Monday, May 14, 2007

NATO Drone Crashes Into House

A NATO unmanned spy plane (drone) crashed into a house near Suva Reka, slightly injuring a child.  There was little damage to the house according to KPS spokesperson, Veton Elshani.
NATO is also investigating a female Swedish KFOR soldier for leaking classified NATO and UN documents to the man she was dating in Kosovo.  The man identified only as "X" reportedly worked as an interpreter for UNMIK before disappearing last year after being questioned by NATO.  It is not know if X was affliated with any government or organization but he received thousands of classified documents from his Swedish girlfriend and other sources.

In the news, the US and EU have been urged by the International Crisis Group (ICG) to consider making revisions to the Kosovo resolution circulated last Friday that will include Russia's suggested Envoy for Minorities and a moratorium of two-years before Kosovo can apply for UN membership.  Meanwhile, Condeleezza Rice's visit with Russia's Vladimir Putin has resulted in an agreement that both countries need to tone down their rhetoric.  Kosovo remains a sticking point in relations with the US strongly pushing for a resolution by the end of May and Russia insisting that the solution must be agreeable to Serbia.

Barely beating the May 14th deadline for the formation of a government, three pro-Western parties agreed to to form a coalition.  The Serbian parliament has until midnight today to approve the new cabinet or elections will be called.  If you have been reading a few days prior, Radical member Nickolic was elected as parliament speaker.  The new coalition between the coalition parties called for his immediate resignation which is odd since Kostunica originally supported the election but perhaps it was all a political game in order to scare Tadic into forming a government that met Kostunica's demands.  There are still questions about how long the coalition government will last due to differences in party lines over the importance of Kosovo and EU ascension and only time will tell.

USA Today featured an opinion commentary on the rocky road that Kosovo faces after independence which is right on the money (pun intended...har-har) about the economic problems and corruption that the government must deal with in order to move forward.

<soapbox>If the government fails to address the economic problems and corruption, life in Kosovo will not improve and there will continue to be civil unrest, but rather than demonstrating for independence people will demonstrate about the lack of jobs, corruption, and rampant social/economic problems.  Rarely do the Kosovo politicans address any of the social or economic problems they will face when (and it does seem to be more of a when rather than if now) they win independence from Serbia.  I have the sinking feeling that when Kosovo becomes independence the politicians will suddenly wake up and go 'holy crap' when they start looking at all the problems they face.

There seems to be a misconception that the international community will continue pouring millions and millions of Euros into Kosovo and the economy will continue to be supported.  But if you start breaking down and thinking things over, it's not going to be so easy.  Take a look at the figures of how many people will be in the EU mission.  The numbers are between 1500 and 2000 civilians and police.  UNMIK employees around 2000 local civilians to work in the mission!  On top of that, there are a couple thousand internationals working for the UN under the different pillars!  The restaurants and landlords are going to see a sharp decline in the number of customers who demand their services.  </soapbox>