “One of the easier ways to stimulate your economy is to weaken your currency.” François Hollande, President of France, put terrorism on the agenda. “There cannot be prosperity without security,” he said. He urged the private sector to play a role as there needs to be a

Officer, Microsoft, focused on internet security and transparency. “We’ve got to get this balance between privacy and legitimate public safety. The internet is one of the greatest global goods. If we destroy it, we destroy a lot of our economic future.” Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, said that increasing access should be key. “If we can extend the internet to more peo-

There were 193 snowmen with national flags. The group Action 2015 wants to highlight the need for the world's richest to do more to combat poverty, growing inequality and climate change

Eliminating the terrorists that confront us today actually only solves part of the problem. We have to do more to avoid an endless cycle of violent extremism. We have to transform the very environment from which these forces emerge global international response. “It needs to be international and it needs to be shared, also by business, particularly the largest corporations,” he said. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said: “Eliminating the terrorists that confront us today actually only solves part of the problem. We have to do more to avoid an endless cycle of violent extremism. We have to transform the very environment from which these forces emerge.” Technology stakeholders discussed the future of the internet. Satya Nadella, Chief Executive

The meeting created momentum for the Forum’s regional agendas, thanks to strong representation from governments and business leaders from emerging markets, including Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and South Africa, in addition to those from Brazil, Russia, India and China. African leaders, including Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, and Jacob Zuma, President of

ple, we increase economic opportunities and equality,” she said. The Forum gained formal status under the Swiss Host State Act, confirming its role as an international institution for publicprivate cooperation. “Through this recognition, Switzerland has shown not only its full support for the World Economic Forum’s mission but also its commitment to further enhance Geneva’s role as a centre for international cooperation,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, said.

South Africa, gathered to discuss the Forum’s Africa Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. The cabinets of Brazil, Russia and India were all represented by senior ministers, including Joaquim Levy, Minister of Finance of Brazil; Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; and Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance of India. The Forum launched a new Global Challenge Initiative on Food Security and Agriculture, with support from the Government of Canada and a broad network of stakeholders. The initiative will work to achieve sustainable and inclusive food systems through investment, innovation and collaboration. The Forum also presented its Transformation Maps, and urged participants to travel around Davos on foot, with its Walk for Education project, resulting in a donation of 2,500 bicycles to children in rural South Africa. ■ |

124 February 2015 | 41

AFTER WORK 01.01.2015

CZKD's Jubilee Exhibition: The Living, the Dead and the Rest At noon precisely on 1st January 2015, the Centre for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Veljković Pavillion in Belgrade, with an exhibition entitled The Living, the Dead and the Rest. The exhibition showcases the names of the Centre’s founders, associates, participants, helpers, audience members, repairmen, accidental and other guests, friends and interlocutors who can be found in the Centre’s archives. Ana Miljanić came up with the idea for the jubilee celebration, while Ana Isaković, Borka Pavićević and Ljubica Slavković were also members of the editorial team.


Green Week


The Executive Board of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) unanimously voted to appoint Agropress CEO Goran Đaković as Chairman of the Communications Committee – one of the five most important bodies of the Federation, bringing together journalists from 40 different countries. Đaković met with the agriculture ministers of Germany and Lithuania during the official programme of the International Agribusiness Forum ‘Green Week’, which took place in Berlin, giving a presentation entitled ‘The Future of Small Farms’. Speaking on that occasion, he emphasised that small farms in Serbia had been hit badly by the floods and requested more support for small farms, not only in Serbia, but worldwide.


The block-busting queues in front of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre (JDP) for the second consecutive month are thanks to the joint JDP and Raiffeisen Bank initiative to ‘subsidise’ tickets for plays performed on both of the JDP’s stages. JDP director, Tamara Vučković, says that tickets for plays performed on the Bojan Stupica Stage have been selling for 100 Dinars, while tickets for the Ljuba Tadić Grand Stage are going for 200 Dinars. This is far and away the biggest and most positive After Work gathering of the year in Belgrade thus far.

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124 February 2015 |

PHOTO: B92net

Beautiful Image of Belgrade


Kustendorf Opens



Photo:s Blic

The 8th annual Kustendorf Film Festival opened in the Drvengrad ethno village on Mećavnik Mountain with an exhibition of the Zlodja Film Museum dedicated to Russian film director Andrei Konchalovsky. The Festival was officially opened by Ivan Tasovac, Serbian Minister of Culture and Information. On this occasion the festival’s founder and organiser, Emir Kusturica, expressed his pleasure at playing host to Konchalovsky, who Kusturica considers one of the film directors responsible for creating the Golden Age of cinematography. Following the official opening, Konchalovsky was given a special award entitled “The Future Films Award”. The six-day festival included the showcasing of the films The Postman’s White Nights, directed by Andrei Konchalovsky and the recipient of the Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Roy Anderson’s film A Pigeon Sat on a Bench Reflecting on Existence, which received the Golden Lion at the same festival.


Norwegian Eco Food Project The Norwegian funded project “Development of entrepreneurship through the promotion of eco food production” was officially launched in the Municipality of Rakovica on 21st January. The launch event was attended by H.E. Ambassador of Norway, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, President of Rakovica Municipality Vladan Kocić, Director of the Belgrade Office for Youth and cooperation with associations of Belgrade, Ivan Josimović, Project Manager Vita Latinović, as well as many other City officials and media representatives. The project will run for eight months and aims to decrease the high unemployment rate through the development of entrepreneurship in rural municipalities. The total value of the project is €50,370, of which the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade is providing 85 per cent.



U.S. Ambassador Visits Nelt

H.E. NILS RAGNAR KAMSVÅG, Ambassador of Norway

U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Michael Kirby, visited the business complex of the NELT Company in Dobanovci. NELT is the leading distributor of U.S. consumer goods in Serbia and the region. The visit saw the Ambassador and his hosts discuss the business environment in Serbia, the eliminating of the grey economy and NELT’s activities as a socially responsible company. It was also noted that NELT Group, which is operational in seven countries of Europe and Africa, comprises nine companies and has over 3,500 employees. The group had turnover of half a billion euros last year and NELT cooperates with over 40 principals, which include the biggest U.S. companies, such as Procter&Gamble, Wrigley, Mondelez, Philip Morris International, Mars and others.

MILOŠ JELIĆ, H.E. MICHAEL KIRBY and RANKO SOČANAC, Director (right), tour the facility |

124 February 2015 | 43


Bojan Zulfikarpašic & Vasil Hadžimanov Kolarac, 1st February @ 20.00

revived. The music of Silven Lik bubbles! When he plays his guitar, his phenomenal technique and trajectory is simply expected. The hero of the fusion genre, Didier Lockwood has successfully reached the far shores of the continent of jazz. This exciting violinist has the ability to improvise. Three names, three individuals, three giants of the history of jazz, a trio which meets the very essence of swing and emotions.

Iva Ikon Gospel Bend Pianists Bojan Zulfikarpašić and Vasil Hadžimanov will hold a concert at Kolarac on 1st February. Considered the best representatives of the younger generation of jazz musicians, they have established a new music form by mixing contemporary jazz with the musical heritage of the Balkans. They are both established and successful musicians and have both released their own albums, received numerous awards and cooperated with the greatest names in jazz and contemporary music. Zulfikarpašić and Hadžimanov prepared a carefully selected repertoire for this concert, consisting of original compositions and known works of modern music. Their musical journey will culminate with a segment dedicated to electronic music, which will be enriched with the performance of guests who will make this concert even more special.

Mikser House, 6th February @ 21.00 The Mikser House audience will have the unique opportunity to feel the power and emotion of gospel music on Friday 6th February. Iva Ikon is a singer, pianist and song writer who has united professional musicians from Belgrade under the banner of a love for gospel music. The evening’s repertoire will include traditional gospel music, gospel and contemporary works. Much of the music we listen to today has its roots in the traditional gospel music of AfricanAmerican slaves, which represents a belief in a better tomorrow, a desire for freedom and the victory of love. Gospel radiates emotions and is very difficult to perform, because in addition to the virtuosity of the soloists, it implies expressed spirituality and empathy.

Iva Cojić (Iva Ikon), a singer, pianist and songwriter from Belgrade, graduated in classical piano at the Music Academy of Belgrade and the Hochschule fuer Musik in Munich. Gospel music was an integral part of her life from an early age and the music of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston had the greatest impact on her musical development. She has performed solo and backing vocals for many international stars.

Magnificent 7 Film Festival Sava Centre 1st-5th February

Can we live without art? Of course not! We do hope that the Magnificent 7 2015 festival proves the value of watching film art that gives us something to think about, experience, enjoy, perhaps with sorrow or anger, maybe making us act for change, feel love... the same as that which was desired Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals in their time. These three, and all other great artists, have been waiting more than a decade to get a new home, as we can see in “The New

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French Institute, until 14th February

"The Magical windows" of the French Institute in Serbia every year in a special way marks the holiday tradition of decorating the shop windows of major department stores in Paris. French Institute has established cooperation with the French designer Soline d'Aboville, an expert in art displays, and an architect Dragan Marković. They are this year joined by Johannes Simon-Perret, an expert in plant installations. Every year, "The Magical windows" gather a new group of Belgrade students in architecture, applied arts and communication, which are given the opportunity to realize their ideas in practice. "iX" or "Technology of nature and the nature of technology" is the title of this sixth edition dedicated to nature and the seasons shift. Each window corresponds to a season that


The Jazz All Star Trio

Kolarac, 4th February @ 20.00 This unusual, interesting and very attractive trio is considered one of the greatest icons of the French jazz scene. A prestigious trio, it consists of three strong personalities. According to the French press, Richard Galliano has become the most influential composer and instrumentalist in the field of modern accordion. Under his fingers, the extraordinary generosity and wealth of this instrument is

The Magical Windows

Sava Centre 7th February @ 20.00 Legends performed their first concert at the Sava Centre back in 1995 and since then the group has left an indelible mark on the musical life of Serbia, while their performances around the world have been warmly welcomed, with the band touring many countries, from Australia to Canada. To date, Legends have performed over 1,800 concerts and gained enviable musical and theatrical experience. The characteristics of the Legends, their charisma and selfless offering of emotions through their songs, ensures large audiences attend their concerts and include many eminent artists, who are happy to respond to their invitation to appear as guest performers at Legends’ concerts. That is why, for the 21st consecutive year, on 7th February 2015, Legends will perform in the Great Hall of the Sava Centre for an audience comprising three generations of fans.

Severina Rijksmuseum” by Oeke Hoogendijk, a brilliant interpretation of the meeting between art professionals and citizens of Amsterdam, including politicians. For programme details please visit

124 February 2015 |

Sava Centre 25th February @ 20.30 After the unforgettable concerts of her most successful regional tour “Welcome to the club,” Severina is set to appear at the Sava Centre for the first time in her career. On this occasion the Belgrade audience can expect a special, intimate performance by this greatest Croatian

is associated with one element, one color and one old Slavic deity - Moran, Vesna, Lado and Stribog. As a counterpart to the main window displays the works of children participants of art and language workshops of the French Institute and the French children from kindergarten school in Belgrade were exposed in Zmaj Jovina Street. In the presence of the Ambassador of France, H.E. Christine Moro "Magical shop windows" was opened by Jean-Luc Goester, director of the French Institute in Serbia, and Bruno Charrier, Director of Crédit Agricole Serbia, which provided its support to this project for the third year.

music diva. With the greatest hits from the album “Welcome to the club” released with the first single, “Brad Pitt”, with “Uno Momento,” “Alcatraz” and “Sea of sorrow”, viewed to date on YouTube a staggering 150 million times, Severina will perform some of her favourite compositions that the public often enjoy in nightclubs. Tickets are available at the Sava Centre and via Ticket outlets. CLASSICAL MUSIC

Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra

Kolarac 6th February @ 20.00 -- conductor Gabriel Felc, violin Vadimir Rjepin, programme: Barber, List, Respigi 13th February @ 20.00 -- conductor Aleksandar Vedernikov, piano Eliso Virsaladze, programme: Ravel, Shostakovich 20th February @ 20.00 -- conductor Libor Pesek, flute Emanuel Paji, programme: Dvorzak, Rajneke



National Theatre, 5th February @ 19.30 The Nutcracker Ballet in two acts, with the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographed and directed by Konstantin Kostjukov, will be performed at the National Theatre on 5th February at 19.30.

images, this documentary traces the life and career of the famous player, highlighting the most important moments, starting from when he was just four years old. The film involved Messi’s childhood friends, comrades from Barcelona FC, various sports journalists, Jorge Valdano and Johan Cruyff.

