Amendments in the law “For the compensation of former political dissidents of the communist regime” were accompanied by debates in yesterday’s meeting of the parliamentary economy and finance committee. Minister of Economy and Finance, Arben Ahmetaj offered explanations about the application of this law. “We will continue to compensate the primary category”, he declared, implying that the government will aim to compensate those former dissidents who are still alive, considering descendants of this category of society as secondary.
Asked by MPs if it is normal for distant descendants to receive compensation, Ahmetaj said that more should be invested for the future. “The money will first go to those descendants who are directly related to those who have suffered in prisons. Then we will expand the circle with more distant descendants”, he explained. But what do representatives of former political dissidents have to say about the government’s new strategy on compensation? Albanian Free Press has talked to two of them. According to Besim Ndregjoni, president of the Former Political Dissidents Union, “compensation is sanctioned by law and there are no primary or secondary categories. The law can only be applied”. “During 50 years of dictatorship, 35%-40% of the Albanian population suffered persecution. Over six thousand were executed. Those who were executed before 1945 are not even entitled to compensation”, he says. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Path of Freedom Party, Kurt Kola considers this decision as another decision taken by communists against former political dissidents.
“After the great insult that they received with the decision about the prison of Tepelena, we now have the decision for compensation. 27 years have gone by since the regime was overthrown and descendants of this category of people have only received one installment, a part of them has received two installments, while a part has received nothing so far. The new decision exempts grandchildren, who in fact are entitled to receive compensation”, he said.
Democratic Party considers it as the second crime committed against political dissidents
According to the Democratic Party, this amendment of the law is being done to delay the compensation of former political dissidents. According to the democrat MP, Jorida Tabaku, the fund has been cut in this year’s budget. “The latest amendments have only been done to delay the payment of compensation for political dissidents. The recent amendments in the law have been reflected in this year’s budget. Instead of paying 12-15 million euros, this year, the government has allocated 2.2 million euros. This is the second crime being committed against former political dissidents”, declared the democrat MP.