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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 4

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• Kosovo risks sliding into another political crisis (Koha Ditore)
• Kurti’s interview to Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Zeri)
• Kurti and Mustafa expected to meet today (Klan Kosova/KP)
• Konjufca: LDK conditioned coalition deal with president’s post (T7/Telegrafi)
• Abdixhiku: If they are serious, we are here, all 28 MPs (Klan Kosova)
• Haradinaj: New government should not lift 100% tariff (RTK)
• New EU commissioner calls for swift formation of new government (Koha)
• Danielsson: Kosovo-Serbia agreement as soon as possible (Express/Zeri)

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  • Kosovo risks sliding into another political crisis (Koha Ditore)
  • Kurti’s interview to Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Zeri)
  • Kurti and Mustafa expected to meet today (Klan Kosova/KP)
  • Konjufca: LDK conditioned coalition deal with president’s post (T7/Telegrafi)
  • Abdixhiku: If they are serious, we are here, all 28 MPs (Klan Kosova)
  • Haradinaj: New government should not lift 100% tariff (RTK)
  • New EU commissioner calls for swift formation of new government (Koha)
  • Danielsson: Kosovo-Serbia agreement as soon as possible (Express/Zeri)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Kosovo risks sliding into another political crisis (Koha Ditore)

The paper warns on the front page of the risk of Kosovo sliding into a political crisis if no coalition agreement is reached between the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

LVV, writes the paper, considers LDK’s demands to join the new government to be too high as the second-largest party insists on getting the president of Kosovo post, that of Assembly speaker and share the same number of ministries as LVV. LVV on the other hand has agreed to give the post of president and speaker to LDK but says in return it should have a ministry more.

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Agim Veliu said yesterday that if Vetevendosje doesn’t agree to give the LDK the post of Kosovo president, Assembly speaker and five ministries, it can choose to leave the post of prime minister and ministries and take that of president, speaker, and not five but six ministries instead.

LVV considers Veliu’s proposal to be unacceptable. Spokesperson Arlind Manxhuka said Veliu’s offer is a repetition of what LVV leader Albin Kurti presented to LDK as a pre-election coalition deal. “We are now at different circumstances and know the winner,” he said.

Kurti’s interview to Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Zeri)

Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti gave an interview for Heinrich Boll Stiftung, German independent political foundation, where he spoke about his future government’s priorities, the dialogue with Serbia, his green agenda, and addresses the issue of ethnicity vs nationality in the Balkans.

With respect to a coalition agreement with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Kurti said that Vetevendosje thinks it is important to create the core of the coalition with LDK and recalled that LVV has 30 and LDK 28 MP seats in the new Assembly of Kosovo. “We want to include non-Serb minority MPs immediately, 10 of them, perhaps nine, because one might not join, we shall see. Harmonization of the government program has been fully accomplished – 100 percent. What remains to be done is the second part, namely government responsibilities, which has not been finished yet. We’ll distribute ministers’ portfolios for which we have agreed that at least 30 percent will be women, two deputy ministers per ministry max, two deputy prime ministers max, and we will try to wrap it up in twelve ministries. It’s not easy but it seems doable nonetheless. We want to strengthen the state, not enlarge the elite,” he said.

Asked to comment on the prospects of having the Serbian List join the government, Kurti said that the Constitution of Kosovo stipulates that the government must include one minister that represents the Serb community, not one who comes from a specific party. “These elections were marked by a fraud on an industrial scale. They [Serbian List] did it in June 2017, they are doing it again in October 2019, and between these two moments, we have seen the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic, a member of the Serbian community who dared, not just to stand against Serbia’s policies in Kosovo, but also to try to bring together independent organizations and parties. So, in my first week in office I will start the dialogue from below with the Serbs of Kosovo.”

He said this bottom-up dialogue would be open, democratic and social. “Regarding dialogue with Serbia, I will start the dialogue with Brussels, but that’s another issue. I want Serbs to be integrated socially and economically, not only institutionally, because even if we have a Serb from the Serb List in the government, that is no guarantee that they are being integrated. I want this bottom-up approach and I want people to be integrated, not in structures but in activities.”

