Albania’s SP blames government for Schengen exclusion

TIRANA, Albania

The opposition Socialist Party (SP) blamed the government Thursday (July 16th) for failing to meet EU standards for achieving visa-free travel to member countries. Three other Balkan countries did make it onto the so-called White Schengen List.

“Now a gap has been opened between Albania and other regional countries,” SP member Ditmir Bushati argued. He said problems with issuing biometric passports and the introduction of integrated border management were not the only reasons Albania was overlooked.

He said irregularities in the June 28th general elections were another serious problem. The ruling Democratic Party (DP) downplayed the accusations and vowed Albania will be included next time.

In other news Thursday, the Central Election Committee announced preliminary results in the general elections, after examining challenges filed by various parties. The CEC says the ruling DP-led Alliance for Change won 70 seats, the SP-led opposition Union for Change won 64, and the Alliance for Socialist Integration won four. Final results are expected in ten days.

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