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'Zogu i Zi' isn't the only issue in dispute between the government and opposition in an increasingly fractious parliament. The Socialist Party and their allies have also been opposing the government on a raft of other matters (more on these at another time.)

One element of the opposition's strategy has been a partial boycott of parliament and some of its committees. Now, they are proposing to take their opposition onto the streets of Tirana with the Socialist Party announcing a campaign of street protests against the government.

The first is scheduled for tonight - Wednesday 12 July - in Sk├źnderbej Square at 7.oopm. The organisers say they expect between 15 and 20 thousand demonstrators. I hope to be there with my camera and will post some pictures tomorrow.

Many of you may not be aware that 12 July is a traditional day for public parades and marches by supporters of the unionist political cause in Northern Ireland. So it seems rather fitting that on this of all days I get to go to a demonstration right here in Tirana.


Anonymous said…
Yea but be careful; don't dress in orange otherwise Berisha would think the Ukrainian Orange Revolution is coming in Albania ;)
Klea said…
I hope the rain will not follow the same pattern as in the past two days otherwise the opposition doesn't stand a chance of having a protest.
Anonymous said…
This is a protest against Berisha, not against his actions. I doubt most of the protesters care much about the independence of the institucions etc. Call it a test of strength for the oposition.

traveller one said…
Well... from my terrace it just sounded like a concert followed by some ranting. And I doubt there were very many people!
ITS said…
Albanians are tired of street demonstrations. Most of them only care about the electricity, the water, and the food on the table.

People have understood that nothing good has come from changing govts. It's just the politicans that benefit from it.

It's sickening!
Anonymous said…
Independence of institutions? Institutions in Albania are who directs them in any given moment, they don't have a personality per se. The presidency is independent, bcause Moisiu is a person with integrity; he was independent during Nano and is independent during Berisha. On the other hand, Sollaku (attorney general) was never independent during Nano - he would have his way with Sollaku any time he wished. Sollaku always leaned left (as his name would suggest) and that's why Berisha wants to bring him down. The independece of inst. is a debate far bigger than what the PS and PD are willing to tackle right now, and neither one of them is really interested in truly independent institutions, they always want to control them when they are in power.
This protest was not about any of the lofty objectives PS has posted in their web site, it's simply about Zogu i zi. PS thinks is enough to warrant fresh elections, most people seem not to think so. Apparently, PS can't stay in opposition for longer than 12 months, they always want to be in power.
Anonymous said…
I agree with "its" - I get the impression from my friends there that most people are just bothered about electricity, water and the food on the table. The Government in Albania really do need to show a maturity of approach and start acting in the interests of the majority rather than the lucky few. Unless they do this, they will never get any popular respect. It is little wonder that so many young people, particularly in the North, are so desperate to leave Albania.Most Albanians I speak to just seem to have no faith in the politicians. Unless the politicians can bring the people with them, Albania's chances of getting into the EEC are going to be seriously hindered, because the corruption at the top will just continue to act like a cancer throughout Albania. Things don't sound too bad in down town Tirana, but elsewhere, particularly in the North, improvements are hard to see. - By way of example - in a country that so desperately needs a decent modern infrastructure, only a year ago I could send post which could be picked up locally. Mow, post is no longer available for collection locally. - If it hasn't been intercepted and stolen en route, it now must be collected from further afield and this invloves a bus (furgon) journey costing about 2 Euros. For an already poor family, 2 Euros is significant. Such basic infrastructure issues have serious consequences for the possible development and prosperity of Albania. Meanwhile the politicians from ther main parties seem to be squabbling about the technicalities of their existence in a sort of political gameshow. Thank goodness for the maturity of approach shown by foreign non-government organisations and charities. - Without these organisations doing their bits to help, and money being "sent home" from Albanians abroad, the situation for many more Albanians would be even worse.
ourmanintirana said…
I went for a discreet blue in the end.
Anonymous said…
Sorry for being thick, but, Alwyn, what is a "descreet blue", please?
ourmanintirana said…
Discreet as in understated, subtle, not drawing attention to myself; blue as in the colour of the shirt I wore.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Petrela Castle

This is Petrela Castle near Tirana. The site has been fortified since the 4th century, but the oldest surviving parts are from the 13th century. Today the castle is a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while taking in the views.