Former Serbian President Tadic still dreams of his latest comeback
Lost in the land of tycoons who illegally privatized assets
However, Tadic has failed to respond to the majority of people in hopes of a better standard of living, in part due to his government’s corruption, his political allies’ links to tycoons and privatizations. criticized from state-owned enterprises, often for nothing.
Serbia has failed to put in place a proper background check of buyers to prevent criminals from profiting from the sale of state-owned enterprises. This has created the perfect environment for widespread criminal activity, including illegal asset stripping and money laundering, which has cost thousands of Serbian workers their jobs.
The EU, while generally supportive of the privatization process and Serbia’s transformation into a market economy, has since asked the authorities to investigate 24 of the most dubious privatizations of that time.
Asked about it in an interview with BBC Serbia in May last year, Tadic was on the defensive, insisting that only one problematic privatization occurred during his tenure and that it did not happen. not proven to be problematic in court.
Tadic only admitted that he “had failed to fully combat a tendency towards corruption in parts of the Democratic Party, [but] all the analyzes and objective facts clearly show that I inherited this problem, ”he stressed.
The widely criticized economic policy of providing large subsidies to foreign companies, used and hijacked by Vucic today, began under the rule of the Democrats.
The best-known example of the granting of questionable privileges to foreign investors came before the 2008 elections, when Tadic and then Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic struck a deal with Fiat.
The deal was later called one of the least transparent and most servile for a foreign company.
Serbia has paid the auto giant hundreds of millions of euros in subsidies, handed over assets for free and has also pledged to pay taxes on workers’ wages for 10 years.
“We called on Fiat in difficult circumstances on the eve of the crisis and therefore only opened the door to the arrival of other companies in the automotive sector, because we know that the countries which developed this industry experience rapid technological and economic growth ”. Tadic said, defending the movement, in 2017.
Paving the way for Vucic’s tougher crackdown
Lack of self-criticism is not the only thing the current and former presidents of Serbia have in common. Although Tadic’s methods have been milder than Vucic’s, many see his reign as paving the way for the SNS’s more brutal war on critics.
As he gained more and more power and critics accused Tadic of authoritarianism, he defended himself from such attacks by claiming that in certain situations he had to act as the head of the DS, the main party in parliament, which naturally gave it additional tools. influence government actions.