Albania: eight ministers leave in cabinet reshuffle

Changes after students' protests

28 December, 13:14

    TIRANA - Albania's Socialist President Edi Rama has replaced 8 ministers, or half of his cabinet members, as part of a government reshuffle following students' protests over the last few weeks.
    The initiative, explained Rama, reflects the ''students' protests''. Although protesters were calling for economic change, the demonstrations were seen as reflecting dissatisfaction for the government. 

    In a surprise move, the premier has decided to remove, among others, the minister of education, Lindita Nikolla, finance, Arben Ahmetaj and the minister for foreign affairs and Europe, Ditmir Bushati, a key post for Albania's EU integration process as adhesion talks are expected to start in June.
    Bushati is being replaced by the current deputy minister in charge of the integration process, 28-year-old Kosovan Genti Caka. Other members who were forced to leave the government include deputy premier Senida Mesi, the minister of energy and infrastructure, Damian Gjiknuri, of agriculture, Niko Peleshi, culture, Mirela Kumbaro and business, Sonila Qato.
    Tirana will have the presidency of the Organization for security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE) in 2020.

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