Back to homepage

Free to Read

Bulgarian speleologists in love with Albanian caves

Bulgarian speleologists in love with Albanian caves

TIRANA, July 30 – While Albanian boast hundreds of ancient caves, it is little known that Bulgarian speleologists are among the most interested in them and have been conducting research for the past 25 years after the collapse of communism.

Read Full Article
New tourism law adopted amid debates over sector’s future

New tourism law adopted amid debates over sector’s future

TIRANA, July 30 – The ruling left Socialist-Party-led coalition approved this week in a special parliamentary session ahead of the summer vacations a law on tourism amid debates by tourism associations and the opposition Democrats. Economy and Tourism Minister Arben

Read Full Article

A Greek perspective on Cham history

Greek historian Eleftheria Manta, who has authored research about Albanians in Greece before WWII, speaks about the history of Chams in Greece and the background of how Muslim Albanians were made part of population exchanges with Turkey and the climate

Read Full Article
Albania’s Skenderbeu close to making history in European football

Albania’s Skenderbeu close to making history in European football

TIRANA, July 29 – Albania’s Skenderbeu is one step from making history in European football after beating Moldova’s Milsami in 2-0 in an away victory in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The

Read Full Article
Albania to face World Cup winners Italy, Spain in 2018 qualifiers

Albania to face World Cup winners Italy, Spain in 2018 qualifiers

TIRANA, July 27 – Albania will face a tough race in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers after being drawn against four-time World Cup winners Italy and 2010 winners Spain in Group G. Albania will play its first match at

Read Full Article
ALBtelecom warns it could undertake legal action against AMC’s Telekom Albania rebranding

ALBtelecom warns it could undertake legal action against AMC’s Telekom Albania rebranding

TIRANA, July 24 – Turkish-owned ALBtelecom has warned it could undertake legal action against the recent rebranding of AMC mobile operator into Telekom Albania as a brand of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom because of the similarity to its trademark. In a

Read Full Article
Why Albania must foster private sector development and boost competitiveness

Why Albania must foster private sector development and boost competitiveness

Holger Muent, EBRD’s Director for the Western Balkans, says in an interview that if Albania is to increase its GDP and be prepared to enter the European Union, it must strengthen its private sector and boost its competitiveness at the

Read Full Article
First Albanian flowers festival to be held in Permet

First Albanian flowers festival to be held in Permet

TIRANA, July 23 – The southern town of Permet will be the host of Albania’s first flower festival this weekend, bringing together flower and greenery traders and lovers in the town known for its famous canyons. The two-day festival scheduled

Read Full Article
Greek crisis has had a psychological impact, governor says

Greek crisis has had a psychological impact, governor says

TIRANA, July 22 – The escalation of the crisis in neighboring Greece, Albania’s second top trading partner and the host of around 500,000 Albanians, has only had a psychological impact on Albania’s banking system with sporadic deposit withdrawals from the

Read Full Article
Deutsche Telekom enters Albania with AMC rebranding

Deutsche Telekom enters Albania with AMC rebranding

TIRANA, July 22 – Albania has become the twelfth country across Deutsche Telekom’s European footprint to introduce the German giant’s brand identity. The AMC mobile operator, the first operator in the Albania which has been present in Albania for almost

Read Full Article
WP_Query Object
(
    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 37
            [paged] => 94
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [category_name] => free
            [tag] => 
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [comments_popup] => 
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 10
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 37
                                )

                            [include_children] => 1
                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => IN
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [post_count] => 10
    [current_post] => -1
    [in_the_loop] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [current_comment] => -1
    [found_posts] => 1031
    [max_num_pages] => 104
    [max_num_comment_pages] => 0
    [is_single] => 
    [is_preview] => 
    [is_page] => 
    [is_archive] => 1
    [is_date] => 
    [is_year] => 
    [is_month] => 
    [is_day] => 
    [is_time] => 
    [is_author] => 
    [is_category] => 1
    [is_tag] => 
    [is_tax] => 
    [is_search] => 
    [is_feed] => 
    [is_comment_feed] => 
    [is_trackback] => 
    [is_home] => 
    [is_404] => 
    [is_comments_popup] => 
    [is_paged] => 1
    [is_admin] => 
    [is_attachment] => 
    [is_singular] => 
    [is_robots] => 
    [is_posts_page] => 
    [is_post_type_archive] => 
    [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 204dfc590878ad38a3ba3bb29e64f1ab
    [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 
    [thumbnails_cached] => 1
    [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => 
    [query] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 37
            [paged] => 94
        )

    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (37) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 930, 10
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 122942
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2015-07-31 10:11:50
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:11:50
                    [post_content] => bulgTIRANA, July 30 - While Albanian boast hundreds of ancient caves, it is little known that Bulgarian speleologists are among the most interested in them and have been conducting research for the past 25 years after the collapse of communism.

A team of Bulgarian speleologists has just concluded its 40th expedition in Albania led by Alexey Zhalov, the President of the Balkan Speleological Union.

"This was the fourth expedition organized by the "Heliktit" club. In fact it is the 40th for Bulgarian speleologists. In 1991 I was among the first to study objects in Albania and I am very happy for this special anniversary trip," says Zhalov as quoted by Radio Bulgaria in the Albanian version.

The latest expedition was conducted in the Lura area whose upper part is composed of icy lakes.

Zhalev has recently published his latest book Bulgarian Speleological Studies 1991-2013, featuring 269 discovers caves in Albania.

