Head of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avni Arifi, said in an interview for KTV, that the Kosovo government could temporarily suspend the tax on the goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for a limited period during which Kosovo and Serbia would work intensively on reaching the final agreement.
“If there is serious readiness for talks, and if the talks could be scheduled from February 1st to February 28th, we could decide to suspend the tax during that period,” said Arifi.
Commenting about the meeting of the Kosovo Assembly Speaker, Kadri Veseli, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and the US Ambassador Philip Kosnett, Arifi said that the meeting was constructive and that there was no US ultimatum regarding tax abolition.
A spokeswoman for the Western Balkans in the European External Action Service (EEAS), Anna-Maria Boura says that the EU and the United States exerting joint pressure on Pristina will have an effect.
“I’m starting to see some indications that these calls for tax abolition are heard, and I expect to see the progress in the coming period,” she said.
During a debate in the European Parliament on the security situation in Kosovo, she stated that the tax and the transformation of the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) into an army “united the public in Kosovo” and made Kosovo politicians “feel good”.
“The tax and the decisions regarding the KSF proved to be extremely popular among the public and united Kosovo. Even the politicians who were quite reserved about these measures, supported them because of their popularity,” Boura said.
During the debate, European parliamentarians repeated their opinion concerning the introduction of tax on the import of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, imposed by Pristina authorities. It was agreed that this unilateral move violated the CEFTA and the spirit of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, as Pristina was again invited to withdraw the introduced measures.
In the meantime, Kosovo Customs spokeswoman, Adriatik Stavileci said that since the introduction of the tax on products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the import of products from Albania and Macedonia in Kosovo has increased.
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