This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Plator Nesturi
The latest development that we saw, following the announcement of the European Commission to recommend the opening of negotiations for Albania, will likely shape the political events in the months to come. This was seen during yesterday’s parliamentary sitting, where, despite the usual boycott of parliament, the DP convened its parliamentary group in order to decide about its strategy. The same thing was also done by PM Rama. In yesterday’s parliamentary proceedings, PM Rama analyzed the work and problems encountered by different ministries after six months in office. First it was minister Gjinuri who talked about the projects and the deadlines for the completion of Tirana-Elbasan highway, Fier flyover and the segment from Kukes to Morina. The hearing continued with other ministries. PM Rama asked his MPs to bring in new professional people who will work for the public administration, stressing that unemployment remains one of the biggest problems in this country. Therefore, the newly recruited public service workers must be professionals and committed in their job. Now, it’s up to MPs to assess the professionalism of the people that they will recommend, because as it usually happens, recruitment first goes through political filters for as long socialist MPs will have a key role in this process. The PM also demanded a more active support from them about the reforms that have been launched by the government.
Meanwhile, after the meeting with Mogherini, Basha and his own people seem to be making a step backwards. Protests and civil disobedience are noted. At least until June, when the EU Summit convenes to decide on the enlargement or the status quo of Western Balkans. The DP seems to have withdrawn from its protest about the government’s resignation, on condition that the government releases the 11 citizens of Kukes who are still in detention. So, there will be a pause until June. Then there’s the World Cup and summer holidays in luxury resorts. Nothing more.
The stance and the focus of each side seem to differ so much from each other. It’s almost as if we live in foreign worlds, far away from each other. On one side we have the new recruitments in the administration and the water reform. On the other, we have a dualism between protest and nothing. The only common topic, which, nonetheless is handled differently, is the reform in justice. DP accuses Rama of capturing the justice system, while the majority accuses the opposition of preventing the reform. Meanwhile, Rama presents the reform in justice as the achievement that convinced the commission to take a positive decision for the negotiations. Nonetheless, regardless of whether there will be protests or not, arrests or new investigation cases, the justice system and the reform in it seem to be the only thing that will keep the parliamentary battle heated.
Thus, a détente climate is born, where the sides have not communicated with each other and where they have not entered an agreement to collaborate and share responsibilities. A truce demanded by the EU, while the weapons and accusations are still in the air. Meanwhile, Albanians will be in the same détente that they’ve been in the past two decades. Unemployment, increasing costs of living, which is reflected on the fall of purchasing power, have led to social pessimism for the future and for this, people blame the political class, the one that was in power up until yesterday and the one in power today. So, while the reform in the justice system is aiming to catch “big and small fishes”, for common people, it doesn’t really matter how the “fish” who has become rich from public wealth will end up. Thus, it doesn’t really seem to matter that the motive of this protest is the fact that one part of the political class is using justice system at the detriment of the other side, because all these years, the problems that people face on a daily basis have never been parts of these protests.This is the same picture that we’ve been seeing in all these years of transition, when both right wing and left wing have been in power. The daily lives of Albanian people are a protest in itself, therefore, if the political class is unable to grasp it, then it can continue to live in its illusionary political battles in parliament or TV political debates. We have a political truce, but no solution. So, we will continue to hear the same melody that we’ve heard for the past 27 years, since we started to aspire for integration in the European Union.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy