Tirana, 13 October 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama has left today for an official visit to the Czech Republic. On Tuesday, he’s expected to have a meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka.
The Czech Prime Minister’s press office says that the meeting will discuss Albania’s preparations to be accepted as a member of the European Union.
The meeting is also expected to discuss issues between the two countries and the refugee crisis.
Rama and Sobotka will also talk about the exchange of tourists between the countries.
On Tuesday afternoon, a business forum will be held and this forum will be organized by the governments of both countries under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Czech Republic.
In this visit, Rama will be accompanied by the minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Arben Ahmetaj, minister of Education and Sport, Lindita Nikolla and the minister of Social Affairs, Blendi Klosi.
The last visit of an Albanian PM in Prague dates back to 2012, when the government was chaired by Sali Berisha.
There’s no official information as to whether Rama and Sobotka will discuss the so called “CEZ” scandal, where hundreds of millions of euros are suspected to have been embezzled. The media and the opposition suggest that the involvement of senior state officials in this affair, including speaker of Parliament, Ilir Meta, PM Edi Rama, etc. These officials have denied all accusations.
Part of this scandal is also the assertion of a senior European official, Janez Kopac, the head of the Secretariat of the European Community of Energy, mentioned a few days ago in the Albanian parliament.
Kopac said that the withdrawal of the Albanian government from the request for 600 million euros to the state owned Czech company CEZ after its departure from Albania and the 100 million euros offered to close this case, was the condition imposed by the Czech Republic not to use its veto for Albania’s EU candidate status. The official said that an hour after the agreement was signed, the Czech government lifted the veto. /ibna/