Haradinaj gets no guarantees, won't revoke taxes - reports

Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj has not changed his stance on abolishing taxes after his meeting on Thursday in Pristina with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Source: Tanjug
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(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)
(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)

Although the main reason for the visit of the EU official, in charge of enlargement negotiations and neighborhood policy, was the abolition of Pristina's trade barriers on goods from central Serbia, Haradinaj did not change his stance, Pristina-based Gazeta Express writes.

According to the Albanian language website, the talks between Hahn and Haradinaj began with the topic of visa liberalization.

Hahn, however, reminded Haradinaj that the issue was closed as early as December last year, and that Kosovo would not receive visa liberalization until 2020 - "while it is now only the beginning of 2019."

Hahn wrote on Twitter after the meeting that he had "a good, open discussion with Haradinaj and his ministers" and was "looking forward to working closely in all open issues this year, so Kosovo can advance on its EU path."

Haradinaj, meanwhile, took to Facebook, where wrote that he told Hahn Kosovo had met all criteria for visa liberalization and expected rapid progress.

However, Gazeta Express is reporting that Hahn was more interested in discussing the abolition of Pristina's taxes on goods from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina - and that this was why he came to Pristina.

Haradinaj, the article continued, "gave him a similar response that he gave to such requests coming from the Americans" and that is that the taxes would be abolished "when Serbia recognizes Kosovo."

Haradinaj said on Sunday that the Pristina government was ready to revoke the decision "after receiving international guarantees that a final agreement between Belgrade and Pristina will result in mutual recognition."

Gazeta Express noticed that after the meeting with Hahn, "it was not stated that the EU offered such guarantees via its commissioner."

Hahn and Haradinaj did not address the press after the meeting, nor did they make any mention of the tax issue on social networks.

Hahn, who only spoke to Haradinaj while Pristina, then traveled to Tirana where he met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

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