5/ The corridors in the administrative building behind the boiler room
A shelter for women affected by domestic violence in Prishtina is threatened with closure as a result of lack of funding, putting them more than 7,000 euros in debt to the Kosovo Energy Distribution Service, KEDS.
The Center for the Protection of Women and Children in Prishtina has reported that it may close because of an outstanding debt of over 7,000 euros to the Kosovo Energy Distribution Service, KEDS. The electricity supply company has already forwarded the case to an enforcement agent.
Zana Asllani, director of the center, told BIRN that they did not carry out the payment to KEDS because of the lack of funding.
“I am aware that the debt has to be paid, but we were awaiting a response from KEDS to change the tariffs from business to household expenses,” Asllani said.
She said that the only support the shelter receives comes from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, which covers 50 per cent of the shelter’s expenses. Registering as a household would reduce the cost of electricity that the shelter would be required to pay.
Asllani told BIRN that this shelter should function as a household and not as a business, because it is a non-profit organization offering services for individuals affected by violence. She sent two requests to KEDS, but both were rejected.
“We have addressed two requests to KEDS to turn the business tariff to a household tariff, but the responses were that the change is not possible. The reasoning was that all registered organizations pay expenses as a business,” she said.
Asllani said that the region’s municipalities are responsible for the situation, who she has also asked for help.
“Every institution deflects responsibility from itself. In reality it [responsibility] should lie with municipalities of the Prishtina region, whose citizens we offer services to, [they should] at least participate somehow,” Asllani said.
She said that the center will not shut down, but there is a possibility that, from this time forward, they will not be able to give shelter to any more women and children.
KEDS spokesperson Viktor Buzhala told BIRN as well that the type of tariff cannot be changed for the shelter.
“The Law on Electricity clearly defines the status of household and non-household customers: a ‘household customer’ is a consumer who buys electricity for personal consumption, whereas a ‘non-household consumer’ is a consumer who buys electricity and does not use it for family needs,” Buzhala said.
He added that the shelter has a total electricity debt of 7,451 euros.
Regarding the shelter, BIRN also contacted the Municipality of Prishtina to ask about whether they have offered financial support to the institution.
Miranda Mullafazliu, spokesperson of the municipality, said that they have offered as much of their budget as was possible – 500 euros.
“Due to the shelter’s debt, the municipality allocated 500 euros as a subsidy for the problem. As a municipality, we gave this subsidy of 500 euros precisely to prevent cutting off of electricity. This is our possibility and budget,” Mullafazliu told BIRN.
Last week, a coalition of women’s rights organizations in Kosovo wrote a letter to the Kosovo assembly, addressing the lack of funding allocated to women’s shelters in the proposed 2019 budget.
“It has come to our attention that the draft budget for 2019 currently does not fully cover the costs of shelters for women and children that have suffered domestic violence,” the letter reads. “We strongly urge you to make changes in the budget, with the purpose of ensuring security and wellbeing of women and children, in accordance with constitutional obligations and legal responsibilities in Kosovo.”
The letter requests that each of the shelters in Kosovo receive at least 60,000 euros annually, to cover costs related to medicine, food, clothing, facility maintenance, transport, communication and staff salaries.
Kosovo Police reports document that more than 400 women and children who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking have benefited from the services provided in Kosovo’s shelters.
In January, eight of the nine institutions which provide shelter to women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Kosovo closed temporarily after government funds for January and February were delayed. The government allocated emergency funds to keep the shelters afloat in mid January, but the institutions, which are run by local NGOs.
PRISTINA, Kosovo — A decade ago, Fisnik Ismaili designed a sculpture to celebrate Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia: It was a word, “Newborn,” in 10-foot letters, painted a garish yellow. He did not have the cash to pay the metalworkers who built it, so he left his car and house keys as a deposit.
On the evening that the sculpture was unveiled in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, more than 150,000 people signed it. “That moment felt larger than life,” Mr. Ismaili said recently, in a cafe just yards from the sculpture. “People kept coming, climbing it, writing on it. It went on for hours and hours.”
Mr. Ismaili, now 45, signed it for more than 30 friends who could not make the independence celebrations. He wrote a message to his girlfriend, too. Then he added, “Thank God it’s over” to the “B” — referring to both Kosovo’s long road to independence and to the sleepless nights Mr. Ismaili had endured while preparing the sculpture.
