"You are part of homeland" written in a banner at "Diaspora Days"- traditional fair in the center of Pristina, Kosovo. Photo: BIRN

“You are part of homeland” written in a banner at “Diaspora Days”- traditional fair in the center of Pristina, Kosovo. Photo: BIRN

According to a government minister, Kosovo gets around 1.5 billion euros per a year from members of the diaspora returning home – and sending cash home to relatives.

“In summer and winter, they spend around 650 million to 700 million euros in Kosovo. They also send [home] the same amount during the year. That makes up an income of around 1.5 billion euros per a year,” Valon Murati, Kosovo’s Minister for the Diaspora, told BIRN.

His ministry has been trying to register Kosovo Albanians living abroad in order to gather data on them and tap their potential.

“We have registered around 350,000 of them, which is not the total number but the number of those we could find physical evidence of, when they came back to Kosovo. This registration will continue online in the coming years,” Murati explained.

The minister said that they were also working on making it possible for the diaspora to directly elect representatives to Kosovo’s parliament.

“Our aim is to have some representatives of the diaspora in parliament … partly to eliminate the dissatisfaction these people feel time after time, over things like troubles with the voting system,” said Murati.

Source:
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/kosovo-awaits-summer-s-return-of-cash-rich-diaspora-07-12-2017