Nemanja Rujevic, a Deutsche Welle reporter, told N1 on Wednesday that the Belgrade University's ruling on Finance Minister's doctorate as plagiarism was noted in a few short news items, but that the five-year-long saga about Sinisa Mali's thesis triggered stories about Serbia as a country of fake diplomas.
Rujevic quoted the Stern Magazin as saying: „Plagiarisms, phantom diplomas and students who did not graduate… Even political and academic elite in Serbia build their careers based on fake diplomas and the judiciary doesn’t take measures against it.“
The case of Mali also drew the attention of the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Rujevic said, saying it wrote: „How is it possible that the Minister (Mali) earns 11,000 Euros per year and finances education of two children in an American school in Belgrade with 60,000 Euros? During a weekend in Rome, he spent 7,000 Euros. So, Mali has some reserves somewhere. But, this story is not about money, but honour and Mali is more familiar with money than with honour.“
Rujevic said it was challenging to show to people in Germany, Switzerland and Austria how Serbia’s authorities denied the obvious and even targeted those who pointed at the plagiarism.
He also mentioned some similar cases in Germany. In one, German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended a minister as capable without a diploma, but the minister resigned in the end. Merkel said she was sorry, Rujevic added.