Trapwire Stratfor Email 37

Aug 10th, 2012
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  1. Thank you
  3. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
  5. -----Original Message-----
  6. From: Michael Maness <>
  7. Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 18:31:44
  8. To:<>
  9. Subject: Re: More Protests Expected in Albania
  11. Good show. Let u know if I hear more. M.
  13. ----- Original Message -----
  14. From: []
  15. Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 05:59 PM
  16. To: Michael Maness
  17. Subject: Fw: More Protests Expected in Albania
  20. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
  22. -----Original Message-----
  23. From: Stratfor <>
  24. Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 15:46:12
  25. To: fredb<>
  26. Subject: More Protests Expected in Albania
  30. ---------------------------
  31. January 22, 2011
  36. The likelihood of further violence in Albania is high as both Prime Minister Sali Berisha and opposition leader and Tirana Mayor Edi Rama on Jan. 22 called for further marches and protests. Rama said the opposition Socialist Party (PS) would stage protests on Jan. 23, after observing a day of mourning for three opposition protesters shot at the Jan. 21 protests. Berisha countered by calling Albanians to "a big demonstration against violence" on Jan. 26.
  38. The conflict between Berisha's Democratic Party of Albania (PD) and Rama's PS is more than just political or ideological. It is also rooted in a complex cultural division between northern and southern Albania that is exacerbated by government corruption and prevalent organized crime throughout the country. The northern Albanians, referred to as Gheg Albanians, are largely supporters of PD, while the southern Tosk Albanians largely back Rama's PS.
  40. STRATFOR sources in the country close to the opposition have cautioned that the protests set for Jan. 23 would be even larger than those held Jan. 21. Elements within the opposition are allegedly eager to exact revenge on the government forces for the three dead protesters. STRATFOR sources have indicated that rumors of the Albanian State Intelligence Service infiltrating the crowds of protesters and provoking the violence are rife in the country. The opposition is therefore blaming the government for the violence.
  42. Rama is considering leading the protests himself so as to prevent violence from getting out of hand. It is unclear, however, how his mere presence would calm the situation. The Albanian populace is heavily armed, in part due to the ransacking of the country's armories during the 1997 period of anarchy, and many will bring their weapons with them for the Jan. 23 protest. Berisha has already warned the opposition that any attempt to storm government buildings will end in the same result as Jan. 21 protests, hinting at retaliation with live rounds.
  44. According to STRATFOR sources, there are rumors in the country that protests may also be held in other major Albanian cities, including Shkoder, Durres and Gjirokaster. If the unrest spreads beyond the capital, the situation could become reminiscent of the 1997 period of anarchy when the government, led by then-President Berisha, crumbled following violent protests due to the collapse of a countrywide Ponzi scheme. If the unrest turns into another nationwide protest against Berisha's rule, it would at least minimize the cultural chasm between PD and PS supporters. But if protests are contained within Tirana and the south, the conflict could begin to take an ethnic/cultural shape.
  46. Copyright 2011 STRATFOR.
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