Kosovo Serbs gathered in Mitrovica on Monday to protest Priština’s choice to make the Euro the one authorized forex.
1000’s of minority Serbs in Kosovo on Monday protested a ban of the usage of the Serbian forex in areas the place they reside, a problem that has been the reason for the newest disaster in relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Tensions escalated after the federal government of Kosovo, a former Serbian province, banned banks and different monetary establishments within the Serb-populated areas from utilizing the dinar in native transactions and imposed the euro.
The dinar was broadly utilized in ethnic Serbian-dominated areas, particularly in Kosovo’s north, to pay pensions and salaries to employees in Serbian-run establishments, together with faculties and hospitals.
The ban has angered each Kosovo Serbs and Serbia. The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo sparred over the difficulty at a gathering final week on the United Nations Safety Council.
Protesters on the rally within the Serb a part of the divided northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica stated that abolishing the dinar violates the rights of the Serbs in Kosovo and is discriminatory.
They urged the worldwide group to place stress on the Kosovo authorities to reverse the transfer.
Dragisa Milovic, a health care provider, stated that Kosovo’s choice impacts essentially the most susceptible in society.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti dismissed such criticism in a message to the Kosovo Serbs.
He insisted that the brand new measure is aimed toward curbing unlawful cash movement and “doesn’t cease Serbia from financially helping the residents of Kosovo’s Serb group.”
“Kosovo didn’t cease the dinar, or the greenback, pound, or Swiss franc,” stated Kurti. “The one change from 1 February is that the money can not cross the border in sacks however ought to come via financial institution accounts and (be) withdrawn in euros.”
A 25-year-long dispute
In 1999, a 78-day NATO bombing marketing campaign ended a struggle between Serbian authorities forces and ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo.
Serbian forces have been pushed out however Belgrade by no means recognised Kosovo’s independence and nonetheless considers it a Serbian province.
The European Union and the US have expressed concern that Kosovo’s ban of the dinar may increase tensions in an already unstable area and referred to as for consultations and a delay within the transfer.
The EU has brokered negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo in a bid to normalise their relations however the talks have confirmed sluggish progress, whereas occasional violent incidents have fuelled fears of instability within the Balkans because the struggle rages in Ukraine.