Kosovo is the poorest region in the Western Balkans with an annual gross domestic product per capita of around euro1,000 (US$1,300) and a jobless rate of at least 50 percent, according to EU figures despite the fact that is rich in mines and minerals.(Gosh, and I thought Generel Wes Clark was tellling us that all was well with Kosovo's economy...(see here.)
The privatization of Feronikeli would be the most important sell-off of socially owned enterprises, a term used for enterprises owned by the workers and managers under a system set up under communist-era Yugoslavia.
Privatization is also among the most sensitive economic issues in Kosovo, a disputed province which was put under U.N. protection in June 1999 following a NATO air war that pushed Serb forces out of the province after they cracked down on ethnic Albanians seeking independence.
The process of privatization is complex, in part because it is unclear whether Kosovo will become independent or remain part of Serbia-Montenegro, the successor state of Yugoslavia.
Serbia's authorities have fiercely opposed the process of privatization.
50% unemployment? Maybe there's gold in them thar nickel mines...