Posters have started appearing on the doors of closed businesses across Tirana.
The image consists of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s face with the words “Thank you for the bankruptcy” emblazoned underneath.
They have been placed in reference to the strict COVID-19 measures and the lack of effective aid packages, resulting in a loss of jobs and closure of many businesses. Some 120,000 people are estimated to now be jobless and 20% of small businesses have closed so far.
Albert Nasto, Head of the Small Business Association said that COVID-19 measures closed 91,000 businesses with only 6,000 able to continue working. He added that most businesses could only withstand 20 days of non-operation, let alone three months.
He said they had made a number of requests and suggestions to the Albanian government but only one had been considered.
“Businesses that are opening today, 20% of them are bankrupt. We are talking about thousands of jobs. There are 70,000 who have lost their jobs, but we as an association see that there are about 120,000 unemployed. ”
He predicts that if things continue in this way, we could see up to 85% of small businesses going bankrupt.