Speech of Prime Minister Edi Rama at the inauguration of the "New Marketplace" in Tirana:
Thinking about today, as I was reading something about old Tirana, I found a description of this area in a paper of 1900s: “If you take a tour in this area, it is sure that your eyelashes will be covered with dust”.
I read the same about the “New Marketplace” in an Albanian daily newspaper of 2014. Only two years ago, this place looked like it was 100 years ago. Everybody here tried to survive with their stand, covered in dust, walking on the open manholes, among the mud, the flies and insects, parrying each-other’s elbows.
Today, we can see here the power of the vote; the power of the participation of everybody in the governing process of the community, by making the right choice.
Imagine what this place would have been today, hadn’t the City of Tirana turned into a big dormitory where the mayor would snore, but instead it had become a shared house of the community where people, areas, families, children and the elderly were the main concern, and where projects of the great transformation that has already started were carried out day and night.
You have been hearing and saying often how much tiresome, boring, stressing and dirty politics is. You often tend not only to believe that politics is not worthy dealing with, but it’s not even worthy to hear about it, let alone to go and vote, as “they are all the same”.
How are they all the same?
How is this tent here similar to that tent over there?
How are these average people, who start work today in fantastic conditions, to make a living for their families by means of their honest work, similar to the others some hundred metres away, who tell the unemployed, come and join us so that we can keep working the corrupt judges and prosecutors?
The corrupt judges and prosecutors who have ruined this country more than politicians, and who have taken advantage from corrupt politicians to build a power that is not the power you see every day on the TV, in the debates in television studios. It is not the power talked about by those who gather there every evening like fortune tellers and act like analyst and columnists. It is the power that has played with this people, and has transformed justice into a “rag fair” where justice is not delivered according to the needs, but it is sold and bought just like fish, tomatoes, potatoes, grapes and everything else that is marketed here.
This is a project led by inspiration, determination and above all, a tremendous willingness of the mayor, in the first place. I know very well what it means to take down old stuff in order to build new things, and how hard it is first of all for the people to be part of a project that ultimately is for them.
Everybody must understand today that it is the average people who, simply and only with their participation and their vote, have decided that this project is implemented as it has been implemented. If the people had decided differently, we wouldn’t have been here today, and the “Summer Festival” in this Marketplace would have been celebrated by the flies, mosquitoes and other insects, along with the people walking among the potholes, challenging the dust, the noise and chaos, just to buy or sell something.
This is the big difference between us and those in the middle of the boulevard, who keep receiving salaries from your tax money. Meanwhile, these people who start working here today, will receive salaries from their work, and they will pay taxes so that our projects can continue in other parts of Tirana.
Just like this Marketplace is so beautiful and with such a joyous atmosphere, I assure you that there will be in Tirana some 20 new school that we will build together with the City of Tirana. Work for these 20 new schools will start soon, and they will end once and for all the story of class hours taught in shifts, overpopulated classrooms, of the children who don’t receive proper education, despite their parents pay a fortune, because they don’t have the same conditions as their peers living abroad.
This is why we are here. This is why we are all together. Our shared purpose, mine, yours, of Erion, of Saimir, Tina, Milva and of everybody else’s, of all of you who are here, is to build Next Generation Tirana and Next Generation Albania.