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Elton Debreshi: the way to Parliament passes through trade union organizing

The candidacy of Elton Debreshi – a mineworker from a peripheral town north of the country – in the upcoming general elections in Albania could be genuinely considered as an unwarranted intrusion into politics as usual. Thirty years after the collapse of the old regime, the political scenery has crystalized into the systemic rule of […]

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The Invisible Economy of Albania’s “Nuse of the House”: Gender and Social Reproduction in Albania’s Market Economy

Patriarchal morality and house chores: Do you believe in life after work? The concept of the Albanian “nuse of the house” is deeply embedded in Albanian culture and social norms, to the point that a direct translation in English language would be impossible without sacrificing some of the concept’s underlying meanings. The word nuse is […]

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The Wonder That Brings Hope: The Union Candidate in Albania’s Parliamentary Elections

It is these conditions that prompt the need for a reliable and hopeful alternative. Elton Debreshi is such an alternative. A figure with the potential to challenge the hegemony of the corrupt power and bring hope to all the marginalized social groups. It is not his political ambition that pushes him to the podium of the parliament, but the historical demand of miners and citizens for a real and honest representation. A representation intact from the influence of criminal groups, violence and dubious businesses. Elton Debreshi has, for many years, sustained through his work the system that produces goods, on behalf of the oligarchs. Now it is time to seek on behalf of the city of Bulqiza the fair share of those people who work and live on a rich land, blessed with chromium, but spend their lives in poverty.

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All posts Interviews Protests

Police Brutality in Albania: “The Revolt Seems Like Something That Was Waiting to Happen”

Although the shooting of an unarmed citizen can be considered an isolated event, there has been an increasing escalation of violence by the police in recent years. We, as activists of Organizata Politike, have witnessed it while protesting alongside chromium miners, oil refinery workers, and students. A very violent intervention by the police took place last year against the artists who were defending the National Theatre against demolition.

This wave of repression also relates to a decision by the Ministry of Interior to send into early retirement more than 1,000 policemen from the older generation, replacing them over three years with younger newcomers in better physical condition but lacking any experience in handling complex situations. Such was the case of the policeman who killed Klodian; a man in his early twenties who had joined the force only recently, and who had been immediately transferred to one of the most infamous police units: “The Eagles.”

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There is power in a union: Reflections on the Albanian miners’ struggle

Wealth concentrates while poverty spreads. While gravitational forces cause objects to fall toward the earth, market forces cause value to fall by the same place with orthodox rigorosity, year after year. The pattern is however cyclically interrupted. Social movements, financial crisis and technical advancements trigger systemic changes that open the way toward the reconstruction and […]

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Utter Chaos Under the Heaven, the Situation Is Excellent – Aftermath of Students’ Protests in Albania

What PD and LSI leaders hope is that by withdrawing momentously from political privileges, such as the MP salary, they will be accepted by the popular classes as their genuine political representatives. In addition, they have tried to imitate some of the slogans, the gestures, and ideas of the student movement. They promise an uncompromising war against the oligarchs, and organized crime, tuition-free universities, the implementation of other important social rights, while maintaining, in a characteristic right-populist agenda, neoliberal economic policies like a 9% flat tax, and other pro-business mantra. Secretly, they hope that by withdrawing from the system, history will repeat itself.

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All posts Interviews Protests

Student protests in Albania: “What we are witnessing is the direct effect of the neoliberal reform in education”

Note from LeftEast editors: This interview originally appeared on the Revolution Permanente website. Albanian students are protesting en masse against a new hike in tuition fees in one of the poorest countries of the continent. While the medium wage in Albania is 350 euros per month, the tuition fees can go up to 2000 euros […]

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Albanian Students Revolt: What Is to Be Done?

In the last days, thousands of students have flooded the narrow street where the Albanian Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth is located. Demonstrations of this magnitude are not alien to the public. In the last three decades there have been plenty of anti-government demonstrations in Albania, and apart from a few notable exceptions, they […]

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Scrap mines, call centers and hashish plantations: The grim options facing Albanian workers

Editors’ Note: Over the last three decades or so, the workplace has receded from visibility in scholarship and in cultural productions. This disappearance is a global phenomenon of the neoliberal era, but the shift in East European societies, which used to valorize labor in many ways, has been particularly extreme. To the outside observer, it […]

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Albania and China: the reemergence of an old friendship?

  Note from the LeftEast editors: this piece has been published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian Left portal Bilten.Org. Nobody could have expected before the sixties that a tiny and a large country, 7000 thousands kilometers apart, the Popular Republic of Albania and the People’s Republic of China would forge a strong political alliance based […]