Monday, July 25, 2005

Media coverage on decentralization

All dailies pay considerable attention to developments regarding decentralization following the signing of the administrative direction by the SRSG to launch the establishment of the first pilot municipalities.

Dailies focus on the issue of borders of the new municipalities, which according to them have not been clearly defined as the new administrative direction allows more than one cadastral zone in one pilot unit.

Hajvalia, Caglavica, and Llapnasela want to join Gracanica, is the front page headline in Koha Ditore. According to the paper, these areas want to join mainly for patriotic reasons -- Hajvalia, so it would not be considered an enclave, while the latter two want to be part of an exclusive Serbian municipality.

Zëri writes on the front page that now the SRSG has signed the AD, the Government of Kosovo is expected to decide on Tuesday when to start with forming municipal assemblies for the new pilot units. However, the paper quotes its sources that definition of municipal borders has remained an obstacle and could lead to postponing of the decision.

Zëri also carries an opinion piece on the issue saying that the SRSG did not manage to achieve a consensus over the last few months between the Government and opposition on decentralization. The editorial further says although the SRSG agreed sometime ago for the Government to be in charge of defining borders of pilot municipalities, which they call a capital segment, he is now becoming more authoritative in dealing with the issue.

Kosova Sot reports on the front page that Gracanica is risking its status as a pilot municipality. According to the paper, head of Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija

This media summary consists of selected local media articles for the information of UNMIK personnel. The public distribution of this media summary is a courtesy service extended by UNMIK on the understanding that the choice of articles translated is exclusive, and the contents do not represent anything other than a selection of articles likely to be of interest to a United Nations readership. The inclusion of articles in this summary does not imply endorsement by UNMIK.

Oliver Ivanovic has threatened to withdraw his representatives from the working groups on decentralization if more cadastral zones are not included in pilot municipalities.

Decentralization to be discussed in US, is the front-page headline in Express. The paper reports that Kai Eide is in Washington where he is expected to meet with high-ranking US and UN officials and decentralization will be one of the topics. Minister for Local Governance Lutfi Haziri is also there.

Lajm writes that while the AD signed by the SRSG will allow Caglavica and Llapnasela to join Gracanica, the problem is with Partesh, which, according to Fehmi Mujota from the Local Government Ministry, could create a problem area as well as a national territorial strip that will try to link with other central parts in Kosovo.

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