Kosovo: Brezovica to be privatized, if Serbia allows

Prishtinë, Apr 7, 2006 – The Tourist Center of Brezovica, a place where Albanians come for their recreation, while Serbs manage it, has remained undeveloped and is still not privatized. The KTA, which has stated that it has begun preparations for the privatization, is under pressure from the Serbian side to not privatize it.

The Head of UNMIK Pillar IV, Joachim Ruecker, together with Minister of Trade and Industry, Bujar Dugolli, have had several meetings with municipal officers and INEX-Brezovica representatives. “So far the Serbs in Shtërpce have always disagreed, and it will be difficult to convince them to go ahead with the privatization,” a source told Koha Ditore. On the other hand, the KTA has planned to include the whole center in the process, to privatize it through special spin-off, with guaranteed investments and employment.

The Head of the BSPK – the Labor Union and also a member of the KTA Board, Bahri Shabani, said that the KTA does not treat all enterprises similarly, while the Head of the Chamber of Commerce, Besim Beqaj, said that the KTA must not be subject to any pressure.

In meetings of the KTA Board it was decided that international and local institutions should be prepared, so that the new season finds the INEX center in Brezovica privatized. KTA officials have made it known that Ruecker has informed municipal officials in Strpce/Shterpce and INEX that the Government of Kosovo is not able to fund the Center and neither are the NGOs, so the only remaining solution is its privatization.

“There are currently two interested investors. Their visits are being planned by the KTA officials and it is expected that more potential investors will be interested,” said the source within the KTA.

According to Beqaj Brezovica must be privatized as soon as possible, as its privatization effects will be great. “Until the end of this year, Brezovica will be privatized, through special spin-off, and serious investors are expected to revitalize this center,” stated Beqaj.

On the other side, Bahri Shabani said there are many interested parties in this ski center but that the KTA is prolonging the process. “KTA officials have met with Brezovica officials many times, but no consent has been reached,” said Shabani.

The Center needs at least € 20 million investment. Not even electricity has been paid. Only the Municipality of Strpce/Shterpce owes €4.2 Million to KEK.

By Arbana Xharra, Koha Ditore