Albanian opposition leader Lulzim Basha has again brought thousands of his supporters onto the streets of Tirana as he continues his push for the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama to quit.
Basha’s Democratic Party accuses Rama’s ruling Socialists of hindering the country’s economic and political progress.
Firecrackers were thrown and the police responded with water cannon and tear gas in what was the eighth such demonstration since the Democratic Party quit Albania’s parliament in February.
Rama has repeatedly rejected calls for his resignation and denies allegations of corruption made against him.
The EU Commission has recommended that the European Council approve accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia when it meets at the end of the month.
Albania’s acting foreign minister Gent Cakaj met with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, on Friday.
Mogherini’s spokesperson said in a statement that the renewed recommendation of the EU Commission was an acknowledgement of the “tangible results of the comprehensive and thorough justice reform” and of the country’s “achievements in the fight against corruption and organised crime”.
The EU delegation to Albania said in a statement ahead of the protests that it continues to urge all sides to “engage in a constructive dialogue to overcome the current political situation”.