The Ministry of Sound

The Ministry of Sound

Everywhere Prime Minister Edi Rama or one of his ministers goes to speak, whether in official capacity or at a Socialist Party event, you will find microphones and speakers. Chances are considerable that these will have been rented or acquired from a single company, Prosound shpk. Since its foundation in 2006, Prosound, a company managed and […]

To Fix Justice “Once and for All” Is a Dangerous Illusion

To Fix Justice “Once and for All” Is a Dangerous Illusion

During an interview with Deutsche Welle, director of the Independent Monitoring Operation Genoveva Ruiz Calavera made what I consider a dangerous and deceptive claim. That the vetting process, which will reassess all Albanian prosecutors and judges, aims “to consolidate in an incontrovertible manner, once and for all, the rule of law in Albania.” I find […]

What Is the Tirana Municipality Actually Doing?

What Is the Tirana Municipality Actually Doing?

About a month ago, I wrote a rather critical review of the new Skënderbeg Square. This article had two immediate consequences. The first one was that the municipality removed overnight the two tiles containing the Fusha shpk logos near the top of the pyramid. It correctly realized that branding a “prestigious” public square with one […]

How Long Will the EU Stay Silent about Rama’s “Administrative Reform”?

How Long Will the EU Stay Silent about Rama’s “Administrative Reform”?

Only two weeks ago, EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin for the first time publicly endorsed the “five key priorities” that are necessary for the opening of EU accession negotiations, urged on by a similar statement made ahead of the parliamentary elections by the US and EU countries. Yesterday, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn stated that accession negotiations for […]

Rama Blames Corruption on “Economic Underdevelopment”

Rama Blames Corruption on “Economic Underdevelopment”

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Edi Rama strongly argues in favor of a Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans, as will be discussed today during an EU–Western Balkans summit in Trieste. In the article, he argues that “economic underdevelopment” is partially to blame for “corrupt judges,” “corrupt prosecutors,” and […]

AZhT Breaks the Law by Hiding Development Projects

AZhT Breaks the Law by Hiding Development Projects

According to the Law on Planning and Development of the Territory,Territorial Development Agency (AZhT), which falls under the the Ministry of Urban Development, is supposed to maintain a national registers containing, among other information, the decisions taken by the National Territorial Council (KKT), headed by Prime Minister Edi Rama. This is further made explicit in […]

The Curious International Acclaim for the Elections

The Curious International Acclaim for the Elections

As I was walking down the street to get a piece of byrek from my favorite neighborhood baking tray, Lali Eri’s police had started again with its thuggish razzias, chasing poor villagers down the street, abusing them verbally and physically, and making their life in the onset of the sweltering midday heat even more miserable than it […]

A Review of Electoral Campaign Ads

A Review of Electoral Campaign Ads

As the electoral campaigns are coming to a close, it is still unclear what many of the leading parties think about policy issues such as the environment, EU integration, labor rights, or minorities. Most of the coverage last week has been dominated by (violent) exchanges between different parties, while any discussion of substance faded even further to […]

Recent ECtHR Ruling Puts Vetting on Edge

Recent ECtHR Ruling Puts Vetting on Edge

Now that the vetting institutions have been installed, the actual reassessment process can start. But for anyone – be they Prime Minister, foreign ambassador, or ordinary citizens – who thinks that from here on it will be smooth ride might be terribly mistaken. Because the major question hovering over the entire reassessment procedure is the […]