Albania in the Context of the European Economic and Political Crisis

Berisha in Crisis

In the second term the Government that Berisha formed in coalition with another party called the Socialist Movement for Integration (formerly part of the Socialist Party) increasingly lost their legitimacy. The reasons vary from the high level of corruption in Government, on which I will show you a video in a min, the stagnation of the economy because of the Global economic crisis, and the high percentage of unemployment which officially is only 12.8% but in reality it is a lot more than that. The consequences of this loss of legitimacy started with a scandal in January 2011 when a video was released showing Ilir Meta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the same time the leader of the Socialist Party for Integration discussing with the vice-leader of his party on a bribe of 700 000Euros that a company, more precisely an individual, had offered to win the tender on the construction of a waterplant to produce energy.

The opposition and the Socialist Party called for a demonstration on the 21st of January. This is the year of dreaming dangerously. The guards in front of the prime ministry killed 4 people in that demonstration. The opposition didn’t stay faithful to the demonstration neither in the day of protests leaving their supporters get killed without their lead in front of the prime ministry, nor after the demonstration when they kept the situation quite in a sense since the international community took the side of Berisha and the Albanians weren’t ready to demonstrate and die for an opposition that was as corrupted as the government.

Another site of struggle which embodies a great symbolic happened last year. In September of 2012, a group of 25 former political prisoners of the Enver Hoxha Dictatorship went on hunger strike against the Berisha’s government. It lasted for nearly a month. Two of them set themselves on fire. One of them died. Their demands were: full monetary compensation for their years of imprisonment during the dictatorship; free access to health care and free housing; social integration and moral dignity. None of their demands were met, nor did an Albanian Spring take place.

Currently, the Socialist Party in coalition with the Socialist Movement for Integration won the General Elections held on June. While the Program of the Socialist Party was interesting because it tried to play with a leftist rhetoric like progressive taxation, although only on personal income, free universal healthcare, training for all the young jobseekers, implementing policies to lower the price of electricity and oil, etc. and it raised the support by 90 000 vote, yet it was the Socialist Movement for Integration that surprised everyone with an increase in support by more than 100 000 votes and this really disturbs me. Still, I hope that their promises with raise the expectations of the people.


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