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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 15

By   /  15/05/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 15

• Health Institute confirms 18 new cases with COVID-19 (media)
• Acting PM Kurti says he will lead government until new elections (media)
• Thaci: US-guaranteed dialogue will result in mutual recognition (media)
• Haxhiu: Grenell wanted a quick agreement (Klan Kosova)
• Haziri: After Court’s ruling, we need 24 hours to form government (media)
• Osmani: For Serbia, road to EU should go through justice institutions (Zeri)
• Hoti: Over €1 billion in new govt’s economic recovery package (media)
• Kosovo has an international obligation to keep Specialist Chambers (Koha)
• Pacolli ironises with EU, Apostolova and Heldt reply (media)
• Beqaj: Going to new elections is legitimate (Koha)
• “EU & US should prevent Russian involvement” (media)

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  • Health Institute confirms 18 new cases with COVID-19 (media)
  • Acting PM Kurti says he will lead government until new elections (media)
  • Thaci: US-guaranteed dialogue will result in mutual recognition (media)
  • Haxhiu: Grenell wanted a quick agreement (Klan Kosova)
  • Haziri: After Court’s ruling, we need 24 hours to form government (media)
  • Osmani: For Serbia, road to EU should go through justice institutions (Zeri)
  • Hoti: Over €1 billion in new govt’s economic recovery package (media)
  • Kosovo has an international obligation to keep Specialist Chambers (Koha)
  • Pacolli ironises with EU, Apostolova and Heldt reply (media)
  • Beqaj: Going to new elections is legitimate (Koha)
  • “EU & US should prevent Russian involvement” (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Health Institute confirms 18 new cases with COVID-19 (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health confirmed 18 new cases with COVID – 19 on Thursday. The new cases are from the municipalities of Ferizaj, Gjilan and Vushtrri.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kosovo stands at 951, of which 199 are active cases.

Acting PM Kurti says he will lead government until new elections (media)

Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti took to Twitter on Thursday to note the achievements of his government on its 100th day. 

“We downsized a large, dysfunctional, spendthrift government, saving 1.4 million EUR per year. We halved salaries for government officials which where too high for a society where approx. 30% live in poverty and 30% are unemployed, saving 1.1 million EUR per year. #GoodGovernance” 

“We saved hundreds of millions of EUR by cancelling lobbying, rental & asfalt contracts, designed to enrich powerful individuals & associated companies. We used savings to help our #healthcareworkers & the most vulnerable, putting extra money in their pockets.” 

“We dismissed boards of public enterp. & fired their CEOs who took close to 100K EUR per year in salaries & bonuses, despite operating at a loss, drowning in debt & seeking state subsidies. They also signed harmful contracts & hired people through nepotism. #FightAgainstCorruption”

“We drafted an emerg. fiscal pack. to help busin. & workers by providing fiscal relief, paying part of their salaries & postponing tax obligations. Our emerg. & recovery plan were praised by @WorldBank & @EUKosovo who are helping us ease the socioeconomic impact caused by #COVID19”

“We initiated a vetting process for judges, prosecutors & high-ranking officials to bring professionalism & impartiality and trust to the judiciary and justice system.”

“Despite the challenges our new government faced, we have not stopped and will not stop working for our citizens. #TheseAreTheFacts #NoFakeNewsHere Tomorrow is day 102, then 103, 104…Until the next elections!”

Thaci: US-guaranteed dialogue will result in mutual recognition (media)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said on Thursday that a US-guaranteed dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia under the leadership of Ambassador Grenell and the Trump administration will result in mutual recognition between the two countries.

“A dialogue led by Grenell and the Trump administration will conclude with a final agreement with Serbia, which will include mutual recognition and then the border delineation with Serbia,” Thaci said.

Thaci also said that he does not know if acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti has received an invitation from The White House, but that turning down such an invitation would have been a terrible mistake.

“My meeting with President Vucic at The White House was official and transparent and we talked about the possibility of resuming the dialogue. I don’t know if Kurti was invited by The White House. It would have been a terrible mistake to reject a meeting and it would be a blow to Kosovo. I don’t feel inferior to anyone. Every time we have engaged in dialogue with Serbia, we have won,” Thaci said.

Haxhiu: Grenell wanted a quick agreement (Klan Kosova)

Albulena Haxhiu, acting Minister of Justice and deputy leader of Vetevendosje Movement, said in an interview with Klan Kosova that the U.S. envoy Richard Grenell wanted to secure a quick agreement between Kosovo and Serbia but she noted that this would have been to the detriment of Kosovo.

“There is no question about the U.S. being our ally. However, when the U.S. faces elections, Grenell also wants to achieve a success. A quick agreement no doubt affects his success too,” she said.

Haxhiu stressed that President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has no constitutional rights to lead the dialogue process and should stay away from foreign policy.

“Serbia has a debt to Kosovo because it committed genocide, massacres, rapes. We can’t move forward without going back to these issues, we can’t consider Serbia to be a normal state and go to the U.S. to sign agreement.”

