Serbian ruling party accepted gift not allowed by law

NEWS 22.01.2019 13:10
Source: N1

The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has received offices worth 1.3 million Euros as a gift, the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CINS) reported on Tuesday, adding that the amount is more than is allowed under the law.

The offices, already in use as party headquarters in the Serbian capital, were donated to President Aleksandar Vucic’s ruling party by local SNS official in Krusevac Velibor Jovanovic who bought the space in New Belgrade a year earlier for 250,000 Euros.  

The CINS said the documents on the donation were signed by Jovanovic and Vucic as party leader. The offices are home to the SNS Belgrade city branch. The donation documents do not list the value of the offices but an SNS financial report shows that Jovanovic donated the space valued at 156,000,000 Dinars or 1.3 million Euro to the party in 2017. CINS said that all taxes and expenses were covered by the SNS with the notary public charging some 200,000 Dinars.  

The SNS had been renting the same offices from the pharmaceuticals company Vetfarm which went bankrupt in 2013, selling its properties to cover debts with Jovanovic buying the offices to donate to the SNS.  

Under the law of financing political activities, individuals cannot donate anything to parties which is worth more than 20 average monthly salaries which in 2017 stood at around 920,000 Dinars. The party is obliged by law to return the donation within 15 days if the value is greater than allowed under the law.