FEBRUARY 17 2009 16:59h
Serbs are slowly getting used to their position and most have reconciled with the status of Kosovo, Croatia’s Ambassador to Kosovo said.
In Pritsina, the capital of the independent state of Kosovo, the country’s parliament will today hold a celebratory session after which a concert of the Kosovo philharmonic orchestra will take place, followed by fireworks and other events. The city is full of cars with Kosovo flags and even American on them.
Kosovars, whose state was declared independent on February 17, 2008, are very proud of the
- The situation reminds of Croatia in the 1990’s. Along with the Kosovo flag, the American flag dominates and everything is decorated with the flags of 54 countries which recognised Kosovo’s independence. The government also printed a booklet with what has been done in the past year and what they expect in the year ahead – Kramaric said.
In the said booklet, the government proudly points out Kosovo’s recognition by 54 countries and stresses its work on developing the state, the parliament, the constitutional court…
- The Kosovars are becoming aware that they have a state and that they should act in such a way. The legislature is changing, people are realising that the fight for democracy and a fairer society is continuing. They are trying to become true partners in the community of European countries – Ambassador Kramaric stressed.
He added that, although it is a young state, Kosovo is very ambitious.
This was also confirmed by Luigj Daka, president of the Council of the Albanian National Minority from Kosovo.
- It seems to me that things have taken a turn for the better, the infrastructure and roads are being built, a lot of investments are being made. All in all, there is a very positive climate and I expect the country to strengthen both economically and politically – Daka said.
Serbs in Kosovo are daily protests, but are slowly adjusting
Ambassador Zlatko Kramaric
But there is the key problem of Serbs in Kosovo, which is the chief reason of unrests in the state that is celebrating its first anniversary. But it is not the same in all parts of the country. Daka says tensions are still there, but more in the north of the country than in the rest of the country.
- There is no positive thinking or wish for reconciliation, but the people need to realise that co-existence is necessary. There is also Serbia which constantly exerts pressures and lobbies for further non-recognition of independence, but I hope the international community will solve that – Daka said.
- In Pristina, Serbs behave differently than in, for example, Kosovska Mitrovica. Serbs in Pristina speak Albanian well and they realise that the status of Kosovo will not change. They are doing their best to fit in as best as possible – Kramaric said.
Daka says that the situation in Pristina is peaceful and that no hostility can be felt.
- People are full of enthusiasm, it is peaceful, the shops are full, bars are doing well, there are a lot of restaurants…
The Croatian Ambassador also says that Serbia is keeping trade with Kosovo, both legal and smuggling, which also prevents too much dissatisfaction from either side.
During the celebration of independence in Kosovo, there will probably be no protests in Pristina, Kramaric believes, but protests are an everyday occurrence on the north part of Kosovska Mitrovica. Still, everybody is becoming used to the new situation and the Serb population is realising that it is all becoming senseless.
EULEX – mission withdrawing
Regarding the EULEX mission, which the Serb side has called illegal on several occasions in the dispute against Kosovo, is withdrawing on its own, says Kramaric.
- The country could not become functional without the support of the international community, but now, Kosovo’s institutions are slowly taking over their functions. This is a process that will take time and the military and police will have to undergo reorganisation and reforms carried out – Kramaric concluded.
The ambassador said in the end that Kosovo’s entrepreneur’s aspect is a great opportunity for Croatia which could find space there for investments. In the situation Croatia is in, Kosovo could be the light at the end of the tunnel, Kramaric said.