“In fact, help (to Serbian President Aleksandar) Vučić in the election campaign, which was widely used for propaganda purposes, comes just before the start of the super-election year in Serbia. Because the opposition in Belgrade is putting more pressure on Vučić and it seems impossible to change the government “, stated the German newspaper.
However, “despite the discount on the price of gas from the fraternal state, the Russophile candidate for EU membership is plagued by a growing need for energy,” adds Frankfurter Rundschau.
“For the import of electricity, but also those quantities of gas that exceed the agreed six million cubic meters per day, Serbia must pay astronomically high, market prices. In just four days after the first snow, EPS spent 40 million euros on taxpayers’ imports – that is 30 percent of last year’s profit of that company “, the paper stated.
The German paper estimates that not only “completely obsolete lignite power plants” are responsible for the worsening of the situation in the Serbian energy sector, but also “obviously incompetent staff of the ruling party” who was appointed head of the Electric Power Industry of Serbia.
It is reminded that the first snow found EPS “completely unprepared”, that the blocks of the “Nikola Tesla” Thermal Power Plant in Obrenovac failed on December 12, that at the same time the underground gas storage in Banatski Dvor was empty and, above all, more than 2,000 transformer stations were paralyzed because many transmission lines were interrupted due to snow.
Despite the sharp rise in electricity imports, about 136,000 households have been disconnected from the electricity supply system for days. “The ‘bad leadership’ of EPS blamed the Minister of Energy and Mining, Zorana Mihajlović, for the debacle,” the paper writes.
He adds that the manager of EPS, Milorad Grčić, quickly “transferred the responsibility from himself and replaced four subordinate managers”.
Since the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) came to power in 2012, well-paid jobs at the top of state-owned companies have become less and less filled through public competitions. or people from the immediate entourage of the president, or some other important people, “the German newspaper added.