In 2008, Serbia asked Kosovo Serbs to quit their jobs, then forgot all about them
Serbs from Kosovo, from whom, after the declaration of Kosovo’s independence in 2008, the then Serbian government under the leadership of Vojislav Kostunica asked them to leave their jobs in the former temporary municipal bodies under the control of the United Nations with the guarantee that they would to be assigned to other jobs in the bodies of Serbia, they have been going through court procedures for 13 years now because they never got the promised job, writes the Serbian portal, Pistaljka.
The procedure was started on the basis of four acts of the Government of Vojislav Kostunica from 2008, which were signed by the vice-president Bozidar Djelic, and with which the four ministries are obliged to receive the citizens from the temporary bodies. None of the seven governments, as many of them have changed since then, have fulfilled the promise, according to this portal. Pistaljka recalls that in 2012, the People’s Advocate declared that citizens who were asked to leave their jobs remained on the “edge of existence”.
Although the exact number of people who have sued the Serbian state is not known, those with whom Pistaljka has come into contact have not been able to get hired even through the court. According to the portal, in the procedure led by Ljubinko Djordjevic from Shtërpca, the Constitutional Court has not made a decision for more than two years. In two cases – Mirjana and Ivan Davidovic, also from Shtërpca – the Supreme Court of Cassation has not decided for two years. A man died without waiting for the court’s decision. There are also those with whom Pistaljka has come into contact and who claim to have given up and withdrawn their lawsuits.
“They deceived us. They invent courts for us, the first instance is declared incompetent, then the second instance sends it back to the first instance to decide again, and then again the court says that they cannot judge because we worked for UNMIK, not for Serbia. That’s why I decided to withdraw the lawsuit,” a former employee of temporary authorities from Shterpce, who wished to remain anonymous, told Pistaljka.
He explained that he has been retired for the last three years, and that until then he received financial assistance from Serbia, the so-called minimum, which amounted to 11,000 dinars.
Pistaljka learns from the locals that some who sued the government moved outside of Serbia, and some left Kosovo and moved to Serbia. The director of the Office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, who was previously a member of the Democratic Party of Serbia and an adviser to Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica at the time of making the conclusions, and who is now a member of the Serbian Progressive Party, did not agree to answer journalists’ questions even after several calls of this portal, explaining that the office has a competent service for cooperation with journalists. He did not even answer the question if he knew that there are people who have been out of work for more than a decade despite official government promises.
Despite the fact that Petkovic promised us that we would receive answers from his cabinet and the competent service, Pistaljka did not receive information even after several months about how many people from the temporary authorities were employed by the ministries and how many did not get jobs. Under the pretext that there is a lot of work due to the current crisis in Kosovo and the exit of Serbs from Kosovo institutions, the Office did not provide us with data on the number of people who stopped working in 2008 and are not employed in the civil service and information on how many of them live in Kosovo today, it is stated in the text of the portal.
What is known is that in 2008 police officers, tax collectors, customs officers, court and local self-government employees resigned and that the latter numbered 368 and that the former Ministry for Kosovo in the Government of Serbia was obliged to take them to work.
The Serbs who were asked to resign by the state hardly remember today the two former ministers for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic from the Democratic Party of Serbia, who publicly promised that the state would provide financial support for people who leave the temporary authorities, and Goran Bogdanovic, a member of Boris Tadic’s Social Democratic Party. Today, the two explain that they were dealing with other important issues while in office, and Bogdanovic even adds that he doesn’t even remember that there was a problem with hiring people because it was “a long time ago”./Pistaljka/