The rational-minded Mayor of Gracanica: There are no Serbs in Pristina, Pec and Djakovica, journalists and civic activists deny

Srđan Popović u jutrašnjem gostovanju na Pinku
Srdjan Popovic in morning program talk show of Pink Television

„Nope. Unfortunately, there are no Serbs in Pristina. Around 40,000 Serbs lived in Pristina, the same in Pec and Djakovica. However, Serbs no longer live there. And we have to think rationally at the present time, we have to help our people where they continue to live and, as the President himself had said, we will invest more in every Serbian municipality, in every family, in every Serb. Because, in the end, depending on how many Serbs remain in Kosovo, that is how much Kosovo will belong to Serbs,“ the Mayor of Gracanica, Srdjan Popovic said on the morning program talk show of Pink Television. Journalists and civil society activists from central Kosovo and from a Metohija village, however, claimed the opposite – there are Serbs in Pristina, Pec and Djakovica.

Around a thousand Serbs in Pec municipality

„I will remind the authorities that Serbs live in several returnee villages in Pec and in Gorazdevac. These villages are an integral part of the town. According to the research for the Integra project, i.e. the inclusion of Gorazdevac in the local utility system, there are 208 households or 776 inhabitants, I personally counted. According to these latest data, around 1000 Serbs live in Pec, including Serb villages that are part of Pec Municipality,“ the editor of Radio Gorazdevac Darko Dimitrijevic told KoSSev.

He added that Serbs from Pec celebrated an important Serbian holiday yesterday. Around a hundred people were present in the local church yesterday. On the other side, however, none of the officials from Belgrade attended the ceremony, he claimed further.

“There would be even more Serbs in Pec if those who are in power deal with more important issues, such as the problem of personal documents which many Serbs cannot obtain,“ added the editor of Gorazdevac Radio.

How many Serbs are in Pristina? „We are a statistical error“

The Mayor of Gracanica also confirmed that there are no Serbs in Pristina.

A journalist and editor of the Gracanica online portal, Andjelka Cup made a documentary last year titled „Life in a Minority Way“ focusing on the Serbs still living in Pristina.

“There are about 30 Serbs in Pristina, where more than 40,000 used to live. They did not want to step in front of the camera. They told us they were disappointed in everything and everyone, even in the press,” Andjelka Cup said.

Cup said that when she tried to film them, these Serbs asked her: “Why are you filming us? There is none of us here, that is what the media are reporting. We are a statistical error.”

She added that she confirmed the data from 2017 on the number of Serbs living in villages of the municipality of Pristina –50 Serbs in Slivovo, 35 in Gornja Brnjica, more than 10 in Lebane, 9 Serbs in Devet Jugovica.

When asked whether there are Serbs in Pristina to date, Cup replied:

„They are absolutely there. Still bitter and angry, because both journalists and officials say they are not there. I often come to the Pristina church of St. Nicholas and see them there. I would like to remind that there are two priests with their families in Pristina, one of them even has children.“

Cup added that the number of Serbs living in Pristina does not include those who live in the city because they are employed in institutions and international organizations.

According to the data from the official website of the municipality of Pristina i.e. the Open Data website, and according to the 2011 census, 430 Serbs live in the municipality of Pristina: 204 in urban areas and 226 in rural areas.

A Pristina native and civil activist, Nenad Maksimovic, confirmed also that there are around 30 Serbs in Pristina. He explained that this does include Serbs living in the village of Donja Brnjica, which is part of the municipality of Pristina.

„Acceptance of the factual state of ethnic cleansing is dangerous, as well as the abandonment of the idea of returning Serbs and the return of usurped property. Such ‘real politics’ is the euphemistic capitulation against force and injustice. The President of Serbia is the president of all citizens and not only Serbs, and that is how he should act in public,“ Maksimovic said in a statement for KoSSev.

„Such a policy of particracy, blackmail, pressure and stultification of pluralism among Kosovo Serbs is convenient for emigration. Single-mindedness has definitely become foolish. According to the latest data, 80% of Kosovo Serbs do not see their future in Kosovo in the next 5 years. This is the result, not only of abnormal living conditions and constant pressure from Albanians, but also the loss of faith that one day it will get better and that they will live in their own country,“ he concluded.

„In Djakovica, four old brave Serb women (Abbess Teoktista Kastratovic, nuns Joanikija Spaic, Vasiljka Peric and Nada Isailovic) have been living in Djakovica for years, cared for by Bishop Teodosije and the monks of the Decani monastery,“ the Abbot of Visoki Decani monastery, Father Sava Janjic said.

Popovic’s claim that there are no Serbs in Pristina, Pec and Djakovica followed the allegation by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that there are no Serbs in Kosovo Polje, Bresje, Caglavica, and that nobody wants to live in Djakovica, which the inhabitants of these places themselves denied.

However, „as the President himself has said,“ he will invest „more“ in „every Serb municipality, in every family, in every Serb“.

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