Businessman Beko to take over as head of Serbian Railways
Businessman Milan Beko has said that he accepted the offer of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić to take over as director of Serbian Railways.Source: Beta, Blic
The newspaper Blic published on Thursday that Beko will next week be appointed as acting general manager of the public company.
"I do not know if I will be selected, but I could not refuse the offer of Prime Minister Vučić. As someone who has pointed to problems of the Serbian society and economy so much, I would be extremely unfair to myself if I turned down an offer like this," said he.
When asked how he decided to "leave his private business and take over a business that is not profitable," Beko said it was "the bad situation in the Serbian economy" that made him do it.
"People in the business know best the situation is so bad that we can say that Serbia has lost its economic sovereignty. The parties in power in the last ten years fully privatized cash flows of the largest state-owned companies and cooperatives completely socialized all losses of those companies" Beko was quoted as saying.
The daily then quoted a source who said that one of Beko's first tasks will be to drastically reduce state subsidies that now amount to EUR 170 million a year, and make use of about EUR 1 billion loans that have been approved but unused, for which Serbian Railways is paying penalties.
The same source stated that "the only thing Beko insisted on in order to accept the job was that he knows who to report to about the operations of the company and that the only measure of success be the business of the company."