Latest News from Albania

Kosovo Allocates 40 Million Euros for Serbs’ Unpaid Electricity

The Kosovo government has allocated €40 million to cover unpaid electricity in the four Serb-dominated municipalities in the north. The funds will be allocated to the Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply Company, KOSTT.

President Erdoğan meets Albania’s Edi Rama

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama yesterday in the capital Ankara.

The Albanian president also attended the official opening ceremony of the fifth Islamic Solidarity Games, hosted by central Konya province on Aug. 9. President Erdoğan inaugurated the official opening of the international games.

The Buccaneers: Spanish Drug Conviction Counts for Little in Albania

Asked by BIRN whether it saw any issue in the fact prosecutors had not used anti-mafia legislation against Gjini or Shkalla, the Prosecution against Corruption and Organised Crime, SPAK, said it had "no comment on the matter." The law should be applied to both men automatically.

Albanians Trade Accusations Over Beach Security After Child’s Death

Albanians are calling for better beach security and protection after a series of accidents and disasters, the latest being the death of a seven-year-old child on Tuesday, killed by a speedboat that was passing near where people were swimming.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has dismissed the concern, however, saying that "until yesterday, this has been the most secure [summer] season".

Albania’s Rama Savages Media Reporting on Child’s Death at Sea

Albania PM Edi Rama during a press conference following the Western Balkans Summit in Tirana. Photo: LSA

Prime Minister Edi Rama lashed out at local media after an off-duty police officer accidentally killed a child with his boat at sea, likening them to animals.

Bulgaria and North Macedonia Signed the Protocol to the Good Neighbour Agreement

The foreign ministers of Bulgaria and North Macedonia signed the bilateral protocol to Art. 12 of the Treaty of Friendship, Good-Neighbourliness and Cooperation.

The document will form part of Skopje's negotiating framework for EU membership and contains measures for the history, hate speech and culture curricula.

Week in Review: Summer Heat, Rising Political Temperatures

(Un)prepared

North Macedonia's Air Tractor firefighting plane. Photo by Zvonko Plavevski

High summer temperatures in South-East Europe traditionally go hand in hand with forest fires in the region. Last summer, as in many previous years, different corners of the region were devastated by drought and wildfires.

Albania Registers Sharp Increase in Visitors from Serbia

The Albania Institute of Statistics, INSTAT told BIRN that the number of Serbian citizens who entered Albania in 2021 doubled in comparison to 2020.

According to INSTAT's figures, in 2017, 63,785 Serbian citizens entered the country. This rose to 70,878 in 2018 and remained steady at 68,436 in 2019.

Albania to ‘Consult’ on Draft Amnesty Law Criticised by Brussels

The Albanian government has sent an "invitation for consultations" to business representatives on its controversial draft financial amnesty law, announcing a conference in the presence of Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana on July 15, according to a source from the organizations invited to the "consultations".

Hydrocarbon hopes for Ioannina from Shell drilling in Albania

The geological region that stretches to the North from the Adriatic in the area of ​​Italy and Croatia and descends to the Ionian Sea and Western Greece to the South has yielded discoveries of oil and natural gas deposits.

Exploration by major oil companies is ongoing, while Croatia, Montenegro and Albania have stepped up their efforts with rounds of concessions.

2022 Open Balkan: The Future belongs to the Peoples of the Balkans

The European Union's treats Western Balkans states as a wicked stepmother. While this has not significantly changed even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it did trigger a fundamental debate on whether the EU wants at all to admit the remaining six Western Balkan countries (Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo) to full-fledged membership.

Week in Review: Bad Choices and Difficult Options

Judicial Woes

A courtroom in Skopje. Photo: BIRN

Seven years ago, when the ruling SDSM came to power in North Macedonia, one of its pledges for cleaning up corruption and strengthening the rule of law was to implement a judicial vetting process. The aim of this would have been to root out corrupt or inefficient judges.

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