Explosion at Albanian Football Federation head’s home after voting scandal

bne IntelliNews January 25, 2022

FShF head Armand Duka is in a very public conflict with Tirana mayor Erion Veliaj, who has made accusations of corruption and pledged to "control football" in a secret recording.

Kosovo defends tough COVID-19 rules that sparked complaints from neighbours

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 24, 2022

Officials from Albania and North Macedonia say Pristina’s new rules requiring booster jab or PCR test for entry to the country hinder freedom of movement in the region.

Illegal crypto farm busted as government urges Albanians to save power

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2022

Police estimated that the group had spent around €1mn to set up two crypto labs, where they seized hundreds of devices.

OUTLOOK: 2022 Albania

bne IntelliNews January 20, 2022

Construction and tourism support robust recovery from coronacrisis.

Omicron brings COVID-19 infections to new peaks across SEE

bne IntelliNews January 19, 2022

New records announced daily in several countries, but most governments are reluctant to introduce new restrictions.

Albania’s foreign trade revived in 2021

bne IntelliNews January 17, 2022

Exports rose 38.2% in December, led by a strong increase in minerals, fuels and electricity exports.

Migrants meet smugglers in Serbia: Is the Balkan route really closed?

Katarzyna Rybarczyk in Belgrade January 12, 2022

The Balkan route used during the 2015 European migrant crisis might officially be closed, but the migrant movement never ceased.

Albania hires Jones International to boost cybersecurity after data leak

bne IntelliNews January 11, 2022

Personal and salary data for over one-fifth of the country’s population was leaked online at the end of December.

Heavy EU spending failed to improve rule of law in Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews January 10, 2022

Over €700mn spent to little effect in candidate and prospective candidate countries, finds European Court of Auditors.

Albanian police use tear gas to disperse protest at opposition Democrats’ HQ

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2022

Supporters of Democrats’ former leader Sali Berisha forced their way into building as power struggle with current leadership turns violent.

Spread of Omicron pushes coronavirus infections to all-time highs in parts of Southeast Europe

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia January 6, 2022

Albania and Croatia reported record numbers of COVID-19 infections while other countries are close to records set in previous waves of the pandemic.

New COVID-19 wave looms in under-vaccinated Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews January 4, 2022

Soon after Southeast Europe emerged from the autumn wave of the pandemic, cases are already rising again as the Omicron variant spreads in the region.

Albania investigates leak of 637,138 citizens’ personal data

bne IntelliNews January 1, 2022

Leaked data including names, ID card numbers, salaries and employment details shared in an Excel document over WhatsApp.

CEE banking: As good as it gets in (post-) crisis times and the challenging geopolitical environment

Gunter Deuber in Vienna December 20, 2021

Western European banks have made double-digit increases in the growth of their credit exposures to the CE/SEE region in the past 12-18 months.

Share of Albanian population buying online increased in 2021

bne IntelliNews December 13, 2021

21.4% of the population aged 16-74 say they made an online purchase in the last year as the pandemic closed bricks and mortar stores.

Back to rail at the start of the Western Balkans’ green transition

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 13, 2021

The Western Balkans states are looking anew at long-neglected rail networks as they embark on the green transition. The EIB’s Matteo Rivellini outlines efforts to develop rail in the region.

Albania’s opposition Democrats in disarray as delegates vote to dismiss party leader at unauthorised assembly

bne IntelliNews December 13, 2021

Current party leader Lulzim Basha says he won't quit despite vote at unauthorised assembly hosted by his predecessor Sali Berisha.

BOOK REVIEW: Growing up amid political upheaval in Albania

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 8, 2021

The theme of freedom and what it means to be free runs through Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, Lea Ypi’s powerful memoir of the collapse of communism in Albania.

Albanians and Montenegrins the least likely to shop online in Europe

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2021

Internet use and e-commerce are increasing in the Western Balkans but residents of the region are still less likely than their counterparts in the EU to make online purchases.

Bulgaria confirms veto on start of EU membership talks with North Macedonia

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 24, 2021

Bulgarian decision blocks opening of EU accession talks with both North Macedonia and Albania.