It has become customary, in these last 25 years, for something curious to happen with the major part of important diplomats serving in Albania. Something that transforms them from the normal, common people they are in the countries they come from, to superstars of a country where transition doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, no matter the internationals’ many attempts.
Ambassadors that give opinions on everything, ambassadors that appear on TV shows, ambassadors that live in worlds parallel to the reality of most Albanians. And, recently, an ambassador that can’t seem to be able to leave Albania, even with her term officially ended. A woman who, besides the strong critiques from the opposition for overstepping her jurisdiction, besides accusations of purchasing a villa worth several millions, has always been held in admiration by leftist politicians that seem to have made her believe that she may even become a social media model.
There can be no other explanation for the publication, on the Tirana EU Office’s official website, of Romana Vlahutin posing for a picture, as she receives the Honorary Citizen of Vlora title, in front of a mirror stating “I broke my rules for you.”
Perhaps, a few days before her not-so-glorious departure from Albania, the ambassador wanted to let us know that certain things are worth breaking the rules for. It seems this strategy also worked for her when, a few days ago, the Tirana EU Office’s official profile posted another picture, in which Minister of Internal Affairs Fatmir Xhafaj appears bathed in light, as a God-sent, while Vlahutin, in the lower corner of the image, seems to depict a worshipper.
What could possibly forge such a strong connection between a controversial minister, who has been alleged to be unfit for his position even by EU officials, and Brussels’ envoy to Tirana? Only Vlahutin can provide an answer.
However, since it seems that she has decided to spare the statements, and let pictures do the talking. A simple scroll through the EU Office’s official profile suffices to let one know that, besides a crowd of bodyguards that surround her at any given moment, the ambassador seems to have a whole staff dedicated to her photographs, her clothes, and the curation of her image. As if to remind us that the Justice Reform, the fight against drugs and trafficking, the decriminalization of the parliament, and other EU-driven initiatives, sound strong and serious. However, when they are clothed and presented like the ambassador is in Tirana, they lose a lot of their seriousness, only to become “Albanianized” and corrupt.
I don’t know if there are any other ambassadors in Brussels who love the spotlight this much, but if there are, we must pray they don’t come to Albania. We have too much on our hands with having to stroke our Prime Minister’s ego, as it is.