The National Convention of the Freedom Party/ 5 priorities…

The National Convention of the Freedom Party/ 5 priorities…

16:50, 10/05/2024
A+ Aa A-



On 27 April, 2024, the Freedom Party held its second Convention, since foundation in July 2022. The main objectives of the Convention were: 1) adopt the document of the 5 top policy priorities; 2) deliberate and adopt amendments to the party Statute, with the purpose of reviving its modus operandi; 3) elect the President and the Vice-President of FP.

1.The Convention adopted the document of 5 top priorities, which was earlier discussed in the meeting of the National Steering Committee.

The overwhelming objective of the 5 priorities is to increase the population of Albania to over 4 million Albanians.

More specifically, the 5 priorities are: 1. Stop depopulation of the country, 2. Raising of pensions and salaries, 3. Investing in education and the human capital, 4. Development of Agriculture and Food with the purpose of Lowering the cost of living, and 5. Transform the economic model of the country to turn Albania into an exporting nation. 

Priority 1 Stopping depopulation, has in its core a whole package to help new families to have a home and the provision of progressive amount of monetary support for each child born; salaries for expecting mothers in the amount of 70-100% of the salary for 2 years after birth; home purchase loan with 4 subsidized interest and loan discount of 3000 Euros, child 1, 6000 Euros child 2, and 10000 Euros, child 3; free support with food and essential nutritional supplements for pregnant women of families in a state of poverty and unemployment; reduction of infant and maternal mortality in childbirth by improving care for mother and child; guarantee by the state of free food and nutritional supplements for up to one year for children born in poor and unemployed families; free full coverage of all drugs, including those that are not part of the List of Reimbursable Drugs for mothers and newborn children for one year and one year old; payment of Caregivers during pregnancy; and catering system in kindergartens and schools among others.

Priority 2 Raising of pensions and salaries.

The benchmark is the average level of pensions and the region. Among other measures there are: doubling of teachers’ and doctors’ salaries; payment of unpaid compensation as a result of indexation, about 45 billion lek that will be distributed to pensioners as well as continuous annual indexation; doubling of pensions; reimbursement of medicines: bills of about 3.5 billion lek; increase of the minimum pension to the level of 50% of the minimum wage. The revenues for such policies will come from: collection of revenues at the level of 40-41% of GDP; removal of fiscal exemptions without economic and social impact; removal of preferential fiscal treatments; reduction of informality; enhancing the performance of the fiscal administration and waging war against corruption.

Priority 3 Investment in human capital

Doubling the budget for education, scientific research and innovation. Education and investment in the human capital is considered the cornerstone of the priorities. For this purpose, the level of budgeting for education and innovation will be above the average of EU countries. Investment in education and scientific research will be at the level of 5% of GDP. Teaching will be considered a priority branch and will be accompanied by financial support for students and teachers. Innovation in Albania will be financed above the European Union average. Technology and information branches will be treated with priority investments.

Priority 4 Agriculture and food.

Reducing the cost of living This priority aims at lowering the cost of food and creating a more substantial contribution to the GDP by agriculture and food-processing industry as well as supporting agricultural households by direct support for the agricultural inputs and produce. Some of the main measures are: supporting livestock with direct payments per head and production unit, to quadruple the number of heads and local production; full subsidy of agro-processing; food security guarantee PL will support agriculture by doubling the current budget in the first year; land ownership certificates will be issued; agricultural production will be subsidized per unit of production, area and number of heads; soft loans will be granted for infrastructure, greenhouses, stables, for the agro-processing industry; provision of state land for agro-processing activities; automatic deduction of the VAT payment for agricultural inputs (chemical fertilizers, seedlings, seeds, oil), for refunds and subsidies; subsidy of agricultural production per unit of production, area and number of heads.

We believe these policies will create a positive trade balance with the agricultural produce and food in general.

Priority 5 Albania, exporting power.

