Prolonged drought may be making problems worse for Albanians but the Bank’s task team leader for energy projects in the Balkan country, Demetrios Papthanasiou, warned that the lack of alternative supplies is due to years of mismanagement.

He blamed the overall lack of preparedness of the power sector to handle the problems on a general unwillingness to pay for electricity, which has resulted in under-investment. He also cited theft and technical mismanagement as being complicating factors in the power market.

‘No important power generation plant has been built for 20 years,’ he said in an interview made available by the Bank.

He said that in dry times the lights would go out. ‘The drier the year, the longer the hours of blackouts,’ he said. He added that the country was experiencing one of the driest years for the last 50 years.