This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.afp.al
By Frrok Çupi
What was supposed to happen, happened in Italy. Nobody was expecting the old traditional parties to win and very few people expected change to come from declarations and the inability to form a government. Those who are used to stagnation and paradigms do not accept change. Those who do not accept the “government of words”, demagogy, empty promises, corruption and crime, abortion and state without borders, they were looking forward to this.
This was the latest change of this kind in Europe. At the begging we had Brexit, then France, then Holland which remained an attempt and now we have Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, where right wing governments have been in office for years now. The EU is moving toward the right wing.
In Austria, the elections held on 15 October 2017 led to the creation of the government by the right wing. The right wing in the continent is growing:
In Germany, the right wing grew last September. Alternative for Germany (AfD), although it could secure a majority, it managed achieve a great victory managing to enter parliament for the very first time. 12.6% of votes (three times more than in 2013). The right wing is also growing in Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark…
Italy is the latest change: “Lega” and “Forza Italia” obtained 37% of the votes in the lower chamber and 37.5% in the senate. “Lega”, which is a euroskeptic party against massive emigration, received 17.6% of the votes, while the conservative party “Forza Italia” and its controversial leader, Silvio Berlusconi obtained 14.4%. The Five Star Movement, the party which received the largest number of votes, has positioned itself against traditional parties and against the establishment, the same as the right wing
When is Albania’s turn?
The same as the ones who want stagnation, many political clients in Albania do not believe that the Italian wave will clash on our country. It’s impossible for this not to happen. The things which have engulfed the continent and the natural allies like the US, will certainly affect us too… But when?
The question “when” was also raised in France, Germany and in Italy. Nobody knew when Great Britain would leave the EU, but it happened. Britain was tired of the extreme EU’s bureaucracy, by the lifeless offices, by corruption, promises and empty words, by someone’s discrimination on behalf of someone else within the bloc…
The change that took place in Italy represents something for us. Not because the wave came from far away and now it has come near our coasts, but also because our political situation is more comparable to Italy. In Italy, they voted against Europe, but also against themselves. The wave that clashes with us is similar to what is required here: Albanians are in love with Europe. So much so that the biggest frauds in the government and opposition mention the EU when they want to win the hearts of their victims.
Are people scared of themselves?
They were scared in Italy too. Fear made Italians “waste” their vote for the Five Start Movement that Vittorio Zgarbi compared not to a political force, but to a “five and three star” hotel. Even after the elections, Italian voters are scared. For voters in Albania, the fear of change is more “natural”. It’s inevitable for a nation which is used to common law until a century ago, a nation which has been ruined by the communist dictatorship not to be afraid of changing the “boss” in power.
Do people have a reason to knock on the door of the “old house”?
Traditional parties in Albania have become like a couple which has been together for 50 years. Both DP and SP are similar to each other. What they share the most is the fact that they are “old”, old in everything. None of the old parties cannot have a political offer. Here’s what happens: The SP came in power without a program, meaning, without an offer. This was not only a sign of arrogance by the SP. First of all it was a sign of decay. This party could not even come up with a program. What about the DP? The DP says many things, but at the same time it says nothing. It has no program, no ideas, no offers. Voters have no reason to knock on any of these two houses.
Where are the new parties?
This question is similar to the first question: why this delay to embrace the new wave? The fact that today we don’t see any other new parties being born, this responsibility falls on traditional parties. Old Parties have not allowed new political talents to advance. What’s happening in the DP is even worse: Although the chairman has lost everything, he doesn’t allow change. During the period of political monism, it was impossible to seek dissidence, let alone opposition. Here we have a climate which is almost totalitarian. If a new movement is set up, two permissions needs to be obtained: The first one from the political establishment; the second one from criminals and oligarchs. None of them is willing to tolerate. This is the point where democracy has come to.
Then, something else may happen, but it is impossible for the Italian model not to come here. The change may be harder than in Italy, however, change in the 1990s was not as hard as today.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy