Archive for the ‘Albania’ Category

Albanian ratifies Trans Adriatic Pipeline Agreement

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 Comments Off

The Albanian Parliament ratified the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Albania, Italy and Greece on the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, TAP reported on Tuesday. Signed in Athens on February 13, 2013, the tri-lateral IGA

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Kavkaz, Kavkaz News

Albania PM Excludes Return of Death Penalty

Thursday, March 21, 2013 Comments Off

Prime Minister Sali Berisha has slapped down calls for the return of the death penalty, following outrage over a suspected paedophile accused of murdering an 11-year-old.“This case was the act of a monster who killed a child and was prepared to kill another,” Berisha told the cabinet on Wednesday. “A lot of people asking for […]

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Cost of Mismanagement Rises in Albania

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Comments Off

The annual report of the High State Audit office says poor management of state-owned companies cost Albania twice as much in 2012 as it did the previous year.The head of Albania’s State Audit Office, Bujar Leskaj, told parliament on Tuesday that audits in 2012 brought to light €97.3 million worth of irregularities in collection of […]

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OSCE Snubs Albanian Proposal to Lower Voting Age

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Comments Off

The OSCE head in Albania, Eugen Wolfarth, on Tuesday criticised a proposal by Prime Minister Sali Berisha to rush through an extension of voting rights to 16-year-olds ahead of the June 23 elections.“Ahead of this election there is no time [for such a change],” Wolfarth said. “Such thing cannot be changed ahead of the elections, […]

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Pavkovic and Sainovic appeal on Kosovo War Crimes

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Comments Off

Former Yugoslav Army commander Nebojsa Pavkovic and deputy prime minsiter Nikola Sainovic said at their Hague Tribunal appeal that they are not guilty of murder and persecution of Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict. The two have been sentenced in 2009 to 22 years of jail each for deportation, murder and persecution on racial, political […]

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Macedonian Defence Minister Has Criminal Record

Thursday, March 7, 2013 Comments Off

Before his controversial appointment as defence minister, Talat Xhaferi received a suspended jail sentence for obstructing a policeman in his duties, Balkan Insight can reveal.Balkan Insight has discovered that Macedonia’s controversial new defence chief received a six-month suspended jail term in 2008. A court in Tetovo found him guilty of obstructing a police officer after […]

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Report Says Albania Cannabis Growth Mounting

Thursday, March 7, 2013 Comments Off

The 2013 US State Department Narcotics Control Report highlights startling growth in marijuana seizures in Albania over the past year, which hints at increased production.“The drastic increase in marijuana seizures, a 175 per cent increase over 2011, signifies an increase in local production after trending downward over the prior two years,” the US report said. […]

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Montenegro Albanians Closer to Regaining Municipality

Thursday, March 7, 2013 Comments Off

The assembly of the capital is pushing an initiative to grant a mainly Albanian-inhabited area municipal status – after an Albanian party warned it might boycott the presidential election. The assembly of Podgorica on Thursday agreed to allow residents of Tuzi, a mainly ethnic Albanian area near the city, to vote in a consultative referendum

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Albania Accuses Kosovo of Dairy Trade War

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 Comments Off

Albanian minsters say Kosovo is making use of consumer worries about levels of aflatoxin in milk to damage the commercial interest of Albanian dairies.Albania has accused Kosovo of unfair trade practices after authorities in Kosovo ordered the removal from the market of milk produced by two Albanian dairies, Primalat and Fast. “The alfatoxin issue has […]

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Historic Referendum Within Reach in Albania

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Comments Off

Balkan Insight has learned that the Constitutional Court will give the green light to a historic request for a referendum on trash imports, the first such grassroots initiative in Albania.The request, spearheaded by a group of activists, environmentalists and intellectuals, has collected more than 64,000 signatures, and calls for the annulment of two articles of […]

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EU Criticises Albania Referendum Proposal

Monday, March 4, 2013 Comments Off

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele condemned the ruling majority’s decision to hold a referendum on three bills required for Albania’s EU candidate status bid.I have been repeatedly stressing that the laws, and in particular the rules of procedures, need to be approved through consensus between the opposition and government and therefore it is difficult to […]

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Problems with Albania’s Electoral Roll Alarm Watchdog

Thursday, February 28, 2013 Comments Off

A group of NGOs on Wednesday warned that Albania’s institutions are failing to notify voters of their presence on preliminary electoral rolls ahead of the June parliamentary elections.“The government is blatantly omitting its legal obligation to inform voters of their presence of the electoral lists and the voting booth where they will cast a ballot,” […]

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Germany Reminds Albania of Need for Free Elections

Friday, February 22, 2013 Comments Off

The German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, has called for free and fair elections in Albania, warning against the rise of nationalist rhetoric in Tirana.“It’s very important for the elections to be held successfully and in accordance with European principles,” Westerwelle said in a joint press conference with his Albanian counterpart, Edmond Panariti.

