OSCE Ambassador Borchardt Speaks about “Progress in Fight against Corruption,” But Where Is It?

During an anti-corruption conference organized by the government yesterday, OSCE Ambassador Bernd Borchardt declared the following:

Albania has made several important steps in the fight against corruption. The cases of vote buying were referred to the prosecution, but where are the convictions?

Even though the ambassador spoke about “important steps,” without showing more clearly where these steps were taken, the perception of Albanians about corruption continues to remain unchanged: corruption in Albania is everywhere, and has become more present over the last year.

According to the RCC Balkan Barometer, 46% of Albanians think that friend or family “in important positions” are necessary to find a job. This number has increased considerably since 2015, when only 30% shared that opinion, thus showing the increase of nepotism under the Rama regime.

In the same report, 54% of the Albanians interviewed reported to have paid bribes in healthcare institutions during the past 12 months, while 19% had bribed a judge and 14% the police.

Other results from the Corruption Monitoring System 2016 of the Albanian Center for Economic Research show that about 50% of Albanian citizens report they have been asked, directly or indirectly, for bribes by public officials. Compared to the previous 2014 report, this is an increase of 5%, again showing the increase of corruption in the Albanian government under Prime Minister Edi Rama.

These observations show that the anti-corruption measures that the government claims to have taken have remained a paper tiger, and continue to fail to actually influence the daily lives of Albanian citizens.