Muharrem Saliu, Albanian candidate for MP in the European Parliament

For the businessman, Marco Salihu, the first Albanian candidate from Italy for MP in the European Parliament, the geography of meetings and support of Albanians is expanding. He said that ‘We will lobby for the vote of the diaspora, the closure of consulates and Albanian courses throughout the territory’.

“I am Muharrem Salihu, my name is Marco on the ballot, as I was named in the documents of Serbia, where I was officially born, and for convenience, the electoral authorities have accepted this election” said the only Albanian candidate in the lists of Italian candidates for the European elections, to over 100 people gathered at the premises of CNA, Parma, a business association led by the Albanian entrepreneur and philanthropist Shpend Ndreu. This was only the third meeting in Parma, of the Albanian candidate, with interest groups, individuals, in a community like that of about 6,000 Albanians of Parma, where between 2,500 and 3,000 people have the right to vote.

In his presentation, he explained, when asked by those present, how he ended up in Italy, after the discrimination in the Republic of Serbia, elite studies in Switzerland and concentration in Venice, where he owns 12 restaurants, – a part he manages himself and a part through others; the hotel business, that in the field of security and itinerant sports exhibitions – where nearly 200 people are employed. Candidate Marco (Salihu) presented some of his ideas in business and politics, evaluating the role of Italy as a host country for nearly one million Albanians and which is appreciated by everyone in the Balkans as the lowest common denominator of countries that have a history of conflict with each other. “Italy was liked by us and during the occupation, because it influenced the development, however,” he said, who added that “Italy should follow the example of Germany to form employment personnel in the territory.”

The Albanian candidate gave the idea of unique voting in all of Europe, and not on the basis of states, which creates the possibility of choosing the best candidates and strengthens the superiority of Albanian candidates in an electorally united territory. This is his idea in the spirit of the program of Ema Bonino, veteran politician, head of the “United States of Europe” List.

Marco (Muharrem Salihu), told the audience that it was a gift to be in front of mostly Albanian entrepreneurs, because “we are people who, thanks to sacrifices, have achieved a lot in life, and I’m glad that you too have gone so far in a few years”. He explained the composition of his group, explaining in particular the component of security at airports where several entities are part, such as Bosch, Thales, Italsicurezza, Università di Verona, etc.

He promised that once elected he would lobby the Italian government to amend the Bosi Fini Law, which prohibits the renewal of residence permits for foreigners who may have committed minor offenses on the territory, even if they were born in Italy. He also promised that according to the Tunisian model, which has curbed clandestine traffic in its waters, he would demand that Italy “offer facilitating conditions to Albanian and Italian businesses located in the Balkans that sell their products in Italy and Europe”. Albania has a preferential position over the Italian government, due to the decision to host several immigrant centers in Shengjin, and this position should be used to seek some advantages. Marco (Salihu) promised that he would ask Prime Minister Rama and the political forces of Albania to enable the diaspora to vote in the national elections, and also to expand the network of consulates, and to open Albanian schools and cultural centers throughout the Italian territory.

Another important meeting was with some of the founders of the Skanderbeg association, but also with others, proven Italian entrepreneurs of Albanian origin, in the consulting office of Erion Begaj who, together with his wife, had founded the Association of Albanian accountants in Italy. Those present, Shpendi Spahiu, Sara Blliku, Elton Pashaj, Gasper Keka, Mirian Marku, Elsid Guraj, the prominent lawyer Gentian Alimadhi, engaged in the Italian Cassation, promised absolute support for the only Albanian candidate in these elections.

Mr. Marco (Salihu), also visited the monument of Skanderbeg, our national hero, in a beautiful public park in the center of Parma, together with its initiators. The meetings will continue.