Albanians in Tirana have begun their eighth protest against rising living costs as the prices of food items and fuel have soared since February.
Holding a yellow banner emblazoned with the phrase “Stop stealing from us,” citizens began their march from Skanderbeg Square, in central Tirana, to the Prime Minister’s Office. Participants warned that they plan to continue their protests for the next 24 hours.
Albanians have been protesting for over a week over increased fuel, energy, and food prices, calling for various fiscal reliefs. The government has introduced some measures but has continually said the protestors are shameful and are bolstering the Kremlin.
Protestors have fought back against these claims, saying they support the war in Ukraine. In today protest, several people sported Ukrainian flags, and told Euronews Albania this was a declaration against the “Prime Minister’s arrogance.”
Following Russia’s invasion of its neighbour, prices of fuel, energy, and basic foodstuffs have risen significantly and on a global scale. Albania has not escaped this, but for its citizens, a third of which live below the poverty line, it is proving too much to bear.
The national statistics institution, INSTAT, found that the cost of 30 essential food items increased by 40% from January 2022, including meat, dairy products, cooking oils, and fruit and vegetables. The fuel cost has increased by 40%, and some struggle to pay increased energy bills.
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