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Opinion / Editorial

25 reasons why citizens protested en masse today

25 reasons why citizens protested en masse today

Today, February 20, on the 33rd anniversary of the fall of the dictator Hoxha's statue in the center of Tirana, citizens came en masse from all over Albania to protest against the countless abuses and evils of the Rama sect in power. At the center of their total disappointment, towards the promises of this fraudulent government, there are dozens of big bad things that have devastated the country and killed the hope of the Albanians, as follows:
1. The terrible abandonment of the country. According to data from EUROSTAT and the Ministry of Immigration of Great Britain, there are over 750 thousand Albanians from Albania who have emigrated in the last 10 years to the countries of the European Union and Great Britain. The Rama Sect and the so-called Global Leader, the fundamental cause of the country's emptying, are exerting unprecedented political pressure on INSTAT, not to declare the bitter truth of the mass abandonment of Albania by its citizens. INSTAT completed the population census in October 2023 and, on orders from Rama, will declare the population data in June 2024, nine months later, in an unprecedented delay for any census being organized in the world.
2. The complete undoing of the 2,700-year-old port of Durrës. The destruction and relocation of the main commercial port of the country to Porto Romano, through a very difficult technical maneuver, since Porto Romano has shallows, to clean the money of corruption and oligarchs of the Rama sect, through an alleged investment of a yacht port and villas, of an Arab billionaire.
3. Adventure with the construction of the commercial port in Porto Romano. The abandonment of finding a strategic foreign investor for the port, allegedly because the soft loans of the European Union Growth Plan and international donors take time to be delivered and the completely irresponsible choice, to meet the cost of over 2 billion euros of the port's construction new from Albanian taxpayers' money.
4. The return of gambling, this social and economic scourge, in the online format. Without asking at all about the danger of the massive spread of the vice of online gambling among young people and even teenagers, the ruling Rama sect passed the Law on Online Gambling in recent days. This sect is completely blinded by the greed to make money, laundering the money of corruption and organized crime, through an activity that breeds addiction, impoverishment and family drama.
5. Mass cannabisization of the country. According to the Report on the drug market in the EU countries, of the European Center for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Albania for several years has been a leading producer of herbal cannabis intended for the European market".
6. PPPs. According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in Albania, public-private partnership (PPP) concession contracts not only account for over 16.5 percent of national production, the highest figure compared to GDP in all of Europe, but are prepared without considering the cost-benefit ratio and in most of them, contain risks, which the State Budget bears either all or most of them.
7. Hand-stitched laws. According to Transparency International and the US Department of State that has cited it in its reports, Albania differs in laws prepared on the exclusive basis of the interests of a business lobby, even of a certain business or oligarch. It is enough to mention the National Theater Law, the massacre of lands under the 2020 Law, as well as the massive abuses of the Strategic Investor Law.
8. The surrender of national interests, ruining the perspective of the competitiveness of the national economy, with the participation in the "Open Balkan" initiative of the Serbian President Aleksandër Vucic.
9. Handing over the sea to the Greeks, with an agreement with the government of the neighboring country, to address the issue in an international court, significantly weakening the national position in the determination of Albania's waters, according to the well-defined rules of the coastline.
10. Doubling the public debt. In ten years 2013-2023, Albania's public debt (the official and hidden debt of PPP obligations and VAT obligations, etc.) has jumped from 7 billion euros to over 14 billion euros!
11. Rampant embezzlement in public investments. All official data from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy speak of increased costs for the construction of one kilometer of road. They have a high difference in roads built with money from the State Budget, compared to financing and soft loans from donors. The average cost of 1 km of road has tripled in the last ten years!
12. Facade policy. Expenditures at levels above 650 million euros per year, not according to the 3 E's (Effectiveness, Efficiency and Economy) and OECD/SIGMA principles of responsible administration of public finances, as well as economic damage of hundreds of millions of euros per year.
13. Financial black holes in oil and energy. Government policy that allowed and encouraged massive abuses with Albanian oil concessions and scandalous purchases and sales of electricity by KESH.
