- Only elections prevent Thaçi’s idea for partition, opposition says (KTV)
- Haradinaj insists on inclusive dialogue (KTV)
- Brnabic: EU must react against entry ban to Serbian officials to Kosovo (RTK2)
- McAllister: Kosovo and Serbia are working hard to reach agreement (RTK)
- North Serbs don’t pay electricity bills, CDHRF calls for protest (KTV)
- Over 900 arrested for narcotics in first six months of 2019 (KTV)
- Muslim community demands changing of Administrative Instruction that bans headscarf in schools (KTV)
Only elections prevent Thaçi’s idea for partition, opposition says
The statements of Zoran Zaev about existence of a plan made by Hashim Thaçi and Aleksandar Vucic for partition of Kosovo, have stirred reactions in the country.
Vetëvendosje Movement stated at a press conference that such secret plans had been announced.
Vetëvendosje officials added that President Hashim Thaçi has been promoting Moscow’s agenda.
Vjosa Osmani of LDK says that the idea of partition undermines sovereignty of Kosovo.
Opposition parties believe that only elections could impede Thaçi and the idea of partition of Kosovo.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj wrote on Facebook that no-one will divide Kosovo.
“Dear citizens of the Republic of Kosovo. We are together and we are strong! No-one will divide us. We will protect Kosovo’s sovereignty and integrity at any cost,” Haradinaj wrote.
Kohavision asked also the Office of President Hashim Thaçi about the statements of Zaev, but no reply was provided.
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev had a conversation with two Russian comedians, thinking that he was talking with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
In the conversation, Zaev spoke about a plan made between the Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and his counterpart Aleksandar Vucic that ten northern municipalities shall belong to Serbia, and the Albanian majority municipalities shall join Kosovo.
According to Zaev, this idea has been supported by Turkey and Russia that would subsequently use it in their cases with Abkhazia and Crimea, and with Cyprus respectively.
Haradinaj insists on inclusive dialogue
The Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has become target of criticism by opposition and by political analysts for hesitating to take a leading role in representation of Kosovo at the next phase in the dialogue with Serbia.
According to the opposition and political analysts, since the Constitutional Court’s decision, which found the Law on State Delegation in Negotiations with Serbia unconstitutional, it has become clear that the legal power and responsibility to lead the dialogue belongs to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, in consultation with the President.
Officials in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Haradinaj say that there is no hesitation to take the lead in the dialogue, but they reminded that Haradinaj has called for a broad consensus in this process.
Press advisor to Prime Minister Haradinaj and Government spokesperson Donjeta Gashi stated to Radio Free Europe that Prime Minister Haradinaj has never avoided his responsibility regarding the dialogue. She said the Prime Minister believes that Kosovo has no time to waste, but this process should yield concrete results.
“The Prime Minister has not hesitated, but he has insisted that on the major issues dealing with definition of all aspects with the Serbian state, there should be inclusion and a comprehensive dialogue, a framed dialogue that leads to mutual recognition, to a legally binding final agreement in the existing borders,” Gashi said.
“This is the stance of the Prime Minister, who has continuously called on all sides in Kosovo to sit at a table and to unite in regard to the dialogue with Serbia,” Gashi added.
Brnabic: EU must react against entry ban to Serbian officials to Kosovo
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the relevant EU institutions guaranteeing the implementation of the Brussels Agreement must react to a ban on entry to the territory of Kosovo for Serbian officials.
Asked by reporters to comment on Prishtinë/Pristina’s decision to ban Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin from entering Kosovo, Brnabic responded “it was fully in line with Prishtinë/Pristina’s policy, which she said was against free flow of goods and services and, evidently, against freedom of movement.”
“They (Prishtinë/Pristina) said it is a lie that all officials from Belgrade have been banned a priori from entering the territory of Kosovo, and that decisions are made on individual basis, as per each request,” Brnabic said.
The EU is the guarantor of the Brussels Agreement and EU institutions must react, she noted.
McAllister: Kosovo and Serbia are working hard to reach agreement
The current rapporteur for Serbia, who was re-elected as the chair of the Foreign Policy Committee of the European Parliament (AFET), David McAllister, stated that despite major changes in the composition of the EP, leading conservative and social democrat parties will focus on EU enlargement.
“Two large groups, the European People’s Party and the Socialists and Democrats, will have similar approaches to enlargement, and this policy is based on the fulfilment of the conditions. If a country progresses, we believe it must be rewarded,” he said.
McAllister reiterated Brussels’s view that the progress on the path to European integration remains a core issue of rule of law.
He also talked about the role of dialogue mediators between Kosovo and Serbia, saying they are interested that both countries reach a legally binding agreement, on which, according to him, is being worked hard.
He further stressed that nominations for new European Parliament rapporteurs for all countries in the Western Balkans will be finalized in September this year.
North Serbs don’t pay electricity bills, CDHRF calls for protest
Council for Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) has reminded that for more than 17 years, citizens of Kosovo paid electricity bills for Serbs in the north. In addition, it reminded on the Government’s promise that those citizens, 93 per cent of whom are Albanians, would be reimbursed, but that has not happened.
CDHRF says that Serbs still refuse to pay electricity bills, which damages the Kosovo budget for 12 million euro a year.
“The state of Kosovo does not operate in the north, whilst in the south, KEDS through enforcement agents, even for the smallest debt for electricity consumption, blocks bank accounts of citizens, including those who are socially vulnerable,” CDHRF said.
CDHRF added that laws and the Constitution of Kosovo guarantee equality and non-discriminatory treatment for all its citizens, whereas in this case the discrimination is so flagrant that it does not occur in any country in the world.
“Equal standards should apply for consumption – you must pay what you consume, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, race, political affiliation, etc. Why Albanians and non-Serbs must pay, whilst Serbs never pay anything, whereas they are no subject to the power cut schedule?” CDHRF highlighted.
CDHRF called upon citizens to protest against this discrimination.
“Kosovo citizens, in an organised manner, should oppose this discrimination and establishment of double standards, by protesting and demanding equal treatment. The Kosovo institutions should prove that they are authorities, and that they do not accept Serbs to behave in this manner. Otherwise, escalation of the situation in Kosovo, initially of a social nature, should and will be inevitable, and then it will be accompanied by destabilisation of the political and security situation,” the CDHRF press release concludes.
Over 900 arrested for narcotics in first six months of 2019
Only in the first six months of this year, over 900 people ended up in police handcuffs, under suspicion as users of narcotics. Out of them, 194 were students, who were arrested as drug users.
These were the data which were published by Kosovo Police General Director Rashit Qalaj during the meeting of Task Force against narcotics among young people and safety in schools.
So far, the Prosecution has dealt with about 500 cases related to the use of narcotics.
In the meantime, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Skënder Reçica said they are committed to creating a safer place for children.
Only in the last 24 hours, the Prosecution has detained two persons for purchase, possession and distribution of narcotic substances, while an indictment was filed against another person for unauthorized possession of narcotics.
Muslim community demands changing of Administrative Instruction that bans headscarf in schools
Members of the Muslim community and the religious scholars in Kosovo are demanding a change of the Administrative Instruction of the Ministry of Education, which prohibits religious uniforms in schools.
They say that this administrative instruction is causing difficulties in education to girls who want to wear a headscarf, while authorities say that at school, students have to wear school uniforms, KTV portal quotes Voice of America as reporting.
However, they claim that they are open to address these concerns, which were also part of the recent US Department of State’s report on Religious Freedom in the world.