Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where in the world is EULEX?

Strangely when I arrived back in Kosovo last week I started noticing an absence of EULEX vehicles on the streets.  At first I thought that perhaps it was due to vacations but as the trend continued so I started checking with friends what was the story.  As it turns out, the higher-ups in EULEX got tired of paying to fix vehicles after Vetevendosje damaged them so they made a decision to withdraw all their vehicles from public streets and instructed their staff to park in secured locations.  Supposedly any vehicle not parked in a secured location that is damaged after working hours will become the responsibility of the staff member who parked the vehicle in that location.  Pretty much everyone I spoke to was fairly not happy (understatement of the year so far!) as now they must find alternate means of transportation to work (I’m sure Pristina taxi drivers are loving it though!) but according to them, EULEX upper-management is refusing to budge on the new policy which went into effect on 1 January and the term “protecting our investment” has become a new management motto regarding the vehicles.  Now, the huge EU-blue vehicles which used to be a sign of the presence of the organization are now gone leaving people wondering “Where in the world is EULEX?”  It seems that Vetevendosje has succeeded in intimidating EULEX into hiding through their practice of destroying property leaving the score at: Vetevendosje – 1, EULEX – 0

Thinking of Vetevendosje, the organization has recently gone around and defaced the “Kosovo – Young Europeans” billboards by spraypainting a stamp-like phrase saying “Isolated” on all the boards.

On a lighter note, thankfully the fall of wonderful white stuff continues in Kosovo.  Brezovica now has enough snow to begin operations but unfortunately the lifts still are not running for unknown reasons (rumor has it that they are waiting for word from the Kosovo government).  It’s a real disappointment that the mountain still is not open and we are forced to go outside of Kosovo to find a working mountain resort.  Fortunately Kopaonik (Serbia) is functioning and is only a two-hour drive from Pristina.  Mavrovo (Macedonia) was suffering from a lack of snow but did finally have a good snowfall this past weekend which means that it may be open soon.