Car number controversy flares up again in Kosovo
A government decision in Kosovo drives the Serbs living there crazy. They ignite the next incremental stage. The European Union is concerned.
Angry Serbs are protesting in Kosovo against the government’s decision on license plates.
In Kosovo, tensions have risen between representatives of the Serbian minority and the government in Pristina. Trigger? Govt decision. Ethnic Serbs are obliged to replace their license plates issued by neighboring Serbia with Kosovar ones.
In protest, all ethnic Serbs resigned from their positions in Kosovar institutions such as the police, judiciary, parliament and municipalities. The European Union, NATO and the international Kosovo Security Force, KFOR, reacted with concern to the developments.
The regional police chief was sacked
The decision to resign was made at a meeting of the Belgrade-backed Srpska Lista party in Zvecan, northern Kosovo, on Saturday. Among others, ethnic Serb police officers took off their Kosovan police uniforms – to applause from the crowd.
The government in Pristina earlier fired the regional police chief in charge of the northern Serbian region of Kosovo. He refused to allow people to change their license plates. At the same time, Pristina extended the deadline for the transition to April 21 next year. In case of violations, there should be gradual warnings up to fines.
A call to desist from such practices
“Recent developments undermine years of work on dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. I call on both sides to refrain from unilateral actions that lead to further tensions,” EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said on Twitter. Among other things, Borrell tried to mediate a license plate dispute.
Similar calls came from NATO Undersecretary General Mircea Giona and EU Special Envoy for Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina Miroslav Lajcak (59). The former Serbian province of Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Unlike most of the world, Serbia does not recognize it. (SDA/nab)
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