With the EU conquest of Libya, Italy was able to recover not only its troubled economy, but the feeling of national pride and supremacy, something seemed lost since WW2. Oil revenues shared with France and Britain gave the Italian government to play its own game – of course in full accordance with the rest of EU leadership.
A new opportunity to play with it muscles appeared during the political crisis in Albania, year -2. The elections in Albania were an Arena of fierce battle between pro-Turkish (Koca) and pro-EU (Taçi) candidates. During the first round of election the EU-supported candidate Taçi gained a minimum advantage of 46.83% vs. Koca’s 45.76%.
The pro-Turkish candidate didn’t recognize the results of the elections and called for a second round. In his turn, the winner didn’t recognize the decision for a second turn and Taçi’s armed supporters captured a number of government buildings in Tirana. Along with this action Taçi rallied his supporters to the capital to blockade the work of the current “no more legal” Albanian regime until his victory is recognized and formalized.
After a 5-day blockade of Tirana’s main institutions, the pro-Turkish candidate Koca declared on national TV and radio broadcast a state of nation emergency. He also declared that if the blockade won’t be lifted in 48 hours deadline, he will use whatever means possible to unfreeze the work of the national government.
Taçi ignored the deadline. He didn’t take into account that his foe is even more determined.
As soon as the deadline has expired, Koca entered the streets of Tirana with his own armored battalion equipped with 15 Type 59 tanks – all which remained in Albania’s army inventory. The outdated tanks quickly lifted the blockade by firing upon armed protestors and destroying the Taçi’s headquarters.
EU reacted swiftly by condemning this act and authorizing military intervention. In a week a joint Italo-French airforce has conducted bombing strikes destroying the few Albanian air defenses and some of Koca’s Type 59 tanks. A squadron of Italian Centauro wheeled tanks disembarked in Tirana, fighting the rest while Italo-French commandos re-stormed government buildings. The anti-government forces retreated from the capital but a few days after struck back by destroying 3 Italian tanks. The crisis continues…