State offices must belong to average people

From the speech of Prime Minister Edi Rama in a public hearing with citizens in Vlora:


I listened attentively to all your concerns, and it is clear that in Vlora and across Albania there is a serious inherited problem regarding property. It was not created now, but it was created since the first day the system changed. And it has led to a major chaos and has created 8 thousand conflicts in Albania, with subsequent murder, wounding or physical injury of many people, not to mention a dozens and thousands trials. What remains still a major challenge and leads always to conflicts with overlapping and many other stories, is the lack of a firm database on property across the territory, on which we are working, but still a lot remains to be done.

Much of the problems with ALUIZNI are related to constructions without criteria. A construction on a water supply cannot be legalized. A construction on the drainage canal cannot be legalized. A building on the street or where the plan foresees to expand the road, cannot be legalized because by legalizing it we grant ownership to somebody who has occupied the road segment, and then we have to pay them with the money of the citizens in order to expropriate them. An illegal construction cannot be legalized in a cultural monument. Therefore, ALUIZNI is not responsible with regard to this part of the issue, but the responsibility of ALUIZNI and of all the other state offices is that they don’t respond promptly and tell people “this cannot be done”, but drag them indefinitely.

Many problems I’ve heard here and in many other hearings are related to the issue of local government micro-management. What we should do, and will definitely do, is give every office the dignity taxpayers deserve. We must transform completely the approach and behaviour of the administration. Both in the municipalities and in the central administration offices there is a major problem in terms of the people who are in contact with citizens. This will definitely be corrected!

We must build a co-governance with average people, so that when the Prime Minister or any minister go somewhere, people won’t gather with letters in their hands, but their problems will be addressed on a daily basis from the administration who will be able to respond to people, so that their despair won’t accumulate over the years until the moment they meet a senior official. This is totally feasible today because we are given this opportunity by technology through a platform of this coalition with average people, who can be part of it by a mobile phone, a computer at home or in any office providing services, so that those who want to contribute in this governance, can register as members of the coalition.

We have not been given a mandate to deal with those who have the duty to do opposition. We have been given a mandate to deal with the real opposition on our path for the Albania we want, and this opposition consists of the parasites and predators in the state offices. Our task is to fight Albania and Albanian people’s number one public enemy, and the number one public enemy today is the parasite and the predator who occupies the state offices thanks to the citizens’ taxes, and who gives people a hard time.

This is a war that can be fought only if average people engage in co-governance, only if every average citizen is given access through the platform to raise their voice and have it heard right away by the senior officials, even ministers, if their problems are not addressed, and not have a hard time for months and years until they meet a minister in the street by chance.

Anybody can register by entering their first and last name, and claim their rights, but not in order to do people a disservice. A whole army of people will be behind the screen, making verifications and following up the issues. If a case is found when an official does a disservice to the citizens, that official cannot hold his or her position any longer. S/he must be dismissed immediately.

This does not apply only to complaints but also to opinions. We will give access to people in various sectors who are interested in giving their opinion about decisions and draft laws of the government, and about topical issues. Everybody will have access through a membership code in this coalition. The coalition might have a thousand people or a million people. Anybody can be a part of it, without discrimination.

The government should function in view of the issues and concerns of the people, because the main problem is that people ask for some very simple rights which are not granted to them. In addition to this, citizens have also the doors slammed in their faces. Arrogance, brutality, indifference, state offices locked down as people wait for the director and the staff who are having a coffee. We must destroy all this, and we can succeed only if we are together.

What we must do now is invest ourselves in the next 4 years so that the state offices will be of the average people, not of the predators and the parasites who are there. There are in Vlore, Tirana, Shkoder, Tropoje, Sarande many men and women, boys and girls who are able to perform their duties as citizens and serve everybody.

Many thanks!