50 Shades of Grey

Sava Centre, 11th February @ 20.30 “Fifty shades of Grey” is the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of the bestseller that has become a worldwide phenomenon. Since the release of the trilogy, “Fifty shades” has been translated


Sava Centre, 8th February @ 12.00 Ballet studio Adagio will perform its traditional winter production on Sunday 8th February on the stage of the Sava Centre’s Great Hall. The concert will include 300 performers aged from two and a half to 20, who will evoke the beauty of the ballet movement through choreography set to 36 children’s music compositions, classical music to instrumental and music from famous musicals. FILM


Sava Centre, 1st February @ 20.00 The latest edition of the Magnificent Seven festival brings us a biographical film about football player Lionel Messi, directed by Alex de la Iglesije. Using genuine and artistic

into 51 languages and sold more than 100 million copies, thus becoming the fastest series to have sold the most copies. The roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Style, who have become icons to millions of readers, have been entrusted to actors Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Moreover, there is also Luck Grimes as Elliot, Christoph’s brother, Victor Rasuk, as Jose, Anastasia’s friend, Eloise Mumford, as Kate, Anastasia’s best friend and roommate, Masa Gay Harden, as Kristian’s mother, Rita Ora as Mia...


Sava Centre 20th February @ 20.30 Massimo Savić, asinger with a unique voice, will perform on 20th February at Belgrade’s Sava Centre, with a concert promoting his upcoming new CD album, which was recently announced with the hit single “Under another sky”. The former frontman of the band Dorian Grey, which became famous in the mid-1980s with the hit “Glow in the dark”, the singer’s very successful solo career followed, with songs like “Stranger in the Night”, “Just One Day”, “Aren’t there more of us”, “From one look “ and others. Massimo plans to release a new album at the end of January, which provides a welcome excuse for Massimo to return to his favourite Belgrade venue – the Sava Centre – after a two-year break. “I am delighted to be back in Belgrade, because it is a city I love very much and whose audiences give me a lot of emotions every time. And emotion is the key word for all my Sava Centre

concerts. Simply put, it is the hall where I feel extremely good,” said Massimo. The album was announced in late November with the single “Under another sky” by its author Predrag Pegi Martinjak, who has already signed Massimo’s hits “From one look”, from his previous album, “Touch me accidentally” (2012), and “Tears stopped us”. “Pegi has a musical manuscript that feels right to me. I enjoy working with him in the studio. I think the public will recognise our connection and I am also convinced that the song ‘Under another sky’ will be well accepted,” said this Croatian star. Tickets for Massimo’s latest Belgrade concert are available at the Sava Centre and throughout the network Ticket, Ticketline, Gigstix and DDtickets.

Exhibition Institudo Cervantes, 1st-22nd January

The exhibition entitled ‘Javier de Viljota. Bull fight: Goya, Hemingway and Jose Tomas’ includes 23 works created over the past 40 years by artist Javier de Madrid Viljote. Mostly works in pastels and red chalk, there are also collages from recent productions. The common thread connecting the selected works is Viljotina’s vision of bullfighting, inspired by different personalities according to which the author feels a special affinity for the spiritual and artistic. Javier de Viljota (1944) is a selftaught artist working since he was 13 years old. He continued his studies as an architect at the College of Architecture in Madrid (ETSAM), followed by many years lecturing in the analysis of form. In 1972

he was awarded for his painting at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts. Six years later he decided to leave professorial work behind and devote himself fully to painting and sculpture, constantly seeking inspiration in the humanities and socio-political circumstances. His work is exhibited within leading collections of contemporary art institutions around the world, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, the Centre of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Malaga and the National Library of Spain (all Spain), the Station Museum of Contemporary Art (U.S.), the Hispanic Society of America (U.S.), the National Museum of Art (Bolivia), the National Museum of Fine Art (Chile), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chile), the Manuel Felguerez Museum of Abstract Art (Mexico), the National Gallery in Budapest (Hungary) and many others.

Ana Popovic

Mikser House, 23 January In the blues world there are very few successful and acknowledged female guitarists, but one that is among the best is our Ana Popović. This was Ana’s first appearance in Belgrade to hold a solo performance since her independent appearance at Belgrade’s Dom Omladine youth centre in 2010. Mikser House was honoured to host her concert on 23rd January. Popović is one of the world’s most respected blues musicians. Her life and career have led her from Belgrade, via the Netherlands, all the way to Memphis, the world capital of the blues. From the release of her first album, Hush, recorded in Memphis, Ana confirmed herself as an excellent European blues musician. She is the only European woman ever nominated for the newcomer of the year award within the WC Handy Awards, the blues version of the rd

Oscars. Ana has received numerous nominations and won many awards in Europe and America, while she has also performed with many music legends, such as Solomon Burke and BB King. It is interesting that Ana has been a brand ambassador for Fender, the world’s largest guitar manufacturer. |

Mikser House began regular blues nights this year, which have received a great reception from the audience, who had the opportunity to hear the finest local blues musicians. The opening act included Nenad Zlatanović, aka Mr Swagger, and Pera Joe. Mr Swagger is one of the leading blues guitarists in our region and frontman for famous blues band Texas Flood. Pera Joe has travelled the world with his harmonica and played with big stars and blues legends like John Hammond, John Marsh and Louisiana Red.

Küstendorf Festival

Drvengrad, 21st-26th January

The eighth Küstendorf International Film and Music Festival was held during late January in Drvengrad on Mount Mokra Gora. The festival, organised by Rasta International and under the patronage of the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Town of Mećavnik and TNSO, was dedicated, as in previous years, to future filmmakers and giants of contemporary art-house film. The competition programme comprised seventeen films from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Iceland, Romania, Israel, Croatia, Germany, Belgium, France, Hungary, Egypt, Russia, the U.S. and Serbia. 124 February 2015 | 45

FACES & PLACES 14.01.2015

MFA New Year's Reception

Serbian Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić hosted a New Year’s cocktail reception for members of the diplomatic corps and the media. Dačić hosted the heads of national diplomatic missions and international organisations in Serbia, as well as company di-

rectors and Serbian media editors, on the premises of the Foreign Ministry. Addressing guests, the Deputy PM said that the priorities for Serbian foreign policy in 2015 would remain unchanged from last year.


Medallion Award A ceremony to commemorate the bestowing of ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ medallions was held at the French Embassy in Belgrade, followed by a cocktail party. The medallions were conferred by French Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Christine Moro, to recipients Mrđan Bajić, Sculptor and Professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, and Radoslav Zelenović, Director General of the Yugoslav Film Archive. The ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ is conferred on behalf of the French Culture and Communications Minister. Established in 1957, this Order is given for outstanding achievements in art, literature and cultural heritage. The Order has three grades: Commander, Officer and Knight. (The photograph shows the knight medallion and the recipient’s biographies).


Festival of Australian Film The Australian Embassy in Belgrade and the Yugoslav Film Archive have hosted the Australian Film Festival in Serbia. Australian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Julia Feeney, welcomed guests and the official opening ceremony was followed by a cocktail reception that included a screening of the film The Black Baloon (co-produced with UK Film in 2008).



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124 February 2015 |


52nd Anniversary of Franco-German Reconciliation and Cooperation The embassies of France and German, along with the French Institute and the Goethe Institute in Serbia, held an official screening of Volker Schloendorff’s film Diplomacy (2014; duration: 8 minutes), in honour of the 52nd anniversary of the Franco-German reconciliation and cooperation agreement, which was signed by then German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle, on 22nd January 1963. The screening was followed by a cocktail reception for many public figures and representatives of the diplomatic community. H.E. AMBASSADOR MASAFUMI KUROKI, ASJA DRAČA MUNTEAN and MIRJANA ANDRIĆ


Japanese Donations

EAN-LUC GOESTER, Culture Counsellor at the French Embassy (left), H.E. CHRISTINE MORO and German Ambassador, H.E. HEINZ WILHELM

Agreement on a Japanese Government donation to the “Grants in Culture” was signed at an official ceremony at the Serbian Government building. The Japanese Government donated €52,800 to the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Belgrade, which will be spent on acquiring equipment required for the Institute’s chemistry and physics laboratory. The donation agreement was signed by Japanese Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Masafumi Kuroki, and Mirjana Andrić, Director of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments – Belgrade. The signing was attended on behalf of the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information by Asja Drača Muntean, assistant minister in charge of international cooperation.


Slovenian Business Club



Serbian Deputy PM and Minister of Transportation, Construction and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, attended a meeting of the Slovenian Business Club and presented the new spatial planning and construction law, as well as government plans to further improve the country’s business environment in 2015. She also used the occasion to point out that the trade exchange between Slovenia and Serbia grew year-on-year in 2014. Minister Mihajlović underlined that Slovenian companies “feel good in Serbia”, while Chairwoman of the Slovenian Business Club, Danijela Fišakov, noted that over 400 Slovenian companies currently operate in Serbia, employing close to 30.000 workers in the country. |

124 February 2015 | 47

■ By Radmila STANKOVIĆ


Evil is Difficult to


Filip David’s “Kuća sećanja i zaborava” (House of Remembrance and Oblivion) received the country’s oldest and most prestigious recognition for novel of the year – the NIN Award - and is actually a story about evil that cannot be uprooted


here is no greater punishment than being born in crisis for which the easiest explanation would be that it is a Kragujevac in 1940 as a child of Jewish parents, in consequence of an alleged conspiracy by the shadow rulers. the midst of World War II. The first thing that Filip “In the 1990s I began to feel this as somewhat of a probDavid (now 75) had to learn was to forget his real lem and the reason for revealing the lies in the things I wrote, name and to go by the name of Fića Kalinić. During the war mainly for the Naša Borba daily. Even Mira Marković [then he was in hiding with his mother in the village of Manđelos wife of President Slobodan Milošević and a very powerful on the Fruška Gora foothills. He recalls: “We lived in constant woman in her own right, who went on to found the Yugoslav trepidation of someone actually discovering our true idenLeft Party] wrote in one of her commentaries: “See, now the tities and Dad, who was in the Partisan movement, would people whose mother tongue is not even Serbian are medsometimes come to visit us at night, then dling into these things!” This was a direct return to his unit soon after.” The initial idea was reaction to one of my viewpoints that she David was just a child when he saw a did not like. There have always been, and for David to write a will always be, anti-Semitic reactions.” man from the village being killed in front book about some of everybody. He couldn’t comprehend While working for Belgrade Television, what had just happened, but he did feel first as a dramatist and later as an editor kind of Holocaust the fear of people around him, which alof dramatic programming, Filip David was in Serbia, since so scared him. This is the first fear he reinvited to become a member of the then 80% of the Jews members. Later, after the war ended, he ruling party – The League of Communists did not encounter any problems as a reof Yugoslavia. However, he remained one who lived here sult of his Jewish background. He didn’t of a handful of TV editors during that time prior to World War even mind that they sometimes called who declined to join the League. He says II perished during him Jakov instead of David at school. He he couldn’t bear the idea of having somewasn’t upset when he would occasionalbody else telling him what to think and the conflict ly hear the dreaded sentence: “Well, Hitler say, and he also did not want to be a “foot didn’t kill enough of them”. He knew that the root of that was soldier” of any political party. Asked whose soldier he had the idea that Jews were the masterminds behind a global conbeen, he replies: “It might sound arrogant, but I was my own spiracy against the rest of the world. This story always bubsoldier, serving my own party. Actually, I belonged to my fambles up to the surface whenever there is an onset of a great ily the most [wife Vera, son Daniel, daughter Hana, who was

