Editorial: For whom the bell tolls? The foreshadow of regress is already here

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 19, 2019 10:11

Editorial: For whom the bell tolls? The foreshadow of regress is already here

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  • It is one of the hardest blows to the image of the country and a very gloomy foreteller of negative outcome of the EU Council meeting that will decide the fate of opening the negotiations. How can a country that favors returning the visa regime simultaneously agree to open accession negotiations with Albania?

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TIRANA TIMES EDITORIAL

This week, the majority of the MPs in the Dutch parliament took a vote to ask to their government for the return of the visa regime with Albania. The dramatic development included several political parties in the Netherlands who are also well presented in the governing positions. This decision will not materialize soon and the relevant ministers have already presented the arguments against it. Also in any case the EU is bound to strike it down give its existing regulations. However, more than a decade after the visa regime was lifted for Albania, such a development risks to put in jeopardy, even in just rhetoric, one of the most significant achievements in the post-transition phase. The damage is already done giving Albania a hard hit on its already fragile image, discouraging investment and putting another dark a looming shadow also on its perspective.

To be fair, this decision of the Dutch MPs is a biased indictment of the Albanian people and society built on perceptions that should have not been generalized. The situation of Albanian crime in the country or in other countries of the EU, exaggerated as it is often by the media, would not warrant this decision alone, unless it was coupled with an evaluation that Dutch politicians are implicitly making about the country. This decision is translated into a position of the Netherlands, a key EU member state, that Albania is a captured state by organized crime.

It is one of the hardest blows to the image of the country and a very gloomy foreteller of negative outcome of the EU Council meeting that will decide the fate of opening the negotiations. How can a country that favors returning the visa regime simultaneously agree to open accession negotiations with Albania?

In the midst of this crisis, Albanian politicians instead of assessing the dramatic damage being done are continuing with their domestic crisis or their fake indifference. The government though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is downplaying the realistic probability of the decision, being turned into policy, willingly ignoring in the process its significance and the signal its ends to other skeptical EU states. Unbelievably the Minister of Internal Affairs justifies the current increase of serious crimes by complaining that the opposition protest are consuming attention and resources. Equally ridiculous and farfetched are the declarations of the Deputy Prime Minister and the head of the majority’s parliamentary group that this development has been reached due to the friendships and lobbying of the leader of the Albanian opposition in the Netherlands. Trying to portray Lulzim Basha as holding a parliamentary majority of the Netherlands under his sway is an ultimate irony on the claimers themselves.

So the ultimate outcome is that alarming bells rings deaf for everyone who should take responsibility and action over it.

In times like this it would have made sense for visionary politicians with the nation’s interest at heart to join forces and turn up together, with resolve and clarity and ask for clarifications from the Dutch Parliament over such an aggressive decision upon all the Albanians citizens. They would have to work hard and lobby together to protect the freedom of movement which is so sensitive to all their constituents and was very well deserved by Albania through fulfilling all conditions in the relevant roadmap.

Albanians do not the isolation that they were subjected to from the absurd visa regime for years. Neither do they deserve the politicians who are not lifting a finger to protect them from this dangerous and humiliating let down.  

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 19, 2019 10:11