2 November 2019 Interview of the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Ilir Meta for the newspaper “MAPO”
JOURNALIST (Blerina Gjoka): Mr. President, we are reaching the end of a year in which you have been indisputably the protagonist. Starting with the return of some decrees, such as the appointment of ministers and the announcement of another election date. All this has kept you in a constant battle with the government. You have motivated your stances as constitutionally based, but you cannot deny that you have also maintained strong stances with a political load.
PRESIDENT META: My stances have always been in full respect of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania and based on my constitutional responsibilities as President of the Republic.
Every act and decree has been clearly based on constitutional and legal principles, arguments have been exhaustive, and made public.
All laws in accordance with the Constitution and the interest of Albanian citizens have been approved by the President of the Republic with full responsibility and satisfaction.
Any law that has been contrary to the public interest, the national interest and the Constitution has been returned to the Assembly for review in the most transparent manner.
It is up to the citizens to look at and appreciate the President’s constitutional stances for the benefit of the country and the interest of the Albanian people.
JOURNALIST: How much do you think your decisions, your positions and acts, have influenced the easing the tension of the situation. In the meantime, it is evident that you have also created some kind of tension in clashes with the government and the majority.
PRESIDENT META: All the President’s messages, from the first day of taking the oath with the hand placed on the Constitution, until now, have been in the service of the country’s stability, the fulfillment of key reforms, the progress in the country’s integration process in the European Union, as well as the discouragement of artificial and absurd conflicts between the parties, as a collective political sport of Albanian politics in which no one bears responsibility for his actions.
All the messages delivered by the President and the acts undertaken by him have been aimed at stabilizing the political life in the country and fulfilling the reforms for the European integration of the country, which should have been accomplished long ago.
If in your opinion there has been tension in the relationship between the President and the government or the majority, everyone is aware that this tension never originated in the Presidency, but in the Prime Minister’s unyielding desire to undo any democratic institution in the country.
It is not the President’s job to create tensions, neither with the government, nor with the opposition, nor with any other factor, on the contrary. It is the primary duty of the President to abide by his oath to protect the Constitution and the general interest of the Albanian people.
The President’s efforts have always been to avoid violating the Constitution and the interests of the Albanian people.
The President has always exercised his constitutional powers.
JOURNALIST: What do you foresee, what is the decision that the majority will make at the end of the parliamentary inquiry that it is making against you. Are you prepared for the impeachment scenario?
PRESIDENT META: I have been and I am being very clear that I will abide by my constitutional oath, fulfill my duty with high responsibility and transparency, and defend the constitutional and democratic principles of the country until July 24, 2022.
JOURNALIST: Meanwhile, the game you have played with the symbols on the social network “Facebook” has become apparent. You have often posted things that seem to have been enjoyed by you. There have also been postings that do not go well with the figure of a statesman. For example half-naked photos in the beaches with comedy actors, or fishing on an official schedule on a Friday, i.e. a work day .
PRESIDENT META: Never expect me to stroll along the seaside in a suit and a tie during the beach season, in order to look like a statesman.
In my daily life and in my spare time I am as simple as all other citizens.
I show my behavior as a statesman through the task I perform.
It is a pleasure for me to associate in my spare time with comedy actors and artists, journalists and sportsmen, but also ordinary people everywhere on the coast and especially in the mountains of Albania.
However I have been modest in my posts, because if you were to look at the postings of many other figures and various Presidents of the world, you would faint from what you would see.
JOURNALIST: Do you have advisers, close people who have the space to oppose you, to tell you some truthful thoughts, for example, that it doesn’t make much sense to publish these photos, or when holding a cat in your hand ..
PRESIDENT META: I have advisors and people close to me whose opinions I receive on various issues related to the work and responsibilities of the institution of the President of the Republic, but without being allowed to interfere in my relations with my beloved cat Sasha or in my latest “love” Celtic FC.
JOURNALIST: When you left the SMI, you said that you asked Luan Rama to keep safe for you the party membership card. When do you think you will regain it?
PRESIDENT META: I really like Felipe Gonzales’s saying, “The future is no longer what it was.”
JOURNALIST: You have often recently been critical of the opposition. Have the criticisms been genuine, or to balance your positions. Where do you think the opposition was wrong, what are your remarks ..
PRESIDENT META: My views have been very clear to both parties that created this absurd situation and the artificial crisis that the country is in.
In my estimation, the opposition should not have followed the path of abandonment and the de-legitimization of institutions, but should have done everything to prevent the seizure and usurpation of institutions.
I have always been clear that the opposition should not have the approach of de-legitimization and the majority that of usurpation of institutions, approaches that have no meeting point, but to find the way to political dialogue in the interest of the country’s integration.
The Bundestag Resolution is the reference point for resolving the crisis in the country and for the integration into the European Union.
It is the best platform for the country to emerge from the crisis and achieve reforms for a faster EU membership.
JOURNALIST: Why has the thesis that you are not interested in new justice has been spread, and that you can be a subject of it, an idea often articulated by the majority.
PRESIDENT META: This is a stale theses sponsored by those who deliberately want the failure of the Justice Reform and the capture of all new justice institutions in complete violation with the Albanian Constitution.
It is clear to all that without my efforts, the Justice Reform of 21-22 July 2016, which was approved by 140 votes, would not have been achieved, but it would have been created as failed and Albania would not have received the positive recommendation for the opening of negotiations in the fall of 2016, due to the consensus on the constitutional changes.
Everyone knows who is interested in the annihilation of the Constitutional Court and the High Court.
Fear belongs to cowards. This has nothing to do with the President, as everyone knows he does not belong to this category.
JOURNALIST: You’ve been in politics since the early ’90s. It’s been 3 decades already. And you had all the top government positions. And yet from the energy you display, and the day-to-day activity, you create the idea that you’re not at the ending of your career, on the contrary. When do you think it’s enough for a politician?
PRESIDENT META: Enough for a politician is when he is afraid and terrified of the free vote of his citizens.