Mayor of Jagodina, Dragan Markovic, better known by his nickname ‘Palma’, has been the undisputed ruler of Jagodina for 17 years.
Thanks to his position of power, Markovic has practically bought the silence of all the citizens of Jagodina.
“Here’s 3,000 dinars for a lady, 2,000 for a gentleman”, is a famous phrase that Dragan Markovic “Palma” has uttered several times so far, distributing money to the socially distressed citizens of Jagodina, with a kind of arbitrariness based on his personal assessment. He did all this in public, in front of the cameras.
That the current mayor of the city of Jagodina has been operating illegally was also established by the state institute that monitors the city’s budget back in 2017, which stated that Markovic was indeed breaking the law and distributing money from the city treasury to socially at-risk population categories without any legal basis. In 2016 alone, the mayor and the city council had spent more than 13 million dinars on this.
Social assistance is provided by the local welfare services, based on an assessment of the needs and conditions of an individual or family, so says the law. Palma, on the other hand, took on the role of the welfare services and assessed on the spot who deserved help, as can also be seen in the recordings that have been posted on his party’s Facebook page.
Because of this practice of spending taxpayers’ money of the citizens of Jagodina against the relevant law, criminal charges have been brought against individuals from the municipal administration of Jagodina, but not against Dragan Markovic, who publicly distributed money in front of the cameras and did not stop doing so even after the lawsuits were filed.
Although Palma’s personal promotion is most often cited as the reason for this practice, he also did that for political gain and bought the loyalty of the poorest, the most vulnerable segment of the population.
This post is also available in: Italiano