Daily Survey

Belgrade, May 08, 2012

SERBIA - K&M

BAN: ROOM FOR BELGRADE - PRISTINA DIALOGUE TO NARROW

NEW YORK/BELGRADE, May 7 (Tanjug) UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon warned in the latest report against the tensions and risks that could jeopardise Kosovo's stability, and assessed that the room for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would narrow down in the months to come.
Tensions and confrontations constitute a serious risk for the stability in Kosovo and the region, Ban noted in the report which the UN Security Council should revise on May 14, Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) reported.
It seems that the tensions are the product of a widespread belief that key issues as regards the basic problems of conflicts are not being resolved, Ban said. He added that the international community hopes the progress on the EU path and normalisation of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina would gradually sidetrack the sources of tensions.
Copies of the report drafted by the UN chief was distributed among the ambassadors of the UN Security Council member countries ahead of the staging of Serbia's elections in Kosovo, which Ban qualified as the initial point of a series of unresolved issues.
The UN secretary general stated that the room for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would narrow down in the coming months, which could lead to a rise in tensions.
The report into which the RTS internet portal had an insight stated that the number of crimes against minority communities increased this year, including intimidation, attacks, thefts, arson, vandalism and causing damage to the facilities of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The report also points to the existing negative trend in the process of return of displaced persons to Kosovo, noting that there is certain resistance in Pristina against guarding Serbian cultural and religious facilities in Kosovo.
According to the UNHCR data, a total of 136 individuals returned to Kosovo, 33 of them Serbs, 10 Roma, 83 Ashkalis, 8 Bosniaks and 2 Kosovo Albanians, which is 48 people less than in the first three months of 2011.

BAN: TENSIONS SERIOUS THREAT TO KOSOVO STABILITY

NEW YORK , May 8 (Tanjug) UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon has warned that tensions and confrontations are a serious threat to Kosovo's stability.
Vandalism, threats and attacks against facilities of the Serbian Orthodox Church are on the rise, which could narrow the room for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue in the months to come, he said.
In his latest report, which Tanjug has seen, Ban says the number of crimes against minority communities increased between February and May 2012 compared to the same period last year.
In the report which he will present to the UN Security Council on May 14, the Secretary General warns that the points to the existing negative trend in the process of return of displaced persons to Kosovo, and that only 136 people have returned voluntarily in the last three months.
Among them are 33 Serbs, 10 Roma, 83 Ashkali, eight Bosniaks and two Albanians. This is a 48 percent decline compared to the same period in 2011, when 264 people came back.
The report warns there is still considerable resistance in Pristina against guarding Serbian cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo. There is a disconnect between that obligations the Kosovo authorities have taken on in this area and their implementation, says the report.
Ban adds the international community hopes the progress on the EU path and normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina will gradually suppress the sources of tensions.
Copies of the report were distributed to the ambassadors of the UN Security Council member countries ahead of the staging of Serbia's elections in Kosovo, which Ban qualified as the initial trigger for a series of unresolved issues.
The room for talks could narrow, especially if peace is not maintained or due to ill-advised public reactions to incidents and provocations. Unwarranted arrests or warmongering statements lead to a rise in tension and violence, Ban said in the report.

SERBIA

DEGERT: EUROPE INCOMPLETE WITHOUT WESTERN BALKANS

BELGRADE, May 7 (Tanjug) The fall of the Berlin Wall has been the largest success of the EU in bringing back together the East and Western Europe, but it will not be finished off until the countries of the Western Balkans join the Union, head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert said Monday.
Bringing back together the East and Western Europe "is not a finished job" because some Southeast Europe countries, in the Western Balkans, are still outside the EU, Degert told Tanjug on the occasion of Europe Day, which will be celebrated on May 9. "Some of them (Western Balkan countries) are joining (the EU), others, I hope, will continue on the right path," he added.
Degert believes there is the urgency of establishing reconciliation and solidarity between the countries of the Western Balkans, adding that he has seen many changes in that regard taking place in the period of seven years he has been living in Serbia. "The issue of facing the past is not an easy one for anybody, for our (the EU's) member states and, of course, not for Serbia or the neighboring countries," Degert said.
"But that is the only way," he stressed, adding that if we wanted "to exist tomorrow in the world, in the challenging world we are facing, we have to solve our problems from the past and face the challenges of the future," said Degert. He announced a series of manifestations to celebrate Europe Day, marking 62 years since the forming of the European community, which will be held in Belgrade, Sremska Mitrovica, Loznica, Novi Sad and Nis.
The event was introduced in 1985, when the EU predecessor, the European Communities, decided to hold their Europe Day on May 9 every year in commemoration of the same date in 1950 when then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed to place the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany, then enemies, and other countries under a common authority. The event is considered a symbol of fostering peace and unity in Europe.

MEMORANDUM SIGNED FOR WORLD'S BIGGEST SOLAR PARK

BELGRADE, May 8 (Tanjug) Representatives of the Serbian government and Securum Equity Partners Europe signed Tuesday a memorandum on the construction of the world's largest solar park in Serbia.
The memorandum was signed at the Serbian government building by Minister of the Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic and members of the company's management board Alessio Colussi and Ivan Matejak, in the presence of Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic.
Dulic said the park would have a capacity of 1,000 MWp, over a total area of 3,000 hectares, and for a total value of about EUR 2 billion.
Construction is expected to take three to five years and involve 2,500 to 3,000 people, and the finished park will employ 500 to 600 workers, he said.
Dulic said Serbia had no financial commitment in the investment, but expected to collect EUR 750 million in taxes over the next 20 years.
MX Group, one of Europe's leading solar panel manufacturers, will work on the project and is expected to move its production to Serbia, along with its subcontractors, which would create an additional 1,000 jobs, Dulic added.
Matejak said construction could start as early as the beginning of next year, if an adequate plot was found and permits secured.
He said the company chose Serbia due to the fact its sun radiation exceeds that in other parts of South East Europe by around 40 percent, adding it was still looking for an exact location for the park.
Serbia was also chosen because it has a serious industrial tradition, a highly qualified labor force and all levels of government were open to cooperation, he added.
Cvetkovic stressed it was important the project was exportoriented, would employ Serbian workers and introduce new technologies, which was why it had the government's support.
The prime minster specified the solar panels used in the park would come from abroad, but there was a chance production would be moved to Serbia.
Cvetkovic said energy was of crucial importance for the development of any country and Serbia had made significant investments in the sector in recent years, primarily in overhauling existing infrastructure to improve the efficiency and stability of its energy supply.
Serbia will lease land for the park free of charge for a period of 25 years.