Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recently caught uttering an ethnic slur against Serbs in a Prague bookstore, has also been involved in the purchase of Kosovo’s telecom company! Yes, that’s right, she is leading a group of investors seeking to buy PTK, the Kosovo-owned (well, sort of) telecommunications and postage company, according to BloombergBusinessWeek:
Kosovo is preparing to sell a majority stake in its state-owned post and telecom company PTK, a deal that could yield as much as €600 million ($753 million) for Europe’s newest and poorest country.
The bidding, set to begin next month, has attracted interest from European and Turkish phone operators, as well as from an investment company headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a major backer of Kosovo in its war against Serbia.
It seems strange that Secretary Albright would be seen cashing in on the Kosovo war she helped start. But there is a fly in the ointment: That company was formerly owned by Serbia before the war!
Serbia is contesting the PTK privatization, arguing that former Serbian employees of the company have a legal claim on its assets. On Aug. 23, Serbia announced it would file lawsuits before international courts to block investors from buying stakes in the company. “As in any asset sale, rights of former and current employees also must be respected,” including claims by Serbs who fled Kosovo during the war that began in 1999, says Aleksandar Vulin, the head of Serbia’s agency for Kosovo affairs. “The move should serve as a warning to foreign investors who want to acquire assets there.”
I would think they have a point if the activities done before the war now by this company were done by a Serbian state-owned entity or entities. However, it is not likely to be upheld by any court other than perhaps a Serbian one. That court would be impotent to enforce any judgment.
It appears to be another poke in the eye to the Serbs by the former Secretary of State. This continues to show the harm in intervention; now it looks like either economic imperialism or “cashing in” on victory! Either way it is unseemly for either the former Secretary of State or the United States.