Albanian Language Media:
- COVID-19 report: 225 new cases, 13 deaths (media)
- Kosovo’s Deputy PM infected with COVID – 19 (media)
- “Around 40,000 jobs lost in Kosovo due to COVID-19 pandemic” (Kosovapress)
- EU delivers 30 ventilators to Kosovo (media)
- Italian Ambassador: Kosovars are downplaying coronavirus impact (media)
- MP Pacolli: A prime minister that avoids responsibility should leave post (Klan)
- Hoti-led government dismisses temporary boards of public enterprises (media)
Serbian Language Media:
- Today no report on the coronavirus situation: samples sent to newly open laboratory in Nis (media)
- Serbs expect international community reaction on the Law on KLA Values (Kosovo Online, RTV)
- Brnabic claims to be one of two candidates for Serbian Prime Minister (Beta, N1)
- United Opposition of Serbia formed, Dveri movement not among the members (KoSSev)
- Brestovik returnees without water more than a month (KoSSev)
- Remembering Elizabeta Hasani (Prishtina Insight)
- The term Metohija is a matter of identity (KoSSev)
- UN warns of ‘generational catastrophe’ over school closures (DW)
Albanian Language Media
COVID-19 report: 225 new cases, 13 deaths (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced the recent figures of the new coronavirus cases recorded over the last 24-hour period. Of 477 tests carried out, 225 have resulted positive for COVID-19. 13 deaths have been reported over the same time period and 201 recoveries.
Almost half of the new cases (93) are in the municipality of Prishtina.
Institute for Public Health said there are currently 3,815 active cases of coronavirus in Kosovo.
Kosovo’s Deputy PM infected with COVID – 19 (media)
All news outlets report that Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Driton Selmanaj has tested positive for COVID – 19. Selmanaj said in a Facebook post that he did the test on Monday and got the results today. “From the moment I did the test I went into self-isolation and I will stay like this for the next two weeks,” he said.
“Around 40,000 jobs lost in Kosovo due to COVID-19 pandemic” (Kosovapress)
Jusuf Azemi, head of the private sector independent trade union, said that by July 40,000 people in Kosovo are estimated to have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Azemi warned that the figure could surpass 60,000 by the end of September if the present situation persists.
Azemi said that the rights of people working in Kosovo’s private sector are among the most infringed in the region and that this has become particularly evident during the pandemic. “The situation is extremely difficult,” Azemi said.
EU delivers 30 ventilators to Kosovo (media)
European Union has delivered the 5th batch of its €5 million emergency assistance to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo.
Acting Head of EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, Riccardo Serri, delivered today 30 ICU Ventilators, 200 Pulse Oximeters, and 20 electrocardiograph machines to Armend Zemaj, Minister of Health, to fight COVID-19 in Kosovo.
“I believe that particularly the 30 Intensive Care Unit ventilators can make a big difference and ease treatment problems for those worst affected by Covid-19 infection,” Serri is quoted in a statement issued by the EU Office. He underlined that Kosovo cannot afford a further deterioration of the Covid-19 situation.
“Kosovo authorities also need to show the way, and give the fight against the pandemic the urgent attention it deserves. I would also use this opportunity to call upon the Government and the health institutions to make the necessary preparations in terms of budgetary allocation and other resources to prepare as best they can,” said Serri.
Minister Zemaj on his part thanked the EU for the assistance saying that the equipment donated to Kosovo hospitals will give an impetus to the reorganisation of health institutions which is already underway.
Italian Ambassador: Kosovars are downplaying coronavirus impact (media)
Italian Ambassador to Kosovo Nicola Orlando said today that one third of Kosovo citizens are denying and downplaying the impact of the coronavirus. “As #Coronavirus spreads fast in #Kosovo I’m told one third of citizens deny/downplay its impact. In the worst phase in #Italy, the military was called in to cope with overwhelming number of victims to be buried. We can avoid it. Wear mask. Keep distance. Wash hands,” Orlando said in a Twitter post.
