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Iosif Vangelatos, General Manager, Inos Balkan

Proud of Tripling Trade Volume

Inos Balkan already possessed extensive expertise in the recycling sector, with its collection and processing centres, while it has today transformed itself successfully to...

Aris Karousos, CEO of Eko Serbia

Drivers Know Why They Choose Eko

Two decades ago, when this company launched its operations in Serbia, the desire was for the EKO brand to become synonymous with reliability, quality...

Danilo Đurović, General Manager, Autotechnica Serbia – Hertz

Introducing Flex Drive

As part of the Autohellas Group, which has been the absolute leader of Greece’s automotive sector since 1974, Hertz is more than just a...

Nikos Veropoulos, Owner, Veropoulos

Super Vero, Super Successful

For two decades already, company Veropoulos has been known on our market for its unique offer and high-quality products at promotional prices, but also...

Panagiotis Pitsikos, CEO, Autostop Interiors

The Best Is Yet to Come

Company Autostop Interiors was established in 2013 and specialises in manufacturing car floor mats and leather covers. These 10 years have been a journey...

Raša Nedeljkov, Programme Director at the Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA)

No Free Flow of Ideas in Elections

There are no issues on which “elections are won or lost” here. If they existed, that would mean that our democracy is in a much healthier state than it actually is, and that the election race unfolds under fair conditions, on a free “market of ideas”

According to the findings of the latest public opinion survey conducted by CRTA, citizens are most concerned over economic problems – 40 per cent of respondents say that they have been impacted by inflation, i.e., by price hikes and falling living standards. More recent elections haven’t given us the opportunity to see serious, well-argued confrontations between contrasting economic and development policies.

The government has tended to assuage voter “anxiety” with various ad hoc solutions and concessions during the pre-election period, which either border on, or even cross the line in, the practice of buying votes, and certainly occupy the zone of the misuse of public resources and the further erasing of the boundary between the state and the party.

The opposition could benefit from the fact that citizens single out ubiquitous violence as the number two problem in society, followed by corruption and the conceitedness of the government. The coalition named “Serbia against violence”, which was actually created on the wave of major citizen protests, could probably build a good part of its campaign on the struggle against violence, corruption and autocracy.

Not only is there huge inequality in the representing of election participants in the media, which ensures a good part of the citizenry is unable to even find out what policies the opposition is actually advocating, but also too many voters are exposed to political pressure

Unfortunately, I don’t think there are issues on which “elections are won or lost” here. If they existed, that would mean that our democracy is in a much healthier state than it actually is, and that the election race unfolds under fair conditions, on a free “market of ideas”. And we are a long way from that.

Not only is there huge inequality in the representing of election participants in the media, which ensures a good part of the citizenry is unable to even find out what policies the opposition is actually advocating, but also too many voters are exposed to political pressure, or find themselves “enslaved” in the network of clientelism in which they trade votes in exchange for their basic existential needs.

CRTA recently published the results of research on the ways relations of clientelism function in the system of social work centres. Approximately half a million Serbian citizens live in abject poverty and many of them are bribed into voting in accordance with directives if they want to exercise their right to the assistance that’s guaranteed to them by law.

The question for the opposition is how they can motivate as many as possible of those who aren’t exposed to direct political pressure to vote, or rather to believe that change is possible and act accordingly.

Comment

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Serbia Commits €5.4 Billion to Renewable Energy by 2030

Serbia's state-owned power company, Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), has announced an ambitious plan to invest €5.4 billion in renewable energy...

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In a ceremonial tribute to Serbia's National Day, President Aleksandar Vučić presented awards to a host of esteemed individuals...

Western Balkans Eye EU Membership by 2028

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