Serbia says Kosovo conditions for EU are unacceptable

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Serbia vowed Wednesday to keep a presence in northern Kosovo and dismissed as "unacceptable" Germany's insistence that it abandons institutions there as a precondition for EU candidacy status.

Serbia does not recognise Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence and has maintained parallel administrative structures in the territory's majority Serb north, including post offices, schools and municipal administrations.

"Serbian institutions are necessary for the Serb community in Kosovo and we can neither give up those institutions nor abolish them because that would mean giving up our wish to keep Kosovo in Serbia," Serbia's Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic told Beta news agency.

All demands to abolish "so-called parallel institutions" for Serbs in Kosovo are "absolutely unacceptable," he stressed.

On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Belgrade it must improve relations with Pristina and dismantle its parallel structures in the north if it wants to become a candidate for European Union membership this year.

More than 80 countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 European Union member states, have recognised Kosovo's independence.

© 2011 AFP

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