Harsh protests over the tax at Nation's Road, 12 police injured


 In Albania, the protest on the highway connecting the Albania with Kosovo, against the imposition of a tax on its passage, turned into a violent clash between police forces and protesters who subsequently set fire on the counters raised to pay the tax. At least 12 police officers and Kukes local leader police were injured. There are also injuries among the demonstrators. 

The event led immediately to political reactions. The Interior Minister said there will be a harsh response to those involved in acts of violence against police, public and private property.

The announced protest in the Nation's Road against the tax imposed on using this axis turned quickly into a violent clash. Towards the police forces lined up in front of the counters where taxes would be paid, rocks and heavy items flew, while Rapid Intervention Agents reacted forcefully. The situation escalated.

As the police officers withdrew, the protesters attacked the sportels, which were then burned and flames

There were injuries from the violent clashes, both by protesters and police, where 12 of the Rapid Intervention Forces were hurt, as well as the Director of Kukes Police Perlat Vatoci, who has been hospitalized for medication.


In a Facebook post while the situation was still tense, Prime Minister Edi Rama stressed that "barbarous violence over common property and violent reaction to law enforcement in Kukes will receive the deserved response with all the power of law over anyone who has raised the hand of lawlessness "

On his part, Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha said that according to him "today's protest shows that the endurance has come to an end. Today, the citizens decided to stop the violence of Edi Rama. Today the citizens told to Edi Rama that an anti-populist and anti-national government can not defeat the people. On behalf of the opposition I ask Edi Rama to immediately suspend the "Nation's Road" tariff," said Mr. Basha.

While the leader of the Socialist Movement for Integration, Monika Kryemadhi, through a status in Facebook, said that "the revolt in Kukes is a clear sign of the beginning of a government that has lost the faith and support that is ruining Albanian families and perhaps today may realize that the revolt has been and remains the end of any regime that rules with the help of crime and corruption."

For the tense situation reacted President Ilir Meta, who called for "the avoidance of the violence, for restraint and dialogue and understanding in order to normalize the situation and to return the normal vehicle movement and waiting citizens".

The blockage of the road led to mileage of vehicles waiting to pass. The situation calmed down more than three hours from the beginning of the protest when the defenders decided to leave, enabling the circulation to restart.

The imposition of a fee starting at 2.5 euros for engines up to 22.5 euros for heavy vehicles was applied by the private company that has acquired the right of road maintenance, but it is strongly opposed by the citizens and also the businesses operating between Albania and Kosovo.
Harsh protests over the tax at Nation's Road, 12 police injured Harsh protests over the tax at Nation's Road, 12 police injured Saturday, March 31, 2018 Rating: 5
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