Kosovo’s long, slow recovery

IN 1991 Armend Malazogu leapt off the back of an army lorry. Then aged 18, the Kosovo Albanian was escaping being drafted into Serbia’s fight with Croatia. The Yugoslav civil wars were just beginning and would eventually spread to Kosovo. Now, 18 years after the end of the Kosovo war and almost ten after the statelet declared independence, most indicators paint a bleak picture. Unemployment is around 33% and GDP per person, at $3,660, is the lowest in the region. Yet Mr Malazogu, now one of Kosovo’s most successful entrepreneurs, reckons things may be less gloomy than the numbers suggest.

Kosovo’s officials say that their country’s economy is being hobbled by disputes with Serbia, which refuses to accept its independence and threatens legal action against major foreign firms wanting to invest in it. Russia has led objections to Kosovo becoming a member of the United Nations, and five members of the EU do not recognise it.

But for Mr Malazogu, all this is just an excuse for the…Continue reading
Source: Europe Economic News