Companies in the Balkans (1956-1958)

Blerim Abedini, Institute for Security Studies and Development, ISSD-NM

In the early post-war time still is a feeling of influence from the early XX century and XIX century. The nationalization of private companies in the Yugoslavian Federation, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungaria, and Albania is ordered by the government and its socialist economic system. Greece and Turkey are continuing with private businesses and multi political system by allowing a free vote in the elections. It’s known that private owners of companies in the socialist economies rejected to allow nationalizing their companies but that was impossible under Communism. Time will show that companies inside socialist economies will go slow with development due to the level of social life.

(The year 1956) The Balaton was a Hungarian microcar. The Úttörô (Pioneer) was one of the best publicized privately-built microcars. It was designed by János Schadek in Debrecen, east Hungary in 1954. He was a mechanical engineer. While studying at the University he built his first touring car between 1922 and 1927 and in 1930 a Morgan-like tricar. Then he took over the wire-making factory of his father-in-law. After the war, he tried to avoid nationalization, but he couldn’t and eventually, all the small factories of Debrecen were united into the Locksmith and Iron-founder Company. It was powered by a 250 cc 8 bhp (6 kW) Pannonia motorcycle engine. The rubber suspension was developed from an idea of Ernő Rubik Sr. The roof and doors were in one piece and hinged to give access to the interior. The same company also made the Alba Regia microcar with which the Balaton shared most of its mechanical parts.

Hungarian MicroCars of the 50’s (

(The year 1957) Albtransport was Albania’s government-owned flag carrier between 1957 to 1991. It carried out civil flights with the Ilyushin Il-14 of the Albanian Air Force.

Before that, the country had neither civil aircraft nor did it meet the legal requirements for international scheduled flight operations, because Albania did not join the ICAO until 1989. After its opening, foreign airlines such as Aeroflot, Jat, and Malév flew to Tirana Airport on schedule, while Albtransport hardly appeared as an airline. Although the company briefly marketed a line connection to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport under its own name in the early 1960s, this route was actually flown in cooperation with Interflug, with Albtransport only using the free capacities on board with the Interflug planes. The Albanian government aircraft was only used sporadically on national and international special flights, including to Bucharest, Moscow, Prague, and Sofia.

In 1991, the company also briefly operated a Bell 222 UT helicopter for the Albanian government. Towards the end of 1991, Albtransport ceased operations as an airline but was not dissolved. At the beginning of 1992, the state-owned company founded the airline Albanian Airlines in the form of a joint venture with the Austrian airline Tyrolean Airways. After the country’s democratization, Albtransport was responsible for civil air traffic control in Albania until the end of 1992 and remained the state operating company of Tirana Airport until the end of 2004.

Albtransport (Altes Transport Tirana) history from Albania, Europe (

(The year 1957) Mixed Groups of Reconstruction Machines commonly known by the acronym MOMA, was a Greek military construction organization that was active from 1957 to 1992. It was established in 1957, with sections based in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Patras, Lamia, Larissa, and Ioannina, and comprised both permanent and conscript personnel from the Engineers arm of the Hellenic Army, as well as contracted civilian engineers, drivers, workers, and other personnel. Its main purpose was the construction of infrastructure (bridges, airports, roads, etc) in the country following the extensive devastation of World War II, the Axis occupation of Greece, and the Greek Civil War. It was abolished in 1992, but in 2015, a similar service, under the name “MOMKA” was established.


(The year 1957) MOL (Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company) was established in 1957. On 1 October 1991 is merging nine former members of the National Oil and Gas Trust. By 1995, the actual integration of companies was completed, and the previously separated entities started to operate within one joint organization. MOL decided on a privatization strategy, in order to respond to international market, political and legal challenges, which the company was facing following the turmoil of the end of the Soviet Union. It thus became a pioneer in the regional consolidation of the oil and gas industry.

Through 2030, MOL scheduled investments of US$4.5 billion to expand its petrochemical business. Also begun to build up its recycling capabilities and formed a partnership for plastic recycling with German APK in 2018, and in 2019 acquired Aurora, a German recycled plastic compounding company. In September 2019, MOL Serbia opened a new fuel storage depot in Sremski Karlovci. With total investments in Serbia exceeding €500 million.

In November 2019, MOL signed an agreement with Chevron, acquiring their 9.57% interest in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil field, one of the world’s largest oil fields that are located in the Caspian Sea, and an 8.9% stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The pipeline transports crude oil from ACG to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The total transaction was valued at $1.57 billion.

MOL Hungary (

(The year 1957) ARO was a Romanian off-road vehicle manufacturer. The first ARO vehicles were produced in 1957, and the last in 2003. For a short while, Daihatsu-powered AROs were sold in Spain and produced in Portugal under the brands Hisparo and Portaro, respectively. In Italy, AROs were produced by Ali Ciemme and sold under the ACM brand, often fitted with Volkswagen engines.

ARO manufactured over 380,000 vehicles, 2/3 of which were exported to some 110 countries on five continents. Before 1989 about 90% of the ARO production was exported. AROs were also produced in Brazil, Italy, and Portugal (Portaro) often under another brand name. ARO vehicles were also produced for Spain and marketed under the name Hisparo managed by the company Enasa. In 1972 ARO successfully launched a ground-up redesign as their new family of models, the 24 Series which eventually included many models and configurations. The ARO 24 Series got a “little brother” in 1980, the 10 Series, also produced in many-body trims with different engines and in both 4×2 and 4×4 variants. ARO engines and other technology were also utilized in T.V. light commercial vehicles.

ARO – Offroad Vehicle (

(The year 1958) The Çekmece Nuclear Research and Training Center (Turkish: Çekmece Nükleer Araştırma ve Eğitim Merkezi), known as ÇNAEM, is the primary nuclear research and training center of Turkey. The organization was established on March 6, 1958, as a subunit of the Turkish Atomic Energy Administration- TAEK in Istanbul. After completion of the construction and the start of the operation of the research reactor, the official opening of the center took place on May 27, 1962. The pool-type reactor having a capacity of 1 MW that was named TR-1, achieved criticality on January 6, 1962. After serving 15-year long for the production of radioisotopes and the neutronics experiments with the help of beam tubes, the TR-1 was shut down on September 9, 1977, as its capacity became insufficient. Due to increased demand in the 1970s for nuclear research and radioisotopes in the country, the installation of a second nuclear research reactor with higher capacity was projected for the production of radioisotopes only. The reactor with an output capacity of 5 MW, called TR-2, went into service in the same building and the existing pool after becoming critical in December 1981. The reactor started radioisotope production in 1984.

Anasayfa (