Alexey says that Albania is his big cave passion. He visited Albania back in 1991 for a first time. He also feels the warm attitude of people there. On July 4 – 11 this year he participated in another research, when two caves where explored and mapped in the eastern part of the country.

The first reconnaissance expedition was carried out in Albanian Alps in November 1991, when the first five caves were explored by A. Jalov, N. Gladnishki and N. Landjev. The most impressive cave is Shpella Gjolave, near to Bratosh village, Shkodra district.

The main explored territory covers an area of approx. 320 km2 and is located in southern and central part of the Albanian Alps. Some explorations have been carried out also in Mt. Dejes and Mt. Gollobordes and in South Albania in Mali i Thate Mt. and its surroundings.

The most important vertical caves are: BB-30 (-610 m); Shpella Cilicokave (-505 m) and B33 (-205 m). 14 other caves are deeper than 100 m. The most important horizontal cave is Shpella e Majes te Arapit with total length 840 m. The largest cave chamber is in Shpella e Gjolave with an area of 8875 m 2 and volume 443 750 m3. The deepest and longest explored karst spring is Syni i Sheganit (160m long, 52 m deep).
                    [post_title] => Bulgarian speleologists in love with Albanian caves  
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => bulgarian-speleologists-in-love-with-albanian-caves
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2015-07-31 10:54:11
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:54:11
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122942
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 122931
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2015-07-31 10:03:07
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:03:07
                    [post_content] => KakomeTIRANA, July 30 - The ruling left Socialist-Party-led coalition approved this week in a special parliamentary session ahead of the summer vacations a law on tourism amid debates by tourism associations and the opposition Democrats.

Economy and Tourism Minister Arben Ahmetaj said the new tourism law guaranteed integrated and sustainable development.

"What this law targets is structuring tourist movement and tourism investment both in coastal and other areas... to promote sustainable tourism and give an end to massive constructions as happened in Durres," said Ahmetaj.

Strategic investors in Albania's tourism sector will be offered state-owned property for a symbolic 1 Euro under 99-year concession contracts to develop tourist resorts, according to the new law which also shifts power on investments from local government to the central government.

A new law on strategic investments passed earlier this year, says investors in the tourism sector will be offered the status of strategic investor and assisted procedures for investments of more than 5 million euros creating 80 jobs. For investments of more than 50 million euros in the tourism sector, investors are granted the ‘special procedure’ assistance status.

The incentive is part of a law granting foreign investors to Albania simplified and accelerated procedures in the next three years for strategic investments in energy, mining, transport, telecommunication, infrastructure, urban waste, tourism, agriculture and fishing and special economic zones.

Immovable property owned by central or local government situated in priority tourism development areas will be made available to investors for the construction of accommodation or other tourist infrastructure by the ministry responsible for tourism.

“The goal of this law is to promote Albania as a top Mediterranean destination and attract foreign and domestic visitors based on sustainable tourism. It regulates the activity of domestic and foreign tourism operators, making sure that the available tourism services meet tourists' expectations in a healthy and safe environment," says the report of the law.

The Albanian government is expected to make the tourism industry more competitive through tax incentives, public-private partnerships and the opening of new airports in southern Albania, minister Ahmetaj has earlier said.

“The law will not work wonders but is a good start for tourism. It will offer more opportunities to enterprises in the exploitation of beach territories. We target reducing informality and increasing the quality of services. The law also sets the foundations for the standardization of hotels and their star rating," said Ahmetaj.

The minister, also responsible for economy and trade, said he will introduce a package which also envisages reducing VAT on tourism from a current 20 percent to 10 percent.

Reducing VAT on tourism has been a perennial request by the Tourism Association to make one of the key industries in Albania more competitive compared to other regional countries where VAT on the tourism sector ranges from 5 to 8 percent.

The Albanian government also says it is in its final stage of negotiations with the TIA concessionaire over lifting its exclusive rights on international flights to pave the way to the operation of the new United Arab Emirates-funded Kukes airport in north-eastern Albania and the construction of a new airport in southern Albania serving the tourism industry.

The law clarifies competences among tourism institutions, targets making operational the Tourism Development Fund, certifying and licensing tourism operators, classifying accommodation units and tour guides based on international standards in a bid to make tourism in Albania sustainable, environment-friendly and year-round.

Bank of Albania data shows the foreign investment stock in hotels and restaurants dropped to 64 million euros in 2013, down from 94 million euros in 2008 just before the onset of the global financial crisis.

Tourism association, opposition concerned

The Albanian Association of Tourism described the approval of the new tourism law as hurried and not taking into consideration proposals by tourism association to reduce widespread informality.

“Failure to include in the law accommodation units such as villas and apartments which account for 65 percent to 70 percent of the market is a real issue of concern because they don't meet standards or pay taxes," says Zak Topuzi, the head of the Hotel Association.

The Association is also concerned over the reduction of the 20 percent VAT, a perennial request which the government has promised to give a solution through a package of incentives on the tourism sector.

Opposition Democratic Party MP Edmond Spaho said the new law did not make the tourism sector a priority.

“The law tries doing everything but does not provide a solution to any of the issues. It does not provide guarantees to foreign investors,” said Spaho. “Laws have not managed to guarantee the development of tourism and despite some 4 million tourists a year, deducting immigrants and Kosovars, there are few foreign tourists remaining. We only need to apply successful models," he added.

A last-minute amendment to the law approved by 79 votes shifted the power on the criteria and tariffs for the classification of the tourist establishments from the minister responsible for tourism to the Council of Ministers.

