Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Corruption in the West-Balkans and WAZ

WAZ EuObserver has an article by Augustin Palokaj about corruption in a.o. Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia. Interesting is the way the magazine talks about its parent's problems in Serbia.

About Serbia it says:
Serbia is a particular problem with many foreign investors complaining about long and slow bureaucratic procedures and the poor judiciary system. For some of them, it is practically impossible to get payment even when they have a court decision in their favour. Court proceedings in Serbia take an average of eight years. More than 1.5 million court decisions have yet to be enforced. This is an unacceptable situation for those wanting to invest and work with free competition rules.

About Macedonia it says:
Macedonia, meanwhile, attracted just €200 million in foreign investment in 2009, the lowest in the region. And this was despite tax incentives. There were serious problems with two investors, one from Switzerland and another from Austria. The companies complained that the government did not stick to its obligations. Both cases contributed to a worsening of the already bad investment climate in Macedonia.

About Croatia:
In Croatia, the situation is better as the country is getting closer to EU membership. Zagreb recently closed negotiations on bringing the country into line with EU rules on public procurement and opened talks in the area of competition. But EU companies can still face unnecessary informal obstacles in Croatia. Enforcing court decisions has been taking too long and problems with ownership continue to be a concern.

One negative point of the article is the way it discusses the problems that WAZ itself has with the Serbian government. It is does not explicitly mention that that WAZ is the publisher of WAZ Observer and it tries to suggest Serbia is doing things wrong without actually making any concrete complaints - confirming the shady image that WAZ Media has in the Balkans: One of the big foreign investors in Serbia, the German WAZ Media Group, has indicated it intends to withdraw from the country. The Committee of Eastern European Economic Relations, an organisation representing German business, says it regrets the planned move. "I hope that the announced withdrawal is a warning signal and leads to an improvement in conditions for investors," said Klaus Mangold, chairman of the committee. "German business is vigilantly following how such an important investor is treated."


navy said...

Bodo Hombach, is a partner from Stankovic, Mangold is a crime boss from germany for corruption, Wolf Preuss a friend and steinmeier

Verneuil said...

Excerpts concerning Serbia are true. Depending on ones familiarity or closeness with the justice system and its actors at all levels, court procedures can be very long compared to western standards. Simple cases (land dispute, basic commercial contracts) can take up 8/10 years. More difficult ones up to 15/20 years.

Whole system suffers from a justified reputation of corruption at all levels, the target of resolute government actions.

Stories said...

They should mention the website is owned by WAZ and they did it indeed.In the right column in the article you can read that WAZ own the website and several newspapers in Germany and Southeastern Europe.

Wim Roffel said...

If you read American news you will have noticed that it is there the habit that if there is any commercial relationship between their newspaper or magazine and the company that the news is about they will explicitly mention it in the article.

To stay credible a newspaper should be very careful when reporting about a conflict that it itself is involved in. I think this article is lacking a bit in that respect.