Thursday, December 22, 2005

Berisha short on cash again?


/ corruption / forgotten /
Does any one else find the fact that a Berisha government "...works towards creating a favourable investment climate in an effort to attract Albanian migrant workers to direct their money to the domestic economy and local investments..." hilarious? I mean, the goal is laudable, but rather ironic given the history of his previous presidency. I can't figure out how this guy is president of Albania again - "fighting corruption", no less - and not behind bars. A comment from an Albanian neighbor about this effort was "he's looking for suckers again" ("ψάχνει ξανά για μαλάκες").

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know, the Greek media absolutely hates Berisha. Always have. As far as I can tell, it's because he's an Albanian nationalist -- much more so than the cosmopolitan, Hellenophile Fatos Nano. And not just any nationalist, but a bit of a Hellenophobe. Berisha likes to occasionally poke Greece in the eye. cf. the recent spat with the Cham protesters in Saramanda: that would not have been allowed, under Nano.

I wouldn't have voted for him, myself. But a clear majority of Albanians seem to have.

(Remember when you Greeks re-elected Papandreou in '93? The rest of the world thought you were completely nuts.)

I hold no brief for Berisha. But I was in Albania during the election, and I was amazed by how many Albanians were willing to forgive him and give him a second chance. And there was an almost universal perception that he was, if erratic and arrogant, at least less spectacularly corrupt than Nano. Even Nano supporters agreed on that.

1997 was a while ago. I don't think people change much, myself... but stranger things have happened, and I'm willing to suspend judgment and watch for a while.


Doug M.

S G said...

(Remember when you Greeks re-elected Papandreou in '93? The rest of the world thought you were completely nuts.)

well I can say, to my credit, I did too :-)


I think Berisha was never as bad as he was portrayed in Greece. I mean 1997 was really a much different time. Maybe now he could prove to be a better leader... In general I guess, people get the leaders they deserve. They even get out of the same person, the character they deserve...

talos said...

Doug, forget the Greek media, this has nothing to do with them. There are indeed issues that Greece has with Berisha's democratic party (such as that they were the instigators of anti-greek minority violence in the Southern part of the country), but this is besides the point.

The point is that Berisha was directly responsible for the huge scam back in the 90s and that it is ironic to hear from him such a call... Indeed my sample of Albanians is biased: most of the folks I talk to (and of Albanians in Greece) are from the South and have little sympathy for the man (as they were the ones hardest hit it seems from the events of 1997).

Papandreou is an excellent example (though arguably his successors had a more discreet but in real terms more corrupt behavour): if you're using that example as a reason *not* to call Berisha names and his supporters suckers, you're barking up the wrong tree. Over here we're the epitome of suckerhood - and it seems we're exporting some of it to our neighbours on the NW.

Yet, really, the scale of what happenned in Albania had no counterpart in the Papandreou years (no one got directly poorer) - it can be argued however that the scam that was the Greek stock market in the late 90s, was of a similar scale and "upwardly redistributive" effect... At least the Albanians took to arms and rioted - people over here just saw their money disappear and shut up.

kkk said...

Doug M.

I have never read the Greek media on Berisha, and did not even know of the diffs between him and Nano till you mentioned it.

However Berisha's hilarious "pyramid schemes", were well documented in the British press (of all political hues) and provided hours of top-class amusement.

Of course, it was ourselves we were laughing at, really. The simplistic society of Albania showed what "neolib" meant in its most basic form, at gut-level, when stripped of the gloss and sophistication.

A giant scam, with good PR, meant to strip the peasants of all they have. (This is not necessarily a bad thing, some peasants - especially, though not exclusively Albanian - seem to like it that way)

The re-election of Berisha simply proves that Albanian society is far more evolved than originally thought, and may be one of the PUREST manifestations of the neoliberal culture available today.

Renegade Eye said...

I'm sure just cynicism plays a role in those elections.

A secular Seasons Greetings.

istrefi said...

i recommend you check albanian flag