Tirana International Airport Closure as Case of Explosive Political Situation in Albania

The shut down of Tirana International Rinas Airport due to which all flights have been prohibited after Infrastructure Minister Belinda Balluku failed on Wednesday to reach an agreement with air traffic controllers, who have suspended work, has caused an uproar on Albanian political scene comparing it with a coup d'etat attempt.
The lawyer of air traffic controllers, Rezart Kthupi said on Wednesday that the controllers have not left the job, but do not exercise their duty. According to him, the reduction of the salary of controllers is not the only and the main reason for the suspension of work, as the main one is the change of operational procedures.
"In the first place, we said from the very beginning that this is not a strike. It is a legal obligation. At the moment that the controllers feel the conditions of inability to exercise the duty, this is a legal obligation that the Albanian law recognizes," Kthupi said. "We are not in the conditions of leaving the work, the controllers continue to go to work, but do not carry out their tasks," the advocate said denying the event was a politicial issue." We have no interest in getting involved in politics," he said.
The closure of the Tirana's Rinas Airport was announced on Wednesday even by the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO.
In his reaction on the issue PM Edi Rama said that President Ilir Meta is the instigator of the crazy blow, adding that they will not succeed. According to Rama, the group instigated by him and Sali Berisha, veteran leader of DP, have committed the serious act of blocking the activity of the airport in Tirana.
"The vulgar humor of Ilir Meta, while a group instigated by him and Sali have committed the serious act of blocking the activity of the "Mother Teresa" airport, simply reconfirm that IM is the instigator of this crazy blow. You do not understand why! But they will not succeed!" said Rama on Twitter on Thursday.
In the meantime Infrastructure Minister Belinda Balluku said she understands Sali Berisha, because all this is a clear political scenario in a moment of the campaig. "Due to the election campaign and all the political schemes that are being applied, vaccines will not be able to arrive at Rinas airport today, which will come this afternoon," she said on Wednesday.
In a tit-for-tat reaction President Ilir Meta announced that he will respond to the government this afternoon from Vlora, southern Albania, on the issue of Rinas Airport "as a very important issue of national security and international obligations".
In the meantime, Berisha rejected the accusations of Rama and Balluku, saying that instead of negotiations with the protesting employees of Albkontroll, which the government has destroyed by stealing in tenders and procurements, they continue the ritual 'Saliu is to blame!' "Stop censorship and psychological terror against protestinng workers," Berisha said.
There will be no take-off or landing of planes at Tirana International Airport as there are no employees in the tower to check. This will continue until 10:00 on April 8, according to the protesting AlbControl staff.
The Rinas event and its extreme politicization with the highest political actors involved furiously in it in such a short time is ample evidence how explosive is the pre electoral situation in Albania where in fact the severest blow is the impact of the pandemic with increasing fatalities and infections. / argumentum.al