Kosovo. According to Countryaah official site, Parliament re-elected Hashim Thaçi as prime minister in February, a few months after the re-election held when the former coalition government fell. Thaçi was re-elected despite information on involvement in organized crime and trafficking in Serbian prisoners’ bodies. The accusations, which were presented by the Council of Europe, led the EU legal body EULEX to start a legal process in January. Thaçi was leader of the Kosovo Albanian UCK guerrilla during the 1998-99 war, but was also appointed leader of a mafia network. The accusations were troublesome for Kosovo, which three years after the declaration of independence was recognized by almost 80 countries.
The Thai party PDK formed a government with the party AKR, whose leader Behgjet Pacolli was appointed new president. However, the businessman Pacolli was contentious and he was only elected in the third vote, which the opposition boycotted. After a month, he was forced to resign, after the Constitutional Court ruled that the appointment was illegal when fewer than two-thirds of Parliament’s members participated. The leading parties now managed to agree on a compromise candidate: Deputy Police Chief Atifete Jahjaga. As a relatively young woman and party politically unbound, she was a contrast to former heads of state. A consensus was that in the future, after a constitutional change, the president would be elected through direct elections.
In March, government representatives began talks with high-ranking representatives of Serbia, for the first time since Kosovo declared its independence three years earlier. The talks were held under the auspices of the EU. border and trade issues. When an agreement on several practical issues was reached in July, opposition representatives protested, claiming that Kosovo’s sovereignty was under threat.
Instead, the Kosovo Serbs in the north felt threatened when the government shortly thereafter imposed an import ban on goods from Serbia, similar to what Serbia imposed on Kosovo-stamped goods. When police were dispatched to the border to guard it, unrest erupted. One police officer was killed and a border post was set ablaze by Serbs, who continued to regard their area as part of Serbia. Then they erected roadblocks that made road transport impossible and which in practice divided Kosovo into two parts. EU police were allowed to fly in with helicopters to the border. NATO and the EU tried to mediate, but the roadblocks remained and several clashes took place during the fall.
Area: 10,887 km2 (world rank: 162)
Population density: 168 per km2 (as of 2017, world rank: 149)
Capital: Prishtina (Pristina)
Official languages: Albanian, Serbian
Gross domestic product: 7.1 billion US $; Real growth: 4.5%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 3890 US$
Currency: 1 euro (euro) = 100 cents
Wallstr. 65, 10179 Berlin
Telephone 030 24047690,
Fax 030 240476929www.ambasade-ks.net/de
Head of State: Hashim Thaçi, Head of Government: Ramush Haradinaj, Outside: Behgjet Pacolli
National Day: 17.2. (Independence Day)
State and form of government
Constitution of 2008
Parliament (Kuvendi i Kosovës / Skupstina Kosova) with 120 members (10 of them reserved for the Serbian minority, 10 for other ethnic minorities); Election every 4 years – Election of the head of state by parliament every 5 years (one-time re-election)
Suffrage from 18 years.
Population: Kosovars, last census 2011: 1,780,021 residents
91% Albanians, 4% Serbs, 5% Turks, Bosniaks, Gorans, Roma, Ashkali etc.
Cities (with population): (As of 2011) Prishtina (Pristina) 145,149 inh., Prizren 85,119, Gjilan (Gnjilane) 54,239, Peja (Pec) 48,962, Ferizaj (Urosevac) 42,628, Gjakova (Dakovica) 40,827, Mitrovica (Kosovska Mitrovica) 33,904
Religions: 96% Muslim 2% Catholics, 1% Orthodox (status: 2006)
Languages: Albanian, Serbian; Bosnian, Turkish
Workers by economic sector: Agriculture. 2%, industry 28%, business 70% (2015)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 30.2%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 1.5%
Foreign trade: import: 3.0 billion euros (2017); Export: 0.4 billion euros (2017)