By Besar Likmeta
Tony Blair is expected to be hired as a consultant by Albania’s new government, following the opposition victory in Sunday’s elections.
The former British Prime Minister and Labour Party leader reached a deal in May with Albanian Socialist leader Edi Rama, who will be Albania’s new Prime Minister, to advise Albania on attracting investment, promoting tourism and boosting the EU integration process.
“Blair’s will to help Albania is priceless, considering the good that it will bring, while the contract won’t hurt the pockets of Albanian taxpayers,” Rama said after meeting Blair in his central London office.
“Until now we have had only an agreement in principle based on the good will of both parties to cooperate,” he added.
Rama’s left-wing coalition scored a convincing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary polls, securing 84 of 140 seats in parliament.
Alistair Campbell, the former spin-doctor to Blair who has worked as a campaign adviser for the Socialists, has been ecstatic about their success in the polls.
“Looking like a landslide for Edi Rama and the Socialist Party coalition in Albania, I love landslides,” he wrote on Twitter. “Been good working with you guys,” Campbell added.
The Socialist Party has declined to comment on the cost of a possible contract with Blair, arguing that the financial details have not been discussed.
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The Balkan Insight (forner the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes.
BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention.
Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.