Hypothetically, On the Refugees
By Alqi Kociko
Albanian Daily News
Published June 21, 2018
The more the day Albania expects to hear the European Union decision regarding the opening of membership negotiations closes in, the noisier become the rumors that the price Tirana should pay for a positive answer (even if conditional), is related to Syrian refugees and others from the East.
Prime Minister Edi Rama once again denied this idea. But German, Austrian media have mentioned it as a hypothetical possibility for Albania to serve as a shelter and a backyard in the event of increased waves of refugees toward EU. Austrian Chancellor Kurz also hinted at this. PM Rama's adviser, Mr Sandėr Lleshi, categorically rejected this option.
Finally, Deputy Interior Minister Hodaj emphasized that the country does have the capacity to host some 600,000 people "as this was shown by the Kosovo crisis" some 20 years ago.
What is going on? Is there something being played underground and Prime Minister Rama prefers to leave the subject wander in evasiveness, in the hope that a positive EU response would fade away any possible debate on this issue? Is the opposition spreading unnecessary panic, by setting wings to the fantasy and saying that the government mafia is preparing speedboats to send the Syrians across the sea as soon as they arrive?
How is it possible that even a government minister, Mr Majko, is worried that if these rumors are true, he would rather refuse opening of negotiations with the EU on such terms? Is Mr. Majko uninformed, and if so, would not it be right for the prime minister to keep at least his cabinet members updated? Even more so, now that the government is made entirely of his trusted party ministers?
It is possible that very soon everything said on this issue turns out to be media exaggeration, misinterpretation and misuse of news. But to tell the truth to the end, there is a basis for panic on the scenario that a population of 3 million, with this socio-economic situation, suddenly sees at its front door a refugee line composed of one-fifth of its own numbers.
After all, didn't the Iranian mujahideen show up just like this?

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