Slovenia devises Adria contingency plans


The Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek, has said the government has developed contingency plans in case Adria Airways ceases operations. The comments came following a horror week for the national carrier during which it has been in the media spotlight for cancelled, delayed and merged flights, as well as financial mismanagement by its owners, lack of staff, unpaid compensation claims, the alleged involvement of its former managers in the collapse of Switzerland's Darwin Airline, and suspicions its yet-to-be-published financial report for 2018 does not reflect the company's actual financial state. Commenting on the situation, Ms Bratušek said the government has no means to aid Adria until 2021, as the company was a recipient of state funds in 2011. Under European Union regulation, the government is barred from providing further financial assistance to the airline until a ten-year deadline has passed.

Speaking at a press conference, the Minister noted, "In the event Adria can no longer connect Ljubljana with European capitals, the government is exploring when and how to offer incentives for certain routes that are key for the state. This is all the government can do at the moment". Over the past week, a number of public figures have called for the renationalisation of the flag carrier, which was sold for 100.000 euros and an additional one million euro capital injection in 2016. The arrangement also involved the Slovenian government providing an extra 3.1 million euros for the carrier, which is now 100% privately-owned.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied pilots have held talks with Slovenia's Prime Minister, Marjan Šarec, expressing their anger at the company's management. Following the meeting, the Prime Minister said, "They [Adria Airways' owners] already bankrupted one of the airlines in Switzerland, and this practice is obviously going on here too". Slovenia's former Minister of Public Administration, Gregor Virant, has announced he is planning a class action against Adria due to the delays in compensation payments for cancelled flights and delays. Mr Virant said that it is taking Adria up to eight months or more to process the compensation claims, even though the legal deadline stands at eight weeks.

Adria's management has remained silent during the latest crisis which has engulfed the carrier. Its CEO, Holger Kowarsch noted earlier this year, "Slovenia needs its airline, because it is very important for Slovenian society, tourism and economy that a national carrier operates from Ljubljana Airport". At the time, he added that the company would not file for bankruptcy, "contrary to what many wished for".

Comments

  1. This is the second time that the prime minister has publicly criticized Adria.

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    1. Well, should he praise them for all the cancelled flights, unpaid compensation, debts to suppliers, unpaid salaries?

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    2. His comment is completely correct. They did bankrupt Darwin in record time (2 months) and it looks as if they are doing the same with Adria.

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    3. It shows that the meeting between PM and CEO was very successful haha since Adria said the objective of the meeting was to avoid any statements of this kind.

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    4. Simply over exaggerating media and some commentators here. Looks they never flies in other countries.

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    5. False propaganda above. I was told by my friend working in Adria that her salary is never delayed

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    6. Head of the pilot union confirmed for the (hateful) media that the salary was received in two parts this month.

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  2. Which routes are considered "key for the state" that the minister mentions?

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    1. My guess is Brussels, Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt and Paris.

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    2. "european capitals", FRA and MUC are key only for LH and JP

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    3. Zurich as well.

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  3. *yawn*

    Just let it die already.

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    Replies
    1. +1. Just delaying the inevitable.

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  4. And where is Adria's CEO. I think if there was ever a time the company should issue a statement it is now.

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    1. What would be the point? They would just blame the media for all their problems. That's what they've been doing for the past 2 years. In a normal company, the CEO that is overseeing this mess and has for a second year in a row failed to prepare the company for the summer season would be fired.

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    2. I've noticed that most Adria fans have blamed the media for the company's problems which is stupid to me. If you are a true Adria fan you would be furious at the management (4k) and what they have done. They act as if the cancelled flights, dumb business moves (remember the Sukhoi story) and so on are somehow made up by the media.

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    3. He is busy filing lawsuits against JU.

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  5. Pilots are unhappy. If they go on strike it is game over.

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    1. If they go on strike, they deserve the company to bankrupt.

      Who in their right mind would go on strike on the verge of bankruptcy? It's like knowing the company can't even pay the salaries on time, yet you want more money or better conditions?

