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BREAKING: Berat Buzhala's Company Benefitted €437,000 Solely from Telecom of Kosovo in the Name of "Marketing"
Kosova News' exclusive investigation uncovers how Berat Buzhala's company, Media Works, received €437,000 from Telecom of Kosovo under the guise of 'marketing.'
The controversy unfolds, exposing alleged financial missteps and tax evasion.
Renowned “business journalist” Berat Buzhala has recently been actively fueling propaganda and misinformation against the Kosovo Government. According to Buzhala, under the leadership of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Kosovo is facing economic and political decline on all fronts, both domestically and internationally.
However, a recent investigation by "Kosova News" sheds light on the potential motives behind Buzhala's relentless attacks. It appears that he is no longer able to tap into state institutions for funding as he did during previous administrations. Back then, Buzhala claimed that Kosovo was flourishing like a blooming garden.
For an extended period, Telecom of Kosovo served as a financial source for media outlets in Kosovo, where previous governments allocated substantial funds under the guise of "marketing." This funding also effectively silenced criticism.
According to a report by "BIRN" published in "Kohën Ditore" in 2020, Telecom of Kosovo had spent an astonishing amount of over €30 million in financing media outlets under the pretext of "marketing."
These expenditures, among others, severely damaged the company, bringing it to the brink of bankruptcy and leaving employees unpaid on multiple occasions due to account freezes caused by debt.
A significant portion of these funds seemingly made their way into the hands of Berat Buzhala, the owner and shareholder of Media Works SH.P.K, as he received no less than €437,000 over the years from Telecom of Kosovo.
Kosova News reached out to Telecom of Kosovo to inquire about the overall amount of money allocated to three companies in which Berat Buzhala had ownership and shares.
In a written response to Kosova News, Telecom of Kosovo provided a table displaying contracts between the public enterprise and companies where Berat Buzhala was an owner and shareholder. The figures from 2005 to 2020 were astonishing, showing a total of €437,835 given to Berat Buzhala's Media Works SH.P.K and two other companies, T7 Television and "Gazeta Express," under the pretext of "marketing."
The table provided by Telecom of Kosovo reveals that Media Works SH.P.K experienced its golden years during Buzhala's time as a deputy of PDK. He also received substantial amounts during Isa Mustafa's and Ramush Haradinaj's administrations.
Throughout the period when the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) led the government (2008-2014), Media Works SH.P.K received over €200,000. Buzhala himself served as a PDK deputy during that time.
Under Isa Mustafa's and Ramush Haradinaj's administrations, Buzhala's companies received over €220,000 from Telecom of Kosovo, as indicated by the data provided.
However, under Prime Minister Albin Kurti's government, Berat Buzhala is no longer able to secure financial support from state institutions. Considering the substantial amounts he received, primarily from Telecom, he had amassed nearly half a million euros. If we account for other institutions with which he had contracts, it appears Buzhala has become a millionaire with taxpayers' money, coming from the budget of the Republic of Kosovo.
Adding to the controversy, Buzhala seemingly managed to evade taxes, particularly the profit tax. A recently published document by Lëvizja Vetëvendosje deputy Mefail Bajqinovci shows that the Kosovo Tax Administration fined former PDK deputy Berat Buzhala €71,000 for tax evasion related to the sale of shares in his company, "Media Works."
Buzhala responded to these allegations by claiming that the current government is politically persecuting him, despite the document from the Kosovo Tax Administration indicating that he evaded taxes during the sale of "Media Works." Buzhala went further by insulting the director of the Tax Administration, Ilir Murtezin, using derogatory language and referring to him as the "Flliqan of Drenica." — (English: The Dirt of Drenica).