Tourism minister meets Spanish family after restaurant owner’s frenzied attack
Shaun Walker Central and eastern Europe correspondent
Tue 20 Aug 2019 16.56 BST Last modified on Tue 20 Aug 2019
Albanian restaurateur tries to smash Spanish tourists' windscreen – video
Albanian authorities have moved to minimise the damage to the country’s reputation as an emerging tourist hotspot after a video of a furious restaurant owner pursuing a group of Spaniards and attempting to smash their car’s windscreen went viral.
The incident took place last week in Porto Palermo in southern Albania. Video shot from inside a car rented by the Spanish tourists shows a man clinging to the bonnet and attempting to break through the windscreen with repeated blows.
He shatters the glass and smears it with blood as the terrified driver tries to shake him off by driving away and the passengers scream. After a number of minutes the car stops and the man clambers off and tries to open the car doors with his bloodied hands, before the car speeds away.
Spanish media named those in the car as Eugenio Galdón and his family, who were travelling with a local driver and guide. They had reportedly left the restaurant where they were dining after the owner became aggressive.
Albania’s tourism minister met the family and apologised for the incident, presenting them with a bunch of flowers. The prime minister, Edi Rama, wrote on Facebook that the attacker would be punished.
“The barbarian who attacked our Spanish friends violated the sacred code of Albanian hospitality, shaming us all,” Rama wrote on Facebook. “We offered our apologies to our Spanish friends and they will be back again.”
In a video posted to Rama’s Facebook page, Galdón told officials that “one person does not make a country” and said he and his family planned to return to Albania.
During the communist period Albania was an impoverished hermit state run by the paranoid dictator Enver Hoxha. Citizens were not allowed to leave the country and almost no foreigners were allowed to enter. However, in recent years Albania has been attaining popularity as one of the last relatively unexplored European tourism destinations, offering a warm climate and long stretches of coastline.
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