Haziri: After Court’s ruling, we need 24 hours to form government (media)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) deputy leader Lutfi Haziri said on Thursday that after the Constitutional Court rules on President Thaci’s decree for a new PM candidate, the LDK would need only 24 hours to form a new government. Haziri, who is also Mayor of Gjilan municipality, said his party would respect any decision made by the Constitutional Court. 

Osmani: For Serbia, road to EU should go through justice institutions (Zeri)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani paid tribute to 138 Albanians killed by Serbian forces in the village of Qyshk 21 years ago.

“Two decades on, the wounds of this massacre have not healed yet,” Osmani said adding: “There can be no sustainable peace without convicting perpetrators. For Serbia the road to EU should go through justice institutions.”

Hoti: Over €1 billion in new government’s economic recovery package (media)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) candidate for Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, said on Thursday that over €1 billion will be mobilised by the new government to implement the economic recovery package.

Hoti said in a Facebook post that a considerable amount of the funds will be allocated this year to support businesses to remain on the market and to keep their staff. “In the next years, we will support private and public investments that create job opportunities in production, agriculture, technology and other sectors,” he said.

Hoti added that in the implementation of these measures will be involved chambers of commerce, banks, associations of professionals, academic institutions, the municipalities and investors from the diaspora. 

Kosovo has an international obligation to keep Specialist Chambers (Koha)

Despite the calls of different political exponents and war veterans that the mandate of the Specialist Chambers is only five years, its mandate will be extended after the 5 August, the date which marks five years since the constitutional changes, which formed this institution to address specific war crimes alleged to have been committed by the members of Kosovo Liberation Army.

Based on the amendment 24 of the Constitution, the mandate of the Specialized Chambers and the Office of the Specialized Prosecutor, will last for a period of five years, unless the termination notice is issued earlier. The same amendment states that in the absence of such notification, its mandate will continue until the notification of the end of the mandate is made in accordance with Law No. 04 / L-274 and in consultation with the government.

Koha Ditore reports that the mandate of the Specialist Chambers will continue until Kosovo is notified by the Council of the European Union that the investigations have been completed, or that the proceedings arising from those investigations have been completed.

Enver Hasani, former Chair of the Constitutional Court, told this newspaper that based on these dispositions, the mandate of the Specialist Chambers should be extended after 5 August.

“A sliding rate has been used for this, where at first the amendment stipulates that the mandate is five years, always conditioning its continuation with a notification that must come from the Council of the European Union. This notice is required for the purpose of completing its term. This sliding provision refers to a law that has a higher force than any other law in Kosovo, and which constitutes a constitutional obligation of Kosovo that entered into force on the day of the adoption of amendment No. 24,” said Hasani.

“Apart from this constitutional obligation, this is also an international obligation in accordance with Article 16.3 of the Constitution,” he added.

Pacolli ironises with EU, Apostolova and Heldt reply (media)

New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) leader and former Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli tweeted on Thursday: “Congratulations to European Union and its member states for finding the courage to move ahead with visa facilitation w/Belarus and continuing to keep Kosovo the only in Europe isolated and unable to travel free. I would like to see @ApostolovaEU [EU Head of Mission Nataliya Apostolova] & @GermanAmbKOS [Christian Heldt] what they say now?”

Ambassador Heldt replied to the tweet saying: “Well, why shouldn’t we for the sake of people there do what we apply in #Kosovo since independence in 2008? Visa facilitation is not visa liberalisation. Just to clarify what we’re talking about.”

Apostolova replied to Pacolli saying: “The EU is therefore not introducing visa free travel with Belarus, nor there is a such a mandate currently. On the other hand, the EU and Kosovo are in the last stage of concluding the visa dialogue to result in the visa free travel for Kosovo people.”

Beqaj: Going to new elections is legitimate (Koha)

Political commentator Behlul Beqaj told the news website on Thursday that going to new parliamentary elections because in his opinion forming a new government without the winning party would mean deviating the will of the people. 

“Going to early elections is a legitimate solution because members of parliament, especially those from the LDK, with the no-confidence motion against the government, deviated the political will of the majority of citizens that voted for change,” Beqaj said.

“EU & US should prevent Russian involvement” (media)

Several news outlets covered tweets by US professor and commentator of developments in the region, Alon Ben Meir, who suggested that the European Union and the United States of America should prevent Russia’s involvement in the process of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

“Germany is one of the most powerful countries in the EU, and it must remember that fostering normalization of relations between Kosovo & Serbia is EU’s responsibility, not Russia’s or Turkey’s,” he tweeted.

“Russian Ambassador to Belgrade, Alexander Botsan-Kharachenko, said Moscow is ready to get involved in dialogue between Kosovo & Serbia if Belgrade asks them. EU & US should prevent Russian involvement in this process & signal Serbia & Kosovo that their future rest with the EU.”

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