Nikolic still lives in presidential villa at taxpayers’ expense

Instead of moving out the presidential residence because he no longer has the right to stay there, Tomislav Nikolic is still living in the presidential villa at 23, Uzicka Street. On top of that, the villa be renovated on the expense of the Serbian taxpayers’ money.

The Directorate of Common Affairs of the State Authorities launched a tender on 23rd September this year, looking for a contractor that would fix the roof, the sub-construction and the interior of the guest house of the presidential villa at which the Nikolic family is still living. In other words, the mansion is being prepared for the winter.

All of this will be done with the taxpayers’ money, and the entire renovation is set to cost around 3 million dinars. The amount might not be big, but it is a disgrace that an ex-president is still using privileges of free accommodation at taxpayers’ expense despite owning a luxury flat in Novi Beograd which he paid 590,000 EUR for.

Apart from Tomislav Nikolic, his wife Dragica and his mother-in-law Milka also live in the villa. Another expense that was paid from the Serbian budget, was bacteriological testing of the swimming pool water at the villa that was paid 378,000 dinars. Another evidence to support that the ex-president has no intention of moving out is the cancellation of the tender for acquisition of 550,000-dinar-worth of cardboard boxes needed to pack his personal belongings before he moves out.

“This year, around 7 million dinars will be spent on various works on the villa. Also, the monthly costs of maintaining this 800-square-metre house are not negligible. They are estimated to be in the region of 5,000 EUR and this is also something that is covered by the taxpayers’ money”, a source of the Blic daily says.

“The villa is intended only for the Serbian president to live in, so it is utterly illogical for an ex-president to live there. Also, it is unclear why are the costs associated with Nikolic stay at the residence paid by from the Serbian budget considering that the Decree on the Real Estate used by the Serbian officials says that the house at 23, Uzicka Street is to be used “solely as the residence of the President of the Republic”, without a legal possibility of any other person or a body using it”, the source says.

(Blic, 01.10.2017)



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