Monday, June 4, 2012

For and against Kosovo govt office in Mitrovica

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - The Serbian Ministry for Kosovo believes the opening of a Kosovo government office in Kosovska Mitrovica,
whose construction is nearing completion, would be a provocation and an attempt to integrate the northern part of the province into the "state of Kosovo," while Pristina officials say the office is technical in nature.

"Opening the office can raise tensions even more. The problem of northern Kosovo and Kosovska Mitrovica cannot be solved in this fashion. We have a local administration which is a true service for the people and the only place where Serbs can exercise their rights," Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic told Tanjug.

He also said Serbia would make no moves that could lead to confrontations over the opening of the office.

Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister Slobodan Petrovic, on the other hand, said the only goal of the administrative office in northern Mitrovica was to improve living conditions and speed up the city's development.

Petrovic, who also heads the Ministry for Local Government Administration which will be in charge of the office, told Tanjug that the office was of a technical, not a political nature and would enable investments and implementation of development projects.

He confirmed that the ad for 55 job openings closed Monday and that the head of the office would be at the level of mayor and would certainly be from northern Mitrovica.

Petrovic said the office, which has the support of the international community in Kosovo, would be working with EUR 4 million, which had previously been used for projects implemented through the UNMIK office.

The government has asked UNMIK to turn over its administration in Kosovska Mitrovica and is expecting an official answer very soon, said Petrovic.

In addition to a Serbian local government, for the past several years Mitrovica has had an UNMIK administration, and a civil services center opened two years ago in the northern part of the town.

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