Kosovo: Three enterprises held hostage

Prishtina, 4 January 2006 – The industrial giant “Trepca”, Cement Factory “Cimentoreja” in Han i Elezit and the Resort Centre Brezovica are only a few of the great enterprises that have remained un-privatized, while KTA has privatized a majority of the SOEs without caring much for the sale price or the procedures, reported Lajm.

There are over 90 companies that claim to have a part of Trepca and these have even filed lawsuits to make their intentions a reality. In general, the situation regarding Trepca is becoming more complicated by the day. The government has allocated a certain amount of means from the budget for Trepca and requests to start work. Both parties, Government and UNMIK, declare their hopes to reach an agreement.

According to the Supreme Court Special Chamber, there are some 41 claims, which amount to a total of €75m.

“All creditors that have developed activities in a discriminatory manner or according to discriminatory laws will be unacceptable,” stated Deputy Head of KTA Ahmet Shala, adding that Kosovo Government, KTA and UNMIK have treated Trepca in a special way.

Cement Factory “Cimentoreja” is also awaiting privatization. The problem in this case consists in the made investments.

The case of Resort Center in Brezovica may turn into a big problem this year. Due to political reasons, its privatization was postponed to 2007. In fact, this request came from Serbian Government and it was the first time KTA withdrew from privatizing a SOE due to political reasons.

Despite KTA officials’ belief that Brezovica will be privatized this year, chances are that it will remain under municipal competences. This possibility was mentioned in the documents of international mediator on status talks Marti Ahtisaari. There is also reason to believe that the same as Trepca, this center could be included on the lists of ‘gifts’, serving as compromise during the status talks.