I was watching Top Channel last night, first the news, then Fiks Fare. According to them Tirana's citizens now have a choice not only between Rama and Olldashi, but also between Rama and Rama. A minor right-wing faction, Parti 'Balli Kombetar' , submitted papers to the election authorities registering their candidate, Akile Rama. The people on Fiks Fare got hold of the papers and sent a reporter and camera team to the address listed for Mr A Rama. After much ringing of the bell the gate was reluctantly opened by a middle-aged woman who refused to speak to the reporter and tried to close the gate on her. Back in the studio Saimiri and Doctori - the two presenters of Fiks Fare - revealed that Mr Akile Rama was 73 years old, in hospital, and did not know he was now a candidate for mayor. They also compared two documents - the papers submitted on his behalf, and a genuine document he had signed. The signatures were not even remotely similar. There was an interview with the lea
The two stories decsribed in the papers are very sad. Especially the second one. Immigration or visa procedures are very humiliating. Ask any Albanian who had to apply for a visa at any embassy and listen to what humiliatiom they have to go through. And when refused, anger and frustration add up to humiliation. When this means interrupting your studies, it means ruining your life.
The real crooks, though, are rich, they don't have to go through all that s**t, they can provide bank-statements and even foreign passports. It's the normal, harmless, absolutely not criminal little man who is punished for the terrorist's actions.
Bush is not pro-Berisha though. He/his administration has criticized him many times. They just had to be more reserved during the visit.
Last night, in the news i heard that 3 days after Bush left Berisha fired 129 agents of the secret service. Oh, and this week in Belgrade there is a modern arms fair...
Just another young commie whining about an old commie! "
Are you talking about Veliaj? WHen did he become a commie? He was born in the 80's! (..scartches head...lol!)
Anyways, the article is very well written and about time someone published something so americans can read the trueth, even though its on a very liberal blog and the people who should read it, won't. If Berisha 1 was a blend between inexperienced youth and flagrant corruption, Berisha 2 is a blend of flagrant corruption and dictatorial henchmen. Albania will suffer a lot to get rid of this man and his cadres. He surrounds himself with yes-men from all corners of the world. Unfortunately even some who pretend to be intellectuals and writer wannabes are constantly seen at Berisha's side. The opposition is still seen as RED by the North American Albanian Emigres where Berisha still has a lot of support dispite Rama's best efforts to break away from the past once and for all and to unite it before the next election (something which has to be done, if they stand a chance of winning even a minority gov't).
Anyway, the visas problem is more important I think. I know people who had to go to Western Europe for urgent medical reasons and could not obtain permission. This is tragic.
I also cannot deny the fact that Albania has changed so much for the better. I have seen some great signs of improvement there, roads are being built, businesses are growing, quality of life is improving. All these things are very exciting, but still, can anyone please tell me why is Berisha still around?
Berisha was capable of being elected, that’s where the focus should be. The author is shifting his responsibility toward others. Why are people still electing politicians like Berisha? Can people simply elect who they want? Who would be right? Why the previous government could not hold the power any longer? I’m sure the corruption did not start nor is going to end with Berisha. No economy at all, after the communism. Political affiliation for anybody, I mean anybody! Would mean hope (such as job placement and other economical outcome) for who’s left in Albania to be “so called” political supporters.
Let’s not forget around one million Albanians were forced to emigrate during the last sixteen years. The only answer is expected to come from that part of the population, where most of the revenue comes from, and pretty soon will be counted for support in the political arena in Albania.
unbiased, very realistic, accurate, and funny. Keep it up!
The reality is that Albania will suffer for years and decades if it doesnt break away from its past. And by its past I dont just mean Communism, I mean Ottomanism. Many East Central European countries suffered communist regimes, however, look where they are now. It was our fate to suffer under an eastern regime, such as that of the Porte, and we are still paying the price for it with Otomman politicians and politics. Unless we break away from it altogether, the west will never take us seriously.
