RealNews

Ethnic Albanians chart Kosovo path

Bekim Kuqi has braved civil war, exile, bombs falling on his factories and a remote-controlled car filled with explosives detonating inside one of his stores. So the ethnic Albanian entrepreneur says he is prepared for the daunting challenge of doing business in the newly independent Kosovo.The electricity grid is so unreliable that just keeping the lights on in his retail stores is a daily struggle, forcing Kuqi, 33, to spend €1,000 a day, or about $1,500, on 25 backup generators. Even then, shoppers browse with the lights flickering on and off. He is encouraged by the strong hunger for consumer goods in a place where half the 1.9 million inhabitants are under 25. But he also despairs that the average monthly wage of roughly $220 means most people can afford little more than a Coca-Cola at one of his stores. Full Story

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