Government officials consider the new law a good opportunity to attract strategic foreign investors considering the chaotic development of tourism and urban massacres in the past two decades in the key tourist destinations and that a considerable part of the Albania's coastline remains virgin.

Back in 2009, France's Club Med withdrew from a major holiday resort project in Albania's southern Ionian coast under a similar deal after continuous land disputes with local inhabitants despite a court ruling in favour of the investor's 99-year concession deal with the Albania government, unveiling the long-standing issue of clear property titles which is often one of the key barriers to foreign investors in Albania.

Tourism revenue registered a record high of 1.2 billion euros in 2014 when more than 3.6 million foreign tourists visited Albania, according to data published by the central bank and INSTAT.

Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro account for three-fifths of foreign tourists visiting Albania, with local experts often referring to this market as ‘patriotic tourism.'

Albania's tourism competitiveness lost considerable ground in the past couple of years on deteriorating travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, a biennial report published by the World Economic Forum has shown.

The travel and tourism industry, which employs around 41,000 people in Albania, is estimated to have contributed by $639 million or around 4.8 percent of the GDP in 2014
                    [post_title] => New tourism law adopted amid debates over sector’s future
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => new-tourism-law-adopted-amid-debates-over-sectors-future
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2015-07-31 10:47:07
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:47:07
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122931
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 122968
                    [post_author] => 5
                    [post_date] => 2015-07-31 08:34:27
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 06:34:27
                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_122969" align="alignright" width="200"]Greek historian Eleftheria Manta Greek historian Eleftheria Manta[/caption]

Greek historian Eleftheria Manta, who has authored research about Albanians in Greece before WWII, speaks about the history of Chams in Greece and the background of how Muslim Albanians were made part of population exchanges with Turkey and the climate behind the Chams’ forced deportation to Albania at the end of WWII.

Interviewed by Ben Andoni

Why is there so far no real dialogue between Albanian and Greek historians about the Cham issue? Your publication, for example, has just few Albanian sources, and Albanian publications also don’t rely much on Greek sources.

As you already know and has been written in the Prologue of the Albanian edition of the book about the “Chams of Epirus”, the Albanian text is a translation of the Greek original written and edited in 2004. No alterations have been made in the text since.

The Albanian books I have studied and which you can find in the Bibliography in the end of the book were the only then existing books on the issue. Albanian (and Greek) historiography have later made great progress on the matter. As I pointed in the first Prologue of the book: “I hope that, with the passage of time, new archival collections, Greek and other, will see the light of publicity and illumine with new data aspects of the issue, which until now had remained obscured.” I believe that my book was a contribution to the dialogue that began to flourish afterwards”.

Your study uses the title: 'Muslim Chams’. Doesn’t it sound a bit prejudicial?

The choice of talking about Muslim Chams was not a matter of prejudice, but simply a technical one. Meaning that since the documents (Greek, English, American, Italian, German and Albanian) I had in possession gave me a lot of information about Muslims of Albanian origin, and just a few hints about Christians of Albanian origin I couldn’t form a clear image about what have happened to the second group in the long term. So, in order to protect my scientific approach and to avoid any misunderstandings, I limited myself to the group about which I had more and most certain data to elaborate.

Greek state did not pay much attention to the Chams before population exchanges with Turkey. Why was it that the Chams only become an issue in 1923?

As historians usually say, there is not an “IF” in history; things have happened the way they have happened and all we can do is to try to understand why.

Before 1923, Greek state had so many other problems to attend, that the Albanian population of Epirus was not its first priority. Internal and diplomatic conditions were so highly uncertain by then that there was little room for any interest about local populations (and Albanians were not the only example of that kind).

You have used a rich bibliography, a valuable one. However, it seems lacking in depth for Albanian sources, although a lot of books on Chameria have been published in Albanian. Is it difficult for Greeks to explore Albanian archives? What about Greek archives? Which archives have been more helpful in your research?

Additionally (from the first question), yes I had problems in reaching Albanian archives, which I couldn’t study except the documents edited by Kalliopi Naska (an excellent work by the way, but ending on 1939). I had the opportunity to study in the National Library in Tirana, several times.

All the other European archives were easy to approach and were very illuminating.

Albanian governments have made proposals for population exchanges since before WWII? Should we see this as a very harsh measure? Why did the Greek state not show the same attitude for the Chams as Albania for the Greek minority?

Exchange of populations is always a severe measure, and Greek side considered it as such, especially after 1923.

As far as concerns minority populations, there isn’t any question of ‘parity’. Such approaches can easily conduct to ‘quid pro quo’ policies. Minorities’ rights should be protected according to international law and this is the ultimate principle.

In your first chapter, you underlined that Chams, in interviews with an international commission in 1924, declared massively that they were of Turkish origin and also they wanted to be involved in the population exchange procedures, except a few who self-declared as Albanians. Do you have more evidence based on different sources on this point? Can you clarify this point more for Albanians?

As you can notice, bibliographical notes about the subject you mention are multiple: From publications already know years ago, to official documents form the League of Nations, and to documents edited by Albanian historians also.

Nevertheless, it was a common conclusion from both Greek and European officials then that national consciousness was still not cultivated among Albanian populations of Epirus. Religious feelings were stronger: as I say in a line “they felt more Muslim than Albanian.” The exemption from the exchange and the developments of the next two decades played their role in the alteration of their national consciousness.

There had been pressure on the Cham property rights since the 1920s. What motivated Greek authorities in this?

