The chief executives of Italy and Albania, Giorgia Meloni and Edi Rama, signed a groundbreaking agreement in Rome on Monday, the basis of which is the establishment of two reception centers for refugees on Albanian territory. Italian Navy and Coast Guard ships will be able to transport refugees who are caught in the Mediterranean on their way from Africa to Italian shores.
“The agreement basically has three goals: to fight human trafficking, to prevent illegal migration and to ensure that international protection is granted only to those who are entitled to it,” said Prime Minister Meloni at the signing of the agreement, according to La Stampa newspaper. The treaty does not apply to ships operated by non-governmental organizations, which also often rescue refugees at sea.
Albanian Prime Minister Rama commented on the agreement as a “payment of the debt that Albania has towards Italy”. According to Italian agencies, he meant the 90s of the last century, when tens of thousands of Albanians came to Italy for a better life. Many remained on the Apennine Peninsula.
Italians in Albania ran away from a restaurant without paying. Annoyed, Meloni equalized the spending from her own
According to the Koha server, Prime Minister Rama also recalled the tradition of Albanian friendliness towards people of other origins and backgrounds, including in connection with the fact that Albania provided shelter to persecuted Jews during World War II. Rama also mentioned that he believes in Italy’s support for EU accession efforts.
There will be two reception centers on Albanian soil, they are Shëngjin and Gjader on the northern coast of the country. They should have a total capacity of three thousand people. According to the Albanian Prime Minister, it should be possible to “clear” over 30,000 people in a year.
From the point of view of Italian domestic politics, these are important points for Prime Minister Meloni, because especially the southern part of Italy repeatedly faces the onslaught of a large number of refugees. This puts pressure on local infrastructure as well as accusations that the Italian government is not doing enough against illegal migration.