In an interview for IBNA news agency, the head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party in Albania, Edi Paloka talks about the latest political developments in the country. Mr. Paloka comments the indefinite boycott of parliament by opposition MPs and explains the reasons why the DP refuses to enter the institution which represents those who are elected by the people. The democrat MP also talks about what he considers to be an aggravated economic situation with a negative impact for the citizens and criticizes the majority by blaming it for this situation
IBNA: Mr. Paloka, how do you consider the current situation in the country, in the social and economic aspect?
Paloka: The situation in the country is being aggravated day by day for every Albanian, especially in the two most sensitive aspects for the citizens, such as the economy and insecurity in the country.
Albanian household finances are being impoverished day by day. As if the increase of taxes and the serious conditions of last year were not enough for every business and household, but the government is now “promising” a fresh increase of taxes, an increase especially in the energy sector and an increase of the price of fuel, something that would have a chain increasing effect of other consumer prices. We also add to this reality another behavior of the government, which concerns the destruction and demolition of homes, properties, businesses which have or have not a permit. INUK and state police have now turned into a horror for Albanian citizens. When Rama is mentioned, the citizens think of destruction and demolition.
IBNA: You just said that state institutions have turned into a horror about the citizens. Why do you think this?
Paloka: The country is not only heading toward extreme poverty, but also toward a state of terror. This is not only a result of the growth of crime in the country, but also as a result of the hostile intervention of the government toward the most basic rights of the citizens, such as the right of property and security in life. I don’t want to mention the last case when the son of a socialist MP murdered four people. The problem doesn’t relate to the fact that this crime was committed by the son of an MP, but it relates to the fact that during the whole time he exerted his criminal activity, he was protected by this government. On the other hand, the government is imprisoning its citizens when they don’t have one thousand Lek to pay the power supply bill and when they are unable to guarantee heating for their children. Meanwhile, it offers protection and immunity to criminals, such as it was the last case with Kostandin Xhuvani, who had become part of the operation for the theft of votes on June 23, 2013 and continued to enjoy full political immunity for every crime which he had been later committing. So, we have two pictures. Both of them belong to the gloomy reality. On one hand we have the citizen, who feels punished by the daily attacks of the government in terms of the economy or security and on the other hand, we have a group of oligarchs and criminals who under Rama’s protection, are doing everything to destroy this country.
IBNA: It’s been several months that the parliamentary group that you chair has suspended relations with parliament indefinitely. What are the reasons and when can we see the opposition again in parliament?
Paloka: We cannot go back to parliament. As far as our stance toward parliament is concerned, our reasons are clear now: Violation of the Constitution and regulation of parliament by this majority, which has not shown any signs of reflection about all these violations. This is why we have conditioned our return to parliament with an agreement overseen by the international community. Of course it seems absurd to ask the international community to oversee the government in the application of laws and respect of the Constitution, but unfortunately, these are the circumstances. We’re in circumstances when the government and majority do not comply with the laws in power, Constitution and rulings of the Constitutional Court. There’s no reflection by this majority, therefore the path of the opposition to parliament seems far, long and impossible.
IBNA: Are there talks with the international community to reach this agreement?
Paloka: We’re in contact the whole time and we’re holding constant meetings with them, starting with the leader of the Democratic Party. The fact that a few days ago, the EU declared that the level of monitoring in Albania will increase, not only about the conditions imposed, but also about democracy in general, shows that Europe’s attention toward what’s happening in Albania has come back and of course, an important role in this aspect has been played by the decision that we have taken to abandon parliament. Boycott of parliament and diplomatic activity by the Democratic Party, has clarified the international community about what’s happening in parliament and what’s currently happening with the Albanian democracy. Therefore, we’re hopeful that not only will there be international monitoring, but there will also soon be a reaction of this community against the behavior of this majority.
IBNA: DP has called for protests on November 22 against the situation that you mentioned at the beginning of this interview. Why did you choose the path of protest instead of the debate in parliament?
Paloka: Referring to November 22, I am convinced that the protest is the only way to confront this government and majority. I don’t see any other option or light at the end of the tunnel, on which we can hope in order to talk with this majority, besides the protest and clashes. I’m afraid that with its arrogance and stubbornness that this prime minister is showing, the country may soon head to conflicts more hostile than this. /ibna/