Final reply after the conclusion of the Assembly debate, and before the vote for the New Government

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s speech at the conclusion of the parliamentary debate on the government’s program, and of the voting of the new government:

Here are the 10 things I noted during the debate, and which I will present in the 10 minutes I have available.

First, I am glad that the opposition could tell and underline several times the difference between my introductory speech and the one I delivered here four years ago. I’m not surprised that you called it a “trick”, a “hypocrisy”, and I don’t mind. It’s not our fault that you don’t believe it, as it actually is a real opening towards you, build on a new approach to what we and I have learned in 4 years, and especially this year. But this is only the beginning. Our hand will keep reaching out to you, and you haven’t seen anything yet.

Second, I am sorry that I couldn’t tell the difference between your speeches today and what you said here 4 years ago. I’m not surprised about this either, although I am sorry that you couldn’t challenge for any moment the new government, by saying at least one new thing. Nothing at all! Not even a new sentence. No unheard sound in the old song of 4 years ago. For, given your situation, it would be ruthless to ask you a new alternative.

Third, I know well that it is easier to be said than done, I mean the turn that our people expect and deserve to be made by their representatives, by all of us here in this room and in the political debate in general. But we will keep talking to your ears with patience and determination, hoping that you will wake up and react, and will challenge us with ideas that start a debate, rather than with open-eye snoring that breaks only the silence, and finally come back without wasting another 4 years, from the long escape into the reality of real life in order to fill the gap of the governing alternative. Don’t reject our hand reaching out to you for cooperation on issues which are neither left nor right, but are Albanian issues.

Four, you accused me for vote bargaining with regard to the election of the Speaker of the Assembly. I’m not surprised. I can’t be, neither can I blame you when I see and listen to you keep denying reality. Apparently the culture of reality denial has become a politically transmitted disease. The symptom of this disease was clearly manifested in this case when the protagonists of the old republic cried that the votes were bought by crime, whereas the inflows of the New Republic reported that the votes were stolen in a snare which they opened themselves by leaving the counter’s place empty.

Five, you complained all the time that you did not find the program in our program. You didn’t find a reflection – you said – on what didn’t go well, you didn’t find figures, costs, balance sheets, and many other things. What if, actually, what you couldn’t find was there and you didn’t have the eyes to see and the mind to understand? But I wouldn’t ask this. It’s a very serious question for a parliamentary opposition. You lost 140 thousand votes compared to 4 years ago. Now you come here, 13 people less then you were when you went to the polls, concluding that, with approximately 60 thousand votes more and 9 people more than we had, we are in panic because the people have abandoned us. Now, who can tell me how can you read and understand our program, if you’re not able to look at such a simple and shocking fact?

Six, even chairman Basha, in his speech, in his first speech in this room, was a shocked copy of the leader of the New Republic. It seemed to me that he was more concerned to defeat here the ghosts of Astrit Patozi and Jozefina, who accuse and threaten him from Mark Zuckerberg’s windows, than he was to present in his 41 minute-and-02 second reply to my speech, the opposition’s business card, the alternative vision for Albania. The play back lecture of the tent of freedom was just like lunch left over, which is heated and served for dinner. I hope you finish that course. I don’t understand how big the pot was. Just finish it and then come back to a real, concrete, productive debate.

Seven, I think it is unnecessary to repeat that I am ready, we are ready to open immediately the dialogue for issues of common interest, to the benefit of the people and of the country of our children. How much and why we should wait, very honoured chairman of the Democratic Party, to address these issues together in an institutionalized dialogue among the parties, with the respective teams. You have several priority themes, we have several priority themes. Albania has the priority of membership in the European Union and everything that is related to it. We have separate homework, and the yard is more than enough for us to discuss with each other on the budget, taxes, education, health, the environment, and so on. While the European challenge of Albania is a shared one, and we cannot play “hit and run” with Albania for another 4 years. I urge you to accept this challenge with courage, for it is a challenge of the time we live.

Eight, it is necessary that I repeat you again, don’t hit Albania with the hands of the strangers! Whoever they might be. Here we are, you can hit us as much as you can. You can ask us to account as much as you want, challenge us in every form you want. But none of those who speak your language can either understand you or appreciate you when you talk about Albania as if it were a mangy that threatens Europe. They use you, of course. They extract the black yeast of your speeches and write concerning articles and reportages about Albania. And in the climate they are today, they need to point at threats and threating people. They take money from your pockets, for lobbying, and depict Albania as the island of every evil. But ultimately, the bill is on Albania and on the Albanian name worldwide.

Nine, I feel neither bad nor good – it’s a fact – that another opposition, more surprised to be in opposition than ready to sit down there, behind the back of the DP, after 8 years of sitting  comfortably around the power’s pie, showed up here overstressed because it lost its job. As I told to the joint opponents in this room 4 years ago, I’m telling you behind their back, don’t look outside yourselves for the reason of your defeat, and don’t think you can fool the Albanians by lecturing as if you were sent from heaven. And be careful with the slogan “small government, great corruption”, for it sounds like a Freudian slip about the relations you have with this state.

Last, I’m very glad that after so many time, this Assembly began its work on time, and that such a long and exhausting debate took place, no matter what, with an exemplary performance on the track of the rules. Many thanks to everybody, and above all to the new Speaker of the Assembly who, I am convinced, will create the conditions for us to continue with patience to find the path of reason.

Thank you!