Former political dissidents in hunger strike, the government: Those who are still alive to be paid first

Former political dissidents in hunger strike, the government: Those who are still alive to be paid first

Tirana, June 5, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, several former political dissidents of the communist  regime have started a hunger strike. They want to set the government in motion in order to make the financial compensation promised since 1991 and which is yet to be finalized.

The last government only paid a small amount of these compensations during its eight years in power.

The current government says that it will try to pay as many installments as possible that former political dissidents are entitled to.

In its last meeting, the government decided to change the law for the former political dissidents, mainly the part relating to their compensation.

So far, the law entitled those who were given the status of former political dissidents to eight installments.

The successors of deceased former political dissidents have been paid massively.

With the new law, 70% of payments provided by the state budget will be made for those people who are still alive and who have suffered prison sentences.

Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Erion Veliaj, explained for IBNA the changes in the law: “Beneficiaries follow this order: The first priority are former women political dissidents who live at the moment of the payment; it continues with former political dissidents that live at the moment that the payment is made and who are older than 75 years of age, those who suffer serious illnesses, those who in spite of their age, have grown up children”.

This amendment in the law benefits two thousand people. In total, there are 12 thousand people who enjoy the status of former political dissident. Minister Veliaj held a meeting earlier with some former political dissidents. He considered the meeting successful. Nevertheless, the hunger strike (photo) has been going on for ten days in a tent in the center of Tirana. /ibna/