Pristina, March 14, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Elton Toa
Prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci has visited the metallurgic plant of Trepçe in Stantergut, Mitrovica. From the tenth sector of the mine of Stantergut, he declared that Serbia’s claims on Trepçe are in vain.
“Serbia has no claims in the metallurgic plant of Trepçe”, said prime minister Thaci during the visit held in this plant, giving assurances that Serb aspirations according to which “Trepçe works and Belgrade builds” no longer exist.
“Miners of Trepçe have unanimously objected to the ‘Trepçe works and Belgrade builds’ policy. Now that we have our freedom and we’re building our state, we must all work and develop Trepçe and at the same time, Trepçe wii produce and Kosovo will be built. According to the head of the government, Serbia’s policies and dreams for Trepçe are in vain since their departure and according to him, they will never come back.
This is the second time that prime minister Thaci descends on the tenth sector of the mine of Stantergut.
“I’m here next to the miners in order to offer full support on what they’re doing”, said the prime minister, adding: “Trepçe is one of the most powerful giants in the Balkan and Europe, it’s the pride of every citizen of Kosovo, in the past, in the present and in the future. This is a property of all citizens of Kosovo, property of miners, property of the state of Kosovo, one of the most powerful resources for economic development of the Republic of Kosovo”.
Meanwhile, the minister of Economic Development, Fadil Ismaili says that with Trepçe going public, a new perspective will open for the development of this plant.
“I promise that we will rapidly move forward after the passage of the law in parliament. Trepçe and miners do not only benefit Mitrovica, because the whole of Kosovo is waiting for Trepçe to turn into what it has been before, a generator of economic development which will create new jobs.
On the other hand, Ahmet Tmava, head of Trepçe said that a new era is starting for Trepçe and that this giant will become part of the powerful development of the country.
He has promised better conditions for all miners.
According to him, with its professionalism and economic power, Trepçe will prosper by meeting the expectations of the citizens of Kosovo.
Pacolli: “Trepçe” will be given back to the people
Deputy prime minister of Kosovo, Behgjet Pacolli said that “Trepçe” metallurgic plant will neither be sold, nor will it be alienated.
According to him, this plant will continue to belong to the people of Kosovo. He also said that “Trepçe” cannot be given in concession, as according to him, this would be a catastrophe for the country.
“Trepçe must be given back to Kosovo and we must preserve it. This plant must continue to work with its people, because they know how to take it forward”, declared he.
According to him, Trepçe has been hold to ransom for 15 years. He said that domestic experts will draft a plan for the revitalization of this economic giant of Kosovo.
From Trepçe, Pacolli has also called on the Kosovo’s Agency of Privatizations to cancel the open tender for the selection of an international company for the revitalization of one of the biggest mining blocks in the region.
Billionaire Pacolli has also responded to rumors that he has interests in Trepçe.
“My interests are not in Trepçe, but abroad, this is why nothing relates me to Trepçe. Everything is for the best interest of the country and economic development of Kosovo”, said he.
Necessity for restructuring
Bardhyl Meta from the German Economic Chamber says that Trepçe needs to be restructured and that this plant must not be managed by the Kosovo’s Agency for Privatization (KAP).
According to him, Trepçe’s issue is still unclear because nobody knows who’s responsible in the failure or who will claim the eventual successes. “Nowhere in the world have we seen an agency of privatization which knows how to manage, how to restructure firms and turn them into successful ones. A question naturally arises: Who are the world famous managers who are restructuring Trepçe?”, says Meta.
For this, Meta believes that further debates are needed, as according to him, Trepçe is a national asset and no “outrageous” privatizations can be made with it.
Trepçe, a giant in the past in former Yugoslavia
After the end of the war, from 2000 until 2004, the mine didn’t produce, but prepared production workshops. Thus, in 2005, the mine started the production of the ore of lead and zinc with minimum capacities.
The biggest success of the plant of Trepçe was reached in 1983, when this plant exported 103 million USD worth of products, being ranked as the fifth biggest exporter in the former Yugoslavia.
During its 58 years of work, Trepçe plant has produced 33 million tons of ore containing an average of 9% of lead and zinc and 3 million tons of metal. /ibna/