Albanian News

TiranaAs some of you know, I like to have a little fun with the country of Albania. This then gets me into trouble with the natives. Hell, I even met an Albanian once! It was during our trip to Myrtle Beach, I had my Albanian flag shirt on and this guy comes up to me and starts speaking Albanian. I looked confused and he said in English “you from Albania?” I said “nope, just a fan of their flag.”

Anyways, I saw this news story about how the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama fired his finance minister who has the awesome name of Shkelqim Cani. Yeah, Albanians got mad because I made up Sergio Madras Flokktitty as an Albanian leader. And yet they name people Shkelqim…

But this is really not a laughing matter. Albania is a poor nation. One of the poorest in Europe. The article says their unemployment rate is around 17%, which is a bit higher than our 4.9%. Unless you believe Donald Trump:

“Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment,” Trump said. “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”

Yikes Donald! Can you imagine if 42% of the people in this country were unemployed? During the Great Depression, the rate was only 25%.

Sorry, back to Albania.

I am not saying that Shkelqim should not have been replaced. It sounds like he has done a pretty piss poor job as finance minister. The article says that “no reason was given” for the firing. I would say it is obvious. If your countries debt goes from 62% of GDP to 73% during your tenure, then you can expect a phone call (do they have phones there?) saying “hey Shkelqim, how goes it? How are wife and kids? Mine are good. Hey, remember how you say you wish you have more time for water skiing? Well guess what? You can do the water skiing now all the time because you no longer have job!” At least that is how I imagine the phone call going.

But seriously, I hope Albania can get things back on track. I would hate to see the country collapse into financial ruin and end up being bought and broken apart by a bunch of venture capitalists. I would like to visit Albania someday.