Friday, February 03, 2006

Berisha caught red handed plagiarizing Nano's speech

TIRANA (Reuters) - When a politician speaks, the public may feel they have heard it all before, but this has taken on a whole new meaning in Albania.

An apparent copy-and-paste in a keynote speech by Prime Minister Sali Berisha had him mouthing the same lines spoken by his famously verbose predecessor Fatos Nano, Albanian television said with glee on Wednesday.

Top Channel television broadcast Berisha, a conservative, reading three paragraphs of a speech on energy policy, followed by a clip of Nano, a socialist, delivering the same quotes three years earlier. The cryptic wording was virtually identical

Top Channel said its reporters got suspicious after hearing Berisha utter the phrase "solving the system of equations" over the chronic power crisis, a formulation in Albanian that reeked of Nano's prolix speech.

"He was speaking a language that struck us as not naturally his own," Top Channel editor Bledar Zaganjori told Reuters. "We looked at the previous strategy speech (by Nano) and found out the texts were almost identical."

Key economic policies are often dictated by Western lenders -- the World Bank in this case -- and their sometimes arcane language is translated and used with little heed to meaning.

The prime minister's office made no comment.

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