Sunday, December 10, 2006

En Route to Tirana

I am "enjoying" the dubious pleasures of Stansted Airport as I wait for my flight to the Albanian capital.

I am due to meet with senior figures in the government of Albania to discuss the results of a meeting that I hosted between Estonian political figures and the Albanian PMs advisor in London. I will also be discussing aspects of a potential involvement between the firm that I advise and the Albanian financial system- such as it is.

However already, the extra immigration checks and the rather piratical figure of the Albanian Airlines rep are setting the usual tone: that Albania is still too poor and chaotic to be either trusted or liked by the European powers.

Nevertheless, the fact that those who sent me are interested enough to do so, and that those who have issued the invitation understand why, is encouraging.

Albania is still in the middle of a long and hard journey, but recent progress has been swift- I sense similar things beginning to happen in Albania as have already taken place in the majority of the countries of the region. On the other hand, perhaps a Banker in Tirana is the definition of optimism.

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