In a recent article (before the NATO invitation, which was extended yesterday) the Financial Times had the following to say about Albania and its improving prospects for the future: “These are momentous days for Albania. Two separate events – Kosovo’s declaration of independence and … the invitation to join the NATO alliance – offer one of Europe’s poorest countries an unprecedented chance of improving its long-term prospects.”
“The invitation to join NATO is expected to boost Albania’s business climate, encourage more foreign companies to invest and accelerate the pace of modernization, according to European observers in Tirana,” said FT.
Meanwhile, according to the same source, “popular support for membership is high, with more than 90 per cent of Albanians in favor, according to opinion polls.”
“Acceptance into NATO would speed the ratification of the stabilization and association agreement with the European Union, and open the way for Albania to become a formal candidate for membership – although a starting date for accession talks may be a long way off, according to EU officials.”
Personally I think it is about time that we joined. And I say this not so much as a sign of the achievements of the current government, but first and foremost for the people of this country. As regards the current political class, there is great disappointment. However, such developments do bring about a renewed hope and a fresh awareness that things will improve in some form or fashion. Much has to be done, and Albania has still to face up to the illness of corruption and many other important issues affecting its people.