“At that moment, we were extremely hopeful — everyone was,” Mr. Ismaili said. “You should have seen the faces of everyone: 99 percent were crying.”
But, Mr. Ismaili added, “The feeling didn’t last long.”
After the unveiling on Feb. 17, 2008, “Newborn” quickly became a symbol of Kosovo. It appeared on the front page of The New York Times the day after; in 2012, Rita Ora, the Kosovar-British pop star, danced on it in a music video.
But since the sculpture’s inauguration and Kosovo’s declaration of independence, economic and political progress has frustrated many in the country. Corruption is a major problem, and a border with Serbia still has not been agreed on.
Mr. Ismaili’s sculpture has tracked that history, good and bad.
In 2016, for instance, he covered it with clouds, but also painted barbed wire around the letters — a statement about the difficulty Kosovars had getting visas to enter most of the rest of Europe (Mr. Ismaili promised politicians he would paint scissors cutting the wires if the visa rules were relaxed. They weren’t).
The following year, he painted bricks on the letters, knocked the “N” and “W” over, then wrote the words “No walls” between them in a response to efforts to build a wall through Mitrovica, an ethnically divided town in the north of the country.
“Every time I paint it, I want to give it a message,” he said.
In its current form, that message is optimistic: The letter “B” has been replaced by the number “1,” making a 10 to celebrate the years since Kosovo’s declaration of independence. But Mr. Ismaili initially wanted even this to have a political message. “I wanted to make it a mirror — ‘Time to reflect’ — but I couldn’t find a single company here who paints chrome,” he said.
Mr. Ismaili is the creative director of an advertising agency and an opposition member of Kosovo’s Parliament. He does not seem to be afraid of expressing his views — his Twitter bio starts with the word “arrogant.” He grew up “slightly privileged” in Pristina when it was part of Yugoslavia, he said: His father ran Kosovo’s central bank and was president of Pristina’s soccer club.
In 1991, he left for London to avoid being recruited into the Yugoslav Army as the country split apart (there was fighting in Croatia after that country declared independence that year, and the war in Bosnia was on the horizon). “Police would stop you in the street and you’d find yourself on the front line. I had a friend who lost his life like that,” Mr. Ismaili said.
In London, he studied multimedia computing, then worked for some major advertising agencies, but when the war started in Kosovo in the late 1990s, he looked to join the rebels. Eventually, he went to Kosovo and served three months in the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Mr. Ismaili’s initial plan for “Newborn” was to preserve it with the graffiti from the night it was unveiled. But people kept on signing, so he decided to repaint it every year on the anniversary of the declaration of independence, starting by painting the flags of countries that had recognized Kosovo as a sovereign nation.
Mr. Ismaili’s plan did not initially succeed. The government refused to let him touch the sculpture, he said, claiming that it would destroy the authenticity of the artwork.
The sculpture went unchanged for five years, until it became so dirty that the city authorities had to repaint it. Mr. Ismaili was unimpressed. “Even the yellow they used was different,” he said. That night he went on Facebook and asked for volunteers to help paint the flags. Two days later, 150 people turned up to help. “At times, I thought they were going to arrest me for doing this without asking anyone, but when they saw how beautiful it was looking, no one bothered us,” he said.
With the help of volunteers, he has repainted it every year since. “There’s been times in the last few years — many times — that I just wanted to paint it black. Just to send a message that this situation is so bad,” he said. He once even bought the paint and loaded it into his car. “What stopped me was the fact it’s not mine. I don’t own this.”
The grievances that test the patience of Mr. Ismaili show no sign of letting up. In 2015, Kosovo reached a deal to give around 20,000 acres of land to neighbouring Montenegro to end a border dispute. Mr. Ismaili reacted by setting off tear gas in Parliament. He was jailed for 16 days, then held for two months under house arrest. A potential land swap with Serbia, which would be much bigger, has been discussed this year, much to Mr. Ismaili’s disgust.
Not everyone in Kosovo is happy about Mr. Ismaili’s control of the sculpture. “He should leave it to the public or street artists to do what they want with, to say what they need,” Dardan Zhegrova, a local artist, said.
Street artists once turned the “B” into a “P” so the sculpture read “Newporn,” Mr. Zhegrova pointed out. “It’s good to let things like that happen,” he said. “Don’t institutionalize it.”
