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A New and European Reality

Yesterday, Albania's Prime Minister Sali Berisha addressed the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on corruption, reform and Kosova, among other topics. This was his starting point:
I should first like warmly to greet President René van der Linden, Secretary General Terry Davis and all members of the Parliamentary Assembly and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address you today. I am indeed honoured by this occasion.

I also feel immensely indebted to you and the Council of Europe for your continuous support for Albania. The Council of Europe was the first international institution that I visited in 1992, only a few weeks after I was elected President of Albania, to ask for your assistance with our project to build a democratic society based on the rule of law on the ruins of the most Orwellian dictatorship that Europe has known. Since then, the Council has always been on Albania’s side.

I am deeply moved and proud to speak before you all, dear friends. I have had the opportunity and the privilege to debate and defend with you the democratic values and principles we hold in common. This enriching experience has inspired and empowered me to lead the efforts of the Albanian citizens to vote out one of the most kleptocratic regimes of modern times which was installed in Albania.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that images of the past unpleasant, unhappy news about my country still linger in your memories. I stand before you today to assure you that Albania has archived those events in its past and is swiftly moving toward a new and European reality.

The full speech is available on the CoE website.

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