The “European” dream has been trying for a long time to teach us a lesson, but we are undoing the dream and the work of Albanians toward Europe and Europe toward Albania, every day! I feel like mentioning one of them: European financing. The European taxpayers are concerned with the insecurity resulting from organized crime led by Albanians, and are holding their government accountable and demand the whereabouts of their money in Albania in the past 27 years. Where did it go? How was it distributed? Who benefited and how much? Why are Albanians still a problem?
The EU official reports deem that even with the financial support that went to Albanian institutions and the Albanian community to aid the Albanian integration into Europe, the progress remains slow and Albania is still in transition and with a fragile democracy: there is corruption, and it is considered the European Columbia of cannabis. And there is organized crime, too.
There have been millions of euros plugged for 27 years into the Albanian community in form of grants, technical aid, and soft credit. Hundreds and thousands of trained Albanians, millions of euros worth of projects for enhancing the capacities and the quality of human resources and institutions, projects on increasing awareness, qualification training for civil servants, staff of universities as centers for future education, and the state police and customs officers. Millions of euros for national development, infrastructure, economy, and agriculture.
Europeans know a different reality, however. Albanians are connected to drugs, crime, and prostitution! The number of emigrants, asylum seekers, family reunion requests, job applications have increased; students, unemployed youth, Albanian families, leave the country; professionals, non-professionals, educated, uneducated, they all leave the country. On the roads of Europe, they leave!
While the Europeans want accountability for the millions of euros “dropped” into Albania to help the country “make it,” they put pressure on their governments to remove visas from Albanians. Albanians must hold this government accountable and demand why it is not stopping crime, corruption, and drugs that make unemployed people leave for Europe, but instead Albanians perceive the the act of visa suspension as injustice done to them.
Indeed, for many of us, being in Europe means that we should be free to move in its direction, without feeling responsible for anything! Can we as Albanians hold our government responsible for millions of European euros spent to help Albania succeed, can we put pressure to fight corruption, crime, and drugs? Or is all we can do drop our rigged vote in the ballot box? Europe has found its solution! In the name of its taxpayers, it is pressuring our irresponsible government, which is mainly concerned with the steering wheel and the baking tray and has become a cozy shelter for organized crime, talking endlessly and inviting its youth to assemblies offering fuchsia platforms, without making any single effort for their future and employment.
This pressure doesn’t discount the Albanian opposition, which must react and become strong to offer hope, trust and offer European alternatives to Albanians! Europe chose not to remain silent, and it is putting pressure on us, demanding higher responsibility and accountability for our government! It is right, after all, that after millions of euros that were “dropped” we Albanians should have become the best version of ourselves!