The aim is to guarantee the sustainable sources of growth, apart from construction industry and consumption which are the current drives with high risk to sustainability. Therefore, with these policies we intend to transform the economic model of the country. The main measures are: support of production and export activities to reach above the level of exports of 50% of GDP, with support in infrastructure (land, engineering networks, roads), freeing the administration from corruption and placing it at the service of investments and business, qualification of the workforce, exemption of means of production from fiscal obligations; reducing the cost of energy (of fuel by more than 20%, reducing the price of electricity for family consumption); liberalization and subsidy for solar energy for family consumption; rigorous collection of rent from mining, from the use of natural resources and the use of nature for business purposes, and its use for the salary and pension fund; support of production activities, as well as in the field of IT and innovation; 10,000 Euros for start-ups and tax-free for 5 years; the use of money confiscated from informality, corruption, illegal activities as well as incinerators and all contracts without public interest for the wage increase and the pension fund.

2. The Convention approved the amendments to the Statute of the party.

These amendments aimed at making the FP more agile and ready for future electoral competition, opening the party to the public and basing the career advancement on merit rather than nepotism and family connections. Some of the main objectives with the Statute were:

a. Nominally adds Meritocracy as the important element of career and political selection, getting rid of nepotism, kinship local and family links.

b. Creates real opportunities for every person, through the presentation of alternative platforms, even with close family ties, to express themselves, to represent themselves, to compete democratically.

c. Makes the management structure at the municipal level more flexible and efficient.

d. Gives greater power to the ordinary member of the party and the base organization for the membership of new members, as well as for the selection of representatives in elections.

e. Reorganizes the management structure with more specific tasks and increases efficiency by dividing the political-executive part into the administrative/organizational part.

f. Establishes in a statutory manner the obligation for each individual, regardless of level and function, to account for the results and achievements of political activity for all levels of responsibility he holds, from the lowest level to the highest leadership level.

g. Clarifies the processes within PL for the selection of candidates for deputies.

One of the amendments presented to the Convention was the establishment of the budgetary quotas to be used by women candidates during the elections. The Convention decided on the full gender equality in using the budged, therefore, guaranteeing 50 % of the budged to be used by women candidates.

3. Leadership election. Two candidates took part in the top leadership position.

Mr. Ilir Metaj was elected President of the Party with overwhelming majority.

He received 647 votes of 683 delegates present, plus 44 votes on-line, a total of 691 votes. The other candidate, Mr. Faik Basha, received 27 votes.


Three candidates run for the Vice-President position. Mrs. Erisa Xhixho was elected with 594 votes of the delegates present, plus 43 votes online. The two other candidates running, Mrs. Miranda Rira, former Mayor and MP, and Myrvete Asqeri, received respectively 49 +1 (on-line) and 25 votes. A total  of 683 delegates present and 41 delegates on-line took part in the voting process.

Many delegates contributed with their speeches to the Convention, starting with further detailing of the top five priorities, to the bringing the personal experiences from their party leadership responsibilities.

The Convention also was greeted by public personalities, such as:

Edita Tahiri, a well-known politician from Kosova and former Deputy-Prime Minister, former-President of Croatia, Stipe Mesic; the R.H. Steven Bonnar, MP from the House of Commons, UK; Salvatore Lamirata, Arberesh Former Mayor of Saint Miter, Calabria, Italy; Albanians from USA, etc.

There were also present a delegation of the Democratic Party of Socialist, Montenegro, headed by the Secretary General, Mr. Aleksandar Bogdanovic, International Republican Institute, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and representatives from diplomatic corps.

The President of the Party, Mr. Ilir Metaj addressed the Convention and delivered many important messages on the political situation in the country as well as the objectives for future political action. He underlined the root causes for the grave situation in the country, and the reasoning for the top 5 policy choices of the Freedom Party.

Following, is the speech of the FP President, Ilir Metaj.

Our party is very clear with its 5 main policy priorities.

