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Kosovo gets new postal code

Prishtina, June 1, 2005 - Cities in Kosovo will get new zip codes Tuesday, in order to improve the handling of postal deliveries, spokesman for the Kosovo Posts and Telecom Seremb Gjergji said.

The United Nations has approved separate postal codes for Kosovo in a further move that Serbia says is tilting the scales in favour of independence for the ethnic Albanian majority.

The new zip code for Pristina is 10000, instead of 38000 it used so far. Gjergji said the new codes will be approved by the UNMIK Legal Office.

The Kosovo authorities hope the new zip codes will increase security and have positive effects on economic growth, Gjergji explained. Rafet Jashari, director of the Kosovo postal company, told a news conference the U.N. mission's legal office had approved Kosovo's membership of the Universal Postal Union, the Bern-based body that regulates international mail exchange between some 190 member countries.

Since the 1998-99 war, Kosovo post has been routed through Switzerland or Albania, often with long delays.

"By getting this code, everything will be sent and returned directly through Kosovo," he said. "It will increase speed and security ... and help economic development."

The U.N. mission has also applied for an international telephone code for Kosovo, and the province's Albanian-dominated institutions are pressing for the formal establishment of a central bank and independent SWIFT code for money transfers.

Serbia's pointman for Kosovo, Nebojsa Covic, complained to the U.N. Security Council last week that such initiatives "create an impression that, internationally, Kosovo ... is a completely separate entity".

Neither side talks about partition but in practice Kosovo is already divided. Most of the 90,000 Serbs who remained after the war continue to use the Serbian dinar, instead of the U.N.-imposed euro. They use schools and clinics that answer to Belgrade in what the U.N. calls an "illegal" parallel system.

Sources: Reuters, KosovaLive
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