Energy minister announces investigations in public energy companies

, News Serbia Energy

Zorana Mihajlović says “billions went through the energy sector without anything to show for it”, and that she “wants to know where that money disappeared”.

Speaking for B92 in Belgrade on Monday, the energy minister stressed that it was necessary to “find out where that money disappeared” in order to be able to draw strategic plans for the future.

“Everybody’s talking about the consequences… I’m interested in the causes, why Serbia is in the shape it’s in, why we have the deficit, why we’re facing a serious crisis,” said Mihajlović.

The minister, who hails from the ranks of the ruling Progressives (SNS), said this was not “a personal fight of the SNS against corruption”, and that Serbia could not hope to develop “until everybody solves the problems in their own sector”.

The party, she added, is the backbone of the current government, “and must make plans for the future”.

Commenting on the case of former minister, now opposition DS party MP Oliver Dulić, who is suspected of abuse of office, she said it was “normal” that the Serbian parliament, in session in Belgrade today, would decide to strip him of his immunity.

“Regardless of who it may be that held a government office, they must be held accountable,” Mihajlović stated.

She reiterated that accusations leveled against Dulić of unjustified spending of state funds by the Ministry of Environment that he headed were not a case of “political persecution”.

The minister noted that the previous government also discussed this case, and added that it was clear that large sums of money – between RSD 4.5 and 5 billion – were spent on “promotion”, while “serious problems were ignored”:

“The least was spent on landfills and ecological holes, and the most on promotion – the question is, what are the priorities? Promotion is not a priority. The government should not be paying the media to report about the environment,” Mihajlović said, and added that she hopes the courts and the prosecution “will be efficient”.

Source B92