For several weeks now, Albanian politics has been focusing on Sali Berisha and the decision of US Secretary of State Blinken to declare him non grata. This decision is being used to articulate many accusations, in fact without many arguments, according to which Berisha should leave from the Parliament at all costs.
In fact, Berisha’s figure must be analyzed from several points of view. First, Berisha has his own light-shade in his long political career. He certainly has his historical responsibilities for the good and the bad things that have happened in Albania. And history will judge these latter.
But what can we judge in 30 years, and what can we say about Sali Berisha? First, Berisha is one of the founders of the Democratic Party. One of the people, who in 1990 was at the head of those who overthrew the communist regime. He was later elected President of the Republic, and together with a hardworking Prime Minister, Aleksandër Meksi, was able to radically reform the Albanian state.
At that time were established new ministries, structures and institutions. The concept of taxes, capital, private property began to be implemented. Then came the pyramid schemes and the tragic events of 1997. The DP waged an existential battle at the time, and rose from the ashes in 2005, came to power, leading one of the best governments in the history of Albania.
Like it or not, this is a fact that is accepted in international reports. Thousands of businesses and citizens today give Berisha the right to a flat tax of 10 percent. Meanwhile, order and security underwent an epochal change during 2005-2009. Dozens of gangs and criminal groups that had invaded Albania, ended up in prison.
Albania entered the Schengen area, and Albanians began travel for the first time to Europe without visas. The country joined NATO with Sali Berisha as Prime Minister. So, in almost 22 years, for 13 years Albania has been governed by democrats, with their pros and cons.
Of course there was corruption, as well as other problems.
But Sali Berisha cannot be multiplied by zero. This is the mistake everyone makes. He has been the Prime Minister of Albania, chairman of the Democratic Party. The history of the Democratic Party cannot be multiplied by zero, because some socialists or supporters of Lulzim Basha want it.
Berisha should clarify personally the non grata declaration with the US State Department. The US Embassy has the right to request the official position of the DP towards Berisha. But the great truth is that Sali Berisha is the statesman of these 30 years of democracy and transition, and as he has made mistakes, he also made good things.
Can we find faults and attack Sali Berisha? Infinitely. He made fatal mistakes with former political persecutors. He rose to power twice, and failed to complete the compensation process for former persecutors and former owners.
He also kept in charge the infamous law no.7501, or was partially responsible for the tragic events of 1997. But in the meantime, there are many historical political acts for Albania, which bear the signature of Sali Berisha. We have seen him on the side of American presidents, on the side of chancellors and Prime Ministers across Europe.
Berisha is a story, whether some people like it or not. Therefore, the articulation by some individuals is disgusting and cannot be accepted not only by the Democrats, but also by the media and the entire civic elite.
The Democratic Party needs to be more careful. Because by “killing” every day Sali Berisha, it will kill its history, and in the end it will be destroyed as the leftists want. It will be history that will put the dots on the “i” for Sali Berisha.
But the politics of the day cannot be so disgusting as to reject everything that Sali Berisha has done for Albania. Otherwise, this behavior would be worse than under communism. Only the dictator Enver Hoxha once erased the past history, built his variants, and gave them as “fond” to the Albanians.
But this cannot happen in a democratic history. Sali Berisha must be accepted for what he has done well, and will be challenged for what he has done badly. Time will tell. No one can say that Secretary Blinken’s decision is right or wrong. Time will tell./CNA.al