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124 February 2015 |

Photo: Tanjug


named in honour of a famous poem by Oskar Davičo, and chilWhen you are a national minority, which was something dren Lav and Ana] and to my friends. I have always been conthat marked Filip David from the day he was born, fear is sidered one of the famous four – Borislav Pekić, Danilo Kiš, more pronounced in other people in turbulent times. Fića Mirko Kovač and myself. We hung out together, published quotes his colleague David Albahari, who said that a man is books together; we were a literary group until we started to scared until he decides to ‘swallow’ his fear: fall apart. But we forever remained close. When I was writing “Well, I ate my fear, but I did have a terrible scare once. my latest novel I often thought about not letting my friends It happened ten days after Slavko Ćuruvija [Dnevni Telegraf down. I still cannot comprehend that some of them left my daily editor, assassinated 1999] was murdered for, allegedly, life for good. I learned from them that literature is a serious wanting Serbia to be bombed, which, of course, wasn’t true. thing and that you need to sacrifice a lot in order to become Soon after, Politika’s correspondent from Rome, Dragoš a serious writer.” Kalajić, wrote a piece in which he said that Vojin Dimitrijević, All three of the aforementioned friends of Filip David Biljana Srbljanović and me were “locators”, meaning peowere also recipients of the NIN Award. Every single time they ple who were guiding foreign bombs. This was a blatant and won he would congratulate them and shar their joy. Now, dangerous concoction at a time when the distraught nation when it is his turn to receive the award, he is alone. Not one was ready to believe any little lie. His article was some kind of those friends is alive to congratulate him and share his happiness today. Fića, which has been David’s nickname for a very long time, hopes that he wrote a book worthy of ranking alongside their novels. He also says that friendship was more important than vanity with all four of them; the vanity that is so characteristic of any artist. This friendship entailed sticking to a serious principle, as the NIN Award laureate explains: “At the beginning of our friendship, Danilo Kiš set this rule that none of us should do favours for each other, give out awards if the opportunity presented itself or secure any sort of privilege. We were also not allowed to commend each other too much, even if there was genuine reason to do so. We had to be honest towards each other. I think it was these things that made us immune to vanity and ensured we had mutual respect.” Many years later, Fića became of judgement call and an invitation a supporter of Čedomir Jovanović’s to deal with ‘the traitors’. Hence, All three famous writer Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), after everyone in the street was given discovering a policy that he could the right to eliminate ‘the traitor’ friends of Filip David were back. Jovanović was advocating the and his family.” also recipients of the European way and abandoning cerFilip David adds that no one NIN Award. Every single tain delusions that we were prone could have prevented him from time they won he would to as a nation. “However, over time speaking his mind in the country in LDP lost its edge and I went back to which he was born and was living congratulate them and doing what I was doing every single in, and raising his voice against the share their joy. Now, when day. Currently I don’t support any government that led Serbia to ruin: it is his turn to receive the political option, although I think “At that time I was invited to leave politics is important.” the country and go live abroad award, he is alone The novel which won David with my family, but I didn’t want the prestigious annual NIN Award to. My parents were born here, me is actually a story about evil that cannot be uprooted. As and my children were born here, and nobody had the right the book’s author, this evil was, for the most part, directto throw us out. My roots might be Jewish, but Serbia is my ed against the Jews. The initial idea was for David to write a country and I did not want to leave.” book about some kind of Holocaust in Serbia, since 80% of Asked about the current situation in Serbia, David rethe Jews who lived here prior to World War II perished dursponds: “Everything is pretty chaotic and confusing. ing the conflict. Subsequently, he decided to portray this evil Sometimes I am under the impression that it is the tabthrough the lives of several characters, but he soon realised loids that create our foreign policy through their scanthat the horror the people were subjected to surpassed the dalous writing, particularly at the expense of people in possibilities of language. Speaking about the book’s main neighbouring countries and their politicians. I also wonder character, the author says: “All that he wanted was a world whether we could be directed out of this great economwithout pain, injustice and desperation; without evil. There is ic and political crisis by the people who, for the most part, such a world, but in a different, clandestine order of things.” created it in the past.” ■ |

124 February 2015 | 49


The Growing Importance of

Corporate Branding

Conventional wisdom suggests that B2B businesses invest in corporate communications and investor relations (IR) in order to build their corporate brands and reputations, while B2C businesses invest advertising dollars above the line to build their product brands


here the product brand is the corporate brand – in the case of Shell, Coca Cola or Rolex, for instance – then product brand advertising naturally builds the corporate brand. But where the corporate brand is a reason to believe or quality kitemark for the product brand – from the house of Unilever, P&G, or Mondelez; Nestlé, GSK, or L’Oréal – consumer perception of the corporate brand has long been built up by a combination of corporate communications and, less directly, logos appearing in the corner of product brand ads. Moreover, for multi-product B2C businesses, the social and digital revolution has compelled companies to bring their corporate brands (and branding) out from the back of pack and put themselves in the spotlight. In our age of always-on dialogue, corporate brands need to find their voice and explain their vision and values like never before. Procter & Gamble was first out of the blocks, investing $100m annually in Tier 1 sponsorship of the Olympic Games, with a ten-year commitment. Declaring itself to be “the proud sponsor of mums”, the truly integrated Thank You Mom campaign gained great traction for the corporation behind Pampers, Pantene, and Gillette at London 2012. Sochi 2014 was no less ambitious, with more than 70 individual athletes promoting products but

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more importantly the corporate brand as part of the overarching campaign. The target P&G has set of touching five billion consumers through its association with the Olympic movement suddenly doesn’t seem so ridiculous. P&G’s arch rival Unilever has a long tradition of corporate brand awareness and advertising – but historically only in a few, key markets, and most notably Brazil and India. But after considerable investment in its Sustainable Living Plan and CEO Paul Polman’s commitment in 2010 to “double in size but halve our environmental impact by 2020”, Unilever is now investing substantially above the line in support of its Project Sunlight sustainability program.

In our age of alwayson dialogue, corporate brands need to find their voice and explain their vision and values like never before Its first executions have aired on both sides of the Atlantic on TV this autumn, focused on eliminating child hunger... in developed economies, including the US and the UK. With its usual strategy of partnering with an NGO in an attempt to effect real change, the ads feature teenage anti-hunger activists discouraging food waste and asking consumers to #CleanAPlate – and pledging to deliver half a million meals to families in need. Corporations have a lot to gain from consumers understanding that products they previously thought of as Hellmans, Dove, Sunsilk, Domestos and PG Tips all come from the same parent (Unilever). It

124 February 2015 |

is clear that the big U represents a hallmark of quality. Moreover, if consumers buy into the brand values of the corporation – sustainability for Unilever; celebrating the role and impact of mothers for P&G – the hunch is that they will reward the corporation by buying more of its product brands. Research suggests that purchase intent increases by 20% when consumers understand the connection between a company and its brands. And it’s not just out-and-out FMCG companies investing in corporate brand building through TV advertising and more engaging digital and social properties. Paints, coatings and chemicals giant AkzoNobel – producers of the world’s most famous paint brand Dulux – is investing in building awareness of the corporate brand and what it stands for, with a strong focus on sustainability and innovation. Ebiquity’s Reputation practice is currently helping AkzoNobel measure the impact of its corporate brand endorsement strategy globally, thanks to an award-winning brand tracking study. The research triangulates market research interviews (among consumers, business customers and opinion formers) with analysis of mainstream and social media . In addition, IBM has its Smarter Planet, and Intel is staking a big claim for driving the Internet of Things. Consumer healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline is taking time to explain the company and its values online with a raft of relaunched websites, and is featuring its corporate logo prominently in TV product ads. And several banks – including Citi and Barclays – have invested significantly in corporate brand work in an attempt to start to reverse the long decline in reputation caused by the global financial crisis. ■






The Public Should Receive Accurate Information The trend of PR professionals exerting pressure on the media to publish information from their press releases, as well as the media’s insistence on receiving payment for releases not considered advertising, have contributed to the further collapse of the social standing of both professions



he communications sector is an integral part of our national economy and it is important because it provides infrastructural resources for the transfer of information. It also contributes to social development and the preservation of national security. According to the current classification of business activities in Serbia (KD 2010) that comply to the relevant international classification (NACE rev. 2), this sector comprises the production and distribution of information and cultural content, including publishing (books, newspapers, magazines), activities regarding the transfer and distribution of communications

respect, and in regard to the current social status of public communications in Serbia, here we are going to focus on two segments: 1) the situation in the media (print and electronic) and; 2) the situation in PR and marketing communications professions, which have the mission of informing the public, via the media, regarding the activities of certain institutions, profit or non-profit organisations, and public figures. The current situation in the Serbian media has never been this difficult. There are many reasons for this, but one of them relates to changes in the way people consume media products. The modern consumer does not rely solely

COMPANIES, INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ENGAGE PR PROFESSIONALS NEED TO REVERT BACK TO LONG-ESTABLISHED POSTULATES OF THE PROFESSION, WHICH CALL FOR THE DELIVERY OF MEDIA INFORMATION TO BE OPEN, HONEST AND TIMELY (production and broadcasting of radio and television programmes), as well as telecommunications services and other IT activities. In terms of public information, the sector is closely tied to another important economic segment managing consulting services in PR and marketing communications (advertising). In that

on one medium alone to get information, but rather on a mix of different media. A large number of different media and their simultaneous consumption, which are influenced by the additional factors of time and the attention span of individuals, have resulted in information not only being shortened, but also becoming

more creative. The basic need of an individual to be entertained through communicating takes precedence over the basic need for information. Under this pressure, the media have abandoned their main role as a means to provide information and are more frequently becoming a means for providing entertainment. In response to such market challenges, the media in Serbia have started to take on the tabloid form. Media tabloidization also suits many political figures and the governing elite, because it diverts attention away from important social issues and onto marginal issues aimed at providing entertainment for the reader in the shortest possible time. This trend contributes to the further collapse of the media status and the role they should play in social development. Thanks to the development of information technologies, the information process has become a two-way street and is now interactive, which in turn leads to altering the initiative from post hoc reactions to a certain media release to an ad hoc influence on forming public opinion. Readers are now journalists; they release news, bring issues to light and comment publicly. So-called civic journalism is created, which carries with it great risks. As a rule, active individu-

als are now highlighting and advocating issues based on their subjective points of view, or they are encouraged to do so by the organisations and individuals they work for. Active public also brings into question the importance of journalism and the role journalists play as objective observers of reality. The existence of an active public also discredits the reputable profession of journalism and undermines the importance of this segment of the communication sector in Serbia. On the other hand, technological and social changes, coupled with the economic crisis, have all brought about changes to the roles, modus operandi and social status of PR and marketing communication professions. The need to rationalise operations which, by default, means cutting marketing and media advertising costs, did benefit the PR profession for a little while. However, in Serbia there was too much explicit emphasis on equating PR with free publicity. The measure called advertising value equivalency has often been cited as the main efficiency tool in this format of communication, and proof

of the advantage it has over regular advertising in practice. This measure is based on calculating the price of media space for advertising. Insisting on being given a chunk of media space for free, through PR, coupled with the bad economic situation media outlets find themselves in, has led to the media now offering so-called PR articles, with paid advertising or charged at a certain rate (usually lower than the current advertising rate) for using

media space. The trend of PR professionals exerting pressure on the media to publish the information from their press releases, as well as the media’s insistence on receiving money for releases not considered advertising, have con-

happening now is that the communication process is becoming more complex and, during this complex process, information is being simultaneously transferred via different channels, which doesn’t actually reduce the communication costs for companies and institutions, but rather requires them to provide additional funds, now more than ever. The future of communication and public information in Serbia will depend on the willingness of company leaders and institutions to grasp the important role that this profession plays in society and their readiness to spend substantial financial resources on its development and implementation. The key prerequisites for this are education and adhering to high ethical standards, which are inherent to journalism and public relations. Com-


tributed to the further collapse of the social standing of both professions. PR professionals are under pressure to do their job in the most efficient way, which entails being the most effective with the least invested resources. Utilisation of new communications platforms, primarily the internet and social media, has been mentioned as a solution. However, reality shows that instead of replacing the old media with new ones, what is


panies, institutions and individuals who engage PR professionals need to revert back to long-established postulates of the profession embodied in the Declaration of Principles, created by Ivy Ledbetter Lee, one of the fathers of modern public relations, at the beginning of the last century. This declaration states that delivery of media information should be open, honest and timely. The ascent and advancement of the social standing of these two professions in Serbia correlates directly to the acceptance of their basic postulates and a willingness to invest in both the further training of professional staff and in communication technologies. ■


Companies Understand the Importance of Communication In order for the communications sector to be recognised as a factor of development, it is important to establish cooperation with the relevant ministries and work together with them on the preparation and adoption of high quality laws


founder and editor of the Marketing mreža portal


ZAZOV (CHALLENGE) 2015 is an interactive B2B event and the first of its kind in the region. To be held on 25th and 26th February at Belgrade’s newly opened Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, the event will provide an opportunity for marketing, public relations and digital communications professionals from companies and agencies to discuss trends in integrated communications, the shortcomings of the region’s marketing communica-

of development, nor does it enjoy the social status it deserves. In your opinion, what should be done to change this? - Compared to the period of a decade ago, the communications sector has made significant progress. It does not yet have the status it deserves, but the situation is changing from year to year to the benefit of all of us. Of course, in order for communications to receive the position it deserves

WE HAVE EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATORS AND CREATIVE PEOPLE, AND THIS CLAIM IS SUPPORTED BY THE AWARDS WON BY OUR PEOPLE AT FESTIVALS IN EUROPE AND THE REGION tions market, and other topical issues relevant to this profession, which is changing rapidly in parallel with the crisis and technological changes. • The communications sector in Serbia is not sufficiently acknowledged and recognised as one of the pillars

it is important to establish cooperation with relevant ministries and to work with them on the preparation and adoption of high quality laws. In addition to this, self-regulation can contribute greatly to the profession gaining the position it deserves. This would mean that it is essential for us

to adopt ethical codes that will govern the key themes from the profession. • Are we awaited in the future by the full integration of all communication tools, which has been a trend of recent years? - Integration has represented a trend for several years and is actually already our present. Companies have recognised the importance of communications in general and respect it increasingly, seeking to maximise their use of all communication channels available to them. The development of social media contributed in particular to this situation, as well as the fact that for the first time we have space for feedback from users of services or products. I have no doubt that this trend will be even more pronounced in the years ahead. • In which direction is the communications market in Serbia developing? Where are we in relation to the rest

of the region, and where are we compared to world trends? - The communications market in Serbia is developing excellently, and a number of different factors have contributed to this. First of all, the market is small and there are a lot of participants. This situation contributes to strong competition existing, which is constantly competing to attract the attention of the groups they target. We should not mention that budgets are increasingly modest, which in turn adds to the “mental gymnastics” that must be performed by those develop campaigns. All of this probably contributed to ensuring we are not lagging behind the rest of the region or even Europe. We have exceptional communicators and creative people, and this claim is supported by the awards won by our people at festivals in Europe and the region.

