Serbia closes down state 72-year-old Tanjug news agency

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's government is closing down the state Tanjug news agency founded 72 years ago by the Communist authorities of the former Yugoslavia, and laying off its 200 employees.

The Ministry of Culture said Wednesday that two attempts to privatize the agency have attracted no bidders.

Serbia has moved to privatize most state media outlets as part of reforms to join the European Union.

Tanjug, or the Telegraphic Agency of the New Yugoslavia, used to have a global network of correspondents but saw a major decline after Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s. It also faced criticism during the 1990s Yugoslav wars of being a mouthpiece of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

The decision was made Oct. 31 but will formally take effect when it is published shortly in an official gazette.