Prime Minister Edi Rama has complained to Forbes about not being understood by Albanians, despite his “patient” attempts to “educate” them and explain his work as the country’s leader.
In an interview published on Tuesday on Forbes in French language, when he was asked about his relationship with power, Rama spoke of the “leader’s solitude”, suggesting that he finds himself not understood even by his collaborators.
Rama said he received less criticism and awards when he was the mayor of Tirana but things have changed since then.
“As Prime Minister, I am more exposed to unpopularity because it’s about launching structural reforms at national level. You have to be very educational and patient while you explain the merits of your action. Finally, I will borrow another quote from President Mitterrand who rightly spoke of ‘the leader’s solitude’. It was true yesterday, and it still is today,” Rama told journalist Sabah Kemel Kaddouri of Forbes France.
He said that his government’s success with the management of the coronavirus lies in his decision to introduce lockdown measures in March 2020, before other countries did so. He added that the financial support for the unemployed and businesses, as well as the tourism season helped the economy stand the crisis.
Regarding Albania’s progress in the EU accession, Rama spoke of “a very complicated context at the global and European level.”
The Albanian Prime Minister supported French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for reforms within the EU, as well as his ambition to make France a “Start-Up Country”. Rama added that his own policies also aim at making Albania a country for entrepreneurs, illustrating his government’s work with the e-Albania platform where businesses can report wrongdoings by public administration officials.
“We support start-ups through various tools like the digital platform dedicated to them. In this space, entrepreneurs can directly report bureaucratic wrongdoing to the government. We focus on the transparency of political and public life but also on the digitalization of professional and private procedures.”
Asked about his beginnings as a politician, in front of his current “excellent results” in reducing the number of the unemployed, and his more general “very ambitious policy for the country”, Rama explained that he is engaged in politics by accident.
“I am a politician by accident! My life as an artist-painter and teacher at the Fine Arts has always fulfilled me, so that I never had the ambition to exercise the profession of governor! Being in an office all day long with incessant calls and messages was certainly not my primary vocation. But life often has other plans for you. I hesitated for a long time before entering politics when I was offered a ministerial post.”
Rama then concluded that it is “the greatest possible honor” for him to lead Albania.