1. Stopping the depopulation of the country, which affects every Albanian family;

2, Raising pensions and salaries, which helps every Albanian family;

3, Investment in education and human capital, which is the guarantee for the future of this country;

4, Agriculture, food and cost of living reduction;

5, Albania exporting power;

The 5 policy priorities of the Freedom Party are indeed ambitious, but also very realistic to be achieved.

Compared to the countries of the region, we have the lowest salaries and pensions.

The average salary in Albania is 1.5 times lower than in Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia.

It is 1.6 times lower than in Montenegro and Serbia, meanwhile, you know how much higher the prices are.

The pension measure in Albania is 2 times lower than in Kosovo, 2.1 times lower than in North Macedonia, 2.6 times lower than in Serbia, 2.8 times lower than in Montenegro.

Meanwhile, the Rilindja government has increased the debt burden over 2.1 times per inhabitant, during its governing period.

The public debt has increased, from 6.3 billion euros in 2013, to 13.2 billion euros in 2023.

Every citizen, including the newborn, has a debt burden of 4611 euros.

The level of unemployment has increased, especially among young people, and the cost of living has increased, due to the galloping increase in food and apartment prices, especially in Tirana, at a time that there are 50 thousand empty apartments.

Many youngsters have 3 jobs, one to pay the rent, one to feed themselves, and one to help their parents.

This is what Rilindja wants, to exhaust our young people, and force them to flee Albania.

The level of prices, especially those of food products, increased from 18.3% in 2022 to 30% in one year, in 2023, so it almost doubled.

The price in Prishtina for apples produced in Korça is cheaper than in Tirana and Korça. Because there is another government there, which cares about the citizen, which cares about the producer.

The level of poverty has increased very seriously, from 25.2% in 2022, to 29.3% in 2023.

About 351,000 minimum wage workers and their children live in absolute poverty on less than 6.85 USD/day.

About 55 410 families, with an average of 4 members, or 221 640 citizens on welfare, in 2023, live in conditions of extreme poverty with 0.6 USD/day.

Can you live with such an income?

Mother Selvia receives a 5 700 lek retirement pension per month, and she is 98 or 99 years old.

5 700 Leke. Uncle Soviani who came to the Convention, received 5 000 lek per month.

At that age, even medicines cannot be bought. Rilindja does not care about pensioners.

Therefore, the Freedom Party is committed, in its first governing mandate, to double the salaries of employees, above the average level of the region.

We will double the salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses, and we have all the possibilities. To double the level of old-age pensions, disability pensions, family pensions, to increase it above the average level of the region.

Increase the amount of social pension to 50% of the minimum wage, from 23% of the minimum wage today. To reduce the level of absolute poverty, and to eradicate extreme poverty once and for all from the map of Albania.

Freedom Party is certain that these will be achieved thanks to our clear policy, and the clear models we have chosen, for the increase of revenues, for which we refer to the countries of the region.

We refer to Bosnia, we refer to Montenegro, Serbia, which manage to collect revenues up to the level of 41, 42 and 42.6 per cent of the gross domestic product.

We who are eradicating nepotism as a phenomenon in our party, we will eradicate it in 24 hours in the state administration.

500 nepotistic ties, in taxes and customs. Husband and wife, brother and sister-in-law, brother and sister, 500 nepotistic connections!

And we will do it:

by building an inclusive and fair fiscal system to ensure that everyone pays a fair tax burden;

a fiscal system without differentiations, without exceptions and preferential treatments, which have no economic and social impact for the country;

a fiscal system with as few taxes as possible and stable, i.e. as simple as possible;

we will do it by reducing informality in the economy in all forms, especially employment;

by increasing the performance of the fiscal administration, and

by fighting against corruption;

by improving the administration of the public debt, and reducing the cost of its service.

