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Kosovo's Serbs hit by lines, limited withdrawals

Kosovo's Serbs hit by lines, limited withdrawals

After currency ban

22 febbraio 2024, 14:04

Redazione ANSA



(ANSA-AFP) - MITROVICA, FEB 22 - Long lines snaked around banks in northern Kosovo on Wednesday, as ethnic Serbs waited to receive salaries and pensions in limited tranches following a government regulation targeting Serbia's dinar currency. The disruption comes weeks after a new rule entered into force in Kosovo on February 1 that made the euro the only legal currency for payments in commercial transactions and effectively banned the use of the dinar. On Wednesday, Kosovo's Serbs working for government institutions in Serbia and pensioners were set to receive salaries in northern Kosovo, where many in the community are dependent on the payments. Worries have been mounting for days over fears that cash was running short in the area, following the blocking of two deliveries of dinars after officials stopped cars transporting the currency at the border.
    Serbia's central bank said the shipments were set to pay salaries, pensions, social benefits and other payments to Serbs in Kosovo. On Wednesday, account holders were only able to withdraw limited amounts of dinars, according to an AFP reporter on the ground, usually in tranches of 5,000 to 10,000 ($46 to $92). "It is most likely the dinar will be abolished because that is Pristina's position. What are we left with?" one pensioner told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Others said they would be forced to cross the border and travel to Serbia to collect their salary in full. "Tomorrow, I plan to go to Raska and pick up my salary there," said Milica Ivanovic, a 25-year-old working at a Serbian government institution in northern Kosovo, referring to a town in southern Serbia. "I can afford it but there are others who can't," she added.


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