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news 29 Jul 14

Serbia Purges Chiefs of Public Companies

The Prime Minister announced that seven heads of state-owned enterprises were being fired, adding that the heads of many more managers would roll in August.

Government session in Nis. Photo by Beta/AP Sasa Djordjevic

Serbia's Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, on Monday axed seven general managers of public companies, accusing them of achieving poor results.

The outgoing bosses are: Dragoljub Simonovic, of the railway company Zeleznice Srbije; Velimir Radosavljevic, head of Nikola Tesla Airport; Milan Zivanovic, from the Civil Aviation Directorate; Marko Culibrk, of Dunav Osiguranje insurance company; Branimir Bozovic, of Drzavna Lutrija Srbije, the state lottery; Kostadin Popovic, of DIPOS (Diplomatic Housing Company); and Stojadin Jovanovic, of the traffic safety agency.

"This is only the beginning," Vucic said, adding that about 70 per cent of the managers of state owned companies would be laid off over August.

According to the Serbian National Bank, there are 716 public enterprises in the country.

"New top people will be selected through public vacancy procedures," Vucic added.

Acting heads are due to be appointed on Thursday. They will run the seven companies until new chiefs ones are elected, the Prime Minister added.

Nemanja Nenadic, programme director of Transparency Serbia, said the government should ultimately promote experts to run these companies.

He also said the appointments should not be under the control of the ruling party.

"Our experience in this field so far has been poor, because few people answered the calls [to apply] because they knew in advance who would be [appointed] where," Nenadic said.

Serbia required systematic checks on the work of directors, he said.

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