Albania + 2 more

Balkan winter wrecks havoc in Serbia...

Winter is rarely a pleasant time in the western Balkans, where cold winds and often poor heating facilities can make for chilly times. This year, heavy snowfalls and a flu epidemic have added serious additional problems. In Belgrade, Serbian power company officials called on citizens on 25 January to save electricity and specifically to turn off electric heaters, AP noted. The company introduced two-hour power cuts in the capital and other major towns. Furthermore, ice and snow on Belgrade streets brought traffic to a virtual halt. Milosevic's Socialist Party said in a statement that the opposition-run city government is to blame. The Socialists suggested that, while the opposition leaders are on their "frequent trips abroad, they have completely forgotten that something has to be done in Belgrade." PM

"Half of Albania was plunged into darkness" on 25 January because of heavy snows and failures of the power grid, which is often unreliable even in good weather, dpa reported. Most of Tirana has power cuts of two to three hours per day. Heavy snows have cut off road communications in much of northern Albania. The southern port of Vlora had its first snow in 20 years. PM

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