Albania, due to the rampant corruption of the Rilindja, which is among the first countries in the world, collects public revenue, much less, than the countries in the region. This difference with the average of these 3 countries of our region, is of 14%.

If they were not stolen, and collected, i.e. administered, there would not be those nepotistic connections, 500 nepotistic connections that the Renaissance has today, this 14% increase in revenues, that is entirely feasible, thanks to those policies that I highlighted before, means an additional 3.3 billion euros in a year.

So, with an additional 3.3 billion euros per year, and for 4 years, 13.2 billion euros, which is the entire debt that Albania has!

The economic model of the Freedom Party will be based on promoting domestic production and increasing exports. We have a very clear economic model to turn the country into an exporting power.

The model has currently failed to orient the economy towards increased exports, deliberately, because the goal is the destruction of domestic production, the goal is the dominance of imports, the goal is the economy of towers, money laundering, this is the goal, so that Albanians are forced to leave the country, honest businessmen are forced to sell their factories to those who deal with the drug industry, which is controlled by Edi Rama.

Exports, in the period 2000-2023, suffered a decrease, from 8.7% of GDP in 2000, to 8.6% of GDP. in the year 2023.

Meanwhile, North Macedonia in 2023 has a level of exports at 57% of GDP.

Like Skopje 1, Skopje 2, in Northern Macedonia, we will build Durres 1, Durres 2. It’s the easiest thing, it’s the simplest thing that can be done.

Today, due to the lack of a strategy and industrial policy, we are losing European markets, while we should be a leader in the Balkans in this respect.

Because we have incomparable advantages with other countries of the region. Our advantages are unmatched. Therefore, Albania, with the Freedom Party, will turn into a regional center of manufacturing industry and manufacturing in Europe. Freedom Party is committed to an economic model that stimulates initiative and the free market competition.

As far as procuring the public money, there will never again be any secret tender procurement.

What are these secret tenders?! Secret tender for slippers, secret tender for hats?! There may be a secret tender for any equipment of the Intelligence Service or the Ministry of Defense. Not in the Ministry of Health, all secret tenders!

Ministry of Transport, secret tenders, what are these secret tenders?! Open theft, criminal theft, with 3 times the real cost.

So, we, as Freedom Party will place the citizen as the sole beneficiary of economic growth, and the center of our policies.

We will be waging an uncompromising war against all those policies, pursued until now, deliberately:

to drive people away from us, especially the young, the most talented, and those with the highest demands for democracy and accountability;

through heavy social and fiscal policies, they made life difficult for them here;

through the economic and social protection of pensioners and other groups in need;

through business support, to ease the high tax and administrative burden;

through protection from unfair competition, from hitting high prices, and exchange rate fluctuations in order to strengthen businesses, and at the same time avoid negative social consequences.

About 30% of those damaged from exchange rate fluctuations are pensioners and all Albanians who receive income from their children, their relatives in emigration.

From this exchange rate, the only one to benefit is Edi Rama, and a handful around Edi Rama.

Now, I am telling all of you, and all Albanians who love Albania, who understand that without the development of agriculture, without the development and support of livestock, without the development of rural areas, of agro-processing, and so on of agro-tourism, Albania will remain only Tirana.

That you get stuck in traffic for hours. Because Tirana with 200,000 inhabitants had roads and boulevards twice as wide as Tirana with 1 million inhabitants.

Agriculture is a very important priority, among our 5 priorities. Because it is not only about the cost of living, food problems and other problems.

It has to do with the return and reintegration of Albanians in their homelands.

When I was Prime Minister, during a visit in Kolonja, they asked for a Palace of Culture, and we builtit in 3 months. But today, the whole of Kolonja cannot fill the Palace of Culture. So few people have remained there. We do not want Kolonja to have only tourists go there to 3-4 guesthouses. We want there to be thousands of kolonjars, people who are proud of who they are.

Because it is one of the most patriotic areas of Albania, like other areas, which have been at the forefront of the war all their lives, to protect the border.

