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UNMIK Headlines 20 April

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After Rama, Thaci also threatens EU with national unification (RFE)
Albania-Kosovo unification threats come from frustrated leaders (Kosova Sot)
Thaci: Vote for border demarcation with Montenegro (Bota Sot)
EU Office: Apostolova’s remarks were misunderstood (RTK)
Haradinaj wants new elections: Population should not be tortured (Epoka)
Kurti strikes at politics’ ties with business (Koha Ditore)
Recica: Coalition is not matching as we thought (Lajmi)

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Headlines – 20.04.2017

  • After Rama, Thaci also threatens EU with national unification (RFE)
  • Albania-Kosovo unification threats come from frustrated leaders (Kosova Sot)
  • Thaci: Vote for border demarcation with Montenegro (Bota Sot)
  • EU Office: Apostolova’s remarks were misunderstood (RTK)
  • Haradinaj wants new elections: Population should not be tortured (Epoka)
  • Kurti strikes at politics’ ties with business (Koha Ditore)
  • Recica: Coalition is not matching as we thought (Lajmi)

Kosovo Media Highlights 

After Rama, Thaci also threatens EU with national unification (RFE)

All media report on President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci’s interview who said that if the European Union shuts the doors for Kosovo, then all Albanians in the region will be living in a single space. “In relation with Kosovo and the Western Balkans, the European Union does not currently have a vision or leadership for integration, enlargement or inclusion,” Thaci said. “This delay, stiffness, and lack of vision for the Western Balkans, is unfortunately being used by ideologies and non-European countries, which lack Euro Atlantic spirit and vision. Kosovo citizens are of course frustrated with the European Union’s stiffness, blockade, injustice and punishment towards Kosovo citizens where visa liberalization is concerned,” Thaci said and added that the criteria of demarcation of the border with Montenegro, was totally unjust. 

Albania-Kosovo unification threats come from frustrated leaders (Kosova Sot)

In a front-page editorial the paper claims that recent statements by leaders in Tirana and Pristina over the possibility of Albania unifying with Kosovo are being used as a counteract against the EU’s hesitation to open doors to Albanians. “Threats of national unification, if EU turns its back, are statements of frustrated politicians who are unable to strengthen democracy, rule of law, free market economy, and respect for human rights in their respective countries,” the paper writes.

Thaci: Vote for border demarcation with Montenegro (Bota Sot)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, called on MPs to ratify the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro or risk leaving Kosovo without visa liberalisation. In a Facebook post, Thaci said that the people of Kosovo are the most isolated in Europe despite being the most pro-European. “Responsibility for this bitter reality lies not only with EU institutions but to a considerable degree also with Kosovo institutions. We cannot allow this shameful situation drag endlessly,” Thaci wrote. He said the government of Kosovo and the Assembly need to coordinate their actions and fulfill the visa liberalisation criteria in the coming days. 

EU Office: Apostolova’s remarks were misunderstood” (RTK)

The EU Office in Kosovo has denied reports that its head and special representative, Nataliya Apostolova, suggested the agreement for establishment of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities should be reviewed. In a statement to the media, the EU attributed the misunderstanding to poor translation of Apostolova’s speech during the debate on the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. According to the EU, Apostolova said that it was in Kosovo’s interest to take constructive part in the dialogue with Serbia on normalisation of relations. “It is in this context that the agreement on the Association/Community of Serb majority municipalities should be viewed. It was agreed between the two sides within the EU facilitated Dialogue. It is within the Dialogue framework that the EU expects relations between the sides to further normalise and the Association/Community to be established as soon as possible. Progress on the Dialogue is a prerequisite for both to make progress on their respective EU paths,” Apostolova is quoted as saying.

Haradinaj wants new elections: Population should not be tortured (Epoka)

The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Ramush Haradinaj, believes that only new elections could repair the current situation in Kosovo. He assessed that the existing situation is getting more serious each day. He said in an interview given to the paper that early elections would be political maturity. Haradinaj expressed conviction that the Colmar Court will reject Serbia’s request for his extradition and will release him on 27 April. 

Kurti strikes at politics’ ties with business (Koha Ditore)

On the front page, the paper covers yesterday’s speech of the former Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti to the Kosovo Assembly where he accused the political leadership of having ties with powerful business people in Kosovo. Kurti said there are businesspersons in Kosovo who have multiplied their wealth in a very short time which he said shows the extent to which Kosovo is ‘captured’. Kurti specifically mentioned the Devolli company, owned by brothers Blerim and Shkelqim, which he said is characterized by “absolute monopoly of transactions with everything that comes out of the public sector to be paid out in a form of concession”. Kurti also said that for as long as there are people in politics, the likes of Ramiz Kelmendi and Margarita Kadriu, who represent the economic capital, there can be no progress in Kosovo. The only MP to react to Kurti’s speech, reports Koha Ditore, was Bekim Haxhiu from the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) who said that it was hypocrisy to deliver accusations against the Devolli company when pictures recently surfaced of the Pristina Mayor from Vetevendosje, Shpend Ahmeti, in a yacht owned by the company in question.  Meanwhile, Zeri writes that Kurti’s speech was a “blow” to Ahmeti.

Recica: Coalition is not matching as we thought (Lajmi)

Elmi Recica, Kosovo Assembly MP from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), said that the coalition with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), is not matching as imagined. “It is not matching on many issues…but we have still not reached the end of the road or division,” Recica said. He said that they have commenced analyses and it became obvious that nothing is moving.

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