Eddie Rama in EURACTIV: We will not cheat the EU like Greece did


A few hours before his meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, in an interview about Albania’s accession to the EU, made a point about Greece

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, who will host the EU-Western Balkans Summit today in Tirana and meet the Greek Prime Minister, gave an exclusive interview to EURACTIV, leaving serious barbs against Athens.

He stated, neither more nor less, that Greece “cheated” to join the European Union.

O Rama will meet with Kyriakos Mitsotakis today, who will also visit Albanian Municipalities with a strong presence of the Greek National Minority. However, it was cancelled his historic visit to Himarra due to weather conditions.

In his interview with EURACTIV and Alice Taylor, Rama spoke on the eve of the summit about enlargement, regional tensions and the need to advance reforms to ensure the authenticity of the enlargement process.

“We should not forget that the integration process is a process based on people and values. We have to do our ‘home exercises’, these are not exams you can cheat on. Even if the professors are very willing to help you pass […] it’s in your best interest to pass the test properly,” Rama stated.

“And because it’s for our own good,” he said, “we have to have institutions that work.”

Not like some countries did in the past, like a neighboring country, Greece for example, that cheated a lot. He took money from Europe, went through a period of opulence, and then ended up very badly“, emphasized the Albanian Prime Minister.

The European perspective of Albania

Albania started accession negotiations in June 2022 and is set to begin the process of aligning its laws with the EU acquis.

But there are many areas that require reform, such as the rule of law, corruption and media freedom, according to the European Commission’s latest progress report published in October.

Asked if he felt his government was to blame for slow progress in key areas, Rama admitted mistakes had been made.

“In hindsight, there are always things that could have been handled better and there are always problems that could have been handled better, no doubt,” he said, adding that there are initiatives to improve media freedom.

Tuesday’s summit will take place amid protests led by former prime minister and president Sali Berisha, who accuses the Rama government of corruption and of doing nothing to prevent mass migration.

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