Who Is Attacking Ilir Meta and Why?
By By Ilir Kulla
Albanian Daily News
Published September 16, 2015

1. Albanian Parliament Speaker, Ilir Meta, has been openly attacked in the last 2 weeks by the opposition which has demanded his resignation, but, apparently, even by the circles within the majority after a presupposed scandal related to the collection of debts from former "CEZ" Albania. For this, it is allegedly said that the former CEO of “CEZ” Joseph Hejsek hasmentioned the name of a former Albanian Prime Minister as the man who had supported an Albanian company owned by Mr. Kastriot Ismailaj, for the debt collection of "CEZ". Let us explain some facts. Firstly, collection of debts of “CEZ” through private companies is not a crime and “CEZ” at that time was a private company.

Secondly, Mr. Ismailaj, who is neither a smuggler, murderer or drug dealer, but banker and business man, since several months is serving his prison time in Fier, as he is accused of money laundering and fraud, of course these are charges that should be proven by the prosecution. On the other hand, his personal and business assets have been blocked since more than 1 year. 

Thirdly, Mr. Ismailaj is not a friend of Meta as well-informed sources are trying to prove and this is proved just by the fact that if he was his friend, he would not be in prison today, nor would his assets be seized. Not because Ilir Meta would exert pressure or impede the justice, but because justice has proven itself in 25 years, that when it comes to political connections, they actually use double standards.

Fourth, and most obvious, when Mr. Ismailaj started to know and have friendship relations with “CEZ” Speaker Meta was in opposition, but even when he was in coalition, he was only the Foreign Minister, but, apparently, too Foreign for Berisha’s government. Unfortunately, the man who could better prove this fact passed away three weeks ago, the late ambassador Tepshi. 

Last one, if the company would be Meta’s or if he would have interest in it, then how do youexplained the fact that it was exactly this company, which was stripped of the right to collect debts of "CEZ" in 2012, precisely when the Ministry was directed by a minister of Socialist movement for Integration during the DP-SMI led government. 

Therefore, the question that arises is why is Ilir Meta being attacked and who is attacking him, because the facts that are lined here are known to all parties, to the former government as well as the current government.

2. Ilir Meta is attacked not for the past, he is attacked for the present and for the future, or rather to confront the growing power he has gained from 2005 until today in six electoral processes. He now has 200,000 votes more than 10 years ago when he became the reason of the loss of the Socialists, removing Fatos Nano from the scene and allowing Berisha to come in power.

He also managed to stay on the scene in 2009, when the Democratic Party and Socialist Partychanged the Constitution, namely to leave Ilir Meta out of politics. At that time, SP paid the price of 4 years in opposition without Meta as in 2005. He also succeeded in 2013, leaving Berisha in opposition after 8 years of ruling thus making the Socialists take back what they said for him in those 4 years. The reason why Meta is attacked is because all parties are clear about the fact that if SMI continues with this trend even in 2017, with this number of votes and with this growth, then, the next Prime Minister will be Ilir Meta.

3. Ilir Meta is attacked now because the parties were terrified of the election result of SMI. The Socialists saw how Ilir Meta, who knows the grassroots of the Socialist Party better than the Prime Minister Edi Rama and as much as Gramoz Ruci, can make the grassroots of SP easily pass to the SMI rather than converting them to the new SP’ purple color transformation. Socialists in the grassroots know and face since two years not with the clientelism and corruption of Ilir Meta, but with the arrogance and contempt of the Socialist Ministers and Directors to whom, Prime Minister Rama was right to say in the letter he addressed them “to kill the Turks in them.”

Ilir Meta is attacked now even by the opposition because the opposition came out of the elections with a bad result and it saw that instead of growing, the opposition shrank while SMI grew. Unlike MPs of SHQUP, whom you can find every day in cafes of former Block, Ilir Meta, SMI MPs and its directors can be found every weekend at the base and with people. The three-month summer camp of SMI youth in Jale is very significant. Every week, some 1,500 youth went therein shifts while many SP lawmakers went there to talk with them about the future of their country. The Democratic Party saw even the result and the list of city councilmen of the SMI of Tirana and probably it realized that if it continues so, the DP will remain only with the opposition in lock coffees and social networks.

4. Ilir Meta is relatively young, only Lulzim Basha is younger than him currently, but he has 25 years in politics, same years as Berisha and Ruci. Everyone knows this very well. He has been Prime Minister two times, lawmaker in three times, two times he has been Foreign Minister,  once Minister of Economy, one time Secretary of State, lawmaker since 25 years and nowSpeaker of Parliament. All those who know him are clear that Ilir Meta is neither an NGO, nor a “sheep” part of the “political sheep rows” and nor a wild political animal because he has the features of a statesman more than anyone else who is in the current political arena of Albania.

Given that Ilir Meta can’t be disappeared through political means, apparently someone has thought to ‘sacrifice’ him for the corruption. Perhaps, this was why Meta chose two years ago notto be part of the executive, but to chair the Parliament, taking into account the fact that soon someone would have a desire for a sacrifice. Fortunately, former Ministers are in Parliament and the current ones we know how the Prime Minister described in his letter which was made public.So even the “Sacrifice” can not be done. The new political season has started with momentum, but the real sprinters of politics have not entered the runway yet.  





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