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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija

Gracanica, October 29, 2000

  • Commentary on the local municipal elections in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Financial aid by EU countries intended for Serb areas in Kosovo and Metohija
  • Planned projects to be financed by EU countries
  • COMMENTARY ON THE LOCAL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

    UN Security Council Resolution 1244 foresees the holding of local municipal elections and the creation of democratic institutions but it also foresees that the UN mission in the Province will previously secure full respect for human rights and freedoms for all citizens. Unfortunately, this second task has not been realized which to a large extent makes it impossible for all citizens to freely participate in local elections. The holding of elections which are inopportunely declared to be "the first free elections in Kosovo" while Kosovo-Metohija Serbs lack basic freedoms and have been living for a year and a half now under the intensive terror of Albanian extremists represents a premature step and a very crude example of political cynicism. Such elections are, therefore, only conditionally legitimate, because truly free elections cannot take place without full freedom of living and expression of the political will of all citizens. Hence the nonparticipation of the Serbs in municipal elections cannot be called a boycott because it is not an act of willful obstruction. Statements by repesentatives of UNMIK and OSCE who have already characterized the nonparticipation of the Serbs as the consequence of Milosevic's dictate, while avoiding the mention of the true reasons for failure to participate in elections, represent an attempt to hide the fundamental failure of the mission with respect to security and respect for human rights.

    Nevertheless, the SNC hopes that the holding of local municipal elections will enable the replacement of current self-appointed municipal structures with elected representatives of the Albanians who will be more receptive to the influence of the international community with regard to securing respect for the law and rights and freedoms of all citizens, especially the Serbs and Roma. For that reason, the SNC was the first among the political organizations of the Serb people in the Province to propose that UNMIK temporarily appoint Serb representatives to municipal structures wherever possible in order to secure normal participation for the Serb community in the political process. In the meanwhile, it is necessary to ensure the unobstructed process of voter registration for all Serbs who have the right to register, both in Kosovo and among the refugee population.

    The dynamics of future Serb participation in the political process and the construction of democratic institutions will depend first and foremost on the dynamics of the return of displaced persons, the prevention of ethnic violence and the securing of fundamental respect for law and order. Insisting that the Serbs participate in the political process of Kosovo with a knife at their threats without fundamental changes in the quality of their life will represent the most crude act of manipulation and violation of basic human rights.

    Protosyncellus Sava Janjic
    Spokesman of the SNC

    FINANCIAL AID BY EU COUNTRIES INTENDED FOR SERB AREAS IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA (most important projects in Serb areas)


    The Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija received from Mr. Javier Solana and the Secretary General of the EU Council a detailed list of projects financed by EU countries in Serb areas in Kosovo and Metohija. Not included on the list are projects financed by the U.S. Government. A large number of these projects were carried out upon the initiative or in coordination with the SNC which through its representatives in the temporary administration will continue further cooperation with the EU toward the goal of financing new projects critical to the survival of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija. Listed below are the most important projects in Serb areas with corresponding amounts donated by EU member countries:

    - Restoration and furbishing of two health clinics in Kosovska Kamenica - EUR 42,300 (France)

    - Opening of Serb radio station in Gnjilane - USD 10,000 (France)

    - Start up of production in cold storage plant in Gnjilane - USD 24,703(France)

    - Printing of Serb newspaper in Gnjilane - USD 10,053 (France)

    - Equipment for secondary schools in Kosovska Kamenica - EUR 17,900(France)

    - Assistance to Radio Station Kontakt in Pristina - USD 50,000 (France)

    - Opening of two Internet centers in Serb enclaves - EUR 47,000 (France)

    - "Open University" programs in Vitina and Gnjilane region - EUR 45,100(France)

    - Financing of two communications consultants - EUR 47,000 (France)

    - Restoration of elementary school in village of Tomance - EUR 29,700(France)

    - Restoration of two schools in the villages of Kustovo and Svinjare - EUR 107,500 (France)

    - Equipment for St. Sava School in Mitrovica - EUR 10,000 (France)

    - Equipment for Simonida Medical Center in Gracanica (Physicians of the World) - EUR 146,000 (Greece)

    - Restoration of Branko Radicevic School in Obilic - EUR 19,400 (Italy)

    - Restoration of medical clinic in Priluzje - EUR 91,500 (Luxemburg)

