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Energy Crisis

A Corner of Europe Starts Living With Blackouts Again

Every six hours the power goes off in Kosovo. It’s the first country on the continent to suffer rolling outages as the energy crisis escalates.

A blackout in Pristina, Kosovo, on Aug. 22.

A blackout in Pristina, Kosovo, on Aug. 22.

Photographer: Ben Kilb/Bloomberg

The lights go off and the French chanson music suddenly cuts out. The morning buzz inside the Image Café in the Kosovo capital of Pristina goes quiet. It’s 10 a.m.

Arbnor Gashi, a server, fetches a small outdoor generator and switches it on. The power is enough to restore the music, but the mood among the politicians, lobbyists and businesspeople who frequent the café has already soured. No more coffee for two hours, except what’s already getting lukewarm.