Some displaced persons on the street again after 13 years
Still fresh wounds of the 2001 conflict for internally displaced persons in the country. After 13 years living in a student room tomorrow is the day when they have to collect the furniture and start a new life with a new uncertainty
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When ten-year old Ivana was born her parents lived in the dormitory Stiv Naumov. Today she is celebrating her name day and therefore treats the Inbox 7 team. But we were welcomed in sorrow and tears as the Krstevski family has to leave their ten-year home. The bags with personal things in the small student room are ready, but where to go?
Her grandmother, Trajka Krstevska, became head of the family three years ago when her husband died. Frail and with handful of drugs, she tearfully tells the fresh memories of the 2001 conflict, when one of her sons was wounded and another kidnapped, so she became ill.
“In Tetovo we used to live nicely but now I cannot go back there, I do not have any income, I will go to one of my sons, my daughter is with me,” says 65-year-old Trajka.
Marica Kicevska, who formerly lived in the village Dobroshte and worked in the factory Teteks is a single mother of two now adult daughters.
“One daughter got married, the other works in a café, that is how we get by. Until recently I did not get any pension, I got when I turned 62. But we cannot go back to Dobroshte, electricity is turned off because we have not paid utilities for years, the house is in dilapidated condition. Where should I go, I do not feel comfortable here, and I had a stroke”, explains Marica.
Fate of these people is shared with a few other families housed in dormitory Stiv Naumov in Skopje Avtokomanda. The five families which include a single mother with two young children, said that until tomorrow when the deadline for relocation expires, have no solution to house themselves, and as was announced, the police would relocate them.
According to them, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy gave too short period to find their way, but are grateful for having lived there. Seeking extension of deadline or financial aid, which as displaced persons have not received for a long time, they lived there at the expense of the state budget.
The order at the bulletin board was posted on 30th last month, stating that unless they relocate themselves, further additional measures would be taken and police intervention, and they would bear the cost. The Ministry made an exception for three people whose names are listed in the statement and can remain in the dormitory.
However, most families over the years managed to build homes with their own funds or loans and today will leave the dormitory without a word.
And the students who are staying here also felt discomfort and anger as a result of the ten-year stay of the displaced.
There are 219 displaced persons, the state covers the cost
Inbox 7 asked the Ministry of Labor what will happen to the displaced that cannot leave their rooms tomorrow, whether it will extend the deadline or financially help them.
According to Ministry spokesman Marjan Gijovski the dormitory had already offered to postpone the deadline for relocation.
“The state covers all costs for accommodation for persons who in accordance with legal regulations have met the requirements to gain a status of internally displaced. In case the persons who have the status of internally displaced persons lose that status because they cease to meet certain legal requirements (have received compensation from the state, have been carried out reconstruction of homes, have alienated assets they had in the former crisis regions etc), the legal obligation of the state to cover the cost of accommodation terminates” explains Gijovski.
“The government and the MLSP do not pass decisions on moving out, but when the status of internally displaced persons stops, the institution in which these individuals were placed acts under the new situation”, says Ministry of Labor spokesman.
Officially in Macedonia at the moment the number of displaced persons is 219 people or 58 families residing in the accommodation centers and apartments. Ministry of Labor and Social Policy informed that it covers costs for all these families and provides financial assistance.
Editor: Stojanka Mitreska