Tension persists in parliament, as government goes absent, opposition protests

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 7, 2018 20:29

Tension persists in parliament, as government goes absent, opposition protests

TIRANA, June 7 – Tension continues to prevail in Albania’s parliamentary sessions, as Thursday marked the second week in a row the government was absent from the building, while the opposition continues to call for the resignation of Minister of Interior Fatmir Xhafaj.

The head of the Democratic parliamentary group Edmond Spaho, followed by chief opposition Democrat Lulzim Basha, said the session cannot continue without the presence of Prime Minister Edi Rama and Xhafaj, whom the DP is accusing of having ties with organized crime in the country.

As he occupied the parliament’s pulpit, Basha said he’d visited Berlin on Monday and Tuesday, invited by the country’s political representatives.

“Yes I was in Berlin on Monday and Tuesday, not in a clandestine visit as you claim, but invited by the highest German authorities to discuss their worry on how the political situation in the country, six weeks after Rama left Berlin, hasn’t improved, but gotten worse after Saimir Tahiri was set free and the same method is being used to save the Xhafaj brothers,” Basha said.

In this context, Basha said its impossible for German lawmakers to give Albania the green light to open negotiations.

“In these conditions, it’s unimaginable that the Bundestag will recommend opening negotiations,” he said.

Concerning accusations the DP is trying to block Albania’s EU integration, Basha said both the government and opposition want the same thing for Albania, but for different reasons – the SP because it believes the country deserves it based on the reforms, while the opposition because it views EU accession as the only instrument that can pressure what he calls a “government gang.”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 7, 2018 20:29