Albania is (not) ready to welcome refugees?

Albania is (not) ready to welcome refugees?

Tirana, 26 February 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

In a single day, two different stances within the majority about the readiness of Albania in welcoming refugees from countries in conflict. Minister of Integration, Klajda Gjosha, which belongs to the second political force in the left wing government, says that Albania is ready to cope with any number of refugees.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edi Rama says that Albania has no reason to admit refugees and what’s more, it doesn’t have any conditions to do such thing.

Gjosha: Albania is ready to cope with the refugees

The first declaration issued by the government was made by the minister of Integration, Klajda Gjosha during a meeting in Korca on the occasion of the finalization of the Cross Border Program between Albania and Greece.

Gjosha said that Albania is ready to welcome refugees. The minister assured that there will be no obstacles for all of those who will enter Albania registered. She said that Albanian authorities will not build “any walls for these refugees who want to enter our country” and added:

“The government is ready to handle any number of refugees. There will be no walls for them. All of those who are expecting to enter Albania, must be identified for security purposes”.

Rama against Gjosha: We have no conditions and no capacities

This declaration by the minister of Integration, Klajda Gjosha was made on Thursday morning in Korca, but in the evening, it was rejected by Prime Minister Edi Rama in a TV interview.

“We will not open the borders, because there is no reason to do this. We have neither the conditions nor the capacity and the absurd belief that we can save the world. While others close the borders, while Serbia closes them, Macedonia closes them, they should come to our country?!”, Rama said.

“There’s no reason for us to make a different choice from the one that the countries of the Corridor are making”, he added.

Rama said that he hopes that “by closing borders, Europe must realize that it can no longer continue to cheat itself, where everyone plays by trying to cheat Germany, Italy and Greece, which can barely sustain itself, let alone refugees”.

Rama’s stance seems to be different from the one he manifested a while ago, when he said that the country is ready to welcome refugees.

Rama says that he has previously declared his readiness, but only “if there was a proportional division of refugees”. Meanwhile, he strengthens his stance when he says: “We cannot bear all the burden of refugees. I have never said that everyone should close the borders and that the refugees can come in our country. I was ready if each country would bear its burden”.

Syrians act like Albanians

In spite of this declaration made by the prime minister, the signals that have been launched by refugees that they may come in an organized way, have led to police to patrol road segments that link Albania to Greece.

There have been extra measures in roads that link Kapshtica to Kakavija, two of the main border crossing points that link Albania to Greece.

However, it is clear that that refugees that come from areas of conflict such as Syria, do not intend on remaining to Albania. They use the country as a transit area to further travel to developed EU countries such as Italy, Germany, etc.

This is the same practice that many Albanians who want to move to other countries, use today. They exploit countries such as Greece, Croatia and Slovenia and then Italy to enter Germany and other EU countries where they want to live and work. /ibna/