This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Plator Nesturi
I don’t think that there will be anything new with Saturday’s protest. Beyond the threats that this will topple Rama’s government, that there will be other audio recordings that will further compromise Xhafaj and so on, everything seems to be part of a big void. It’s also hard to believe the threats coming from the SP that it holds proofs for the involvement of opposition officials in the quantity of drugs that was seized in Maminas. Everything looks like a battle where none of the sides are willing to enter a war. They resemble two neighbors who shout and threaten each other, but nobody dares to cross the fence. And this happens because nobody is willing to change and that political relations between the sides resort to the old formula of bargaining in meetings behind closed doors. If something had changed, we would some important politician being convicted or arrested.
In Macedonia, former PM Gruevski is sentenced to two years in prison for purchasing a car for 600 thousand euros. A case which would look ridiculous and absurd if we compare it to the accusations that political parties in Albania address to each other. These accusations involve abuses with millions of euros in public tenders. In Albania, the only thing that people do is insult and launch accusations, but nothing happens, because nobody is willing to give up the other person. Therefore, even today’s political tension, where Tahiri and Xhafaj are accused, does not look that terrible for the majority, because both sides know the maneuvers and how far the other goes.
What’s special about the day the opposition holds its protest is that a senior US State Department official arrives in Tirana. Solutions continue to come from abroad, from as far away as possible. Despite their political war, each one of them notices the gesticulations made by foreign diplomats or envoys who are sent here to evaluate the crisis and negotiate a deal.
The solutions continue to come from abroad, but what makes this immaturity even more dangerous is its primitivism. Political crises exist in each country of the world, but elites know how to find a solution and sacrifice for the sake of the state and rules that they have built. What we saw in over two months, but also in the history of our pluralism is another phenomenon. In Albania, the political class not only doesn’t have the maturity to solve crises by choosing its channels, but worse than this, they are used to block the laws of the state. This way, the political crises prevent the functioning of the state and their solution becomes a concession at the detriment of the law and the state.
All over the world, crises show that the state and democracy suffer from an illness and the temperature of political debate indicates the level of inflammation, but the solutions and compromises offer to democracy a new space to breath and this helps further functioning of the state. It is hard to think that compromises in Albania have killed the virus and the crisis. And in most cases, they haven’t even helped the functioning of the state and democracy. The virus is still there and chances for it to be removed with the current compromise are very slim. A compromise to postpone the crisis, but not to heal Albanian democracy from the effects of dominance, clashes, the empowerment of the main figures and the fact that the interests of the people are not taken into account, because this compromise of the last minute offers very few guarantees that the factors that cause the crises will be removed. Albania may hold elections in two or three months or in two or three years, but nobody can guarantee that the crisis will not emerge again after them, with new tension and fresh theses.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy