OSCE organises multi-ethnic trade fair for women business owners
(Most monitored broadcasters, Klan Kosova)
They belong to different ethnicities, but they live in the same city; they do not speak the same language either. Nevertheless, this does not represent any problem for Habiba who lives in north and Mihane who lives in south of Iber River. They both are amongst 30 women participants in the trade fair in Prishtinë/Pristina, organised by the OSCE Mission.
An ethnic Bosniak lady, who is taking part for the first time in this trade fair, said she was very happy with the opportunity she has been given. “This is a fantastic opportunity to expose our work. Now we will see until the end of the trade fair how the financial profit will be,” she said.
Sela Imeri, who sells cakes, has a similar opinion. Moreover, she believes that this trade fair is a good way for relaxing interethnic relationships. “Participating in trade fairs is also a powerful tool for bridging the interethnic gap,” Ms Imeri said.
Jan Braathu, Head of the Mission, under the auspices of which the trade fair was organised, shares this opinion. But Ambassador Braathu has another concern:
“Women’s unemployment rate in Kosovo is still very high. In fact, women’s participation in Kosovo’s market is the lowest in the region; 82 percent of women in Kosovo are unemployed, which is a shocking statistics,” said Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Jan Braathu.
The latter did not leave the site empty-handed. Like the Ambassador, other citizens also bought stuff on Thursday midday at Zahir Pajaziti Square. But they expressed interest in other things: “I have nieces, and I am looking for some jewellery for them” one of the citizens said.
The trade fair, which will remain open for two days, is also viewed as a meeting point between youngsters and employers.
VV and LAA accuse Thaçi of prolonging constitutive session
(Most monitored broadcasters, TV21)
VV and the LDK-AKR-Alternativa (LAA) coalition have accused the Kosovo President Thaçi of deliberately prolonging the constitutive Assembly session, as they believe that the PDK-AAK-Nisma (PAN) coalition does not have sufficient votes to constitute government.
In an interview with KTV, LDK vice chairman Lutfi Haziri called for President Thaçi to explain why he has met Haradinaj only.
VV and LAA officials announce that their respective leaders will soon sit together and come up with an agreement on constituting government.
The Alternativa leader Mimoza Kusari-Lila said she has already met with VV leaders, but more formal meetings are expected to take place in the future. According to her, first they will focus on reaching a political, and then on a programme agreement in terms of governmental objectives. Ms Kusari-Lila stated that Alternativa will not join PAN by any means.
While VV officials accuse President Thaçi of not acting as a unifying authority by prolonging the session, LAA officials believe that PAN should give up, since the coalition lacks votes for constituting government and for electing Assembly Speaker.
As a continuation of discussions with international representatives, the PAN nominee for Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj on Thursday promised the Hungarian Ambassador to Kosovo Laszlo Markusz that the institutions will be constituted as soon as possible.
Trajkovic calls on Serbs to enter coalition with Kurti before Haradinaj
Kosovo Serbs should enter coalition with Albin Kurti, because it is more acceptable than a coalition with Haradinaj. According to Momcilo Trajkovic of the National Serb Forum, a coalition with VV would be more beneficial for Kosovo and for Serbs.
“To Kosovo Serbs, a coalition with Albin Kurti, who has clean hands, is more acceptable than a coalition with Ramush Haradinaj,” Trajkovic stated to Voice of America.
However, VV has ruled out the possibility of entering coalition with Srpska List. Despite that, Petrit Zogaj of FOL Movement believes that this coalition might happen.
ON the other hand, Kosovo Serb representatives still have not received any invitation for consultations on constituting government. At least this is what the Srpska List leader Slavko Simic told Serbian media. Simic denied the statements that Srpska List representatives had informal discussions with the PDK leader Kadri Veseli.
Haradinaj and Kurti – Serb favourites for PM
It seems that Haradinaj’s stamina for the post of Prime Minister of Kosovo has had an impact on Kosovo Serbs, as well. Although they still unlike his past, the PAN coalition nominee has got “sympathy” of Kosovo Serb citizens. According to Budimir Nicic, journalist, what makes Haradinaj a favourite for Serbs is the fact that he has not been in power over the last ten years.
“When he returned from France, he made some radical statements addressed even to Serbs, and mentioned some Croatian scenarios about the dialogue. Furthermore, he said that the dialogue should not continue until Serbia recognises Kosovo, but let us believe that this was part of the campaign,” Nicic said.
“I think that Haradinaj is determined, and if he agrees on something, with Serbs in this case, he either will accomplish it or will immediately tell them that it does not work. We should not put something on paper and then play the fool while nothing is happening. And thirdly, I think that Haradinaj’s war background makes it unnecessary for him to prove his patriotism amongst Albanians. But I think he needs to show off to Serbs and to the international community, and for this reason, perhaps Serbs may enter a coalition with Haradinaj or support his government,” Nicic added.
On the other hand, Serbs exclude possibility of supporting Avdullah Hoti for Prime Minister, because of his past experience in Mustafa Government. According to Nicic, the agreements reached with Serbs when LDK was in power were not complied at all.
In regard to Albin Kurti, Nicic believes that the only Kurti’s advantage is that he has not been in power, and consequently he had no opportunity to betray Serbs.
“At least we are aware of Kurti’s official position to Serbia and to everything Serbian, such as the Association of Serb Municipalities,” Nicic said.
Protection mechanisms for Serb community rights discussed
As part of the project ‘Creating sustainable framework for civic participation and democratic decision-making in local and central institutions in Kosovo’, a panel discussion was held. On this occasion, research results on institutional mechanisms for protecting rights of non-majority communities in Kosovo, with special focus on Serb community were presented.
Criticism was addressed regarding insufficient financial independence in terms of budget planning and approval, and particularly expenditure.
Citizens were encouraged to file complaints in cases when they feel that they are discriminated against.
Panellists also addressed the issue of Serbian health insurance cards that were recently taken by Kosovo authorities at administrative crossing Bela Zemlja/Dheu I Bardhë. Participants consider this a human rights violation and escalation of the situation, while appointments have been made with the Kosovo Customs and Police Inspectorate in order to ask for explanation regarding the incident.
This event is part of the Progress of Democratic Society programme, which is supported by the Swiss Office for Cooperation in Kosovo and the Danish Foreign Ministry, and implemented by Kosovo Foundation for Civil Society.