our colleagues from abroad mentioned as trends at the PRilika 2014 conference. First of all, this is the mass use of smartphones in addressing everyday problems and needs. Moreover, messages are increasingly shorter and more concise, as the attention of consumers is overburdened by mass messages that bombard them from all sides. It is necessary to grab their attention and put those few seconds to good use, and for that we need high quality content. This directs us towards transparent communication, which will also be one of the trends that will dominate in 2015. • The Marketing mreža (network) is organising the first regional forum

• How prepared are companies in Serbia to invest in the education of their employees responsible for communication, or do they pay for the services of experts in this profession? - The leading people in the biggest

THE CHALLENGE 2015 FORUM WILL SEE THE PRESENTING OF THE LATEST RESEARCH ON THE STATE OF THE PROFESSION IN THE REGION, WHICH WAS LAUNCHED JOINTLY BY THE MARKETING MREŽA PORTAL AND RESEARCH AGENCY MASMI companies in Serbia have long known how important it is to have a good communications sector, as well as good external collaborators who will contribute to the company being adequately represented among target audiences. When it comes to fees for the services of professionals in this field, the general impression is that fees for the engagement of agencies are reducing year on year. However, the conclusion is that companies are willing to pay for a good idea, provided it is resented to them well, reflects the brand values and brings the kinds of benefits that are expected. • What will be the key trends of the communications sector in 2015? - When it comes to communication trends, I cannot help but repeat what


of communication leaders on 25th and 26th February – IZAZOV (CHALLENGE) 2015. What is the purpose of this forum; who is it intended for and what topics will be addressed? - CHALLENGE 2015 is an interactive B2B event, the first of its kind in the region, intended exclusively for professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations and digital communications from companies and agencies. The topics will focus on trends in integrated communications, as well as the state of the region’s marketing communications market, tenders for the engagement of agencies, budgets and expectations of clients from the agency for the money invested. A special segment will be dedicated to fostering dialogue between agencies and companies, during which company representatives

will answer the expert questions of agencies’ representatives. The Forum will be held in Belgrade’s newly opened Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, which is a friend of the event and will participate actively through interactive company workshops. In addition to Radisson Blu, case studies will also be presented to agencies by the companies Toyota, Henkel Serbia, Microsoft, Knjaz Miloš, Telenor, UniCredit Bank, Confluence Property Management (Ušće Shopping Centre), Bambi, Eurobank and the National Register of Internet Domain Names of Serbia. The CHALLENGE 2015 forum will also see the presenting of the latest research on the state of the profession in the region, which was launched jointly by the Marketing mreža network and Research Agency MASMI. • The Marketing mreža network celebrated its third birthday recently. How difficult was it to build the reputation it has today and what plans are there for further development? - The Marketing mreža network (www. was launched three years ago as a specialised and interactive portal that aims to encourage networking and business links among all participants on the marketing communications market. The idea of the portal was to ensure advertisers have insight at all times into the quality of future business partners, while agencies can find potential clients, designers and creative people can receive interesting and innovative ideas, and the media can establish the best possible communication and cooperation with advertisers and agencies, with the aim of improving sales of media space. All these ideas have been implemented consistently over the past three years and have certainly contributed to building the reputation of the portal. And in the future period all of our activities will be directed towards improving the profession, with the aim of encouraging all participants in the marketing communications market. ■


Continuous Change Imperative

Implementation of the digital way of thinking at all levels requires that agencies keep improving and continue seeking new solutions for communicating with consumers IVAN STANKOVIĆ CEO, Communis DDB


ny agency that wants to survive on the market has to change constantly, keep adapting to new trends and seek new people who grasp the new world of digital thinking. “There will be more work, new and different solutions will be provided and deadlines will become shorter,” says Ivan Stanković, CEO of agency Communis DDB. • As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great change in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - We are not a PR agency, but rather an agency for integrated communication. As such, in our case the challenges are even greater. Everything we have known to date needs to change. Those who don't change will not survive. This is the hard truth that we are very aware of and why we’ve been working on changing the agency's concept completely. The first

- The communications sector belongs to what is referred to in the modern world as the creative industries. It carries huge development potential for Serbia, since it comprises the entire entertainment industry – media, music, filmmaking – and many other aspects in which we are quite competent. The time has come for the old cultural concept, which entailed giving, to be transformed into the creative industries' concept that involves creating surplus value. This is a great opportunity for us. • Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - The battle for consumer attention is great. The most difficult thing today is to attract attention. Consumers have changed; they have become spoiled, stubborn and disloyal. What

OUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY IS TO DO OUR JOB WELL AND DIFFERENTLY, IN ORDER FOR OUR SOLUTIONS TO BE NOTICED AND REMEMBERED thing to do is to implement the digital way of thinking at all levels. • The communications sector is not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces 4 | INTERNATIONAL GERMANY 2012What behind development in Serbia. needs to be done to change this?

is now required is two-way communication instead of one-way informing. It is difficult to reach consumers, and new generations use traditional media in a completely different way. To quote Nikola Pašić: “There is no salvation, but we won't perish”.

• Are companies in Serbia willing to invest in education of their communication staff, or are they more willing to outsource communication professionals? - They have come to realise more and more how important professionalism is for communication. Earlier we had to fight tooth and nail to convince them that they need professionals, but now they see that for themselves. The problem is that this area changes so rapidly that it is virtually impossible to have a traditional or systematic education and training system. Hence, a lot depends on individuals alone, who are expected to train themselves. • In which way do your activities differ from your competition? - We have been trying to ensure our activities coincide with our business philosophy, which is to do our job well and differently. By “well” we mean that our work is professional and fulfils all requirements of our craft, and by “differently” we mean that our work is noticed and remembered because we do it differently. It is not easy, but we are moving. • What are your future plans? - To work more on ourselves and to implement internal changes, in order to become better and more efficient. That's really not easy, but we have no other choice, since we certainly don't intend to perish. What about you? ■


Quality Has No Geographic Boundaries The Serbian branch of Chapter 4 has been recording steady growth over the past five years, according to all parameters. The agency plans to continue this trend, relying on the implementation of advanced technologies and improving relations with partners TAMARA BEKČIĆ

Director and Co-Founder of PR agency Chapter 4, President and Chair of the Management Board of the Serbian Public Relations Association


any domestic companies, are aware of the strategic importance of communication for building reputations and achieving success in business, and our PR agencies are up to that task. • As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - The common denominator of these changes, which have had an essential impact on the work done by the media and PR agencies, is crisis and the internet. Although the former has had a destructive influence on economies around the world, it has brought something new and different to the world of communi-

mation and doing business to shopping and being entertained – the internet has become a communications component of significant importance. PR agencies are aware of these changes and they know that they need to be dedicated and to have a constant influx of innovative ideas and reasonably big budgets to succeed. • Do you think the Serbian communications sector is recognised and acknowledged enough as one of the driving forces behind development and does it have the social status it deserves? - The communication market mirrors society as a whole. Still, working in a PR agency I have come to realise that, apart from internationals, there are also many domestic companies, both small and medium-sized, that recognise the strategic importance of

THE RECENT DSOJ CONFERENCE, WHICH BROUGHT TOGETHER AROUND 250 REPRESENTATIVES, INCLUDING WORLD CLASS PR EXPERTS AND LECTURERS, TO DISCUSS REGIONAL AND DOMESTIC GOOD PRACTICES, DEMONSTRATES THE QUALITY AND DEVOTION OF DOMESTIC PR TO THE LATEST CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE PROFESSION cations: it taught us how to achieve more with less, courtesy of drastic budget cuts. The internet is the second common denominator of the changes and this applies to all segments of modern business. As a platform that we use to perform most of our daily activities – from gathering infor4 | INTERNATIONAL GERMANY 2012

communication for building reputations and achieving success in business. • In which direction is the communications market in Serbia developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world?

- I don't think that quality has anything to do with geography. I have been exchanging experiences with my co-workers from Chapter 4 Group and have been regularly attending professional gatherings all over Europe, so I can see that, apart from the size of budgets, we don't differ that much. Many Serbian PR agencies and projects have received awards internationally. We, at the Serbian branch of Chapter 4, have proved successful in the most renowned competitions in Europe, where we managed to win awards or rank among the finalists, despite very stiff competition. • What are your future plans? - Chapter 4 in Serbia has been recording steady growth over the past five years, according to all parameters. Along with developing our group's brand in Southeast Europe, we are planning to continue perpetuating the positive trend and will concentrate on two segments: the innovative/technological segment, which encompasses coming up with original ideas, following global communication trends and implementing advanced technology; and the social segment, which entails developing relations with our partners, the media, the local community and clients. As President of the Serbian Public Relations Association, along with other members of the Association's Managing Board, I will be working on advancing the PR profession, while implementing professional and ethical standards. ■


Thinking Out of the Box The true challenge is to develop a brand out of the content, which is a major turnaround in comparison to previous years, when the main approach was to create content out of the brand NEVENA KURTOVIĆ

Managing Director, Direct Media PR


R professionals and their clients shouldn‘t be afraid to dream a little bit bigger. “With a good idea we should all be a bit bolder and take a step outside of our safe zone in order to achieve stronger results,” says Nevena Kurtović, Managing Director of Direct Media PR

• As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - As the economy is the decisive factor, all other businesses follow. Therefore, implementation of newly developed modern technologies is related directly to the financial aspect. Unfortunately, the crisis brought us a situation whereby a significant number of media companies are struggling in their operations. PR agencies will have to exert greater efforts and change their habits of creating visibility in all media. I think the shift will be not just in having a good brand and creating content around that brand, but also about creating brands from content. Society is moving forward with the trends and we have to treat every individual as a possible “journalist”, given that in our hands, mainly through the use of smart phones and tablets, we all hold our own media outlets. As such, direct communication is becoming more sensitive. Most communication happens in real time and agencies must consider all of these facANY 2012 tors, otherwise communications will not be as efficient. • The communications sector is not suf-

ficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind development in Serbia. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - To be fair, I have personally witnessed the growth of our industry in Serbia over the last 12 years and we have all made a great leap forward, not too far behind the rest of the world. I believe this tempo will continue. However, PR is a process, it takes time and results usually do not happen instantly or overnight, as some would like it to be, and the value of PR will grow when we all have a realisation of this. • Which direction will marketing and PR budgets take in 2015, in terms of the markets you operate on? - I believe strongly that budgets will remain at the same level as 2014. The pro-

of good, interesting content, rather than towards distribution. Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - Absolutely! We are already witnessing the integration of marketing services and it seems that the lines between advertising, digital, media, PR and BTL campaigns

BUDGET ALLOCATIONS FOR ONLINE MARKETING AND PR SHOULD BE DIRECTED MORE TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF GOOD, INTERESTING CONTENT, RATHER THAN TOWARDS DISTRIBUTION portion could change in favour of digital media, as that market is still growing and becoming stronger. The reason lies in the fact that people, formerly known as the audience, are becoming an ever more trusted source of information. Each person online is a sort of medium and companies pay special attention to them. The tricky part for everybody will be to find a balance between respecting the private area of online users and ensuring brand visibility. As such, budget allocations for online marketing and PR should be directed more towards the development


are slowly disappearing. Depending on the type of message required, one or more elements are left out during a certain phase of a campaign. However, at some point they are added, to a greater or lesser extent. In the very near future we will face the challenge of developing campaigns that will integrate all communications channels. However, communication through each channel will have to retain its basic characteristics. ■


Integrated Approach Key It is necessary to enable an integrated, strategic approach to communications and create a synergy between PR, advertising and digital communications DARKO MATIJAŠEVIĆ

Managing Director, Executive Group Belgrade


orking in the communications industry means evolving ahead of market trends. In this respect, despite the challenges, Serbian industry professionals do their best to live up to the constant changes in their field, says Darko Matijašević, Managing Director of Executive group. • The communications sector is not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind development in Serbia. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - As a profession in its infancy, at just 15 years old, we are seeing its transformation

length of successful development of digital marketing communications penetration. That has created a high quality eco-system of workers, options and innovative solutions that match even those on more developed markets of Western Europe and Russia. Together with Fabrika World, our specialised online production company, we are making digital technology a huge equaliser enabling us to participate on the global scene, bringing us neck and neck with our peers from far more developed economies. • Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - The evolution of communications has led to almost a complete removal of borders between communications channels. However,

FROM BEING AN OUTSTANDING PR COMPANY, EXECUTIVE GROUP GREW INTO A LEADING INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY, PROVIDING A ONE-STOP-SHOP MODEL FOR ALL OUR CLIENTS and growth year by year. A united initiative of communications professionals is a precondition for achieving an important role in the economic environment of our country. • In which direction is the communications market in Serbia developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? -4 Clients should let go of oldGERMANY models and em| INTERNATIONAL 2012 brace the choices given by the development of digital communications. In this region the markets of Serbia and Croatia are the most developed, due to their relative sizes and the

in Serbia there is still a battle between PR, digital and advertising, even though the essence lies in the results, not in any of those channels separately. It is necessary to enable an integrated, strategic approach to communications and create a synergy between PR, advertising and digital communications. • Are companies in Serbia willing to invest in education of their communication staff, or are they more willing to outsource communication professionals? - Those who understand the importance of the communications sector are ready to invest in

it. On the other hand, those who work in this sector, in-house or in an agency, should act as entrepreneurs and think of additional activities that will expand the scope of their company’s work. If this is done well, the PR sector will be seen as one of the main contributors to the overall value of a company, thereby making the company’s decision makers even more ready to invest in its development. • You have been present on the market for 13 years already, operating successfully in the field of integrated communications. How difficult was it to build the reputation you enjoy today? - We have to work constantly on improving the way we do business, and that we should always be two steps ahead of the rest. Executive Group’s team, now numbering almost 80 employees, works hard and is dedicated to the development and advancement of its integrated communications services, with a focus on creative solutions and digital communication and production. The numerous national and regional awards we received just last year prove the quality and reputation behind the Executive Group brand. • In which direction do you expect marketing and communications budgets to head in 2015, both in Serbia and in the region? - Due to budget cuts, most managers will definitely decide to spend more money on non-traditional media as opposed traditional media requiring heftier budgets. For example, the UK will be one of the first countries in 2015 to spend more than a half of its advertising budgets in digital. We are hoping for this trend to arrive in our region. ■

Successful journey 2014.