The arrival in Greece of the refugees from Asia Minor in 1922 necessitated the taking recourse to a radical rearrangement of the land, through which all properties, including Albanian, were expropriated. Under the government of Theodore Pangalos (1925-6), during a period of relative normalization in Greek-Albanian relations, a treaty “On the Establishment of a Consular Service” was signed between Greece and Albania, Article 3 of which gave the Albanian citizens the right to get better compensation treatment than the Greeks, analogous to that which the Greek government would have had in store for the British, French and the Italians. However, keeping in mind that the total extent of Albanian lands which had been expropriated was especially large, the economic load for the Greek state would have been unbearable. For this reason the Greek parliament did not vote in favor of this specific treaty. In the meantime, Greece had overturned the military regime of Pangalos and the next legal government was not disposed to be so yielding to the Albanians. This resulted in freezing the issue of the Albanian lands into a state of limbo for the whole of the mid-war period.

On the other hand, economic situation in Greece was far from satisfactory for all rural populations during the inter-war period. The Albanian lands’ problem just deteriorated their situation. The improvements of the 1930s, after Venizelos’ initiative, gave a short-living solution to the problem, but subsequent Greek governments overturned all previous positive settlements.

The Greek state showed a different attitude when Mr. Venizelos was in power? Was this simply out of good will?

Venizelos’ policy was aiming at a broad improvement of inter-Balkan relations, including Greek-Albanian ones. So, resolving some of the most serious existing problems was a prerequisite for the success of this policy.

How did the local administration function in the territory inhabited by Chams during the previous century. Is this administration also responsible for the problems with the of Chams’ property, schools, etc.?

There are indications that in many cases local authorities had their own views about how to treat Albanian issues in Epirus: distractions, tergiversations, arbitrariness, were usual phenomena.

In your book, noted that Chams’ resistance began even before the arrival of the fascists. Why did the Greek government not try to solve their problems? What are the reasons behind some Chams’ cooperation with the invading forces?

There is not any meaning of the word ‘resistance’ before the Italian and German occupation of Greece in 1941.

The groups of Albanian Chams that collaborated with Italians and Germans aimed at, first, retaliating former oppressions suffered by Greek authorities under Metaxas dictatorship; second, improving their economic and social status by annexing Epirus to the new Albanian state under fascist control. They believed in Italian promises for the creation of a ‘Greater Albania’ that would include all Albanian populations in the Balkans.

Do you have exact names of who these Cham fascist collaborators were? Do you think it is normal to label the entire population as collaborators?

As a researcher and a scientist, I personally never accepted opinions characterizing all Albanian Chams as collaborators indiscriminately.

I always strongly supported the fact that “the vast majority of the Albanian population did not participate in arbitrary acts”; these were committed by groups armed by Italian and German authorities and led by prominent and well-known Chams (names are referred to in my book). Nevertheless, Albanians welcomed and supported Italian and German occupation as a promising new situation and aspired to an alteration of Greek-Albanian borders.

Your book notes that Zervas appealed to Cham formations to unite with Greek forces against fascists. Did some Chams join the Greek resistance?

This isn’t quite clear still. It seems that, as officers of the Greek Communist Party and ELAS admitted, Chams were not persuaded by their vision of self-determination after the war. Only in the Philiates area they managed to gather some support in order to enforce the anti-fascist front.

On the other hand, I think that Chams didn’t trust Zervas’ promises either. On the contrary, as the last orders of the Chams’ leaders indicate (July 1944) they were determined to fight to the death “for the liberation of Chamuria”.

One of the orders given to Zervas to deport the Chams allegedly came from the Allies. You have a reference to a certain Woodhouse who said "They (the Chams) got what they deserved." Are the Allies to be condemned for the deportation of the Chams too?

History is not a court to ‘condemn’ or to ‘excuse’ anyone. Our goal is to understand what had happened and why. So, I can say that that was an Allied decision of strategic importance, aiming to facilitate operations against the Germans in Epirus. And that is the context in which we have to place all the events of those days.

And, as I state in my book, by quoting C. Woodhouse’s assessments it doesn’t mean in any way that I concur with them.

Who conceptualized Congress of Chams in Albania? How were they able to organize such an event at a chaotic time? Who sponsored it?

I’m not quite sure about that, since I lack any positive information. But it seems that it had the support of the Albanian communist leaders of that period, who tried to take advantage of the developments for their own strategic moves towards Greece.

As far as I know the participation was limited.

Is it true that Enver Hoxha too asked for a population exchange, to get rid of the Greek minority? Could this have happened?

There isn’t any information about it, at least as far as I know. For Enver Hoxha and the Albanian communists, the Chams comprised a controversial, if not suspect community, but useful as much as they could serve his political and propagandist goals.

How can the Greek people (as stated in your book), have such hatred against the Cham population as a whole?

This is not true and as I said before I don’t like to use general and unfair characterizations including peoples’ thoughts and feelings indiscriminately.

A lot of Greek people in Epirus suffered by the violent acts that Cham armed groups perpetrated during Italian and German occupation (a fact that is usually covered by silence by Albanian historiography, which limits itself in describing Albanian suffering by Greek government’s, Metaxas’ or Zervas’ acts), so they had their reasons for not wanting Albanians to return after the war. On the other hand, there were a lot of cases of friendly coexistence and even mutual help between the two communities when that was necessary.

Is it possible for their current property quest to find a solution?

This is not a question for a historian to answer. It is a matter of international law and practice.

Why does the Greek government refuse to discuss the Cham issue with the Albanian authorities

You can ask the Greek government.