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Austria and Albania Probe Hospital Sex Abuse Claims

Monday, February 18, 2013 Comments Off

Authorities in Austria and Tirana are investigating allegations that an Albanian student was sexually abused after waking up from a coma following a tragic bus accident.Two parallel investigations are now underway after the family of 23-year-old Florije Peci alleged that she became pregnant as a result of a sex attack at the Austrian clinic where […]

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Leaked US Memo Pans Albania PM

Friday, February 15, 2013 Comments Off

A leaked US State Department memo condemns Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s nationalist rhetoric, calling it a danger to regional stability.The undated memo seems to have been sent to Prime Minister Sali Berisha after Serbia took down a memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters in the southern Serbian town of Presevo in January. The State Department says […]

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Albania Court Hears Arguments on Trash Ban

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Comments Off

The Albanian government on Tuesday argued in the Constitutional Court that a referendum on a banning imports of trash would only flood the country with yet more hazardous waste.Activists united under an umbrella called the Alliance Against Waste Imports, AKIP, have collected 64,000 signatures seeking a referendum that would delete two articles of a waste […]

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Albania Court to Weigh Historic Trash Referendum

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Comments Off

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday will hear arguments about a referendum on waste imports, the first such grassroots initiative in Albania’s history.The request, which is spearheaded by a group of activists, environmentalists and intellectuals, has collected more than 64,000 signatures, calling for the annulment of a law that allows waste imports into Albania. The signatures, […]

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Albania Activists Protest Fatal Riot Verdict

Monday, February 11, 2013 Comments Off

Activists rallied on Saturday in front of Tirana’s main court, protesting against the acquittal of senior officers accused of killing three protestors in the January 21, 2011 riots.“We are sounding the alarm that the justice system is being held hostage by an autocratic system,” a political commentator, Andrea Stefani, told the rally. “Under the dictates […]

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US Pans Albanian Verdicts on Protestors’ Deaths

Friday, February 8, 2013 Comments Off

The US Embassy in Tirana has expressed shock at the acquittal of two Republican Guard officers accused of the murder of three protesters during the January 21, 2011 riots.“We are dismayed by the decision of the Tirana District Court to acquit the two defendants who stood trial on charges related to the deaths of three […]

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Albania Guardsmen Acquitted of Killing Protesters

Thursday, February 7, 2013 Comments Off

Tirana District Court ruled on Thursday that two former officers of the Republican Guard were not guilty for the deaths of three protestors in the January 21, 2011 riots.The court rejected murder charges against General Nrea Prendi, former head of the Republican Guard, and Agim Llupo, former chief of staff of a special unit of […]

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Albania Urged to Toughen Anti-Corruption Fight

Thursday, February 7, 2013 Comments Off

The OSCE head in Albania on Wednesday urged Albania’s Chief Prosecutor, Adriatik Llala, to redouble the fight against organized crime and corruption.“The fight against organized crime, including trans-border crime and corruption, is the key to ensuring stability in the country, the region and at the global level,” Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth said in a meeting with […]

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Failed EU Bid Left Albania Elite ‘Unfazed’, Expert Says

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Comments Off

A visit by EU Commissioner Stefan Fule to Tirana has not caused much reflection among the political elite about Albania’s stalled EU integration process, a local expert says.“Albania’s political class has shown repeatedly in the last three years that its narrow political gains trump any other priority required for EU integration,” Gjergji Vurmo, an expert […]

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EU Urges Free and Fair Albania Elections

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 Comments Off

Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule urged Albanian leaders on Monday to hold elections according to international standards, describing them as a crucial test of democracy.The successful conduct of parliamentary elections in 2013 will be a crucial test for the smooth functioning of the country’s democratic institutions,” Fule said following meetings in Tirana. He called on local […]

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Serbia Albanians Rally Against Monument to Police

