Kosovo ‘Shouldn’t Expect a Perfect Society’

06 November 2008 Caglavica – ‘There is no such thing as a perfect society,’ Britain’s Foreign Minister David Miliband argued as he moderated a debate between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a debate in the Kosovo Serb enclave of Caglavica, just outside Pristina, after earlier in the day having visited Belgrade and having addressed Kosovo’s Parliament.

The debate was entitled, ‘How Kosovo communities can live better.’
 
“There is no such thing as a perfect society. Therefore, there is always something to discuss and think about,” Miliband told political representatives and students at the debate.
 
Kosovo publicist and politician, Veton Surroi, however said “there is a huge interethnic misbalance in Kosovo.”
 
“Nine years (after the 1998-1999 war) of separated life and violence brought us here. I don’t believe in easy ways to overcome this problem, so we will probably live in parallel societies,” said Surroi.
 
Surroi is known for his harsh criticism of ethnically-motivated sporadic crimes carried out against ethnic Serbs and Roma by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority since 1999.
 
Ethnic Albanian and Serb students from Kosovo who taking courses in two different and ethnically divided universities, said there is a big ‘gap’ between their communities.

They complained of security problems, as well as a fear of using the mother tongue in areas where the other community resides. Students also agreed communication has to improve.
 
Vice-president of the Gracanica enclave-based Serb National Council, Rada Trajkovic, said that younger generation in Kosovo, compared to their parents and grandparents who lived together before the 1999 conflict, do not speak the language of the other community.

“We have to learn again to talk the languages, or find a third one (for communication),” said Trajkovic.
 
Pristina’s Education Minister Enver Hohxaj and Belgrade’s Kosovo Ministry official, Oliver Ivanovic pointed out that improvements to the local economy, new jobs, and the education of the new political elite are the priorities to secure a better life in Kosovo.
 
“Nationalism and euphoria on the Kosovo final status issue are not the things that will feed your families tomorrow,” Ivanovic told students.

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