Is there any common ground among Albanian and Greek historians on this issue? Is it possible to have a dialogue at a certain point?

See the answers in the question one, but scientific dialogue can comprise everything.

Why did you take this research on? Have you shed any new light on this matter?

Because as I state in the Prologue of the Greek edition, I believe that the history of the Cham population of Epirus was a forgotten issue which for quite a few decades was covered under a shroud of silence and virtually ignored, voluntarily or involuntarily, by Greek historiography. So, it was an intriguing challenge for me to confront with. If I managed to illuminate the problem, this is not for me to answer. You will be the judge. [post_title] => A Greek perspective on Cham history [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-greek-perspective-on-cham-history [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-31 10:40:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:40:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122968 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122890 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-29 11:10:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-29 09:10:44 [post_content] => salihiTIRANA, July 29 - Albania's Skenderbeu is one step from making history in European football after beating Moldova's Milsami in 2-0 in an away victory in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The Albanian five-time consecutive champions are well placed to become the first Albanian team to reach the UEFA Champions League play-offs after Hamdi Salihi's double, wrote UEFA on its website. In case of failing to qualify in the Champions League play-offs, the Albanian champions will play in the less prestigious Europa League group stage, which is also a great success and the first time for an Albanian football club in this tournament. Albania's international Hamdi Sahihi, who has joined the southeastern club only recently after playing for one year in the Israeli championship, was Skenderbeu's hero in Moldova with two goals from a close range and a penalty kick in each half. The home match with Milsami will be played next week with Skenderbeu holding a comfortable advantage of two away goals. Skenderbeu coach Mirel Josa described the match as perfect. “We are very close to making history and we want to continue like this. Nothing has finished and the players must stay with their feet on the ground." he said. Skenderbeu previously beat Northern Ireland’s Crusaders. Another Albanian team, Kukesi is hoping to qualify for the Europe League and has been drawn against Poland's Legia Warsaw in the third qualifying round after beating Montenegro's Mladost Podgorica. On the club front, Skënderbeu, five-in-a-row Albanian Super League winners between 2011 and 2015, became the first Albanian club to reach the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in 2013/14 and that same summer, together with FK Kukësi, were the first Albanian team to contest the UEFA Europa League play-offs.   [post_title] => Albania’s Skenderbeu close to making history in European football [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => albanias-skenderbeu-close-to-making-history-in-european-football [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-29 11:22:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-29 09:22:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122890 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122886 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-27 10:14:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-27 08:14:09 [post_content] => GTIRANA, July 27 - Albania will face a tough race in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers after being drawn against four-time World Cup winners Italy and 2010 winners Spain in Group G. Albania will play its first match at home to neighboring Macedonia on September 5, 2016 before travelling to Liechtenstein on October 6, hosting Spain on October 9. The Red & Blacks will play at home to Israel on November 12 and travel to Italy on March 14 2017 in the first round of group matches. Albania's coach Gianni de Biasi has described the draw as very difficult for Albania, which although against all odds, will fight to the end. “In our group, we will be facing teams which have won the World Cup in the past few tournaments and it will be very difficult, but a match cannot be lost without being played," said De Biasi. The Italian coach has described the match against Italy, the first official match between the two neighboring countries, as a "local derby" due to thousands of Italy fans in Albania. “Albania will have to take their chances. It is curious that many Albanians support Italy. Therefore it’ll be like a local derby for us," De Biasi told Football Italia portal. “Albania have never qualified for the finals of any FIFA tournament. In finishing one place off the bottom in their group in the South Africa 2010 preliminaries, they held Portugal, Sweden and Denmark to notable draws. Though they finished in the same position in the qualifiers for Brazil 2014, the Albanians showed further signs of improvement by picking up three wins,” says FIFA about Albania's qualification history. The nine group winners advance directly to the final World Cup tournament and the eight runners-up proceed to play offs to decide the remaining four European berths. Meanwhile, Albania’s Euro 2016 qualification dream is closer than ever as they climbed to 10 points with one game in hand after being awarded a 3-0 win away to Serbia by Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport after last October’s abandoned qualifier. With one game in hand, Albania now see themselves rank third in Group I with 10 points, level on points with Denmark which holds an advantage only thanks to a goal away to Albania in last October’s 1-1 qualifier. The top two group teams and the best third-placed side qualify directly for the final tournament of the Euro 2016. Albania climbed 15 spots to 36th in the July FIFA ranking, which is a historic high for the country’s national side since 1946 when it made its international debut with a friendly against then-Yugoslavia. [post_title] => Albania to face World Cup winners Italy, Spain in 2018 qualifiers [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => albania-to-face-world-cup-winners-italy-spain-in-2018-world-cup-qualifiers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-27 10:15:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-27 08:15:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122886 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122877 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-24 19:35:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-24 17:35:01 [post_content] => albtelecomTIRANA, July 24 - Turkish-owned ALBtelecom has warned it could undertake legal action against the recent rebranding of AMC mobile operator into Telekom Albania as a brand of Germany's Deutsche Telekom because of the similarity to its trademark. In a statement, ALbTelecom, which controls the fixed-line telephony and internet market and also owns the Eagle Mobile operator, said the registration of the Telekom Albania trademark which highly resembles Albanian Telecom with only a reverse wording, "is not only against the commercial laws in force, but also against the codes of QKR [National Registration Center] and the practices of the Competition Authority." "Albtelecom will be ready to make use of its legal rights on this subject, however has full confidence that related changes will be made so that there will be no need for any such legal action," said Erkan Tabak, the CEO of ALBTelecom. The Albanian government still owns a minority 20 percent stake in ALBtelecom landline operator. Full statement by ALBtelecom's CEO Erkan Tabak: Albtelecom, known as Albanian Telecom by the Albanian people and even having the official name of Telekomi Shqiptar before the privatization, is a company which is as old as the Albanian State itself with its roots dating back to 104 years ago. This institution, where the Albanian State also holds 20% of shares, has now become identical with the concepts of Telecommunications and Technology in Albania. The usage of the name of Albanian Telecom by other companies along with all possible versions of it or any other name which would directly invoke the Albanian Telecom name and their direct translations is absolutely forbidden according to the Albanian commercial laws in force and the European Union directives. Albanian Telecom is not only a company name, but also the historical property of the Albanian State. The fact is that the registration of the name of Telekom Albania, which highly resembles Albanian Telecom with only a reverse wording, is not only against the commercial laws in force, but also against the codes of QKR and the practices of the Competition Authority. As a consequence of the above reasons, it is quite surprising for Albtelecom to see the official usage and the launch of its name by another company. However, despite the above,  we still believe that this is not a deliberate action, but rather a point which was overlooked within the institution. Albtelecom will be ready to make use of its legal rights on this subject, however has full confidence that related changes will be made so that there will be no need for any such legal action. Related:

