SKOPJE – In recent months Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija have massively been buying properties in Macedonia, and those with “deep pockets” do not ask for price of the properties in the most attractive locations, claim real estate agencies, as reported by Macedonian media. Properties are bought mostly in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje.
Almost 80 percent of newly built apartments in Tetovo and Gostivar were bought by citizens from Kosovo. They pay as much as 700 euros per meter square. Houses are also bought, but their price is high, media learned at one construction company in Gostivar.
Except in Tetovo and Gostivar, Kosovo Albanians also buy apartments in Ohrid, but they do not do it directly but through an intermediary, in fear that the purchase of apartments might cause negative reactions with local population, the contracts are made to third parties.
Agency “Elinor” from Tetovo said that Albanians seek apartments from them, but that they do not want to sell them to Albanians, instead referring them to Skopje.
“Apart from Albanians, Macedonians from Albania also seek apartments in Tetovo and Gostivar,” said the agency.
Media reports that the problem got into spotlight since a few days ago an information appeared that thousands of citizens are leaving Kosovo because they are disappointed with the situation in the province.
It is also said that an additional problem for Kosovo citizens is a strict visa regime the European Union has introduced for Kosovo citizens.
Although official Pristina has began negotiations for the abolition of the visa regime, it seems that the deal is still far, say the media, and the reason is the increased number of asylum requests in the Western Europe and instable political situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
This is why a large number of citizens sees the salvation in getting Serbian passports with which they can freely enter the European Union.
Belim Becaj, political analyst from Pristina, says that there is no other reason except the financial one to make the citizens leave Kosovo, and that the authorities should prevent it.
“Citizens are disappointed and therefore they flee. When a man has financial problems he does not pay attention to whether he needs Serbian, Russian or Macedonian passport to leave. Living conditions in Kosovo are difficult and that is why there are mass departures,” said Becaj.
The EU has already announced the “red alert” because of the wave of asylum seekers from Kosovo and demands that authorities in Pristina explain to their citizens that it is impossible to get asylum in any country of the European Union.
The main source of income of Kosovo citizens is receiving aid from diaspora, and every third family has someone working in Germany or Switzerland.