MP Pacolli: A prime minister that avoids responsibility should leave post (Klan)
Fitore Pacolli, MP from the Vetevendosje Movement, accused Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of avoiding responsibility in leading the dialogue with Serbia and managing the pandemic.
“He said he is prime minister and that it is his responsibility to lead the dialogue. Few days later he backed down and appointed a puppet of Thaci at the helm who acts on Vucic’s orders. He now has shrugged off the responsibility he has in managing and controlling public kindergartens. He has delegated this responsibility to the municipalities so that if there is a virus outbreak in some kindergarten the responsibility will fall with the municipalities not the government. If however there is no outbreak he will rush into taking the credit,” Pacolli wrote on Facebook.
“A prime minister that avoids responsibility should immediately leave the prime minister’s office,” she wrote.
Hoti-led government dismisses temporary boards of public enterprises (media)
The Government of Kosovo led by Avdullah Hoti dismissed the temporary board members of four publicly-owned enterprises appointed by the previous government of Albin Kurti.
The government has also appointed new members to the boards.
Former Minister of Industry Rozeta Hajdari reacted to the government’s move saying it is part of efforts to ‘capture’ Kosovo enterprises.
Serbian Language Media
Today no report on the coronavirus situation; samples sent to newly open laboratory in Nis (media)
Until yesterday, 521 active cases of COVID-19 infection were registered in Serbian communities in Kosovo, and the results of 60 samples collected yesterday will be known tonight, which is why there will be no report on the situation today, reports portal KoSSev.
The samples are sent to the newly opened laboratory in Nis.
Epidemiologist of the Institute of Public Health in North Mitrovica, Aleksandar Atonijevic said that from today samples for testing for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by PCR method are sent to the newly opened laboratory “Vatreno oko” in Nis.
This is already the third laboratory, after those in Belgrade and Kraljevo, to which the Public Health Institute sends samples for processing, Dr. Antonijevic expressed hope that because of a new laboratory the process will not be delayed.
The situation with the coronavirus in Serbian communities has stabilized, which can be seen even after the drop in the number of infected people, and that was confirmed today by the president of the temporary body of the municipality of North Mitrovica, Aleksandar Spiric, reported RTK2.
Serbs expect international community reaction on the Law on KLA Values (Kosovo Online, RTV)
The news about the intention of the authorities in Pristina to pass the Law on the Values of the KLA was greeted with fear and suspicion in Gracanica, because its adoption would mean a ban on talking about crimes related to the KLA, RTV reports, quoted portal Kosovo Online.
Serbs in the enclaves are hoping for a reaction from the international community, although it has been absent in most cases in previous years, reports the media.
This law is only a consequence of the narrative of Albanian politicians in Pristina about the exclusive Albanian victim and the exclusive Serbian guilt in the 1999 conflict, according to historian Aleksandar Gudzic.
“How insane this narrative and the very idea is, it is shown by the fact that 200,000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo and Metohija after and during the war,” Gudzic said, adding that “all the values that adorned, and were recognizable on Kosovo and Metohija have collapsed in 1999.”
Ivan Nikolic from the NGO Communication for the Development of Society in Gracanica states that this is a hypocritical move by politicians in Pristina, which sends a clear message to Serbs.
“This is a serious threat to the Serbian people, due to the fact that they will not be allowed to mention some events, and a large number of people here have felt the direct consequences of the then KLA. A clear message is being sent that there is no support for Serbs to stay in Kosovo and Metohija,” he said.
Nikolic warns that the non-reaction of the international community would mean their approval of the pressure of Albanian politicians on Serbs, which could lead to a new wave of emigration from these areas.
Brnabic claims to be one of two candidates for Serbian Prime Minister (Beta, N1)
Outgoing Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday that President Aleksandar Vucic is seriously considering a coalition between his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and Aleksandar Sapic’s Serbian Patriotic Alliance (SPAS), adding that she is one of two possible candidates for head of government.
She refused to name the other candidate, saying that it was someone from the SNS who she would back.
