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Kosovo

Yearbook 2016

Kosovo. In February, Parliament appointed a new president after Atifete Jahjaga, whose term of office expired. After two votes when a two-thirds majority was demanded, Foreign Minister Hashim Thaši won in the third attempt, when a simple majority was enough. Former guerrilla leader Thaši and former prime minister had been promised the presidential post in a settlement to resolve a government crisis in 2014.

2016 Kosovo

According to countryaah, the election was marked by concern with new tear gas attacks in Parliament and clashes on the streets of the capital Priština. The opposition claimed that cheating had occurred, but the Constitutional Court upheld the election result. Behind the tear gas protests in Parliament, which began last autumn, lay opposition politicians who opposed the settlement reached on municipal autonomy for the Kosovo Serbs. Thaši had taken a leading role in the talks, which also aimed at improving relations with Serbia in order to improve the chances of both parties joining the EU. The opposition boycotted the ceremony when Thaši took office in April.

An obstacle on the road to Serbian autonomy was cleared when Kosovo and Serbia agreed in November on telecommunications, which meant that in December Kosovo received its own country code, 383.

The opposition's often violent protests also aimed at a contentious agreement with Montenegro on the border demarcation between the countries, which meant that 8,000 hectares of land would accrue to the neighboring country. The land was uninhabited. The issue caused a new tear gas attack in parliament in August, and the same month the public service company RTK was subjected to hand grenade attacks by a group which claimed that RTK had taken the government's party over the border agreement.

When Parliament would then approve the agreement, it ended with the entire vote being postponed indefinitely, to the cheers of the government opponents. Clarifying the border demarcation between countries was crucial to Kosovo's chances of getting visa-free access to the EU and being able to continue to approach the Union.

In October, a law was passed to nationalize most of the Trepca mining complex in Mitrovica to save it from bankruptcy. As a result, the Kosovo Serbs decided on boycott by both parliament and government. The issue of ownership has long been a matter of dispute also with the Belgrade government. The recovery of mainly lead, zinc and silver in Trepca accounted for around two-thirds of Kosovo's economy before the 1990s war, but the operation then ended up saving and debts grew enormous.

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