With utmost caution, slowly, carefully and nervously watched, the process of relieving lockdown restrictions has started country by country in Europe, each at its own pace and according to its own approach as the continent marks a turning point in its coronavirus crisis.
The Albanian village of Shishtavec, near the rugged mountains that mark the border with Kosovo, is in the poorest corner of one of Europe’s poorest countries. Locals here bond over complaints about corruption and stories of relatives building their futures in Western Europe. There’s something else they share: a dream that one day they, too, will be allowed to integrate with the rest of the continent.
“Everyone, even small kids, say they want to join the European Union,” says 34-year-old Rakan, a farmer who speaks a little English, as well as Albanian, Bulgarian, and some German. “But it’s impossible because too much has to change.”You’re browsing incognito.Subscribe to continue reading in incognito mode.