    - Monthly donation for financing of micro projects, restoration and development of Leposavic municipality (Luxemburg KFOR) - EUR 12,400 per month (Luxemburg)

    - Since August 1999 Luxemburg has financed:
         Restoration of the school in Socanica;
         Restoration of railway station in Slatina;
         Restoration of railway station in Socanica;
         Equipment for school in Leposavic;
         Restoration of poultry farm in Leposavic;
         Repair of bus stations in Leposavic;
         Restoration of school facilities in Gornja Socanica;
         Restoration of sanatorium in Socanica;
         Sanitary installations in schools in Vuca and Gornja Socanica;
         Heating in school in Socanica;
         Beehives for Leposavic municipality;
         Road repairs in Leposavic; etc. totaling - $135,000 (Luxemburg)

    - Pavement of roads as part of Operation Trojan - EUR 1,878,838(Holland)

    - Procurement of wood for heating for village of Gracanica - EUR 100,000(Sweden)

    - Restoration of school in Gracanica - EUR 40,000 (Sweden)

    - Small projects for Serb returnees (Slivovo) - EUR 16,000 (Britain)

    - Various projects for improving lives of Kosovo Serbs - EUR 192,000 (Britain)

    - Serb Radio Station KIM in Caglavica project (SNC)
         EUR 144,000 (Britain);
         DEM 15,000 (Greece);
         DEM 85,000 (Germany);
         EUR 47,000 (France)
    (Currently the equipment is being set up and the radio station is expected to begin broadcasting in two weeks.)

    - Germany is financially providing for the implementation of numerous projects in Serb areas such as
         Heating plant for Strpce
         Assistance to communal services in Mitrovica, Velika Hoca and Orahovac
         Construction of small school for Serb children in Orahovac
         Assistance in construction material for Velika Hoca and Orahovac
         Bus service for Serbs in Velika Hoca
         Repair of electrical system and village center in Velika Hoca
    Funds will be provided from a donation by the German Government for the needs of Serbs and minority communities in the amount of - DEM 1,000,000 (Germany)

    - Local Community Office project (Agenda for Coexistence) - EUR 424,000 (France)

    - From the EU fund for municipal and local investments two contracts are expected to be concluded in Zvecan municipality (for roads and a heating system) - EUR 410,000 (EU)

    - Reconstruction of railway line Pristina-Mitrovica-administrative border with central Serbia toward which the following amount has been invested to date - EUR 1,700,000 (Sweden)

    - Rehabilitation of Trepca Complex - EUR 1,500,000 (France)

    - Assistance project for hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica - EUR 500,000(EU budget) This project is currently under suspension due to problems regarding Albanian staff in the hospital.

    - With the funds donated by the EU the repair of the water system in Mitrovica, assistance to several Serb factories north of the Ibar River and assistance to the Serb community in the YU program building in Pristina is foreseen.

    - From the EU fund for restoration of villages several projects have already been realized in the region of Gracanica (restoration of communal system in Roma part of the village, clean up of area around the cultural center, clean up area around the marketplace is also planned)

    - Through the department of agriculture, which is co-headed by Dragan Nikolic, a member of the SNC from Pasijane near Gnjilane, numerous investments in the development of agriculture and the purchase of agricultural crops in Serb areas is planned.

    The majority of these projects employ local Serbs which enables at least temporary employment of a significant number of the unemployed in Serb areas.

    PLANNED PROJECTS TO BE FINANCED BY EU COUNTRIES

    At this time numerous new projects are being planned in Serb areas implementation of which is expected in the next few months:

    - A new donation of EUR 102,000 is currently being prepared for assistance to the Serb community by France.

    - Financing of the process of Serb and Roma returns in the amount of EUR 762,000 (France)

    - Germany plans to make donations toward health care in the region of Orahovac and Gracanica as well as repair of the telephone system in the region of Orahovac and Velika Hoca.

    - Italy is preparing humanitarian aid for Serb families in Gnjilane, Kosovska Kamenica and Novo Brdo in the amount of EUR 40,900.

    - France is also preparing a financial package for areas to which Serb and Roma refugees are returning in the amount of FRF 5,000,000.

    - Italy is preparing a donation of DEM 500,000 towards the goal of offering financial loans.

    In addition to the projects listed above, where we have listed only those earmarked specifically for the Serb community, EU financing is also coming from an entire series of NGO's who are active throughout Kosovo and Metohija.

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