From: Exit News
Albanian Government Launches Agency to Control Public Information 

During the first government meeting on Saturday, Prime Minister Edi Rama launched a new agency tasked with centralizing all government information and public relations, as well as monitoring interactions with media and social media.

In its third consecutive term, the Rama government will speak in one voice, broadcasting from this “agency for media and information.”

Sources told Exit that the agency will be headed by Mr Endri Fuga, who has been in charge of Rama’s public relations for the last 8 years. The post will be equal to that of a minister.

“[Its] general director, whose status equals that of minister of state, will be the spokesman for the Council of Ministers,” Rama’s decision stipulates.

The agency will appoint and dismiss spokespersons in each ministry and other central institutions, a task previously under the responsibility of each individual institution.

It will regulate all public and media relations for every ministry, and each minister’s public appearances.

The agency will also appoint a team for public relations and monitoring in each ministry and other central institutions, according to the decision. They are all prohibited from talking to the press. All public information will first have to be approved by the director. 

All those employed under the agency will be hired and fired by the prime minister, and they won’t be under the protection of the law on public employees.

Part of the agency’s job is to monitor the media and social media “to evidence the public perception and attitude toward the activity of public administration institutions.”

The political agency for control of public information and monitoring of social media will be paid with taxpayers’ money, unlike prime minister Edi Rama’s TV station, which he has claimed is operating through voluntary work and private funds.