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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, July 28, 2021

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• Osmani, Kurti and Konjufca meet the survivors of accident in Croatia (media)
• Ministers Vitia and Svecla give update on the bus crash developments (media)
• Kusari-Lila: We expect reviewed budget to be approved (Koha)
• Abdixhiku: LDK’s rightful place is at the top, current government made of interns (G. Express)
• PDK’s Tahiri slams Government for not submitting 100-day report (media)
• Haradinaj: Kurti’s government will not last long (RTV Dukagjini/Telegrafi)
• Spain awaits dialogue’s epilogue to decide on recognition of Kosovo (RTV Dukagjini)
• A bakery opens in the Kosovo Correctional Center in Lipjan (T7)
• Dragica Gasic claims her flat was broken into (RFE)
• OSCE issues report on assessment of community rights (Telegrafi)
• NGOs: Assembly will disable work of organizations and deprive public of right to be informed (media)
• COVID-19: 42 new cases, no deaths (media)

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  • Osmani, Kurti and Konjufca meet the survivors of accident in Croatia (media)
  • Ministers Vitia and Svecla give update on the bus crash developments (media)
  • Kusari-Lila: We expect reviewed budget to be approved (Koha)
  • Abdixhiku: LDK’s rightful place is at the top, current government made of interns (G. Express)
  • PDK’s Tahiri slams Government for not submitting 100-day report (media)
  • Haradinaj: Kurti’s government will not last long (RTV Dukagjini/Telegrafi)
  • Spain awaits dialogue’s epilogue to decide on recognition of Kosovo (RTV Dukagjini)
  • A bakery opens in the Kosovo Correctional Center in Lipjan (T7)
  • Dragica Gasic claims her flat was broken into (RFE)
  • OSCE issues report on assessment of community rights (Telegrafi)
  • NGOs: Assembly will disable work of organizations and deprive public of right to be informed (media)
  • COVID-19: 42 new cases, no deaths (media)

Osmani, Kurti and Konjufca meet the survivors of accident in Croatia (media)

The President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca met with the survivors of the tragic bus accident in Slavonski Brod, Croatia upon arrival to Kosovo.

The leaders expressed their condolences for the lives lost in this accident and assured the injured that they will have institutional care.

President Osmani said that “in the tragedy of Slavonski Brod we did not lose only our compatriots. There we lost a piece of our soul, a part of what is our common pillar and our perpetual pain: the emigrants.”

The Speaker of the Assembly, Glauk Konjufca expressed his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the tragic accident and wished a speedy recovery to the injured. “The country’s institutions will be close to you to jointly face these difficult moments for all of us,” said Konjufca, Klankosova.tv reports.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that the government of Kosovo will try its best to ease the pain and consequences of this accident, adding that for the Albanians in exile, life is counting down the days until the next arrival in the homeland.

“No matter how big the distances are, they decrease, because they are measured by heart. This Sunday, the long road did not bring home a part of us in exile. It brought pain to all the people. Today we share this pain together and we stand united in this tragedy, as a big family that we are,” Kurti said.

The return of fellow citizens from Croatia to Kosovo was done in joint coordination of the government of Kosovo and the government of Croatia. The Government of Kosovo has organized the transportation and escort of compatriots from the airport to their families in their places of residence.

Ministers Vitia and Svecla give update on the bus crash developments (media)

Minister of Health Arben Vitia and Minister of Interior Xhelal Svecla held a press conference yesterday at the Pristina Airport to give an update on the arrangements for the return of the injured and victims of the Kosovo bush crash in Croatia that left 10 people dead.

Vitia said that 28 persons have been discharged from the hospital in the Croatian town of Slavonski Brod and that 15 continue to be treated while one is receiving care at a Zagreb clinic. At the same time, two of the injured are still in intensive care. “One of them is in a critical condition while the other is stable and not in a life threatening condition,” he said. Of the discharged persons, four have decided to go to Germany for further treatment, Vitia continued.

Svecla meanwhile said that the bodies of the victims of the crash are expected to arrive to Kosovo this morning. “All formal procedures for the transport of the ten victims are completed and their bodies are on their way to Kosovo and I believe they will be arriving early morning.”

