Latest News from Albania

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


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.

Albanian Business Mogul Withdraws From Buying Euronews Albania

The Kastrati Group has given up a sales contract worth 2.37 million euros to buy 60 per cent of Euronews Albania television and has returned its shares to the station's previous owner, Theodhoro Çami.

On July 6, the parties agreed by mutual consent to cancel the April 11 contract and have no further claims against each other.

Albanian MPs Approve Resolution Honouring Srebrenica Victims

MPs in the Albanian parliament voted unanimously on Thursday to support a resolution honouring the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, ahead of the anniversary next week of the July 1995 massacres of some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces.

The resolution also declares July 11, when annual commemorations are held in Bosnia, as a day of remembrance in Albania.

Albania Raises Interest Rates as Inflation Threatens Growth

Albanian Central Bank governor Gent Sejko at a press conference in Tirana on July 6, 2022. Photo: LSA

Bank governor Gent Sejko warned the country that a current inflation rate of 6.7 per cent might not have peaked, adding that while the country is expected to avoid a recession, growth will likely fall.

Rama Claims Albania ‘Might’ Soon Discover Important Oil Field

An oil well in the Kucova oil field of Albania. Photo: Nensi Bogdani/BIRN

"There are signs that show that we might be near a very very important discovery of oil and gas that will have a large impact not only on the future of our country but will play a role even in the future of energy in Europe," Rama said.