Freedom House: “Albania, steps back”

29/06/2011 00:55

The Freedom House report for 2011 is another gloomy international
opinion for Albania. The report emphasized the political crisis, lack of
dialogue, failure of the reforms and deterioration of the political
climate due to lack of dialogue.

At the same time, the report underlines the deterioration of the media climate, mentioning the unprecedented fine against Top-Channel after denouncing in the investigative and satirical program “Fiks Fare” the affair of a minister who was asking sexual favors in exchange of a job.

“Albania could not start the negotiations for the candidate status in EU, because it did not fulfill some necessary priorities for a democratic country. A constant obstacle has been the political crisis of 2009”, says the Freedom House report.

The guarantee of rule of law and an independent judiciary system remains a challenge. The legal reform is still incomplete, and there has been no progress for reviewing some important rules. The approval of such laws, says Freedom House, was severely damaged by the absence of the Socialist Party in Parliament.

As for the media, Freedom House notes that despite the advance in technology, the lack of independence, the lack of financial sources transparency, and the dependence of the journalists by their owners has remained a concerning issue.

The report mentions the fact that on June 2010, Tirana court fined Top Channel with 400,000 EUR for airing a video of then culture minister Ylli Pango engaging in apparent sexual harassment of a female job applicant.

“The Court decision had the highest fine ever issued against a media in Albania, and was considered as exaggerated, as a form of threat against the investigative journalism int eh country”, says Freedom House.

As for the corruption, Freedom House notes that it keeps prevailing in all life sectors of the Albanian people, negatively affecting the economic development and consolidation of democratic institutions.

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