Thursday, 21 February 2008 ECONOMIC NEWS Reports on KEK (Koha Ditore, Express) Misuses hidden (Express) As of now, the Kosovo Government should be the only one to talk about Trepca (Koha Ditore) Edmond Hajrizi recommended for Director of PTK (Koha Ditore) 579 German companies are looking at Kosovo for investments (Lajm) Reports on KEK (Koha Ditore, Express) Koha Ditore reports that severe power cuts will ensue in 2008 for most of Kosovo citizens. Based on the plan for energy supply, KEK would need an additional €17 m for importing the required energy for the rest of 2008. KEK Spokesperson Nezir Sinani was quoted as saying KEK has managed to obtain only €16 m for imports in 2008, whereas the required amount is €33m. The article reads that based on the KEK plan, category A will have regular energy supply only during March, while the load shedding for the rest of the year would be 5:1 or 4:2; category B would have 4:2 and 3:3, and the load shedding for category C will be 3:3, 4:2 and even 5:1. Under the headline Serbia claims €4m debt from KEK, Koha Ditore reports on claims of the Serbian Ministry of Energy and Mining that KEK owes 4.882 Gigawatt (GW) energy to EPS (Elektro-privreda Srbije) only for 2007. Calculated in Euro the debt translates to over €4 m. This claim has been denounced by KEK Spokesperson, according to whom KEK owes EPS around 40 GW energy for electricity exchange according to the agreement between UNMIK and the Serbian Ministry of Energy. Express report with the repair of A5 Unit of Kosovo A, KEK would be able to have production capacities of up to 1,000 MW/h of energy, which would ensure 24hs power supply, but KEK did not let this happen. According to the paper, the KEK management is to be blamed that instead of repairing the existing conveyor belts completely, it takes parts of the Kosovo A conveyor and gives them to Kosovo B. As a consequence, A3 and A4 units do not have coal reserves for more than 2-3 days. Hence, due to lack of conveyor belts, KEK cannot activate all units, which are ready to produce electrical energy, reports the paper. Misuses hidden (Express) Express writes that Linda Casella, Seraphim Sofroniev, Paul Acda, and Joachim Ruecker have agreed on not publishing the complete report of the Auditor General on Customs for the year 2006. They agreed to publish only a truncated version of the report with the purpose of concealing misuses at UNMIK Customs, reports the paper. The article reads that most of the misuses revealed by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) at Customs relate to procurement procedures. The OAG, reviewing Goods and Services as well as Capital Investments in the UNMIK Customs Service, has found that Goods and Services were not foreseen in the procurement plan. In addition, they found out that the contracts at small amounts, of €500 -10.000 are not in compliance with the Public Procurement Law. UNMIK Customs, according to the report, made a payment of €54 thousand under the category of Subsidies and Transfers on consultancies, and for this invoice there is no evidence on the work performed. The Auditor tested 108 samples at Customs relating to revenue collection, 96 samples of import, 11 samples of export and 1 sample of goods transport. Looking through these samples, the OAG found that in 42 cases, stamps, signature and ID card of the Customs Official in the Unique Customs Declaration are missing. At the end of the report it is said that UNMIK Customs officials in general accepted the findings and recommendations presented, concludes the article. [The Office of the Auditor General in the meantime reacted to this article, clarifying that the ‘hidden’ findings were not hidden, but published on pages 11, 14 and 15 of the Audit Report, which is on the web page of the OAG] As of now, the Kosovo Government should be the only one to talk about Trepca (Koha Ditore) Kosovo miners celebrated the 19th anniversary of the strike for national goals by unveiling the commemoration plaque of remembrance of the fallen miners during the war and commemorated the march of miners of the late eighties. This commemoration took place three day’s after the independence day and many took part in continuation of the festive spirit of celebration. Minster Justina Pula-Shiroka and Aziz Abrashi and Burhan Kavaja as the then protagonists of the strike were present as well. Halil Çela, director of independent miners syndicate revealed how difficult it was for miners to organize this strike as this was a political move against Serbia’s Academy of Science. Miners requested that University professors continue their work and not retire as Serbia has asked them to. After the speech, Halil Çela said, he wishes that strikes like this will never again take place in Kosovo as the government will take serious measures for Trepca. He continued saying that now after the independence, we await laws on pensions, work invalids and families of the fallen miners will be passed. Miftar Hyseni, Manager of the Mine, praised the strike as part of resistance, self sacrifice and solidarity of people of Kosovo “Miners were great visionaries, they requested that UN takes into consideration Kosovo’s national plight for freedom, which has been achieved after 10 years” According to him, “after the independence, the Kosovo Government should have the last say on Trepca and that decisions will now be taken that Trepca will not be privatized. Minister Pula acknowledged that during the years of transition not much has been done for the miners and that the independence will open new perspectives for the miners. Minister Pula promised “Your dreams and wishes will become reality” she said, government has set aside 15 scholarships for the children of the miners of this region. Other miners addressed the crowd, so did the head of BSPK, Haxhi Arifi and deputy mayor of Mitrovica, Ahmet Tmava. Edmond Hajrizi recommended for Director of PTK (Koha Ditore) Edmond Hajrizi, the owner of the private university UBT has gathered most support for the post of the managing director of PTK. After the panel reviewed all candidates, Edmond Hajrizi got most support, followed by Isak Krasniqi Head of Finance in PTK, Gezim Pula and Adnan Merovci. Everyone in the panel has signed the recommendation for Edmond Hajrizi which will be taken into account by the board of directors of PTK, reveals Koha Ditore’s KD source. Hashim Thaçi has discharged all boards of Publicly Owned Enterprises (POEs) but the PTK board will still make a decision by the end of the month. On the panel for selecting the best candidate for the post were Jasper Dick, Head of KTA, Patrick Van Der Laan, EU Pillar IV, and Daniel Bisseur, government representative was Enver Xharra, and from PTK HR Besnik Jani. 579 German companies are looking at Kosovo for investments (Lajm) According to official sources hundreds of interested companies have contacted the Office for Investments in Kosovo in Vienna, Austria. 556 of them were already contacted back by representatives of this office. Kujtim Dobruna Head of Austrian office for investments says, they have identified 579 potential investors. “71 companies have used our service and 30 other companies are using our services as we speak. We organized 35 visits for our potential investors, nine of them have already set businesses in Kosovo and as a result 56 people were employed so far.” “They are interested in investing in different fields, like a company has for instance invested in the IT sector in software development a couple of day’s ago. Other projects like, producing dairy products, recycling of metals and other waste materials are awaiting.” Mr Dobruna claims, Austrian investors are leading, but hopes to see investors from Switzerland and Germany coming on board soon. “The World Bank will through our office initiate an intensive campaign to generate more investments. Initially, investments will be made in agriculture, food production and then carpentry. Later on, we will continue with investing in other sectors as well.” Contact for Economic News: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 038 504 604 ext: 4286 or 6596 Contact to News Office: email@example.com, mob. 044/333 363 Disclaimer: This media summary consists of selected local media articles for the information of EU Pillar personnel. The public distribution of this media summary is a courtesy service extended by the EU Pillar on the understanding that the choice of articles translated is exclusive, and the contents do not represent anything other than a selection of articles likely to be of interest to a EU Pillar readership. The inclusion of articles in this summary does not imply endorsement by the EU Pillar.