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Albania in 2009: Looking back over 2008
2008 marked important developments for Albania and the Albanians. Of particular and historical significance are two events: Albania received its invitation to join NATO and the independence of Kosovo. Both of these historical developments are ripe with opportunity to boost the strategic weight of the Albanian factor in the Balkans.

Like never before, the year drawing to a close and the new year approaching are closely linked with each other in terns of Albanian policy, economy and society. In April 2008 Albania received its invitation to join NATO, while in less than three months, in April of next year, it is expected that the Alliance will admit Albania as a member.

2008 was an important year of decision-making and developments for the Balkans, including Albania. With Kosovo’s independence, the political map of the Balkans changed. Kosovo’s independence is expected to breathe more oxygen into political cooperation, and especially into economic cooperation in the Balkans. However, beyond the political aspect, the independence of Kosovo is tantamount to extending the Albanian market in the Balkans.
Article Category: News
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Albania in 2008
DECEMBER Albania passes lustration law TIRANA - Albania has passed a law removing public posts from people linked to the feared former communist secret police, despite criticism from opposition parties. Lawmakers voted 74-2 Monday for the law, while one abstained. The remaining 63 opposition deputies in the 140-seat Parliament have boycotted the vote.
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News
Parliament passes lustration law
TIRANA, Dec 23 - Albania parliament on Monday passed a lustration law aimed at purging public posts from persons linked to the former communist secret police. The Democratic Party-dominated 140-seat parliament voted 74-2 (one abstained) in favor of passing the law, based on which all persons linked to the former secret police Sigurimi, from November 1944 when Albania was liberated from the Nazi occupiers until December 1990 when political pluralism was declared, cannot stay in public posts.
Business and Economy
EVN, Statkraft sign 950 million euro power deal in Albania
TIRANA, Dec 19 - Austria's EVN power utility and Norway's Statkraft will both invest 950 million Euros to build three hydroelectric power stations in southeastern Albania. The three plants on the river Devoll, which flows into the Adriatic south of the capital Tirana, would produce a combined 340 megawatts of power and generate 1,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually. "The unique size of the complexity of the Devoll hydropower project as the biggest ever investment
Business and Economy
2009 a difficult year, says Fullani
TIRANA, Dec 22 - Governor of the central Bank of Albania Ardian Fullani warned that 2009 will be a difficult year for Albania’s economy due to the recession of the global markets. “Although the banking system will continue to be profitable, the coming year will be full of unknowns,” Fullani said in a meeting with the bankers' association.
News
Basha at the Supreme Court next month
TIRANA, Dec 23 – Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha’s trial for abuse of post will start in January at the Supreme Court. Basha has been accused of abuse of post and corruptive ways in the contract that gave the construction of the Rreshen-Kalimash road segment to the US-Turkish consortium Bechtel-Enka, something which he has turned down.
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