News 07 Feb 11

Albania PM to Fight ‘Coup’ Effects with Lady Gaga

The Albanian premier has ordered the Ministry of Culture to organise a mega-concert featuring a top pop star, in order to fight the negative effects of what he says was a failed coup d’état against his government.

Besar Likmeta
Tirana

Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s statements came during a government meeting where he presented his strategy against the alleged plotters, who according to the Albanian premier were out to destroy the country’s image as one of the world’s primary tourism destinations in 2011.

“I can’t say that the plot has not destroyed [Albania’s] image of what was considered as Miss World from tourists from all over the world,” Berisha said.

“We should contract one of the world superstars, those that the Albanian youth like so much, like Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse or Shakira."

Berisha also asked the minister of integration to set up a jury, including several young people, to choose which superstar the government should hire for the mega-concert.

Berisha has repeatedly pushed claims in the last two weeks that his government was the victim of a failed coup d’état after violence broke out during an opposition protest on January 21.

He says that the opposition plot to push him from power was backed by the general prosecutor, the president, the secret service and four journalists.  

The protest of January 21 turned into a riot when several hundred marchers attacked the police barricade set up to protect the prime minister’s office, using sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails. Police responded with tear gas, water cannon and later with live ammunition fire, leaving four dead and dozens wounded.

The ruling party has created a parliamentary investigative commission to investigate the alleged coup and the Prime Minister has promised to pay all the witnesses that testify on his behalf.

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