Opposition Leader Basha: Five Oligarchs Control Albania

“Albania is in the hands of 5 oligarchs. The one who built the stadium is being awarded all of Albania’s tenders. 5 companies control everything, small businesses are sinking,” opposition leader Lulzim Basha said yesterday during a meeting with young people, on the anniversary of July 2, 1999, the first day the embassies were opened after the fall of the communist regime.

During the meeting, Basha spoke, among other things, about the demolition of the National Theater building and the expropriation of public land in favor of a private company:

If they take the Theater, they will face the opposition and the people of Albania. We will not abandon the artists. Edi Rama is trying to launder money with that monstrous project. That is why cars are bringing thousands of euros in Albania, to launder them in Edi Rama’s skyscrapers.

He also touched on EU’s refusal to open accession negotiations with Albania:

Negotiations cannot be opened while our ministers have ties to crime, while our Prime Minister endeavors to steal the Theater, to launder drug money, while our judiciary doesn’t punish criminals and politicians connected to crime, but comes to their protection instead.

Basha also referenced the country’s current financial state:

Crime and drugs have destroyed our trade, and any kind of fair competition. They have isolated Albania from the rest of Europe.