At 13:00, recently dismissed Minister of Justice Ylli Manjani gave a press conference in which he explained the reasons for his dismissal, painting a bleak picture of the Rama government. He stated that he had been fired because he had spoken in an interview with Sokol Balla “without the permission of [Endri] Fuga,” the Director of Communication of Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Manjani said that he had heard about this dismissal through the media: “This is how the government goes down, we have to communicate through the media because messages don’t work.”
He blames the end of his post as Minister of Justice, which he took up last year after Nasip Naço had handed in his resignation, on his commentary on the widespread cultivation and trafficking of drugs in Albania, qualifying it as “clearly a revenge.” According to Manjani, he had spoken “without the permission of Fuga,” and Rama had put pressure on Speaker of the House Ilir Meta for him to hand in his resignation, which he had refused. All the while, he stated, international partners of Albania had in fact asked “for the dismissal of Minister of Interior Affairs Saimir Tahiri,” whose response to the drug crisis was considered less than adequate.
The Minister is not the spokesperson of the government’s propaganda, having to go out and say that everything is ok when it is not. […] The truth is that this is a government that is held hostage and is beyond any constitutional or legal standard. […] Prime Minister Rama has a lot of problems with the right to speech and the freedom of thought. He intervenes everywhere, and his ministers are afraid of him.
Another theme in his speech were the links between “Escobar of the Balkans” Klement Balili and the current government. He claimed that “Rama’s Ministers slept with their lovers in Santa Quaranta,” the luxury hotel owned by Balili, and that while he had urged for the capture of Balili, police chiefs had been “eating and drinking” in the hotel.
Finally, he addressed the government’s concessions, which have the topic of much discussion in recent months:
I have rung the alarm about the concessions, to tell the government that we are not ready to hand out concessions everywhere when we are not ready to face the financial bill. […] We haven’t been voted to power to hand out services with concessions, but to administer them better. […] Without the approval of the Ministry of Justice, the government approved €2 million for a law firm that would deal with [the lawsuit of] Becchetti, and they lost it.
In short, he said, “I feel honored that I have been fired by this government!”