Communication is Investment The communications sector in Serbia is developing and is still not viewed as an important driving force behind the country's economic development TIJANA ŠKORIĆ TOMIĆ

Executive Director, I&F McCann Grupa


he communications sector, which is essentially a service sector, needs to be better organised professionally, in terms of implementing business standards and raising awareness about what we actually do and how we contribute to our clients' success; and this should be done in a very transparent, responsible and relevant way. • The communications sector is not recognised and acknowledged enough in Serbia as one of the driving forces behind development. It also doesn't have the social status it

ity. According to AGB Nielsen Media Research, investments in the Serbian media market in 2008 amounted to €206 mil, only to drop to €155 mil in 2013. We still don't know anything about the 2014 data, but most indicators show that this trend of reduced investment endures. Furthermore, the communications industry in Serbia is young and is still not viewed as an important driving force behind the country's economic development. Accepting this sector as a relevant factor that contributes to economic development can be done through implementing and improving two important factors. The first, and probably the most important is to have a more innovative approach to clients and services, which I believe can result in complete collaboration between busi-

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES SHOULD BECOME AN INSEPARABLE PART OF EVERY SERIOUS COMPANY deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - The communications sector has been hit heavily by the economic situation in Serbia and other countries in the region which, prior to the onset of the global economic crisis, was riddled with challenges and instabil-


nesses and our services. Marketing and communications services should become an integral part of the operations of any company that considers itself a major player. The second factor is that the communications sector needs to be better organised professionally, in terms of implementing busi-

ness standards and raising awareness about what we actually do and how we contribute to our clients' success; and this should be done in a very transparent, responsible and relevant way. All through more intensive engagement with professional associations, the adoption of a professional Code and relevant rules, and of course monitoring whether they’re being respected. • Which path will marketing budgets take in 2015 on the markets where you operate? - As always, the answer to this question depends on the annual strategies and plans that our clients are in process of adopting. In the best case scenario, the advertising budgets will be at last year's level. I don't think the communications sector will be viewed as an investment in growth and development in 2015, considering that companies in our country still treat it as an overhead. I think this trend will dominate throughout the entire region, not only in Serbia. • In which direction is the communications market in Serbia developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? - Confucius almost predicted the future of the communications world when he said: "Tell me and I'll forget.

Show me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll understand." This almost describes the core of our industry. Today we can see that traditional TV is slowly being replaced by smart TV. On the other hand, the latest global surveys show that TV advertising costs have been reduced and yet they still make 37% of the total spending on advertising (in Serbia this stands at 55 percent which is still considered significant). There were also predictions that print will disappear all together, but there is still substantial demand for this communication channel. The same goes for radio. Outdoor advertising is going through a ”renaissance” thanks to interactive technology used in accordance with consumer needs. It is quite evident that everything we see around is going digital, but not as fast as was initially thought. The communications sector in the region closely follows this development trend, but is somewhat slower compared to the rest of the world in terms of adopting the knowhow for new technologies and their implementation. I think Serbia and Croatia have been at the forefront in this area.

tail objects. The prediction is that by 2020 smart phones will be so widely used that they are going to become the No. 1 marketing instrument for shopping and entertainment. In order for companies to continue to succeed in the market and follow new trends in this new marketing era, their brands need to become bold, strategic, understandable and, above all, creative. Without a doubt, creating a relevant message that is compatible with consumers will continue to be important from a communications perspective. Still, the key thing for the communications sector is to embrace technology in order to continue shaping brand perception, establish loyalty and predict consumer behaviour. Fol-

• Do you think that complete integra-

TIME IS MONEY AND TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EVOLVE TOGETHER WITH YOUR CLIENTS OR CONSUMERS IN A FAST AND EFFICIENT WAY WILL DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WILL BE PROFITABLE OR GO BANKRUP tion of all communication tools awaits us in the future - as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve a reputation? - In the years ahead there will be a definite need for the integration of tools. Advertising, as such, will be predominantly guided by digital and mobile communications. Different types and sizes of screens – from billboards to cell phones – will enable targeting of the desired demographic in real time, at any given moment and everywhere. Shopping experiences will continue to evolve and enable the consumer to make shopping decisions beyond re-


low, listen, measure, improve! Communications will enable brands to remain strong, fresh and recognisable, while companies will be able to avoid possible failures. The world economy won’t experience a speedy recovery and management and control of budgets dedicated to communications continue to be very controlled in terms of cost. Time is money and to have the opportunity to evolve together with your clients or consumers in a fast and efficient way will determine whether you will be profitable or go bankrupt. To make this possible, agencies, or advertisers, rather, will have to implement tools for monitoring and listening to

their customers. • How willing are companies in Serbia to invest in training their staff who are responsible for communications; are they more willing to outsource communications professionals? - I can tell you from our experience that serious companies in Serbia are wiling to invest in their employees. However, due to the different level of expertise and know-how, as well as as their work volume, I think our professional services are still needed. At our company education is treated as part of our corporate standard, where every single employee who wants to grow and advance needs to perfect his or her knowledge and skills. Constant learning is part of the work evaluation of every employee. Training sessions take place locally or at our offices in London and New York. • Considering you're company has been operational for almost 17 years and that you operate successfully in eight countries across the region, how difficult would you say it was to earn the reputation you have today? - In the long run, the best and the most efficient tool for building one's reputation is knowledge, professionalism and client satisfaction. There are clients in our portfolio that have been with us for over 10 years. Equally important is an awareness among our employees that we are in this together, not just as individuals but all together, are part of the community and country in which we live in. Therefore, socially responsible behaviour is part of our corporate culture. In time, we have applied the same standards to the companies in all the regions in which we operate. Working in I&F McCann Grupa I have realised that communcations and advertising is the passion that drives me, even though reason rule. ■


Build a Responsible Brand Today every mistake costs more than it did yesterday, and those who want to survive know that there is no room for amateurism LJILJANA BOLJANOVIĆ

Managing Director and Partner, Olaf & McAteer

nly serious agencies with experienced teams who offer a quality service will survive, says Ljiljana Boljanović, Managing Director and Partner at Olaf & McAteer.

This is proven by our clients who, I can proudly say, are leading local and foreign companies that fully understand the need for strategic communications and our role as consultants in managing this important process, which has a direct impact on their development and profit margins. Certainly clients sometimes receive bad advice from semiskilled consultants, and thus the role of our profession's association in regulating this field is extremely important.

• As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - Change is the only constant! This saying has never been truer. And constant change requires dedication, expertise, continuous professional development, speed, new ideas, new creativity and new approaches; in other words, “constant training”. Now more than ever, clients care about not just getting a “sound agency name” for their money, but a responsible, committed partner, who knows its business very well.

• In which direction has the communications market in Serbia been developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? - Olaf&McAteer is part of the Ketchum international network and we are testimony to the fact that Serbian agencies can compete with colleagues anywhere in the world. Due to local challenges, we often introduce new trends even before agencies operating in predictable business environments. Global clients demand a high quality service and we are flattered that, when it comes to measuring success by results, our global clients always give us top ratings.


DUE TO LOCAL CHALLENGES, WE OFTEN INTRODUCE NEW TRENDS EVEN BEFORE AGENCIES OPERATING IN PREDICTABLE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS • The communications sector is not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind develop4 | INTERNATIONAL GERMANY 2012 ment in Serbia. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - I cannot fully agree with that statement.

• Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - Modern people are faced with more and

more choices, and they want better quality for their money. That is why we advise our clients to build a “responsible” brand – to respect those their business depends on, and to invest in their relationship with them. Integrated communications, and close cooperation among communications sectors, allows them to do so. • To what extent are companies in Serbia willing to invest in education of their communication staff, or are they more willing to outsource communication professionals? - Increasingly more! Today every mistake costs more than it did yesterday, and those who want to survive know that there is no room for amateurism. And this is perhaps most important in communications, because mistakes are slow and difficult to correct. • How do your activities differ from those of the competition? - We are proud that many of our clients have been with us for over five years, and some even 10, and that most of our new accounts came to us by way of recommendation. It feels good to know that the adjective used most often to describe us is “very serious”. • What are your future development plans? - Ambitious! The previous year was marked by an increased clients' need for trainings, primarily in the field of crisis management. We kicked off this year by moving to a new and larger space, which will enable us to launch new projects and introduce new services. We look forward to announcing some of them soon! ■

Since 2002


Evolve, but do so With Revolutionary Speed! In the space of just a decade, digital went from an exotic optional extra to the crucial part of integrated communications on the Serbian market. In 2015 integrity is no longer a trend, but a required communication norm


he only true technological revolution that humankind achieved in the last quarter of a century was the communication revolution. Indeed, nothing is the same as it used to be when it comes to the way and speed at which information is transmitted. These changes inevitably marked the period of greatest challenge for the advertising industry since the advent of television. As global phenomena, the internet and social networks swiftly ascended the ladder known as media relevance, while market communications gained a very special channel for which advertising agencies need to find the right place in an overall campaign. In the space of just a decade, digital went from an exotic optional possibility to the crucial part of integrated communication on the Serbian market. In 2015 integrity is no longer a trend, but a required communication norm.


I DEAS SO BIG THEY CAN BE DEFINED AS TWEETS The modern world requires simple, yet emotionally and contextually founded, approaches. Comprehending creativity 'the BBDO way' is closely tied to understanding modern reality, where great ideas can always be formulated in a short sentence – or rather a “tweet”. It is no secret that the digital world has

changed the way in which brands and consumers communicate completely. This is the reason why agencies’ planning processes take into account digital content from the very beginning of developing creative concepts, in addition to paying equal attention to a great idea and the creative content that stems from it. The digital segment of creative solutions is an integral element of a concept, not its derivative. UILDING ON BEHAVIOURAL B OBSERVATIONS AND INSIGHTS At BBDO we are focusing on changing the way consumers behave. Observing human behaviour is a prime source of our insight; the core from which we derive our strongest strategies. With advancements in experimental psychology and development of the so-called behavioral economics, we have grown very aware of the importance of the subconscious, which is an emotional apparatus of every consumer. All of these achievements point to the unequivocal conclusion that the emotional, as opposed to rational, segment of the psychological apparatus is dominant and commercially relevant. When people don’t feel, they don’t act, and when they feel more, they buy more. Our industry is slowly becoming aware of the need to replace overemphasised and rationally based marketing approaches and market research formats with approaches based on human emotions and research models which read between the lines and, thus, successfully locate points of human motivation. At BBDO

we have accepted the fact that most decisions made by consumers are hasty and based on emotion, and that the consumer is guided by intuitive parts of the brain and not the kind of slow and deliberate action that stems from rational structures. People make decisions by simplifying perceptive reality with so-called “framing”; people copy other people and are guided by feelings. And this is not irrational or stupid. It's human. Hence, modern advertising is not based so much on persuasion as it is based on seduction. There is no such thing as hommo economicus. Man is hommo emoticus. ONSTANTLY MEASURED, C REFINED AND OPTIMISED Agencies’ activities should not be based on arbitrariness and, as such, it is fundamentally important to constantly ask the following questions: What are the client’s business goals; What are their main income sources and; What do they stand to gain from development? We are well aware of competitiveness in the creative industries and have come to terms with the need to constantly adapt to new business or social realities. In one of his recent interviews, BBDO Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertson commented on the advertising landscape and called the advertising world “Darwinian”. Only the fittest survive, and to be the fittest means to recognise, adopt and implement changes faster than anybody else on the market. ■


New Era of Creativity

The era of traditional marketing is nearly at an end, because modern consumers have greater expectations, requiring the devising of new, different and original approaches, on limited budgets DANIJELA POPOVIĆ JURIĆ

General Manager and owner, Red Communication

Serbia. The media have been our biggest helpers in this battle. They have been attacking us, supporting us, and, in the end, they understood the severity and importance of our work. Company executives have also become aware and now you virtually cannot find a serious company in Serbia that doesn't have a PR officer.


f agencies want to survive on the market, they need to offer comprehensive and integrated communication to companies or their brands – says Danijela Popović Jurić, General Manager of Red Communication. • As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - The time has come to finally admit that crisis has become permanent and our profession is forced to adapt to new rules. The backbone of creativity in communications is the approach and a good idea, with an implementation that doesn't require huge investments having become an imperative.

