From: Arjan Balla
Students’ Protest Slogans Ridicule PM Rama’s Arrogance

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is internationally known for his eccentric and flamboyant style, is nationally (in)famous for his peculiar public discourse, which has increasingly turned arrogant, mocking and aimed at whoever dares to criticize or disagree with his actions.

During the last few days, a protest led by students opposing public university tuition hikes, a corrupt educational system and the frustrating lack of future prospects gave him a taste of his own medicine. In a typical arrogant fashion, he called the students “failures”. However, it seems that PM Edi Rama is out of his depth when facing a new media (and meme) savvy generation.

The following slogans are a reminder that a democratic regime requires citizens and representatives alike to listen – and hopefully learn – from each other. Arrogance destroys the public space, it belittles the use of reason to convince one another and it shatters the minimum requirement of a democratic society: treating one another with dignity. But the assumption of someone else’s dignity is predicated upon the possession of one’s own inner consciousness. Not to be confused with the Prime Minister’s tireless stream of consciousness.


“I came out of (Plato’s) cave.” [In reference to Mayor Veliaj’s previous insult directed at protesters a few weeks back: “cavemen”. Mayor Veliaj is seen as PM Rama’s protégé.]
“[We are] The failures sought after by Germany!” [In reference to PM Rama’s calling student protesters “a bunch of failures”, and the high rates of young graduates immigrating to Germany.]
“[Van] Setting off to Germany. One person more and we’re full.” “We have sweat blood but it’s not for you!”
“The truck to the UK is cheaper than the university in Albania” [In reference to illegal immigration.]
“Last night I slept at the Faculty of Civil Engineering 3D dormitory!!!” [In order to placate student dissatisfaction PM Rama posted on his FB page a 3D rendering of an alleged project to build new student dormitories.]
“Failures sought by Germany.” [Faculty of Medicine students hung their white coats at the gate of the Ministry of Education.]
“Don’t worry Lindit [Minister of Education], 6.8/10 is not a bad GPA” [In reference to the Minister of Education’s GPA, after PM Rama had called students “failures”.]
“Failure today – Minister tomorrow” [In reference to PM Rama calling students “failures” and Minister Nikolla’s personal low GPA.]
“Who said we wouldn’t be hard (to deal with)!” [An innuendo in reference to PM Rama’s comment on previous protesters earlier in the year insinuating with a double entendre that they are not ‘hard’.]
“Article 4 of PM Decision abolished. Students keep protesting. Lindita [Minister of Education] be like [Pikachu]”
“Lindita = Inter – You both screwed us over” [Minister Lindita Nikolla and Inter Milan FC]
“I am a failure. What’s your superpower?”


“The government is a failure in education”


[In reference to Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro’s call on young girls “not to f… boys who don’t have a library in their home”]
“If (demands != null ) { Protest ++ ; }”



“Merry Tax-Mas and Happy New Fees!


“Oh GOD, where have you thrown us!”


[Multiple pictures of Minister of Education Lindita Nikolla behind PM Edi Rama]
“I am not Lindita’s daughter” [In reference to Minister’s ability to support her daughter’s education abroad]
“Make university great again”



“We want books not google translate!” [Alluding to the prevailing corruptive practice of university professors plagiarizing materials online and using them in the classroom.]
“Lindita (the Minister of Education) wouldn’t know what paying tuition fees means since her daughter fees are paid by the Albanian taxpayers


“We will not leave you in peace until you cut in tuition fees…”


“Easy with the annual tariff!”__ “I cannot afford to be a student anymore!!!”___ “Payment in installments”___ “DROP the 67 lek per credit FINE” “Public or Private?!?!”


“Annual tariff (40 thousand AL) + Exams tariff (20 thousand AL) = 404 Error Money not found” ___“The key to freedom is an individual’s education – The key to tyranny is keeping people ignorant”


“You ask to meet us? Can you manage to look at us straight in the eye?”___“We are not failures! We are miseducated!!”___“Last year the Architecture Faculty welcomed 105 new students. Today 101 students have to repeat exams.”___“Student voice. Not [party] politics.”
“Abolish the Decision of the Council of Ministers on taxing [subjects’] credits”
“Against concessions of exams”


“You can’t delete our words like (you delete our) Facebook comments!” [In reference to the Prime Minister’s habit of deleting (inconvenient) comments from his Facebook page.]
“With our money, their children study at Harvard”


“Why do you force me to hate my own country?”


“Parents are in debt because of our tuition fees.”


“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”


“What if the cure for cancer was trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?”


“Tax the banks, not the students!”


“€500 [bribe] per exam. Incompetent lecturers. Usurping administrators. What a fine university!”___“Corrupted professors, you are like a plague for this society.”
“Never give up! We are the true power.”


“1990 is BACK” [In reference to students protests on December 8th 1990, which precipitated the collapse of the communist regime.]