Deutsche Telekom enters Albania with AMC rebranding

 

      [post_title] => ALBtelecom warns it could undertake legal action against AMC's Telekom Albania rebranding [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => albtelecom-warns-it-could-undertake-legal-action-against-amcs-telekom-albania-rebranding [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-24 20:46:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-24 18:46:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122877 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122853 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2015-07-24 10:46:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-24 08:46:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_122854" align="alignright" width="300"]Holger Muent, EBRD’s Director for Western Balkans. (Photo: EBRD) Holger Muent, EBRD’s Director for the Western Balkans. (Photo: EBRD)[/caption] Holger Muent, EBRD’s Director for the Western Balkans, says in an interview that if Albania is to increase its GDP and be prepared to enter the European Union, it must strengthen its private sector and boost its competitiveness at the regional level and beyond. He also says the EBRD is ready to offer support to the proposed Adriatic-Ionian highway, a regional project linking Croatia to Greece. What opportunities are there for Albania given its geographic location?  Albania is situated in the heart of the Western Balkans -- the region with a strategic importance for the trade links with the European Union and important access points to the Adriatic. As for most countries in the Western Balkans, approximation to the EU remains the main driver behind economic and structural reforms. This is an opportunity in itself and it needs to be seized as reforms will help Albania realise its economic potential and deepen its regional cooperation. Just recently, we released our regional economic prospects with projected GDP growth at 2.5 per cent in Albania in 2015 and it can achieve more. To do that Albania needs to strengthen its private sector and boost its competitiveness. This is one of the priorities for EBRD’s work in the country. Some say that cornerstone of the healthy economy is a strong private sector -- how do you support it in Albania? Supporting the private sector development is at the heart of what we do at the EBRD. We have several ways of supporting the private sector in Albania: We can provide financing directly to larger SMEs, both equity and debt. We are also providing funding to SMEs indirectly through local banks and microfinance institutions. We are currently working on a new facility which will improve the access of businesses in the agricultural sector to local bank financing. We believe that there is a lot of untapped potential in this sector for growth and employment. We are pleased to see the government’s effort to tap this potential with the National Guarantee Fund. Under the umbrella of the Fund, we are jointly working with the banks and financial institutions to create an Agribusiness Financing Facility. Fostering sustainable development of the private sector and boosting its competitiveness, such as growing strong small and medium enterprises segment is one of our priorities for Albania. It will help the country to become more resilient to external economic factors, such as volatility in Eurozone and commodity prices. What are particular sectors Albania needs to develop in the regional context? In the regional context, the Albanian economy is comparatively small and to attract private investment it needs to be well connected to the wider market in the region, both in terms of infrastructure but also in terms of harmonisation of regulations vis-à-vis its neighbours. This is why regional integration is one of the key priorities for our work in the country. In the Western Balkans, for instance, the EBRD in cooperation with the European Commission, other IFIs, and the government authorities is investing in the rehabilitation and construction of key road and railway sections which are part of transport corridors (such as Corridor Vc, VIII and X) linking the Western Balkans with the EU. The Bank is currently considering financing the rehabilitation of railway and road sections in Kosovo, rehabilitation and construction of road sections in Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia. In Montenegro, the Bank is considering other investments in the airport and seaport sectors. The Bank works closely with the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) which is an important coordination mechanism bringing together all stakeholders and establishing priority projects of common interest. Such regional projects have an effect on important policies, such as trade and customs regulation to simplify economic collaboration between the neighbouring countries in the Western Balkans. The Bank would be interested to consider supporting the Adriatic-Ionian Highway which is a regional project being promoted by the governments of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. The highway will connect the central and western Europe with Greece through the Western Balkans, fostering regional cooperation and integration. Has the EBRD already done any projects in Albania to support its regional integration? The EBRD conducted a number of projects in Albania that contribute to the regional integration, as it is one of the key priorities for our work in the country. For instance, the Bank is currently financing, together with the EU and the EIB, the construction of the Fier and Vlore bypass roads. These projects are part of Corridor VIII in the SEETO’s Comprehensive Network and benefit from significant grant funding from the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA). Previous EBRD projects include the rehabilitation of the Elbasan-Librazhd road section which is part of Corridor VIII, the construction of a new terminal at the Tirana International Airport, the construction of the Levan-Vlore and Levan-Tepelene road sections (also on Corridor VIII), and the passenger terminal at Port of Durres. We’re also looking to support the regional energy security and are looking into the options of investing in the interconnector between Albania and Macedonia. Institutional strengthening is equally important to attract investors in the country. Improvement to the business climate is already at the heart of the economic agenda of the government. The EBRD supported Albania in setting up the Investment Council, to create a platform for public-private dialogue and improve the investment climate. What is your view on a ‘Balkan Benelux’?  I would rather talk about a common regional market. The EBRD strongly supports regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, which is indispensable for the economic prospects and stability of this region. This is the best answer to its numerous challenges.  