• The communications sector is not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind development in Serbia. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - I don't agree. A lot has changed in the 4 | INTERNATIONAL GERMANY 2012 last five years. People from our profession have been working on this, both consciously and unconsciously. I am proud of the fact that my team and I have contributed to changing the image of PR in

• Which direction will PR and marketing budgets take in 2015 on the markets where you operate? - It will be yet another Clash of the Titans. • In which direction has the communications market in Serbia been developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? - We are on a good road. When large companies decide to go with your campaign, considering that you come from a tiny Balkan country, and run this campaign on their well-developed markets, while also presenting them as the best

creasingly important as a segment that has recorded the fastest growth, both in the world and in our country. Development of social networks has certainly influenced this growth to a great extent. Hence, we expect companies to rely even more on online channels, which are much more accessible due to the fact that communication with consumers is happening in real time and we have established direct contact with them. However, without the support and know-how of old school marketing, which is still resistant, campaigns cannot be called successful. For now the synergy of the two yields the best results. • Serbian market is dynamic and, above all demanding, which requires agencies to constantly educate themselves, follow trends and have unbelievable creativity. Are companies in Serbia willing to invest in education of their communication staff, or are they more willing to out-

THE COMBINATION OF UP AND COMING GENERATIONS, WHO HAVE NEW AND FRESH IDEAS, AND US, WITH OUR EXPERIENCE, GUARANTEES THAT OUR PROFESSION WILL HAVE A CREATIVE FUTURE. THAT IS MY RECIPE FOR SUCCESS case studies, then you know you’ve done something good. • Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - Digital communication is becoming in-


source communication professionals? - Truth be told, they are not ready. I can tell you from my experience that company owners are more prone to sticking to the old motto “people come and go” than to invest in people, which should be one of the most important segments of serious business plans. ■


Crisis Creates Opportunity The rather modest share of the communications sector in the country's GDP is a realistic indicator of its power. It is up to communications specialists to fight for a bigger 'slice' of the future, through efficient, creative and innovative development projects MIRKO MANDIĆ

Managing Director, SVA Advertising Agency


n 2015, marketing and PR agencies will again have to deal with campaign budgets which reflect the falling living standard in Serbia and, in this framework, they will have to seek out new solutions in order to attract consumer attention – says Mirko Mandić, Managing Director of SVA Advertising Agency. • As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - It's not about the crisis, or changes; it is about the opportunities created by crises and change. I would say that we are going to

but the trend will be that the consumers will be removing the barriers that stand between them and quality, and the barriers that prevent them from maximising their benefits. • The communications sector is not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind development in Serbia. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - I would disagree with you. The communications sector is recognised proportionate to the extent it contributes to, or hinders, social and economic development, and its rather modest share in the national GDP is a realistic indicator of its power. It is up to us, the communications specialists, to fight for a bigger 'slice' of the future, through ef-

MASS ABUNDANCE AND THE OMNIPRESENCE OF DIGITAL DEVICES WILL CONTINUE IN 2015, BUT CONSUMERS WILL BE LESS CONCERNED WITH WHAT THEY CAN BUY AND MORE WITH WHAT THEY CAN DO OR CREATE face continuity of general changes. We have the internet, the number of smartphones is growing and certain parts of the world will recover economically, while others will face stagnation and recession. The living standard in Serbia will continue to fall. Mass abundance and omnipresence of digital devices will continue in 2015, but consumers will be less concerned with what they can buy and more with what they can do or 4 | INTERNATIONAL GERMANY 2012 create. There won't be anything radically new,

ficient, creative and innovative development projects. This is our job, our role in the society. This sector is very conservative and selfdestructive, with a dumping option as its key modus operandi. • Which direction will marketing and PR budgets take in 2015, in terms of the markets where you operate? - They will follow in the footsteps of pensions.

• In which direction has the communications market in Serbia been developing? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? - There’s nothing new here either. We are lagging behind between five to ten years although, only ostensibly, we are at the same level as the rest of the developed world. I guess that’s an integral part of this profession – to make things appear better than they actually are. • Do you think complete integration of all communication tools awaits us in the future, as a continuation of the trend of the last few years? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and preserve one’s reputation? - Communication tools will never be fully integrated. When consumers are surrounded with masses of branded content, then constantly conquering neutral territories equals slow oblivion. Consumers expect brands to expand their approach and opinions on relevant issues, and to encourage people to engage in relevant challenges. • Are companies in Serbia willing to invest in education of their communication staff, or are they more willing to outsource communication professionals? - Only as much as they have to, or as much as they can feel they'll get back. Not a penny more. And that is quite normal. ■


Innovation and Commitment Those companies that want to remain recognised need to invest efforts constantly in monitoring global trends, being innovative and investing in their employees


PR and Communication Manager, Confluence Property Management


verything that happens in the areas of new technologies, communication channels, the financial situation within companies and the media, leads to change in the PR sector and, in turn, change in the PR profession on a daily basis. • As in other industrial branches and sectors, the economic crisis and huge technological advancements have resulted in great changes in the way media and PR agencies work. What challenges lie ahead for PR agencies in light of these changes? - The biggest challenge lies in trying to constantly adapt to consumer habits and innovations on the market. What is really required here is a swift reaction and for us to learn and improve constantly. • The communications sector is generally not recognised and acknowledged enough in Serbia as one of the driving forces behind development. It also doesn't have the social status it deserves. What needs to be done to change this? - I think the situation has changed a lot lately and that, regardless of the prejudices people have held about the PR profession, the significance of well-designed and properly developed public relations is being recognised more and more.

• In which way are corporate communications used to build a company's reputation? - This is a very complex process that has clearly defined steps. This is also a dynamic process, just like the market itself. We, at ERMANY 2012 Confluence Property Management, have experienced professionals who are in regular contact with employees, partners and clients.

We manage the following shopping centres – UŠĆE Shopping Centre, Immo Outlet Centar, Belgrade Department Stores, Mercator-S and Alta Shopping Centre in Sarajevo. We carefully plan our next steps in accordance with the needs of the appropriate target groups. We also monitor market changes and global trends closely, with our projects devised and implemented in line with the results and client/consumer preferences. • In which direction has the communications market been developing in Serbia? Where do we stand relative to the region and the rest of the world? - We are much faster in adopting new things in our profession. The Serbian communications

and become even more regular in the future. The traditional media are slowly but surely backing up in favour of social networks and companies find it even more challenging to remain recognisable which requires being constantly creative and committed, closey following the competition and global trends and constantly investing in employees. • How willing are companies in Serbia to invest in communications training for their employees, or are they more prepared to outsource communications professionals? - We are very mindful of the fact that we need to train and perfect the skills of our employees. I think this is very important, not only for

WITH AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF GOOD PRACTICE CASES, AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS SECTOR WILL GROW, RESULTING IN COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALISTS BEING ENTRUSTED WITH PROMINENT POSITIONS WITHIN COMPANIES market has been developing continuously and certain prejudices about this profession are being eliminated. The cooperation between companies and consumers, and companies and the media, has become more intense and more intimate, which is crucial to this line of work. • Do you think the complete integration of all communications tools, a trend for the last few years, awaits us in the future? How difficult is to attract consumer attention, become recognisable and maintain a reputation? - The integration of communication tools is already happening and this trend will continue


these individuals and their advancement in life, but also from the aspect that such investments clearly reflect any company's success. • Which type of promotions is your company going to be spending most of the 2015 budget on? - January is the month of budget redistribution, but what we already know is that a significant portion will be allocated to digital communications, since this is a very important promotion and communication channel. ■

Successfully different.

CES 2015





INCREDIBLE Every January sees the world’s technology giants and minnows gather at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This trade fair, which is not open to the public, is attended by thousands of exhibitors, journalists and industry experts

The first week in January is when the consumer electronics industry hits its yearly high-water mark. The International Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, is always a riot. Thousands of companies come to CES to show off the products they’ll be offering for sale in the year ahead and over 100,000 people descend on Las Vegas with things that blink, bleep, and bloop. It’s a mishmash of media, buyers, sellers, celebrities and companies that use the show to launch themselves into their year — a time when sales are typically slow following a hot holiday rush.


There are plenty of surprising new ideas at CES. Older ideas get refined, too—things that were only prototypes a year ago show up again, this year as fully-fledged, retailready offerings. Beside many other surprises, the big surprise at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show was the rise of Chinese brands, which occupied close to a fourth of the entire exhibition space. There were far too many “cool” items to list them all here, so instead we have decided to present useful, award-winning items, in addition to few “must see” items for our readers.

Mercedes F 015 PRICE: TBC

Although the F 015 Luxury in Motion is just a concept car at the moment, the vehicle shows just how different Mercedes thinks our driving experience will be in the future, with an automated driving option and luxury "mobile living space" interior. |

124 February 2015 | 71

CES 2015



It is the first ever of it's kind. This floating Bluetooth speaker levitates over its base and punches out very acoustic yet powerful sound.


The Ring PRICE: €230

The cloud control device allows you to do things such as play music from your phone or close curtains using gestures programmed into a smart phone app.


Sony a7S Full Frame Mirrorless Camera PRICE: €2,120

This is the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens camera, Sony’s new α7S model puts extraordinary sensitivity, low noise and spectacular 4K video quality into the hands of professional photographers and videographers.


Fuel3D Scanner

PRICE: €1,200.00

The Fuel3D scanner is an affordable handheld 3D scanning system that delivers high resolution 3D shape and colour capture for a range of creative applications.


iCam HD Pro PRICE: €125

iCam HD Pro is Amaryllo’s newest entry to the home security market. It is an innovative home security camera featuring full HD video, object tracking, multiviewing, and 360° of rotation giving the user complete control over their home anywhere.

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Avegant Glyph PRICE: €425

This device, best described as a pair of headphones that converts into a head-mounted display, offers the ability for private, mobile consumption of video that is supposed to inject itself into the down times of your life.


Noke PRICE: €50

Noke is the world's first bluetooth-enabled padlock. Protect your property and belongings without the hassle of keys or combinations. Share access with others via the Noke app with the tap of a button.


94Fifty® Basketball Glassware PRICE: €200

The 94Fifty® Smart Sensor Basketball Glassware app is a first-in class software and app innovation between non-wearable fitness devices that require continuous, complex motion analysis, and wearable fitness devices with limited processing capacity.


Swiftpoint GT PRICE: €78

The first mouse allowing truly natural touch gestures without touching the screen or having a touch display. Windows 10/8/7, Mac, iPad, Android. Bluetooth and wireless USB. Ultra-small unique ergonomic design.




Adidas Smart Ball

PRICE: €320


Smart Ball is a football with an integrated sensor that detects speed, spin, flight path and impact point. Kick data is transmitted wirelessly over Bluetooth Smart where it is displayed in a highly visual way.

Indoor/Outdoor LED PAR lamp with integrated 720p HD IP Camera, microphone, and speaker. Supports cloud recording/playback, voice and motion activation, facial/activity recognition for home security, automation, and commercial applications.


Qualcomm® WiPower ™


Qualcomm’s WiPower™ enables wireless charging through radio frequencies and provides greater flexibility for design and installation into phones and other applications like vehicles, office and home furniture, and communal spaces.

CES 2015


NightHawk PRICE: TBC

NightHawk is a semi-open, over-ear headphone which represents a huge leap in high-end headphone design & engineering, featuring several patented inventions, mind-bending eco-friendly materials and performance that beats even the most pricey flagships.


Multi-function Air light (Z-Air) PRICE: €95

Z-Air is a ceiling fan with concealed blades, air purification, and LED lamp integrated together into a sleek and aesthetically pleasing dome. It has simple and easy installation, plus smart automation for hassle-free use and operation.

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Estelon Extreme

The Dash PRICE: €253

The world’s first completely wireless hearable: smart headphones offer freedom of movement, maximum comfort and amazing sound quality... all while audibly coaching, tracking movement and capturing key biometric data.

PRICE: €175,000

A revolutionary new flagship loudspeaker from Estelon: “Extreme” - a monumental sculpture of a speaker that is capable of reproducing the highest quality soundscape, where the speaker itself completely disappears as the sound source.


Fidelio B5 Wireless Surround-on-Demand Soundbar

PRICE: €840

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Philips Fidelio B5 wireless surround soundbar speakers bring real surround sound to home cinema with wireless sub-woofer and detachable wireless rear speakers.



