Albanians citizens have returned to the streets of Tirana for the ninth time to demand relief for the rise in living costs.
Over the month of March, thousands of Albanians have marched to protest the unaffordable spike in fuel and food prices.
Protests continued today in Tirana’s main boulevard, although the crowd of protestors has thinned out from its mid-March heights.
As usual, protestors held signs demanding that prices be lowered and sought help from the government. 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.
The government of Prime Minister Edi Rama unveiled a 7-point ‘social resistance’ package to help Albanians withstand the soaring fuel and consumer good prices, but citizens argue these measures are not enough.
Rama also established a transparency board to respond to the rising fuel prices. The board sets the price for a period of several days for all oil and gas station. Nevertheless, the price decided by the board over the past weeks have remained continuously higher than the 2021 average.
Prime Minister Rama has often labelled the protestors as an “unruly majority” that seeks to disseminate unrest, arguing that the protests serve the agenda of the Kremlin.
Participants, however, have retorted to these claims saying they support Ukraine and wearing the Ukrainian flag at their last protest.
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