Latest News from Albania

Pensions for ethnic Greeks

The Labor Ministry will soon table an amendment to a bill that would have disqualified people who have not resided in Greece for 40 years from receiving a state pension, government sources said Friday.
The bill would have affected ethnic Greeks from Albania who pay social security contributions in Greece. Ethnic Greeks held a protest rally in central Athens on Thursday.

Legislation expected for pensions of Albania’s ethnic Greeks

The Labor Ministry will soon table an amendment to a bill that would have disqualified people who have not resided in Greece for 40 years from receiving a state pension, government sources said Friday.

Democracy Digest: Gloom, Doom and Silver Linings

Four out of the five categories that make up the average score deteriorated. Civil liberties: down. Political culture: down. Functioning of government: down. Electoral processes and pluralism: you guessed it.

The only category that registered an uptick was "political participation", reflecting "a rising tide of popular protest" that "shook regimes run by despots and democrats alike".

Albania Opposition Slates Push to Increase Police Surveillance Powers

The centre-left government of Albania under Edi Rama has caused a new storm by saying it wants to give the police the power to conduct surveillance to stop crimes without obtaining court permission. The change forms part of a proposal sent by the government to the parliament for approval.

Antalya hosts record number of foreign visitors in January

Turkey's popular holiday destination Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, welcomed more than 186,000 foreign tourists in January, according to the head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED).

"Foreign tourist arrivals in Antalya increased by 31 percent and marked the highest number of foreign tourist visits on record for the month of January," Sururi Çorabatır said.

European Union: UK out, Albania in?

"The proposed new wave of enlargement, which has been on the cards for years but has also stalled on several occasions, notably due to opposition from France, is evidently supposed to give a new impetus to the EU in the wake of Brexit.

New methodology not meant for Serbia, it's introduced for North Macedonia and Albania

Namely, Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic told the Serbian state RTS that Serbia will not have to continue its accession to the European Union under the new methodology adopted by the European Commission. Joksimovic added that the new methodology was drawn up for North Macedonia and Albania, which last year did not get the green light to start accession negotiations.

Albania Sets Quake Repair Cost at Over Billion Euros

Minister of Agriculture Bledi Cuci (left), and EU ambassador in Tirana Luigi Soreca at the presentation of the assessment of November 2019 earthquake damage in Tirana on February 5, 2020. Photo: Gent Shkullaku/LSA

It estimated the cost of damage to both public and private properties at 844 million euros and the cost of their reconstruction at 1.07 billion euro.

European Commission Unveils Revised Enlargement Strategy

Balkan EU hopefuls on Wednesday welcomed the unveiling of a new proposed methodology for European enlargement on Wednesday in Brussels by Olivér Várhelyi.

The Enlargement Commissioner said that the revised accession process needed to be more credible, with a stronger political steer, more dynamic and more predictable.

Damages from the Devastating Earthquake in Albania Amount to Nearly EUR 1 Billion

The damage caused by the devastating earthquake that struck Albania on the morning of November 26 last year was estimated at more than EUR 985 million. The figure was announced by Agriculture Minister Bledi Çuçi in his latest damage assessment report on January 30, BGNES reported.

Athens ‘very positive’ on North Macedonia's European path, Osmani says

The government of North Macedonia was pleasantly surprised by the support lent by Greece's conservative government in last year's European Union summit when France refused to let the country (and Albania) start talks on joining the bloc, North Macedonia's Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani told Kathimerini recently in Brussels.

EU overhauls process for admitting new members

The European Commission will propose changes to the system for letting new countries into the European Union to give existing members more say, in a bid to mollify France which has vetoed expansion of the bloc to six countries in the Balkans.
In October, President Emmanuel Macron halted the process of admitting Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia.