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Kosovo's foreign debts

Prishtina, 25 April 2007 - In an interview of the kosovar daily newspaper Koha Ditore, Mr.Muhamet Mustafa, Advisor to Kosovo President, and Ibrahim Rexhepi, Editor-in-chief of the daily Lajm, spoke about Kosovo’s foreign debts and the economic possibilities Kosovo might have following the final status resolution.

According to Mustafa and Rexhepi, evaluations conducted in cooperation with Kosovo experts indicate that the total amount of foreign debts is €740 million.

In reply to how the debts will be paid, Mustafa said that thisis an issue yet to be discussed. He believes that the debts made during the time Serbia occupied all of Kosovo’s public and social enterprises, should be removed from the total amount of the debt.

“The debts were made during the seventies and eighties mainly. However, they were very little after 1986. Up to 1990 as was the case with all entities of former Yugoslavia, Kosovo has paid all of its debts until the Kosovo Assembly and the Central bank were suspended. The institutional structure was destroyed, Serbia had occupied all of the enterprises and it was impossible for Kosovo to return any debts during the nineties,” stated Mustafa.

Concerning the question of whether there will be any guarantees to prevent illegal investments in Kosovo following its final status resolution, Rexhepi said that this specific point depends on the people, it depends on who will be leading the country and whether the institutions established will be efficient enough. “The time will come when no one will be able to avoid being held responsible. We will take a long and hard look at ourselves and ask whether we are capable of governing or not,” stated Rexhepi.

Regarding the issue of whether there will be any alleviation for countries that have just come out of a war and have a weak economy, Mustafa said the first thing that must be done is for Kosovo and Serbia to reach an understanding. If this does not take place, an international mediator will reach the final decision on the matter, after which the final amount of debts will be clear and they will come to understand whether Kosovo can return these debts or not.

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