TIRANA, ALBANIA – Four stories published by Radio Loud.
In March 2021, the restaurants, buses and schools were all full in Albania. After 8pm, everyone had to stay indoors but during the day, there was basically no rules. This was not due to low Covid-numbers, not at all actually, but because the country doesn’t have the money to be closed, according to three Albanians I talked to before telling the story to the Danish radio station Radio Loud.
I went to Albania in 2014, when I biked down through Europe, and while I experienced some of the most hospitable people I’ve ever met, I also sensed frustration. While neighbours are building a strong relationship with Europe and some of them are slowly climbing out of poverty, many Albanians I talked to still feel trapped in the mess that their dictator through four decades, Enver Hoxha, left them in.
“Corruption is like an octopus here. It’s in the main body and out in all arms,” as one woman put it.
The belief in international society is not much better, and when I talked to the teacher Leonard Ozuni in early March, Albania only had 8000 doses of vaccines. Not much when the population is around 2.9 million.
“We will get through this but only God can help us. No one else. And this is the thinking of all people around here. No one can help us. We will get pass this by ourselves,” he said.
Here are four stories published on Radio Loud. Click on the image to listen to the episodes (in Danish).