Austrian Deputy Hammer: Drug Cultivation and Traffic Obstacle for Negotiations Destruction of cannabis plants.

Following harshly formulated comments from the Bundestag’s EU Affairs Commission Chairperson Gunther Kirchbaum yesterday, the Austrian ÖVP Deputy and chairman of the parliamentary Austrian–Albanian friendship group, Michael Hammer, stated in a press release that the accession negotiations with Albania “will be started, when certain requirements and conditions have been fulfilled. In general one sees positive developments in Albania, especially in the bipartisan judicial reforms, but also acute problems.”

On the way to the European Union there, however, is still a lot to do, especially for the implementation of the judicial reform and in the realm of the freedom of speech. But most of all, in the field of the battle against crime, the many cases of drug cultivation, the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the country are a big problem. In relation to these there also need to be more results in the fight against drug and human trafficking.

Especially the problem of drug cultivation and drug traffic needs to be urgently solved by the Rama government and the responsible institutions. The government has to say a clear no to this practice, so that its international image can change. This problematic is a most essential obstacle for the actual beginning of accession talks! It is here that the Rama government has to become active and clean up the case. From the side of the European Union this development has to be strictly monitored.

Yesterday, Austrian television channel ARD aired a reportage about cannabis production in Albania, doubting whether Albania is ready for EU accession negotiations.