While Serbian bricklayers, hoping for better wages, are fleeing to the West, workers from Turkey are arriving in Serbia, particularly in Zlatibor where there is a lot of construction work going on.
About 300 Turks, of various job profiles, are currently working on various construction sites in Zlatibor. They are doing what Romanians and Albanians did before, but for less money. The first groups of Turks arrived this spring.
“Several Serbian real estate developers in Zlatibor have selected Turkish companies as contractors who have brought their workers here. One of the reasons is that domestic construction companies are in labour deficit, and the other is that Turkish companies have better machinery. Developers say that Turks are professional and capable workers. Turkish companies work for more money than local ones, but they are also more efficient, they work on weekends and holidays in three shifts,” says Čajetina Mayor Stamatović.
At the moment it is difficult to find bricklayers, painters and decorators, tile fitters, plumbers and electricians in Užice and the surrounding area. Most of them have gone abroad to look for better-paid jobs.
A lot has been built in Zlatibor in recent years, and only Belgrade has a bigger construction budget relative to the population number. The municipality of Čajetina issues around 200 building permits per year, and during the first 6 months of 2021, that number was exceeded.
Ten years ago, Zlatibor had 20,000 beds and now about 30,000, of which about 25,000 are private accommodation. According to the records of the Čajetina authorities, the price of land here has multiplied over the last decade. Recently, a 64-hectare plot of land on Zlatibor was sold for 73,000 euros per hectare, two and a half times the initial price.
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