Albania: Thousands join opposition protest over price hikes

Jul 7, 2022, 12:49 AM | Updated: 1:11 pm

A boy holds an Albanian flag outside the Prime Minister's office during an anti-government rally in...

A boy holds an Albanian flag outside the Prime Minister's office during an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania, on Thursday, July 7, 2022. The Albanian opposition rallied Thursday in the capital Tirana calling for the resignation of the government which they blame for corruption and inflicting poverty. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

(AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters held a peaceful protest in the capital Tirana Thursday, urging the center-left government to resign because of the cost-of-living crisis and alleged corruption.

Albania has seen a hike in the prices of basic food products and fuel linked to the war in Ukraine and the lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The protest was organized by the main opposition center-right Democratic Party and attended by its leader Sali Berisha, a 77-year-old former president and prime minister.

Berisha has pledged to bring the party back to power after it lost the last three parliamentary elections, and accuses the current government of corruption.

But his party has been plagued by infighting after Secretary of State Antony Blinken last year barred Berisha and his close relatives them from entering the U.S. for “corrupt acts that undermined democracy in Albania” during his 2005-2013 tenure as prime minister.

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Albania: Thousands join opposition protest over price hikes