If Edi Rama was to use the same rhetoric in Southern Albania as Sali Berisha does in the north

6 Maj 2023, 21:13Op-Ed Mero Baze

On Friday and Saturday, Edi Rama visited the cities of Saranda and Vlora, two of the most important ones in Southern Albania. In Saranda he promoted the Socialist candidate for mayor, Oltion Caci, a successful businessman in the tourism industry, who was the first to help turn European tourists into regular visitors of Albania. Meanwhile, in Vlora he promoted Ermal Dredha, a career diplomat with 15 years of experience who, after travelling the world, is returning in his city to run for mayor.

Rama’s entire rhetoric in Southern Albania revolves around the development of the tourism industry as well as public investments. Considering that such statements were recently made in Saranda and Vlora, two of the most preferred tourist cities in the country, it only makes it even more important to open Albania’s doors not only for tourists within the country, but also those coming from the Balkans, Eastern and Western Europe.

Tourism is really helping to turn Albania not only into a travel destination, but also into a more open minded country, more welcoming and less fearful towards foreigners. Saranda remains an attraction for international tourists even during winter time, whereas other coastal cities have already opened their doors for them.

Meanwhile, in Northern Albania, Sali Berisha called everyone to vote against Edi Rama as a leader who does not like the North and has not done much for the people living there. This is understandably the call of someone desperate, someone who has no hopes of winning and thus wants to maintain a small portion of supporters in Northern Albania in order to help remain in politics. Furthermore, it is likely that Berisha has sensed the potential electoral failures in several municipalities in Northern Albania. In other words, the region will not remain an isolated bastion, but shall return into a normal electoral map.

Sali Berisha is not getting discriminated by voters in Southern Albania, but rather from the urban voters across the country. He is being isolated by voters in the capital as well as several large cities in Albania. They are exactly the cities that were the first to vote for him and the Democratic Party at the fall of the Communist regime.

It would be enough to compare the two models offered by Sali Berisha and Edi Rama in order to better understand the situation. The Socialist Prime Minister is trying to bring up a more open minded country that aims to become a main tourist destination for the Balkans and Europe, whereas Berisha is looking to isolate the country as the only way for him to survive politically. Something that Berisha is proving on a daily basis better than his opponent.

Original article: https:https://www.gazetatema.net/editorial/nese-rama-do-fliste-ne-vlore-dhe-sarande-si-berisha-ne-tropoje-i389025

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