Albania: a land of stunning nature, beautiful coastlines and lots and lots of bunkers.
Being a politician in Albania isn’t easy. The nominal-but-not-really-in-practice “Socialist Party” has run the country since 2013 — and while the party claims popularity, they’ve also been seen as authoritarian for their total control and their tendency to do things like tell opposition journalists they need to be re-educated.
This accusation of authoritarian one-party rule has led to other parties voicing their opposition to the Socialists in whatever way possible, even if they themselves also suck. For example, back in 2019, a member of the (again nominal-but-not-really-in-practice) “Democratic Party,” Edi Paloka, threw some ink at Prime Minister Edi Rama, ruining his suit and making it look like he just slurped from a pen.
Now, there’s been a whole new Albanian Parliamentary fight, and this time, it involves fire.
For context, the Albanian Parliament is supposed to pass a new budget. Opposition figures don’t like the idea of the party they see as authoritarian giving themselves more power — and so, they’re doing everything in their power to stop it.
On this occasion, they decided to stack chairs in front of the Parliament. Knowing this wouldn’t be nearly enough, they also decided to light off some flares and set some smoke bombs — accidentally causing a fire in the process.
Get to the bunker! https://t.co/Pg9mXNHyHQ— Txchnical Appreciator (@ArmyStrang) November 20, 2023
In the video, one can see other legislators grab water bottles and attempt to put out the fire, something they presumably never thought they’d be doing when they were elected. The fire does go out, but the smoke lingers on, casting the entirety of Parliament in a red haze.
So, was all of this effective?
Depends on your definition of effective, I suppose, but by most standards, not at all. “The Socialist Party, holding 73 of the 140 parliamentary seats, quickly voted in principle and ended the session within five minutes,” writes EuroNews, and Prime Minister Rama simply saluted before walking away from the remaining smoke.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — please keep fireworks outside.