Together we can prevail over this global challenge

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s public communication about the COVID-19 situation in the country:

Dear friends, you know I follow, read your comments and I am here paying attention, especially during this difficult time, that, from the outset, I have been strongly confident we can together prevail over this worldwide challenge, which has dragged even the world’s most powerful nations into troubles.

I read real concerns, I try and we try to address each of them, yet often having to tolerate slurs, nonsense talks, insults and curses that stem from the very profound ignorance, growing impatience, or both. I have nothing against them personally. I knew from day one that insults and personal accusations will keep growing, because this is how this world is and I have already told that you can assault me as much as you wish, but don’t play with the fire, because you, your beloved ones and Albania itself would get burned, just like it did and is doing in many countries, incomparably stronger than us.

As we keep each week increasingly reopening, it is however really disturbing that some speak nonsense to the point as if talking to the moon. One may not wish to listen to the government, one cannot stand the sight of the Prime Minister, yet it would suffice to take a look at what is going on all over the world to stop speaking perverse things. You got a problem with me? No problem, you may go on doing that, but could one please tell me whether is there any correlation between all this total nonsense and gibberish talk with our accomplishments and results we have achieved to date?

The country with the lowest coronavirus-related fatality rate per million people in the region and even in Europe: Albania! The country with the lowest bed occupancy rate at COVID-19 dedicated hospitals: Albania! The country with the lowest ventilators’ usage rate: Albania! Do you all who relentlessly throw insults and curses really think that all these results have nothing to do with whatever we have done, precisely thanks to the measures and the steps we have taken so far, at the right time and right length, without blemishes or mistakes?! Or probably you think that the coronavirus has spared Albanians, or the virus is afraid of the courageous Albanians who can pull the trigger if you stand on their way?

No, dear friends, this is not the case. It were precisely the measures we have taken, it were exactly this war strategy, tactics and actions we have launched each week that have enabled us to succeed, thanks also of course to the overwhelming majority of this country’s people, who use their eyes to see, their ears to listen, and have rendered full support to our strategy through their responsible and civic behaviour and conduct. Why the time slot allowing people to leave home is set in this way or that way? Why the retired people were initially not allowed to leave their homes, while now they can? Why women can leave homes with their children, whereas men cannot? Why total lockdown is imposed on Saturday!

Let alone some others who say “why do I communicate and provide information via Facebook, how the country can be governed via Facebook, what is this sort of communist regime and so many similar questions and comments,” as if one has forced them to access my Facebook page and as if this page is for fun and not to inform, provide explanations, help and directly and openly discuss with each and every one of you!

Why you don’t answer, why are you acting as a communist, or a sultan, because people are dying, these people are sheep…? Are you out of your mind? Are you utterly out of your mind? There are certain individuals pretending to talk about people, while having nothing to do with neither with the people, nor with what they are talking about, but they still keep talking perverse things, while being completely out of their mind.

Dear friends! It is not an accident that we have made it so far and if we have performed excellently regarding three main indicators of this war, namely the death rate per one million people, the hospital bed occupancy rate and the lowest number of the intubated patients fighting for their lives, this should not fool us into thinking and forgetting that the invisible enemy is not a ghost and has not disappeared yet! The virus is still here, right behind our doors or across our windows, is all over around us waiting for us as soon as we venture out our homes.

Do you know that we have reopened the economic activity, even more than many any other countries?! Do you know that only a small part of people are still unable to go to work?! Do you know that travelling from one commune to other is still banned in Italy? Do you also know that while the second phase of the lockdown easing is about to be launched in Greece, yet people are not allowed to travel or drive from one prefecture to the other? I am not going to mention other countries, since I read and hear people saying that whole world is lifting lockdown and reopening, while it is only us still staying at home, that communism and dictatorship has been reinstated. No, this is absolutely not true! Absolutely not! I have broadly talked with the Prime Minister of Denmark and, again, just like in other conversations I have had with friends, colleagues and European counterparts, the situation is all the same! They all face the same dilemma! It is equally tough for them when it comes to making a decision, because, after all, should the war takes a turn for the worse, the ones to be held responsible is us, the leaders, because this is our duty, and none of those, who do not wish to listen and understand, and instead just fantasise and curse everyone, do not assume any responsibility!

The Minister of Health introduced the new plan to ease the restrictive measures, expand the green zones and allow other business activities to reopen on May 4, 11 and 18! She informed about eased measures to allow for repatriation of other fellow compatriots. We will explain and clarify everything again, but I beg everyone, this is not the case when someone can play with the fire, put a bet on and we cannot afford reopening blindly, no matter what may ensue! If so, neither the law, the Criminal Code, nor the police, checks, and the army, if you will, won’t be enough if you yourselves are not the guards of your own and your family’s health!

It is a single reason I am essentially disturbed and worried because of the nonsense talks and the accusations made by some here. I am afraid of the irresponsibility and ignorance that may harm a lot all those ignorant and their innocent families, as well as other innocent people! Please, don’t ever question again the main fact: This is enemy is a real one, it is right among us and it can kill everyone! This virus will be around until a vaccine is developed and available and we all, and the whole world, should change and adapt a new behaviour, a new way of thinking and organizing our daily lives! Forget thinking that I am pleased and take any satisfaction at telling people the limits of their travel, inform everyone when they will or will not be allowed to leave your houses and provide everyday explanations about the reasons why your freedoms and rights are deformed!

Quite the contrary, this is the most difficult period in my political life and the most extraordinary dilemma about the most difficult and uncomfortable decisions I have to make due to my position.

Many of you really think that governing the country means leading a cosy life and getting rich, but, unfortunately, governing means staying up all night without sleep, or, as Francois Mitterrand used to say, governing means being alone at top when winds blow from all sides. I am not complaining, because it is my honour and this is position is my passion, and I can prove everyone wrong because I assure you that if I were to be told to leave office and never engage in politics alone, because once you leave the Covid-19 will also disappear a day later, then I would be most happily to leave immediately!

I am doing my best and  thanks also to a team that you can criticize, accuse as much as you want, but it still doing its best,  Albania has done the best possible in this fight! With the gradual reopening of the country, we should not relax vigilance and be always alert, because if you stop being the guards of yourselves, I would no longer be able to protect your health and lives, just like I have done to date. Please. This is not a game. No, we have no, but only one option and path; the one that leads us to the best results, just like we have already done, in protecting health, lives and dignity of these people and this country. Everything else is nonsense!