Rama’s Two-Step Propaganda Effort

Rama’s Two-Step Propaganda Effort

If there is one thing Prime Minister Edi Rama cannot handle very well, it is prestigious foreign media outlets reporting independently about “his” country. Three days ago, on November 19. US magazine Newsweek published an opinion piece by Albanian–Dutch journalist Vincent Triest and British journalist Will Nicoll, titled “The Opiate Epidemic Isn’t Just America’s Problem: How One […]

“Instead of Europeanizing Kosovo, We Have Balkanized EULEX”

“Instead of Europeanizing Kosovo, We Have Balkanized EULEX”

About half a year ago, I wrote an essay under the title “Albania Is the Future of Europe.” Much of the text dealt with the common misconception among representatives of international institutions and foreign governments that they can decisively influence Albania and move it toward more “democracy,” while using the current framework of EU politics and policies. Following an argument […]

KKT Approves Three New Clientelist Projects in Tirana

KKT Approves Three New Clientelist Projects in Tirana

In complete silence and without any documentation available on its website (which hasn’t been updated since July), the National Territorial Council (KKT), which is presided over by Prime Minister Edi Rama, approved last Friday a number of building projects of architecture firms tied closely to his government, as well as numerous scandals. Garden Building The […]

EU Sewerage Project in Shëngjin, Delays Caused by Dysfunctional Government and Negligent Contractor

EU Sewerage Project in Shëngjin, Delays Caused by Dysfunctional Government and Negligent Contractor

In September, Exit reported on the EU-financed project “Construction of the Sewerage Systems in Vlora, Ksamil, Kavaja, and Shëngjin, Albania,” dating from 2011 but only finished at the end of 2016. Based on redacted documents provided to Exit by the European Commission, it became clear that the project had suffered from massive delays, even though the documents didn’t clearly […]

EU Commissioner Hahn, Divorced from Reality

EU Commissioner Hahn, Divorced from Reality

During a press conference today with Prime Minister Edi Rama, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn spoke in the slipstream of the opening of the Media Days about the progress Albania has made on the road to accession negotiations, and about the need to communicate those results. It is worth having a closer look at […]

EU Celebrates Media Freedom, Blocks Exit on Twitter

EU Celebrates Media Freedom, Blocks Exit on Twitter

There are few things that so beautifully illustrate the hypocrisy of the European Union than its recently announced EU–Western Balkans Media Days on November 9 and 10, in which “[o]ver 250 representatives of media and media-organisations, stakeholders and policymakers from the Western Balkans and the EU will meet at the media conference in Tirana on […]