Kosovo: EU Pulls €15 Million Boro Ramizi Plan| 02 July 2010 | Muhamet Hajrullahu
After a year of wrangling between the European Commission and the Municipality of Pristina, the EC has withdrawn a €14.5 million grant to rejuvenate the Palace of Youth and Sports, otherwise known as Boro Ramizi, and instead will spend it in Mitrovica.
Boro Ramiz, Youth and Sports Centre in Pristina
The €14.5 million plan to create a sports centre worthy of international events in Pristina with the landmark Boro Ramizi building has been dropped because of wrangling between the donor, the European Commission Liaison Office, ECLO, and Pristina Municipality, it has been claimed.
Kjartan Bjornsson, ECLO Chargé d’Affaires, told Balkan Insight: "We have been discussing this issue for a year with a concept which involved refurbishing and changing completely the existing youth centre ‘Boro Ramizi’ and the municipality said ‘no, we cannot do this because it is a symbol’, and they said that we can have land behind the centre to implement the project.
"Unfortunately, until now we have not received any confirmations from the municipality." He added that to avoid having to return the money to the EU’s central coffers the money needed to be reallocated elsewhere and Mitrovica will be the beneficiary in the form of a new youth and sports centre.
He said: "This is the biggest disappointment we have had so far with the implementation of IPA [Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance], so we decided, together with the government that more efforts are needed to help the youth of Kosovo."The IPA is an EU fund available for countries aspiring to join the bloc.
Bjornsson continued: "We wanted to create a framework for Kosovo to be able to organise international events, sports events for instance, in proper conditions.....
Friday, July 2, 2010
Serbian President Tadić called the attack a “provocation to peace.” Minister for Kosovo Bogdanović said the attack was a calculated provocation intended to cause incidents and called for EULEX to provide local Serbs protection. Bogdanović said the attack “shows that every attempt of realizing Pristina's plan for the integration of the northern Kosovo can have far-reaching consequences on peace and stability. All skeptics, and all the diplomats of the countries that have recognized the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo, now know that the source of terrorism in the province are not the Serbs from the north, but rather the Albanian extremists, supported by the so-called Kosovo government.”