Kosovo raises minimum pay, war veterans in protest
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The Kosovar Parliament agreed on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage. The plan does not include payments to war veterans, who immediately said they would hold a protest.
Parliament voted 68-6 in favor of the law raising the minimum salary from 170 euros ($178) to 250 euros ($261) per month. The government has said it will include some 100,000 public employees.
The law says payments to members of the War Veterans’ Organization of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), who were the independence fighters in the separatist war in 1998-1999 against Serbia, will not be included until their membership list has been clarified. There have been cases of abuse with the list of veterans and trials are being held in some cases.
The veterans decried that as “a shame” and a “constitutional violation” adding that they will hold a nationwide protest on Thursday.
Teachers also are not satisfied with the draft law and had warned of protests.
Kosovo’s developing economy has experienced solid economic growth over the past decade but it is still considered as one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. It was recognized by the United States and most of the West, but not by Serbia or its allies Russia and China.