Edi Rama and the 300 – Not Spartans – But Criminals
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his criminal gang of 300 are violating the freedom of the people he is meant to serve.
The entire world knows the story of the 300 Spartans who fought for freedom against a large Persian army. This Balkans story is repeated with excessive frequency in modern-day. But unlike Leonidas, the king of Sparta who fought to protect his people, Edi Rama the de facto king of Albania is fighting to keep his power by using 300 criminals.
Recently, new evidence proved that Agim Kajmaku, the newly elected mayor of Vora and a member of Edi Rama’s Socialist Party, is accused in Greece of the crime of the “use and distribution of forged documents.” A few days earlier, Valdrin Pjetri, also a member of Rama’s Socialist Party, decided to step down as acting mayor of Shkodra due to accusations by the opposition that he was convicted in Italy of drug trafficking in 2003.
“In the six years of his governance Edi Rama has promoted over 300 people with criminal records,” stated Gazmend Bardhi, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Party, projecting a governance allied with crime.
Despite an Albanian law that prohibits all individuals with criminal records from holding public office, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama appointed multiple people to positions in high public offices including mayors, members of parliament, directors and more. Rama appointed individuals with criminal records involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking, forgeries, rape, and even murder.
In order to gain and maintain power Rama has and is still using an army of criminals, who can fight ruthlessly to protect their general and their interests.
On July 30, 2019, the United States’ State Department announced it banned the Albanian mayor of Durres, Vangjush Dako, and his family from entering the U.S. The ban was due to his involvement in significant corruption – he also happens to be a very close friend and collaborator of Rama.
While Dako was declared persona non grata by the State Department and his involvement in corruption is being investigated by Albanian authorities, he will most likely not face any repercussions as long as he has the protection of Rama.
The main concern for the U.S. in regards to Albania has long been the disruption of connections between the government and crime. Former U.S. Ambassador, Donald Lu, stated that these connections must not be denied. Before he left Albania he even mentioned specific names to be investigated including Arben Ndoka, Mark Frroku, and Elvis Rroshi, as well as multiple MP’s and mayors serving under Edi Rama.
Two of Rama’s former Ministers of Interior, Sajmir Tahiri and Fatmir Xhafa, had close connections with organized crime – Tahiri is still under investigation. He was accused of two counts, one for trafficking illegal narcotics through a structured criminal network and one for the passive corruption of high state officials and elected members of parliament. Minister Xhafa’s brother, Agron Xhafa, was sentenced to seven years in jail in Italy for drug dealing. After a denouncement by the opposition, Minister Xhafa resigned and his brother is serving his sentence in Italy.
Last May, the German newspaper Bild published wiretapped phone conversations between members of an international criminal organization and the Albanian Socialist Party along with government ministers and other high officials. The conversations revealed election manipulation through vote-buying, voter intimidation and illicit funding.
It is obvious that Rama has built a parallel state in order to win elections and maintain power. And this is not happening in a distant third world country, this is happening at the heart of Europe, in a country aspiring to join the European Union.
Leonidas and his 300 fought to preserve peace in the region and protect freedom from foreign invaders but Edi Rama is preserving power, turning the country into an unlawful land, and violating the freedom of the people he is meant to serve and not rule with his gangs.