Mr. Ismaili says he loves that people add graffiti to the sculpture — even if the messages can be rude: “I’m surprised there aren’t more,” he said, adding that he wanted to create a system to allow ordinary Kosovars to suggest ideas for repainting it.
But, for now, he said, he would do what he always does: sit down about five days before the independence anniversary, and hope an idea comes.
Prime minister Haradinaj met with US officials to discuss backing for project the World Bank recently said was uncompetitive with renewables
Kosovo has turned to the Trump administration for help to build a coal-fired power plant after losing the backing of the World Bank.
This month, the World Bank withdrew a loan guarantee offer for the Kosovo e Re lignite burner – the last new coal plant it was considering support for – on the grounds that it was uncompetitive with renewable energy.
But after waiting more than a decade, the Kosovan government is intent on finding a new partner.
On 28 September the government took that search to Washington DC. Kosovo’s prime minister Ramush Haradinaj and economic development minister Valdrin Lluka met with top officials from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic).
An agenda for Haradinaj’s trip, posted on the Ekonomia Online news site, listed the meeting and its subject: financing for the planned Kosovo e Re plant, its “positive environmental impact” and plans for the nearby lignite mine.
Neither Opic nor the Kosovan government disputed the description posted online. Both refused to comment on the outcome of the meeting.
Opic spokesperson Andrea Orr said the agency “meets regularly with government officials in the countries where we work and these meetings can cover a range of subjects. We do not disclose specific details of these discussions”. The Kosovan government declined to answer questions.
In July, James Jay Carafano, a foreign policy vice-president at the Heritage Foundation, travelled to Kosovo and met with Lluka. He also hosted prime minister Haradinaj and Lluka at the foundation headquarters in Washington on the same day they met with Opic.
“They are banking on [Opic] for some of the funding for the power plant,” Carafano told Climate Home News.
Opic is a public agency that provides finance and other support to US businesses seeking to invest in emerging markets. The company building the Kosovo plant is a London-listed energy company ContourGlobal, which is mostly owned by US investment fund Reservoir Capital Group. CountourGlobal has received financing from Opic for previous projects.
Present at last month’s meeting were Opic’s vice-president overseeing structured finance and insurance Tracey Webb, managing director of Middle East, North Africa and Turkey operations Danielle Montgomery, a director in charge of new financings, Maria Goravanchi, and J. Deaver Alexander, an advisor who recently joined Opic from the oil and gas industry.
Among several consortia bidding for contracts on the Kosovo plant is US company General Electric. Other bidders include Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies, indicating other public finances could support the plant.
“We expect the financing package to come from a mix of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and export credit agencies,” ContourGlobal CEO Joe Brandt told Reuters this month. The company says construction will begin in early 2019, although no financial backer has so far been confirmed.
Kosovo’s energy sector is bedevilled by geography and two decades lost to war and stuttering reconstruction. Coal, burned in two Tito-era plants, is the source of 98% of the country’s electricity. The country has enormous reserves of lignite, the most polluting form of coal.
The new Kosovo e Re plant has been central to the tiny country’s planning since before its independence in 2008. Leaked US diplomatic cables describe a 2006 meeting at which a World Bank official and government minister celebrated the bank’s willingness to help build the plant with champagne.
In the decade since, the World Bank has soured on coal. But its commitment to underwrite Kosovo e Re remained steadfast until this year. In June, bank officials flew to Kosovo, apparently to inform the government that an expert review had concluded that replacing the nearly 50-year-old Kosovo A plant with renewable energy had become a cheaper option.
Orr said Opic also develops projects “that address the country’s energy needs in a cost-efficient manner”.
“Opic will consider the full spectrum of energy projects, including coal-fired power plants, and evaluate those against its long-standing environmental and social policies to determine if the project makes sense for Opic support,” she said.
Heritage’s Carafano has advocated for the Trump administration to support the plant in Kosovo, which he views as a strategically-located security partner. The Western Balkans were an area of Europe Russia could “destabilise”, he said.
“I think that US policy in general has been to use Opic more as a geostrategic instrument,” he said. “Rather than opening up Starbucks in Brazil, they are projects where it’s going to have strategically relevant impacts to the US.”
