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The loan has a 2% fixed annual interest rate, and it has to be repaid by late 2019. Foto: BoBo
SDS took out a €450,000 loan from Dijana Đuđić, a 32-year-old businesswoman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, to fund its election campaign. Foto: Televizija Slovenija

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SDS takes out €450,000 loan from Bosnian businesswoman ahead of elections

Loan raises doubts and questions
10. January 2018 ob 23:07
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

The Democrats (SDS), the biggest opposition party in the Slovenian parliament, took out a €450,000 loan from a Bosnian businesswoman.

According to daily Večer, SDS are gearing up for the upcoming parliamentary election: The party has obtained a loan from Dijana Đuđić, a 32-year-old businesswoman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, to fund its election campaign. Večer says the loan contract was signed by SDS leader Janez Janša.

We found that person through a company we own,” said Janša at a press conference, adding that the loan had been verified by a notary. “Our lawyers told us that the amount was in accordance with laws regulating loans made to political parties. It is up to the relevant authorities to determine whether we’ve misinterpreted the law. If we get fined, we’ll pay the fine,” said Janša.

Low interest rate
The loan has a 2% fixed annual interest rate, and it has to be repaid by late 2019. SDS and Đuđić agreed that the loan can be converted into a 44.16 percent equity stake in Nova obzorja, a Ljubljana-based publisher.

Unknown provenance of the money
It is not clear how Đuđić, a businesswoman from Prijedor, Republika Srpska, obtained the millions of euros she had loaned to Slovenian businesspeople. Little is known of her, except that she has traded with missing traders and has been involved in dodgy VAT deals. ŽML, her now-defunct company, has allegedly avoided paying more than 300 thousand euros in VAT. The Celje Police Department is currently investigating the matter.

Đuđić also owns Moj kafein, a now-defunct company based in Spodnje Hoče, Slovenia, even though she has never done business at the registered address. Local businesspeople say that the address is “home to a number of letterboxes”. She has been a client of NKBM, Slovenia’s second-largest bank, since 2014, but her accounts were closed a few months ago because she was unable to explain how she obtained the money.

Politicians are flabbergasted
Politicians as well as Tomaž Vesel, the president of the Court of Audit, have already commented on the issue. Vesel has said that the company’s operations would be audited.

Parliamentary Speaker Milan Brglez (SMC) said he hoped that the relevant authorities would investigate the loan. “But I’d love to know where one can get such good loans,” said Brglez. Meanwhile, the leader of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), Karl Erjavec, said it was strange that political parties would take out loans from individuals.

G. K., L. L., R. Š.; translated by D. V.
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