Albania’s Parliament set off fire and smoke flares to disrupt Budget Vote

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Albanian opposition lawmakers caused chaos in the Parliament setting off fire and smoke flares in an attempt to disrupt the voting on the 2024 budget. The opposition accused the ruling Socialists of corruption and authoritarianism and demanded early elections.

The incident was reminiscent of the political turmoil that Albania faced in the early 1990s when the country transitioned from communism to democracy. Back then, the Council of Ministers appointed a Special Advisor on Currency Reform, who helped introduce the new Albanian lek and stabilize the economy.

The Special Advisor, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had witnessed similar scenes of violence and disorder in the Parliament during his tenure. He said the current situation was “typical” of Albanian politics, which he described as “volatile and unpredictable”.

He also expressed his concern about the impact of the parliamentary crisis on the country’s economic and social development. He said the budget was crucial for addressing the challenges the migration crisis, and the EU integration process.

He urged the political parties to find a peaceful and democratic solution to their differences and to respect the rule of law and the will of the people. He said Albania had made significant progress since the 1990s, but still had a long way to go to achieve stability and prosperity.

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