In an exclusive interview for IBNA, independent MP in the Parliament of Kosovo, Margarita Kadriu expresses her strong criticism for the government of Kosovo. Kadriu also talks about the political crisis, process of European integration and the efforts for NATO accession. Kadriu also stops on Kosovo’s international recognition in the past eight years of its independence and the process of the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
Interviewed by Muamer Mellova/IBNA
IBNA: What is your opinion on the current governing coalition between LDK and PDK?
Kadriu: Within a year of the LDK-PDK coalition in office, at least 100 thousand Kosovars have left the country. Hundred thousands of others are ready to leave whenever they are given a chance, because they can no longer endure the consequences of the regime installed by corrupt parties. In a year in office, PDK-LDK have captured the state, business environment has worsened even more, while the hopes of the people for positive changes has paled. There is no economic development, while oligarchs who have ties with the government are flourishing. In spite of the propaganda, the economic policies of this government, have impoverished the citizens of this country, it has reduced their incomes, while favoring only clients, companies and stakeholders who are connected to the large parties in power.
After a year in office of this failed government, Kosovo remains isolated, without free movement in the Shenghen countries and without a way out. The rule of law has remained part of the mocking rhetoric of senior officials in press conferences, but in reality, there is no justice in Kosovo today.
Today, opposition MPs are imprisoned. With a democracy replaced with oligarchy and threatened by the anarchy created in the country and in parliament as a result of teargas episodes, Kosovo has entered critical days. Only a year in office for the “Oligarch elephants” was enough to realize that this was a government of degradation and an attempt to rule without law and above the law.
IBNA: Can the political crisis in Kosovo produce early general elections?
Kadriu: The coalition in power no longer enjoys any trust and it will not come as a surprise if early general elections are held next year. What’s worse is that the new elections, in such a turbulent atmosphere, will not produce any positive novelty, while clear and credible development alternatives are still lacking. The problem is that none of the parties, especially the big ones which are in power, have given any proofs that they are able to make the rule of law as a priority, to make economic development a motto of their government, to respect criteria, standards, rules, laws and Constitution. Kosovo needs a new party, which is able to restore hope for the citizens and the voters who have been deceived since the first elections after the war.
This is a perfect moment for a strong turn in the Kosovo politics, but of course, it will be a challenging move and a tough battle. The old wolves of corrupt politics, would never agree to allow a new uncorrupt party with teams of professionals, to jeopardize their power of rulers.
IBNA: How is Kosovo moving forward in its Euro-Atlantic integration path?
Kadriu: As far as Euro-Atlantic integration is concerned, Kosovo still has lots of work to do. Although this year, Kosovo has ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, this agreement will not give way to Kosovo’s EU integration. Every time the government says that “SAA will be the first step of Kosovo’s EU integration”, then we wonder what the second step will be.
A natural step would be for Kosovo to make a formal application for EU accession. In spite of the different interpretations about the chances for such thing, the EU Treaty doesn’t enable Kosovo to obtain the candidate status in these conditions, simply because to the EU, Kosovo is not a state and the enlargement process only applies to states. Existing member countries decide unanimously on the enlargement process. Kosovo has not been recognized by five member countries and under these circumstances, Kosovo is disadvantaged by the fact that only 23 out of 28 member countries recognize it. Thus, with the SAA, Kosovo and the EU will do the best they can for the moment, without the need for Kosovo to be treated as a state. But, what our state needs is the rule of law and with this galloping corruption, it’s difficult to move forward in the European family.
IBNA: How do you consider the talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia?
Kadriu: Dialogue with the neighbors is always a good thing, but what we have seen for many years is that the Kosovo side has been an unworthy spectator on the side of the losers. Our officials have enjoyed the official travels and the luxury of power and at the end, they have signed every document offered by Serbia, with the brokerage of the EU.
The worst part of this dialogue is the poor and unworthy representation of the country by our officials. Through another more competent and professional representation, we would have other agreements, different to what have been signed so far.
IBNA: Kosovo’s international recognition seems to have come to a gridlock. What is happening with Pristina’s diplomacy?
Kadriu: Kosovo’s diplomacy, which has been led by Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci in the past year, has sustained a terrible debacle. Being more focused on domestic issues, the Foreign minister has neglected lobbying for new recognitions of the state of Kosovo. Of course, one of the failures of this year is the fact that Kosovo could not become a UNESCO member.
IBNA: When do you think Kosovo will be an economically developed country, a country integrated in the EU and NATO?
Kadriu: Kosovo is unfortunate, because it is governed by politicians who are irresponsible, corrupt and incriminated. More or less, this has been the profile of our government officials in the recent years. They break the law, rule, abuse with power and embezzles public funds. These negative qualities are typical for today’s model of an official in the Republic of Kosovo. This makes the reformation of parties and institutions even more difficult. It’s this leadership that sacrifices the state’s interest for its own personal interests.
We continue to remain the country with the highest unemployment rate in Europe, where over 60% of young people do not have a job. Rule of law continues to remain a strange word for people who defy laws that they, themselves, have approved.
The justice system has capitulated in front of political and oligarchic pressure and as a result, corrupt people, especially those in high posts, enjoy the luxury unscrupulously gained with tax payers’ money.
The application of the law is crucial and unavoidable, if we want to leave to our children a safe and developed country to live in.
Otherwise, the oligarchs and gangsters who privatized the country will be the only ones remaining in our country one day. Therefore, all of us who have positive energy, who want to fight for the rule of law, must not give up, but with the power of vote from the people, we must show them where they belong and then confiscate their illegal wealth, generated through corruption and other criminal offenses. Then they must be brought to justice. If we liberate ourselves from the oligarchs and incriminated bandits, we will be able to enable the country to breath freely and return to normality, to the values of the rule of law and economic development of the state. /ibna/