ISSN 2330-717X

Serbia: Yugoland To Close Doors Over Loan

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By Bojana Barlovac

Yet another Yugoslavia is about to disappear as the owner of the theme park ‘Yugoland’ has to pay off a loan.

Nine years after Yugoslavia officially dissolved, mini-Yugoslavia faces the same destiny.

Blasko Gabric, the owner of the Yugoslav theme park in the Northern Serbian town of Subotica, was the guarantor to a friend who has been missing his loan repayments, which means the bank now wants its money back.

Serbia
Serbia

“I was the guarantor, so my finances are in good shape, and I will survive this, but there will no longer be a Yugoslavia,” Gabric said.

Gabric was so distraught when the name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was finally abolished on February 4, 2003, that he decided to build Yugoland in order to preserve the image of the 84-year old country where he lived.

The four-acre theme park featured a mini-Adriatic Sea and a model of Mount Triglav, ex Yugoslavia’s highest peak.

Many foreign visitors and Yugonostalgics have been coming to mini-Yugoslavia to revive their memories.

Gavric is angry with the Findomestic bank, because he claims that it did not comply with the agreement. According to Gavric, he mortgaged a part of his office space located in the mini-Yugoslavia.

The value of the 305 square metres of office space was estimated at €95,000, which was enough to guarantee his friend’s loan of €50,000.

Gabric said that it was only after signing the contract that he mortgaged 1,248 square metres instead of 305.

The bank issued a statement saying: “We can sympathize with Mr Gabric, but legally, as always in our business, we acted responsibly.”

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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