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is the environmental story of 2018.
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Kosovo is potentially a candidate to join Nato and, following Haradinaj’s meetings in Washington, the country voted to establish a national army.
The country is also seeking EU membership. Green groups have raised concerns a new coal plant would make it difficult for Kosovo to meet EU emissions requirements if it did join the bloc. Kosovo is already a contracting party to the pan-European Energy Community, which has raised concerns that ContourGlobal’s contracts with the Kosovo government breach state aid rules.
Last week, president Donald Trump signed off on a major restructure of US overseas aid that will see Opic subsumed into a larger organisation – the International Development Finance Corporation. Orr said that project assessments would not change during the transition period.
Terrible details have emerged about the killing in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. The alleged perpetrator, Fatmir T, severed his grandmother’s head. No English-language outlet reported on the crime.
It was reported by Swiss outlet 20 minutes. The cantonal police in Thurgau also told Blick: “When the forces arrived, the head had been separated from the body.”
Apparently Fatmir T did not leave the head of his grandmother in the apartment either. The police spokesman confirmed that the head of the victim has since been found however. When asked where and when, the police spokesman did not want to disclose more about the case “for reasons of tactical importance”.
After the murder, Fatmir left his cell phone at a police station. This happened “wordlessly”, according to media spokesman Matthias Graf. A connection to the homicide had not yet been established at this time. Graf explained: “The emergency call did not arrive until ten minutes later. There was no reason to detain the person.”
One must also keep in mind that people regularly people leave items at police posts, said Graf. “That’s not unusual,” he added.
But there have been rumours that Fatmir T even recorded his vile act on video. “The data on the mobile phone is currently being evaluated,” said Graf, but he declined to give more details.
On Wednesday morning, the 19-year-old suspect was arrested in Kloten in the vicinity of the airport. Whether he wanted to leave the country after the fact, is still unclear.
Matias spent a week in Prishtina as part as his world travels, before heading to Montenegro, then Albania and across to Italy.
It may ease their way into the EU, but ethnically homogeneous states are a recipe for disaster. I know from my family history
The Balkans are boiling again. This time it’s because speculation is rife that Kosovo and Serbia may finally end their dispute and normalise their relations. Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaçi, and his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić, are said to be close to an agreement that would help stabilise the Balkans and open the doors for both countries to join the European Union. Negotiations are happening under the mediation of the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Ten years after Kosovo declared its independence, the last chapter of the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia would be closed.
It sounds like a fairytale. Two leaders who were on opposing sides in the 1998-1999 war that left thousands of Kosovar civilians killed, tens of thousands of homes burned and destroyed, more than a million people expelled and displaced – and which ended only after Nato intervened – would have suddenly conquered their hatreds and enmities for the sake of a better future for their people. A breakthrough at last?
On the contrary, it could turn into a nightmare. The deal under consideration is sometimes called a “border correction”, or an “exchange of territories”. Neither Thaçi nor Vučić have given much detail, but it seems that the agreement would see part of Kosovo’s northern territory, with a majority Serb population, joining Serbia; meanwhile part of southern Serbia, a region commonly known as Preshevo Valley, whose population is majority Albanian, would join Kosovo.
This land swap would result in fewer Serbs living in Kosovo and fewer Albanians in Serbia. Both countries would become more “ethnically pure”. Many people would have to leave their family homes and birthplaces. In short, there would be an exchange of populations, not just territories.
Why would Brussels even entertain the notion of supporting a plan that so deeply contradicts European values?
Charles Kupchan, former adviser to Barack Obama and now a professor at Georgetown University, has described the tentative plan as “peaceful ethnic cleansing”. Supportive of the land-swap idea, he believes “pragmatism needs to trump principle”. I beg to differ.
Creating ethnically homogenous territories and states (in short, getting rid of minorities) is hardly a new idea. In Kosovo, throughout history, it’s happened many times. And it has always left deep wounds that simply won’t heal. Almost every Kosovar has family stories to vouch for this. Here are mine.
The first goes back to the dying years of Ottoman rule in the Balkans. In 1877-8, my mother’s family was among tens of thousands of Albanians expelled from their homes in the village of Berjan i Poshtëm (Donje Brijanje in Serbian), located in today’s southern Serbia. Even now, during family gatherings, elder cousins recall the stories their grandfathers told – of houses, fields and graves they had to leave behind. Their expulsion was ethnic cleansing, made irreversible by the 1878 Congress of Berlin.
