Anti-corruption official: Telekom heads to pre-bankruptcy procedure

NEWS 20.07.2020 19:22

Telekom Srbija claims it's a shareholding firm that its' not publically owned and that the state institutions have no right to control the company's business, thus trying to avoid the implementation of rules related to public ownership, Jelisaveta Vasilic writes in the Danas daily's Monday edition.

„The Telekom’s claim is illegal, frivolous, coming from the company which the state trusted with managing and using the telecommunication network that is a public good and used by the entire population,“ Vasilic wrote.

Here is her op-ed in full.

„The problem is not in Telekom’s attempt to illegally interpret its organisational type and thus introduce a new ownership form unknown to the Constitution, but in the state’s silence and unconcern to control Telkom’s business.

The state accepts the disabling of the State Auditing institution to determine the utility of the acquisitions which for Telekom took over 350 million EUR loan without legally made decisions, legal and written procedure, without market prices, without the shareholders’ knowledge and the agreements made in direct deals, leading Telekom into the pre-bankruptcy procedure.

It’s obvious the state, contrary to the Constitution and laws, has deprived itself of the public ownership which cannot be privatised since the country is a titular.

Since the state doesn’t act as such, it disempowers itself, and that means the state doesn’t exist and that the citizens must protect public ownerships, not only from Telekom but from all other companies which use public ownership, regardless whether a firm is publicly owned or some other organised as capital businesses.

In line with the law, the state has the right to trust the managing and usage of the ‘public companies’ and other ‘capital businesses’ whose assets can be in any form, but that doesn’t mean the state transfer the ownership and that it doesn’t have any right based on the ownership.

Telekom is a state enterprise with 78 percent of the shares owned by the state, which it maliciously mix the organisation and ownership. That cannot be done although Telekom’s capital is in stocks, it doesn’t mean it has become the owner of the public property, telecommunication networks, or that it can do whatever it wants with that.

The Telekom and the authorities’ behaviour suggests an ongoing process to find a way to privatise the company by changing the form of the organisation what will enable an undisturbed and enormous corruption since the public ownership has a much higher value than the plunderous privatisations of the social ownerships.

The state will simply decide to change the organisational form into shareholding in every publicly-owned company. Then the management chosen by the authorities will have right as the full owner without any control not only by the state institutions and citizens but by the Parliament as well.

We were once cheated in the privatisation of social ownership, and we must not allow any authorities to deceive us and take the public ownership away from us by changing the forms of organisation.

That’s why it is crucial how to approach the Telekom case because whether we will have public ownership, natural resources and public goods or they will be the property of shareholders who will manage the funds belonging to us all, depends on how we treat Telekom.