Deputy Interior Minister Hodaj: Albania Can Host 600,000 Immigrants

Albania has the capacity and experience to be able to host up to 600,000 Syrian refugees. The Kosova war is an example of this.

Deputy Minister of Interior Julian Hodaj stated the above during an interview with the German television ZDF, that was made public by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

Hodaj’s declaration comes after a proposal Prime Minister Edi Rama made Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during their Vienna meeting at the end of May. Rama offered Albania up as a possible location for the construction of camps for immigrants refused by the EU, resolving, thus, the illegal immigrant issue the EU has had on its hands for some time.

It seems that the Rama government is attempting to convince Austria and Germany, through constant public statements directed at the German public (Rama in May, deputy Ministers of Interior Affairs Voda and Hodaj in the last few weeks), that Albania meets the conditions for sheltering illegal immigrants and keeping them outside of the EU borders.

This looks like a political maneuver on the part of Rama, who is struggling to retain EU support following the crime and drug problems his government has been plagued with.

The illegal immigration is a poignant one for the EU, as some Member States are refusing to take in any more immigrants, while others are being pressured to expel the ones that they have already taken in.

In these circumstances, a possible solution is the one proposed by Austria, and supported, in theory, by Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, to build several large camps outside of the EU, to hold all the illegal immigrants that will be expelled by EU Member States. This plan appears to have been recently endorsed by European Council President Donald Tusk, who called them “disembarkation platforms.”

Setting up camps in a country outside the EU has been part of Chancellor Kurz’s policy for curbing illegal immigration into the EU.

A concrete draft proposal of this solution will be presented for discussion to the European Council in their next meeting at the end of June.