Tag Archives: Serbia

Kosovo agitators throw petrol bombs at Police over MP’s arrest

Newsroom24x7 Desk

protests kosovoKosovo : Kosovo and Serbia recently signed a landmark agreement, but protests have been on a rise ever since by many Kosovo leaders against the deal with Serbia. Opposition MP of Kosovo parliament, Albin Kurti set off tear gas in parliament last week over the deal between Kosovo and Serbia. He was taken into questioning for this act by police, but later released yesterday. The arrest triggered further protests by supporters of opposition leaders. The agitators today violently protested and raised voive against the police on Kurti’s arrest. Demonstrators in Kosovo’s capital Pristina threw petrol bombs and stones at police in a protest over the arrest of opposition MP Albin Kurti. About 200 protesters chanted Kurti’s name as they threw missiles at the ranks of police officers. Police retaliated, fired tear gas and advanced in an attempt to push the protesters back.

Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians broke away from Serbia in an armed revolt in 1999, and then unilaterally declared independence in 2008. Belgrade rejected the move and still considers the breakaway territory as its southern province. Later, Kosovo split from Serbia in 2008 supported by a Nato bombing campaign against Belgrade, which did force Serbia to get off the state, but Kosovo could not get an official recognition by Serbia.

Under the April 2013 Brussels Agreement, Serbia did not accept Kosovo’s independence but agreed to co-operate in ways that would allow it to operate more like a sovereign state. Since then, the road of progress has been soewhat patch-worked. Step by step, however the situation advanced and reached a stage recently when finally talks regained their momentum and the landmark deal between Serbia and Kosovo got signed. Both sides have stated that more or less, they have got what they wanted from the latest deal. Kosovo’s foreign minister claimed it was a de facto recognition of independence. Serbia’s prime minister said it ensured representation for ethnic-Serbs in Kosovo. It should also mean Serbia can now move forward with its negotiations to join the EU.

Kosovo has a majority Albanian population, but under the new agreement – 10 areas with large Serb populations will be able to manage issues such as the local economy and education. Both sides aspire to join the EU. From Serbia’s EU perspective, it relies on implementing a 2013 EU-brokered agreement on normalizing ties with its southern neighbor. The EU-brokered agreement grants more powers to the prominent Serb areas of Kosovo. Opposition MPs say it will deepen the ethnic divide and increase Serbia’s power in the country, hence the protests.

50 countries do not meet fiscal transparency requirements: US Report

Newsroom24x7 Flash

Department of StateThe US department of State has concluded that, of the 140 governments that were potential beneficiaries of foreign assistance and were evaluated 50 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Of these, eleven governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

On January 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry released the FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, assessing whether governments that receive U.S. assistance meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The Department’s assessments evaluate the substantial completeness, reliability, and public availability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of natural resource extraction contracting and license procedures.

The Report is prepared under Section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014. The Report examines governments receiving bilateral allocations of assistance under the Act. In compiling the Report, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments as of the date the Act became law.

Governments meeting fiscal transparency requirements

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for FY 2014: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Vietnam, and Zambia.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed Pursuant to the Act as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency for FY 2014

Significant Progress

No Significant Progress

Afghanistan

X

Algeria

X

Azerbaijan

X

Bahrain

X

Bangladesh

X

Burkina Faso

X

Burma

X

Burundi

X

Cambodia

X

Cameroon

X

Central African Republic

X

Chad

X

China

X

Comoros

X

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

X

Congo, Republic of the

X

Dominican Republic

X

Egypt

X

Ethiopia

X

Fiji

X

Gabon

X

Gambia, The

X

Guinea

X

Guinea-Bissau

X

Haiti

X

Kazakhstan

X

Laos

X

Lebanon

X

Libya

X

Madagascar

X

Malawi

X

Maldives

X

Nicaragua

X

Niger

X

Nigeria

X

Oman

X

Sao Tome and Principe

X

Saudi Arabia

X

Somalia

X

South Sudan

X

Sudan

X

Suriname

X

Swaziland

X

Tajikistan

X

Tanzania

X

Turkmenistan

X

Ukraine

X

Uzbekistan

X

Yemen

X

Zimbabwe

X

US views fiscal transparency as a critical element of effective public financial management since it helps in building market confidence, and sets the stage for economic sustainability. Transparency also provides a window into government budgets for citizens of any country, helping them to hold their leadership accountable. Reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and sustain a dialogue with governments to improve their fiscal performance, leading to greater macroeconomic stability and better development outcomes, the US department of State goes on to emphasise.

The Office of Monetary Affairs (OMA) monitors global macroeconomic developments and works to prevent and resolve financial crises in countries where U.S. interests are at risk. It seeks to increase the financial security of the United States and its key partners. OMA also works to expand global economic growth and development by advocating sound macroeconomic policies that foster economic stability and expand opportunities for U.S. trade and investment worldwide.

OMA provides the Secretary of State with expertise on global financial and macroeconomic issues, working in close cooperation with the Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs. OMA is also the Department’s liaison with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, OMA interacts with a wide range of foreign government officials and representatives of other international and non-governmental organizations. It also consults with representatives of private financial institutions to ensure that U.S. financial interests abroad are accurately and effectively reflected in U.S. foreign economic policy.

To help poorer countries overcome unsustainable debt burdens and improve their chances for economic growth and development, OMA promotes debt relief through the Paris Club, representing the Secretary of State as Head of the U.S. delegation. The Paris Club is the forum for coordinating debt relief policy among sovereign creditors and negotiating individual country debt treatments. Paris Club agreements can also affect non-member country and private sector creditors when debtor countries are required to seek comparable treatment. OMA also coordinates with the Treasury Department to formulate U.S. debt-relief policies more broadly and to promote initiatives through multilateral institutions.

OMA develops strategies to fight corruption and improve transparency from an economic and business perspective. OMA heads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, coordinates the interagency to combat bribery of foreign public officials, and ensures compliance with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in Internationals in International Business Transactions, also known as the Anti-Bribery Convention.

Click Here for Government by Government Assessment (Fiscal Transparency Report)