The two ministers thanked the Croatian authorities for their prompt and unreserved response to the tragic accident.

Kusari-Lila: We expect reviewed budget to be approved (Koha)

Acting head of the Vetevendosje Movement parliamentary group, Mimosa Kusari-Lila, said at the conclusion of the Assembly presidency’s meeting that they expected the reviewed version of the Kosovo budget to be endorsed by MPs today.

She also called on parliamentary parties to ‘reflect’ and support international agreements which were unable to be adopted last week for the lack of quorum.

Abdixhiku: LDK’s rightful place is at the top, current government made of interns (G. Express)

Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lumir Abdixhiku said in an interview with Gazeta Express that the party’s rightful place is at the top of the political landscape of Kosovo and that while this goal may take time to be achieved, “we cannot aspire less than that.”

Abdixhiku said that LDK is expected to ‘make a comeback’ in upcoming local elections and that this, he said, is also supported by the findings of recent polls.

He said the current government of Kosovo is made of ‘interns’ who do not know what they are doing. “I see the main problem of this Government to be the significant absence of vision and transformative projects for the country. There are no major initiatives, no plans for major investments, no significant political journeys.”

PDK’s Tahiri slams Government for not submitting 100-day report (media)

Head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Abelard Tahiri accused the Government of Kosovo for not submitting a report on its first 100 days in office saying that this constitutes a violation of parliamentary rules and practices.

He said that the party will use all available mechanisms to, as he said, put this government in motion.

Tahiri also criticised the Government led by Albin Kurti for how it handled the recent bus accident that resulted in ten fatalities. “All we’ve seen on the part of the Government is a visit of Mr. Kurti to Croatia, to the scene, that was made possible by Croatian KFOR serving under NATO. The entire efforts were of the Government of Croatia,” he said.  “It is not like we saw any concrete efforts by the Government of Kosovo in this direction.”

Haradinaj: Kurti’s government will not last long (RTV Dukagjini/Telegrafi)

Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo said that it is already proved that Albin Kurti is a deceitful and his governing will not last long.

He said at “Debat Plus” TV show that Kurti’s promises on dialogue, resiprocity and many other issues appeared to be a deceit. “Kurti promised to reestablish reciprocity, but the truth is that import of good from Serbia increased,” he said.

He added that there was no better Prime Minister in Kosovo than Kurti, for Serbia’s economy. “Kurti is blocking our businesses and municipalities. Money in Kosovo is blocked and municipalities are not developing. Kosovo entrepreneurs will face major consequences by the end of this year, while Serbia’s goods have flooded our market,” Haradinaj said.

He added that Kurti government is the enemy of the economy of its own country.

Haradinaj said that LVV has made over 28 employments of the family members of ministers and MPs in this governing period. He also presented the list with 17 names of family members of LVV officials, who according to him were employed by the Kurti government.

Spain awaits dialogue’s epilogue to decide on recognition of Kosovo (RTV Dukagjini)

Spain’s Foreign Ministry said in a response to the RTV Dukagjini broadcaster that they will not recognize independence of Kosovo, and that instead, they will wait for the outcome of the dialogue between the parties.

“Spain keeps its non-recognising position on the declaration of the independence endorsed by Pristina in 2008 and defends the need of the issue to be resolved through dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. On this occasion, we consider resumption of the dialogue as good news,” is noted in the response attributed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.

However, the dialogue is being objected by Professor Richard Caplan, who claims that this process has not delivered anything so far. “Spain is among the five EU countries that has not recognized Kosovo. Spain sees the dialogue as means to resolve this issue, however after the latest round of talks, it has become clear that there has been no progress on this direction,” he said.

Change of the position of Spain is not expected in Kosovo either. “I do not expect any move in relation with recognition of Kosovo by Spain at this moment. On the other hand, Spain’s position that this matter should be resolved by dialogue, shows the importance that Kosovo should consider in relation with the dialogue, as this process will determine recognition by the EU’s five countries and the others after them,” Emir Abrashi, researcher with a Pristina-based think tank, said.

