Prishtina, 23 April 2004 – Referring to diplomatic sources from the European Union, Koha Ditore reports that there is an ‘exchange of accusations and blaming’ between EU and UN regarding the failure of privatization process in Kosovo. EU claims it has always been interested in a successful privatization process in Kosovo, vital for Kosovo’s economic revival, but the main legal obstacle came from United Nations Legal Office in New York, sources told the paper.
Koha Ditore reports that European Commission officials in Brussels have preferred not to comment on the dismissal of Marie Fucci from the post of KTA executive manager, by adding that the European Union would in fact prefer to stay out of this problem. However, there seem to be some unclarities claims Koha Ditore. Some international officials disagree with the manner, in which Fucci was dismissed because it leaves the impression of a decision taken under pressure and the international community does not want to work under pressure.
On the other hand, other EU member states’ diplomats stated that they were dissatisfied with the work done in this process and that they want to see some achievements as soon as possible. These officials consider Fucci’s dismissal as a positive action, which would improve the relations and increase trust between UNMIK and PISG. This act would give both parties the status of partners, and not, as often perceived a relationship where the international administration exercises dictatorship and is never able to hold its employees accountable for their actions.
Koha Ditore further reports that according to EU officials, Nikolaus Lambsdorff is a staff member of UNMIK and not the EU and that his opinions do not reflect the opinions of the EU. Though the EU supports Pillar IV of UNMIK, it has no legal authority over it since it is a constituting part of UNMIK, reports Koha Ditore.
On the same issue, Koha Ditore says that UNMIK spokespeople continue to reiterate that Marie Fucci is no longer the manager of the Kosovo Trust Agency and that the decision made by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to dismiss her has been respected. “She is no longer manager of the Kosovo Trust Agency. This was Holkeri’s decision,” said Monique de Groot, spokeswoman for UNMIK Pillar IV. However, Fucci continues to report to work and enter the office from which she performed her managerial duties.
Behxhet Haliti, advisor to Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi told Koha Ditore Wednesday that if Marie Fucci does not respect Holkeri’s decision, then the chief administrator should find ways to implement his decision. ‘We cannot tolerate privatization blockage,’ Haliti is quoted as saying.
He added that: “The Government thinks that the process of privatization should be led by local officials, and that the chief administrator of Kosovo should remain as a monitor.”
Monique de Groot, Pillar IV spokesperson relates privatization continuation with the adoption of revised operational policies. ‘The revised operational policies need to be approved, before we can launch a third wave of tenders. At this moment the various parties involved are still discussing the revised set of operational policies. We hope to come to a closure on this issue very soon,’ de Groot is quoted as saying.
The paper further reports that Holkeri has several times requested to overcome the operational policies issue and continue with the privatization of SOEs. On the other hand, Lambsdorff has so far promised several times that the third wave of tenders would be announced, but nothing was done so far.
Under the headline “Fucci leaves KTA for good, her future in Kosovo unclear”, Zëri reports that a meeting was held yesterday between UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri and UNMIK Pillar IV Nikolaus Lambsdorff. According to the paper, Fucci also attended the meeting. The report quotes UNMIK press officer Jeff Bieley as saying, “The meeting was internal and we can’t offer more details.” He added, “Marie Fucci is no longer managing director, since 9 April.”
The paper claims that Fucci is definitively out of the Kosovo Trust Agency, though her future in Kosovo remains unclear. The papers sources say that Holkeri’s decision caused contradictions between Pillar IV and the UNMIK chief, which will be difficult to overcome as long as Fucci’s future in Kosovo remains an open question. Sources also say that any appointment of Fucci in UNMIK or Pillar IV would be a contradiction to Holkeri’s decision to dismiss her.