President Ilir Meta has vetoed the Law on Foreigners over an alleged lack of analysis by the government of the country’s current needs and the law’s potential consequences.
He requested that the new parliament adopt a law that would also help keep Albanians in their country, instead of allegedly focusing on attracting foreign workers to replace them.
In his decision to return the law to parliament on Tuesday, Meta argued that the law basically plans to replace migrating Albanians with foreign workers, thus posing a national risk. The law passed in parliament in June, only a few weeks before the end of the legislative session, and was approved without an analysis of the current situation and the impact it could have in the future, the president claimed.
He stressed the fact that Albanians lead the list of asylum seekers in Europe, its numbers being the second worldwide in 2020 in relation to its population, and have had the highest rate of migration in the region during the last 10 years. The government and parliament must propose policies and laws to stop this workforce drain instead of just easing procedures to replace them, according to Meta.
In his analysis, if the parliament passes the same law for a second final time, Albanian could face an uncontrollable situation with foreign workers pouring in.
The law has very vague wording when it comes to criteria for providing workers with permits, and the government has taken up the right to issue permits through special orders by the prime minister, in violation of constitutional requirements that this be carried out by specialized agencies, according to specific legal requirements.
It stipulates very limited time for applications of Albanian workers for vacant jobs, while at the same time facilitating foreigners’ applications, according to the president.
Meta stressed the alleged lack of analysis by the government and majority before passing the law, as well as the lack of an analysis of potential consequences. How can Albania provide foreign workers with basic human rights, welfare, security, at a time when Albanians are leaving the country in worrying numbers, the president asked.
President Meta called for the law to pass after thorough public consultation and political debate in the new parliament which better represents the Albanian people, as it will also be attended by the opposition, that will re-enter Parliament more than two years after its boycott.
Delaying policies on stopping Albania’s “depopulation, the biggest drama affecting the country”, could have catastrophic consequences for the country, the president warned.