Vlahutin: “Cannabis cultivation was reduced in 2017”

12/02/2018 18:44

In the 12th Stabilization Association meeting between Albania and the EU, the Democratic Party MP, Aldo Bumci, raised concerns about the drug traffic and asylum requests from Albania.

“Are you affected by the data showing that Albanians are leaving for asylum in EU countries? What is the real truth? In Albania, we hear that there is a fight against traffic, but data from abroad show that the traffic has increased”, Bumci declared.

Responding to Bumci, the EU Ambassador underlined that based on the Guardia Di Finanza report, the cannabis cultivation has been reduced during 2017.

“The chart shows that more work is being done. We depend a lot on the information given by our Italian colleagues. Cannabis cultivation is an early problem. The operation in Lazarat did not make the problem disappear. The Guardia di Finanza said that during 2017 there has been a dramatic reduction of cultivation. We are waiting to see what will happen in 2018. Based on the Lazarat experience, we expect stability”, Vlahutin said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati, said that Albania is the only country in Balkan whose airspace is monitored by another country, Italy, due to the cooperation for finding cannabis cultivations.

As for the asylum seekers, Bushati said that there are Albanian citizens who seek better opportunities in Europe. “This has not stopped us from taking measures for stopping the phenomenon. The number of Albanian asylum seekers is dropping. This was seen even in the report of last November. We appeal our citizens to not abuse with the Schengen system because they damage the entire country”, Bushati said.

Genc Pollo, Chairman of the European Integration Commission in Parliament, raised concerns about the information that Brussels has about the cannabis situation in Albania.

“The declaration for the Stabilization Association led by Mrs.Mogherini, speaks about positive results in the fight against cannabis. This goes against the Europol report published three weeks later, which estimates that Albania remains the main source of cannabis in the EU. We must question if Brussels had accurate information about the matter”, Pollo said.

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