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  6. if there really is a deadline of 8 weeks for compensation of delays/cancellations, then I have never heard of a carrier keeping this deadline. Luckily, it has only happened twice to me, and it took them more than 6 months in both cases (OS and LX) to compensate me

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    1. It happened to me twice, both times with easyJet. I was super lucky, and happy, as in both cases I was compensated within 48-72 hours.

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    2. This here is exactly the problem with JP. You pay 500 EUR for a ticket and receive much worse service than if you pay 100 EUR for an LCC. No way they can continue like this.

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    3. Jakov Fabinger20 June 2019 at 10:32

      I got compensation from Lufthansa for a missed connection in 7 days

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    4. Me too. Lufthansa super efficient.

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    5. Me too. Lufthansa super efficient.

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    6. If they were super efficient, you wouldnt need a compensation

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    7. Yes, because Lufthansa operates in a world without bad weather, ATC slots and mechanical issues.

      But when it comes to Adria, it's never their own fault as they say.

      Double standaeds.

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    8. I can not confirm it. Was waiting 1 month from LH to be refused

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  7. Hmmmm can't they 4K sell Adria logo and branding to Government of Slovenia and circumnavigate 10 year cash injection rule? And in case when they fail again Government will have branding available for future Adria 2.0. Because branding is everything nowdays :-D

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    1. I think that could also be defined as state aid.

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    2. There is no need for that brand. JP will disappear. In todays market environment there is no room for JP anymore, to high operational costs for such a small market. Tempi passati but life goes on or do you miss Pan Am or TWA?

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    3. JP's brand is worthless, especially after the last two summer seasons.

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    4. The government won't be creating a new airline, it's a waste of money.

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    5. Pa u biti da. Fale mi oba. Ali wow mi recimo ne fali

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  8. My take is the government knows Adria is going bust.

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    1. Everybody knows Adria is going bust.

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    2. They knew it was going bust when the CEO went to beg the government for money and tried to blackmail them.

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    3. The government is too blame too for this development. How unqualified are they and iresponsible to sell JP to a bunch of no names who have never run an airline. There is many questions to this sales which in the years to come will slowly pop up in public or maybe never

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    4. The only alternative to selling Adria to 4K in 2016 was to bankrupt the company then.

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    5. Not true. There were two other companies that submitted offers for Adria and one of them was Intro Aviation which actually had experience in managing airlines.

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  9. It looks as if the management was certain they would sell 50% of Adria to Sukhoi back in February and that it would solve their problems. Any issues in summer would be blamed on the Russians and they would probably eventually sell their remaining 50% to Sukhoi.

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  10. Doesen't 4K brand itself as "Turnaround experts". So much for that.

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  11. Ne daj se Adrija

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  12. Imagine plot twist:

    #PAS2019 Adria Airways ordered 15 Airbus A321xlr planes to start transatlantic and Indian routes.

    Sarcasm off.

    Adria is mismanaged already for a long time. They didn't adapt to the rise of LCC and other changes in the market. They are lucky to operate out of Ljubljana which is rather small market and not so attractive to LCC. New owners are just trying to squeze out last cents and leave.

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  13. Which companies could benefit from these subsidies the government is planning?

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    Replies
    1. LH group airlines. My guess is Eurowings will jump at the opportunity and cover routes like Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels...

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    2. and we can finally see LH at SKP, but also PRN

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    3. to add, I wish JP all the best to stay

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    4. it is questionable if Eurowings will jump in anywhere anytime soon, since it was announced a week ago it will go under some sort of restructuring program since it is losing money for Lufthansa for way too long.

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  14. Is there a possibility for the Slovenian government to set up a new company?

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    Replies
    1. No. They will rather subsidise LCCs or other airlines for the few connecting routes (VIE, FRA, MUC, BRU).

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  15. I'm more concerned how this will affect Ljubljana Airport. Remember that a lot of Ljubljana's passengers are still transfers. No matter the mess at Adria, they still carried quite a few transfer passengers.

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    Replies
    1. Meanwhile LJU is about to build a new terminal.

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    2. Adria provides a decent range of destinations and it did contribute greatly to Ljubljana and Slovenia. Not to mention that any new airline that would start flying out of LJU will not be able to offer the amount of destinations and frequencies Adria had. So it will effect LJU.

