Italian PM Renzi: Albania, our closest partner

Italian PM Renzi: Albania, our closest partner

During his first official visit to Albania, the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, had his first stop at the Council of Ministers, where he met with the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama. The two delegations held a meeting that lasted 40 minutes. After that, both Prime Ministers held a press conference for the media.

The Italian Prime Minister gave a strong message as regards Albania’s integration in the European Union, and gave an appeal to the European Union. “Europe must enlarge, or it will lose a big opportunity”, Renzi declared, adding that Italy will be the first sponsor for the accession of Albania in the EU.

The Head of the Italian government declared that as regards integration, Balkan should be the heart of Europe.  “People are wrong if they put in doubt the accession of Albania and of other countries in the EU, because we need this part to be not only part of the EU, but the heart of the EU, seeing the challenges that we are facing”, Renzi underlined.

Prime Minister Rama thanked the Italian counterpart for the constant support that Italy has offered for Albania’s European path, and emphasized that their discussions focused on a series of concrete matters.

One of these matters is that of the transportation tax that Albanian drivers have to pay when entering Italy, a tax that has been imposed since the 1950s.  “This is a tax that has remained in power just for an absurd inertia only for countries like Albania, Iran and Syria. The Prime Minister is ready to resolve this issue, starting from the next year”, Rama declared.

Another matter, for which the Prime Ministers agreed to discuss about, is that of pensions. There are thousands of Albanian immigrants have contributed in Italy, and also Italians who have built a life in Albania.

“We have done an admirable work, by addressing a big problem for the Albanian immigrants who are paying taxes in other places. We agreed to start negotiations. We have another joint interest with Italy, because that will help not only Albanians in Italy, but also Italians in Albania”, Rama declared. During his stay in Tirana, the Italian Prime Minister will hold a meeting with the Italian community in Albania.

News source/photo credits: ATA

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