For Sali Berisha, the past is turning into his nightmare

2 Maj 2023, 00:02Op-Ed Mero Baze

I noticed recently that Sali Berisha had reacted quite harshly and fearfully against the republishing of one of his interviews for the Iranian television in 1997, in which he tried to deny the three biggest problems of his life.

Firstly, in the interview, Berisha claims that the United States are a colonialist power and that it was not sure what destiny they had in mind for Albania. Furthermore, he blamed the US for the anarchy and chaos of 1997.

Secondly, he accused the Albanian Orthodox Church regarding the smuggling of oil for Slobodan Milosevic during the war in Kosovo. Imagine now the bishop of the Orthodox Church selling oil to Milosevic through a private company named “The Eagle,” led by a Democrat MP like Tritan Shehu.

Thirdly, Berisha blamed Western banks, US and European ones for the Ponzi schemes that led to the anarchy of 1997

Sali Berisha has had to face these three accusations during his political career from 1997 until now and he has constantly switched his arguments according to his personal interests. At first he blamed the United States for the anarchy of 1997, then Greece and later the IMF and World Bank. In regards to oil smuggling for Slobodan Milosevic, he has accused in the past farmers in Northern Albania, claiming that they were selling Albanian oil in Serbia. Later in his career, Berisha admitted that he had assigned an agreement with the President of Montenegro and when this argument did not serve his interests, he claimed that Kosovo’s leaders needed oil for farming purposes. He has blamed the Italian mafia, the Greek mafia, IMF and the World Bank for the Ponzi schemes that led to the 1997 crisis.

Now he is angry that all of these statements are on record and part of the reason why he was designated as non-grata by the State Department. Despite his efforts, there is nothing he can do to erase them.

Furthermore, he is following the same tactic regarding his former collaborators. Ilir Rusmali’s case is perhaps the most flagrant. In 2008, Mr. Rusmali resigned for ethical reasons, since it was claimed that his brother was seeking to win a government tender, even though this was never proven. The standard set by Rusmali however, was too dangerous, since it implied that Sali Berisha also had to resign as his son was accused of being involved in an arms trafficking deal. Furthermore, Rusmali was a witness of the shady deal, which he opposed publicly. If the Albanain prosecution was to take a look at text messages in Berisha’s son’s phone, it would probably find out that he was complaining to his father about Ilir Rusmali.

Nowadays Berisha intentionally confused dates and events. When Mr. Rusmali resigned he only held the office of the Minister of Justice and not that of Vice Prime Minister. He had already been removed as Vice Prime Minister exactly because he did not approve of Berisha’s son’s business deal in Gerdec. It was after this that Rusmali was appointed Minister of Justice and shortly after, Berisha staged a scandal with his brother, hoping that he could use it to blackmail Rusmali. However, his attempt was in vain, since Rusmali realized what was going on and hence resigned.

On that exact evening in November 2008, I have stated on TV that, if Ilir Rusmali resigns for ethical reasons, then the Prime Minister should also resign as his son is involved in an arms dismantling business in Gerdec. From that moment on, I was declared war by Sali Berisha and his family and six months later came the explosion in Gerdec. Now Sali Berisha is worried by the anti-corruption standard set by Ilir Rusmali and feels angry at the fact that he remains a member of the Complaints and Sanctions Commission.

Lately, Berisha is trying to do the same against me. During one of his interviews, he had order a journalist to ask about my resignation from the 2001 election in Durres, a fact that even I had forgotten. Berisha’s answer was that I had been paid 100 thousand Dollars by a businessman related to Ilir Meta. It is rather entertaining that, in order to clean Ilir Meta’s reputation, he now needs to blame his victims.

I resigned from the 2001 elections because Ilir Meta and his gangsters had already closed the elections in the early morning. My resignation was the only argument that Sali Berisha could and did use to discredit those elections, even though he is now forced to apologize to Ilir Meta. Furthermore, even if it was true that I did get paid to sell the result of the 2001 elections, then how is it possible that I remained one of his closest and most trusted people until he won in 2005? Following such logic, one would think that I must have shared the money with him since he kept me close.

However, this logic functions only for normal people and not for someone like Sali Berisha. Finding himself in deep trouble, he is now trying to rewrite his own history according to his current interests. In other words, he wants to convince the public that Ilir Meta did not steal the 2001 elections, but Democrats sold them. No matter how much money he might have made by stealing and murdering Albanian citizens, Sali berisha does not have enough money to buy his past, which is resurfacing as a way for him to pay back for his atrocities.



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