Egyptian revolution in Albania?

This video says about itself:

23 Januari 2011

In the Albanian capital Tirana, at least three people have been shot dead and several others injured during a rally. Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office demanding the government step down over corruption allegations. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds who called for fresh elections

From China Radio International:

Albanian Opposition Holds New Anti-Government Rally

2011-02-05 01:09:06

Albania‘s opposition Socialist Party held a peaceful rally in Tirana on Friday, calling for the downfall of the ruling government over alleged corruptions.

Thousands of demonstrators, led by the opposition leader Edi Rama, marched in central Tirana, but stayed away from the street where the prime minister’s office is located.

During the January 21 rally which turned violent, three people were shot dead and dozens more were injured outside Prime Minister Sali Berisha‘s office.

Besides Tirana, people in other three cities across the tiny western Balkan country also took to the streets. No violence has been reported in the demonstrations.

In Tirana, Demonstrators chanted “We want Albania without Sali” and carried banners that read “Berisha Mafia”. Edi Rama was closely escorted by several bodyguards.

At least 5,000 people turned up in the rally in Tirana. The main street about 1,000 meters long was thronged with demonstrators, with onlookers lining the street.

The opposition and the ruling coalition government have been at loggerheads since the 2009 general election. The opposition accused the ruling government of rigging the election and refused to accept its results.

The tension came to a head this month when the Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Ilir Meta was forced from office over corruption allegations.

The opposition has been calling for the resignation of the coalition government led by Sali Berisha and early election, which is due in 2013. Berisha rejected the demand.

“We are determined to fight the regime, and no force could force us to step back,” Rama told reporters after Friday’s rally, saying that a new demonstration has been planned for next Friday.

Women candidates missing from Albanian elections: here.

5 thoughts on “Egyptian revolution in Albania?

  1. Serbia holds biggest opposition protest in years

    Sat Feb 5, 2011 12:28pm GMT

    By Aleksandar Vasovic

    BELGRADE (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of disenchanted Serbs protested in central Belgrade Saturday in the biggest anti-government rally in years aimed at showing opposition strength ahead of scheduled 2012 elections.

    A pro-European Union coalition has governed Serbia since 2008, but persistent economic hardship and frustration with slow EU integration has left many disgruntled with the government.

    “This government was promising us milk and honey in 2008 and what do we have now? More hardship, and a dishonest and arrogant government which does not care about its own people,” said Zdravka Stanojlovic, 44, a Belgrade waitress.

    The rally was organised by Tomislav Nikolic, head of the Serbian Progressive Party, the most influential opposition party shown in polls as offering a strong challenge to the current ruling Serbian Democratic Party.

    Police estimated that 70,000 attended the rally.

    “I was not a Nikolic voter in the past but now I am so disillusioned because of unfulfilled promises, poverty, corruption and hardship,” said Dragomir Djuric, 56, a metal worker, who had travelled to Belgrade from Kragujevac.

    Protestors, some of whom arrived by bus from cities across Serbia, gathered in front of the national parliament holding banners including: “Democratic Party, time to go” and “We are hungry” Police closed off parts of central Belgrade to accommodate the demonstration under sunny skies and a break in recent bitter winter cold.

    Nikolic’s party, one of several at the protest, is demanding early elections, higher wages and a crackdown on corruption in the EU applicant country. “If they don’t respond to our demands, we will start continuous protests from April,” Nikolic told Reuters ahead of the rally.

    Serbia has emerged from 2009 recession with modest 1.5 percent growth in 2010 and expects three percent growth in 2011.

    Teachers in most schools went on strike last month and an independent police union joined them this week, while doctors, nurses and pharmacists said they may also join in.

    The government has so far dismissed their demands for higher wages arguing it will overburden the budget.

    “It is clear that the opposition will try to use social discontent,” Bozidar Djelic, Serbia’s deputy prime minister, told Reuters. “The only way they can change the government is to win a majority in the parliament and elections are in 2012.”

    Some political insiders and experts say the discontent could lead to early elections later this year, but others disagree.

    The impact of the world economic crisis has led to growing political divisions and discontent in the emerging Balkans.

    A protest in Albania two weeks ago resulted in three deaths. Kosovo and Bosnia still have no governments after failing to agree on new coalitions after elections months ago, and there are signs Macedonia could hold early elections this year.

    (Writing by Adam Tanner; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

    See also here.


  2. State ends strike at Albanian mine

    According to Reuters, the Austrian mining company DCM DECOmetal said it had retaken control of the Bulqiza mine in northern Albania August 22, “after it met miners’ demands for a pay rise and police ended a miners’ hunger strike.”

    According to the report, however, “The company might have some difficulty in persuading miners to come back to work.” Reuters added, “The hunger strike by a series of miners 1,400 metres below ground went on for 26 days before police forced them out at the weekend. They had downed tools since July 4, asking also for a clear commitment about the mine’s future.”

    Around 700 miners were involved in the strike. On August 15, 10 Bulqiza miners who had been on hunger strike for 23 days were replaced by 10 others. The following day, work stoppages began at the Puka and Rrezhen mines.

    The miners’ average net salary is €360 a month, and they receive €120 compensation for food. Along with a demand for a 20 percent increase in pay, workers also called for pay for the workdays lost during the strike and improved working conditions such as adequate canteens and showers.

    Manager of Albanian Chrome (ACR), the local arm of DCM DECOmetal, promised the miners a 20 percent gross wage rise and assured them it would grant other benefits. But miners remain suspicious of the management contract and have demanded that it be signed by a union leader.

    DCM DECOmetal, Albania’s largest employer, has been able to keep its ferrochrome smelter in Elbasan working by buying chrome from third parties, respecting contracts in Europe, the United States and China. It produces 3,000 tonnes of ferrochrome a month.


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