Friday, February 16, 2007

Growth in Kosovo last year was close to 5%, exclusively from the private sector.

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Friday, 16 February 2007 

SRSG stresses broad international support for status proposal  

PRISTINA – Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (SRSG) Joachim Rücker today stressed the broad support of the international community for Mr. Ahtisaari’s proposal and said that it comes “at an ideal moment in history”. The SRSG was addressing a townhall meeting in Klinë/Klina municipality together with Kosovo Assembly President Kolë Berisha, Acting Minister for Communities and Returns Branislav Grbić and Klinë/Klina Municipal Assembly President Prenkë Gjetaj.

“Even if some things don’t feel ideal to you, I would appeal to you to have a positive attitude towards the status package,” Mr. Rücker said. “Now we have the green light also from the European Union for Mr. Martti Ahtisaari to go ahead to the next step,” he added. 

The SRSG called on those wishing to express their opinion through demonstrations to do so through peaceful means. “At this point in time, we should not make any mistakes,” he said. “It would be very detrimental if developments in Kosovo would come in the way of the status process. We should strongly discourage the sort of violence we have seen last Saturday.”  

Mr. Rücker addressed the issue of unemployment and economic growth in Kosovo. He said: “I strongly reject it when people in international economic fora say that Kosovo is an economic black hole. The economic growth in Kosovo last year was close to five per cent and this came exclusively from the private sector.” He recognised that although privatisation makes a contribution to employment, it will not achieve a breakthrough “because the yearly entry of 25,000 people to the labour market is just too high to be absorbed by economic growth”.  

In a separate meeting with Kosovo Serb returnees, the SRSG said that the status package was there “to make sure from an institutional side that you have a good future in Kosovo and that you can participate in its political and economic life”. He said, “Kosovo is a home for all its communities and if we cannot show that already now even before status, then this is not the Kosovo we are all working for.” He encouraged the Kosovo Serbs, especially the young, to apply for jobs instead of waiting for offers, reminding them that public enterprises and municipalities have unfilled quotas for minority candidates.

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