Brnabic told the pro-government TV Pink morning show that Vucic is very disappointed in some people close to him and was upset by the support that SNS coalition partner the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) lent to the opposition protests in Belgrade.
She said that Vucic feels that Sapic, former municipal Mayor of New Belgrade, still has a lot to learn but that he appreciates his will to fight. “Aleksandar Sapic has show that he can and wants to fight at a moment when our coalition partners, primarily the SPS, and some in the SNS did not,” she said.
Brnabic said that she told Vucic she wants to see the SNS form a government with national minorities alone. “I really think that would be the best possible option for Serbia,” she said.
See at: https://bit.ly/2DkZOcr
United Opposition of Serbia formed, Dveri movement not among the members (KoSSev)
Members of the Alliance of Serbia (SzS) and opposition parties and movements, that boycotted 21 June elections, agreed to continue joint opposition action through the formation of the United Opposition of Serbia, it was announced last night.
According to the SzS, the United Opposition was formed “on the day when Serbia was officially left without the last legitimately elected institution”.
“Given the dramatic nature of the political moment and the need for the widest possible front of opposition action, the United Opposition of Serbia will be open to cooperation with other parties and movements that are ready to consistently fight for respect for the Constitution and the rule of law,” reads the statement.
It added that the Dveri movement, a member of the SzS, would not join the UOS, but both sides said they were “ready to cooperate in fighting for media freedom and restoration of democracy in Serbia.”
It was announced that members of the United Opposition of Serbia and its next activities will be presented in coming days.
Brestovik returnees without water more than a month (KoSSev)
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a large part of the returnee village of Brestovik, located near Pec/Peja, has been without water for more than a month, the locals – mostly Serb returnees claim. They have no water to maintain proper hygiene, while several heads of cattle have died. The water supply infrastructure, built with the funds of the international community, became the private property of local Albanians who bought Serbian estates in this village and opened family companies, reported radio Gorazdevac.
Previously, at a village meeting of Serbs and Albanians from Brestovik, an agreement was made to turn on the water supply for all households two times a day. The owner of the company, an ethnic Albanian, who owns the property where the water supply basin is located, respects that decision. According to Miodrag Dasic, a representative of this village, however, another neighbor, a fellow Albanian, appropriated all the water for himself.
„He cut off the main supply, installed a valve, and closed the water supply. We are waiting for the water, but there is no water. The commission checked and determined that he closed the water supply,“ Miodrag Dasic told Radio Gorazdevac.
The owner of the company, for whom the locals claim had cut off their water supply, Argjent Xhara was not present on his property, Radio Gorazdevac writes.
On the other hand, the owner of the farm on whose property the water supply basin is now located, Bashkim Draga confirmed the allegations of the representatives of the village of Brestovik. Draga said that he turns on the water supply twice a day – as per the agreement. He also pointed out that the residents in this village have common problems because they cannot agree not to water their gardens. There is not enough water for that, he said.
„Since there is not enough water in the upper spring, we decided to turn on the water supply from 7 am-9 am and 7 pm-9 pm. But it was in vain, as soon as we let the water out of the basin, it runs out in twenty minutes. We all have water, but when the gardens are watered – there isn’t any. We would have water two hours every day if the gardens are not watered because the basin cannot collect more at this moment,“ Bashkim Draga said in a statement for Radio Gorazdevac.
Hazir Ljajic, a resident of the upper part of the returnee village of Brestovik – which is now a mixed settlement – confirmed that he regularly waters his garden, pointing out that other residents do the same.
„I don’t turn off the water either day or night, everything is green here. If you want, go take a look, everything is green, it hasn’t dried out. Is that normal or not? I water it every day. I don’t have a goat or a cow, I water the garden. My onions are the best in the village, the whole village can come and eat them. I use water, Ljubisa here uses it, these people here use it. Both cows and cattle and corn use the water,“ Ljajic said.
