These are the facts:
Aleksandar Vuksanovic, better known as Aca Lukas, has been “donating” concerts to municipalities where elections are about to happen (Zajecar, Pecinci, Mionica, Negotin, Bor, Obrenovac, Lazarevac, Surcin, Zemun, Sevojno, Vozdovac, Palilula, etc.) for years, as a friend of Serbian Progressive Party (at least according to SPP Executive Board president Glisic). At these concerts he calls upon the citizens to vote for SPP. SPP doesn’t report these concerts to the Anti-corruption agency as Lukas’s donations to the campaign, because they are “gifts” to these municipalities. And the concerts are organized by Sky Music.
For his New Year concert in Belgrade, Lukas was paid EUR 50,000. This event, as well as many others, was organized by Sky Music.
Sky Music’s owner also owns Sky Comm Group, which publishes daily newspaper “24 sata”, which is distributed free of charge. Its publishing, however, is not without cost. On the last city open call they received RSD 5 million for the project „Belgrade speaks” dedicated to the problems of persons with disabilities. The material they produced was already covered by the website Raskrikavanje. What they really produce comes down to praise for the city government, primarily Sinisa Mali. Their front page typically shows a „great success or plan of city authorities, with mayor Mali’s statement”. Beneath that is a photograph of some construction project or drawing of a plan.
When Lukas’s car gets towed, he calls Sinisa Mali. This incident was even filmed. Mali said that he doesn’t know Lukas and that he will have to pay the ticket. And who else would a person call for help, but the first random stranger he can think of?
These facts illustrate a small, closed circle. Small, not because of the Mayor’s last name (Mali = small), but because we’re talking about only several hundreds of thousands of euros. There are a lot more of these circles, many of which are much bigger, in Serbia today. A country which could, oh irony of ironies, be perfectly described by the titles of Lukas’s three biggest hits (at least according to Google): 1. Song of pain, 2. Coma, 3. Diabolic.
The author is a journalist from Belgrade and associate of Transparency Serbia.
Translated by Marijana Simic