14. Installation of the anti-culture of irresponsibility. None of the high-ranking officials of the Rama sect, accused of abuse of office and corruption by the country's independent institutions, has left office. In contrast, some have been promoted.
15. Considering the opposition as enemies. Derogatory language, verbal attacks and attempts to buy opposition representatives have become permanent and common occurrences of the sect in government, motivated and giving a personal example in these attacks by the so-called Global Leader himself.
16. Hitting the media. Only the insinuations and verbal attacks of the media close to the government are not enough. Every time the country's independent media attack and denounce government affairs, the tax and customs authorities initiate selective controls and fines against the companies that finance these media.
17. Encouraging criminal groups and then "eating their heads". The use of elements with a criminal past and criminal groups during election campaigns is already a common phenomenon during the last ten years, denounced by the OSCE/ODHIR reports and also witnessed in the local elections of May 14, 2023.18. The usurpation of all independent institutions and their (mis)use. The last flagrant case was that of the (dis)use of the National Institute of Statistics, ordering it to delay by nine months the publication of the results of the 2023 Census, which would prove the mass abandonment of the country. Albanians have voted "with their feet"!, fleeing by hundreds of thousands every year from their homeland, due to the blocking of free initiative and the asphyxiation of oppositional thought, produced by the ruling sect
19. The destruction of agriculture. Implementation of incoherent and blocking fiscal policies of domestic production. The 6 percent VAT refund on purchases for farmers was canceled and a new 10 percent VAT tax was imposed on raw materials. The VAT refund threshold for capital investments in agriculture (purchase of machinery, production lines, etc.) was increased tenfold! The budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for 2024 was lower than that of 2023, at a time when the misuse of IPARD II funds has prompted the OLAF Investigation Office of the European Commission to block the funds of the IPARD II and IPARD III Programs of the European Union for Albania.
20. Significant lack of protection for the poor. Despite 900 million euros of surplus income in the State Budget for the years 2022-2023, the government of the Rama sect only reimbursed pensions in these two years, without carrying out any real increase of them for 790 thousand pensioners!
21. Lack of business protection and selective fines against it. In the last two years, Albanian exporters are being destroyed and are on the verge of bankruptcy, due to losses from the depreciation of the euro by 17 percent, compared to the lek in the domestic market. The government of the Rama sect only promises aid and support packages to exporters, especially fashionistas, mocking them and leaving them at the mercy of fate. Fashion factories have thrown thousands of employees between the four streets in recent months, brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the murderous indifference of the Rama sect. Meanwhile, there are dozens and hundreds of businesses plagued by selective controls and fines for their activity, while the "mavi" businesses, favorites of Rama and his sect, are never controlled and win endless tenders from the State budget.
22. Arrogant and manipulative Gebelsian propaganda. Every day, from the early hours of the morning, the mind of the common citizen is bombarded by thousands of messages and statuses, as well as hundreds of broadcasts, articles, interviews and videos on the websites of government institutions, on social media and in traditional media. Every day the reality is deformed, to spray only the pink paint of the pseudo-"achievements" of the Rama sect.
23. Robbery of Butrint through concession. This completely unusual and unprecedented form in Europe, of granting private concessions to the country's archaeological treasures, such as the Butrint National Park, constitutes a cruel and destructive blow to our cultural heritage, its preservation and development.
24. The devouring of the Flag Square in Vlora and the halving of its surface, allegedly by "requalifying" it. The interventions in the Square constitute a heavy blow to the symbol and national awareness of our historical values.
25. The attempt to rob the Commercial School of Vlora - the symbolic school of Vlora, which this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of its creation, just as they did with the grant of the Port of Vlora to build buildings. Concession procedures are being carried out through occult contracts and agreements, severely damaging the interests of the national economy and the future development opportunities of this main water port of the country.
Tens of thousands of citizens today filled "Dëshmorët e Kombit" Boulevard and in front of the Prime Minister's Office, to protest against the above evils and against dozens and hundreds of other evils, which Rama, his sect and oligarchs have been imposing on the citizens for over ten years and Albanian taxpayers.