Analysis 21 Apr 17

Albania Pours Dollars Into US Lobby Firms

Parties in Albania are spending relatively huge sums of money on agents in the US – for what would appear dubious benefits.

Gjergj Erebara
BIRN
Tirana
Albania's Prime Minister and the leader of the Socialist Party, Edi Rama. Photo: Armando Babani/EPA

On April 13, Albania’s ruling Socialist Party employed a new lobbyist in the United States, increasing the number of “foreign agents” representing Albanian interests registered with the US Justice Department to six.

The contract obliges the party to pay to US lobby firm Ballard Partners 20,000 US dollars a month for 12 months, making a total of 240,000 dollars - equal to about 225,000 euros.

The hefty sum is disproportionate compared to the declared annual budget of the Socialist Party in Albania.

For the 2016 fiscal year, the party declared a revenue of 637,000 euros and expenditure of 540,000 euros.

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