Former President slams Albanian PM for accusing UK of discrimination

PM ‘always blames others’ says Ilir Meta

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The former President of Albania Ilir Meta has shamed the country’s Prime Minister for accusing the UK Government of discriminating against Albanian claims for asylum. Mr Meta argued Prime Minister Edi Rama was seeking to “blame others” for the failing of his own leadership. The former President suggested Rama’s brutal assessment of the UK immigration policy was the “wrong way” to approach the concerning issue of mass migration out of Albania.

Speaking to LBC about the influx of Albanian migrants reaching UK shores on small boats, Mr Meta said: “We cannot condemn the foreign authorities for trying to implement their legislation.

“But, we’d like to see equal treatment, without discriminations, for all these hopeless Albanians that risk their life by taking these rafts.”

Asked if he believed the Albanian migrants were discriminated against by the British Government, Mr Meta replied: “We wouldn’t like to see any kind of discrimination. 

“It is for sure that they are discriminated against by their own government – that is the problem. This is the source of the problem. 

“Unfortunately, the Prime Minister always blames the others to avoid his own responsibility.”

Prime Minister Edi Rama has criticised the UK Government for “targeting Albanians” in discussion of the escalating migrant crisis.

Official statistics have revealed Albanians are now the largest single group making the perilous journey across the Channel in small boats.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister wrote: “Targeting Albanians (as some shamefully did when fighting for Brexit) as the cause of Britain’s crime and border problems makes for easy rhetoric but ignores hard fact.”

He added: “Albanians in the UK work hard and pay tax. The UK should fight the crime gangs of all nationalities and stop discriminating [against] Albanians to excuse policy failures.”

He argued the Albanian and UK governments needed to work in harmony with “mutual respect” to address global crime and concerning migration patterns.

Read more: Albanian PM accuses Suella Braverman of ‘fuelling xenophobia’

Speaking of the Prime Minister’s comments, Mr Meta said: “I think this is the wrong way to address the source of the problem.

“The source of the problem is this autocratic government in Albania that has downgraded the standards of democracy. 

“[The government] is following no policy for social inclusion and creating better opportunities for these young Albanians.”

He said the government under Prime Minister Rama had “killed the hopes of young Albanians” and had forced them to “flee the country”.

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The discussion on Albanian immigration patterns comes as the UK Home Office has faced increasing pressure to address record levels of migrants arriving through illegal small boat crossings.

A recent investigation into accommodation facilities highlighted unsafe and overcrowded conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre.

The former military base was intended to hold a maximum of 1,600 migrants over a 24 hour period, during which initial asylum processes took place. Scrutiny of the site has revealed some 4,000 migrants had been held at the facility, some for a period of weeks.

Small boat crossings to the UK have reached record levels, with close to 40,000 migrants having arrived so far this year. The Home Secretary Suella Braverman came under fresh criticism after she branded the migrant crisis an “invasion” of British shores.

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