A Chance to Resettle?

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ZAGREB: Facing pressure from foreign governments and human rights groups, Croatia announced it will annul its law permitting citizens to move into Serb-owned homes in the southern part of the country. Although the government says this will finally settle the bitter property dispute which has raged between Croats and Serbs since the area was recaptured by the government in 1995, TIME's Alexandra Stiglmayer says the decree is not likely to change anything. "The Croatian government has in the past habit to promise a lot under Western pressure but not really do it. The way they have blocked Serbs in the past is to erect bureaucratic obstacles that are so huge it is almost impossible to return. For example, you have to prove you have relatives in Croatia, that you lived in Croatia before and that you owned property. This takes forever to do and for some people it's simply impossible."