They have caused a storm of reactions in Albania yesterday’s signing of an agreement between Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his Italian counterpart Georgia Meloni, which provides for the construction of camps in Albanian cities immigrants arriving from Africa bound for Italy.
As reported by the Albanian media, the agreement foresees two large camps with a total capacity of 36,000 people in the northwestern Albanian coastal cities of Lezia and Sengini, which will be operational next spring. Yesterday’s signing of the agreement in Rome was reported by Italian media and provoked strong reactions in Albania, with the opposition demanding an immediate briefing of Parliament by Prime Minister Edi Rama. The issue has been dominating the public debate since yesterday and negative reactions and protests are recorded in the Albanian mass media.
As the Italian Prime Minister stated, the camps will be under Italian jurisdiction and administration and there will be the registration and further management of the immigrants. “Two centers for the management of irregular immigrants are to be created in Albanian territory, at the expense of Italy. Their total capacity will be three thousand people, for the period of time required for the examination of asylum requests and for eventual deportation,” he said, clarifying that “the initiative does not concern pregnant women, minors and other protected categories.”
Eddie Rama: When Italy calls for support, Albania answers
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama justified the signing of the agreement as the fulfillment of Albania’s debt to Italy, which welcomed thousands of Albanian immigrants in the great exodus of Albanians after the fall of the communist regime in 1991.
“When Italy calls for support, Albania answers. We want to help manage, with a little more breath, this difficult situation that Italy is facing. When you enter Italy, you enter the European Union, and geography, for Italy, has become a curse,” said Rama.
He also mentioned that the idea for this particular agreement arose when Georgia Meloni was on vacation in Albania (including last summer), “days in which the news about immigrants landing in Italy was non-stop”.
With information from APE-MPE