By Plator Nesturi
Albanians continue to leave the country. This was once again brought to our attention by the deputy minister of Interior, while declaring that recently, France, Belgium and Germany have deported around 500 Albanian nationals. Meanwhile, the senior government official said that the ministry of Interior has prepared a lawsuit to send to the Prosecution against tour operators, as a measure to prevent people from leaving the country.
Albanians have no chance to be granted the asylum status in the European Union countries, because the fact that the country has been classified as a safe country, doesn’t offer this possibility. However, people of this country continue to leave, by exploiting every opportunity that they get to travel to Europe or beyond. The statement issued by the deputy minister comes two days after Independence Day, when, on the occasion of the 105th anniversary of independence, a number of activities were hosted to make us feel proud that we managed to build this country, this state and that everything we need to do now is to build the future. However, Albanians continue to leave. They flee, although they know all too well that their chance of being granted a status is very slim, because they know we are considered a safe country and for this reason, they will be deported.
Every government has a duty to preserve the image of the country and in our case, the fact that European countries are filled with Albanian asylum seekers, tarnishes the image of the state. The message coming from abroad is that the government is not being able to guarantee a future for its people and exploit the capacities of these people who are obliged to offer their contribution outside the borders of the country. So, these tour operators which are exploiting the poverty of the people who are looking for a job and a bright future, is a criminal thing to do. But, this is only one side of the coin. What is being done for these people who want hope and jobs, attention and service, in order for them to contribute for their country and not only act as excess labor force?
Yesterday, in Parliament, PM Rama offered figures concerning employment, which more than anything, were used for the sake of the debate with the opposition. From 436 thousand jobs which were registered in the Labor Bulleting in 2013, today, this number is 640 thousand. And this doesn’t include people employed in the agricultural sector. Without getting into economic analyses, this number also includes people who used to work informally and didn’t pay any social security contributions. If we look at it from this point of view, it is a positive thing, because social contributions are now being paid for these people. But, the growth of employment by deducting those who used to work informally before, is insignificant compared to the growth of population. On top of this, the previous majority had already left us with a high level of unemployment. With these few jobs available, an excess labor force which is unable to make a living through honest work, has grown. In this aspect, it’s true that we are a safe country based on European standards, but our economy is barely surviving and the situation with unemployment seems to be very serious.
Therefore, Albanians continue to leave. It’s true that the numbers of asylum applications in European countries have seen a drop compared to a year ago, but more than a change of mind, people have just become more aware of the fact that they will be deported and the money that they have spent to travel to Europe, has gone to waste. Meanwhile, the government is handling the issue of asylum seekers as an issue which is part of the criteria of integration in the European Union. So, it is an obligation toward the criteria needed to fulfill for the launch of accession talks and not as an obligation for its citizens, who continue to be the topic of the day and an excess labor force.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy