People Drown While the Government Denies Responsibility

A few days ago on the beach of Zvërnec in Vlora four people drowned at sea. Their deaths caused an outrage in public opinion.

Prime Minister Edi Rama took the time to respond to the worries of the citizens, by denying on Facebook any responsibility of state institutions for the safety on the beach:

The part of the Vlora seaside where the unfortunate incident with the small boy happened is not in use by the municipality as public beach, nor did the municipality give any centimeter of it to be exploited by private companies. Because over there it is still legally a construction site!

While the beach where the triple accident in Triport occurred is a wild beach, which does not feature on the list of beaches approved by the Ministry of Economy and Tourism, and, as a result, like in any other country in the world, when unfortunately such tragedies happen, there is no obligation whatsoever to have lifeguards.

But in contrast with the declaration of Prime Minister Edi Rama, the official website of the National Seaside Agency (AKB) only shows information about the 11 beaches in the country, but not a list of “prohibited” or “wild” beaches.

This means that if tourists visited any of the 11 beaches on the AKB website they would find lifeguards and the beach would be safe. But in reality, still according to the information of the AKB, none of the 11 beaches has lifeguards, and only 6 of them have lifeguard towers.

This is the case even though the AKB trained and certified 41 students of the Sports Academy in 2014 as lifeguards. So, despite the state propaganda about how effective safety improvements have been, Albania’s beaches continue to be unsafe and no one hold responsibility for that.