When we convened the first ever all-inclusive meeting of the Western Balkan prime ministers at EBRD Headquarters a year ago, we primarily sought to promote the region as an investment destination. But it was also a strong political message of the newly achieved stability and maturity of the region. Intensifying regional cooperation among all nations in the region is among the greatest recent achievements of the Western Balkans. How would you assess Albania’s readiness for EU accession? EU reform agenda and economic reforms is an important catalyst for Albania’s economic development and the country must keep this course. We are really encouraged by the government’s reform drive. Implementation of these reforms will be key to practically improve the investment climate and foster growth and employment. So Albania is certainly moving into the right direction. But some of the challenges are quite deep-rooted, such as weaknesses in the justice system and in public administration, and they will require a lot of perseverance. EU approximation is a marathon, not a sprint.   [post_title] => Why Albania must foster private sector development and boost competitiveness [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-albania-must-foster-private-sector-development-and-boost-competitiveness [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-24 12:50:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-24 10:50:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122853 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122800 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-24 10:00:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-24 08:00:57 [post_content] => PermetTIRANA, July 23 - The southern town of Permet will be the host of Albania's first flower festival this weekend, bringing together flower and greenery traders and lovers in the town known for its famous canyons. The two-day festival scheduled for July 25 and 26 will be accompanied by a gardening workshop giving useful advice on treating and cultivating flowers. The festival was selected as one of the winning projects of "My Dream" competition launched by Prime Minister Edi Rama. The small town of Permet is also known for rafting on the Vjosa River, Canyons of Lëngarica and Bënja waters. “Përmet is the city of flowers, of roses, of unparalleled songs, of purity and tranquility, (known in antiquity as "Tryfilia", inhabited by Illyrian tribes),” says the Visit Albania portal. [post_title] => First Albanian flowers festival to be held in Permet [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => first-albanian-flower-festival-to-be-held-in-permet [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-24 11:12:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-24 09:12:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122800 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122783 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-24 09:40:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-24 07:40:56 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_1299" align="alignright" width="300"]sejko Bank of Albania Governor Gent Sejko (Photo: BoA)[/caption] TIRANA, July 22 - The escalation of the crisis in neighboring Greece, Albania's second top trading partner and the host of around 500,000 Albanians, has only had a psychological impact on Albania's banking system with sporadic deposit withdrawals from the three Greek bank subsidiaries, says central bank governor Gent Sejko. "I would say that the situation in Greece has had a psychological impact on commercial banks in Albania, but has not affected them economically or financially," Sejko said in a TV interview. The governor says deposit withdrawals and transfers from the three Greek subsidiaries have been sporadic and negligible compared to the liquidity and capital these banks possess. Speaking about the deal Greece reached with its creditors, governor Sejko said the situation would also have a positive impact on Albania. “The deal will calm down the situation of parent banks in Greece and this will also be reflected on the general psychological condition in Albania as well as in the banks' activity which is the most delicate part related to financial stability," said Sejko. As for the spillover effects on the Albanian economy, the governor says that there could be a slight decline in remittances and a return of immigrants but assured the Albanian economy has already handled the major impacts from the six-year recession in the neighboring country. The Albanian government and the IMF have recently reduced Albania’s GDP forecast for 2015 to 2.7 percent, down from 3 percent on lower exports affected by declining oil prices and possible spillover impacts from the crisis in neighboring Greece. While Greek banks reopened this week after a deal with Greece’s creditors over new austerity measures, the limits on cash withdrawals remaining in force have had a negative impacts on some regions in southern Albania where dozens of companies are engaged in trade exchanges with Greek partners. In addition, hundreds of seasonal workers in Greece, mainly working in the agriculture sector, have returned home without receiving their payments because of the closure of banks. Several transport companies are also reported to have been affected. Experts say the spillover risks from the Greek crisis are relatively low and mainly affect exports and remittances, already on a downward trend since Greece plunged into recession in 2008. Meanwhile, the three Greek bank subsidiaries in Albania are considered safe because of operating as independent from their parent banks. Greek banks account for less than one-fifth of Albania’s banking system with their share having dropped to around 16 percent down from 25 percent in the pre-crisis years. NBG Bank Albania, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece, holds 3.3 percent of the total assets in the Albanian banking system. The two other Greek banks operating in Albania, the Tirana Bank part of Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank Albania, part of Alpha Bank, hold 7.4 percent and 5.9 percent respectively, according to an IMF report. [post_title] => Greek crisis has had a psychological impact, governor says [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => greek-crisis-has-had-a-psychological-impact-governor-says [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-24 11:03:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-24 09:03:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122783 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122774 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-24 09:34:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-24 07:34:57 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 22 - Albania has become the twelfth country across Deutsche Telekom's European footprint to introduce the German giant’s brand identity. The AMC mobile operator, the first operator in the Albania which has been present in Albania for almost two decades, has officially adopted the