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OSCE Broadcast 18 March

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Belgrade analysts believe Serbs would suffer the most from territory exchange (KTV)
Srpska Lista keeps Law on Higher Education hostage (KTV)
Serbian leaders deny war crimes committed in Kosovo (GazetaExpress)
Mustafa: President to unblock CEC (RTK)
VV: PDK has particularly influenced the justice system (KTV)
President’s son-in-law and First Lady’s nephew appointed at Central Bank senior posts (KTV)
Kosnett: Kosovo succeeds when women lead (KTV)
Novo Brdo: The fifth theft of cattle in less than fifteen days (Kossev)

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  • Belgrade analysts believe Serbs would suffer the most from territory exchange (KTV)
  • Srpska Lista keeps Law on Higher Education hostage (KTV)
  • Serbian leaders deny war crimes committed in Kosovo (GazetaExpress)
  • Mustafa: President to unblock CEC (RTK)
  • VV: PDK has particularly influenced the justice system (KTV)
  • President’s son-in-law and First Lady’s nephew appointed at Central Bank senior posts (KTV)
  • Kosnett: Kosovo succeeds when women lead (KTV)
  • Novo Brdo: The fifth theft of cattle in less than fifteen days (Kossev)

Belgrade analysts believe Serbs would suffer the most from territory exchange


President of the Forum for Ethnic Relations Board Dusan Janjic keeps insisting that the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia resembles a patient in coma, when everybody wonders if it is worth to be brought back.

Janjic believes that a big mistake was made when presidents Thaçi and Vucic were allowed to talk about territory exchange.

“Both political classes in Kosovo and Serbia have their background in common, namely the 1990s and disintegration of Yugoslavia. As long as this process has not finished, those people will believe that only their vision is the right one, and their vision is ethnic division and nationalism,” Janjic said.

He said that Albanian and Serbian leaders are not ready for real compromises, adding that with the current 100 percent tariff on Serbian products, it is not likely that the dialogue will resume.

President of the Helsinki Committee in Serbia Sonja Biserko also does not agree with the territory exchanging idea. She says that this is one of the most disadvantageous solution for Serbs in Kosovo, especially those in south of Iber, who would suffer the most.

“Recently, a survey on opinions of Serbs in Kosovo about territory exchange was conducted, and the majority was against. Even in the north, around 70 per cent of Serbs were against. They are aware that partition aggravates the situation for Serbs, particularly in the south, whereas those in the north get further marginalised, ceasing to be political and social stakeholders,” Biserko said.

Biserko added that after 1999, Serbs wasted too much time to articulate the policy of new leaders, and gradually they ended up under the control of Srpska Lista.

“Upon establishment of Srpska Lista, the influence of Belgrade in Kosovo was reinforced. The party is currently in the Kosovo institutions; however, it does not at all represent interests of Serbs there, but rather interests of Belgrade. Srpska Lista remains a disturbing group with regard to Serbs in Kosovo, in particular because most of them are very much criminalised in north Kosovo,” she added.

According to the human rights activist Biserko, the territory exchanging idea is not that new, given that they have worked a lot on it for many years in Brussels. Nevertheless, she remains optimistic that it will not be happen, mostly as a result of persistence by Germany.

 Srpska Lista keeps Law on Higher Education hostage


Because of Srpska List, the Law on Higher Education may not yet be voted again, which, one month ago, the Education Committee submitted to the Kosovo Assembly for the first reading.

Srpska Lista is continuing to boycott the Assembly of Kosovo since the introduction of the tariff on Serbian products, whose votes are necessary for adoption of this Law.

The Education Committee chairman Ismail Kurteshi said that all this is a perversion of Serb MPs, as this is keeping hostage many other laws.

Kurteshi says the trouble of Serb MPs is that they are not willing to leave the University of North Mitrovica to come under the management of Kosovo’s institutions.

Minister of Education Shyqiri Bytyqi said that the new law, on which the quality of higher education institutions in the public and private sector depends, has many changes.

He says he will not give up from the University of North Mitrovica because it is unreasonable for an institution within Kosovo to continue working with Serbia’s curriculum.

The Law on Education falls within the laws of vital interest.

Votes of two-thirds of MPs, including communities, are needed for adoption of this category of laws.

 Serbian leaders deny war crimes committed in Kosovo


Kosovo Deputy Minister of Defense, Burim Ramadani, says Serbian leaders are denying war crimes committed in Kosovo.

Ramadani in a Facebook post said Serbia’s leaders – president Aleksandar Vucic, foreign minister Ivica Dacic and head of Serbia’s Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, are denying war crimes that Serbian forces have committed all over Kosovo during 1998-1999 war.

Ramadani reacted to the statement of Djuric, who on Monday denied that war crimes were committed in one of the most sanguinary massacres in Kosovo, in the village Recak, when 45 Albanian civilians were killed by Serbian-led security forces in January 1999. The massacre sparked international outrage and was one of the factors that led to the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that ended the bloody two-year war of Kosovar independence.

In the meantime, RTK portal quoted Halil Matoshi, advisor to Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, as reacting to Marko Djuric’s statement, who said that there was no massacre in Reçak.

Through a Facebook post, Matoshi called Djuric a follower of Slobodan Milosevic’s politics. He called him a classical fascist and said that no dialogue should be run with him.

Matoshi said that EU representatives should also react to these statements of Djuric.

Mustafa: President to unblock CEC


Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic Le ague of Kosovo (LDK) reacted regarding non-appointment of the Central Election Commission (CEC) members by President Hashim Thaçi.

