TIRANA, Albania – The name "George Bush" could open doors in Albania. Even prison gates.
An appeals court showed clemency last week and released a 15-year-old boy who had been charged with stealing scrap metal from a copper factory in the northern town of Lac.
His name? Xhorxh Bushi — the way Albanians spell the president's last name.
After Albania emerged from decades of communist isolation in 1990, it became fashionable for families to name their children "Bill," "George" and even "Hilary" to show appreciation to the U.S. during the difficult transition to democracy.
American presidents don't have a lock on celebrity names in Albania, though. Another popular first name for boys in this soccer-crazy country is Ronaldo, in honor of the Brazilian star.