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    3. Agree with last anon. If Adria goes under it would be a big loss for Slovenia.

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    4. Former Adria CEO (during state run Adria) was on TV and said it would take at least 2 yrs for the sector in Slovenia to recover if Adria went bankrupt.

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  16. Meanwhile while the company is collapsing the Estonian CEO is in Montenegro.

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    1. I wonder if they merged his flight to Podgorica with another destination.

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    2. His flight was cancelled. He went with YM instead

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    3. What is he doing in TGD? Trying to merge JP and YM with 51% MNE cash so the airline becomes Montenegrian and he can get state aid? Possible scenario?

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    4. With 51% MNE ownership they'd loose the right to fly within the EU. So probably not going to happen...

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  17. Are they still canceling flights?

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    1. Yes. Tomorrow's flight to Zurich has already been cancelled.

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    2. But it seems that today they will pull it off without any cancellations.

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    3. Don't speak to soon.

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    4. According to Flightradar24 it seems to have stabilized at least from LJU.

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    5. Today it's better as S5-AAX is back in operations. At the moment they have only crew problems. Brussels flight was delayed as they are waiting for crew rest time to expire, so they are pushing crews to the limit (by minutes!!)

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    6. Ouch. Poor crew

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  18. I think Adria's future will be known in a few weeks.

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  19. Even if they pull through this their brand and reputation has been so damaged that I don't think anyone wants to fly with them anymore. This horrible summer season for them is probably severely loss making with short term ad hoc wet leases, delays and compensation claims. So even if they make the summer, the revenue they produced over summer will probably be inefficient for them to cover the losses over the winter.

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    1. Very true. I just don't see how they can survive to see 2020.

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    2. their brand is stil strong.

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    3. Their brand has been completely tarnished. It's not worth peanuts.

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  20. Sorry don't get all these politicians advocating for renationalization. I think 4K would be the happiest with that scenario.

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  21. Adria is currently facing the biggest problems in its history. The company has never been so close to the financial collapse. Hope they make it but it's not looking good.

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    Replies
    1. It would be so sad to see Adria closing completely. I keep my fingers crossed for Adria!

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  22. "Over the past week, a number of public figures have called for the renationalisation of the flag carrier, which was sold for 100.000 euros and an additional one million euro capital injection in 2016."

    How come?

    So when a private company fails it's the state that needs to foot the bill again?

    What about taxpayers?

    Where is the eternal Air Serbia mantra?

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  23. You got to wonder whather the Slovenian government did some screening of 4K before they decided to sell Adria to it.

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    1. Of course they didn't. What kind of question is that.

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    2. We still don't even know who 4K has managed in the past and what is their ownership structure. So I would say no.

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    3. More like gave away not sold.

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    4. But they did made a screening and 4K had stellar results in soap and colonial goods selling industries.

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    5. The Government of Slovenia just offloaded JP to 4K, but it could be anybody.

      The state proved to be a lousy owner. They used up all the reserves JP had, threw tens of millions EUR into JP (and at the same time chanelled this money out of JP), nominated "politically likeable" managers, who produced only losses in the past, and now, there is 4K to blame for everything .... exactly that was the reason for selling JP to them (anybody)...

      Our PM quickly realised, whom to blame...4K . Publicopinion will ask, if the are not guilty for bad management, who is ? That is also the reason, nobody from politicians wants to touch JP.

      All the best JP, Slovenia wil surely loose with your collapse. As would Croatia without OU and Serbia without JU.

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    6. Look at BTS. They've got more pax than LJU without a national airline plus there's VIE right next door.

      In long term, JP's demise would be beneficial for LJU and Slovenia. More competition, cheaper tickets.

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  24. I wish I was wrong but to me this statement reads as: "You are on your own and you know what it means..."

    It is especially worrying that the statement comes from a senior politician - they typically refrain from announcing or indicating anything specific. When they do so, it means the dish is done already.

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  25. My guess is Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss will all start flights from their respective markets to LJU while Ryanair will open a base in Ljubljana, if JP ceases operations.

