IBNA Op-Ed/What’s happening with Albanians?

IBNA Op-Ed/What’s happening with Albanians?

The Vienna Summit is an event of a historical importance for the Balkan region, which is expected to give way to the support of infrastructural projects that have a regional and European importance. But the Summit’s most important topic is a major problem, the refugee crisis, asylum seekers. In the opinion that IBNA brings to you below, former PM Sali Berisha warns that this crisis “will soon prove to be the biggest and most serious crisis since the Second World War up to this day for Western Europe”.

At the present, Albanian refugees rank second after the Syrians

By Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha

What is happening with Albanians? How is it possible that they’re leaving to seek asylum abroad? What was the number of asylum seekers in 2012? In total, around 250 Albanians and the free visa regime was in place. Around 100 and something was the number in 2011.

But what is happening?

Albanians are massively leaving Albania, because crime has turned into a system. Albanians can no longer have hope, because hope is killed here on a daily basis.

The government demolishes in open violation with the law and with the electoral promise that “even if Enver Hoxha rises up from the dead, he could not demolish houses which have no permits”, although the law doesn’t allow the demolition of those houses which are in the process of legalization, without receiving a final answer. If one boasts that one has demolished 9 thousand homes, how can the Albanian feels safe at his home from the arbitrariness of the prime minister?

If people’s homes are demolished like this, is there a difference between a home being demolished by a bomb or by the state? The result? Homeless people. A home can be demolished, but by offering the homeowner compensation or shelter, an alternative and not behave like enemies with people.


Every Albanian says that the power of the state is destroying and that there’s no more hope in the country.

If parliament, government and administration is filled with criminals and traffickers, will Albanians think that there’s perspective here?

If the prime minister appears with Luiza Xhuvani and makes her a heroine because she was leaving parliament, after releasing her son, who had just suffered a one year  prison sentence following the murder of a young man, and serves it to Albanian people as the model of responsibility, what can Albanian mothers and children expect? To be killed and executed by the Xhuvanis and then be decorated by the prime minister?

Edi Rama is the murderer of the hope of tens and hundred thousands of Albanians. Albanians are leaving the country because they realize that there can be no hope in the country.


German authorities are talking about the possibility of reintroducing the visa regime. I have warned this a year ago and the truth is that this problem will persist and that this problem will be the main topic in the Vienna Summit, because this is a main issue for Europe today and in the future.

What is the Albanian PM doing? He’s trying in any way possible to transpose the problem in Germany, given that this country has announced that it needs foreign workers. Didn’t Germany need foreign workers two years ago? Germany has been applying a system similar to the Green Card for different professions for at least eight years. Why didn’t they use to go there before?

But what does this mean?

Why didn’t the same factor act two or three years ago and it’s acting in such a powerful way now? Rama, his connections to crime and the fact that there’s no hope in the country. This is what’s making people leave.


Those who leave and seek political asylum-and Albanians may have many problems, but they are not stupid-they know full well what a job application and a political asylum means. They know the difference. They have sought political asylum when they swarmed foreign embassies in 1990. They also need political asylum now. Hundreds of thousands have left. They haven’t sought political asylum, but they have only sought a job to feed themselves and that is it.

But who is to blame for this situation?

Albania. Therefore, the prime minister must not lie, but assume all responsibility and urgently summon the government and institutions to tackle this issue, otherwise, there will be unavoidable repercussions (reintroduction of the visa regime).

Does this problem make the Vienna Summit less important? It’s not that it makes it less important. I believe that way will be given to the projects of infrastructure, but this is a very serious problem.

I hope this doesn’t happen, but in the future, the visa regime will be reinstated.

What can be done to avoid this?

First of all, the prime minister must tell Europe and himself that he will stop refugees from Albania. This is the main task. This needs quick urgent action in order to restore hope among Albanians.

I call upon Albanians: Do not leave, because you will only suffer a painful saga, full of pain and the chances for asylum are zero. Let them come back and create hope in this country. This country has all the potentials.

*Former President of Republic 1992-1997, former prime minister 2005-2013, former leader of DP 1991-2013, current DP member of parliament