Serbian opposition MP says government privatizing military industry

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Source: N1

The Serbian government has decided to group 19 military industry companies into a Defense Industry Groupation which opposition MP Marinika Tepic warned was the first step in the privatization of the country’s defense industry.

Tepic recalled that she has been warning for weeks that the government would issue a decree to start the privatization process. “And here it is! I have warned for week about this government decree to launch the privatization of the military industry. I warned that they were putting their paws on every factory, that their people inflicted damage on that industry and now the government is doing that legally, issuing a decree under the counter on December 31,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

The government issued the decree on the last day of 2019 and it will take effect on January 8. Friday’s press release on the government’s web site said that the government has either a majority stake or owns at least 51 percent of those companies making munitions and military equipment.

The Groupation itself will not have company status under the law nor will it have to be registered, the press release said and added that it was being formed for the sake of Serbia’s strategic interests in the production of military equipment and munitions. According to the press release the companies in the Groupation are: Prva iskra – namenska Baric, Milan Blagojevic – Namenska Lucani, Prvi partizan Uzice, Zastava Firearms Kragujevac, Sloboda Cacak, Krusik Valjevo, Prva Petoletka namenska Trstenik, Teleoptik Gyroscopes Zemun, Trajal Krusevac, Yumco Vranje, Zastava Tervo Kragujevac, FAP Priboj, Utva Aviation Industry Pancevo, Borbeni Slozeni Sistemi and Belom Belgrade. Also in the Groupation are base technology plants PPT TMO Trstenik, Zastava Kovacnica Kragujevac, Kovacki Centar Valjevo and Corun Holding Uzice.

The Groupation can include companies under the control of state-owned companies as determined by the government which will form a Defense Industry Council to manage the Groupation made up of appointed officials and chairmen of the companies in the Groupation.