The economic side
While the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement has gone much further in Kicevo than many expected, the news on the economic front are dire.
Half of the 6,600 jobs in Kicevo's socialist industries had already been lost from 1989 to 2002. In the following three years, another 465 of the remaining 3,298 jobs were gone. The only positive development was the tripling of the workforce of "Izvor" in Drugovo municipality, a textile company that was bought by a private investor from Struga. Two former socialist companies went bankrupt, and at least four others have downsized their workforce while fighting for survival.
The private sector is not in better shape: All four private companies that in 2002 employed more than 30 workers, are in crisis. The Albanian owner of Himara, a textile company, is considering to close down and return to France where he had worked until the late 1990s. Cheaper world prices for piece work have rendered his company unprofitable. The other textile company, Osogovo, struggles with similar problems. Bemos and Bistra Drvo, two construction companies, had to shrink their work force considerably because after the 2002 elections they had difficulties winning public tenders. Another company has emerged at their place, but except for this, in the three years from 2002 to 2005 not a single new production company with more than 10 people has been opened in Kicevo.
In addition, Albanian businessman complain about lower spending by their diaspora when they come to visit in the summer months. From these capital injections many Albanian private companies used to live through the rest of the year.