TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition parties have continued their weekly protests calling for the government's resignation and an early election.
Albania opposition supporters try to storm parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition protesters on Thursday made further attempts to enter the parliament by force as they demand the government's resignation and an early election.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several thousand opposition protesters tried to enter Albania's parliament building Thursday calling for the government's resignation and an early election.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian president said Wednesday he would be ready to resign from his post — or even to kill himself — if it would help resolve his country's political...
Albanian anti-govt protesters try to storm parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police while trying to storm the parliament building Saturday to protest the government, which they accuse of being corrupt and...
US urges Albania opposition to act peacefully at rally
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The United States has warned Albania's opposition against using or inciting violence at a rally this weekend.
The center-right Democratic Party-led opposition is...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The leaders of both Albania and North Macedonia say they believe that the European Union will decide in June to open membership talks with them.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation says matches may resume this week after a meeting with the government that pledged close cooperation to fight violence in...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition on Tuesday surrounded the parliament, demanding the government's resignation and early elections and accusing the...
EU lawmakers: Albania opposition fight damages path to bloc
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A group of European Parliament lawmakers on Thursday strongly denounced the resignation of Albania's opposition from parliament and violence in recent protests.
Albania opposition protests against governing Socialists
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Supporters of Albania's opposition threw flares and torched a car tire outside the country's parliament Tuesday in an attempt to block ruling lawmakers entering the building...
Opposition supporters clash with police in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police Saturday at an anti-government rally protesting what they claim is a corrupt and inefficient Cabinet. The protesters demanded that the government resign and an early election be held.
Lawmaker throws ink, disrupts Albania parliament session
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament on Thursday suspended a session on neighbor North Macedonia's accession to NATO after an opposition lawmaker threw ink at the prime minister.
Lawmakers were to vote to ratify North Macedonia's NATO accession. But the session was disrupted when Lulzim Basha, main opposition center-right Democratic party leader, harshly criticized the leftist government for corruption.
Albania parliament backs government reshuffle
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has backed a government reshuffle in a vote called by the prime minister after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the foreign minister.
The parliament, dominated by the governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama, on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the nomination of nine new ministers.
Albania’s PM to hold foreign minister’s post
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister says he will take over the foreign ministry himself after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the post.
Edi Rama on Monday tweeted that he will keep the post, and also threatened to take President Ilir Meta to the Constitutional Court.
Meta did not approve Rama's nominee, saying he does not meet standards, and also has not accepted the removal of the previous minister, without explaining why.
Albania’s PM makes Cabinet reshuffle after student protest
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister has shuffled his Cabinet in response to a students' protest and complaints of corruption and inefficiency from the opposition.
Edi Rama's move on Friday replaced eight out of 15 members of the Cabinet — including the finance and foreign ministers — with other officials or lawmakers.
Rama also replaced his deputy Senida Mesi with Erjon Brace, a lawmaker.
4 media organizations ask Albania to drop online media laws
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Four international media organizations have called on the Albanian government to drop two draft laws on state regulation and compulsory registration of online media to fight fake news.
Trump thanks Albania for expelling Iranian diplomats
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has thanked Albania for expelling the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten Albania's security.
Trump's letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, dated Dec. 14, thanked him "for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe."
Albania opposition ends boycott, eggs prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition center-right Democratic Party has returned to parliament for the first time since July — and almost immediately one of its lawmakers threw an egg at the prime minister.
Opposition lawmaker Endri Hasa on Thursday was seen throwing the egg at Edi Rama's belly while he was speaking. The leadership expelled Hasa for 10 days.
The opposition has been boycotting parliament since the summer break.
Albania expels 2 Iranian diplomats for security reasons
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania said Wednesday that it has expelled two Iranian diplomats for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten the country's security.
A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press that the two diplomats were expelled for "violating their diplomatic status." The spokesman said the move followed talks with other countries, including Israel.
Thousands of Albanian students step up rally against fees
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting the cost of tuition fees have gathered for the largest rally to date, threatening to escalate it unless their demands are met.
Thousands of students on Tuesday held posters, blew vuvuzelas and shouted "Lower the tariffs!" in front of the Education Ministry. Students from other cities and Tirana high schools joined them in a peaceful protest.
Albania: University students spurn talks with prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania has failed to convince protesting public university students to sit down to talk about their demands.
Students said on Monday their demands must be met first. Those include cutting tuition fees in half, doubling the budget for education and a greater student presence on decision-making boards.
