This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Plator Nesturi
The six month work analysis concerning different state institutions brought a number of problems to surface. This was said by PM Edi Rama in the meeting of the Socialist Party assembly, when he talked about the obstacles that numerous sectors are encountering, threatening to take drastic measures. There will also be sackings, he said, and in this case, ministers will not be spared. However, these sackings will have to wait until September, once the summer holidays are over. It’s been several weeks now that in the meetings of the parliamentary group, ministers have presented their achievements in order to be analyzed by the SP’s structures. But, there hasn’t been any extra information as to whether the parliamentary group has approved the work that they’ve done and the sectors which have revealed to be most problematic. There’s only been silence in this aspect. Although there have been media appearances to talk about the work of the government, there hasn’t been any declaration by particular institutions. So, according to socialist senior officials, there’s been only success. The only thing that seems to indicate that things are not going well, was the speech delivered by the Prime Minister in the Assembly, where he criticized not only heads of institutions, but also heads of the party and mayors. In relation to this, a party task force has been appointed in order to examine the complaints that people have about institutions. The same scheme based on average points will also be applied on the issue of the mayors who will be rerun. These mayors need to fill an application form in order to assess their achievements and their failures. What we notice in this campaign of evaluation is the postponement of every decision that Rama will take when it comes to sackings or changes in the government. In the 28 year old history of Albanian pluralism, we could say that Rama’s governments have been the ones with the least changes and some ministers have broken every record as heads of certain ministries. It’s hard to think that this comes as a result of the excellent work that these ministers have done. It’s more of laziness on the part of Rama to start sacking people and face different balances within the SP. It’s not the first time that Rama has threatened with changes in the government. He has declared this even during his previous term in office, but the only changes that he made were conditioned by the agreement with Basha and the move with Tahiri that was imposed upon him. Therefore, we become quite skeptic when we hear that these changes are expected to take place in September. If the diagnosis has been discovered now, why should they wait until September to conduct the surgical intervention?
Meanwhile, there have only been sackings of low level directors, who are not enough to back the idea that changes have started to have an effect. Instead of this, fear is mostly present within administration, because it’s a known fact that the administration has not increased its effectiveness. Fear has recently spread among public administration. This feeling has not only affected simple specialists, but heads of departments and ministers too. The reason for this relates to the latest incentive of the Prime Minister to conduct an analysis of the work done by the state administration in the past six months, to see what’s being done right and what’s being done wrong with it. This has also led to rumors about government changes and changes in lower levels. But will the Prime Minister be able to launch such a wide scale operation with the aim of improving professionalism among the public administration and within the government or is this merely the next show?
At a time when the situation with the opposition is very aggravated and with the ongoing protests, any change would indicate fear and withdrawal due to the pressure exerted by the opposition. But this is also the only way to show that the majority has the power for self-improvement. During Rama’s five years in power, we have many examples where heads of local governments have survived for as long as the SP has been in power. Not that they have excelled or anything. They have merely survived as half forgotten, half politicized, pretending to act professionally.
If the Prime Minister is not aware of the fact that this administration is failing, then a campaign for changes would be mere demagogy and it would simply reinforce the perception that we will never be a consolidated state.
With his declaration that changes will be made, Rama gave the impression that something could change. Public opinion is expecting to see changes in the public administration, therefore it will closely follow the replacements that will be made. However, we should not have to wait until September to see this happen.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy