Albania to sue Italian news outlet over waste import article
- "We intend to sue the news website for the inaccurate false article. No waste has been dumped in the country. We have confirmed it with the Italian intelligence and customs service,” says Prime Minister Rama
TIRANA, March 14 – Albania’s government plans to sue an Italian news website, Pianeta Italia News, over the publication of an article claiming that hundreds of tons of hazardous waste was dumped in Albania last year.
Prime Minister Edi Rama, speaking in a television interview this week, denied allegations made by the Italian news outlet, which went viral in the Albanian press and gave more ammunition to the country’s opposition, which is seeking Rama’s resignation.
“If there is such dumping of waste in Albania, we can say that the country is done. Opposition is desperate. They have sponsored a fake article. We intend to sue the news website for the inaccurate false article. No waste has been dumped in the country. We have confirmed it with the Italian intelligence and customs service,” Rama said.
Meanwhile, authorities in the port city of Durres are investigating suspicions of hundreds of cargoes carrying dangerous toxic waste entering and being dumped in the country while on route to Macedonia.
The article published by little known online news outlet was picked up by larger news organizations, which alleged the involvement of a major criminal organization, the Ndragheta and that the waste may have been dumped in different Albanian districts, including Fier, Vlora, Shkodra and Dibra.
Recently, Albania’s ambassador to Italy, Anila Bitri, said she sent an official letter to the news agency that broke the story, saying that the news report are distorting and are damaging the image of Albania.
According to Ambassador Bitri, facts mentioned in the news reports are not accurate and the article in question targeted Prime Minister Edi Rama and the government of Albania “causing damages that have severe consequences in the social and political balance in the country.”