European Parliament to debate on Albania

The European Parliament will hold a debate on Albania on Wednesday, with MEPs and the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton expected to participate.

The Parliament is also expected to vote on a resolution on Albania drafted by Greek left-wing MEP Nikolaos Chountis. Speaking for Deutsche Welle radio Chountis said that the resolution was the result of the consensus of all the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament.

“My opinion is that we should help Albania to push forward with necessary steps toward democracy in order to move closer to the European Union,” Chountis said.

“We back the visa liberalisation that should happen as fast as possible, however the country has many problems and the government and the main opposition group should try harder to resolve the political crisis,” he added.

Albania has faced political deadlock since the country’s June 2009 parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Sali Berisha from the ruling Democratic Party and opposition leader Edi Rama of the Socialists have been locked in a stalemate over the results of the elections, which Berisha’s party narrowly won.

Berisha and Rama have so far failed to agree on the powers of a parliamentary commission set to investigate alleged irregularities in the parliamentary ballot held on June 28, 2009.

While the Socialists seek a recount of the ballots, claiming that the government’s alleged fraud was to blame for their electoral loss, the majority insists that the opposition has exhausted all legal means for a recount to take place.

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