Albanian students say no talk with PM unless demands are met
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting in the Albanian capital have rejected an offer from the country's prime minister to hold talks on their demands.
Thousands of students blocked a main street in front of the Education Ministry on Friday saying their demands — a halving of tuition fees, better accommodation and student involvement in decision-making bodies — are not negotiable.
Annual tuition fees for bachelor courses range from 20,000 to 45,000 leks ($180-410).
Albanian protesters clash with police, injuring 12 officers
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several hundred Albanian protesters have scuffled with police as they tried to force their way into Parliament to protest against a government decision to demolish their buildings for a new road.
A police statement Thursday said 12 policemen and three protesters were injured.
Albania premier accuses president of violating constitution
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister on Tuesday accused the country's president of violating the constitution by refusing to appoint a new interior minister.
Edi Rama was speaking at an extraordinary parliamentary session convened to discharge the former interior minister, who resigned 10 days ago.
Albanian interior minister resigns amid anti-corruption push
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's interior minister has resigned as the Balkan nation tries to better tackle widespread corruption and drug trafficking.
Writing in his Twitter page Saturday, Prime Minister Edi Rama said he had accepted Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj's resignation, without giving any explanation.
Xhafaj resigned after a recent major operation that arrested more than two dozen suspects of organized crime rings, including two former lawmakers of the governing Socialist Party.
Top ex-Albanian official arrested on suspicion of corruption
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say that a former head of the prison department has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.
Authorities announced the arrest of Arben Cuko in a statement on Sunday.
Cuko, who previously was head of the National Guard and also is an ex-lawmaker of the governing Socialist Party, was fired in September as prisons chief after little more than a year in the post.
Albania to relocate casinos, betting shops to city outskirts
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's government says it will relocate all casinos and betting shops out of residential areas to curb their spread, especially in the capital Tirana.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said Tuesday that by Dec. 31 all casinos, including shops taking bets on sports and animal races, will need to be closed and move to city outskirts.
City streets in Albania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, are filled with sport betting shops.
Western Balkan PMs talk on next European integration steps
DURRES, Albania (AP) — Prime ministers of the Western Balkan countries on Monday pledged at an informal meeting in Albania to speed up efforts to create a joint economic zone ahead of their integration into the European Union.
The main topic of the one-day meeting in the western port city of Durres is "regional economic integration," including discussions about developing a joint vision for aligning with the European Union, the implementation of a regional economic zone and other issues.
Western Balkans leaders meeting on EU, regional cooperation
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's office says Albania is hosting an informal meeting of the six heads of government in the Western Balkans.
Rama's office said Sunday that the topic of Monday's meeting is "regional economic integration" and will include discussions about developing a joint vision for aligning with the European Union, the implementation of a regional economic zone and other issues.
NATO to modernize air base in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania says the NATO has decided to build an air base in the country.
Prime Minister Edi Rama on Saturday wrote in his Facebook page that NATO's North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body, has decided to invest 50 million euros ($58 million) "to modernize the air base in Kucove," 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital Tirana. The air base has been there for decades.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania opened a bank account on Tuesday to allow his country's people to offer their "symbolic contribution" to pay the fines levied against two Swiss soccer players of Albanian origin.
The account, named "Don't Be Afraid of the Eagle," was opened at Raiffeisen Bank by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who urged Albanians "to pay FIFA's absurd fine on Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri."
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters called for the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama during an anti-government protest in the capital Saturday, accusing him of links to organized crime.
Participants marched along Tirana's Martyrs of the Nation boulevard chanting "Rama go." They held Albanian and European Union flags, and some threw stones and hard objects at Rama's office building and the Interior Ministry.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition on Thursday boycotted a resolution expressing support for the launch of negotiations on joining the European Union.
Only the governing left-wing Socialist Party voted in support, but the vote did pass. Prime Minister Edi Rama called the opposition's boycott "an unparalleled act of historic infidelity to the country."
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A senior European Union official said Tuesday that a summit next month will reaffirm the "European perspective" of the Western Balkans, a region with fresh memories of war and a long history with Russia.
European Council President Donald Tusk's comments came as he started a weeklong tour to prepare for the May 17 summit of EU and Western Balkan leaders.
The agenda of the event, to be held in Bulgaria, is status talks on making Balkan countries EU members.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition on Thursday blocked the country's main highway junctions in an anti-government protest, accusing officials of links to organized crime and of increasing both taxes and poverty.