Telekom brand identity and will operate under the "T" logo starting this week. Deutsche Telekom, which holds a 40 percent stake in Greece’s OTE, has indirectly been present in Albania since 2008 with Deutsche Telekom’s acquisition of OTE. "Our "T" logo carries the power, quality and expertise of the most valuable telecommunications brand in Europe. I am very pleased to welcome Telekom Albania to the Magenta family. The rebranding shows how strongly we are committed to Telekom Albania and its employees," said Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Europe and Technology at Deutsche Telekom. "Our aim is to become the leading European telecommunications provider and offer best customer experience driven by our technological leadership." Prime Minister Edi Rama described Deutsche Telekom's presence in Albania as a strong signal in German-Albanian cooperation and investments in Albania. “The presence of Deutsche Telekom is a strong signal to guarantee space for safe German investments in Albania and strengthen cooperation with Germany and the culture of good governance, work and interaction," said Rama at the launch ceremony. Albania becomes the twelfth country across Deutsche Telekom’s European footprint to turn Magenta, acquiring the Telekom brand identity and values: Innovation, Competence and Simplicity. For Albania this already translates today in superior services, starting with the launch of 4G, company officials say. Hans-Christian Schwingen, Chief Brand Officer at Deutsche Telekom, who led the rebranding for the Group, commented: "The Albanian slogan helps to reflect the essence of our brand. We are all seeking the company of others while sharing special moments. That’s what our brand stands for: Being connected enriches people’s lives." Dimitris Blatsios, CEO of Telekom Albania, emphasized the importance of this decisive moment: “This is a significant milestone in the history of our company and a major development in the telecommunications sector of the country. The brand identity of Deutsche Telekom and what it represents will bring forward a new world of infinite possibilities for the customers and the communities we serve. Telekom Albania launches today the 4G services, enabling our customers to enjoy unprecedented speeds in their mobile experience”. Telekom Albania launched commercial operations in 1996, under the commercial name of Albanian Mobile Communications. In 2008, it joined Deutsche Telekom Group and in 2015 it embraces the Telekom brand identity. With contemporary products, relentless innovation in accordance with the most recent technology developments and most competitive prices, Telekom Albania has become an important generator of qualitative communication and innovation in Albania. Telekom Albania, former AMC, is currently the second biggest mobile operator in Albania with around 2 million subscribers and annual income of 86 million euros. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries worldwide, offering a wide range of services for consumers, business and corporate customers, using the highest quality standards and state-of-the-art technology. [post_title] => Deutsche Telekom enters Albania with AMC rebranding [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deutsche-telekom-enters-albania-with-amc-rebranding [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-24 20:45:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-24 18:45:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122774 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 122942 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2015-07-31 10:11:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:11:50 [post_content] => bulgTIRANA, July 30 - While Albanian boast hundreds of ancient caves, it is little known that Bulgarian speleologists are among the most interested in them and have been conducting research for the past 25 years after the collapse of communism. A team of Bulgarian speleologists has just concluded its 40th expedition in Albania led by Alexey Zhalov, the President of the Balkan Speleological Union. "This was the fourth expedition organized by the "Heliktit" club. In fact it is the 40th for Bulgarian speleologists. In 1991 I was among the first to study objects in Albania and I am very happy for this special anniversary trip," says Zhalov as quoted by Radio Bulgaria in the Albanian version. The latest expedition was conducted in the Lura area whose upper part is composed of icy lakes. Zhalev has recently published his latest book Bulgarian Speleological Studies 1991-2013, featuring 269 discovers caves in Albania. Alexey says that Albania is his big cave passion. He visited Albania back in 1991 for a first time. He also feels the warm attitude of people there. On July 4 – 11 this year he participated in another research, when two caves where explored and mapped in the eastern part of the country. The first reconnaissance expedition was carried out in Albanian Alps in November 1991, when the first five caves were explored by A. Jalov, N. Gladnishki and N. Landjev. The most impressive cave is Shpella Gjolave, near to Bratosh village, Shkodra district. The main explored territory covers an area of approx. 320 km2 and is located in southern and central part of the Albanian Alps. Some explorations have been carried out also in Mt. Dejes and Mt. Gollobordes and in South Albania in Mali i Thate Mt. and its surroundings. The most important vertical caves are: BB-30 (-610 m); Shpella Cilicokave (-505 m) and B33 (-205 m). 14 other caves are deeper than 100 m. The most important horizontal cave is Shpella e Majes te Arapit with total length 840 m. The largest cave chamber is in Shpella e Gjolave with an area of 8875 m 2 and volume 443 750 m3. The deepest and longest explored karst spring is Syni i Sheganit (160m long, 52 m deep). [post_title] => Bulgarian speleologists in love with Albanian caves [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bulgarian-speleologists-in-love-with-albanian-caves [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-31 10:54:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-31 08:54:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=122942 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 37 [name] => Free to Read [slug] => free [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 37 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Want to read some of our articles, but are not ready to become a full paid subscriber? Register for free, and read all articles in this section — for free. [parent] => 0 [count] => 1031 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 37 [category_count] => 1031 [category_description] => Want to read some of our articles, but are not ready to become a full paid subscriber? Register for free, and read all articles in this section — for free. [cat_name] => Free to Read [category_nicename] => free [category_parent] => 0 ) [queried_object_id] => 37 [post__not_in] => Array ( ) )

Latest News

Read More