Another family story is from my late paternal grandfather. As a child, I would watch his tearful eyes and hear his deep voice trembling while he recalled a night in 1927 when he, his father and his elder brother had to leave their house and pastry shop in the town of Pravishte – now Eleftheroupoli, in eastern Greece. It happened as a consequence of a Greco-Turkish Lausanne agreement on population exchange. This was not their homeland, but it was all they had to provide for the family back in Kosovo. They were given only a few minutes to pack, there was no violence, everything was peaceful, as my grandfather would describe, years later. But it was ethnic cleansing, nonetheless.
I don’t think those supporting the Kosovo-Serbia land-swap idea aren’t aware of the risks. They just ignore the obvious. Ethnic cleansing is a crime, peaceful or not. Apart from being morally unacceptable and ultimately anti-European, the plan would also cause huge, long-term political and security instability across the entire region. If Kosovo and Serbia are allowed to swap territories and people, how could that be denied elsewhere? Many communities in the region dislike the state they live in: Serbs and Croats in Bosnia, Muslims in Serbia, Albanians in Macedonia, or even Hungarians in Slovakia and Turks in Cyprus.
That’s why many oppose the “solution” that is seemingly under consideration. In Kosovo, the land swap has been rejected by a majority of parliamentary parties as well as by the governing coalition. Kosovo’s status and borders derive from its independence in 2008, based on a plan proposed by the former Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari. That solution was found by the international court of justice to be in accordance with the law.
The border deal is also unacceptable for many western countries – notably Germany and the UK. Angela Merkel has made clear she rejects any border changes in the Balkans. “This has to be said again and again, because again and again there are attempts to perhaps talk about borders, and we can’t do that,” she warned in August.
So the real question for the EU is this: why would Brussels even entertain the notion of supporting a plan that so deeply contradicts European values, that is rejected by European capitals, and unwanted by most people on the ground? Federica Mogherini can and should provide some answers.
• Agron Bajrami is editor in chief of Koha Ditore, Kosovo’s leading newspaper
Three men and a woman are suspected in the Kosovar capital Pristina of planning Islamist attacks. Not only would they have targeted a Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, but according to the indictment they also had plans for attacks in Belgium and France. Two of the four also have a Belgian passport.
The arrest of two people was already announced at the beginning of June. Since then, two more people have been arrested, and the whole group is now under suspicion. The French press agency AFP was able to inspect the deed of indictment.
The attack on a church in the Kosovar city of Mitrovica was the most concrete plan. That attack was thwarted by the arrest, as is stated in the indictment. In addition, there would also have been plans for attacks in two discotheques in the Serbian enclave of Gracanica and an attack against the NATO force in Kosovo (KFOR). There are also plans for attacks in France and Belgium, but without further specification.
The 26-year-old Bujar B. was arrested in September. He is considered the leader. He would have stated during the investigation that the intention was to “attack groups of people who came together for religious festivals”.
Bujar B. also has Belgian nationality. The same applies to the 26-year-old Gramos S., who was arrested in June. The 25-year-old Edona H. and the 26-year-old Resim K. were arrested that month.
According to the indictment, Bujar B. would also be one of the organizers of a thwarted attack against the Israeli national football team during a match in Albania in November 2016. In the meantime, eight other Islamists were convicted. They received cell sentences of up to ten years.
A withdrawal of financial support was announced by the World Bank on Wednesday for the construction of Kosovo’s newest power plant.
During an event held today with representatives of global civil society organizations in Bali, Indonesia, President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim confirmed that the international organization will not support a coal power plant in Kosovo.
The Kosovo government stated in 2015 that the Ministry of Economic Development reached an agreement with the World Bank and US company Contour Global that would pave the way to a contract for building the plant, which was dubbed Kosova e Re, New Kosovo.
In 2016, the World Bank told BIRN that they would only support the project after all relevant environmental, social, and technical analyses were conducted, and after consultations with the public and other shareholders.
Following a question by Visar Azemi, executive director of the Balkan Green Foundation, Kim said that the World Bank has made a very firm decision not to go forward with the coal power plant in Kosovo.
