Wednesday, February 24, 2010

7% of Kosovo lives in more than Extreme Poverty

A recent study has shown that 150,000 people in Kosovo live on just 0.45 Euros per day or 14 Euros per month. This puts 7% of Kosovo’s population living below the line of extreme poverty which is considered to be those living on just 0.93 Euros per day. In the survey, when asked how much they needed to live each month, 52% said that they could live on 120 Euros per month, eight times what they are currently receiving.

MTCowgirl’s Kosovo News

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kosovo Celebrates 2nd Year of Independence

For now the streets are unnaturally quiet and clear of traffic but as people begin to stir later, Kosovo will see one of its biggest street parties of the year as they celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the declaration of independence.  As usual, with celebrations in Kosovo celebratory gunfire (aka “Happy Fire”) is expected and the US Embassy has issued an advisory cautioning citizens to take precautions.

MTCowgirl’s Independence News
While the power situation in Pristina has been stable with virtually no power outages this winter, residents of Prizren and Vucitrn have not been so lucky.  The past couple of days groups of up to a couple hundred protestors have gathered to demonstrate against KEK’s disconnection of their power.
MTCowgirl’s Kosovo News

Monday, February 15, 2010

Serbian Church Fires Hardline Kosovo Bishop

Ultra-nationalist and hardliner Archbishop Artemije, the leader of the Orthodox Church in Kosovo, has been removed from his post due to accusations of the embezzlement of millions of Euros from the church and aid organizations over the past several years.  Artemije is widely known for his anti-Western and ulta-nationalistic views.  In an interesting twist to the story, monks supporting the newly appointed Bishop Atanasije clashed with monks supporting Artemije on Sunday when he tried to enter the Gracanica monastery.

Them are fighting words!!!  The Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly, Jakup Krasniqi, has made statements that if Northern Kosovo refuses to integrate with Kosovo then why don’t ethnic Albanians in Southern Serbia (Presevo Valley) secede and join Kosovo.  The statement is made in reference to plans to create a new municipality in the North of Kosovo.  Already Serbia has reacted to the statements by Jakup calling it war-mongering and asking the international community to condemn the statements.

Also in Presevo Valley, an Albanian police officer and his family were injured in an apparent car bombing.  A police spokesperson has called the bombing a terrorist attack.

MTCowgirl’s Kosovo News
MTCowgirl’s Interesting Articles/Commentary

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vetevendosje Protest

Vetevendosje is commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the deadly 10 February 2007 riot where two of the organization’s demonstrators were killed.  Starting from 1000 hours, Vetevendosje activists are expected to meet in Podujevo and Pristina a the graves of the late protestors and hold a photo exhibition in the Pristina stadium.  Most organizations have released security advisories to avoid the area during the demonstration although the 1st anniversary passed without incident.

From their website, Vetevendosje describes themselves as “a community of people that refuse to submit, and intend to achieve and realize self-determination for the people of Kosova”.  The website chronicles most of the movement’s activities over the years from throwing rotten eggs at politicians  to material damage of organizational vehicles.  The group also operates a Facebook page where you can become a fan of the organization.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wonderful White Stuff!

After a couple months of wondering if Kosovo was going to have a normal cold, snowy winter, the answer has come in the form of a mini-blizzard dumping several centimeters of snow in the past 24 hours after a brief rainstorm that turned to ice overnight.  The Dragodan hill currently is near impossible to pass as drivers slowly slide downhill out of control.  Winter/snow tires are a luxury that most people cannot and do not purchase during the winter here so seeing traffic during a snowstorm as it is now is quite an interesting event!!!  Somewhat surpassing Dragodan in the snowstorm entertainment department is Sunny Hill.