I mentioned Kolonja, the same is true for Tropojë, for Dibra, for Kukës, for Përmet and everywhere.

The current budget is 14.1 billion ALL for agriculture. And the most “beautiful” thing is that out of this budget, 10 billion lek go for salaries, administrative expenses, completely non-productive things. Only 4.1 billion go to support agriculture. As you very well know, often what is presented as a budget for agriculture, then is diverted to finance incinerators that do not exist, as it was the case with IPARD.

In all Western Balkan countries, this ratio is completely opposite, 1 goes to the administration and 3 to the farmer.

Here it is the opposite, 3 go to the administration, and 1 to the farmer.

Therefore, in the first year of government, the budget will be 30 billion Lek, and with progressive increase in the coming years.

Northern Macedonia started direct support for agriculture with 10 million, then took it to 200 million euros. Today it is an exporting power. It exports to EU countries, close to 1 million lambs, although it is a much smaller country than us.

We will achieve this through the removal of the tax yoke, because they have imposed a tax yoke on all Albanians.

Meanwhile, they also steal those 3.3 billion euros themselves, thanks to those 500 nepotism connections they have in taxes and customs.

And, the removal of the tax yoke will be realized, reducing by 4 times the tax burden of VAT, from 20% to 5%, for milk, for meat, for eggs, for honey, for sea products, for wheat, for vegetables, for fruits, Made in Albania.

Second, with an immediate payment of 10,000 euros for each new agricultural, livestock, family business, and exempt from all taxes and duties for the first 5 years.

In the same way, this will be achieved with the undisputed objective of quadrupling agricultural and livestock production.

So, a 4-fold increase in the number of cows from 200 thousand that is today, (it was 400 thousand in 2017) to 800 thousand very quickly.

4-folding of small cattle, from 1 million 150 thousand that is today, to over 4 million.

It will be achieved through payments per cow, which will increase from 80 euros, which is today, to 200 euros, which will be tomorrow with the Freedom Party, from payments for sheep, goats, or small animals, which will increase 5 times, from 12 euros to 60 euros.

The number of cows to be entitled for payments will be reduced, from 10 heads to 3 heads. The government pretends to support the farmer with 80 euros, which is nothing compared to the neighbors.

This measure will make beneficiaries over 65% of farmers who were deliberately excluded.

Our direct support will go beyond that. For each liter of domestically produced milk, delivered to the authorized collection points, 10 new lek will be paid. We will support pig and calf farms.

Payment for each cow processed for meat, at the rate of 15 euros/head, and for each small sheep and goat, at the rate of 5 euros. Payment for each chicken for meat, or eggs at 20 Lek/head.

Payment for each bee family with 20 euros.

4-fold increase in fruit and vegetable production.

For each hectare of vegetables in the field, 500 euros will be paid, today 0 is paid.

For each hectare of vegetables in the greenhouse, 900 euros will be paid, today 0 paid by Rilindja.

For each hectare of vineyards, 1000 euros will be paid. Today 0.

Direct payment for each liter of Albanian wine produced at the rate of 4 new Lek/liter.

Direct payment, for each kilogram of fruit and vegetables delivered to collection points, at the rate of 20 new Lek/kilogram.

Direct payment for organic agriculture in the amount of 100 euros per hectare.

Rilindja has only one model, to destroy agriculture. The only country that EU/IPARD cuts off all funds for agriculture. Why? They stole EU money. They also corrupted some EU officials. Yes, there are honest people in the EU, who start investigations.

But why all this theft and corruption is going on? This happens because there is no justice.

That justice has been grabbed by the throat by Edi Rama.

The citizen was promised real reform not Ramaforma.

With the new judicial map made by these people, who said that access to justice would be improved, it would become excellent service.

But, instead, they left the cities without courts, as it is the case with Shkodra, capital of Northern Albania, courts are being removed everywhere.

