Italian, Greek FMs mediate in Albanian politics
By LLAZAR SEMINI
2011-09-12 10:09 PM
Italy's Franco Frattini and Greece's Stavros Lambrinidis are meeting with Albania's prime minister, main opposition leader and president for talks meant to "encourage" the small Balkan country's politicians to work together on its EU integration process, a statement from the EU office in Tirana said.
The country's bid for a candidate status was turned down in 2010.
The EU expect from Tirana to enact a raft of reforms, including electoral reform, improvement in the public administration, rule of law, fight against corruption and organized crime as well as resolving the property rights' issues.
The EU will decide next month whether the country meets its standard to become a candidate nation _ a last step before a full membership in the bloc.
"Everything depends on concrete achievements," Frattini told a news conference. "Albania needs a national pact on Europe, the same as it did before its integration into NATO."
Albania joined the military alliance in 2009.
Last week, the main opposition Socialists ended a lengthy parliament boycott to help pass EU-mandated reforms, but it still remains unclear whether they will back all required draft legislation.
"At this juncture, it is extremely important to stop pointing fingers and try to give a hand to each other, because indeed there is no time to lose," said Lambrinidis.
Albania's main opposition party has accused the government of electoral fraud, a charge the government denies. The rivalries permeate all aspects of the country's political life.