In 2020 50 Albanians arrived on the shores of Britain in small boats, but last year that number had increased sharply to over 12,000. Altogether almost 16,000 Albanians applied for assylum in the UK last year. Most of them are from the Northern Highlands where the average monthly income is £240. Many have lost the hope that things will get better, often citing corruption as one of the reasons why Albania is held back. Eòrpa speak to one young man who has tried four times to get to Britain and another who made it, but was returned. His asylum application was refused and he admitted working in the UK illegally while waiting on a decision. Andreas Wolff also hears how victims of trafficking are sometimes forced to do illegal activities in the UK.
The government are saying they have almost eliminated corruption, that unemployment is falling and the number of people in work is rising. But given the number of people who have emigrated there is now a shortage of workers. There are however glimmers of hope as well such as a basketball academy and an agro-turism business. In one area of Albania the UK are also funding a scheme which teaches new skills to young people and corrects the perception that people can become rich quickly in Britain. (The Nine, BBC Scotland; Watch the full documentary on the iplayer: Eòrpa, BBC ALBA, 09/03/23)