Switzerland and Kosovo have agreed to resume the payment of old age and disability pensions suspended eight years ago amid cases of fraud.
Currently an estimated 50,000 people from Kosovo who used to work in Switzerland can’t receive their social security payments if they return to their country of origin in southeast Europe.
Representatives from the Kosovo government and the Swiss ambassador to Pristina on Friday signed an accord which provides the resumption of payments and measures to combat fraud, according to a statement by the Swiss interior ministry.
The accord, which is subject to approval by the parliaments in both countries, is set to come into force next year. The Swiss government approved the agreement in March.
Following the military conflict between Serbia and its southern province of Kosovo in the late 1990s, Switzerland has become sponsor of aid, reconstruction and stabilisation programmes in the Balkan state. Kosovo declared its independence in 2008.
Beside Germany, Switzerland has been a popular destination for emigrants over the past decade. An estimated 350,000 Kosovars have settled in Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch with SRF and SDA-ATS; urs