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UNMIK chief aims at unblocking privatization

Prishtina, 06 March 2004 - UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has made four requests to UNMIK Pillar IV head Nikolaus Lambsdorff to move the process of privatization forward that has been blocked for six months now.

According to "Koha DItore", Holkeri has asked Lambsdorff that the Board of the Kosovo Trust Agency should ratify and thereby sell the 11 socially owned enterprises in the second wave of tenders; the KTA Board should launch a third wave of tenders as soon as possible and the KTA Board should present the SRSG with a draft proposal regarding necessary changes in the operating policies on the basis of the KTA Regulation and guidance received from UN Headquarters in New York.

"It is clear that privatization should be pushed forward, however, I have come to the conclusion that the KTA Board is not discharging its responsibilities under its governing regulation", says the letter the SRSG Holkeri sent to KTA.

Another Kosovar daily "Zri" claims that Holkeri and Lambsdorff are making decisions for privatization while ignoring the locals.

A recommendation from Lambsdorff was enough for the head of UNMIK to make a decision on privatization, which according to all rules, should have been taken in the KTA Board.

"Holkeri made this urgent decision after he came to the conclusion that the KTA Board is not discharging its responsibilities properly", said Lambsdorff during a press conference.

In an editorial in "Zri", Blerim Shala writes that "It happens that Holkeri has used his authority as Special Representative of the Secretary General to bring to order the mess that has been created for months now. It is said that his position is backed by the diplomatic representatives of the five most important western countries. An ordinary Kosovar will find it difficult to understand what went on with privatization in the last months. He/she knows only two things: first, not many words should be used to justify the importance of privatization, and second, privatization was complicated so much that it has suffered probably irreparable damage."

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