See at: https://bit.ly/30o60Jg
Remembering Elizabeta Hasani (Prishtina Insight)
The Municipality of Mitrovica’s failure to include the name of a young Roma child in a commemorative plaque to the victims of the Green Market massacre reveals the harmful consequences of the lack of proper and inclusive documentation of the victims of the Kosovo war, writes Shkelzen Gashi.
Gashi says that as he was gathering information on four massacres that took place in Mitrovica and the surrounding region, he came across discrepancies in data: some sources would record five innocent citizens killed, some six and some seven and that the press at the time had also reported that among the victims of the Mitrovica Green Market Massacre also included a five-year-old girl.
“Based on data from the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), we can pinpoint the identity, the gender and the ethnicity of that child: her name is Elizabeta Hasani, a Roma girl, born on May 11, 1994 in Italy, to parents Isa and Nada Hasani. Therefore, a total of seven innocent citizens were killed in the Green Market Massacre in Mitrovica.”
“However, the memorial plaque in the centre of the city, erected by the Municipality of Mitrovica, only lists the names of the six Albanians killed. Elizabeta Hasani is not listed.”
“Commemorations to victims of the Kosovo war must be both well-researched and inclusive. If inspiration is needed, Sarajevo’s approach should be followed, where plaques memorialising the massacres in Ferhadija street and the Markale market commemorate Bosniak, Serb and Croat victims. No one is left out.”
Read more: https://bit.ly/3k9Zj5z
The term Metohija is a matter of identity (KoSSev)
By Petar Ristanovic
In the spring and autumn of 1988, at a time when trenches between Serbs and Albanians had already been dug and interethnic tensions ran rampant throughout Yugoslavia, Serb and Albanian writers organized two meetings – in Belgrade and Pristina, to lead a dialogue on the current issues in the relations between the two peoples. One of the dialogue participants, literary historian Predrag Palavestra described it as a „conversation of the deaf“. Such conversations soon stopped. Instead, it was the weapons that spoke on the ruins of Yugoslavia.
Today, more than 30 years later, initiatives like this one launched by Kossev are important because, parallel with the official dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, a much broader social dialogue between Serbs and Albanians is necessary (and looking at the futility of the dialogue, it seems it is even more important). Although this sentence has been uttered many times, little has been done in practice. The weapons have been quiet for a long time. Apart from rare meetings held under the auspices of international organizations and the non-governmental sector, there are still no talks, even the ones deemed „conversations of the deaf“.
Agon Maliqi’s text is important for Serb readers out of several reasons. Agon is considered an independent intellectual of the younger generation. He is part of the elite of Albanians with whom Serbs should (in fact, have to) talk to. On social networks, the text received almost uniform praise from numerous Albanian intellectuals, journalists, CSO representatives, and even some politicians, thus it can be said that it reflects the widespread views of the Pristina elite.
Agon clearly states why the use of the term Metohija is unacceptable and offensive to him – and obviously for many who think similarly. The position is clear. It should be heard and accepted as a fact.
Nonetheless, the arguments justifying such an attitude can and should be discussed. In the extensive argumentation presented in the text, two things are disputable: the selective and occasionally tendentious interpretation of the past, and the self-interpretation of the meaning of the term Metohija when it is used by Serbs.
Agon points out that the term Metohija is unacceptable for Albanians „because of the time and how it was used in the past to denote Serbian domination and repression.“ In a lengthy historical review, however, he speaks exclusively of periods of Serbian domination, completely ignoring the fact that the pendulum of domination had shifted. Not a word is said about the period before 1912, the years of World War II and the period from the end of the 1960s until 1989, during which that pendulum swung on the side of the Albanians.
See at: https://bit.ly/2Djs7I3
UN warns of ‘generational catastrophe’ over school closures (DW)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the pandemic caused the largest disruption of education in history. Over 160 countries have closed schools, pushing more than 1 billion students out of the classroom.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Tuesday of a “generational catastrophe” following the largest disruption of education in history, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure of schools in more than 160 countries has affected more than 1 billion students, according to UN figures.
See at: https://bit.ly/3fm25Ry