Balconies at 8 pm: Applause for medical staff in Serbia, calls to make noise to protest political situation in Kosovo

The “Replikë” organization called on citizens across Kosovo to go out to their balconies and windows tonight at 8 o’clock and „make noise“ to protest the current political situation during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is different in nature to similar balcony initiatives across the region and Europe.

Italians are applauding the Italian medical staff from their balconies. Italian doctors and nurses are facing hard times in an attempt to treat thousands of Italians suffering from coronavirus, many of which have already succumbed to the virus, from their balconies.

The citizens of Serbia, including the residents of the north of Kosovo, applauded Serbian medical staff from their balconies at 8 pm yesterday, while launching the initiative to repeat it every evening at 20:00hrs.

As the “Replikë” organization announced, an initiative will also be launched from Kosovo’s balconies – also at 8 pm. This initiative, however, will be held in a sign of protest against the current political scene in Kosovo. Coalition partner of Albin Kurti – LDK has launched a no-confidence motion against the government following yesterday’s dismissal of their interior minister, Agim Veliu.

During the pandemic, Kosovo citizens have been confronted with the personal and party interests of Kosovo’s politicians, “Replikë” wrote in a statement.

„At a time when everyone should be united and work to manage the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Kosovo’s politicians are abusing their political power to create drama and uncertainty about when Kosovo should be mobilized against the virus pandemic,“ the statement said.

The organization urged the citizens to go out to their balconies or windows for five minutes at 8 o’clock tonight and „make noise with harmless objects – keys, pots, spoons“, demanding a response of all political parties and heads of institutions „because of the situation and the panic every citizen of Kosovo is facing.“

The protests from the balconies have „a great and historic symbolism among the citizens of Kosovo,“ the organization said. They recalled that Albanians used various means from their balconies and windows in the 1990s to make noise and „express rebellion against the discriminatory system of the time.“

The initiative of the “Replikë” organization comes amid disagreement of the ruling coalition over whether or not a state of emergency should be introduced in Kosovo due to the coronavirus pandemic. The president of Kosovo issued a decree, requesting the introduction of a state of emergency from the Kosovo Assembly.

The Self-determination party, however, sees no reason to introduce such a measure, which is why Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti dismissed LDK minister Agim Veliu, who expressed a contrary view. The LDK then demanded that the decision be annulled and the tariffs abolished by the end of the week, but also announced the launch of a no-confidence motion against the Kosovo government. Political parties in Kosovo disagree on whether a state of emergency should be introduced, while some have not yet shared their position on the issue.

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