Serbia To Sell Tanjug News AgencySoutheast Europe | October 3, 2014, Friday // 20:06| views
Serbian Government building in Belgrade. Source: wikimedia.org
Serbia offered for sale its national news agency Tanjug without setting a minimum price on Friday as part of a privatization drive aimed at cutting budget deficit.
Several other loss-making state-owned media outlets, including radio stations and press centres were also put up for sale.
Serbia’s Privatization Agency said in a press release it will accept expressions of interest from potential investors until November 3. The sale is to be completed by July 1 next year.
For the media that are not sold by July 1, the law prescribes transfer of equity to employees in the form of free shares. If the employees do not accept them, the media outlets will cease to exist and will be deleted from the register.
Under a new privatization law approved by parliament Serbia should sell off all state-owned firms by the end of next year to meet reform requirements of its international lenders. The government has slated some 500 state-owned companies for privatization.
Serbia expects to close 2014 with record budget deficit equivalent to 8,3% от GDP. Economic growth is projected to slow to less than 1%, down from 2,5% last year. Its debt has soared to nearly 70% of GDP, well beyond the legal limit of 45%.
Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic has said earlier that Serbia’s government is paying up to EUR 600 M in subsidies each year to state-owned loss makers which should have been closed down more than a decade ago.
Tanjug was founded in 1943 by the Communist guerrillas fighting Nazi occupation of Serbia under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito.
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