6 July 2020 Statement for the media of the President of the Republic, H.E. Ilir Meta
Since we could not hold the conference on Friday due to the visit of the Prime Minister of Kosova, Mr. Hoti, I estimated for this week, to once again draw attention to all so as not to lose focus on dealing more effectively with COVID-19 pandemic.
The increase in the number of citizens affected by COVID-19, but unfortunately also the number of victims, urgently requires a serious and responsible reflection by all, by state institutions, by the government, by the opposition, by enterprises and by every citizen.
A new concrete and long-term strategy with well-defined protocols is very necessary to cope with and control the growing spread of this pandemic, which has seriously endangered the health and lives of citizens.
It is also necessary to communicate even more intensively and more efficiently with neighboring countries, with those of the region, with EU countries, as well as with the WHO, to combine actions and exchange information in real time in order for this the new strategy will allow us to get out of this situation as safely and quickly as possible.
Expressing my deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones, as well as wishing a speedy recovery to all affected citizens, I emphasize once again the importance of respecting with maximum rigor the health protocols and preventive measures.
It is vital to increase the efficiency of these measures, through awareness, transparency, inclusiveness and increasing the spirit of cooperation, as the major common goal should be to protect the health of all citizens, but also the national economy, given that we are at the peak of the new tourist season.
In view of this position, I have promptly decreed and announced two laws last week:
– Law no. 76/2020 “On the approval of the normative act, with the force of law, no. 22, dated 27.5.2020 “On the abrogation of the normative act no. 13, dated 2.4.2020, of the Council of Ministers, “On taking special measures in the field of judicial bailiff service activity, mediation and administration of bankruptcy proceedings, during the duration of the epidemic situation caused by Covid-19”, approved by law no. 34/2020 “;
– Law no. 77/2020 “On the approval of the normative act, with the force of law, no. 23, dated 03.06.2020 “On an addition to law no. 8668, dated 23.10.2000, “On equipping Albanian citizens with passports abroad”, as amended “.
This law approves the Normative Act of the government that extends the validity of the passports of all Albanian citizens whose deadline expires within 2020, until December 31, 2020.
This measure taken is welcomed, given that it has come as a result of the current situation created due to COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it is necessary that state institutions, especially the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, our Embassies abroad, start and from the situation of pandemics should engage and immediately make the relevant notifications, in order that Albanian citizens are not penalized at the border if ascertained by these authorities when they are on a trip outside the territory of the Republic of Albania, with a document that has expired.
For this mitigating measure of the Albanian state, they must take all the necessary communication actions with all other states, I believe and with your help that you are here, i.e. the media, to inform our citizens wherever they are.
Also during last week I issued the authorization for the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs for the full force for the negotiating group of the Republic of Albania to negotiate the draft Foreign Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for the Project “ Response to Emergency COVID 19 in Albania”.
Any kind of borrowing in terms of the current level of public debt, is seen with more attention on my part, but should be looked at carefully by you as well.
However, when the concrete agreement relates to the emergency response created by the COVID-19 pandemic, I confidently issued this authorization, accompanied by a specific request that: The Negotiating Group representing the Republic of Albania in these negotiations, fulfill their duty in compliance with the Constitution and the legislation in force in the Republic of Albania, always taking into account the need to protect the public interest.
At the same time, I would like to welcome the vote of the Assembly last week on the election of the new Chairman of the State Supreme Audit.
I am glad, despite the delay, that the 4th candidacy proposed by the President of the Republic was finally evaluated objectively. On this occasion, I would like to thank the first three candidates, who were extremely dignifying and representative, but for reasons that are not worth commenting on here, they were not approved.
I wish that Mr. Arben Shehu, to lead SSA only in compliance with the Constitution and the laws in force, always being independent, impartial, and unaffected by any form of pressure to cover or hide abuses with public funds.
At the same time, before coming here, I received in an official meeting Mr. Bujar Leskaj, the former Chairman of the State Supreme Audit during the past 8 years, thanking him for the work he has done at the head of this institution and for the contribution that has given in its strengthening and especially in all those statistics, which are evident and have to do with the denunciations of abuses with public funds.
At the same time, during this past week, the Institution of the President of the Republic has officially forwarded to all institutions such as:
– Justice Appointments Council;
– Albanian Assembly;
– High Judicial Council;
– High Prosecution Council;
– High Court;
– Independent Qualification Commission;
– Special Appeal College;
– Public Commissioners;
– Constitutional Court;
The opinion of the Venice Commission “On the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court”, officially translated into Albanian, highlighting the respective issues for each institution and the importance of institutional cooperation between all.
The opinion of this Commission is a document that should guide all justice institutions.
Its short-term recommendations should be addressed immediately, while long-term ones should be a reference point for their ongoing activity.
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly declare not only the support of the President of the Republic for the Justice Appointments Council, which during this vital process for the functioning of the Constitutional Court, must provide all relevant institutions with the necessary information and conclude without delay the review of candidacies for three vacancies in the Constitutional Court.
Once again, I want to emphasize that politics and all institutions have different priorities. But I would like to draw your attention to two main priorities:
Firstly, not to underestimate the taking of even more complete, even more rigorous, even clearer measures to deal with pandemics, because it can turn into an even greater threat in the days and weeks to come.
Secondly, for everyone to engage in meeting the conditions for opening negotiations with the European Union. Let’s not forget that on July 1, Germany took over the Presidency of the European Union, and this is a very important opportunity for all of us.
During these 6 months, we should take an important step forward, but for this we must show will, determination in fulfilling the conditions, especially the basic ones. Any artificial tension that diverts attention from these two issues, such as coping with pandemics, or meeting the key conditions for holding the first Intergovernmental Conference on Negotiations, would be a very serious responsibility.
The first, costs the lives of citizens. The second, costs Albania a lot in terms of fulfilling the common European dream of all Albanians.