The United Group released a statement on Wednesday, saying that the Serbian authorities had launched a negative campaign against the company and its founder.
“Representatives of the Serbian authorities are using visits to other countries to attack the SBB company and its founder Dragan Solak, spreading numerous untruths with the aim of inflicting damage on its business operations,” the statement said.
“The United Group company, which includes SBB and N1 and Nova S TV stations, is under constant pressure and the negative campaign organized daily by the authorities has grown into an anti-civilization action.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic was the first to voice a series of incorrect and ill-intentioned information about the SBB company this week. She did that in the city of Banja Luka (in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska entity) demonstrating to the public that the authorities are using visits outside Serbia to attack the company as one of the biggest investors in Serbia.
The latest steps taken by civil servant Goran Vesic who voiced the basest of accusations against SBB, journalists and editors at N1 and founder Dragan Solak in Brussels at a meeting of the European Union Committee of Regions and Serbia show that a serious attempt is underway to discredit the company outside Serbia.
This city clerk, who has illegally published internal communication between N1 journalists has been supported by President Aleksandar Vucic, believes he can abuse his public office with impunity to voice scandalous lies.
Obviously, the Serbian authorities have learned nothing from the European Commission and Freedom House reports which stated clearly that there has been no progress in freedom of expression and that the freedom of the media is still being throttled in Serbia.
We still don’t understand if the problem for the Serbian authorities is the fact that we are the leading operator in Serbia and the region or if they don’t like the two independent TV stations – N1 and Nova S.
If the attacks on SBB and the United Group is caused by the manner of reporting by our media, we want to tell the public that we, as owners of completely independent and professional media, will continue to support the rights of journalists to report freely and the right of the public to be informed objectively.
If the problem is the fact that we are the leading operator in Serbia and their state project is reporting losses despite all the support it is getting from the government, we want to tell the authorities that we will continue to develop our company both in Serbia and the region despite all the pressure and obstruction.
Everyone who voices lies about the United Group will face lawsuits and a report on the pressure of Serbian state bodies on the company will be presented to the competent institutions of the European Union,” the United Group statement said.