"Having decided to commence the public procurement process, the government agreed to send invitations for the placement of bids directly to the following bidders: Rothschild; UBS; Goldman Sachs; BNP Paribas SA; HSBC Bank plc; Morgan Stanley; Citigroup Inc; Merrill Lynch; Lazard; ABN AMRO; Deutsche Bank AG; Deloitte; Lehman Brothers; PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Corp Fin; Ernst & Young; SG; Dresdner Klinwort; JP Morgan; KPMG Corp Fin; Macquarie Bank Ltd (MBL); M&A International Inc; ING; Credit Suisse; CALYON."
reports the Serbia Business website, regarding the imminent sale of JAT- the state-owned airline.
I've repeatedly argued, in articles such as this one, that the western intervention against Yugoslavia was motivated purely by economic and strategic- and not humanitarian concerns, and nothing that has gone on in the country since the fall of President Milosevic contradicts the thesis.
One of the very first things the new "reform" government in Belgrade did
after defeating Milosevic's leftist bloc in elections, was to redraft the country's privatisation law. Under the new law, 70% of a privatised company could be sold to Serbian and foreign investors, with just 15% for the workers and 15% for citizens.
Under the previous law, any privatisation deal would have to allocate 60% of the shares to workers. It's not rocket science to understand why removing Milosevic and his "unreconstructed" socialist bloc from power was such an urgent priority for global capital and the politicans who represent their interest.
But hey- don't get the idea that all things are bad in Serbia these days. Despite the record unemployment and growing numbers of people living in poverty since the country "reformed" its economy, there's still some bright news.
New Belgrade is to have the biggest shopping mall in the Balkans! And the shops "will offer all the major global consumer brands"
Three cheers for President Tadic and Mr Kostunica! They've sold our entire country, but at least we'll be able to go to Starbucks!