Last month we saw some more blatant and tangible indications that Greater Albania was getting the official nod to become a reality. This month the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur picked up on it:

Is project Greater Albania gaining acceptance? by Thomas Brey (Dec. 6)

…Albania’s blood-red flag with its black double-headed eagle adorns houses in Presevo in southern Serbia, Tetovo and Struga in Macedonia, nearly all of Kosovo and parts of Montenegro. [Note the subliminal/Freudian choice of the modifier for “red”: blood-red. As I often describe the Albanian flag: darkness over spilled blood.]

…Representatives of ethnic Albanians from all those places recently gathered in Tirana, the capital of Albania-proper, to sign a manifest declaring as their goal the establishment of a common country of all their compatriots.

Albania’s political leadership did not openly endorse the effort….Eighty per cent of [Kosovo Albanians] say they back the idea of a Greater Albania…In neighbouring Macedonia, Albanians make up close to 30 per cent of the 2 million inhabitants and more than half of them, 52 per cent, also support the idea of an all-Albanian state.

Political leaders in southern Serbian municipalities along the Kosovo border, where the around 100,000 ethnic Albanians make a local majority, also lined up behind the plan.

The Tirana writer and “politicologist” Koco Danaj is considered the “new father” of the project to shift borders to encompass all Albanians into a single country…In his next move, in January, he plans to lodge a complaint against the 1913 London Conference at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The conference in London extracted Albania from the Ottoman Empire, but some parts with Albanian population remained in other countries, including Serbia, today’s Macedonia and Greece.

Contemporary proponents of the Greater Albania employ a two-pronged strategy to gather supporters…support from the reservoir of energetic young people, frustrated by economic hopelessness, poverty and unemployment [and]…to play up allegations of discrimination of Albanians in Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

Politicians in Belgrade are speaking of an outrageous “provocation” when Albanians in the south spread Albanian flags on holidays they see as their own, and order police to act. “You can arrest me, but southern Serbia will be a part of Greater Albania by 2015,” Orhan Redzepi, an Albanian leader in the so-called Presevo Valley, told the Belgrade daily Press.

Others among the Albanians are more subtle - aware that the term “Greater Albania” spurs fear in the region, they have replaced it with “Natural Albania.” Now many look to Kosovo elections to gauge how far the project can progress beyond the utopian ideal.

Indeed, this utopian ideal is a terrifying one. Particularly for the Albanians who would be living in it. It’ll be like a real-life Lord of the Flies. No chaperons, no grown-ups. Just a nation of petulant, underdeveloped, blood-thirsty children who will finally have no one to blame for their lot but themselves. Like this Albania-based blogger asked in 2007, in his warning to Washington about his country: “Shouldn’t we in Albania fix things here first, before trying to ‘export’ our despotic regime elsewhere?”

Incidentally, I didn’t realize until this week that Presevo Valley is marked for Greater Albania not only because of its majority-Albanian population, but also because it’s a key part of the Albanian heroin route.