Dr. Ana L. Scheer
Tens of thousands of anti-goverment protesters have clashed with Albanian state police in Tirana. The rally resulted in dozens of protestors injured, many arrests, and the uncontrolled use of gas by the police in the vicinity of dwelling houses and apartments endangering the health and lives of protestors and inhabitants of Tirana. Opposition leaders accuse Edi Rama’s government of graft and election fraud. They seek the withdrawal of the Prime Minister and the establishment of a transitory government which will ensure a fair and democratic election process.
The world media and several foreign officials have denounced the government of Edi Rama. During his six years in office, Albania has been the heaven of cannabis cultivation and drugs smuggling, reaching an income of five to seven billion Euros, half of the country’s GDP. Furthermore, the high level of corruption in all the instances of the government has weakened the economy, caused further unemployment, has slowed down the integration process toward EU membership, and forced the Albanians to flee their country in large numbers.
For six years Edi Rama’s government has succeeded only in government propaganda, with no foreign investments, no plan of development, and no measures to improve the standards of living for Albanians. Today, in this country the middle class is struggling to survive and the wealth is concentrated only in the hands of few oligarchs, positioned at the right hand of the Prime Minister. Considering that Albania aspires the EU integration, Edi Rama’s government has resulted a complete failure.
Recently a German official stated that EU countries should be aware of the danger that such Balkan leaders, under the name of stability for the region, violate the basic principles of democracy, and that they should cooperate only with reliable partners. Edi Rama’s foreign policy, particularly that of the Balkan region has caused many concerns due to his plan and support for the re-arrangement of borders between Serbia and Kosovo. This initiative is very dangerous because it could escalate into a wider and serious conflict.
In his internal affairs Rama is emerging as a monarch of the middle-ages. The country has no Constitutional Court, no legal parliament, and he has managed to maintain compete rule and usurpation on the judicial and the legislative branches. His involvement with the organized crime and their inclusion into high offices has been denounced for several years by the world media and foreign authorities. The Albanian opposition parties have quitted the Parliament and surrendered their mandates asking the Prime Minister to resign and let a transitory government manage and oversee the election process of the forthcoming elections on 30 June, 2019.
Rama seems to play the bluff and be committed to hold elections despite the refusal by the opposition to participate. This action on his behalf will have serious consequences for the country. It might lead Albania into a civil war. If Rama proceeds with his plan a harsh civil conflict will be unavoidable. With the involvement of the state police and the army, victims and violent riots are to be expected. This will be a setback for the country’s future and the lives of Albanians. A civil war in this small western Balkan state might spread quite easily. The Balkans, “the gunpowder barrel” of Europe, doesn’t need much to explode.
In the present situation the resignation of Edi Rama seems to be the only solution to save not only Albania and its people, to prevent a civil war and loss of lives, but as well as for the entire region.
It is a shame that in modern days, the will of one man can decide the fate of an entire country. Will Rama show integrity and resign for the sake of his people or will he lead the country into a civil war?