Sakiqi’s Response Raises Eyebrows in Netherlands

The response of Albanian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Adia Sakiqi, has raised eyebrows in the Dutch press. In an interview on Top Channel, Sakiqi had claimed that news about the Dutch police preparing a report in which a suspension of Albania’s visa exemption to the Schengen area is advised, were merely sensational rumors.

Both Albanian news outlets and Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf had covered this report and the potential consequences for Albanian citizens.

In the interview, Sakiqi even went so far as to claim that the Dutch police should rather occupy itself with the “5,600 legally employed prostitutes” working in Amsterdam:

It was a short, sensational article, in which a journalist speaks with an employee of the police of Amsterdam. And the employee talks about his daily challenges, in a city like Amsterdam, in which there 1.5 million tourist per year who come to visit coffeeshops. Not ordinary tourists. A city that has 5,600 legally employed prostitutes, which attract about 200,000 visitors per year.

It is completely unclear what legalized soft drugs or prostitution has to do with her argument, but it is certainly an attempt to cover up the fact that 1) the interviewed person was a prosecutor, and not a simple employee of the municipal police, and 2) he didn’t talk about his “daily challenges,” but about the rapid increase of crime perpetrated by Albanian nationals.

Sakiqi’s transparent attempt to blame the Netherlands for its “own” crime, has been picked up by the Dutch media, and will certainly be noticed by the Dutch administration as well. Media outlet Elsevier writes:

Adia Sakiqi addressed the Albanians on the national television of Albania. The Ambassador in The Hague called upon the Albanian people not to worry too much about the news from the Netherlands. It is nonsense news from a sensational newspaper, Sakiqi said.

According to De Telegraaf, a high official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for EU enlargement, told the Albanian ambassador not to take the news seriously. The Ministry, however, denies this.

The Dutch authorities, Sakiqi says, should focus on addressing crime related to drug traffic and prostitution, which is nourished by tourism in for example Amsterdam. But the report from the prosecution actually shows that Albanians play a large role in the criminal world.