LG Electronics’s new Music Flow Wi-Fi Series lineup for music and movie lovers worldwide includes the company’s first battery-powered Wi-Fi Speaker (Model H4 Portable), advanced Wi-Fi Sound Bars (Models HS7 and HS91) and the Streaming 3D Blu-ray Player (Model BP550). These speakers are designed to be compatible with Android and iOS devices.


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

PRICE: €338


Parrot RNB6 PRICE: €675

Android 2-DIN Infotainment System that enhances driving experience with: Navigation and driving assistance; Vocal and steering wheel controls; In vehicle networking; Advanced audio player and effects; An extension of driver’s digital life.

The Galaxy Note Edge blends the best of the Note 4 experience with an intuitive second screen, evolved S Pen and superior viewing experience to create the most innovative and powerful mobile experience on the market.


ZUtA Pocket Printer PRICE: €170

We re-imagined the printer to fit today's "on-the-go" working space. We created a little robot that runs on the paper and lays the ink while doing so. The printer is small in size, yet can print on any size of paper - making a truly mobile printer!


Samsung 105-inch

PRICE: €212,000

Samsung's 105-inch UN105S9B is the World's first and largest bendable SUHD TV. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, true-to-life color expression and high contrast, this groundbreaking model sets a new bar for the cinematic viewing experience at home.



King Seeks to

KEEP HIS THRONE It was once said that success means having the courage, determination and will to become the person you believe you were meant to be, defining the true meaning of the word. In this sense, it seems Novak Ðoković has it all


ovak Đoković bids to retain the number one spot and win as many grand slams as possible in 2015 He is the world number one, he fulfilled almost all his childhood dreams, fought when no one else would, believed, practiced and won. However, Ðoković is still building his dream world. Nole, as he is affectionately known, believes that 2015 will be a really interesting season on the ATP World Tour, as he bids to retain the No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Many say realising this aim is assured. - It’s normal to expect that there will be a new wave of tennis players who are able to contend for the top spots and compete for the major titles. It’s going to be a really interesting season, I think. There is a wider and larger group of players who are able to get to the top. You have new faces coming up, who can win against the best players in the biggest tournaments, like Marin Čilić, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Miloš Raonić, and Grigor Dimitrov, to name just few – says Nole. This new wave of top players emerging to challenge the established elite has prompted Ðoković to adopt a different approach to the season. Accordingly, he decided to compete in the first week of the tour, something he has only done three times previously, and to do so in a tournament he has never previously entered.

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- I sat down with the team and we considered the schedule and in previous years we thought it was not necessary to play the first week of the season. I had so many matches in the seasons before that I was able to satisfy my needs on court with a couple of matches in Abu Dhabi or the Hopman Cup and then go to Melbourne for the Australian Open. But this year is different because we thought the gap between the last match (of 2014) in London and the first match of the Grand Slam in Melbourne was too big and that I needed to play an official tournament. Therefore, Ðoković made his 2015 ATP debut at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, losing

to play most of the big events, especially Grand Slams, and you need to be able to win at least one or two of them if you want to be No. 1. I know that I need to take it step by step - he said. The first big step was the Australian Open, where Nole’s rank as a top seed. The Serbian and world no.1 leads the rankings, followed by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. Novak has won the title in Melbourne four times (2008, 2011-2013). Last year he reached the quarter-final and lost to eventual champion Wawrinka after a memorable battle (6-2, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-9). If he lands a fifth Norman Brookes

PARENTHOOD COMPLETES ME, IT’S A BLESSING Parenthood has brought about a few changes in Ðoković’s normal routine. Although he has been kept awake by his son on a few occasions, the proud father is not complaining. - Well, you wake up a few times in the night here and there, but there are worse things in life that can happen. It’s not easy, but I find it a source of positive energy and just pure love. I don’t look at it as a commitment or engagement – something that I have to do. It is something that just comes naturally as a parent. This is what my wife and I have planned and wished for – to be parents. We have been blessed and now we are enjoying it. It’s going to require a little bit more organisation, more people travelling and more bags, more overweight. But it’s just a very positive thing that happened. ÐOKOVIĆ IN NUMBERS


You have new faces coming up, who can win against the best players in the biggest tournaments, like Marin Čilić, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Miloš Raonić, and Grigor Dimitrov, to name just a few in the quarterfinals to powerful server Ivo Karlović. However, this loss didn’t hurt Nole much, since there are lot of tournaments to come. - Professionally, I’m just trying to maintain the right balance in life. The right consistency, physical strength and mental stability, and to kind of continue with the repetitiveness of practice and routines that I’ve done so far. Under Boris Becker’s guidance, over the past 12 months, the Serbian ace has added potency to his first serve and believes that further improvements will help him remain World No. 1. - I still want to continue doing what I have done so far, because I think I have enough reason to believe that this is something that is going to allow me to have a big opportunity to stay at the top of the men’s game - he said. - If you want to fight for World No. 1, you need to kind of be able

Challenge Cup, he will become the most successful man at the tournament in the Open era (since 1968). He is currently ranked equal second place all-time on the tournament honour roll, with a list of the sport’s most illustrious names behind Roy Emerson (six titles). Ðoković is one of only three players to have claimed four Australian crowns since the advent of Open tennis. Andre Agassi and current world No 2 and grand slam record-holder Roger Federer are the others. Jack Crawford (all as an amateur) and Ken Rosewall (two as an amateur, two as a professional) also have four titles. After Australian Open, Novak has a full month to rest with his family. He plans to visit Serbia, together with his wife Jelena and baby son Stefan. He will recharge his batteries in Belgrade, and possibly on Mount Kopaonik, before he heads to Dubai, and returns to Serbia again - this time to Kraljevo, where he is to play the first round

7 Grand Slam titles 20 Masters 1000 crowns 72 million dollars in prize money 27 years of age 130 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings RESULTS AGAINST TOP RIVALS

Ðoković - Federer 17:19 Ðoković - Nadal 19:23 Ðoković - Wawrinka 16:3 Ðoković - Nishikori 3:2 Ðoković - Murray 15:8 TOP ATP RANKED SERB MEN

1. Novak Ðoković 11.405 54. Viktor Troicki 826 68. Dušan Lajović 711 97. Filip Krajinović 558 205. Ilija Bozoljac 240 247. Peđa Krstin 198 297. Laslo Ðere 165 336. Nikola Čačić 142 *as of 19th January 2015 TOP ATP RANKED SERB LADIES

5. Ana Ivanović 4.845 15. Jelena Janković 2.590 58. Bojana Jovanovski 881 76. Aleksandra Krunić 716 125. Jovana Jakšić 441 213. Vesna Dolonc 127 305. Ivana Jorović 127 311. Nina Stojanović 119 *as of 12th January 2015 |

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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS Dubai, UAE points to defend: 180 06.03.2015

DAVIS CUP Kraljevo, Serbia points to defend: 12.03.2015

of a Davis Cup tie against Croatia. - If everything goes according to the plan we’ve made, I will be in the national team throughout the year. Everyone is eager to repeat the success of 2010, when we won Davis Cup. Croatia is a tough opponent and I expect a hard match, but we are clear favourites. I Hope the crowd in Kraljevo will enjoy it - said Ðoković. In the second part of the season the most important tournament for Novak is

level. So as long as it’s like that, I’m going to try to use these years in front of me to fight to be No.1 in the world and to fight for the biggest titles in the sport. Many expect a repeat of 2011 from Ðoković, or at least for him to play at a similar level to year, when he won 70 of his 76 matches and a staggering 10 tournaments, including three Grand Slams and five Masters 1000 events. - Do I think I can repeat 2011? I don’t

BNP PARIBAS OPEN Indian Wells, USA points to defend: 1000 25.03.2015

MIAMI OPEN BY ITAU Miami, U.S. points to defend: 1000 12.04.2015

MONTE-CARLO ROLEX MASTERS Monte Carlo, Monaco points to defend: 360 ROGER FEDERER


MUTUA MADRID OPEN Madrid, Spain points to defend: 10.05.2015

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA Rome, Italy points to defend: 1000


Professionally, I’m just trying to maintain the right balance in life. The right consistency, physical strength and mental stability, and to kind of continue with the repetitiveness of practice and routines that I’ve done so far


ROLAND GARROS Paris, France points to defend: 1200 29.06.2015

WIMBLEDON Wimbledon, Great Britain points to defend: 2000 17.07.2015

DAVIS CUP Quarter-finals, TBA points to defend: 10.08.2015

COUPE ROGERS Montreal, Canada points to defend: 90 16.08.2015

WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN Cincinnati, USA points to defend: 90 31.08.2015

U.S. OPEN New York, USA points to defend: 720

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Roland Garros. The French Open is the only major title missing from Ðoković’s grand slam collection, after he lost the 2012 and 2014 finals to Nadal. This time he hopes to end nine-time champion Rafa’s reign as the King of clay in Paris. - Roland Garros is, was and still will be one of the biggest goals I have. I’ll keep on trying, of course - said Ðoković, who has four Australian Open crowns, two at Wimbledon and a solitary U.S. Open triumph. - I feel physically very fit. I’m very motivated to keep on playing at a very high

124 February 2015 |


want to say yes and I don’t want to say no. The only thing I can say is achieving what I achieved in 2011 gives me enough reason to always believe at the back of my mind that I can do it again. Obviously it is hard to expect that you can win almost 50 matches in a row, but I have done that once, so why not twice? It is difficult to compare the years, because I am a different person and a different player now. I have different circumstances. In 2011 I did not have a child and I was not married. Things are obviously different. But I am hungry for more and I feel like I am at the

peak of my career and abilities. I have been playing some of the best tennis over the last couple of years in the last two tournaments of 2014 – in Paris and London – dropping only one set in those two tournaments and finishing the year as No 1. I know if I play to a high level consistently I have a very good chance against anybody, really, on any surface. That’s the kind of mindset I have in approaching any tournament. What’s also interesting is that Ðoković

and Indian Wells last year — the first two Masters 1000 events — so there’s plenty of room for others to catch up there, but as long as he stays healthy and continues to advance deep into draws, Ðoković should stay ahead of both his rivals, enough to pass Nadal on the list of weeks held. However, Novak still believes that longstanding rivals, particularly Nadal, 29, and Federer, 34, remain major threats, saying that these two competitors are still among


DAVIS CUP Semi-finals, TBA points to defend: 05.10.2015

CHINA OPEN Beijing, China points to defend: 500 11.10.2015

SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS Shanghai, China points to defend: 360 02.11.2015

BNP PARIBAS MASTERS Paris, France points to defend: 1000 15.11.2015

BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS London, England points to defend: 1500 MARIN ČILIĆ


After the Australian Open, Novak has a full month to rest with his family. He plans to visit Serbia, together with his wife Jelena and baby son Stefan. He will recharge his batteries in Belgrade, and possibly on Mount Kopaonik, before he heads to Dubai


is almost certain to pass Nadal for most weeks at No. 1 this year. During his career Rafael has been No. 1 for 141 weeks, while Ðoković hit his 130th week in Melbourne, leaving him less than three months behind the Spaniard. The best thing Ðoković has going for him is that he’s only defending quarterfinal points from the Australian Open, whereas Federer made the semis in 2014 and Nadal made the final. Barring a Federer win and another early Ðoković departure, Novak is likely to gain ground in Melbourne. Ðoković won in both Miami


the top candidates to win every Grand Slam. Andy Murray is right up there, followed by Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer, who have been very consistent. Rafa didn’t play many matches in last four or five months and had similar issues with injuries a few years ago, before making a comeback in 2013 and playing perhaps the best year of his life. Federer also didn’t experience a season up to his standards in 2013, although he was battling with Novak up to the last few matches in London for the world number one spot last year. ■


DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP IVANOVIĆ TARGETS GRAND SLAMS Former world number one Ana Ivanović is riding a new wave of success after resurrecting her career in 2014 and has big plans for the year ahead, starting at Melbourne Park. The popular player is coming off her best year since 2008, when she won the French Open at the age of 20 and found the stardom too much to take, never revisiting those highs. She won four WTA titles in 2014 and 58 matches - a personal record - to finish at world number five. The 26-year-old also played well in the off season, beating world number one Serena Williams in an event in Belgium, whilst also being part of the winning team in the International Premier Tennis League. Going into the 2014 season, Ivanović said her goals for the year were to get back into the top 10 and qualify for the WTA finals in Singapore, both of which she accomplished. Now it’s about Grand Slams. - Winning a lot of matches and tournaments and beating the top players again in 2014 was a great set-up for me, but I’ve definitely reset my goals for 2015. I still have goals to win Grand Slams in the future—that’s something I want to aim towards. I felt like I was playing well the whole year in 2014, but at the Grand Slams I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to. I think I’m going to schedule my season differently—hopefully play less events, but play better at the bigger ones. |

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Could You Drive at 80km/h Backwards?

