Albanian Students Win Victories, Continue Protests, Refuse Negotiation

Albanian students have taken to the streets, sparked initially by a tuition fee increase that has since been reversed. The protests have since expanded more broadly to demand improvements to the quality of education, students’ rights, and living conditions they had been forced to accept.

The protesters started on 4 December, with a boycott of classes at the University of Tirana and despite a media blackout in Albania, the students have continued to protest. They have turned down offers to negotiate with the government unless their demands are met, also turning down support from the political opposition.

Ongoing demonstrations have blocked streets in front of the Education Ministry and in front of Parliament. The protests have pushed President Ilir Meta not to sign a budget bill and instead send it back to parliament for revision, and the protests continue.

Dec. 8 is considered a national holiday in Albania, the day in 1990 when a student protest brought down the government.

The government has tried to get the students to negotiate, but students have refused the invitations, declaring that the only thing that the government should do is deliver their demands.



Photo: “Albania Grunge Flag” by Nicolas Raymond is licensed under CC BY 2.0