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In the News

Two stories caught my eye this morning. According to the IHT authorities here have started an investigation into a Jordanian suspected of funding terrorism. He is alleged to be an associate of Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi who part owned Tirana's 'Twin Towers' (right) and was on both US and UN watchlists.

It's good that the authorities here are acting against these people. Albanians generally are very complacent about the risks these people pose. Believing that religion is not important to Albanians, they think that there is no possibility of extremist organisations gaining a foothold here.

The second story comes from the the Southeast European Times which reports that the government plans to introduce a flat tax system from 2008. The flat tax system has been adopted by a number of former communist countries. Most significantly, from Albania's point of view, it was introduced in Macedonia earlier this year.

The efficacy of flat tax systems is debated by practitioners of the dismal science, but obviously it doesn't make any difference what the rate is if there is no efficient system to collect it. Also, one aim of the plan is to attract outside investment, but the tax rate is only one small part of the problems Albania faces in this regard - widespread corruption, weak implementation of property rights, poor infrastructure and more mean that the country will continue to struggle to attract money.


N.Ago said…
Për ty dhe familjen tënde, Gëzuar Pashkët!
Happy Easter!
our man said…
Thank you. Happy Easter to you and yours also.
Elvis Plaku said…
Happy Easter....
Anonymous said…
I have been involved in these 'religious' affairs since I was 16. The threat of fundamentalism, while real, should not be feared. The few thousand who fall to the allure of a global cause and a ready-made identity will be swamped by the sheer force of materialistic nationalism. At least in Albania and Kosovo.
Stu said…
Just discovered your blog. Fascinating insight into a country people know little about. Great stuff!
our man said…
Thanks Stu.
Anonymous said…
"Albanians generally are very complacent about the risks these people pose. Believing that religion is not important to Albanians, they think that there is no possibility of extremist organisations gaining a foothold here."

Yes, for an Albanian, only after he/she stepps out of the country can we finally understand the threat.

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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.