Albanians Question Benefit of US Ban on Berisha

Following the shock decision to designate Albania’s former president and PM ‘corrupt’, experts are divided on whether the gesture will do Albanian democracy more harm than good.

The US State Department decision to declare Albania’s former prime minister and president Sali Berisha persona non grata for corruption shocked many Albanians, as was apparently intended.

But many question the decision’s efficacy as a tool to fight corruption, while pondering the decision’s wider implications for Albania’s domestic politics.

Berisha, 77, is not new to crisis. His political career was created by one – the collapse of the Communist regime in 1991. And he has survived several strong shocks in the country’s erratic transition to democracy.

Still, the State Department announcement sent waves across the country, as analysts and people pondered the practical consequences.

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