Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2019 13:56

Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

Story Highlights

  • Double standards between states may be understandable in any case, except for when the democratic values and European integration of one are at stake like never before.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR 

Dear Editor,

I heard Austrian Ambassador Johann Sattler commenting on Albania’s current political situation while he was in Shkodra. Among other things, he touched upon the infamous BILD wiretaps published last week involving Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama and Co. – I say infamous, also because international representatives in the country are mostly choosing to ignore their publication and all it might imply. Sattler, like a real diplomat, did say the wiretaps might be genuine, (PM Rama and other government officials involved have accepted the wiretaps as genuine) but reiterated their veracity should be left to the judicial system to decide (actually the wiretaps come straight from the prosecution investigation files). “Hope lies in justice,” he said, and even brought forward as an example Austria’s recent video-scandal case, which saw the publication by two German media of a video that showed the Austrian deputy chancellor and leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, talking to an unidentified woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch at a luxury resort in Ibiza. The video provided considerable reasons for the Austiran justice system to be implicated in solving it, but the case did not reach that far – Strache and his parliamentary leader, Johann Gudenus, who had initiated the meeting, resigned on Saturday, saying their behaviour was “stupid, irresponsible and a mistake”. Shortly after their resignations, the chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, of the centre-right Austrian People’s party, called snap elections, likely to be held in September.

This seems to me a bit of a “quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi” case – “what is permissible for Jove ( Jupiter), is not permissible for a bull.” Austria sought to save itself from a deadlock and political crisis by not only accepting the politicians’ resignation as the most normal thing to do, but also by heading to snap elections. However, Austrian representatives advise the opposite in a country like Albania, where the same judicial process will probably last for years before (and if) someone gets punished by law.  

Double standards between states may be understandable in any case, except for when the democratic values and European integration of one are at stake like never before.

David Stojani

Student

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2019 13:56