Edi Rama is an Albanian politician, artist, writer, and the current Prime Minister of Albania since 2013. He has also been leader of the Socialist Party of Albania since 2005.
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I have to go now, thank you all for the thoughtful questions. I hope you all explore the Summit. Thank you Reddit!
Hi Reddit, I am Edi Rama and I’m here to answer your questions. Ask me anything.
A few things about me and Albania:
I am leader of the Socialist Party and have been Prime Minister since 2013.
I used to be an artist in Albania and France. I later became Minister of Culture and then Mayor of Tirana, the capital.
In 2014, Albania was given European Union candidate status. Just last week, the EU recommended we start accession negotiations.
I actually became familiar with Reddit when this post of me became popular.
This weekend, Albania will be hosting the first ever Albanian Diaspora Summit. The Summit is a non-political event with the purpose of creating a bridge between Albania and wherever Albanians live. More than 800 personalities from the Albania are invited. I hope you will check it out.
Hi Prime minister,
I'm an Albanian/Dutch artist currently living in The Netherlands. I would love to do a street-art project with local artists in Albania but I Find it hard to find any contacts to realise my dream project. Are there any organizations that you could recommend me?
Erionveliaj@gmail.com - the mayor of Tirana.
Hello Mr. Prime Minister,
I am a 16 years old Albanian, learning and working in the tech sector. I would love to hear if there's any government plans that would grow the education and involvement of Albanians in the tech scene? Is there any plan that is helpful to tech businesses or startups in Albania?
Thanks in advance.
Yes, we've started some initiatives. For example, the Ministry of Economy, Enterprise, and Tourism supports projects of individuals and groups in this field. There is still a lot to be done.
Why do you think that the Albanians will vote you once again in the 2017 elections?
How come that the people who have received a diploma from the terminated universities, such as "Kristal" are still employed in the public administration? (And there are even Ministers and Deputies with diplomas from these universities)
Currently seeing that everything is going worse, what are your government plans for the education?
Because they know that a major work in progress is happening - this is through major reforms to modernize the country and real achievements that brought us to the new station of starting the accession talks in the EU.
The Albanian public administration works in a very well-regulated framework. There is something we all call "rule of law" that defines the obligations and the rights of the people of the civil servants.
It's a matter of point-of-view. I respect yours, but I don't share it. As for education, things are becoming much better, but of course, not good enough. We have embarked on a major reform which has been praised by the EU and is introducing Albanian education to a new era. Of course, there is still a lot to be achieved. That's why we need more work, more time, and more patience.
What will be the future of the Albanian relations with Serbia?
I'm a believer of the idea that Albanians and Serbians can do for the Balkans what France and Germany did for Europe after the second world war.
Hello Mr. Prime Minister,
I would like to hear the answer of those questions:
Starting the painful energy reform.
It's a good idea to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but I am convinced that the time for Albania to do so is still far away.
It's a standard procedure that we had to apply to Albania to fight informality which was also fueled by internet shopping.
Hello Mr. Prime Minister,
Përshëndetje nga New York. My name is Tedi Spiro I am 23 years old born in Albania now living in NYC. My question is regarding developing a creative culture for the youth of Albania. Do you have any plans to enrich the creative development of the Albanian youth? Whether it be through school programs or the development of artistic spaces that kids can go to. How important is it for you to create a artist culture as a formally trained artist. Thank you for your time. I will be going to the Marian Goodman gallery this weekend to check out your exhibit.
Hello Tedi, I'm glad to hear you are visiting the Marian Goodman gallery to see my exhibit. I hope you enjoy it.
Yes, we are developing programs to support the creative youth. Our last show in Marseilles was very successful with many young Albanian contemporary artists. Additionally, we had a very pleasant opening ceremony at the completely renovated Art High School of Tirana. We also working on the renovation of the Ballet School of Tirana.
What are your thoughts on the current education system in Albania?
Do you think it is fine the way it is ?
2 ) How do you like to pass your free time ?
For your first question, I answered here https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5db7t0/i_am_edi_rama_prime_minister_of_albania_ask_me/da35x83/
I unfortunately don't have much free time. Being with my son when he's still awake when I go home is the highlight of my day. When I can find a free Sunday, I enjoy sculpting.
Dear PM, given the fact that you are hosting the first ever Albania Diaspora Summit i would like to ask what have done the Albanian authorities to extend the right to vote for its citizens living abroad?
As you probably know, the Albanian emigrants have been unable to vote in the last 25 years, unless they returned home in the Election Day. For the first time, our government has made substantial steps to address this injustice. We have worked hard and in 2016, in February, the Albanian Parliament approved the law “for the identification and registration of the Albanians living abroad the territory of the Republic of Albania”. According to this law, all the emigrants will have the opportunity to register themselves, by submitting a legal address of residence. This law cleared the most major obstacle obstructing the right of emigrants to vote. The Government is dedicated to follow soon the remaining obstacles and to create a transparent mechanism, enabling the emigrants to vote regardless of their location.
