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Corruption

Christopher Dell Has Ruined the State Budget of Kosovo

Portrait of former U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo taught his ideals in the country much harm. He acted like a colonial governor.

Public preach water and drink wine secretly Christopher Dell. Picture: PD

Public preach water and drink wine secretly Christopher Dell. Picture: PD

Self-righteous and headteacher way occur some Western diplomats engaged in state-building in conflict areas. The locals are to internalize in double quick time, the values ​​of the free world, deselect corrupt politicians and respect laws.These ideals preached Christopher Dell, after he had become mid-2009 U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo. He pointed with a wagging finger out that corruption and abuse of power in the Balkan republic would finally be punished.

In practice, however Dell acted like a colonial governor. As the U.S. company Bechtel is applied for the construction of the highway that connects today Kosovo with Albania, the ambassador lobbied without regard to laws and diplomatic conventions for the American company. Despite warnings from EU diplomats Dell threaded the deal – along with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci – Behind the scenes one. The construction of the highway will, “about 700 million euros” cost, it was said.

Economic foolishness

When the contract was solemnly signed with Bechtel in April 2010, the Kosovo household was about 1.1 billion euros. EU representatives in Pristina protested that it was economically stupid, more than half of government revenues to plug into a 120-kilometer long strip of asphalt. The poverty-stricken country needs the money for more pressing tasks – for example, for measures to mitigate the high levels of unemployment.

Now has become rumored in Kosovo, which is why Christopher Dell started so vehemently for the motorway project: Reporter of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (Birn) have revealed that the former U.S. ambassador in Pristina since last fall working for Bechtel. The contractor confirmed, Dell was in Mozambique as “country manager” in use. The U.S. Embassy in Pristina sees no conflict of interest, finally, Dell was retired as a diplomat. And the government of Kosovo refuses to cancel the contract for the construction of the highway to the public. The EU Rule of Law Mission site has now launched investigations against the non-transparent procurement. But Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is unimpressed: Bechtel received from the government just awarded a highway to Macedonia. Cost: 600 million euros.

Big disappointment

No Western diplomat has the hopes of the Kosovars as disappointed as Christopher Dell, who had previously represented the United States in Zimbabwe and Angola as an ambassador. The brawny Americans conducted the election of Kosovo’s president by SMS, took leading politicians who were under suspicion of bribery, in protection and insulted independent journalists who demanded transparency in the award of public contracts.

In the social media for circulating comparisons with “Casablanca.” In the famous movie Fresh Arrivals are warned by a man: “Be careful, this city is full of vultures.” And in the same breath, he deprives people who have fled from the Nazi regime. Certainly, Dell was not the only diplomat who publicly preached water in Kosovo and secretly drank wine – but the most ruthless. 

Source: (Tages-Anzeiger)

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