Kurti in Kosovo partially raises taxes but imposes deadlock on constitution

Kosovo's outgoing Prime Minister Albin Kurti's caretaker government apparently cancelled controversial taxes on Serbia on March 31, but in fact this only exacerbated the dispute between Washington and Berlin Fissures have caused constitutional crises during the severe COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 26, the Kosovo Assembly voted no confidence in Kurdish 55-year-old government. The vote was initiated by Kurdi ’s self-determination partner Kosovo Democratic Alliance (LDK), presumably due to Kurti ’s unconstitutional handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the dismissal of the LDK Minister of the Interior.

However, the real reason was that his removal was the result of Kurti's firm refusal to cancel the 100% tax imposed on goods from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was implemented at the end of 2018 as Serbia prevented Kosovo from joining international agencies Countermeasures. This led Serbia to withdraw from the dying Brussels negotiations until the tax was cancelled. The United States, mainly some EU countries, has more or less sincerely called for an unconditional abolition of taxes, but Kurti, like his predecessor Ramsh Hadnayi, has firmly refused.

Last week, Curti apparently relaxed and conditionally cancelled taxes. Tax, but immediately took reciprocal measures against Belgrade, saying he would re-evaluate the impact of the move on June 15, contrary to Isa Mustafa ’s Clear desire.

The move was "a kind of time, a political means, and a means to fight for time", but was immediately praised by senior EU officials.

"I welcome the decision of the gatekeeper #Kosovo government to remove tariffs on Serbian and Bosnian goods. And Herzegovina – Reopening dialogue with #Serbia is essential. All trade barriers need to be removed – regional cooperation is key and necessary, but also In response to the #Coronavirus outbreak, EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi tweeted.

A few hours later, European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell said he was "happy to see the decision to fully lift tariffs on Kosovo The duty imposed by the caretaker government on goods from Serbia and Bosnia was an important decision. Regional cooperation is the key to maintaining the flow of goods, especially during the crisis COVID-19.

The US Embassy in Pristina subsequently stated in a statement: "The United States has made it clear that Kosovo should eliminate all tariffs and duties. No new obstacles will be created, as these policies harm the people of Kosovo and kill Kosovo's own economy. We remain opposed to the latest move to reciprocate cargo shipments from Serbia. When the United States believes that the implementation of the air, rail and car agreements between the two parties will bring more problems to the United States, which will promote economic development and create the conditions necessary for successful dialogue.

Kosovo's political analysts warned. Kurti opposed the move. Fisnik Halimi described Kurti's decision as putting Kosovo in a public conflict with the United States.

"This move is bad for Kosovo society, but please note. He told Al Jazeera that he pointed out that US $ 200 million worth of US aid was frozen due to Kurti's refusal to increase taxes

which will be very harmful to Kosovo and will pay high in the next few days The price. Serbian officials have described Kurti's decision as a scam, and senior Kosovo government official Marko Djuric described it as "fake news that masks the truth that Kosovars do not want the talks to resume and bring peace to the region." Djurik also Call on Pristina and Belgrade to fight the COVID-19 outbreak instead of maintaining tension for a long time.

Analysts point out that a few days before Kurti was fired by the government, German diplomats publicly lobby Kurti, including Serbs, not only in the media but also among parliamentarians. They called on US envoy Richard Grenell to be Kurti's fired architect and describe it as an anti-European strategy.

"Germany believes that Hardinaj and Kurti can help it become a fair partner for the United States in the region. Berlin sent a national plane 10 years ago to bring The Hardinaj to The Hague Was tried on suspicion of war crimes. In the past month, Kurti visited Germany several times, but he has refused to call from the White House for several days, but at the same time, he has repeatedly contacted (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel talked. "A senior Western analyst told New Europe.

"In 1965, Kurti must have liked Berlin's suggestion that he did not need to speak directly with Serbian President Vucic, not just Glennell publicly warned that Belgrade was part of the solution, not the problem."

Analysts point out that of all the diplomats in Pristina, the most active is Kosovo's European Parliament Rapporteur Viola von Cramon, who has publicly criticized the US position.

"This is a very important signal for economic development and political cooperation in the region," she said. , But ignored the fact that Kurti did reduce taxes, but established new barriers. "I hope the European Council knows how to be considerate and give the green light for visa liberalization in Kosovo."

Visa liberalization is Kosovo's most important carrot and tobacco requirement for the EU and Brussels. Stick to Pristina. A few years ago, it was promised that some major EU countries were reluctant to give Pristina a major political victory because of fears of increasing their criminal activity.

Halimi said that it is now up to the Kosovo Constitutional Court to decide whether Taki has the power to give leaders the right to form a government or the right to hold new elections in a currently elected parliamentary party. It is unclear what legally binding decisions caretaker governments can make. The ball is heard in the Constitutional Court.

von Cramon told Taki that he should think twice before the epidemic dissolves. "In times of crisis, Kosovo needs a functioning government. She wrote on Twitter:" Don't laugh at the constitution when the people are dying, this is my recommendation.

In view of the opposition of other parliamentary party leaders, Kurti has been isolated and they are opposed to holding new elections. Fatmir Limaj, leader of the Social Democracy Initiative, said: "The president cannot dissolve Parliament, avoid new elections. Hadinaj agrees, adding: "Under the current circumstances, holding new elections is unreasonable." Democratic President Kadri Veslji said: "The epidemic is raging Holding international elections is hypocritical.

On April 2, Tassi called on Curti to form a new government. No one really believed that Curti could do it, but he expected Tassi to do so under the extreme conditions imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic. , Authorizing Mustafa to form a "rescue multi-party government".

Dachie must now wait for Kurti to give the answer first, but the Constitution does not stipulate his response, which means that given that most Kosovo citizens Both agree with the new election, and he can delay it for several months.

Constitutional professor Mazljum Baraljiu said: "This is not the right time and the election should be left to COVID- 19 After the epidemic passed, there was a "warning" of the danger of a constitutional vacuum.

"What Curti and his European mentors are doing is, with the prayers of Donald Trump, fighting for time until November. I lost the November election and will continue as usual after that, meaning that if the Belgrade-Pristina talks falter, it will be a car.

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