UMD: Albanian Prime Minister Continues Stirring the Pot in the Balkans

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) strongly denounces Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s continued use of disinformation and falsehoods relating to the Republic of Macedonia and Albania’s increasing entanglement in the Republic’s internal affairs.

In a recent interview for France 24, Rama questioned the “minority” status of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, stating that their numbers constituted “around 35% of the Macedonian population”. This is a curious – and erroneous – figure for Rama to state; exact demographic information in Macedonia is not available, as Albanian local leaders have resisted a new census-taking for 15 years. However, current statistics from health system registrations suggest roughly 17 percent of Macedonian citizens identify as Albanian, half the size of what Mr. Rama imagines to be true.

In the face of demographic realities, one cannot help but question the true intentions of Rama’s population inflation. One could easily interpret his articulations as a means to excuse outsider interference in Macedonia’s elections last December – interference which led to the Tirana Platform. The Platform, negotiated by Rama, has dangerously impacted upon the integrity of the Macedonian political process and continues to forcibly destabilize the Republic.

UMD strongly urges Rama and his government to change their current course and act responsibly toward their Macedonian neighbors; as recent history has shown us, instability in the Balkans knows no borders and does not discriminate. Albania, like Macedonia, is a young democracy, and it is only through the preservation of mutual respect, sovereignty, and political autonomy that the Balkan region can escape its tumultuous past.