Concerns grow as citizens in Kosovo cannot fully withdraw wages, pensions and social benefits issued by Serbia

banka pošta štedionica

Social benefits, wages, and pensions from Serbia have been wired to the accounts of citizens in Kosovo, while the January unemployment benefits for Kosovo are to be paid tomorrow, but how can the citizens actually get their money?

On February 1st, a regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo entered into force, which states that the euro is the only allowed currency in Kosovo, but also that every money transaction entering and leaving Kosovo must be carried out through the Central Bank.

The move practically banned the use of the Serbian dinar, as well as dinar payments from Serbia.

It is estimated that the decision directly affects around 100,000 citizens in Kosovo (not only citizens from the Serbian community) who earn and depend on dinar income, including the most socially vulnerable categories and retirees.

After Western representatives pressured the Kosovo authorities to suspend the decision and find an alternative for citizens, as they stressed, must continue to receive these funds, Pristina decided to give this part of the CBK regulation a transitional, adjustment period.

However, although Pristina agreed to a three-month adjustment period, during the same period four million dinars were seized in Kosovo, and two multimillion-dinar shipments from the National Bank of Serbia, intended for the payout of social welfare, pensions and wages, were turned back from the Jarinje crossing.

Money is wired into accounts, but how can it be withdrawn?

Funds are being wired into residents’ accounts, and we investigated how and if citizens are even able to withdraw their money.

The only branches in Kosovo that currently carry out dinar payouts are Poštanska Štedionica bank and the Serbian Post Office.

There have been long queues in front of these ATMs and branch offices for weeks now, further exacerbated in the last two days after the announcement of the payout of assistance for parents, children and other social benefits.

These users cannot withdraw money in other banks, except in the Post Office or Poštanska Štedionica. Social benefits are distributed there based on the citizen’s national registration number.

Upon visiting the main Post Office in North Mitrovica this morning, we discovered that there are no dinars in that branch intended for these payments, even though they have been wired to the accounts (or national registration numbers) of citizens. That’s what the clerk told the users who came to withdraw their money. Nevertheless, residents continue to attempt to do so.

The residents we encountered in front of the Postanska štedionica branch in North Mitrovica were not in the mood to speak to the media, while those who did, yet did not want to be filmed, explained to us how services are currently performed in this bank.

Dinars are in short supply, they told us, so all payments to citizens have been made in a lump sum for several days – 10,000 dinars each. The bank clerks also told them that they could withdraw the same amount the next day. At the same time, citizens can choose to withdraw that amount in euros. The clerks tell them that this is the practice in order for the money to be distributed evenly.

Dinari banke štedionica

The money can only be withdrawn inside the bank premises, as ATMs have been out of service for at least three days.

What is the situation in other Kosovo Serbian areas?

The situation is even worse in the Post Office and Poštanska štedionica in Serbian areas south of the Ibar. RTV Kim from Gračanica reports that there are no dinars there at all, and that citizens usually go to North Mitrovica or Serbia proper to withdraw their money.


In Goraždevac, the Post Office is closed, and the ATM is empty, our colleagues from the local radio station told us. The Post Office in Osojane is open, but there is no money there either. Locals also travel to North Mitrovica or Serbia proper to make withdrawals.

Citizens are noticeably concerned, above all socially vulnerable categories and pensioners. They told us that, apart from whether they will have money for their basic necessities, as well as for how long will this limited amount be available to them, they are especially worried about the lack of instructions from both addresses – Belgrade and Pristina.

A significant number of people from Mitrovica, in the absence of a solution, travel to Raska or Novi Pazar. This option, however, is not accessible to the most vulnerable groups – citizens on social welfare, pensioners (due to old age), as well as for people with special needs.

In front of one of the Poštanska branches in North Mitrovica, a protest of educational workers was held today, while beneficiaries of social benefits are set to hold a protest tomorrow in the same location.

This morning, KoSSev reached out to Poštanska Štedionica, asking about the current situation in their branches in Kosovo when it comes to dinars, and how long will the bank be able, bearing in mind the current situation, to make payments to citizens.

However, by the time the news has been published, we have not received an answer.

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