Lack of Political Will Towarts Anticorruption Efforts
Belgrade, Bucharest, Pristina, Tirana, Skopje, Sarajevo, Sofia, Zagreb, Podgorica and Brussels. | 04 June 2010 | By Gordana Igric and BIRN team
Following warnings from the European Union that the bloc won’t admit countries still mired in corruption, governments in the Balkans have lined up to proclaim “zero tolerance” for corrupt behaviour. But how serious are they? Barely a week goes by in the Balkans these days without a new corruption scandal splashed over the front pages of major newspapers, complete with names, dates and bribes – former ministers arrested in Croatia and Macedonia, drug lords that escape justice in Serbia and top officials charged with corruption appointed in Albania and Montenegro.
Corruption in the region remains widespread in all sectors, from the healthcare system to customs and tax institutions and the parliament. The reasons are myriad: weak laws, inadequate investigations by police, corrupt judges and politicians, insufficient sentencing and a lack of coordination of anti-corruption efforts. Western Balkan governments are still only paying lip service to demands from Brussels to clean up their acts.
While different governments are making more or less successful attempts to persuade the EU that they are being as cooperative as they can, experts say the real progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime is measured not by the number of arrests, but by simple indicators: convictions by a court in a fair trial, the amount of dirty money confiscated, or the number of illegally acquired properties taken away. And such efforts have not yet been seen.
With no real political will, and with the general apathy of ordinary citizens, little real progress is being made. What can be done?
The 2007 appointment of general prosecutor Ina Rama in Albania resulted in a series of probes reaching the highest echelons of power. However, few have progressed as despite its “zero tolerance” policy toward corruption, the government of prime minister Sali Berisha has attacked her for filing court cases against two key ministers. They were later scrapped by the Supreme Court.
The EU and the US have come out publicly to defend Rama’s work. “General prosecutor Ina Rama has exhibited dedication and commitment in protecting the integrity and the independence of her office,” said US ambassador John L Withers during a meeting with Rama in the Tirana prosecutor’s office in March.
Though the government has massively reduced human smuggling in the Adriatic Sea over the past four years by banning speedboats on its coast, drug trafficking and cultivation have remained a problem.
“In response to international pressure and with international assistance, the government of Albania is confronting criminal elements more aggressively but continues to be hampered by a lack of resources and endemic corruption,” notes a US State Department International Strategy for Narcotics Control report.
Wie in allen Ex-Kommunistischen Ländern, spielt die Immunität der Abgeordneten eine Schlüsselrolle, weil damit sich Mafiöse Kreise vor Ermittlung und Straf Verfolgung schützen.
Vor Jahren wurde schon einmal von der sogenannten Opposition SP und der heutigen Regierungs Partei LSI, ein entsprechendes Gesetz verhindert, wie auch in den letzten Monaten, mit der Kaspar Theater Show.
Albania’s Berisha asks opposition to lift lawmakers’ immunity
TIRANA, Albania – The government is taking another run at lifting the immunity of lawmakers to allow investigations into possible violations. Prime Minister Sali Berisha said on Monday (June 7th) that the cabinet supports a law on the issue, unlike the opposition Socialist Party (SP), which has objected to it. “I hope that the SP accepts it because it will serve the country well,” Berisha said during a meeting with lawmakers from his ruling Democratic Party. During discussions last year, the SP rejected the law, insisting it violates parts of the constitution. (Balkan Web, Telegrafi, Shekulli, Ora News, Klan – 07/06/10)
Praktisch hat fast jeder Politiker Dreck am Stecken und 50%, sind rein Mafiöse Vertreter im Parlament. Im Volks Mund hiess es schon über das Albanische Parlament: “Club der Alkoholiker und Kriminellen“! Das diese Clans, welche sich auch Politiker kaufen, bzw. wie in Deutschland den Wahlkampf von Politikern finanzieren, sich nicht mehr hinter ihre Immunität verstecken können, ist Grundlage für Fortschritte.