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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.


Agobooks said…
Për ty dhe familjen tënde, Gëzuar Pashkët!
Happy Easter!
olli said…
Thank you. Happy Easter to you and yours also.
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!
olli 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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