Tags: EU | Albania | Britain

Albania Mention by Brexit Supporters Surprises PM Rama

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 09:24 AM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister said he has been surprised by supporters of Britain's exit from the European Union campaign mentioning his country as an example of future ties.

Britain will decide in a June 23 referendum whether to leave the 28-nation bloc. While Albania, a full NATO member since 2009, expects to launch EU membership negotiations this year after getting candidate status two years ago.

In an op-ed published in The Times Tuesday, Prime Minister Edi Rama considered as "odd" British Justice Secretary Michael Gove singling out Albania "as a model for the post-Brexit British economic settlement." Rama said that "it is odder still that he (Gove) wants voluntarily to leave a union that seems to have given Britain so much."

"Most countries on the edges of Europe want in, because we know the remarkable benefits there have been to EU countries," said Rama in his piece emailed to The Associated Press.

The process of joining the EU has been helping the Balkans, once considered a powder keg with "our long history of wars and bloody conflicts," which has now entered "a new era of peace and cooperation."

For the moment, completing fundamental judicial reforms remains key before Tirana may start another long process of membership talks this year. Fighting corruption and organized crime, and improving the administration have been the main issues Brussels has pressed all these years.

"While we work hard in taking the many further steps towards EU membership, we enjoy none of the benefits that Britain has, benefits Britain would lose if it came out," said Rama.

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Albania's prime minister said he has been surprised by supporters of Britain's exit from the European Union campaign mentioning his country as an example of future ties.Britain will decide in a June 23 referendum whether to leave the 28-nation bloc. While Albania, a full...
EU,Albania,Britain
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2016-24-26
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 09:24 AM
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