The 20 most read articles of the year – Exit

20. 500 liters of Raki from Albania seized at the port of Bari

Albanians are well known for their love of raki; some say it even fuels the country. With a large Albanian community in Italy, it’s understandable that some smuggle the original good stuff, from Albania, into the country.

500 liters of Raki from Albania seized at the port of Bari

19. How Albania can finally separate itself from the brain drain phenomenon

Written by student contributor, Stivi Canka, this article delved into the phenomenon of “brain drain” and what steps could be taken to prevent it.

Commentary: How Albania can finally separate itself from the brain drain phenomenon

18. The Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office indicts 3 officials for the expulsion of 6 “Gülenists”

The issue of illegal deportation of Turkish citizens to Turkey is not something happening in Albania. But in Kosovo, three officials have been charged for their involvement in what the UN describes as “extraterritorial abductions”. This article explains the charges and part of the story.

Kosovo prosecutor’s office indicts 3 responsible for deportation of 6 Turkish ‘Gülenists’

17. Academy of Sciences discovers that half of Tirana’s population is immune to COVID-19

A study conducted by the Academy of Sciences found that more than half of the population may be immune to COVID-19 due to widespread community transmission.

The Academy of Sciences discovers that half of the population of Tirana is immune to Covid-19

16. Acromax Media – Albanian government tool for online political censorship

This 2019 article made the list, mainly due to Exit’s published three-year survey, making international headlines, especially in Germany and Austria. This article explains how the company censors content critical of the Socialist Party, including social media pages and videos.

Acromax Media — Albanian government tool for online political censorship

15. Biden will help move Kosovo and Serbia forward, says secretary designate

Antony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to head the State Department, said the new US administration will help Kosovo and Serbia move forward. Almost a year later, and if anything, relations have regressed.

Biden will help move Kosovo and Serbia forward, says secretary designate

14. Albania is the 104th least corrupt country in the world

Albania ranks 104th among the least corrupt countries in the world. This is according to Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, consulted by Exit before publication. Albania lost a total of 23 places in the previous three years, recovering only two places this year.

Albania is the 104th least corrupt country in the world

13. Serbia’s response to the NATO military exercise in the region with its own

Serbia’s “Response 2021” exercise came a week ahead of major exercises to be held in Albania as part of “Defender – Europe 21”, the Western allies’ military exercise scheduled to last from March to June.

Serbia responds to NATO military exercise in the region with its own

12. EU condemns Serbian President’s provocative Instagram post on Kosovo

The European Union has reacted to an Instagram post by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, featuring a map of Kosovo, filled with the Serbian flag.

EU condemns Serbian President’s provocative Instagram post on Kosovo

11. The Albanian will start vaccination against COVID-19 on January 11

Despite being ahead of many of its neighbours, to date Albania has managed to vaccinate only 34% of the population. This is mainly due to major disinformation campaigns and a weak government response.

Albania to start vaccination against COVID-19 on January 11

12. A new airport will start operations a week before the Albanian elections

The government rushed to open the airport just before the election, but according to the Kukes Airport website, there have been no flights since October.

A new airport will start operations a week before the Albanian elections

9. The output explains: the leak of more than 910,000 personal data of Albanians to politicians and the public

In April, the personal data of 910,000 people was published in the media and shared on social networks. This data would have been extracted from the civil register and provided to the Socialist Party to be used in the electoral campaign. To date, no one has been charged with the leak. It has also sparked outrage over patronages – low-level PS party members who spy on and observe citizens and report on their political beliefs and other issues.

Exit Explains: Leakage of Over 910,000 Albanians’ Personal Data to Politicians and Public

8: Kukes Airport will operate with low cost flights

Kukes Airport will be an airport for low-cost flights, and the first destinations will be Germany, Switzerland and Italy, according to the government in April. Flights ceased in October, with none planned for the foreseeable future.

Kukes airport will operate with low cost flights

7. Albania’s first supercar, the ‘Illyrian Pure Sport’ unveiled

The very first Albanian supercar design has been unveiled by Qendrim Thaci, the CEO of Arrera Automobili.

The “Illyrian Pure Sport” will have a 6.2-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, capable of delivering 850 horsepower to all four wheels. It will also feature an 8-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic transmission. With a top speed of 375 km/h and a 0-100 of 2.7 seconds, the Illyrian Pure Sport will become the first Albanian supercar meeting international standards.

Albania’s first supercar, the ‘Illyrian Pure Sport’, unveiled

6. Commentary: The mayor of Tirana, a “mobility hero”? Excuse my cynicism

While Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj presents himself as a mobility hero, Exit took the time to counter this PR exercise with a list of his environmental failures.

Comment: The mayor of Tirana a “mobility hero”? Excuse my cynicism

5. Italian Prosecution Investigation Shows Mafia Attempts to Launder Money in Albania

Following the arrest of dozens of members of the mafia group ‘Ndrangheta in Italy, attempts to connect with officials from the municipality of Tirana and the Rama government have come to light. Learn more here:

Italian Public Prosecutor’s Investigation Shows Mafia Attempts to Launder Money in Albania

4. Albanian Election Live Blog

On 25th April Albania went to the polls. Exit brought you round-the-clock coverage of the voting and counting, as happened while you were fueled by a huge amount of coffee.

Albanian election live blog: results as they come in

3. Albanian Prime Minister releases video of Doha Metro as Tirana-Durres railway project

In March 2021, Prime Minister Edi Rama proudly released images of what the future Tirana-Rinas-Durres railway will look like. The only problem is that the image is of the Doha metro in Qatar, some 4680 km away.

Albanian Prime Minister releases video of Doha Metro as part of Tirana-Durres railway project

2. Leonardo DiCaprio calls for public pressure on the Albanian government to protect the Vjosa River

In March, Hollywood actor Leonardo di Caprio tweeted in favor of turning the Vjosa River into a national park. Although it still hasn’t happened, hopes are high that the superstar will be able to visit Albania and give an interview to Exit.

Leonardo DiCaprio calls for public pressure on the Albanian government to protect the Vjosa River

1. Albania’s Top Dog is a Rotweiller, Favorite Cane Corso in the Western Balkans

After a year of blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, death threats and intensive journalistic work, the number one most read article on Exit.al was… an article about Albania’s favorite dog.

Albania’s top dog is a Rotweiller, favorite Cane Corso in the Western Balkans

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