Monday, June 4, 2007

Rumors, Rumors :)

There are several different rumors floating around recently and who knows how true they are...but here are a couple that have passed by MTCowgirl.  Now remember, these are just rumors and I'm not saying they are true or's just what several little birdies have told me :)
First for the UNPol (aka Civpol), yes I saw the memo that we aren't supposed to refer to you as Civpol officers anymore less we offend someone in NY who hasn't cared what we have called you for the past eight years but I digress...I've heard that those of you who need extensions are going to receive some sort of extension to October 2007.  After October you will go to month by month technical extensions and the two-year limit on contracts will no longer be enforced.

Next is for the mission itself...seems that the UN Security Council doesn't know what to do.  Maybe no one took Russia seriously when they threatened to use their veto.  Since the UK's plan was rejected, new rumors are circulating that there isn't going to be any decision soon and the UN mission will be extended another year and the EU mission will be delayed.  I know that the national (aka local...I'm sure there is a memo about that too) staff have already received one year extensions of their contracts.  Many of the international staff whose contracts expire at the end of June are still waiting to see what kind of extension they will receive.  It's all a hurry-up-and-wait kind of deal.

The Beach Volleyball Tournament and BBQ was a big success.  The members of the Sports Committee really busted our butts to get the event organized and in the end, we had 17 teams registered to play volleyball.  So much for getting the entire tournament done in one day!  We decided in the evening to postpone the quarters, semis, and final for two weeks to allow us to prepare another party and finish off the tournament in the light.  So be on the lookout for more information about our next big party at TSS!!!
In the news, Kosovo Railways is facing a serious theft problem and should it continue they may be forced to shut down.  Thieves are stealing infrastructure from railway ties to platform speakers to sell on the black market.  In the first three months of 2007, thefts have cost the company more than 90,000 Euros in damages and in 2006, the company lost 740,000 Euros to thieves.  A professor of philosophy at the University of Pristina stated that he doubts that the police will be able to stop the thieves but rather an educational program needs to be developed to teach a moral code on public property and perhaps respect for the rule of law.  In the 51 cases of theft, Kosovo police have only solved 7 cases.

There is a long but interesting piece on resolving Kosovo's status in the American political newsletter CounterPunch called How to Make a Bad Situation Impossible: Great Power Meddling in Kosovo