Friday, December 17, 2010
Bosnians and Albanians have something to celebrate this week and that's being granted visa-free travel to the European Union. Travellers must hold the new biometric passport to be granted the free passage which was initiated on December 15th, 2010. Currently Kosovo is the only Balkan country left that doesn't have visa-free status to travel into Europe.
The first cars to cross the boarder to Greece were celebrated with fireworks and in general there was a huge burst of Albanians travelling ay train, air, car and ferry to the EU in celebration. Bosnians were generally less enthused despite the travel deals and cheap hotels available on the table to celebrate the occasion.
The European-standard biometric passports cost €50 and more than a whopping one million Albanians have signed up to get the new passport compared to the 400,000 Bosnians that currently have one.
Is it because of the money?
It is inevitable that there will be a jump of asylum applications from poor families hoping to make more money either legally or illegally thanks to the loose borders now. We won't see Europe change over night but we can expect a rise in immigration from these two countries now that visa's won't be an issue.