In an interview for IBNA news agency, Socialist Party MP, Evis Kushi, who comes from the academic world, talks about the latest political developments in the country and explains why the EU membership candidate status of the country is not only a political achievement of the majority, but an achievement of all Albanian people.
IBNA: Almost a year in office, do you think that the Socialist Party has done its job well?
Although we took office 9 months ago, the positive turn is obvious in all sectors: law and order, economy education, health care, etc. The government is working intensively and if it carries on like this, I’m convinced that the results will be very good.
IBNA: What percentage of the promises made in the electoral campaign have been delivered so far?
Of course, the final evaluation of the promises that have been delivered is made at the end of the term in office, after four years. Nevertheless, it’s important to stress that every ministry has started to successfully implement the reforms that the Socialist Party has promised during the election campaign. I would outline the latest success of State Police in Lazarat, which consists of the most important police operation in the recent years. At last, law rules in Lazarat and not traffickers. At last, Lazarat is taken off the European map of narcotics, after being a disgrace for us for several years in the eyes of Europe. I would also mention some other promises of the Socialist Party which have become a reality since the first months of the government’s term in office: the lifting of the flat tax and introduction of honest taxation, lifting of VAT on medication and health services, process of legalization, payment of government arrears to businesses and a number of other important reforms which are under way in many domains and which are soon expected to be completed.
IBNA: What can you do better than your predecessors?
We have often repeated our philosophy according to which we will not repeat the mistakes of the past government, which, unfortunately, have been many in numbers. A big change consists on the fact that the current government is committed in the fight against corruption and the government doesn’t only focus this fight in punishing cases which are identified, but also in finding ways to prevent it, by modernizing the system in general and by not allowing anything that encourages it. I believe that besides incompetence and poor governing in many sectors, corruption, thefts and abuses are the main reasons of the difficult situation where the other government left the country and this is why this war must be the focus of the new government and performance of the state administration in every institution, every sector and every corner of Albania.
IBNA: Albania was granted the EU membership candidate status. Do you think that this is an achievement for Rama’s government?
First of all, I believe that this is an achievement for all Albanians and it marks an important step in our perspective for full EU membership. For us, it’s important that Albania fully deserved the candidate status, by successfully fulfilling all of its obligations. But of course, like commissioner Fule said, this decision comes as a result of the efforts of the government in the reforms. In the recent months, Rama’s government has manifested positive will and concrete actions in the process of reforms, which mainly relate to the judiciary system, fight against corruption and organized crime. Personally, I’ve been very optimistic during this period, because all the signals received by international partners were positive, even from the most skeptic countries. Rama’s government successfully managed to fulfill the expectations of those states who in December last year, demanded another 6 months to assess the progress and the result of the reforms. I’ve been lucky to be part of several Albanian delegations abroad and I’ve felt very proud about the positive feedback that the government and prime minister have received for the achievements made so far. Nevertheless, we must not forget that we have still a lot to do and great challenges await us in this difficult journey.
IBNA: Some short questions about the main names of the Albanian politics and your opinion on them. About the current leader of opposition, Lulzim Basha?
I believe that he must consolidate his position as chairman of the Democratic Party, because it’s clear that this party is still led by Sali Berisha, who takes the most important decisions in it.
IBNA: Former leader of DP and former prime minister Sali Berisha?
I think it’s time for him to leave politics.
IBNA: Leader of SMI and speaker of parliament Ilir Meta?
Mr. Meta has done something very positive with the way he’s chairing parliament and I hear this from the majority of MPs, especially from those who have served last term too. He always reflects maturity, tolerance and respect for MPs, from the left and the right wing. Apart from this, he also plays an important role in avoiding or balancing tensioned situations during parliamentary sittings, which unfortunately, have been frequent and are threatening the image of the Albanian parliament.
IBNA: Is Edi Rama a decent prime minister?
Yes, without any doubt. The prime minister is committed, responsible and has maximum will for the engagements that he has taken upon himself. I think that he doesn’t only have the right intelligence and vision for his position, but also his successful experience as minister of Culture and especially as mayor of Tirana for 11 years in a row.
IBNA: Who’s the politician that you value the most?
Of course, in these 23 years of pluralism, there have been many successful politicians which enjoy the respect of the majority of people, but, given that politics in general and especially in Albania, is dominated by men, I’d mention two women politicians, which I believe are the best examples and excellent models to be followed by young people. Valentina Leskaj and Arta Dade, for whom I hold the highest regards, as they have had a very successful political career based on professionalism and high moral integrity.
IBNA: How much time do you dedicate to your family and how much to politics?
This is the most difficult part and the biggest sacrifice that a woman in politics should do. I try to find the right balance in terms of the time that I dedicate to politics and my family. It’s true that in comparison to other professions, politics allows less time for the family, but I believe that besides quantity, quality of time spent with the family is also important. For this reason, during those hours that I’m with my family, I try my best to fully commit to it by talking, going out, cooking, playing with the girls and doing everything that brings us closer together. /ibna/