Bosnia, Albania mark EU visa lifting

December 15, 2010 17:13

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnians boarded buses for Western Europe on Wednesday, the first time in 20 years the country's citizens were allowed to travel to the European Union without visas.

The EU decided unanimously last month to end visa requirements for Bosnian and Albanian residents, but have warned the measure could be scrapped if it is abused for bogus asylum claims and illegal work."It is -10 C (14 F) outside, but I feel flaming happiness," Adem Covrk said in Sarajevo while preparing to get on a bus to Austria, hours after the EU visa waiver took effect.

His wife Deniza said they have not seen their daughter and grandchildren for five years, because their visa applications were constantly rejected.

The citizens of former Yugoslavia had enjoyed unrestricted travel in the past, but visa requirements were introduced as the federation was breaking up during a series of conflicts in 1990s.

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