Resistance for existence

Public communication of Prime Minister Edi Rama on the Covid-19 pandemic situation:

Dear friends, brothers and sisters!

You know when your father gets angry and grabs and pull your ear? Does he do that because he wishes you ill? He does so, because he doesn’t love you like the light of his eyes? We have all sometimes felt anger towards our father, but we all have understood that when the father gets angry, something actually goes wrong with us!

Well, it happened that I have to tell and do things you certainly dislike, things that in no way can please and make you feel peculiarly in trouble when I do play the role of the fathers, but, do you really think I like and take pleasure at imposing such restrictive measures?! Am I pleased with the calculations we do every day about the state’s finances, our Big House, that keep falling, because, it is normal for the revenues to fall when work stops, personal income taxes and profit taxes are not paid, just like the consumption power of every household to spend as it used to do before normally drops! Do I like and do I take pleasure at the daily growing unemployment figures, which is translated into an increasing number of people facing more difficulties?!

Do I take pleasure in shutting down schools, businesses, and order each and every one of you isolate yourselves in your homes for many weeks and telling you every day, almost to the point of causing you suffer a nervous breakdown, that whoever leaves house will be punished?! Do I take pleasure in dealing with all sorts of instinctive reactions of many who write to me as if it was me the one who triggered the war, as if it was me the one to close the house door, or as if I am hiding in a treasury cave from where I ironically reply to those who complain about all sorts of old and new problems?! As if I am scaring you instead of giving you home and bringing you joy, because I am constantly telling you to beware, protect yourself and your families from this death befalling whole planet and threatens us to die as dogs! Why don’t you take a look and see what is happening across the sea, Italy, where hundreds and thousands of Albanians are living worse and suffering a lot more than you that complain, blame and curse me?! Don’t you see that the powerful American army was forced to send convoys of trains loaded with armoured cars to convince people isolate themselves in their houses?! Don’t you understand that in this world war, where even the United States itself has no remedy, but the total lockdown, lost more than 3 million jobs, and we have no other option but try and save the lives of our family members by doing exactly what we are doing?!

What do you ask me to do? Do you want me to tell you fairytales?! Do you want me don’t leave your houses, but even you do so that’s not a big deal, because everything will be all right?! Or do you want me to make the coffers of our Big Home run dry today and then stand idly by and watch how you and me together end up plunging into a much darker hole than that of  – God forbid it – the 1997 crisis?! Or do you want me to pretend as if I don’t read, I don’t understand and I don’t reply to any of you, instead of grabbing your ears and tell you the truth?! The truth seems and sounds increasingly more cynical, arrogant, or ironic to the ears of those who don’t wish to hear and understand, but am I allowed now that I happened to be in the role of the father to keep silent and not tell the truth everyone who lie to themselves into all kinds of illusions, while today illusions no longer disappoint, but indeed are killing people?! But how come that you don’t want to understand that neither this state, nor any state can ensure normal life of everyone, but, just like any other state should instead make sure it protects the life of everyone?!

Or do you think that these daily figures, which, thanks God, are not alarming, emerge from nowhere and they are not the result of the restrictive measures and the popular resistance in respecting these measures?! Is that so hard for you to grasp that we are not we are not hitting a wall of dead people increasingly growing and suffocating us, precisely because we are doing the right thing?!

What deaths from hunger are some talking about constantly, when Albanians indeed have never died of starvation, exactly because, even in the darkest days, they have supported each other?

Why don’t you want to understand that this is a war in the fullest sense of the word, even an unprecedented war, because it is the first war in the history of mankind where men cannot attack the enemy, but are forced just to defend from it ?!

Why it is so hard for everyone to understand that there is no state on the planet that can reach out to all poor people by providing them the bag of food in a single day?!

What does the expression ‘don’t tell us anything’ means?! Don’t do a show? Don’t fool around with people, when you look at the daily information about the ongoing humanitarian operation I post on this page. There you have hundreds and thousands of Albania, not far from here but in Italy. Why don’t you ask them whether anyone is delivering them any bag of food to their house door? Is anyone telling them not to pay the electricity bill, since they are not working? Who is transferring them payments in euro so that they can eat and drink and then take to Facebook and throw insults and curses to the Prime Minister for not giving away euros to everyone? And if Italy doesn’t convince you, since to many it seems weaker than Albania, then ask your friends and relatives in England, France, and the United States if you wish to, how many foods of bags are they being provided by the state. How much euros or dollars has been transferred to their bank accounts and for how many months have they been excluded from having to pay taxes and the electricity bills. I am talking about Albanians, who work and save their money there. Ask them? Why don’t you ask them?

