Hardinaj won't let go of taxes; now "system collapse" begins

The decision to increase by 100 percent fees on goods from central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina was made by Pristina in November, leading to a standstill in the EU-mediated Kosovo dialogue, as Belgrade is demanding the abandoning of this measure before the negotiations could continue.

After the meeting with the US ambassador in Pristina on Thursday, attended also by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Assembly President Kadri Veseli, the Kosovo prime minister added that he is now not ruling out the collapse of his ruling coalition.

Otherwise, today's meeting was announced in the Pristina media as decisive, i.e. there was speculation that it would become clear afterwards which one would fall: taxes, or Haradinaj's government.

Haradinaj said today that regardless of the US request to abolish them, taxes are "a sovereign decision of the Kosovo government."

"It is important for Kosovo to persevere, I am for an agreement with Serbia, but not at the price of the territory. It is the sovereign decision of the government, and we do not condition the dialogue with the decisions of the Serbian government. I am returning to the negotiating table, but our decision is sovereign," he said, according to Pristina daily Koha Ditore.

This could, Haradinaj continued, lead to a break up of the ruling coalition, which means early parliamentary elections.

The collapse of the coalition could come as early as in the following days. "We are in the right political processes, everything is possible in the coming weeks and days, first to solve some important issues, such as the passing of the budget," Haradinaj said, according to another Albanian-language newspaper, Zeri.

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