In a Facebook post Mustafa wrote that appointment of members should be done in accordance with the Constitution, Law and the Constitutional Court’s Decision.

“It is obvious that someone will end up being dissatisfied, as the President said few days ago, but application of the Constitution’s ground should be of basic importance for the President’s Institution and not referral to satisfaction or dissatisfactions.

On behalf of LDK, I call on the President to unblock the CEC, because continuation of this situation will deepen the consequences for the political parties, the country and the constitutional order,” Mustafa wrote.

 VV: PDK has particularly influenced the justice system


The influences in the justice system since the end of the war, in particular by the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), have stifled this sector. This was stated by Vetëvendosje MP Albulena Haxhiu in a press conference staged on Monday.

According to her, most of the people working in the justice sector in the country hold more than one job.

The employment of family members of heads of state leaders in public enterprises was also criticized at this conference.

Otherwise, they said that despite the fact that 40% of the people are unemployed, 18% of them live in extreme poverty and this situation would change only if they went to early elections.

 President’s son-in-law and First Lady’s nephew appointed at Central Bank senior posts


Central Bank of Kosovo has opened its doors for employment of relatives of the Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi.

On 25th October 2018, Lulëzim Dragusha got a regular employment contract by the Central Bank of Kosovo.

Dragusha, who is husband of MP Evgjeni Thaçi, daughter of President’s older brother, Gani, is senior officer for Coordination with Financial Institution Regulators at the Central Bank.

KTV asked Central Bank if the President used his authority for this employment, but they answered that they had announced vacancy for this position twice, and Dragusha was the only one who met the requirements in both vacancies, given that he has the appropriate education for this position.

Albana Thaçi from Burojë village, a close cousin of the President, has also been employed at the Central Bank. By end of 2018, she was employed at the Central Bank as Admission Officer.

In this case also, the Central Bank says that regular employment procedures were followed.

Besides the President, his wife Lumnije Thaçi exercised her influence to employ her nephew Alban Gërxhaliu as EU Integration officer at the Central Bank of Kosovo.

KTV sources reported that the First Lady personally had gone to the Office of then Central Bank Governor, presently Minister of Finance, Bedri Hamza, for a meeting.

KTV tried to contact Minister of Finance Hamza, but he did not answer, since he is abroad.Central Bank stated that Gërxhaliu was employed by end of 2015, again stating that the First Lady’s nephew was the best applicant.

Finally, the Central Bank of Kosovo stated that in the three abovementioned recruitment processes, Central Bank did not receive any complaint from applicants.

Kosnett: Kosovo succeeds when women lead


With 18 percent women in the labour force, Kosovo has a low participation of women at work.

This was stated on Monday at the closing ceremony of KUSA project ‘Elimination of barriers for equal opportunities’. Participants discussed the importance of women’s role in decision-making positions and women’s employment, thus ending gender discrimination in Kosovo.

The US Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett stated that Kosovo succeeds when women take the lead. He highlighted that such an example of a powerful leadership is former President Atifete Jahjaga, who has run a campaign for recognition of Kosovo in the world, and for the rights of raped women.

Former President Atifete Jahjaga said that the project provides the opportunity to attend training courses in various areas under the current circumstances in Kosovo.

“Gender discrimination discourages women in Kosovo. There are many cases when in job interviews women are asked about their family status. Women are discriminated at work. Gender also determines salary; they are paid less than men. During my carrier I have tried to encourage women, supporting their professional ambitions,” Jahjaga said.

Novo Brdo: The fifth theft of cattle in less than fifteen days


Unknown perpetrators stole a cow and a calf from the Savic family from the Izvor village in the municipality of Novo Brdo on the night between Saturday and Sunday. The damage is estimated at approximately 2.000 EUR. Two cows were taken from the same family five years ago. The perpetrators have still not been found.

The head of the family, Novica Savic replaced the door after the first theft. In addition to the old wooden ones, new metal doors were installed, but it did not help, as this time the thieves literally entered through the wall.

„This is a real disaster for us. We have no other income except from agriculture. We have some sheep and goats and we are afraid that they will take them away as well,“ Novica’s mother Blagica told RTV Puls and accused the police of doing nothing to protect conscientious farmers.

RTV Puls reported that it is most likely that the same criminal group tried to rob the neighboring household of the Savic family. Though thieves managed to open a hole in the wall of the barn, they were spotted by the Savic family in time, which alarmed the whole neighborhood, causing a group of around a dozen thieves to flee the scene.

The case was reported to the police. An investigation is underway.

The mayor of the municipality of Novo Brdo, Svetislav Ivanovic stated that crime in that part of Kosovo had increased exponentially, as this is the fifth theft in the last ten days.

„We have tried everything. We also equipped the police with municipal vehicles so that they can be more mobile while protecting citizens and their property. We are warning the domestic and foreign public, but there is no progress. Not a single thief has been found and prosecuted,“ Ivanovic told Puls, confirming RTV Puls’ allegations that local and security authorities are powerless against criminals.

The citizens of Novo Brdo are also worried about yesterday’s attempted robbery of one of the oldest churches in the region – St. George’s Church in the village of Stanisor, near Gnjilane. The thieves attempted to break into the church, however, no major damage was inflicted.

More than 160 head of large cattle and dozens of passenger vehicles and agricultural machinery, mainly belonging to ethnic Serbs, were stolen in the last ten years in Novo Brdo. To date, not a single thief has been found.

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