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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 18

By   /  18/05/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, May 18

• Health Institute: Seven new cases of coronavirus (media)
• Kosovo begins second stage of easing lockdown measures (media)
• Govt allocates €10 million to implement emergency fiscal package (media)
• Kurti: Thaci not comfortable in his seat, wants to increase powers (T7/RTK)
• Govt reacts to Haziri: Kurti and ministers not on U.S. visa blacklist (media)
• Specialist chambers continue work during coronavirus pandemic (Koha)
• Tahiri: Kosovo not ready for final phase of dialogue with Serbia (media)
• Kosovo condemns plans to build a church at Batajnica mass grave site (media)
• Kurti: Discrimination has no place in our society (media)
• Thaci: New mechanisms to address concerns of LGBTIQ community (media)
• EULEX chief: Phobias have no place in our societies (media)

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  • Health Institute: Seven new cases of coronavirus (media)
  • Kosovo begins second stage of easing lockdown measures (media)
  • Govt allocates €10 million to implement emergency fiscal package (media)
  • Kurti: Thaci not comfortable in his seat, wants to increase powers (T7/RTK)
  • Govt reacts to Haziri: Kurti and ministers not on U.S. visa blacklist (media)
  • Specialist chambers continue work during coronavirus pandemic (Koha)
  • Tahiri: Kosovo not ready for final phase of dialogue with Serbia (media)
  • Kosovo condemns plans to build a church at Batajnica mass grave site (media)
  • Kurti: Discrimination has no place in our society (media)
  • Thaci: New mechanisms to address concerns of LGBTIQ community (media)
  • EULEX chief: Phobias have no place in our societies (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Health Institute: Seven new cases of coronavirus (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement on Sunday that seven new cases have been confirmed with COVID – 19. The new cases are from the municipalities of Ferizaj, Gjilan and Prishtina.

The Infectious Clinic in Prishtina meanwhile reported that four patients infected with the virus are in serious condition while 23 have recovered.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kosovo stands at 986, of which 185 are active cases.

Kosovo begins second stage of easing lockdown measures (media)

Kosovo authorities have announced that the second stage of easing pandemic lockdown measures begins today.

In the second stage, expected to last until 1 June pending the epidemiological situation, the citizens will be able to go out twice a day for two hours and a number of businesses will open under strict protective measures.

Govt allocates €10 million to implement emergency fiscal package (media)

Most news outlets reported on Sunday that Kosovo’s government has allocated nearly €10.9 million for the implementation of the emergency fiscal package. The funds are allocated to the Ministry of Economy, Employment, Trade, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Investments (€9,400,000.00) and to the Ministry of Finance and Transfers (€1,500,000.00).

Kurti: Thaci not comfortable in his seat, wants to increase powers (T7/RTK)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti reiterated in an interview with T7 his belief that there is a secret agreement between Kosovo and Serbia which would partition Kosovo and that President Hashim Thaci wants to increase his powers and one way of doing this was by declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“He called me on the phone and requested to declare a state of emergency to get more powers so clearly he is not comfortable in his seat and saw the pandemic as a means for his rise, which I did not allow,” Kurti said.

Kurti said that the criticism against him for allegedly harboring anti-American sentiment is part of his opponent’s tools to frighten citizens but added that the people are not buying it.

“We faced unseen attacks, from all four sides. The motion has not overthrown the government, the government is there and is working but it has endangered those who are not in it,” he said.

Speaking about the LDK-AAK-NISMA coalition which aims to form the new government of Kosovo pending the decision of the Constitutional Court, Kurti said: “This coalition is one of frustration and disappointment. In past elections we had to beat them one by one but now they can freely get together and even take the president along.”

Govt reacts to Haziri: Kurti and ministers not on U.S. visa blacklist (media)

A spokesman for Kosovo’s acting government said on Sunday that acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti and his government ministers are not on any visa blacklist of the United States Embassy in Kosovo. The spokesman’s remarks were in response to a statement by LDK senior official and Gjilan Mayor Lutfi Haziri who claimed that Kurti and his ministers are on a visa blacklist of the United States.

The spokesman said: “Surprising is the lack of information among senior political and institutional officials and so is their irresponsibility to spread false information to the public”.

Specialist chambers continue work during coronavirus pandemic (Koha)

The news website reported on Sunday that the Specialist Chambers have not stopped the intensity of their work even during the coronavirus pandemic. Two indictments have been filed to date in the Specialist Chambers, one in February and another in April. The court’s representatives told Koha that are ready to hold the proceedings.

“The Specialist Chambers of Kosovo are fully functional and prepared to hold fair, impartial and independent proceedings in a safe environment. Regardless of the COVID – 19 pandemic, the Specialist Chambers are continuing to work intensively to ensure the implementation of the court’s mandate,” a spokesman for the Specialist Chambers said.

Tahiri: Kosovo not ready for final phase of dialogue with Serbia (media)

Kosovo’s former chief negotiator for talks with Serbia, Edita Tahiri, said on Sunday that she is skeptical about a quick final settlement between Kosovo and Serbia.

According to Tahiri, Kosovo is not prepared for the final phase of the dialogue, “because there is no political or national unity about the platform of the dialogue”. She also argued that possible border changes would destabilise the whole region.

Kosovo condemns plans to build a church at Batajnica mass grave site (media)

Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora has condemned plans by Belgrade to build an Orthodox Church in Batajnica, the site where the remains of 744 Albanians killed in 1999 by Serbian military and police forces were discovered.

“We consider this an act of contempt of the church and the Serbian authorities against the Albanian victims of this genocidal act of Serbia,” the Ministry said adding that a memorial plaque for the victims should instead be placed at the site.

“There can be no peace and reconciliation agreement between Kosovo and Serbia until the latter accepts the crimes committed against Albanians in Kosovo and until they apologize for these crimes, pursuing and punishing many of the war criminals they have amnestied. Recognition of the independence of Kosovo from Serbia will be easier for them when it is done as a reflection and remorse of Serbia for the crimes committed against the people of Kosovo,” the statement issued by the Kosovo Ministry reads.

Kurti: Discrimination has no place in our society (media)

Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti posted the following tweet on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia:

“Tonight, the Government of #Kosova has been lit up in rainbow colors. Discrimination has no place in our society, and no one should be judged nor fear for their safety because of who they are. #IDAHOT”

Thaci: New mechanisms to address concerns of LGBTIQ community (media)

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci wrote in a Facebook post that “our country and institutions must continue to work in ensuring equal rights for all. As President of Kosovo, I have already initiated the creation of new institutional mechanisms within the Office of the President to address issues concerning the LGBTIQ community in Kosovo”.

EULEX chief: Phobias have no place in our societies (media)

EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) chief Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: “Kosovo has seen legal progress for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights in recent years, including two landmark decisions in the area of civil registration for transgender persons. However, we would like to see an adequate and consistent implementation of relevant legal provisions, as well as broader civil rights for Kosovo’s LGBTI community.”

“Despite the progress made, many persons still remain at risk of discrimination, hate and violence. EULEX closely monitors cases of abuse and discrimination against vulnerable persons, in particular against members of the LGBTI community, and provides recommendations to Kosovo’s justice institutions on how to improve the handling of such cases and ensure that LGBTI victims of discrimination and hate crime are recognized and protected.”

“Phobias, discrimination, prejudice, and hate have no place in our societies. In Kosovo and across the EU, authorities have to step up their efforts to promote full enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI persons. We will continue to advocate for the respect of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics,” Wigemark said.

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