Tuesday, November 4, 2008

EULEX to be operational by December (?!?!?!)

Could Kosovo be on the UN Security Council agenda this Friday? If it is, EULEX just might possibly have a fighting chance to be operational by early December.  With less than half of it's expected force deployed, EULEX will likely need to deploy at least a couple hundred people per week, send them through a week-long induction session, get them to their jobs, and perform a "hand-over" of the work from UNMIK to EU (or maybe it will just be a handing over of the files and a "good luck" handshake?!)  For some time EULEX has been struggling not only with deploying staff but also filling positions...only two weeks ago it was reported that EULEX still needs to fill four of five posts! 

Meanwhile the European Parliament might move to block funding for EULEX if it is not fully deployed through all of Kosovo.  There have been talk of a "watered down" version of EULEX in the north of Kosovo as part of an agreement between EU and Serbia.  Serbia has stated that EULEX would be acceptable under certain conditions such as being "status neutral" and dropping the implementation of the Ahtisaari package.

Today's recommended article is called Tourism in Kosovo? Ha ha ha?  I have to put in my two cents on the article...the author is pretty much right on the money!  After a nice day in Gjakove this past weekend, I find it a shame that Kosovars are letting go of traditions like the traditional "Plisa" (Smurf hats, I know that will get some hate mail but hey, that's what outsiders call them folks!) makers in the old city.  The architecture of Gjakove's old town could easily be compared to that in Sarajevo's Ba�ar�ija but the Plisa makers have gone and been replaced by shop after shop of modern clothing...or worse gaudy formal dress peddlers who take high fashion to an extreme and beyond to a place where it no longer looks nice but just like someone has simply become a "serial fashion victim" (but I digress!  Back to the wiping out of cool old culture!).  Honestly Kosovars, there's nothing interesting about seeing those modern shops or having a coffee in some hip, smoke-filled cafe in the old city but bring back the traditional Plisa makers or women selling hand-knit table linens and you just might bring in people from outside who would enjoy Kosovo's culture!  But alas, it's a lament that probably will never come to fruit as the younger generations don't seem to give a flying rat's buttocks about their slowly disappearing culture...so cheers, enjoy your macchiato in the cool new cafe, and did you see that fantastic dress down the street (yeah, the leopard print one with all the ruffles and sequins?!  To die for...literally!) :P