Hello Mr. Rama, I am an Albanian immigrant that came to the United States in 1997. Politics was not your first love, I assume art and sport were. At the collapse of the regime, I have read that you became active in democratic representation. What made you decide to break into politics as a Socialist, when there might have been general apathy against leftist doctrine? Thank you for your time.
I was inspired by the Third Way and the outstanding reform in left politics that Tony Blair and the Labor Party introduced to the world.
How do you plan to bring back all the talent that Albania has lost to the USA, Germany, etc?
The overwhelming sentiment among Albanian Americans is that Albania is incredibly corrupt. What are you doing to change this?
I have heard of multiple instances of doctors/nurses neglecting patients or even cutting them open for surgery, not doing the work, and then stitching them up. How do you combat this?
I don't think that talents that are blossoming in the US, Germany, and elsewhere are losses for Albania. Fortunately, we live in a free world where Albanians and all other Europeans are free to move and free to choose.
On the other hand, they remain Albanians wherever they go. They help Albania wherever they are and they add value to the country when they come back.
As for the "incredibly-corrupt Albania", I suggest you read the very last report from Transparency International. You may be positively surprised to read about the steady progress Albania has made in fighting corruption. Of course, there is still a lot to be done.
Hello im Ema, I live in Germany but currently in Tirana, I wanted to ask you about the relationship with Greece. Considering the recent disagreements, do you still see Greece as a partner country?
Hello Ema, Albania has long been dedicated to forge an ever-closer cooperation and friendlier relations with Greece. We consider our southern neighbor a strategic partner and we believe a better understanding of each other will contribute to a greater stability in the whole region. The relations with Greece continue to be friendly, but we believe that a more direct approach and a more frequent discussion regarding our remaining issues will serve to build a better future for the next Albanian and Greek generations. In this perspective, the large Albanian Community in Greece, which admirably has conducted a number of great achievements, has contributed and will continue to contribute more than any possible policy to the strengthening of the friendship between the Albanian and the Greeks
It looks like you have some artwork on your desk in your proof photo. Is it something you have been working on?
Yes, the art on my desk accompanies me everyday during my meetings, my phone calls, and my moments of pause and reflection.
Thank you for being here! I love the artwork in the background of your "proof" photo. What is your opinion on what's happening in Britain and the USA right now?
It's an interesting time of change in a direction that is yet to be seen.
What's your favorite type of pizza?
Neapolitan tends to be my first option.
What's up PM. What's your favorite breakfast meal?
Two single espressos.
Hi! What are some cool facts about Albania?
It's beautiful, hospitable, and never boring.
Nice to see you being active even on this side of the virtual communities. I currently live in Austria. I have been following your actions towards the improvement of the relationship between Albania and Kosovo and I think you have had a good start, but still there is a lot, a lot to be done, especially in the economic aspect. So, what do you think will the future of this relationship be for the years to come?
For a long time, the Albania-Kosovo relations have been characterized by the unconditional diplomatic support of Albania for the Kosovo statehood and friendly exchanges in case of celebrations. Our government has changed this approach, by seeking a much deeper relation. Since three years, both governments are meeting periodically, to erase any border and boundaries between us, to agree on how to establish a common single market, how to unify our education system, how to connect our energy systems, etc. Just recently, we finished the high voltage line connecting both countries, establishing for the first time a common energy market. Another example, since two years, our children’s study with the same textbooks in both educational systems. We remain dedicated to continue to deepen in the future our relation, in order to fulfill the dream of an Albanian common Space, inside the European Union.
What’s is the purpose of the First Albanian Diaspora Summit in Tirana?
This Summit is a non-political event, based on the inclusiveness, with the purpose of creating a bridge between Albanians whenever they live. The main purpose of this meeting is to create a communication mechanism, in order to promote a closer cooperation between the Albanian State and the fellow citizens living abroad.
What motivated you to organize this major enterprise, the first ever Albanian Diaspora Summit?
The diaspora is an intrinsic part of our live and our hearts. After 25 years of a big wave of Albanian emigration while being liberated from half a century of communist rule, it's time to meet, exchange ideas, and try to organize ourselves better. The summit is the first step to walk together towards the next-generation Albania.
Hello Mr. Prime Minister,
You have been a supporter of Albania becoming part of the EU in the past. Does the current instability in Europe change your stance on this matter? What do you consider to be the most important steps that Albania must take to have a successful integration in Europe socially and economically?
Thank your time Mr. Prime Minister!
I think that the current situation is a makeup call for more Europe rather than less.
There are too many to count, but I suggest going through the pages of the last progress report from the European Commission.