Focus: The Chess Player Ilir Meta and 'Get the Job Done'
By By Linda Karadaku
Albanian Daily News
Published September 5, 2016

I do not know how to play chess, but I have been always very interested in the chess of the politics as such an interesting game, unpredictable, with kings, queens, horses and officers, other wardens and of course, of course, there are soldiers as well... It has interested me observing it from the outside and that because of the impact it has on our daily lives, in the present and the future, which is used and abused so much as a word and as a term, so much that it seems distant and unattainable ... I do not see the chess of politics as the game of the sports professionals, but as the game of the Machiavellians of politics, which, in the end, unfortunately, has only winners and losers, regardless on which side is the right. Then, the winner makes the history in which we all belong to, like it or not.

Turning back to the current chess of the Albanian politics, I have always been impressed by the combination of the Balkans temperament with the Mediterranean one, of the emotional politics with the pragmatist one, and lack of the vision of politics as a profession, meaning that the one who gets in, becomes part of it, must be prepared, educated, trained, climbing stairs gradually, trying to do his job, which should be part of the gear of the movement of the state, having pillars and mechanisms, a whole system that guides and leads the individuals in power and administration and not the opposite. To put it simply, what we have here is an inverted pyramid where the officials and the politicians, instead of being part of the system, of its gear and its fixed and non-negotiable pillars, are on the contrary, individuals with power and in power that transform, destroy and alter the system which is either missing or is terribly fragile and can be easily dissolved. Amendments to the Constitution so often and so much are one of the many examples of this.

However, within this policy, as it is, in this chess game of it, it seems that there are pragmatists who have played and play pragmatically, getting through this chess game and extraordinary movements, their place and their weight in the system.

Mr. Ilir Meta was not the main player at the beginning of the judicial reform, even up to the latest weeks before its approval he was seen as a golden, safe vote which did not need to be negotiated. But his extraordinary move in this chess of the politics, playing the role of the advocate of the opposition, but meanwhile playing simply for himself...made him a first-class player and irreplaceable. The opposition agreed, gave the vote, Meta reached the consensus and the chess game ended with the victory of Meta, the draw of Rama and a chess corner for Basha.

An interesting settled game, Rama could not be disappointed, at least not publicly and not in front of Meta, because ultimately, it was realized what he had invested himself and asking for; Basha was also pleased that succeeded to get out of a stalemate situation in front of everyone, including the internationals, and Meta himself, had won the game in front of three players, with all their crews, Basha, Rama and the internationals.

In itself, justice reform was like a casino game where the players put on the table all they had and played "all or nothing." As for the internationals, regardless of what has been said and is said, regardless of the names and titles, they represent their respective countries and extremely large and important powers, where the pyramid is not overturned like in Albania, but is running from its normal direction, where the system determines the behavior of the individual and the official, low or high level, and not the opposite...

Two things were important for the internationals, "get the job done" and "deliver" results. Meta realized this and played great, making both, performing work and delivering results. It was this precisely that penalized Basha, failing to make any of them until the last 24 hours (it took Meta's chess game to achieve consensus and Basha and his own crew voted); that also triggered nervousness on Rama who did not seem to have been willing to play in this game of chess with Basha, but to dictate the outcome up to the chess corner position. Both, Basha and Rama were within the logic of the Balkan and Mediterranean of the game of politics, making the game of nerves at a time when the game required pragmatic, calculated movements to perfection, to win or at least, to reach a draw out.

To give one more argument for this, it should be noted the voting on the law on vetting. While Rama was repositioned in the chess game, this time in the right position in relation to Meta and Basha, as players, Basha failed to rediscover his position. Meta, in his pragmatist calculation, played exactly within the framework of the two principles of the internationals "get the job done" and "deliver" results. This simply cemented his position as a politician who plays sharp, clear and smart while maintaining open all lines of communication with Rama, Basha and the internationals; but ultimately, playing on his own and for himself, playing to perfection the role of the politician that stands between the parties, negotiating with everyone, but without violating his own red lines. And the latter, made, not simply talking about it...

What is impressive is that Meta, despite of all that has been said and is being said for him, by different sides, did and does politics, being more than a pragmatist. Being a chess player with a lot of experience in the field of politics, with a career built amidst large tensions and clashes, he has nevertheless preserved bridges with everyone, forgetting, passing, forgiving, rebuilding broken friendships and continuing forward. Players he had in front of him have followed him in this way of doing politics because they needed him and probably, because in their mind, without articulating it in words, they envied his way of managing himself, the party and politics. Meta appears to be among the first to realize that politics is not about emotion, hysteria and ideology. Politics is already made by pragmatism, concrete results with local and international partners and with the people, becoming a real and stable factor.

The time has come to Albania that meta model (as Erjon Veliaj also said in front of the SMI youth forum...) be understood and used by the rest of the politics in Albania and perhaps beyond the borders because be it the politicians, be it the ordinary people, have become aware, seeking a politics that produces results, be it consensus, be it politics, jobs, better education, decisions and proper management of the country to significantly improve the lives of the citizens.

The majority of the people in this country are not attracted anymore from the ideology; they can be spiritually linked to the right and vote for the left and vice versa. What decides the vote now is the welfare, jobs, the street of the village, the vegetables market, children's education and the like that have to do simply and necessarily with everyday life.

Meta has understood this and is masterfully playing it in the chess of the politics. The question remains to what extent will be other political players, and if Albanian politics will manage to build a system that will be untouchable and unbowed to the desires and Machiavellianism of the politicians and officials that replace each-other in rotation.

Current Events
World News