1- The Prime Minister addresses a part of his population
April seems to have been a busy month for the Prime Minister. However, he avoided public appearance on April 1, and delegated the task to the Minister of Education and Sports and Deputy Prime Minister. The first praised higher education reform and the second announced the return of days off when celebrations coincide with the weekend. Immediately afterwards, on the second of April, while presenting in Parliament a meeting with representatives of FBI, the Prime Minister attempted to end his speech with something that would be memorable throughout the day. And indeed he succeded. Talking to the opposition he said: ‘’Don’t talk much, because then you will have to take back all what you are spitting…’’. This kind of language, unworthy for the streets, would not constitute a problem only if two conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, if it was not said in public and secondly, if it was not said by the Prime Minister of Albania. At this moment, as with other repeated moments of the Prime Minister’s public discourse, he seems to forget he represents an entire nation. Therefore, he should be held accountable for each word he pronounces. Moreover, the Prime Minister seems to forget, that each sentence directed to the opposition, is also directed to that part of the population that chose the opposition as its representative in Parliament.
2- Ideological incoherences regarding education
On April 7, Mr. Rama participated in the promotion of a project on digitalization of teaching, where among others it was mentioned that 47 000 high school students would benefit tablets and other similar equipment, to increase interaction during classes. This initiative is not only in complete contrast to village schools in Albania, left under the mercy of foreign donors or in the worst case scenario in the mercy of weather, but also an ideological absurdity. This leftist party claims to lead the country with leftist policies and instead of helping the disadvanteged, offers tablets for high school students in the capital.
3- Constructive populism
In Brussels on April 21, the Prime Minister gave the example of a cooperative and accepting model that Albania should offer in its foreign policy with countries from the region. Prime Minister Rama emphasized that relations between Albania and Serbia are extremely important for the stability and economic and social development of the Balkans and Europe. ‘’Albania and Serbia should look forward’’ – said Rama, ‘’by doing for the Balkans what Germany and France did after the Second World War for Europe. It is important to understand that the Balkans needs the European Union as much as the European Union needs the Balkans’’. These correct sentences, would be more valuable if he would leave behind nationalist populism (pointed out throughout the month from several diplomats and the Greek magazine ‘’Kathimerini’’), related to unification of Albanians, by not deepening further the weaknesses he shows from time to time in his discourse.
4- 300 thousand job openings…pending request
The following day, Prime Minister Rama returned to an almost forgotten promise for everyone: Employment. During a visit at a professional school in Fier, he referred to figures and percentages. ‘’…65% of those who attend professional education and 67% of those who attend university find a job’’. Without citing a source for these figures, of course. This optimistic view for professional education, comes at a time when even though more than 2/5 of the mandate has passed, the promotional figures of 120 000 new jobs are nowhere to be seen. This all happens while MP Ben Blushi, in an internal criticism towards the SP, shows unemployment has increased by 7%. However, after the meeting with students, asked by journalists for a declaration regarding accusations for unkept promises, Rama responded taking a defensive position: ‘’We never said we hold a magic stick to transform Albania into a paradise’’.
Meanwhile, with all the chaotic requests for asylum of disadvantaged Albanians towards EU countries (mainly Germany), the Prime Minister still has not made a public call to stop the flee. Until now, he has mentioned the phenomenon as a misunderstanding of recent days, while in statistics published by respective German institutions (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees), Albanian asylum seekers in Germany are as follows: 2012 – 251 cases; 2013 – 1295 cases; 2014 – 8113 cases; 2015 – 6486 cases.