Copyright 1982 Facts on File, Inc. Facts on File World News Digest September 10, 1982 SECTION: OTHER NATIONS; Yugoslavia PAGE: Pg. 670 E3 LENGTH: 210 words HEADLINE: Serbs in Kosovo Exodus BODY:Some 57,000 Serbs had left the Yugoslav autonomous province of Kosovo within the past decade, it was reported July 12.
A great number had left after the riots of March and April 1981, according to local officials. The region's economic problems and the ethnic Albanian nationalism that had sparked the riots were mentioned as the principal reasons behind the Serbian migration. [See 1981, p. 261G1]
"The nationalists have a two-point platform, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania," said Becir Hoti, a Kosovo Communist Party official and an ethnic Albanian.
Officials cited widespread harassment of Serbs by Albanians, including two recent murders, personal insults, defacing of graves, burning of hay and other attacks on property.
Economic problems in the country's poorest region were also stressed. "Ninety-nine percent of the Albanians have no wish to live in Albania," Aziz Abrashi, the economics minister, was quoted as saying. "But they view the rest of Yugoslavia and are aware of the higher living standards. Our young people want the same good life, the nice houses and cars, and they can't get them if they can't get jobs," Aziz added.
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