Latest News from Albania

Generations of Albanians Lived off Cannabis Production. Can They Stop?

Some 3,739 were convicted, including Valentina, but her brush with the law hasn't stopped her. Valentina's persistence is testimony to the deep roots of cannabis cultivation in rural regions of Albania, where poverty is rife and cannabis is seen as a financial lifeline. Police collusion also remains common.

Albania Reopens Airport After Authorities Detain Protesters

Albanian Minister of Transportation and Energy, Belinda Balluku, on Friday said the situation at Albania's main airport was returning to "normality" after a work stoppage by air traffic controllers over pay brought operations grinding to a halt.

"Starting from 9am today, operations at Rinas airport in Albanian airspace are going back to normality," Balluku wrote on Facebook.

From Belgrade to London, Roma Girl Band Sings for Female Empowerment

"Nobody forced me to do so. It was my own choice, but I made a mistake. That's why we aim to encourage other young girls not to let their parents arrange a marriage they don't want. At the same time, we advocate that they get a new perspective on life."

Poverty and discrimination

Photo: GRUBB/Daniel Ibraimovic

Albania Parties Trade Blame as Protest Closes Main Airport

Albania deployed army and police forces at the country's only international airport on Wednesday after protesting air trafficker controllers halted inbound and outbound flights.

The air traffic controllers were not allowed to enter the airport. The prosecution has opened an investigation into allegations of "abuse of duty". Police issued restraining orders for three of them.

Human Rights Worsened in Central, Southeast Europe, in Pandemic – Amnesty

The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in state control over the judiciary and media and further endangered minorities that already suffer from discrimination in Central and Southeast Europe, rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report published on Monday.

Kosovo MP Urges Albania to Offer his Country COVID Vaccines

An opposition Kosovo MP has called on the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, to open vaccination centres for Kosovo citizens at a time when Kosovo has one the lowest COVID vaccination rates in Europe.

Albanian COVID-19 Patients Struggle for Promised Cash for Medicines

Albania's health minister has said that all COVID-19 patients who are treated at home will be reimbursed for medicines they buy during their treatment - but getting the money back has sometimes proved impossible.

Sami Kohen observes 80th year in Turkish journalism

Sami Kohen, a 93-year-old active journalist known as a flagship of international news coverage in Turkey, has told the milestone of his 80-year-long professional life in the latest interview with daily Hürriyet.

Born in 1928 in Istanbul as a son of Albert Kohen, Kohen's first piece was published in a newspaper when he was only 13.

Montenegro’s Empty Resorts Await Summer Season With Anxiety

Locals in Montenegro's coastal resort towns fear another bad tourist season lies ahead, as most of the resorts on the Adriatic are still almost empty. The country is recording a high number of COVID-19 cases, restrictive health measures remain in force and curfew is enforced from 10 pm to 5 am. Intercity traffic is also prohibited.

Albanian Police Seize ‘Arsenal’ After Raiding Illegal Weapons Depots

Albanian Police seized 18 illegal weapons bases on Thursday in the capital, Tirana, which they believe are connected to organised crime groups and arrested five people. Another two were declared wanted.

The police operation, codenamed "Complex", also helped uncover three past unsolved crimes related to guns and explosives.

Kosovo Police Detain Wartime Massacre Suspect

Kosovo's Special Prosecution said in a statement on Wednesday that a suspect identified only by the initials M.A. has been detained "for the criminal offence 'war crimes against the civilian population'".

The prosecution said that the person who was arrested, an ethnic Albanian who holds Serbian citizenship, will soon appear before a pre-trial judge.

US Concerned About Continuing Rights Violations in South-East Europe

The US State Department's 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which was published on Tuesday, warned that countries in the Balkans and south-east Europe have continuing problems with media freedom, censorship and violence against journalists, while officials are not being sanctioned for rights violations.