Januara 15, 2020


Milan Jovanović, the journalist of local portal Žig info whose house suffered an arson attack more than a year ago, received a warning reminder from the Belgrade suburban Municipality of Grocka that he must pay a tax of 13,000 dinars (slightly more than 100 euros) for his fire-gutted house.

The municipality was headed until last year by Dragutin Simonović, an official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party who is among those charged with the arson attack on the house and is currently on trial.

In the meantime, Simonović has sued Jovanović and the Žig info portal as many as 16 times, claiming around five million dinars (more than 40,000 euros) for the alleged mental anguish suffered.

Help in the partial reconstruction of Jovanovic’s house was provided by the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, journalist associations and citizens, while the state and the municipality did not set aside a single dinar. And now their seeking that this journalist pay them.

Jovanović says that he cannot pay the tax because he is financially overburdened due to the renovation of the house and has therefore sought an exemption from paying taxes. The authorities, however, responded by stating that there is no existing article or way in the tax system for him to be exempted from paying tax.