“We are required by our by-laws to go with the lowest cost option, and renewables have now come below the cost of coal. So without question, we are not going to do that,” he said.
After the Kosovo government signed a 1.3 billion euro-worth contract with Contour Global, the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development, KOSID, said that “the project would undermine Kosovo’s European future,” and that the government should work on developing efficient energy in Kosovo.
Azemi had said that due to the high cost of its construction, if the plant were to be built, Kosovo citizens would have to pay 50 per cent more for their energy bills, and that there would be a significant impact on the environment due to the burning of lignite as fuel.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj said earlier this yearthat the plant had to be built despite environmental dangers, in order to produce energy locally.
“If we have to also import electricity, as some are suggesting, to buy electricity from neighbors, we all need to become refugees,” he said. “It is true that energy derived from coal is not as clean as other energies, it is not an alternative, but it is an advanced technology.”
In March of this year, Burim Ejupi from the Institute for Development Policy said that the negative impacts make the contract one of the most harmful that has been signed since 1999.
“If this contract comes to life, the state budget would be put under strain and many indispensable projects for Kosovo will not be able to happen, because there needs to be a focus on covering the costs of this billion-dollar investment,” he said.
by Plator Gashi
With 93 yellow hard hats, each representing a lost life, protesters in Prishtina demanded a halt to workplace deaths in Kosovo and better conditions for workers overall.
Bearing numbered safety helmets, a few dozen protesters marched through Mother Teresa Boulevard to the government building in Prishtina, demanding improved working conditions on construction sites, and accountability for the 93 recorded cases of workplace deaths in the country in the past five years.
Called “The buildings are yours, the lives are ours,” the protest concluded with participants placing all the helmets on the guard rails that surround the government building.
“And if the government, or somebody else, decides to remove the helmets without our permission, they can be considered collaborators with the people responsible for these cases,” said Kushtrim Mehmeti, organizer of the protest, who emphasized that helmets will be added to for every future case.
Mehmeti, who is part of Beyond the Wall, an NGO based in Skenderaj that focuses on civic activism, said that the protest aims to convey the miserable conditions that workers deal with in Kosovo, and voice that there has been no progress towards solving the problem.
“As long as there is no result, something is going wrong. I request all people that are responsible for these deaths that they do something,” he said. “We’re in October, and 18 individuals have died [this year], and by December we may have [a statistic of] two deaths per month. I do not know how 2019 will be.”
He said that one of the most noteworthy shortcomings is the low number of inspectors who evaluate whether workplace conditions are up to par. According to Mehmeti, inspectors also often fall prey to bribery, which hinders improvement.
“One of the most concerning things is that the number of inspectors is 42. With 42 inspectors, they aim to cover the whole of Kosovo. We demand that there are more inspectors before 2019, and have more security for inspectors when they go and do their job, they shouldn’t be bought with a lunch, or a hamburger,” Mehmeti said.
Jusuf Azemi, head of Independent Syndicate of the Private Sector of Kosovo, said that country has had the highest number of workplace deaths in the region in the past years.
“Every year we have a tremendously high growth [in workplace deaths]. Most of them didn’t even have work contracts, and as such they have no institutional support,” he said.
Azemi said that, despite the presence of the Law on Labor in Kosovo, it is oftentimes not respected, and that institutions fail to open their ears to the advice and suggestions of the syndicates.
“We have said it before, our workers are being treated like slaves. I am convinced that in other countries in the region or elsewhere, if they had this figure, the minister [of labor] and maybe even the prime minister would recognize that these are human lives and we are losing them because we are not careful,” he said.
He said that change is only possibly through direct actions from responsible institutions, and that there are few positive signs of change at the moment.
“We receive the cases, we talk about it for a few days and we forget them. The worst is that many of them are breadwinners, and when their life ends, their families in a way also lose the right for social assistance, cases happen and we do nothing about them,” he said.
“We have followed these cases, and if they are won in court, they only got a symbolic sum of support and everything ends with that.”
Mehmeti invited protestors to join future gatherings in support of workers in Kosovo, saying that they will be more assertive.
“I say that this is a war situation, 18 people die in 10 months, something is not going well, I do not know why they consider this normal, and it is an extraordinary situation,” he said. I do not think that our future actions will be as peaceful as the one today, they will become rougher, and we ask that our lives are protected.”