The 1 in 5 Million organization on Thursday threatened to blockade the Belgrade University Rectorate unless Finance Minister Sinisa Mali is dismissed.
The finance minister’s doctoral thesis has been disputed with claims of plagiarism made by prominent academics. The thesis has been under review at different levels at Belgrade University with no decision taken. Claims have been made that the heads of the university have been under pressure over the scandal.
Organization spokeswoman Valentina Rekovic told a news conference that Belgrade University had dropped by about 100 places on the Shanghai List which ranks universities across the world. “That situation causes the departure of young scientists who see no prospects in this country,” she said adding that the brain drain is also caused by the scandals involving the allegedly false diplomas held by ministers and other officials.
“Sinisa Mali’s doctoral thesis, which was obviously plagiarized, has not been disputed yet even though the plagiarism was confirmed in all complaints filed with the Belgrade University Professional Ethics Committee,” Rekovic said and asked if any of the commission’s looking into the thesis will have the courage to state that it has been plagiarized.
The 1 in 5 Million organization said that it would blockade the Rectorate if the demand to dismiss Mali is not met by September.
The organization staged a two-hour blockade of the Rectorate earlier and had a meeting with the Rector.