Why don’t you want to believe that we are doing the utmost of our efforts in line with our opportunities, because if it was a matter of wishes and not opportunities, I would have done a lot more than what is being done now.

How come that you ask for cash assistance as a jobless person, while you work in the shadow economy? How this could be done at a time you don’t even take the trouble to report the business you are working illegally? Or is this something not important, because the state should distribute money to everyone? Where on earth can this happen? Why don’t you ask those in Italy about the response of the world’s fifth economy towards those who ask for the money from the government, just because they have been working in the shadow economy?

You complain and throw insults without refraining yourselves at all for the pensioners who don’t know to file an online application. What do you expect then from me? Do you expect me to say you bravo? You are right? But I have actually repeatedly said that pensioners are not eligible to apply, because they are not allowed to leave their houses at all.

What is going to happen with the pensioners who have no children? I have also repeatedly stated those who have no children would be supplied with food and medicine by the state. Why don’t you want to listen this? Since I cannot be the one I am not and I am the man I am with my good and bad sides, I will continue to do everything in my power that this war ends without hundreds and thousands of victims of disobedience and misunderstanding by resorting to any potential and imaginable means.

When the earthquake struck the country, I assumed my responsibility and I didn’t let God do the job I have been tasked with doing, just like I won’t abandon to their fate those who are waiting to move into their new homes and those who are currently suffering a lot more than those who throw insults, because they are housed in tents, without water and electricity, by the way, and they refrain from writing any sort of chitter-chattering on Iphone and instead they are patient and grateful when receiving that bag of food that many of you joke with, saying this is a propaganda show.

I told you, we will all help everyone by paying a wartime salary. All those currently staying at home, because their small business is closed, will receive this payment in first week of April.

I told you the government will double the social assistance payment to all those living under the social welfare scheme and they will receive double payment in first week of April. And don’t forget that we are talking about 123,000 families.

Now, what is wrong with you people who have also internet connection just to throw insults and curses when complaining precisely about these people who, according to you, are dying of hunger?

I told you that by early April will make a pension indexation and allocate an additional amount of 20 million euros for the pensioners. Are these all people without any money?

I know it is not a lot of money, but when and in which world war have you seen many handouts from the government to all of those in dire situation and people don’t fight for existence only. I also told you that our help doesn’t end here, but we will continue to reach out you depending on the dynamics of the war, because nobody knows how long it would last and therefore we cannot make the state coffers run dry by making a living today only, and then suffocate, not in years from now, but after few months.

Who has told you that this is war is just a two-week matter and two weeks later we will go out to hug one another? Where have you seen this happening? Since you like to resort to examples from America, you have heard the President saying it will be over soon, but you should listen what he is telling American people today, after waiting for enemy to leave itself, the let the enemy march unhindered with the infections rate outnumbering China, while now having no protective materials for the doctors and nurses in the New York hospitals. America is America and perhaps thousands dead are not a big deal as it would be for a tiny country like ours, yet we compare with America in nothing. How can we then allow ourselves to question life without understanding this is a struggle for existence, and not an organized hide and seek game of dirty politics, as some of you like to call it?

I am saying all these and I can say a lot more, because I don’t really know how to reach out to some individuals who don’t want to understand, don’t want to open their eyes and look at the reality and open their ears to hear the truth.

When is this going to end? Who else knows this that I should know too? However, there is one thing I know for sure that if we are going this way, then we will be spared of hundreds and thousands of victims and gradually return back to normality faster than many other countries. If we are to give up and whatever needs to happen let it happen, we would become the biggest disgrace in the history of this country.

As many as 28,000 people were killed during the Word War II and the government was headed by the enemy, and not the Albanian people, but nobody died of hunger. Of course, the majority survived on those bags of foods, since you like to denigrate those bags, and they survived by resisting, not one or two months alone, but four years. Such a comparison should not sound pointless, just because you don’t see the enemy and navigate the internet whole day without leaving your houses and while watching TV. Indeed, such a comparison is necessary to understand how poor the behaviour and unreasonable is the opinion of those who involve in the stream of comments just to blame and curse others. But I don’t mind, because I am used to it and this time I am more determined and committed than ever before to defend the life of every Albanian, by resorting to any power and means, but this is not laudable when it comes to our big family, Albania that by no means should succumb and become disgraced in this fight, while shame will brought upon those only who do not say even an encouraging word and instead utter every nonsense possible just to poison many others, instead of resisting just like the majority of the Albanian people, thanks to which we will succeed faster than others, if unlike many others we took measures at the right moment and just like others we are resisting and respecting all measures until the right moment comes and the curve that is not growing dramatically is the result of that resistance, and if we want that curve to take an downward trend, after it rises to where its peak has yet to come, there is only one option: Resistance is existence, nothing else.