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    Replies
    1. OU should make a move on Ljubljana. They park a number of aircraft during the winter, why not base 2-3 planes in Ljubljana instead?

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    2. And what would OU do with Ljubljana in summer. They barely have enough aircraft for their own ops during summer months.

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    3. Seasonal winter base LOL. Or lease some extra CRJs for LJU

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    4. Yeah, wet dreams that Ryanair will open a base in a city it doesn't even fly to.

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  26. And these guys wanted to buy Montenegro and Croatia Airlines?

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  27. This is crazy. When will it end?

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  28. You got to wonder whather all this talks about bankruptcy is driving business away from Adria.

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    Replies
    1. What's driving away business is the constant cancellations and flight delays.

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  29. And again, where is OU in all of this? Fellow Star member just a short hop away is about to collapse and Croatia Airlines will again let this golden opportunity slip. They should have already blessed and based a number of CRJ100s in Ljubljana with flights to the main star hubs at least.

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    Replies
    1. But it's not as if Croatia Airlines is doing well financially to get itself involved in such a a risky venture.

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    2. I meant leased (not blessed) .

      What risk? Just fly to their most profitable destinations.

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    3. With which aircrafts exactly?

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    4. They are flying leased aircraft with leased crew as we speak.

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  30. Time to nationalize.

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    1. If you've got money to spare, please go ahead and buy it (and pay all of their debts) yourself.

      Most Slovenian taxpayers don't agree with you.

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    2. How much of your own money are you ready to invest in that?

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    3. I can't belive people on here still speak about unhappy taxpayers. Its always better idea to subsidise foreign airlines, then to try to help company from your country. Im not saying that government in case of Adria was good owner, but if there is any chanse to save your company, do it.

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    4. Look at Skopje. It was clearly much better with MAT than now with Wizz Air. At least they had a proud Macedonian legacy flag carrier.

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    5. How does the average Slovenian benefit by helping an "airline from their country"? By having to pay unreasonably high airfares while getting substandard service?

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  31. izgleda da su adriji odbrojani dani, a izgleda da država nema nameru da je spasava

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  32. At least we now know the backstory: Martin Vorderwülbecke is the guy who is behind the many companies behind 4K. A couple of years ago he sold one of the the German factories he owned to a politically connected Slovenian entrepreneur, who, of course, closed the factory down, fired everyone and moved everything to Slovenia. Which is the reason why 4K was 'selected' for the privatization.

    Privatization was a win-win situation for the Slovenian government - EU gave them an ultimatum, either privatize or close it down. By privatizing they evaded closing down a well know Slovenian brand and firing couple of hundred people, which would be politically quite bad.

    Plus, as we now know, the friends of the politicians stole a couple of million euros that are now parked somewhere in the Caymans. And the taxpayers will take care of the bill.

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    Replies
    1. WOW. Now things are making more sense. But wow.

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    2. ah rekla kazala

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  33. If this 32 year old kid CEO can get Adria through this he will become and airline CEO superstar!

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    Replies
    1. novi kučko supa na scenu!

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    2. Ovo me podsjeća na situaciju prije 25g kad je propadao TAM. Stalno su se mijenjali direktori pa bio kao vic: ajmo se kladit za kašetu bire da ja mogu spasiti TAM.

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  34. Pa dobro. Ne mora država pomoć, jel tako. Mogao bi to netko kupit kao u Italiji. Pošta, Željeznice, Telekom, Petrol...

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  35. I might be a bit paranoid, but letsl put another idea at the table.

    Gregor Virant, mentioned in the trxt, is not only former Slivenian minister but until six months ago he was a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Serbia ( both Vučić and Brnabić)

    Could Serbia be striking back? :)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for typos...

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    2. Ugh, Virant. Few years ago, when he was a minister, he got (literally asked via friend) cheap tickets for his family due to his position in the gov., now, when he is ‘nobody’ he’s trying to make a fuss about JP, calling for class action against JP, fully knowing how hard are those.

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    3. Na brdovitom Balkanu sve je moguće. Jednom mislim da će uz brzinu naših sudova prvo firma propasti nego što će se nešto dogoditi

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