Paris, France | 30 May (Tirana Echo) – The Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has told France 24 TV that the process of EU membership talks of Albania won’t cost a penny to EU government while adding that the latest anti-government protest carried out by the Albanian opposition as an internal affair of Albania, and not as a piece of news worthy of the front pages of European newspapers.
Statements follow a lukewarm demonstration organized by opposition parties in the country’s capital Tirana last week, where protesters demanded the resignation of interior minister Fatmir Xhafaj and the departure of socialist prime minister Edi Rama, following allegations that Xhafaj used his influence to help his brother escape a 7 year jail sentence in Italy.
Mr. Rama said for France 24 that “seeking the prime minister’s resignation was a normal thing in a democracy. Albania has witnessed even greater protests of this kind in the past.” Rama said.
Commenting on the latest recommendation by the European Commission to open accession talks with Albania, Rama said negotiations will continue for several years and Albania in the meantime will keep on implementing the reforms needed to prepare for EU membership.
Rama, who is currently touring EU states to rally support for Albania’s accession talks, pointed out that the launching of accession talks “will not cost even a penny to the EU”, seeking to calm French, German and Dutch fears of committing to a formal opening of EU membership talks with the highly corrupt small Balkan country.
The European Council will convene in June to decide on whether it should formally open accession talks with Albania and Macedonia, whose leaders hope to bring home something positive to their tired and frustrated local voters.
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