The frequent protests that the opposition is holding are at the focus of the media reports, but what the media is not reporting is the amount of money being spent to keep these protests under control.
The government and its institutions must apply different measures and these measures are made possible through taxpayers’ money. New security systems, cameras, recorders, special weapons for teargas and an entire arsenal of police equipment have been purchased by the authorities.
The fact that authorities increase the threat level from 2 to 1 during the days when the protests are held, also increases expenses for Special Forces and other security structures.
All of this leads to expenses which would have been otherwise avoided and the money spent on them could be spent on other more pressing things for society.
On the other hand, in some cases protests have also turned violent causing damages to different government buildings.
This too adds up to the extra costs that must be paid through taxpayers’ money. So far, there has been no official assessment of the damages and the cost for managing security during these protests. However, government officials admit that expenses are going up.
In an interview for Albanian Free Press, Fadil Nasufi, current MP of the Socialist Party and former mayor of Berat and prefect of that district, also admits the fact that the protests are incurring extra costs.
Nasufi says that “the government does not enjoy this situation”, adding that: “State institutions have a duty to allocate extra people, energies, equipment and money in order to maintain public order during these protests”.
Meanwhile, Nasufi also points out that there’s another cost that the country must face: “These protests cause a big damage to the image of Albania”. In fact, this situation has other implications too. This is also confirmed by Mr. Nasufi: “These acts bring insecurity, instability and uncertainty for businesses, tourism, investments and development”. Now that protests have been scheduled to take place every time parliament meets, which means at least once a week, the situation is aggravating even more. Therefore, an effective intervention to calm the situation down is necessary and unavoidable. All we can do is to wait and see what the future has in store for us.