Albanians’ online purchases surged in 2020

bne IntelliNews April 6, 2021

Online purchases were made by 19.5% of the population aged 16-74 in 2020, as the pandemic caused an uptick in online retail across the region.

CEE reels as third wave of COVID-19 breaks

bne IntelliNews April 3, 2021

A third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping through Emerging Europe. While Russia is expecting to reach herd immunity in the next two months, most other countries of the region have only just started their mass immunisation programmes.

“Extensive” solar opportunities, potential for wind and geothermal power in Albania

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

Irena report identifies opportunities for solar, wind and geothermal energy as Albania moves away from reliance on hydropower.

Vaccination campaigns launched across Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

After months of delays, all of the Western Balkans countries have embarked on the vaccination of their populations against coronavirus.

OBITUARY: Election campaigns suspended after former Albanian PM Bashkim Fino dies of COVID-19

bne IntelliNews March 29, 2021

A rare unifying figure in a divided country, Fino led Albania away from the brink of civil war after the collapse of huge Ponzi schemes in 1997.

BALKAN BLOG: Albania’s opposition tries to take over Socialists’ EU accession mantle

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 25, 2021

Denied the chance to launch EU accession talks despite years of reforms, Prime Minister Edi Rama has criticised EU officials ahead of the April general election, allowing the opposition Democrats to present themselves as the new pro-EU party.

E-commerce rising stars of the Western Balkans

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje, Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 21, 2021

Despite numerous challenges, there are a growing number of successful e-commerce platforms in the Western Balkans region.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Central and Southeastern Europe head for a V-shaped recovery

Gunter Deuber and Nicolae Covrig of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna and Bucharest March 19, 2021

The moderate GDP setbacks in 2020 imply that for some CEE countries there will not be such drastic recovery and rebound effects in 2021 as in hard-hit countries in Western Europe.

Eco groups vow to fight on against Albania’s new Vlora airport

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 18, 2021

Opponents are planning an international campaign and don’t rule out a legal challenge to the new international airport in protected wetland.

Albania’s foreign trade deficit increases in February

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2021

Imports pushed up by higher purchases of machinery and equipment, while pandemic-hit garment manufacturing sector continued to drag down exports.

Rising inflation in Emerging Europe poses dilemma for central banks

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2021

With economies primed to rebound as pandemic restrictions are loosened, consumer prices could rise even further, reawakening an issue that has long been ignored.

Albanian president in scuffle with police at opposition party HQ

bne IntelliNews March 14, 2021

President Ilir Meta clashed physically with police at the headquarters of the opposition New Democratic Spirit party as tensions rise ahead of April general election.

COMMENT: The EIB supports the long-term recovery of the Western Balkans

Lilyana Pavlova vice-president of the European Investment Bank March 11, 2021

The region’s economy needs to be more sustainable and connected, which can only be achieved through the digital and green transformation, writes EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova.

Lower oil and gas prices dragged down Albania’s PPI in 4Q20

bne IntelliNews March 10, 2021

Albania's Producer Price Index was down by 3.4% y/y in the final quarter of 2020, despite rising compared to Q3.

Facebook says ads from Albanian political parties should be transparent

bne IntelliNews March 10, 2021

Ahead of April general election, social media giant says all electoral and political ads in Albania must come from authorised advertisers.

New securities registry paves the way for first IPOs in Tirana

bne IntelliNews March 2, 2021

The Albanian Securities Registry, ALREG, launched its operations after joining the Bank of Albania’s real-time gross settlement system.

Albania’s main opposition parties to fight general election together

bne IntelliNews March 2, 2021

Close race ahead as recent poll puts combined score of Democratic Party and LSI virtually level with ruling Socialists.

BRICKS & MORTAR: Renovation of apartment buildings has biggest potential for energy saving in Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews February 28, 2021

The potential for energy savings in the buildings sector — characterised by ageing, poorly maintained apartment blocks — is estimated at more than 50% of consumption, Energy Community report shows.

Emerging Europe strong on women’s economic opportunities but dragged down by low pensions

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow February 24, 2021

Different retirement ages for men and women lead to lower pensions for women despite reforms in 2019-2020, says World Bank report.

VIENNEAST COMPASS: All in? Kosovo, Albania and the prospects of unification

Marcus How of ViennEast February 23, 2021

Citizens and ruling elites of both countries are prepared to pay lip service to a shared dream but pause when confronted with the practical reality of its realisation.