Serbian Anti-Corruption Council chairwoman Verica Barac said on Nov. 3 that this body had received a contract between the government of Serbia and the Fiat company, but that all the sections detailing the obligations between the two parties had been blacked out, which was explained as protecting a business secret.
Barac told BETA that the council had received over 20 kilograms of blacked out paper, adding that it was “unacceptable for something all the citizens of Serbia had paid for to be a business secret, because the state of Serbia has assumed the debt to be paid from the budget, in the contract with the Italian automobile factory.”
In contrast, Serbian Economy Minister Nebojsa Ciric said the deal with Fiat was not a secret and that it could be found on the Serbian government’s website. “The Anti-Corruption Council and information commissioner were sent annexes which were not ‘blacked out’ by anyone from the Serbian cabinet, but by people from Fiat,” he said.
He explained that Fiat had obscured the annexes of certain contracts sent to the Council because the company considers them business secrets that should not be made public.
Fiat Automobiles Serbia, the company jointly founded by Fiat and Serbia, was set up in 2009. The contract plans for Fiat’s share to be EUR200 million in funds, while Serbia’s is EUR50 million in money and another EUR50 million in property and rights. Fiat owns 67 percent of the company, and Serbia 33.