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'Privatization with a local KTA'

Prishtina, 27 April 2004 - ‘What would be the flow of privatization if the chairman of the board was Ali Jakupi, his deputy Ali Sadriu, agency manager Ahmet Shala, privatization director Musa Limani, socially owned enterprises department director Mejdi Bektashi and public enterprises director Edita Tahiri,’ asks Ibrahim Rexhepi, economy columnist in Koha Ditore.

Marie Fucci’s has said goodbye to her work as KTA managing director. The letters she sends to Harri Holkeri are only an attempt to show that she is still alive. Now, it is up to the Pillar IV Head to find a new manager, a person who would not create more tension between the locals and internationals.

Following these days of debating whether ‘Marie is gone or not’, a new idea was presented for privatization to be carried out by Kosovo Government under the supervision of UNMIK authorities. Though very provoking and attracting, this idea is impossible.

The issue of privatization and management of public enterprises is a reserved competence and the chances are to remain as such till the end of KTA’s mandate, respectively till KTA has privatized all SOEs. And, it also seems that this will not happen in 2005, as earlier foreseen, but it will take much longer.

But, what would happen if the locals were transferred the privatization competences. Initially there would be a manifestation of joy, and later the locals would realize that they’re left with a hot potato in their hand, which they cannot keep nor throw. We would see a low level of competence and lack of capacity of the Kosovo Government to see this thing through.

Realistically, Kosovo institutions at this stage do not have the capacities and ideas how they would implement privatization. This conclusion arises from the fact that so far besides demands that privatization should continue more dynamically and criticism for KTA’s wrong approach, Kosovo institutions have not offered something more. There is no new proposal or project that would be an alternative offer in relation to that of KTA. Moreover, the problem has been observed with such negligence that Kosovo Government ‘has not produced even five pages of text regarding privatization problems’ as one person well acquainted with privatization problems said.

If it happens that privatization process is transferred to the competences of locals than the only possible solution would be the establishment of an agency for privatization, which would be a totally independent institution where the professional work would be carried out by experts, regardless of their language, nationality or race. Unfortunately, the majority of Kosovars would be eliminated if such criteria applied to the selection of staff members.

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