They also removed the educational directorate. The educational directorate removed from Shkodra. And they are blackening the lives of citizens, effectively making zero access to seek and receive justice.

And thus, deliberately promoting depopulation!

Instead of shortening the time to review a court case, it quadrupled the time. There are 115,000 files that have not been touched, and tens, thousands of citizens will not receive justice as long as they are alive in this country, with Rilindja.

But Rilindja will be defeated, because we have a very clear program for the citizens, they will get justice and Edi Rama will get the justice he deserves.

Today, thousands of citizens cannot resolve thousands of issues they have with justice, and property theft is never tried.

The stealing of properties is never judged, as they were stolen in Himara

And that’s why the mayor of Himara is in prison, because he obeyed Edi Rama. Citizens lost even those minimum standards that guaranteed justice before Ramaforma. But who won from Ramaforma? Rama’s and Velia’s impunity won. In order not to give account before justice, for crimes and for their trafficking.

Another winner was the coordinator of Italian-Albanian relations, General Agaçi, or the General Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office who was collaborating with General Lisi in Italy, now, under investigation. The coordinator since the first day, of the reform in justice with the honorable Cavalliera. But how can a reform for an independent justice be coordinated with the Secretary General of the government? Can anyone who has any idea how the division of power works in a rule of law country believe this?

And not only that, but this one has controlled the entire vetting process, and has done it according to his pleasure. Therefore, justice in the country is in a catastrophic situation!

That’s why he had the courage to approve 17 decisions for incinerators in 2 hours.

I was the Prime Minister! 17 decisions, like those, it takes 6 months, from ministry to ministry, to see the experts, to give opinions, etc.

17 decisions in 2 hours! While the procurement director, wrote black on white that this was illegal.

The clear intention was to have justice in the pocket, that we got Prosecutor Office with Arta Marku elected with 69 votes instead of 84, we got all the investigation institutions of justice, with High Prosecution Council, Special Prosecution SPAK., all of them, like Russian dolls.

And Venice, clearly said that what the government man, Dvorani, did, was a forger, and responsible for this conflict that happened in Albania, between the Parliament and the President for the foundation of the Constitutional Court.

Therefore, I want to say once again that our commitment is to return the reform to the tracks of the Constitution, with 140 votes, which was made in the Parliament and we will throw Ramaforma to River Lana.

Justice belongs to the people, because sovereignty here belongs to the people.

And from the lack of justice, a whole people are suffering.

And it is the lack of justice, and the removal of all other services, except the courts that have been removed, from other cities of Albania, from other municipalities, that have been deliberately concentrated that has encouraged depopulation.

It has increased the cost of living, which forces many citizens to go to Tirana or Durrës.

We are preparing a platform for the return of vital services to the citizen.

In the meanwhile, quality of life in Tirana has deteriorated.

Permits to build 10 million square meters have been granted. The Mayor gave us the moratorium as a promise, a moratorium not to give building permissions.

What about poisonous quality of air? Recently, the honorable Professor Besnik Bare, an honest socialist, scientist, with a lot of responsibility, confirmed that levels of pollution are more than 20 times, above the average rate of other countries. But what is this over 20 times? It is poison for the citizen, for the pensioner, for the child, for the mother who is pregnant!

The Rilindja people do not want to know about these things! That’s why we have to organize very strongly, very quickly. Who stops rusting, we have no intention of rusting.

We all have as our duty to present the 5 priorities to all Albanians.

And from the 5 priorities, all honest Albanians win, and Albania has sunshine for everyone.

Yes. That everywhere we have young men and women, we need this spirit of openness, this spirit of inclusion, and this spirit of appreciation and meritocracy within us.

I want to assure you that a new work, on new foundations, has started, and the speed will only increase.

In order to free Albania from this tyranny of corruption, and give not only hope to Albanians, we give them the real, tangible, real opportunity to live with dignity in their country.




Lexo edhe:


Shto koment