Rule of Law and End of Rule of Crime over State

I would have very much wanted the opposition to put us, the Government, in a difficult position, but all this opposition does is to put an embarrassing position not only those of us here, but also every sensible Albanian who is armed with sufficient patience to follow a session like this one today, where mental misery is smothering, words flow like mud from minds inclined to spill out the largest amount of rubbish per minute, talking the hind leg off a donkey. In fact one would even feel sorry for comparing man and donkey, because was the donkey that carried the prophet, while these men use their backs to carry the saddle for Sali.

They did what they wanted with Albania. They undermined every social relationship with political hatred, every community with poverty and unemployment, every school with ignorance, they spoiled every property with disputes, destroyed every road that counts numerous spots where fatal accidents occur, every state office with corruption. They tore the State into pieces sowing chaos in every office and looted every part of Albania and while the ink is still wet on the decision of the Albanians to oust them, they come here and claim explanations from us as if they’ve just come from another planet.

It is fine that they demand us to be accountable, as that is what the opposition does, but they have, instead, so many accounts to settle with the Albanians and with themselves and they believe they can do so by throwing mud wherever they can, how much they can, in any way they can. They lie, fabricate, slander, accuse, insult, become delusional, rage and blabber one by one. And, in doing so, they act as if they are morning Albania that has been dilapidated, the increasing unemployment, the justice being assaulted, the business being terrorized and, even, the Albanians being betrayed. And it does not stop here as these people here act as if they are in pain over the administration being ruined, the administration they built based on merits rather than on money and power; that administration which they never touched but only caressed, whom they never forced on buses to political rallies, whom they never ordered to attend campaign gatherings by keeping lists and setting meeting places, by making appeals, whom they never saw as just a cave to thrust and stuff every their family member and relative in any State office.

Actually, you behave like you are grieving over all the beautiful things you gave this country with unspoken dedication and honesty for eight years in a row. There’s, in fact, something else you are grieving over, deep inside, but cannot openly reveal: it is the loss of your power rotten to the bone, the loss of your violent control over the State’s books of accounts and the accounts of every private company, loss of the police power which you made part and parcel with the power of crime.

You do not have the slightest idea of how clearly does your face show the suffering over such loss when you speak of the tax server that us, not you, audited and sent to the prosecution for investigation and even asked the latter to engage international expertise to unravel everything found within that electronic mess.

It is even worse to see how openly does your face show the anguish and discomfort and how understandable it is from every sentence you read in your daily communication that shun the State police. You are so lousy at playing the role of the tormented ones over the homeland, that it seems like you spend entire overnights waiting forward to a TNT blast, so that you can immediately rush to blame it not on the crime, but on the police. That your desperate fight isn’t against crime but against the police is quite clearly understood also by the fact that you never call on the police to find the perpetrators, but quite hastily ask for the resignation of the Minister of Interior. Even today, when only half day has elapsed from the spectacular police operation that uncovered considerable part of the underground TNT world, God forbid that you kept quiet at least, because nobody expects any encouraging words on the police from you. Instead you staged another attack, as if you were scared that those daredevils of the TNT world had been frightened!

This is your choice. It may be that you are left with no other way out, for all the sins of your power have burdened the sleep of your old man and made a mess of your language. Your efforts, though, are all wasted. We will keep rebuilding the State you brought to ruins. The State Police which you tied head to toe with the ropes of unlawful interests and the hitches of your ignorance, we shall disentangle to the last knot and will unleash it even more strongly against criminals and law perpetrators every day.

In order for Albania to get rid of the rule of crime, the State Police had to break away from your power first. This is something we have known for a while now and current figures indicating that police have just started to reel back speak clearly of this. It is sufficient to compare these four months with the same trimester of last year, when you were not even here, having just fallen from another planet: 34 murders is the total figure of this trimester compared to 53 in the same trimester of last year; 18% less deaths from road accidents; 50% less armed robberies resulting in death. Therefore, there are fewer murders and less death, more action and a higher response by the State Police.

Figures tell you this. It is the memory of the Albanians that tells of this, whom you cannot fool around for all you try, although you believe that your endeavor to treat them less than fools my result successful somehow.

However, we are not satisfied and never shall be until the last day of our government, because if this is the beginning of the end for the rule of crime, the fight is a never-ending one anywhere, in any country of the world. We shall fight this war to the last, without ever retreating or showing hesitation or questioning and it will target not only crime, but its causes as well. It will not be a fight merely aimed at detaining and punishing 18-year olds who shoot a bus with Kalashnikov, but also at bringing proper quality to the school and restore the lost meaning of education; not only at apprehending and bringing criminals to justice, but also at fighting off corruption from courts and giving justice back the true sense that has been buried so far; not only at enhancing the policing results, but at increasing employment indicators, as well.

