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A New and European Reality

Yesterday, Albania's Prime Minister Sali Berisha addressed the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on corruption, reform and Kosova, among other topics. This was his starting point:
I should first like warmly to greet President René van der Linden, Secretary General Terry Davis and all members of the Parliamentary Assembly and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address you today. I am indeed honoured by this occasion.

I also feel immensely indebted to you and the Council of Europe for your continuous support for Albania. The Council of Europe was the first international institution that I visited in 1992, only a few weeks after I was elected President of Albania, to ask for your assistance with our project to build a democratic society based on the rule of law on the ruins of the most Orwellian dictatorship that Europe has known. Since then, the Council has always been on Albania’s side.

I am deeply moved and proud to speak before you all, dear friends. I have had the opportunity and the privilege to debate and defend with you the democratic values and principles we hold in common. This enriching experience has inspired and empowered me to lead the efforts of the Albanian citizens to vote out one of the most kleptocratic regimes of modern times which was installed in Albania.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that images of the past unpleasant, unhappy news about my country still linger in your memories. I stand before you today to assure you that Albania has archived those events in its past and is swiftly moving toward a new and European reality.

The full speech is available on the CoE website.


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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.