AP

Anti-government protest held in Albania over rising costs

Nov 11, 2022, 9:42 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2022, 12:09 pm

Protesters raise their mobile phones flashlights during an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania...

Protesters raise their mobile phones flashlights during an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania, on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters protested against the center-left government's alleged corruption and this year's significant rise of prices due to the cost-of-living crisis. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

(AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters on Saturday protested the country’s cost-of-living crisis, blaming it on the center-left government.

Opposition supporters gathered in front of the main government building, shouting that Prime Minister Edi Rama of the ruling Socialist Party should resign.

The protest was mostly peaceful but at the end some broke the police line and sprayed red paint on the main doors of the government building. Others lit candles to memorize two people killed by police in the last years.

Police intervened and at least one protester was taken away.

Albania has seen an 8% price hike this year, especially for basic food and fuel following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Opposition supporters have also blamed Rama for the thousands of young men who leave the country each year in search of a better life.

Rama says his Cabinet has kept inflation low compared to double-digit inflation elsewhere in Europe, and has noted that government subsidizes electricity for families and small businesses.

The protest was organized by the opposition center-right Democratic Party and attended by its leader Sali Berisha, a 78-year-old former president and prime minister, and former President Ilir Meta, now leader of the leftist Freedom Party.

Albania holds a municipal election in May.

Berisha called on Albanians to support the opposition, which has pledged to double wages and pensions if it gets back into power.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

3 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

4 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

6 days ago

Anti-government protest held in Albania over rising costs