Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama accused the UK of scapegoating UK nationals for Britain’s crime and border issues.
“Targeting Albanians (as some shamefully did in the fight for Brexit) as the cause of UK crime and border issues makes rhetoric easy but ignores facts,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. afternoon.
“Repeating the same things and expecting different results is nonsense (ask Einstein!).”
Rama then warned the UK against “a rhetoric of crime”, saying his country was ready to cooperate with Britain as long as it was based on “facts” and “mutual respect”.
The Prime Minister did not name anyone, but his outburst comes two days after Britain’s Home Secretary sparked an outcry when he spoke in Parliament about ‘stopping the invasion on our south coast’.
house secretary Suella Braverman said many of the estimated 40,000 arrivals on the south coast of England in small boats this year have been either ‘facilitated by’ or ‘real crime gang members’.
“So let’s stop pretending they’re all refugees in distress,” she told the House of Commons.
British ministers and officials have claimed that large numbers of Albanians have arrived recently in small boats and that many are either members or victims of international criminal gangs.
On Twitter, the Albanian Prime Minister sought to question the image of his compatriots.
“70% of the 140,000 Albanians who moved to the UK lived in Italy and Greece. 1200 of them are business people. Albanians in the UK work hard and pay taxes. Albanians to excuse the political failures,” said Edi Rama.
Hailing the work being done in dismantling criminal gangs, Braverman told parliament on Monday that “this year has seen an increase in the number of Albanian arrivals, many of whom, I’m afraid to say, are abusing our modern migration laws. slavery”.
The government was working to ensure that Albanian cases were dealt with and individuals were quickly deported, she added.
Last week, a committee of MPs heard there had been a “very significant increase” in the number of adult single men arriving from Albania.
Dan O’Mahoney, a senior British official tasked with tackling illegal immigration across the Channel, described the rise in the number of Albanians as “exponential” and said the influx was “50-50 a problem of asylum and a problem of illegal immigration”.
The British government is seeking to return thousands of people arriving in small boats, pledging this summer to work closely with Albania to quickly evacuate those who have entered the country illegally.
He described Albania as a “safe and prosperous country” and has faced criticism over the EU candidate country’s asylum claims, as well as the number of people who have been sent back.
But the UK asylum system has been hit by serious delays, with a reported backlog of 100,000 cases awaiting decision. The government has also been criticized for conditions at a crowded site in Kent, where many new arrivals in small boats are initially taken.
Edi Rama said Britain should look to the example of Germany which had “strengthened its own systems”.
“The UK can and should do the same and not respond with rhetoric of crime that ends up punishing innocent people,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “Ready to work more closely with the UK, but facts are crucial. Mutual respect too,” he added.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Monday that three suspected smugglers, suspected of trying to smuggle Albanian migrants across the Channel, had been arrested the day before in a joint operation with the Belgian authorities.
Two men based in the south of England were arrested upon their arrival on the Belgian coast. Twelve migrants, believed to be Albanian, were also arrested, according to the NCA statement.