The Serbs from the region of Kosovsko Pomoravlje are practically blocked by the strict implementation of the decree of the Kosovo Government, regarding the re-registration of the vehicles from the Serbian to Kosovo plates. They are disabled from driving their cars, thus facing the total collapse, because many of them have to cross the administrative line several times a day, for work and many other things. The report of Snezana Milosevic.
The Kosovo Government is rigorous in implementing the ban on using the vehicles with registration plates issued by the Serbian Ministry of Interior, and that makes the already difficult life even harder. The Serbian plates must not be kept in the trunk of a car or personal bags either, so everybody who crosses the administrative line is searched and harassed. Goran Milosevic from Partes did not have the Serbian plates, but the police were asking for those anyway. “For more than one hour they were harassing me on the administrative crossing Bela Zemlja, asking for new GL plates. It made no difference that I told them is did not have other plates than those marked KS”, says Milosevic. The Serbs have not received any answer, either from the Pristina authorities or the EULEX, on why are the plates that are not used seized, and the drivers subjected to hassle.
The municipality of Ranilug is in the immediate vicinity of the administrative line with central Serbia. The majority of the population is forced to cross the line on a daily basis. Many pupils were using the organized transportation, the teachers have parked their cars and are coming to work by bicycles, motor-bikes or on foot; so, the situation in the schools is on the verge of regularity. Head of the education department in Ranilug, Branislav Zdravkovic says the school year will be completed successfully, but he fears the further unfolding of the situation. Municipal president Gradimir Mikic says this state of affairs is unsustainable and that the Serbs have asked for help from the international community. “We have also contacted the people from the Kosovo Government, talked to Peter Feith, who ensured us he would deal with the problem. In the meantime, we are dwelling in a true ghetto, abandoned by everybody. The citizens are bitter and I am afraid of more serious unrests”, says Mikic.
In this part of the Province, most Serbs have not re-registered their cars. The reason for that is not just the matter of principle, but of material capacity as well. In order to switch a vehicle to Kosovo plates, all other Kosovo documents have to be applied for, with full statehood symbols. Besides being very irritating, it also costs a lot. And later, new taxes and expenses are awaiting on the administrative crossings, as envisaged by the agreement in Brussels, but many are unable to pay for those.