Only four months after, we cannot compare ourselves to nobody but you. However, one thing is certain and we are well aware that comparing to you in the fight against crime and be satisfied at that, is the same as if Flamurtari soccer team compared itself during its golden period with the ping pong team from Sali’s village.

Well, as of present and for a brief time to come we will continue to take you as reference for such comparison, but different is the benchmark that we want to be compared, and I assure all the Albanians that we will be satisfied only in that case where crime records in the country grow closer to the rate of Europe where we want to be integrated. We are confident that we will make it and are absolutely convinced that the police response against crime and unlawfulness in general should and will increase, as it already is doing day after day, thanks to a deepening police structural reform, enhancement of the police human resources, and introduction of the new technology to the service of the police activity.

The Ministry of Interior is engaged in an intensive work in all these directions and I am certain that records will improve monthly, and it is every and each month that citizens are going to witness the change in quality of the police service; not only through figures but in every contact they will have with the State Police.

In the past, you spent millions of euro over security cameras that never worked. Instead, only in these few months we have paved the way to setting up new camera systems, ranging from the police body-wearable cameras, to in-car police cameras and in the roads of the country where, starting with Tirana, a monitoring system of the highest technological standards will be in place very soon.

What we inherited was a badly structured police force, with a misbalanced distribution of the desk and field structures, and with a destroyed information network to the extent where you had wiped all the informants out and, in the last years, partners had crossed us off as our Ministry of Interior lacked any possibility of exchanging information safely and because every piece of information was leaked to criminals who were internationally wanted, prior to be received by the police structures.

We inherited a police force used to be defeated by crime and subdued by politics, extremely underpaid and morally degraded. But where did it come from?! It was a result of the corruption within the Ministry of Interior, in the police, and of that day-to-day betrayal that you elevated into a system at the expense of the State Police, at the expense of the police officers who faced criminals and came down at their hand like they were trees.

Foundations have been laid to enable a full-fledged restructuring in close cooperation with our partners. We have managed to balance the distribution of forces, are re-establishing the information network, have started to take under control the field that has been left for years to the mercy of crime and have put an end to police submission. Salaries of field police officers have changed and moral recovery has started making the police today capable not only of seizing amounts of narcotics that even you, obviously, could seize, but only you know why you wouldn’t, and conduct operations like that of the other day. Still, I assure you that this is only the beginning!

Figures, on the other hand, speak volumes. Detection of crime and criminals has dramatically increased for the same period, based on our official records and yours. Compared to the last year, the rate of apprehension of wanted people inside the country has increased with 15%, whereas for the internationally wanted individuals it has climbed to 111 % more. At least 35% more criminal groups dealing in narcotics have been apprehended; 59% more traffickers have been detained and the rate of the corruption offenders who have been arrested and prosecuted is 71% higher.

It is regretful to say but we have inherited a police force with the highest average age and poorest average education in Europe. It is so embarrassing when we reach out for assistance and have to provide information on the age of our police and the rate of higher, secondary and basic education among them.

While all the other records are on a continuous upswing, this month has obviously seen significant deterioration, mostly psychologically, because of the negative novelty in the whole criminal activity, the terrorizing criminal attacks with TNT. Not only is this an undeniable fact, but it is more than sufficient to realize that the State should respond in a much more complex manner rather than solely through the State Police. As somebody who knows something more about it than both you and I do, the New York mayor Rudolf Guliani, used to say, it’s about time law enforcement got as organized as organized crime.

Soon, the Parliament will receive a legal reform on public order for review and the National Investigation Bureau will be established in addition, in a process that we are closely working and finalizing together with our partners. That is an additional and sufficient fact for that matter to realize that the performance of the Albanian intelligence services, including that of SIS founded on a law of 1998, that fails to meet the demands of the contemporary challenges we have to face, needs to be taken to another level. A thorough legal and organizational reform is required in this area as well that has already started along with the new Strategy on National Security.

But, this TNT issue is more than enough to make every Albanian realize where do we as parliamentary majority stand and where do you stand as the opposition in this tough confrontation that has begun between the State and crime, a battle in which the crime is finally faced with the State and where the latter is gaining ground on a daily basis against the crime which, on the other hand, is reacting, as well.

You make politics out of crime. We fight crime. Your politics fuels crime. Our fight is fending the crime off, to where it belongs. Your way of making politics is your choice. Keep doing, but the outcome is one and only, the defeat of the turn. Our fight, instead, is our choice and on top of it the choice of all those Albanians who have not forgotten that when voting us they voted first and foremost in favour of order and security, while they were left abandoned because of the overall insecurity fostered by the State Police you degraded on purpose. Well, this fight has only one outcome for us: the establishment of the rule of law and the end of the rule of crime over the State.