Albania has entered an emergency energy situation, whose consequences will be similar to that of the emergency the government declared last year over the pandemic, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced on Friday.
Starting today, Rama’s cabinet declared an emergency situation due to expected power shortages. As stipulated by law, an energy emergency will give the government more freedom with regards to public spending and enforcing emergency rules.
It follows earlier warnings by Rama that the winter was going to be very difficult for Albania.
In a press statement on Friday, Rama said he had no other option but to declare an emergency in order to ease the effect on Albanian consumers of global electricity and fuel price hikes by putting in place an emergency plan.
The plan will be announced on Saturday, he added, and will be focused on protecting the most vulnerable Albanian—consumers and small businesses first.
It has been drafted according to experts’ forecast that the energy crisis will reach its peak next summer, and prices will not go down after that.
In a response to critics blaming the government for selling energy at cheap prices, Rama said they had to do it because Albania has no energy storage capacity. He promised to change this situation toward the end of his third mandate, when the biggest water reservoir in Albania and Europe, the Skavica power plant, will be completed.
Rama ditched some opposition proposals to overcome the crisis in Albania by calling them “Ponzi schemes.” He reminded the opposition that they are not the government.