Kurti also said that dialogue with Serbia is not his top priority: “We need democratic state building, we need socio-economic development, and if you ask Albanians and Serbs of all regions in Kosovo what they want most, it’s jobs and justice. Of course, we are not going to run away from dialogue — we need a well-prepared dialogue, which means that we need principles, and I can imagine it will re-start, but I am not in favor of fast deals or quick fixes.”

“I think we need a Serbian president who will have a bit of Charles de Gaulle saying France is great without Algeria – Serbia is great without Kosovo. Then, a bit of Willy Brandt kneeling in Warsaw for the victims, and a bit of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika for the state of Serbia, which is too centralized. But let them send me a list as well, I want to read it but not by saying what are you ready to give,” Kurti noted. He said that Kosovo already made a compromise by accepting the Ahtisaari’s status package.

Read the full interview: https://bit.ly/2PaGCQv

Kurti and Mustafa expected to meet today (Klan Kosova/KP)

Klan Kosova reports that a meeting between the leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti and that of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa is expected to take place today following a visit of an unnamed international official. Sources said that the two parties will make efforts to resolve their differences and agree to the division of leading government and institutional posts.

However, Kosovapress quotes sources from LDK saying that the meeting between Kurti and Mustafa will not take place “following the campaign LVV is making against the LDK and its leader Mustafa.”

Konjufca: LDK conditioned coalition deal with president’s post (T7/Telegrafi)

Deputy leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Glauk Konjufca said that they did not demand to lead seven ministries in exchange for giving the post of president to the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). He also said the agreement was not reached on Monday because the LDK conditioned it with the president of Kosovo’s post.

“We did not expect this because as you know, these elections were parliamentary and after the constitution of the Assembly comes the government while the post of president is entirely something else,” Konjufca said.

Abdixhiku: If they are serious, we are here, all 28 MPs (Klan Kosova)

The reelected MP of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lumir Abdixhiku, reacted to the statements of Vetevendosje Movement’s (LVV) MP Glauk Konjufca. “Agreements and disagreements among partners – if they were and if the were seen as such – can be resolved among themselves, face to face, nut by insults at TV studios,” Abdixhiku said.

“Reckless and not timed statements put the possibility of cooperation several steps back. Perhaps this is the intention,” he wrote on his Facebook account. ‘We are fed up with propaganda. But if they are serious, respecting each other and respecting the civic will, we are here. All 28 MPs of 206 thousand voters,” he added.

LVV MP Hekuran Murati replied to Abdixhiku’s post also through Facebook writing “We are serious! We have already agreed on program and division of ministerial departments 5-5,” he wrote. “Let us not become hostage of conditionings beyond what citizens voted on 6 October,” he added.

Haradinaj: New government should not lift 100% tariff (RTK)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj said it would be a great mistake if the new government lifted the 100% tariff Serbian goods. “If they lift the tariff, they lose the investment on countervalue for recognition and we do not have other countervalues,” he said. “We will either not gain recognition, or we will have to give something that would be painful. They should not do this mistake. They should keep the tariff, if they add reciprocity to it, I would respect it,” Haradinaj said adding that if Kurti’s government lifts the tariff without recognition, he would have problems in Kosovo.

According to Haradinaj, Albin Kurti will be a major disappointment. “My opinion is that he will be a weak and disappointing Prime Minister,” Haradinaj said.

New EU commissioner calls for swift formation of new government (Koha)

The newly elected European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, has called for the swift formation of the new government of Kosovo so that it can, without delay, focus on reforms and fight against organised crime and corruption.

In his remarks at an event organised by the European Parliament, Varhelyi said that despite the challenges, Western Balkans integration remains a priority for the EU and for him personally. “The Western Balkans region has a genuine EU perspective but to make this a reality there needs to be focus on meaningful reforms,” he said.

Danielsson: Kosovo-Serbia agreement as soon as possible (Express/Zeri)

Christian Danielsson, Director-General for Neigbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, said that the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia needs to be reached as soon as possible as the only way to give a new impulse to developments in the region.

“Apart from implementing reforms that are crucial for the region, it is necessary to find a solution between Pristina and Belgrade as quickly as possible. This would give the Western Balkans the necessary energy,” Danielsson is quoted by the Belgrade news agency Tanjug.

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