Adriatic neighbors trade potshots
Yugoslavia and Albania will squabble over anything, it seems. The two countries have been carrying on an unneighborly tit for tat for more than 20 years. Among the latest rows is one over, of all things, a dance tour.
When Albania sent its prestigious 60-member national song and dance ensemble to tour West Germany, Yugoslavs became edgy about its impact on Yugoslavs in West Germany as ''guest workers.'' Among them are many ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, the autonomous region in southeast Yugoslavia that erupted in ethnic strife in 1981.
Albanian diplomats here say Yugoslav missions in West Germany tried to persuade the Germans to prohibit some of the ensemble's performances in case of ''incidents.''
But the dancers apparently enjoyed a great success in a half dozen West German cities. The migrant Kosovars formed a large and enthusiastic proportion of the audiences.
Meanwhile an advertisement in the United States Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, published in Frankfurt, gave the Albanians a pretext for getting back at the Yugoslavs.
The ad offered remarkably cheap rates ($12 a day per persOn) at a string of Yugoslav Army resort Qne beach hotels on the Adriatic for members of the US armed forces in Western Europe. The hotels are among Yugoslavia's smartest, many in choice spots along the Dalmatian shore.
A commentary by Albania's official news agency ATA conjured up a picture of a horde of GIs and their families descending on this sunny littoral. The agency hinted not all would be going there ''for pleasure.''
Tirana dubbed it a breach of Yugoslavia's customary even-handed treatment of the superpowers (the US and the Soviet Union) and suggested that Soviet soldiers might also be invited for Dalmatian holidays. But Soviet soldiers (as Tirana knows) don't qualify for that kind of foreign vacation.
A more serious grievance against Belgrade is ''the railroad'' the two countries agreed to build between Skhoder, in northern Albania, and Titograd, in Yugoslavia.
The Albanians say their section of the 31-mile line is almost complete. The Yugoslavs, they say, have not started on theirs yet. Tirana alleges the delay is deliberate because the line - Albania's first link with the European rail system - is economically more important to Albania than to Yugoslavia.