Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kosovo's grim (?) future

After an article from Der Spiegel there is now also an article in the Washington Times about the Bundeswehr report of last januari. The report was written by Mathias Jopp and Sammi Sandawi from the Institute for European Policy for the Bundeswehr. According to this article the original report can be found somewhere on the internet on a blog, but I haven't found it. Please let me know when you find it.

The core of the summary is that Kosovo is controlled by mafiosi and that for that reason it is improbable that Kosovo will be capable of some meaningfull economic development when it becomes independent. Combined with the rapid population growth that would make quite a mess. The reports suggestion: open Europe's labor markets.

I found that the report had remarkable similarities with a BND report from februari 2005. Both for example name the same three criminal leaders: Haradinaj, Thaci and Haliti.

I don't share the conclusions of the report. Albania and Turkey also have close connections between government and mafia and yet their economy is growing fast. Turkey is now a fast industrializing country that seems to have made the transit. So I don't believe that mafia influence in Kosovo's government will doom its economy.

Kosovo's biggest problem is its dependent attitude. The belief that everything will be better when Kosovo becomes independent masks a passivity to improve anything now. In the past Istanbul and Belgrade were supposed to improve life and UNMIK is just the newest mommy from which Kosovo expects everything - while doing nothing by itself. And just as in the past when Kosovo doesn't get enough for its taste it becomes destructive and demands independence. In the mean time the aid that they do get is wasted. Once Kosovo spent its Yugoslav aid on the most luxurious university of Yugoslavia where they mainly teached useless subjects like history and literature. Recently Pristina municipality spent 1.7 million euro to refurbish a boulevard with marble sidewalks. And the sabotage of the Yugoslav factories may very well one day be substituted by sabotage of factories owned by international companies.

At some point the international community will have to leave Kosovo on its own to get its act straight. Harsh medicine will be the only thing that works.

Mafia dominance is bad news for minority rights. A mafia dominated Kosovo will break every promise it makes towards its minorities. There is money to be made with driving out minorities.