Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was accused by the opposition of allegedly allowing import of 39,000 tons of toxic chemical waste, regional media have been reporting during last couple of months . According to accusations, the waste came from Italy in 1,300 dumpsters weighing 30 tons each.
Leader of Albania’s opposition Democratic Party Lulzim Basha accused Rama of causing serious threat to the health and safety of Albanians that is, according to Basha, tantamount to genocide. The Government of Albania has not responded to the accusations.
“This is what happens when crime and criminal activities dictate the agenda in the government,” said Basha adding the containers were brought in right after the government signed off on this project, keeping the public in the dark.
Late last year the Albanian Parliament adopted a new draft law that would allow import of foreign waste. Authorities argued that this would provide a significant boost to the recycling sector and wider economy.
Environmentalists have protested and demanded for a referendum, while the opposition claimed that the bill would turn the country into a big rubbish bin. The draft is waiting to be signed by the president, Bujar Nishani, before it becomes law.
In the midst of controversy in September 2016, Prime Minister Rama assured the public that the law would only allow imports of materials such as paper, plastic, aluminum and wood. He claimed it would all be recycled, not buried or burned.