The Kosovo government wants refugees to come back. 

Belgrad/Pristina, 2 January 2008 – This year, the Kosovo government wants to spend seven million Euros for refugee returns – almost two million more than in the previous year. This is what the Minister in charge Branislav Grbic announced to the Belgrade press agency Beta.

After the departure of Serbian armed forces in June 1999 approximately 250,000 Serbs and other non–Albanians fled Kosovo. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees 16,500 refugees – nearly half of them Serbs – have returned to the UN-administered province since then. Security is not an obstacle to the return of refugees anymore, Grbic, the only Serbian Minister in the Kosovo government, said. Questions of daily survival including employment, training and other socio-economic problems are much more important.

Last year, the Ministry for Refugee Returns in Pristina together with the UN development program (UNDP) built 57 houses in different places in Kosovo. In addition, 100 individual houses were built. This year the main accent will again be on refugee returns.

Source: Wiener Zeitung (translation)