Seven months after the introduction of a 100 per cent tax on goods from central Serbia, due to the intensified control of the Kosovo police, food supplies are at the end.
Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic told Serbian state broadcaster that Serbia will internationally insist on the tax abolishment, adding that that situation with lack of supplies is an additional argument.
RTS reports that milk, sugar, flour and other basic foods are at the end in the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo.
Ljajic says that the traders reported this morning that the biggest deficit is of milk, and that there are no fruits and vegetables, except in supermarkets.
“The stocks of other foodstuffs are empty. Most of the traders say they will have some supplies by the end of the week, and then we do not know,” said Ljajic.
Since Kosovo police special units’ operation in in northern Kosovo at the end of May, less and less goods arrive to Kosovo.
Ljajic says these data show this is probably the result of increased controls.
“We will internationally insist on abolishing the tax, this is an additional argument for us. We will work on this political-economic issue, in order that this does not become a humanitarian issue which would be a disaster,” Ljajic said, adding that the Serbian authorities will seek to provide the population with at least basic foods.
Commenting on the allegations from Pristina that this is a planned strategy of Serbia and that they fear that trucks from Serbia could have drugs and weapons, Ljajic comments that controls should be carried out, but that there are other ways to prevent criminals and smugglers.
Ljajic indicates that all are losers since the tax was introduced. Even though the economy of Serbia has lost the most, the citizens of Kosovo are losing too.
“Prices increased by 5.3 percent from November to March, Kosovo increased imports, despite announcements that domestic producers will increase production, this has not happened. Imports are increased 6.4 percent,” Ljajic said, adding that probably the winners in this case are only smugglers and the states in surrounding, that have increased exports.