Kosovo pays € 11m more for non-paying Serbs’ electricity bills – Exit
Kosovo’s parliament passed a bill of 11 million euros to cover electricity losses for six months in the four Serb-majority municipalities in the north of the country.
It will compensate the Kosovo electricity transmission operator KOSTT for six months of losses in the municipalities of North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zvecan and Leposavic.
Serbian citizens of northern Kosovo have not paid their energy bills for the past 22 years since the Kosovo war ended in 1999.
The annual loss of energy bills for this region amounts to 12 million euros, according to Radio Free Europe.
In order to compensate for this, the rest of the population was charged an additional 3.5% of their electricity consumption during the period 1999-2017.
In 2017, the Court of Appeal ruled that this practice was illegal.
The Kosovo government is working to find a long-term solution, Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli told parliament on Thursday.
Bedri Hamza, deputy of the Democratic Opposition Party of Kosovo (PDK), said that the passage of the bill was an illegal interference in the management of KOSTT.
The bill was passed without the presence of the PDK with a minimum of 61 votes out of 120, gaining the support of the ruling party Vetevendosje and Srpska Lista.
In December 2020, KOSTT left the transport regulatory bloc of Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Based on an agreement signed in June between KOSTT and the European Network of Electricity Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), it joined a regulatory bloc with Albania.