Establishing operating rules

You won the election with the slogan «Down with thieves,» whom you promised to send to prison. Might the investigation reach as far as Nano? Might you send him to prison again as you did in 1993? No. I promised «clean hands» because I want to establish operating rules for my government and the machinery of state on that principle. That is my primary aim and in line with that we will move toward completely lifting the immunity of deputies and government officials in cases of corruption and common crime, and amend the law on conflicting interests. Now, imagine a prime minister who founds companies and puts them in his wife’s name. He swears that his wife is not abusing his position to further her business interests. In other words, do they share a bed but keep their business profits separate? Won’t you refer these scandals you describe to the prosecutor? I don’t give amnesties but I’m not a prosecutor. Transparency As the government, as the executive power, I shall rule with transparency; I shall uphold the law. I hope other institutions will follow this example. But I won’t set out in pursuit of anyone. You know that the thief’s greatest satisfaction comes when you turn him into a hero. That is exactly what you did with Nano in 1993. Do you regret it? Let me tell you two things. In 1993, Nano’s file was signed on every page by Yuli Bufi, then prime minister in the stability government and now a Socialist Party official. Italy punished four ministers for the same matter, and one of them paid $70,000. That is the truth. Let me close this interview with a sense that I picked up in Tirana. There is a sense of anxiety among people about the possible persecution of opponents, purges in the state sector, revenge. My goal is the polar opposite of that. We won the elections, united, to overturn the existing system. I didn’t want my victory to embitter anyone else. I wanted to send a message that there will be a new, beautiful beginning for all to look forward to the future. Two months ago I said that victory will be greeted with moderation and not with exultation and arrogance, and I shall keep my word.

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