Muslim Slavs in Kosovo Flock for Bulgarian Citizenship

Society | May 15, 2012, Tuesday // 13:49|  views

The ancient city of Prizren, southern Kosovo (pop. 178,000) - one of Kosovo's most ethnically diverse communities. Photo by Wikipedia

Ever more members of the Muslim ethnic Slavic communities of the Gorani and Bosniaks in Kosovo are willing to get Bulgarian passports, according to a report by Deutsche Welle.

While Kosovo does not officially recognize a Bulgarian minority, many of the Muslim Slavic-speaking people residing there have a sense of affiliation with the Bulgarian people.

According to an 2002 estimate of Kosovo's population of 1.9 M inhabitants consists of 92% ethnic Albanians, 4% Serbs, and 4% "others," including Roma, Turks, Bosniaks and Gorani.

Now many Gorani and Bosniaks are coming to the realization that a Bulgarian citizenship might be a springboard for an escape from the deeply economically troubled Kosovo, where unemployment is estimated to be soaring well over 40%.

A Bulgarian passport of course could also give them the gateway to the European Union's labor market.

A special interest in Bulgaria has been marked among dwellers in the area of Kosovar city of Prizren, says the German agency.

Two months ago, a Society of Bulgarians in Kosovo was founded at the Bulgarian embassy in Pristina.

Although the Society has not confirmed that, Deutsche Welle reports that it aids applicants in the submission and processing of documents for Bulgarian citizenship.

On the other hand, parts of the Bosniak population fear that a new Bulgarian affiliation among their people could fragment and divide their small community, reports Deutsche Welle.

For the time being, Kosovo state officials have stated that there is nothing troubling about the situation, given that citizenship applications are processed in the due order mandated by the law.

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Tags: Gorani, Bosniaks, kosovo, Bulgarian citizenship, Bulgaria, Albanian, Serb, Muslim, Prizren, unemployment, European Union


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