Cross-section view of the current Serbian political scene

Part 1 – Overview and corruption

, by Miloš Stanić

Cross-section view of the current Serbian political scene

It is a semi-serious folk joke that there are two things that every single person in Serbia knows how to do: one is to be a national selection football manager and the other one is how to run the Country. Mix that fact with complex political and social past of Serbia (Balkans for that matter) and as a consequence you get a very nasty cocktail of often highly intelligent, but sloppy, corrupt and ideal-free people who run the Country.

Milosevic’s reign was marked by war, isolation, lack of freedom and civil rights in almost every way. The Revolution of 5th October 2000 was thought to be a revelation-like event and most of youngsters (including me, even if I was 15 at the time) were expecting a lot...it turns out, a whole lot more.

It has been 9 years since then, so where is Serbia today? Yes, we have pro-European democratic government, we have freedom of speech, we have foreign investments, we even have, officially, gross economic development. We do not have a rule of law (elementary law suits last for, literary, years), social security basically does not exist, we have lousy infrastructure, church is still highly influential in the government, around 10% of the population lives in poverty, around 10 people hold most of Country’s economy, bureaucracy is pain-staking complicated, for instance, in Serbia you have to get up at 01:00 AM and go wait in the freezing cold until 07:00 AM in order to submit documents for the passport (and I am not kidding or exaggerating) and we are not even on the ’’white Schengen’’...and the list could go on forever, but I’ll stick to the really important things – corruption and political nepotism.

The government and the parties do not have any sort of long-term-overall-country-beneficial strategies and they are driven mostly by day-to-day political and personal interests.

It is a fact, that 100% of the large public-company managers are assigned directly from currently ruling political parties, regardless of their professional competence and merit. It is a sad, repetitive, straightforward process of putting the ’’most appropriate’’ members of the ruling parties in charge of important, strategical resources of the Country. The cycle lasts four years, until the next elections. In the meantime, by forcing corruption in the public companies, the political parties earn money through minor and major financial crimes. Alongside the tycoons, this is one of primary mechanisms for Serbian political parties to gain finances.

The brutal truth is that after the fall of Milosevic’s regime, political scene did become democratic and that many positive baby-steps have been taken, but also the level of corruption and political nepotism has been absolutely unchanged if not changed for the worse in past nine years. Political parties have complete absence of ideals and the only goal is to stay in the government. Important laws are made so they fit the current political and economical elite (several mentioned tycoons). The government and the parties do not have any sort of long-term-overall-country-beneficial strategies and they are driven mostly by day-to-day political and personal interests. Serbia has constant changes of fundamental laws, rules and even the Constitution is still not stable as it ought to be.

In light of such truths, there is no motivation for young intelligent and prosperous population to engage in any of the current political parties in Serbia, even though there are many who are politically aware of themselves and the situation. The current law basically makes it impossible for anyone to form a new political party without enormous financial support. In addition, the effort in order to struggle with highly developed corruption mechanisms, even for a relatively large group of people, would be equivalent to trying to slay a gigantic corruption-hydra which, sadly, represents the Country itself.

Image:
- Hydra, source: google images

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