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April 20, 2010

20. April 2010.

According to Stephen Wordsworth, the British ambassador to Serbia, the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, in which Serbia, the EU and USAID invested a total of 100 milion dollars, „stagnated for a long time because of the people who didn’t speak to one another, but the situation has changed over the past few years.”

Ambassador Wordsworth added that he had participated in the forum “South Serbia – from Frozen Conflict to Sustainable Solutions” a few days before because of his wish to promote dialogue.

„That region is still dogged by very serious problems. The unemployment rate is pretty high, around 70 per cent. The feeling of a lack of prospects prevails among the young. That must change”, Mr. Wordsworth said.

„Such forums contribute to a better understanding, as well as to finding the way of moving forwards in the fields of education or in representation of minorities in the Serbian institutions”.  
Criticism of the Serbian authorities was expressed in some discussions of representatives of the Albanian participants from South Serbia in the forum:

„Our standpoint is absolutely clear. That is Serbia’s region and the people from that part of the country must find their future through the Serbian institutions, as well as through cooperation with the Serbian government and bodies. The current government, particularly Milan Markovic, Minister for Public Administration and Local Self-Government, is far more involved in resolving the issue”.

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