Import Tax Could Topple Kosovo Govt, Speaker Warns

Sharp disagreements among Kosovo officials over whether the import tax of 100 per cent on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina should be revoked have fresh sparked warnings that the government could fall and be forced to hold snap elections.

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is not budging from his stance that the tax will only be scrapped when Serbia recognises Kosovo.

But the head of his ruling coalition partner party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, Kadri Veseli, has proposed suspending it for 120 days and has warned that the government could collapse over the issue.

Veseli, who is also the speaker of parliament, told RTV Dukagjini on Tuesday that while his relationship with Prime Minister Haradinaj remained cordial,  "the PM has started to become too individualistic".

Veseli proposed the suspending the tax after meeting the US ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett on Monday.

The US has called on Kosovo to consider an "immediate suspension" of the tax, but Haradinaj has made no sign of considering the appeal.

Veseli told the TV station that the government would fall if relations with the country's main ally, the United States, broke down over the issue of the import tax.

"The day the partnership with the United States breaks down, the coalition falls, and Kadri Veseli leaves the assembly headship," Veseli stated.

Earlier on Tuesday, Haradinaj said that even if the snap elections were called, the tax would still remain in force until summer.

"If elections are called, 45 days will pass until they are held and another 30 other days will be needed until the [new] Assembly is constituted. Be ready to enter the summer with the tax in place," Haradinaj told a press conference.

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