Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in front of the Albanian prime minister’s office on Saturday accusing the government of Edi Rama of corruption and protesting against the high cost of living which is forcing people to leave the country.
Protesters, led by opposition leader Sali Berisha, hurled firecrackers at the entrance of government offices where hundreds of police officers in anti-riot gear blocked protesters from entering the building.
“(Edi Rama) resign, go where you belong, to the pillar of shame, the traitors’ house,” Sali Berisha, head of the opposition Democratic Party said, adding that a new protest will be called in front of the parliament on Monday.
Berisha, a former president and prime minister, is banned from entering the United States over alleged corruption. He denies the charges.
During the protest Berisha accused Prime Minister Rama of corrupting U.S. officials to lobby against him and against opposition parties. Such accusations are rejected by both Rama and the U.S. government.
Rama, who is in his third term as prime minister, has denied all accusations of corruption.
“How will I live with 7,000 Albanian leke ($64.64) as a pension. I have to pay rent, electricity, water and everything else. Our lives have become poisonous,” protester Mino Xhindi, a pensioner in his late 60s, told Reuters.