Monday, August 08, 2005

PM Bajram Kosumi’s interview with Zëri

The lead story in today’s Zëri is an interview with Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, who is quoted as saying that after everything that was done in Kosovo he does not expect a negative report from Ambassador Kai Eide.

Kosumi told the newspaper that the government has a reserve offer, ‘a new offer, or a plan B for decentralisation’. He says that the offer would bring together all factors in the process of pilot municipalities. ‘There can be no progress if all factors are not united, first of all if the residents of the respective settlements have not agreed with the formula. The residents of these settlements were not satisfied with the first version of the plan, therefore, we have prepared the second version and we believe it will satisfy the residents. We have included some basic requests of the residents and I think now they should be ready to participate and work with the government and other factors to start the pilot projects.’

Asked if according to the new plan there will be more cadastral zones, Kosumi said he would not disclose the details. ‘I would not like to give away many details about the new plan, because it is only an idea, a proposal idea that was discussed in the higher levels of the governments, but the government still hasn’t endorsed it and I expect this to happen in the next meeting on Tuesday.’

Kosumi said that there have been concerns by the people in Hani i Elezit, Partesh and Gracanica wanting more cadastral zones, therefore the Government had to do something to address these concerns.

Commenting on recent criticism for a slow pace in standards implementation, Kosumi said: ‘Assessments and some recent criticism, even from Mr. Eide, do not have to do only with the Government. At the end of the day, it is only three months since my Government was created, while the process of returns has been going on for six years and there are still no results in return of refugees.’

‘I appreciate the achievements of the process and I do not expect the eventual report [by Kai Eide] to be negative, because we cannot have a negative report all of a sudden, after positive assessments for six years in a row.’

Kosumi said the government had intervened in Pristina University due to several reasons. He also added that the process in the university had stagnated and the work was blocked for several months.

Asked to comment on the activity of Albin Kurti [leader of the Self-Determination Movement], the Prime Minister said he respects Kurti’s opinion and actions but added that the government has a different concept. Kosumi also said that police was wrong in its behavior toward Kurti. ‘I find handcuffing and beating both unacceptable and humiliating,’ he added.

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