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News 23 Sep 14

Millions Earmarked For Kosovo Serbs 'Wasted'

Hundreds of millions of euros from the Serbian budget that is supposed to help the Serbs in Kosovo have been misspent, a new TV investigation claims.

 

Gordana Andric BIRN Belgrade

An investigative team from B92’s television show Insajder has reported that Serbia paid about €634 million in 2012 and 2013 for different projects in Kosovo out of the state budget - about €867,000 per day.

“Over all that time almost none of this money actually reached those to whom it was assigned and to whom is really is necessary," the Insajder team stated in a show broadcast on September 22.

“Under the excuse of helping the endangered population of Kosovo, Serbian citizens, through the budget, are still paying hundreds of thousands of euros every day for failed projects, unbuilt buildings, halls and roads, fictional public companies and provisions for private companies,” the Insajder team added.

The reporters gathered documents from different state institutions, agencies and companies that have been spending funds on "aiding" the Kosovo Serbs.

After Insajder first published findings on the abuse of funds aimed at helping Kosovo Serbs two years ago, the Progressive-led majority in parliament formed a board to investigate the claims.

The board, which finished its report in April, concluded that Serbia had spent just under half a million euro daily from 2000 to 2012 without due control over spending.

The board also established that much of this money was went on paid-for, but never erected, buildings and roads, on abuses of funds aimed at helping the health service in Kosovo, as well as on abuses of public procurements.

“This report is not directed against our people in Kosovo who live in very difficult conditions, but against those who have abused the money to get rich,” Momir Stojanovic, president of the board, said in April.

If parliament adopts the report, it may serve as a recommendation for the government to conduct its own investigation and present new results within the course of one year.

 

 

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