Albania and the Italian 'Double Trouble'
By Alqi Koçiko
Albanian Daily News
Published May 28, 2018
The Albanian public opinion has followed with interest, if not with concern, the recent political developments in the European Union member countries, related to the rise of euro-skepticism, and to the political growth of forces opposed to EU enlargement and, even worse, of those doubting the Union's existence itself.
The European internal turmoil while Albania tends to push forward, even in small steps, on the road to membership, is always bad news.
But the news is twice as bad for us when in political instability is our neighbor Italy. The strong electoral performance of two diametrically opposite Euroskeptic forces, such as the M5S and the League, and their alliance to co-govern, started to worry many member states, the Brussels itself and the financial markets. But the concern does not seem to end here. Italy, following President Mattarella's recent decision to reject a candidate for an anti-eurozone economy, is probably bracing for new parliamentary elections.
In the meantime, Albania is without a historic supporter and invaluable ally in its effort to get the green light of opening accession negotiations in June. An irreplaceable trade partner, a good friend in difficult times, a rescue destination for the waves of Albanian emigrants in the early 1990s (along with Greece), a key investor to our economy, a referral point for democratic standards, political, financial cooperation, the fight against crime, cultural resonance, etc., is in a serious crisis. A crisis which, as the acting prime minister declared, Gentiloni, "calls for salvation".
That is why for Albania, the Italian crossroad is not just a piece of "international news" that only raises one's curiosity because Italy is "accustomed to political instability". Instead, it's really bad news that is troubling all of Europe's major chancelleries; even more so, when coming during a decisive period for the future of our country' Western endeavour.