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Following on from an earlier story concerning Albanian immigrants in Greece, the Financial Times has the story of one of those immigrants, Gazmend Kapllani, a journalist and writer.

BIRN reports on the 13 million EUR fine imposed on the Top Media group by the tax authorities who claim that the group has been under-reporting its income for the last 5 years. Others, noting that Top Media has been highly critical of the current government, claim that the authorities are trying to silence any opposition.

China, seeking to extend its influence through the judicious application of soft power, has been giving gifts to Albania. A couple of weeks ago it was 1,400 computers for use in schools; this week it was a load of balls.

Good news for the aspiring middle classes and frustrated handymen out there: German DIY/home improvement chain Praktiker plans to open a store in Tirana in the summer of 2008.

Finally, the funniest story of recent days concerns an offer by the Iranians to help Albania renovate economic and industrial infrastructure. Why funny? Because Iran, sitting on top of the world's third largest oil reserves (or second largest if you don't count Canada's oil sands), recently had to ration petrol supplies because the industrial infrastructure of the country's most important industry is such a shambles.


nick said…
omg...LOL...that is pretty funny...and the China ball article was hilarious too...At least we'll have balls from now on....LOL.
ftjkt said…
Wow, we will have chinese balls, that's awsome!!! :)
Anonymous said…
BIRN is a Serbian media. I would refrain from posting anything about Albania or Albanians coming from Serbian media.
tabakhone said…
I would refrain from telling people what to do in their own blog!
Omit! I'm comming home for a visit in August. I'd like te buy you a beer while I'm there, so I can brag to my fellow Albos this side of the pond where you've become a must read of sorts
Is there a way of recognizing you while there?
P.S. If not, I'll buy a beer to the first Irish lad I meet when I leave Albania.
our man said…
Anon, BIRN is not Serbian media. BIRN is the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network which grew out of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's Balkan programme. BIRN is based in Sarajevo.

The founder and regional director, Gordana Igric, was regularly threatened by the Milosevic regime because of her reporting of war crimes in the region.

Tabakhone, send me an email on and I will let you have a phone number. When you get here give me a call.
Anonymous said…
Tabakhone, send me an email on and I will let you have a phone number. When you get here give me a call.

Dude I'll be there in the later half of August too. Perhaps we can meet up along with this other guy and make it a 'threesome' :)

i'll shoot you an email
our man said…
OK anon. Sounds good. Then we will find out who you are.

Popular posts from this blog


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …


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.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…