I welcome criticism of the goverment, of any government, and what veiliaj has done is not non-albanian, for whatever his reasoning might have been. That's a step toward shedding away the Otoman umbrella that has grasped teh country for centuries on end.
That's all I have to say on this topic.
On a more lighter note, I'm off to Cuba for a week, enjoying the beaches at a tropical resort. Let me know, when Club Med finishes construction in Albania, so I can come for a visit (that is if Club Med ever builds a resort there!)
I see the following issues with the article:
1. The outlet where it was posted
Huffington is known for her anti-Albanian feelings. If someone cares to research some of her previous comments, you'll see all the anti-Albanian venom that comes from her. With that in mind, I don't see what Veliaj was trying to achieve by being a mouthpiece for Huffington. What he writes are internal problems, nothing to do with the US, Bush, Huffington or whoever.
2. The title of the article
The eye-catching title has nothing to do with the article. Bush did not receive a warm welcome because Bush was being lenient towards Berisha. In fact, dare I say that most of the people who took to the streets to greet Bush are not sympathetic to Berisha. So Bush doesn't have to doubt the sincerity of the warm reception he got, unlike what Veliaj suggests. As I said this is a clear political attack and it has nothing to do with Bush's visit.
3. The article lies, and quite blatantly
Let me start by saying that I don't think that Berisha has many flaws, and things in Albania are VERY FAR from where they should be, but that doesn't mean that we have to exagerate and lie. Albania is far from a dictatorship, whichever way you slice. Saying that we are the closest example to Chavez's Venezuela is denying reality. Berisha got elected by the people who were fed up with the corrupt socialist govt. Odds are that the same people will vote for the socialists the next time around, since this time they will be fed up with the democrats. And despite Berisha's desire to be in control of everything, whoever thinks that he is acting as a dictator is out of touch with reality. And I don't think for a second that if what the article writes is true, people would put up with it. No one is that naive anymore. And even if everything that Veliaj writes were true, there are other modern day dictatorships in Europe which are far worse than what he describes. How come that Veliaj forgot about Belarus, where Lukanshenko wins by more than 80% of the vote and civil liberties and freedom of speech are minimal, or Russia, where Putin is a semi-God who sends troops to disperse peaceful opposition protests. I have no problem with criticizing the Albanian govt, because it deserves to be criticized, but for the leader of an organization that takes pride in being about the so called truth, to write blatant lies such as these is hypocritical.
4. Foreign investment and support for Albania is discouraged
According to Veliaj, foreign investors are being suffocated by the govt and the US should reconsider its support for Albania. Great, just friggin' great. You might not like the current administration, even though it was democratically elected, but to call for withdrawal of foreign support is absurd. Does Veliaj know that outside investment and support also benefits the common citizen. That unemployed family man, who can barely make ends meet, might be able to get a job exactly because of say USAID. He doesn't really care if the govt is also benefiting from the same thing. I'm tired of these people who are opposed to the current administration and whose solution is to completely isolate it. What about collateral damage? Who will take care of people who don't have to eat? I doubt that Mjaft! will provide for all the families who are to lose everything if Albania is shunned by the Western world.
5. Veliaj shows his opposition to the Kosovo war
No one will think of what happened in Albania in 1997 as smth positive; no one! But at the same time, most people see the fact that some of the guns ended up in Kosovo as a positive thing since it enabled Kosovo people to mount a resistance, albeit modest, against the Serb brutality. Veliaj claims that Berisha ignited that war, and according to him it was a negative thing. Nevermind that the war in Kosovo was started by the Albanians there, but HOW CAN ONE SHED A NEGATIVE LIGHT ON THIS WAR? It was a just war. Most of the Western world thinks so, but no Veliaj. If that hadn't happened Kosovo would be exactly where it was 10 yrs ago. There would be no talk even about autonomy, let alone independence. I'm very disheartned by Veliaj's comments. I bet that A. Huffington would be happy to read this coming from a person who claims to have Albanians' best interest at mind.