A bakery opens in the Kosovo Correctional Center in Lipjan (T7)

Each dish was carefully decorated. These meals were prepared by the women inmates in the Lipjan prison. They will have the opportunity to cook constantly this kind of food. Through a donation from the EULEX mission and UNMIK a bakery has been built inside the premises of the Correctional Center in Lipjan, T7 reports.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for UNMIK, Barrie Freeman, speaks about the goal of this bakery. “The bakery promotes the rehabilitation of the inmates and their reentry into productive civilian life,” she said.

Although they gathered for a positive event, there were words of condolence for the death of 10 people in the bus accident in Croatia. “Let me express my deepest condolences for the incident that took place in Croatia last weekend,” said the Head of EULEX’s Correctional Unit, Ritva Vahakoski.

She said that this bakery will help the woman to spend their free time.  “By working they will wisely invest their time here.  At the same time this will help in their rehabilitation and reintegration,” she said.

The Kosovo Correctional Service welcomed the project.  “This project has warmly welcomed by women inmates, who will work in this bakery and they will contribute both to themselves and to the institution,” Rasim Selmani, the acting of KCS director said.

While, the deputy minister of Justice Blerim Sallahu mentioned two important things that the bakery will bring to the lives of the prisoners.  “First, the prisoners will be returned to society as soon as possible so that work is a condition for reintegration into society, and second, the KCS will be economically independent in terms of production,” he said. Apart of bakery, there is a tailoring service here.

See more at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWaZL2ouQrM

Dragica Gasic claims her flat was broken into (RFE)

The apartment of Dragica Gasic, who in June became the first Serb woman to return to Gjakova, is reported to have been broken into and looted, Radio Free Europe in Albanian reports.

The allegations were raised by Gasic which confirmed them to RFE but the Kosovo Police said it could not confirm the news. Spokesperson for the police, Nusret Xhurkaj, said only that Gasic returned to her flat on Tuesday, after visiting her sister in Klina.

Gasic said that her personal items in the flat are missing, as well as food, security camera and internet connection devices. She also said that her front door was damaged.

The Serbian Government’s Office for Kosovo it would be informing EU authorities and international missions in Kosovo about the incident.

OSCE issues report on assessment of community rights (Telegrafi)

 Kosovo institutions should ensure continued progress and increase their focus on advancing the rights of non-majority communities, a cornerstone in building a truly inclusive, peaceful and stable society, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo’s fifth edition of the Community Rights Assessment reports concluded.

The report found that Kosovo institutions have achieved some progress in promoting and protecting the rights of non-majority communities and their members in line with the FCNM obligations. Despite the progress in some areas, the recommendations from the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Resolution on Kosovo from July 2019 remain valid.

See the report: https://www.osce.org/mission-in-kosovo/493675

NGOs: Assembly will disable work of organizations and deprive public of right to be informed (media)

19 non-governmental organisations of Kosovo issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying that the they strongly oppose the initiative of the Kosovo Assembly committee requiring the members of the civil society who are observing the process of selection of members of Media Complaints Board to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The civil society organizations said the move infringes on the public’s right to information and impede the work of civil society. “The Confidentiality Agreement stipulates, inter alia, that civil society representatives may not openly discuss or publish materials related to candidates and the progress of the process during the process (and contains significant restrictions that would apply once the process is completed).”

“Although we appreciate the need to maintain the integrity of the process, the Confidentiality Agreement is illegal. Law no. 04 / L-44 on the Independent Media Commission stipulates that “[a] members of the Appeals Board shall be appointed by the Assembly of Kosovo on the basis of open and transparent procedures” (Article 38 (1)). This provision prevents the ad hoc Commission’s harmful tendencies for member selection procedures to be closed through confidentiality agreements. The conditionality of the participation of civil society representatives in the selection process with the signing of this agreement violates the legal requirement that the procedure be open and transparent, preventing civil society representatives from expressing themselves freely regarding eventual findings,” the signatories said.

COVID-19: 42 new cases, no deaths (media)

42 new cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 16 persons have recovered from the virus during this time.

There are 195 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

To date, 374,190 vaccine doses have been administered in Kosovo.

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