A license plate can be much more to a car owner than just a collection of letters and numbers. That certainly applies to many people in Kosovo. There license plates seem to open old wounds.
A license plate not only belongs to your car, but also to your country. Maybe you proudly drive around with your yellow plate when you cross the border. If the color doesn’t show where you come from, the EU sign with NL in it will. It is precisely this recognisability that creates a tense situation in Kosovo. There are cars driving around that are of Kosovars, but with a Serbian license plate on it. This is a sensitive issue because of the war between Kosovo and Serbia at the end of the 1990s, which eventually led to Kosovo becoming an independent country.
Serbia still does not formally recognize Kosovo as an independent country and it is still possible for Kosovars of Serbian origin to get a Serbian license plate. A thorn in the flesh for some Kosovars and for the local government. People with a Serbian license plate living in Kosovo will be fined in the near future, according to the plan of the government of Kosovo. That plan is now adding fuel to the fire. In fact, the tension has risen to such an extent that crisis consultations have been held between the two countries in Brussels about this ‘license plate conflict’, but that consultation has come to nothing, reports The Volkskrant. The EU now fears further escalation and the word ‘license war’ has already been used. It is to be hoped that the sting will soon be removed from the conflict.
The photo above shows a man in Kosovo masking the national symbols on his Serbian license plate.
– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl
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