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.

Albanian President Blocks PM’s Anti-Defamation Laws

Albanian President Ilir Meta speaking to the media in Tirana on 20 December 2019. Photo: Malton Dibra/LSA

The new laws "could place the Albania on the brink of authoritarianism and endanger its [EU] integration and the very existence of democracy in the country," Meta wrote in the explanatory note accompanying his decree.

Timeline: A Year of Democracy in Central and Southeast Europe


January 11 - Romania begins a six-month EU Council presidency amid anti-government protests at home and calls from EU leaders to respect the rule of law.

January 17 - Human Rights Watch's World Report 2019 highlights threats to journalists and minority and immigrants' rights as key problems in the Balkans.

Two New Earthquakes in Albania

New 4.7 magnitude earthquakes on the Richter scale were reported tonight in Tirana and Durrës, Albanian media reported.

The earthquakes' epicentre was near the town of Vlorë, Albania's second largest port. The earthquakes were registered shortly after 5pm local time.

Albania PM Requests Extension of Post-Quake Emergency Powers

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Monday asked parliament for a three-month extension of emergency powers that were introduced after the deadly earthquake in Albania on November 26.

Rama claimed the extraordinary powers are needed while there are still post-earthquake tremors in the Tirana and Durres regions.

Albania Govt Ignores Outcry Against Online Media Laws

Albanian Parliamentary Commission of Laws, on November 22, 2019. Photo: Gjergj Erebara/BIRN

On Thursday, Mark Marku, Dean of the Department of Journalism and Communications in the University of Tirana, told MPs debating the laws in the parliament's Commission on Media and Education that "nobody in his right mind could possibly support such laws".