The conservative Democratic Party-led opposition boycotted Thursday's parliamentary session to launch a "civil disobedience" campaign, blocking traffic and calling on people not to pay increased taxes.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Protesters in Albania burned down toll boxes and scuffled with police Saturday over the country's first toll road, authorities said.
A peaceful protest involving a few hundred people opposed to the toll road near the Kalimash tunnel in northern Albania turned violent, with participants throwing stones, then breaking down the collection boxes with bars and setting them on fire.
Thousands in Albania rally, call for government to resign
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands supporting Albania's opposition took to the streets for an anti-government protest Saturday, accusing the Cabinet of links to organized crime and calling for its resignation.
Backers of the center-right Democratic Party, its ally, the left-wing Socialist Movement for Integration, and other smaller parties gathered at Tirana's main Boulevard Martyrs of the Nation to protest against the government.
Albania premier asks EU for help seizing gang crime profits
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister wants support from European Union countries in cracking down on criminal gangs that profit from drug sales, prostitution, human trafficking and other illicit activities.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a letter to the 28 EU members that gang leaders need to be arrested and convicted, and any assets they obtained through criminal activity confiscated.
Albanian police seize 4 tons of cannabis and arrest 3
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say they have arrested three people while seizing four metric tons of cannabis.
Rebani Jaupi, a senior police official, said on Thursday that four tons of drugs were seized at a house in Vlore, 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the capital, Tirana.
In a statement, the prosecutor-general's office said the "considerable" haul followed a yearlong investigation and was related to the recent arrest of drug traffickers in nearby Italy.
Albania agrees to help identify communist era’s missing
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania has agreed to work with international experts in identifying people who went missing during the country's communist past.
Prime Minister Edi Rama met Friday with Kathryne Bomberger, director-general of the International Commission on Missing Persons. The commission said in a statement that they discussed establishing a program to account for those who disappeared.
Albania’s prime minister names smaller, restructured Cabinet
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama has named a restructured Cabinet with a goal of increasing the country's economic growth from 3.8 to 5 percent in four years.
Rama on Sunday told his Socialist Party leadership that his Cabinet would be reduced from 20 to 14 ministerial posts, making it "a smaller but more cooperative one."
Western Balkans leaders adopt plan to deepen economic ties
DURRES, Albania (AP) — Prime ministers from Western Balkans countries on Saturday agreed on a road map to deepen their regional economic cooperation as part of the process for joining the European Union.
The agreement was reached at a meeting in the Albanian port city of Durres, where Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama hosted his counterparts from Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro.
Albania to host meeting of Western Balkan prime ministers
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The office of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama says that he will host an informal meeting of his Western Balkans counterparts this weekend.
A statement said Thursday that the one-day meeting on trade, services, investments and digital economy will be held Saturday in the western port city of Durres. It will focus on boosting an economic growth project agreed upon last month at the Trieste Summit as part of the fourth European Union-Western Balkans summit.
The Latest: Pence urges better ties among Balkan nations
PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — The Latest on U.S. vice president's visit to Montenegro (all times local):
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama says stronger ties with the United States and among the Western Balkan countries themselves have been the main topic of talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and other regional leaders at a Balkan summit in Montenegro.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's soccer federation is calling on Albanian authorities to stop the extradition to Serbia of a man who reportedly flew a drone with a nationalist banner over a stadium in Serbia, a move that prompted fan violence.
Ismail Morinaj was arrested in Croatia in June based on a warrant from Serbia. A court in Dubrovnik agreed this week to extradite the 35-year-old Albanian to Belgrade.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister is urging Serbia to recognize Kosovo as a separate country, saying the acknowledgement would help stabilize the Balkan region.
Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that Serbia's recognition of Kosovo's independence was "the clear solution from the darkness of the tunnel to the light of coming out of it."
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's president has decided that parliament will hold an extraordinary session for the swearing-in ceremony of his successor on July 24.
President Bujar Nishani set that date Friday for handing over the post to Ilir Meta, 48, elected in April when the parliament was being boycotted by the opposition.
Following an agreement between the opposition and the governing Socialist Party, the parliament also has held two other extraordinary sessions to vote on the deal's issues.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's left-wing Socialist Party has secured a second mandate in a general election, winning a majority of seats in parliament, nearly complete results showed Tuesday.
The election is seen as a key benchmark to the country's bid to launch membership negotiations with the European Union.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's left-wing Socialist Party appeared headed for a new governing mandate based on preliminary election results Monday from an election seen as crucial to the country's bid to launch membership negotiations with the European Union.