The Association of Parents’ Councils of Serbia filed a criminal complaint against the publishing group Klett, which was confirmed by the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime. In response, the publishing company responded that “for two years they have been exposed to media violence and lynching by incompetent competition.”
Accusations of corruption, abuse, manipulation and unfair competition have become so domesticated in Serbia that these days they have even spread to elementary school textbooks. As a rule, state institutions, which are supposed to protect the parents of schoolchildren, intervened in everything, but there are still no concrete results, writes NIN weekly.
On October 18, 2021, the Commission for the Protection of Competition (KZK) initiated proceedings against the Klett Group (publishing houses Klett, Novi Logos and Freska), as confirmed by the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime, while the Association of Parents’ Councils of Serbia also filed a criminal complaint against Klett and its related companies, as well as 10 persons who are directors of publishing companies and schools who, according to the report, “received gifts in exchange for giving this company preferential treatment when it comes to choosing textbooks for schoolchildren”.
The parents say that the list is not final and that they will submit more evidence, but that they also expect the Prosecution to examine numerous persons, who were gifted equipment and devices in exchange for Klett supplying these schools with textbooks. Based on the analysis of data from 2018 to 2020, the relevant report points out that the textbook market for primary education in Serbia is “highly concentrated”, that it is dominated by the Klett Group and that “there is a well-founded assumption of market monopoly”, according to NIN weekly.
As an argument, it is stated that the Klett Group’s share in the total revenues generated in the textbook market stands at 56 percent, and that its biggest competitor has a seven times smaller share (8 percent). Klett’s director Gordana Knežević Orlić has rejected such allegations and points out that the Commission for the Protection of Competition has not yet completed the sector analysis and drawn definite conclusions.
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