Corruption at Kosovo customs and PTK

PTK-CustomsPRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovo media two major public institutions were confronted with corruption cases on Wednesday: Reportedly the office of the Kosovo Special Prosecutor filed an indictment against Shyqyri Haxha, the CEO of the publicly owned Post Telekom Kosovo. Accusations refer to a damage of 100,000 Euro caused by a license given to the "Mobile Virtual Network Operator" Dardafon.net in 2008 and 2009. Another indictment targets the Director General of the Kosovo Customs, Naim Huruglica, as well as the head of its legal office, Lulzim Rafun. Both men face accusations to have harmed the Kosovo Budget by misusing  their insider knowledge concerning a planned increase of tobacco tax. Prior to this decision the respective officials are said to have imported a sizable amount of tobacco, supported by four Kosovo companies. KON / NK

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Explosion in "Ferronikel" Company

FN2PRISTINA, Kosovo — Reportedly at least two employees of the "Ferronikel" factory were injured by an explosion in the night from 7th. to 8th. June. The explosion happened an electric oven and lasted over 15 minutes. As to witnesses the explosion was heard also in nearby houses and facilities. Police seemingly enforced a temporary evacuation. The Greek management of the factory is said to face complaints of its employees: According to "Ferronikel" staff the explosion was caused by insufficient working conditions and inappropriate equipment. "Ferronikel" is a mining and metallurgical enterprise nearby the Kosovar town of  Gllogovc in the region of Drenas. The former "publicly owned" company was privatized in April 2007. KON / NK

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Privatization of Post-Telekom Kosovo

045PRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar media two European companies have reached the final round of bids for 75% of the shares of the publicly owned "Post Telecom Kosovo" – PTK, the main Kosovar operator for tele- phone and mobile phone network services. The competitors are  “Hrvatski Telecom” from Croatia, which is owned by “Deutsche Telekom” from Germany, and “Telekom Austria". According to figures of the Kosovo Ministry for Economic Development these bidders together – considering their parent companies – have more than 170 million customers world-wide and a financial turnover of more than 67 billion Euro yearly.  Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF Findings on Kosovo

IMFkosovoPRISTINA, Kosovo — As previously reported, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stopped its financial support programme for Kosovo on 1st. June. According to IMF officials the "18-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved … in July 2010 was interrupted" due to the fact that "Elements of the 2011 budget – in particular the large increase in the wage bill – deviated from program commitments." A warning already given in March this year was ignored by Kosovo government officials. As to these developments an IMF consultation mission evaluated the situation and  "held discussions with Kosovar authorities".  Find a brief statement as well as a comprehensive (worth reading) set of the mission’s findings, recommendations and foreseen activities on the following page:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Due to Kosovo’s breach of agreements – IMF support stopped

Bedri.HamzaPRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar and international media the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today decided to terminate its Kosovo programme. For the Republic’s budget this means a loss of almost 140m Euro of donations and low-interest-rate loans from IMF, World Bank and European Commission (EC) in 2011: If Kosovo "does not manage to cut spending by the same amount by the end of the year, Kosovo should declare a complete economic crisis in 2012" the Serbian news provider B92 quotes a source.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Kosovo heads for ruin

MoneyPRISTINA, Kosovo — In a contribution for the guardian, the former Head of the ICO Eco- nomics unit in Kosovo, Andrea Capussela, reports that the Government of Kosovo acts "fiscally irresponsible" and is on the way to "mess up its IMF programme".  According to Capussela "the IMF is expected to make an announcement later today in which it declares Kosovo’s programme to be off-track. This would be a rare event," Capussela states: "Both money and credibility look to be lost … The irresponsibility of its government is leading Kosovo towards a fiscal crisis", which is said to be due to its extensively increased budget spending. Kosovo’s "incompetent … elite is free from accountability", Capussela writes. Read the full article. /KON/NK 

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Kosovo Anti-Corruption Report approved

Thaci-absentPRISTINA, Kosovo — The parliament of the Republic of Kosovo approved the 2010 report of Kosovo’s Anti-Corruption Agency. The docu- ment was already published on 24th March. Reportedly oppositional political parties used the according parliament session to criticize government officials, on this regard not to have fulfilled their duties: Despite an announced “zero tolerance” approach, corruption and graft remained on the same level of former years or even increased. According to the Agency corruption refers to most Kosovar institutions. It includes senior officials and ministers.

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EC Head Barroso to visit Kosovo on Friday

Barosso-2PRISTINA, Kosovo — As to Kosovar media the President of the European Commission, the Portuguese Jose Manuel Barroso, intends to pay a visit to Kosovo on Friday (the 20th. May). Reportedly Barroso will have meetings with the Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. In addition the EC president is said to visit the mainly Serb populated Kosovar municipality of Gracanica in order to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the municipality’s assembly building.

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Kosovo Highway: ‘Vetevendosje’ published Contract

Highway to hell?PRISTINA, Kosovo — The confidential motorway contract between the Kosovo Government and the American-Turkish consortium of the construction enter-prises Bechtel and Enka was made public by Kosovo’s oppositional Move-  ment for Self-Determination ‘Vete-vendosje’. As to Kosovar media, leading officials of ‘Vetevendosje’ claimed that in contrary to government announcements of 700 million euro costs for the highway, the contract doesn’t specify a final amount. Vetevendosje member Shpend Ahmeti stated that according to the contract the Government of Kosovo carries all risks.

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Kosovo reacts on Serbia’s and Bosnia’s refusal to implement CEFTA agreement

Kursari-Lila2PRISTINA / BRUSSELS — Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry Mimoza Kusari-Lila announced in Brussels, that Kosovo soon will implement reciprocal measures addressing Serbia’s and Bosnia’s unwillingness to fulfill contractual duties in terms of the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA. Both the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina refuse Kosovar products to be sold on their local markets. In addition both countries blockade the transit of products from Kosovo through their territories. Likewise Serbia and Bosnia, Kosovo is a CEFTA member country.

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