Kosovo: Central bank only a dream

Prishtinë, Nov 24, 2005 – According the Kosovar daily “Lajm” the idea of transforming the Banking and Payments Authority of Kosovo (BPK) into a central bank is only an illusion. The transformation should wait for the final status to be solved – and even than changes in the Constitutional Framework of Kosovo would be necessary.
UNMIK Pillar IV Chief Joachim Ruecker is convinced of that. “Some competencies can not be transferred to the locals as long as UNMIK works according to the current constitutional framework,” said Ruecker. “We have discussed this with the Ministry of Economy and Finances and the IMF for the BPK to have more local members at the board of directors. They will have more responsibilities.”

BPK Press Officer Shkendije Himaj did not respond to Lajm questions regarding the transformation. However, a few days ago Himaj told KosovaLive news agency that the discussions about the transformations of the BPK into a ventral bank are continuing.

“IMF took over the responsibility to finalize this process.” Himaj told KosovaLive. “IMF officials were here, did the estimations and we expect to have the central bank by the end of the year.”

According to Himaj, the transformation is possible even before the final status is solved.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Muharrem Ibrahimi, said that Rucker is changing his own words. “UNMIK Pillar IV Chief Joachim Ruecker is changing his words in regards to the transformation of BPK into a central bank,” said Ibrahimi. “We have discussed this issue several times.”

In two weeks senior officials of MEF, UNMIK, IMF and BPK will discuss a project introduced by the MEF. “I do not know what changes are expected to be made; however, we hope that the BPK will have all competencies of a central bank, except for monetary policies. Such as money emission, because we do not have our own currency,” said Ibrahimi.

Ruecker explained that “the BPK management is expected to comprise MEF representative and the change of the name of the bank will not be a major issue.”