The Blacks and Whites Festival



Harpreet Devi, 33 from Indian province of Punjab has been reversing his car along India’s roads since 2003 when the vehicle got stuck in a backwards gear and he couldn’t afford to repair it and was only left with an option to drive back to Bhatinda in reverse. This incident was a life changing moment for him and decided to slake his year old crave for doing something incredible. He altered his car with four gears to drive in reverse and just one to go forwards. He has even fitted an ambulance siren to alert other drivers and pedestrians and added headlights to the rear of his car. Today Harpeet travels around by reversing his specially modified Fiat at speeds of up to 80 km/h as he insist he feels safer going backwards than forwards.


Each year, about 500,000 detectable earthquakes occur worldwide. About 100,000 of those can be felt and about 100 cause damage.

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Kyoto based Japanese travel agency has started organizing bridal ceremonies for single women. Kyodo news agency reports that Cerca Travel’s two-day “solo wedding” package includes choosing your own special gown, bouquet and hairstyle, a limousine service, a stay at a hotel and a commemorative photo album. “This package boosted my sense of self-esteem… the effect was equal to a more extraordinary experience, such as visiting a World Heritage castle,” says Tomoe Sawano, one of the first to try out a “solo wedding”. About 30 women from across Japan have become “solo brides” since the service was launched in May. Almost half of them were married women who either did not have a wedding ceremony or were not satisfied with that experience, according to Cerca Travel. 124 February 2015 |

AMERICA’S OLDEST TRADITIONS Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Carnival of Blacks and Whites) is considered to be one of South America’s oldest festivals. The celebration dates back to the agrarian Indian cultures, when the Pasto and Quillacinga Indians held celebrations to plead for the protection of their crops. Later, during Spanish rule, the festival marked a time when slaves were allowed to celebrate by dusting themselves either black or white. In keeping with the tradition, festival-goers will find that everyone paints or dusts one another with anything from chalk and make-up to flour. Taking place from 4th to 6th January in Pasto, Colombia, the festival is typically split into three main celebrations: the Castaneda Family Parade that preludes the actual carnival, El Dia de los Negros (Day of the Blacks) and El Dia de los Blancos (Day of the Whites).


A “leap second” needs to be added in 2015 to make sure the time on atomic clocks stays in sync with Earth’s rotational time, but some Internet companies are dreading the day. Earth’s rotation has been slowing down by about two thousandths of a second every day. But atomic clocks, which are now accurate up to quadrillionths of a second, don’t change pace. While this situation isn’t an immediate problem, it would eventually cause clocks to become so out of sync with Earth’s rotation that they would read noon during the dead of night.


G. Clotaire Rapaille, a psychoanalyst and ethnographer who lives in Florida, US has studied salespeople and finds that the best are those who are somewhat thrilled by rejection. “What we find with good salespeople is that first ‘no’ stimulated them. It didn’t make them want to give up. It made them want to find another way.” They try more techniques, they take chances— and they don’t believe a sale closes with a yes. They always look to up-sell, and only stop selling when the customer tells them to stop.

Arsenal and Tottenham Ban Selfie Sticks

No More Models for Shanghai Car Shows



London soccer teams Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal said fans are being banned from bringing picture-taking “selfie sticks” into their stadiums. An Arsenal spokesman confirmed the selfie sticks -- camera or cellphone holders designed to allow users to get a wider frame while taking photos of themselves -- have been added to Emirates Stadium’s list of items banned because they can be used as weapons.

Notices have been sent out to various car brands stating that models should not be used to advertise the cars in the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. China’s car shows are notorious for using scantily clad women to market their products and their outfits have become as much a fixture at the exhibitions as the vehicles. By banning the models, the Shanghai Auto Show Organising Committee hopes that the show can return to its original purpose and focus more on the actual cars.


DUBAI’S SUPER-RICH SHEIKS Bloomsbury’s Boutique Cafe & Artisan Bakery in Dubai, UAE is selling the world’s most expensive cupcake for around $1134. The Golden Phoenix is made with the finest ingredients from around the would: Doves organic flour and Rachel’s finest butter from the United Kingdom; Amedei Porcelena cocoa from Italy; vanilla beans from Uganda; and sheets of 23-carat gold (because 24-carat is too soft to work with during the decorating process). Fifteen of the crazy creations have been snapped up since they hit the market two years ago, most of them delivered to the palaces of Dubai’s super-rich sheiks. The cafe requires 48 hours notice.

No Pants Subway Ride 2015 WORLD THIS YEAR TENS

OF THOUSANDS PEOPLE TOOK PART Underground passengers from across the world left their pants at home over the weekend (January 11) to celebrate the 14th annual No Pants Subway Ride. Travellers of all shapes and sizes joined together in some of the world’s biggest cities to take part in the yearly tradition that was started by comedy group Improv Everywhere in New York in 2000, when a group of seven guys decided one day to travel on New York’s subway without any trousers on. Since then, the silliness has spread like wildfire, with pant-less passengers being found in every corner of the globe. This year it is believed that the No Pants Subway Ride was the most popular ever, with tens of thousands taking part. |

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Spring inPastel

Colours of Nature PRICE:


Suede Jacket This jacket is crafted in suede with Brooks Brothers hardware and signature jacquard logo lining. Front zip slant pockets and Grosgrain detail trim inside.

THE PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE, a world-renowned authority on colour, released its Color Report Spring 2015. Judging by the designs at various Fashion Weeks, we might be able to predict which colours you'll be wearing come March. Top women’s fashion colours for the spring 2015 season include strawberry ice, aquamarine and Lucite green; a theme that is natural, warm and subtle-looking: Aquamarine (a sky/sea blue), Scuba Blue (a vibrant shade), Lucite Green (a soft mint) and Classic Blue, Toasted Almond (a warm tan), Strawberry Ice (think a pink glow), Tangerine (a muted orange), Custard (a subtle yellow), Marsala (a muted wine) and Glacier Grey. Here are a few suggestions that will MAKE YOUR CHOICES EASIER.

Valentino Classic Collar Shirt Rag & Bone Classic Braided Belt

Blue cotton classic collar shirt from Valentino featuring a concealed front fastening, a curved hem, a box pleat detail to the back, long sleeves and button cuffs. PRICE: €865

A braided Rag & Bone belt in rich suede. Adjustable length and antiqued buckle closure. PRICE: €155

Space Dyed Midi Cover-up

Custard 82 |

124 February 2015 |

This pure cotton cover-up is a lightweight work horse, styled to add a layer of coverage and organic pattern to so many looks. Midi dresses are a natural, but we're digging the drama it brings to jumpsuits and shorts. PRICE: €42



'Billingham' Draped Dress

Single-Button Pantsuit

White and nude stretch cotton 'Billingham' draped dress from Roland Mouret. PRICE: €1,780

Single-button pantsuit is the single best reason for getting dressed for work! Jacket: notched stand collar, front button closures, long sleeves. Pants: mid rise - waistband sits below natural waist.

Glacier Gray LK Bennett Aviator Sunglasses Simple and sexy shape of LK Bennett's Aviator shades. PRICE: €140



Dondup Knit Sweater Pink wool knit sweater from Dondup featuring a ribbed round neck, long sleeves and a ribbed hem and cuffs. PRICE: €160

Accessories Jimmy Choo Silk Stole Vibrant, lacy graphics extend the contemporary elegance of a silk-spun Italian scarf. PRICE:


One Button Jet Pockets Suit This fitted blazer is both versatile and stylish - the perfect addition to your capsule wardrobe. Buttonsafe™ technology uses special heat fused buttons that won't fall off.

Toasted Almond

Valentino Rockstud 100 1973 Pump



Hobo Leather Bag The Sutra Crescent Hobo is a relaxed silhouette perfect for day or night. With zip closure and subtle Sutra hardware detail. |

A seasonal spin on a Valentino Garavani icon, the Rockstud 100 Pump is now available in a series of spring-ready colours. PRICE:


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Cooler & Softer

Colour Spectrum

THE MEN’S PALETTE takes a surprising turn for the spring 2015 season, deviating from the women’s palette more than we have seen in recent seasons. Menswear colours emphasise the need for uncontrived hues, where natural tones are interspersed with deep, foundational colours. Spring 2015 sees a move toward the cooler and softer side of the colour spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal mix of understated bright, pale pastels and natural neutrals take centre stage as designers draw from daydreams of simpler times. It is now a great time to START BUILDING YOUR NEW SEASONAL WARDROBE, given that you’ll find many of these trends’ key pieces – denim and green/blue items. Here are some ideas that will make your choices easier.

Print Pocket Square This pocket square is crafted from pure cotton with an anchor design printed in Italy. PRICE: €17

Peal & Co.® Medallion Captoes Expertly crafted in fine calfskin, leather lining and soles. Made in England. PRICE: €545



Two-Button Sport Coat This sport coat is crafted from a cotton and linen blend woven in Italy. PRICE: €375

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Plain-Front Irish Linen Trousers Lightweight, soft and breathable refined linen. Tailored with an alterable waistband and darted back. Taped seams for a clean finish.

Leather Envoy Messenger Bag

Frederique Constant Watch

This medium-sized Envoy Messenger Bag, in American Heritage leather is perfectly designed for easy access to your daily basics.

This exquisite watch combines the latest technology with classic design elements for the ultimate, understated statement.




Wide Stitch Belt



Genuine leather with a brass buckle. Made in Italy.




Regent Fit Plaid Sport Coat This sport coat is crafted from a linen, silk and wool blend woven in Italy. Offered in trimmer Regent fit it features slimmer lines. Two-button with side vents, full canvas construction.

Suede Bucks Dress shoes, made from genuine nubuck, which has been shaved down more than suede for an even softer handfeel. Leather lined. PRICE: €166

Stripe Dress Shirt A French front placket and a chevron split-back yoke, this shirt is machine washable for easy care. PRICE: €100



Madison Fit Twill Suit Two-button suit, made from pure cotton twill. The original Madison is favoured for its relaxed fit, natural shoulders and easy-fitting trousers. Center vent. Half-lined. |

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Job That


Marketing professionals are expected to be explorers, project managers, strategic planners, journalists, financial experts, and even the clients they service, all at the same time. This is a job you have to live every single day


our guide at the beginning of any career should be the terests are deeply intertwined with those of the community it opfollowing great idea: “Choose a job you love and you will erates in and serves. We hear more and more about corporate sonever have to work a day in your life”. The route to idencial responsibility in public speaking, and I deeply believe that, in tifying the right profession is also ahead of you. We can’t the near future, CSR will become an initiator and an integral part of call a career in marketing, branding, corporate communications and business processes on our market. advertising a “job” per se; this is more like a way of life than a job. Alpha Bank’s corporate social responsibility strategy, which This is the kind of job you can’t leave behind at the office when you serves as a guide to our tangible activities, is based on two main pilhead home, nor can you put it in a folder or a desk drawer and get lars: investing in the promotion of health and healthcare systems, back to it tomorrow. No, marketing will on one side, and contributing to forming stimwait for you just around the corner. When conditions for growth, development Being marketing director ulating you walk down the street, it will wink at and children’s education, on the other. at a bank brought me you cheekily from billboards. Then, as you Alpha Bank’s approach to social responget in your car and turn on the radio, it will sibility is based on the principle of continuity a whole new sense of give you a big laugh. When you go to your and an unbreakable bond with our basic busiresponsibility, both in favourite café, it will wave at you from a ness activities. Alpha Bank has managed to corporate and personal screen. It will blow you good night kisses create and provide its products and services in from behind the TV, while you watch the a way that ensures they provide a long-term terms. I became aware weather forecast for the next day, getting contribution to society. that no company is ready for tomorrow. The best example of this, and a case study an isolated island, but My marketing adventure started at an in its own right, is our Hvala (Thank You) credrather its interests are advertising agency and I think this is the it card. The launch of this product was initiatbest way for anyone to understand the ed by recognising the possibility of our bank, deeply intertwined with essence of this job and its power. You will together with our clients, to contribute to rethose of the community solving one of this country’s huge healthcare learn that behind every glamorous meit operates in and serves issues (every 9th woman in Serbia has breast dia appearance and jolly, funny TV clip, lie cancer). We did this by providing a continuous days and nights spent researching coninflux of funds for the prevention of this illness. Hence, the Hvala sumer habits, needs and desires. You will understand that the pow(Thank You) credit card was born, whereby money is donated to the er of a brand lies in its sincerity and in fulfilling promises made to Serbia Against Cancer Foundation each time the card is used for ficonsumers. You will also realise just how wonderful your job is, benancial transactions. This gives us – users of the card – an opportucause it requires you to be a multi-talented worker able to turn innity to do a good deed at any given moment. To date, the bank and to an explorer, project manager, strategic planner, journalist, finanthousands of its clients have donated over 30 million dinars to the cial expert, and even the client you service, at any given moment. Health Ministry which, in turn, purchased medical screening instruBeing marketing director at a bank brought me a whole new ments for the early detection of cancer at health clinics and hospisense of responsibility, both in corporate and personal terms. I betals all over Serbia. ■ came aware that no company is an isolated island, but rather its in-

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