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News 18 Mar 15

Kosovo Serb Leaders Unite to Issue Common Demands

Kosovo Serb leaders - currently boycotting the government - gathered on Wednesday in Gracanica to form a joint political umbrella, and produce a list of joint demands.

Petrit Collaku
BIRN
Pristina

 

Kosovo Serb mayors and municipal assembly members from the country's Serb-majority municipalities filled the house of culture in the central town of Gracanica on Wednesday on a mission to coordinate future steps.

The meeting was attended by Marko Djuric, head of Serbian government's Kosovo office, who said the gathering had the aim of uniting the Serbian community.

“It is important that today we define the aims and priorities for our battles”, Djuric told the audience.

At the end of the meeting, ten conclusions were issued. One said that the Serbian community should be politically represented in all municipalities, including those where they are not the majority.

Another demanded full protection for the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church as well as the return to Kosovo of all internally displaced Serbs.

Legal decisions affecting the Serbian community must enjoy the full prior consent of the elected Serbian political representatives in Kosovo, another point said.

The assembled Serbian leaders also demanded a halt to further privatisations, and an investigation of the wrongdoings in the privatisation process so far.

The leaders also demanded a census in Serbian areas, with the aim of securing a clearer budget for the community.

Another conclusion was the demand for the recognition of the licences of Serbian Lawyers Chamber and the immediate release of what they termed "political prisoners".

Another decision gave full backing to a "strong Association of Serbian Municipalities". 

The meeting in Gracanica follows the dismissal of a Kosovo Serb minister, Aleksandar Jablanovic on February 3rd for making a derogatory speech about Albanian protesters.

Jablanovic angered the majority community in the country after describing Albanians who staged a protest against a busload of Serbian pilgrims as "savages".

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa eventually demanded his resignation, after which members of the ex-minister's party quit the government.

Gracanica Mayor Vladeta Kostic refused to say when Kosovo Serb politicians would return to government as part of the ruling coalition.

 

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