Friday, February 1, 2013 Comments Off

Around 1,000 ethnic Albanians demonstrated in the southern town of Bujanovac, demanding Belgrade remove the memorial which they see as provocative.Protesters at Friday’s rally carried Albanian flags and placards accusing Serbia of discrimination. They called on Belgrade to take down the monument to Serbian police killed during the Kosovo conflict in the 1990s. South Serbian […]

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia

Albania Slashes Interest Rate to Historic Low

Thursday, January 31, 2013 Comments Off

The central bank cut the key benchmark interest rate on Wednesday by 0.25 per cent to a historic low of 3.75 per cent in an effort to kick start the stagnating economy.“Economic activity remains below potential and sources of growth are unstable,” the central bank governor, Ardian Fullani, said, explaining the latest cut in interests […]

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Russia Opposes Changes to Balkan Borders

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Comments Off

The Russian Foreign Minister has dimissed the Albanian Prime Minister’s call for an eventual unification of all Albanians in one state, saying too much blood has been spilled in the region already.Sergei Lavrov said that any redrawing of borders in Europe is unacceptable, and that fully refers to the situation in the Balkans, “where much […]

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Albania Govt Signs US Lobby Firm Ahead of Poll

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Comments Off

As Albania’s government signs a new contract with the Washington-based law and lobbyist firm Patton Boggs, to improve its image in the US ahead of the June elections, questions remain about the sources of funding for parties’ PR agencies.The consulting firm has represented Albania’s government several times and also served as an adviser in the […]

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Albanian Parties Trade Jibes Ahead of Elections

Monday, January 28, 2013 Comments Off

Albania’s Socialists accused the ruling Democrats of planning to rig the June 23 polls while the governing party claimed the opposition was trying to spark another crisis.As the political environment heated up ahead of the parliamentary elections, Socialist Party leader Edi Rama said the government was planning to rig the vote because the ruling Democrats […]

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Deadlock Threatens Albania Election Standards

Friday, January 25, 2013 Comments Off

As Albania’s Central Electoral Commission, CEC, remains in political deadlock, observers warn that standards for the 2013 general election are already in jeopardy.“An independent and well functioning CEC is one of the main poll standards sought by international observers,” Premto Gogo, head of KRIIK Albania, an NGO that is part of the Coalition of Local […]

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Albania Nationalizes Troubled Power Firm

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 Comments Off

The Albanian energy regularity agency, ERE, on Monday stripped the local subsidiary of the Czech power giant CEZ of its operating license, effectively taking it back into state control.The decision, which outrights nationalizes the utility company, CEZ Shprendarje, is the latest twist in a long-running dispute between Tirana and the Czech company over unpaid debts. […]

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Serbia Albanians Protest Monument’s Removal

Monday, January 21, 2013 Comments Off

Protesters rallied in the town of Presevo on Monday after Serbian police moved in to remove a monument to ethnic Albanian fighters.Several thousand ethnic Albanians rallied on Monday in Presevo in southern Serbia following Belgrade’s removal of a controversial monument dedicated to Albanian guerrillas. Demonstrators at the peaceful hour-long rally carried banners saying “Stop violence […]

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Albania Opposition Remember Riot Deaths

Monday, January 21, 2013 Comments Off

The opposition Socialists are expected to hold a memorial rally on Monday for four supporters, killed when police opened fire on protesters on January 21, 2011.The protest held two years ago in Tirana turned into a riot when several hundred opposition marchers attacked a police barricade set up to protect the office of Prime Minister […]

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Albania Asks Greece to Declare War Finally Over

Friday, January 18, 2013 Comments Off

Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Panariti on Thursday urged Greece to scrap a World War Two-era law that has left Greece technically in a state of war with Albania.“The abolition of the war law, an old and absurd law, would push the relationship between the two countries to a new level,” Panariti told the Greek Ambassador […]

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Albanian Judge Injured in Acid Attack

Thursday, January 17, 2013 Comments Off

Mirela Mishgjoni, a criminal judge in the city of Vlora, suffered injuries to her face after an unknown suspect sprinkled her with a medical acid compound on Tuesday.Mishgjoni was attacked as she left her apartment for work and has been recovering in Vlora’s regional hospital. Judges in the city of Vlora suspended work in protest, […]

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Serbia, Albanians in Showdown over Guerrilla Monument

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Comments Off

Belgrade warned it could deploy police to help remove the memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters in south Serbia but local authorities vowed to legally resist.Serbia’s justice ministry said on Wednesday that the deadline to take down the controversial monument in the town of Presevo had already passed at midnight the previous day and urged the […]

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News, Serbia