Sigmar Gabriel was very clear in his message for the Albanian opposition, when he said that no one in Europe understood why a legitimated government should resign just a few weeks before elections, to be replaced by another.
The German Minister said that he would give this message also to the opposition leader, Lulzim Basha, during the meeting with him.
“It is important for the Constitution to be implemented, together with the judiciary reform. We appeal the government and Parliament to work based on the Constitution, in order to guarantee free and fair elections. This is the message that we are going to give the opposition. The entire Federal Government of Germany are convinced that the parliamentary boycott is not the right way to express your will. There is some fear regarding with the implementation of the judiciary reform”, Gabriel declared.
Minister Gabriel revealed a letter that the parties of the CDU-CSU ruling coalition sent to the Albanian opposition: “There was a letter sent to the partners of the ruling coalition. I am a social-democratic myself, and our CDU-CSU partners have written a letter sent to the opposition. Same as most of the EPP Parliament Members, they appealed them to not block the judiciary reform. Politicians who try to hamper this, go farther from Europe. Allow me to make you a question: what is more important? The interests of the country, or interests of political parties? The rule of law is the interest of citizens, not of small groups”.
The German Minister spoke also for the Berlin Process: “It started with euphoria, but the pace has somewhat dropped. It cannot be understood why the projects are not progressing. This is the role of some specific interest groups. Europe could have done more for Balkan.”
Gabriel has an advice for the opposition, which, according to him, would allow the country to progress with the EU path.
“The opposition is confirming the prejudices of many people abroad against Albania. Whoever boycotts the Parliament to block the reforms, is damaging his country. My advice is to find ways to abandon boycott and participate the elections. No one understands why the opposition wants a technical government before the elections. It is normal for the opposition not wanting the government, but at this point it is unacceptable. This way they only leave the country away from the EU. This is not our decision. This is the decision of the Albanian people. They are the ones electing the parties. Sabotage against the rule of law is not the best interest of Albanians”, Gabriel said.
When asked about the communication bridges that may be established between the government and the opposition, Gabriel said the only advise would be to implement the Constitution.
“My advise is to implement the laws and the constitution, and realize elections based on them. Basha’s argument is the mistrust that this government could organize free and fair elections. In this context, they need to make the necessary propositions. Germany, OSCE and EU should have received a proposition so that we could observe these elections better. If the opposition wants, we may do even more. But boycotting the parliament is not the way leading you to democratic elections”, Gabriel underlined.