Serbia's media crisis
EMG's editorial staff and TV Avala's employees on strike, Pravda suspends its edition
05. June 2012. | 11:31 08:32
Ekonom:east Magazin's editorial staff and TV Avala's employees on strike, Pravda daily stops its print edition.
Belgrade-based weekly Ekonom:east Magazin has ceased regular publication, and the editorial staff went on strike because the employer owes the six workers wages and pay taxes and contributions, announced today EM editorial.
Employees said in a statement that the official owner of the EMG is the Media International Group, based in the U.S., but that the actual owner is the former Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic.
Djelic, as indicated from the time of purchase of the then Ekonomist magazine, transferred management rights to Dragana Jovanovic.
Editorial Board requires compliance with the provisions of the Contract and the decision that obliges the company to pay wages every 15 days.
Last earnings of employees in the economic journal, which on average is less than 40,000 dinars, paid on 8 May 2012th and for the first half of November 2011, and contributions and taxes are the second half of April 2011.
TV Avala media workers on strike
As the management of Serbian broadcaster TV Avala again refuse to pay wage arrears, the company's employees call on authorities to intervene.
Employees at Serbian broadcaster TV Avala say they will not broadcast live programmes until they receive unpaid wages. The last salary they were paid was for November 2011.
Live programming was suspended on April 5, two months after an earlier strike had been brought to an end.
Staff at the station had been on strike since December 22. Since that time, the Avala premises have been largely deserted and the broadcaster has been operating at a minimum level.
Since live programmes were suspended, a box in one corner of the screen has counted the days since the strike began.
The Ministry for Culture and Media has not intervened in the case, it says, because Avala's financial problems do not fall within its jurisdiction. The state broadcasting agency, RRA, has held a small number of meetings with the station's owners.
Normal production resumed on February 23, after a 65-day strike and after management finally paid three months' wage arrears and pledged to repay remaining unpaid wages by April 1.
TV Avala began broadcasting in 2006, after obtaining a national frequency, but it has faced financial problems for years.
The broadcaster's financial records for 2010, which Balkan Insight has obtained, show that the station that year owed 25.7 million Euros in short-term loans, services and credits while its income for that year was just 2.6 million Euros.
The current ownership structure consists of businessman Danko Djunic, who owns 45.65 percent, Austrian company Greenberg Invest, which owns 48.41 percent, media mogul Zeljko Mitrovic, who owns 4.95 percent, and the Economic Institute, which has a 0.99 percent stake.
Pravda stops its print edition
Pravda, a daily tabloid newspaper published in Belgrade, announced that the 1 June 2012 edition will be its last as the newspaper folded.
The paper's co-owners were Nemanja Stefanović (48%), Jugoslav Petković (47%), and Nikola Petrović (5%).