Serbia’s Vucic to Telekom & Telenor: Solve issue in court

Tanjug/Rade Prelić

Commenting on the ongoing dispute between the state-owned Telekom Serbia and private Czech Telenor telecommunication company, Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday that "everybody has their market game," and "everybody should fight for themselves in a competitive system."

Speaking about the issue for the first time, Vucic felt short of directly answering N1’s question regarding Telekom document the TV had access to, and in which the company planned the merger with Telenor to destroy SBB and thus the United Media in Serbia.

„Solve that in courts,“ Vucic suggested, addressing media on the occasion of the first 100 days of the new government.

However, he added he was told by Telekom that „some private companies, have been using state resources almost for free.“

The President said it was „obvious there is the competitive relationship between your company and Serbia’s Telekom, and we must create the condition for market competition.“

„I would like the language (used in the dispute) is different. Don’t get angry with Telekom; it wants to survive in the market. I wish the language were more appropriate. If I would tell you what kind of words you use when speaking about me… But I never said anything; I never complained to anyone,“ Vucic told N1’s reporter.

He added he believed „your owner will solve the case in courts, Telekom seems to like courts very much as well, so resolve it in courts.“

„I wish the talks are more appropriate and the language more polite… Although, there are objections about how your owner conducts the business,“ Vucic said.

However, he ignored that Telekom’s merger with Czech businessman Petr Kelnner’s Telenor was done secretly. Thanks to N1’s access to the document the whole thing about a plot to destroy SBB and thus suffocate media in Serbia, became public.

Besides, the business offer to Telenor has not been made in the market, and the prices have been secret.

But, skipping those issues, Vucic said that „there are no problems with us because we want foreign investments. The higher your salaries are, the higher are our revenues. I wish we have more such investors to have more money in the budget.“

„Don’t be one-sided. Don’t look at your owner’s position only, but also at the one of those in Telekom who are trying to preserve the state capital,“ Vucic advised N1.

The United Group has warned about being exposed to attacks by both Telekom and Telenor since N1 reporters have made public Telekom Serbia’s deal with Telenor which openly stated the aim was to destroy and persecute SBB and United Media.

The United Group said it saw Telenor being Telkom’s accomplice and called on the Czech company to comment on the documents which clearly planned to ruin SBB.

N1 operates with the United Group.