Albania

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Joined: EU Candidate Eurozone N/A Yet Schengen N/A EFTA N/A Albania achieved official candidate status for European Union membership in 2014, but at the time of the 2016 United Kingdom referendum was probably still several years away from membership. The key importance of Albania is that is it directly north of Greece and so provided the first point on the West Balkan route taken by the migrants attracted by Angela Merkelís open door policy for Syrian refugees. Many of those assessed by the German immigration authorities turned out to be Albanian and were returned. This gives a different context to all those comments from remain activists that Nigel Farageís refugee poster depicted those fleeing war, when in fact many joined the march in Albania with the advantage of both looking Arab and coming from a Muslim culture, albeit one that lived through many decades of officially atheist communism.

© Mercia McMahon. All rights reserved

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