Albania. Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučič visited
Albania in May, after the Albanian counterpart Edi Rama's
historic visit to Belgrade six months earlier. There was
interest in both countries in trying to improve their
relations as the EU placed better regional cooperation as a
requirement for membership in the Union.
Local elections were held in June, the first after a
merger that reduced the number of municipalities from 373 to
61. dominated by the bourgeois Democratic Party. Women won
nine mayoral positions, as well as 35% of council seats.
COUNTRYAAH, the Sazan at the mouth of the Gulf of Vlorė, an island
that during the Communist era was a secret military base,
opened to the public in August. It was hoped that tourists
would be attracted by the 3,600 now abandoned bunkers and
kilometer-long tunnels on the island, which is strategically
located where the Adriatic meets the Ionian Sea.
Parliament passed a law in December which prohibited
persons convicted of serious crimes from holding public
office. The EU and the US saw the law as an important step
in the fight against corruption and organized crime.