12 March 2022

Thousands of Albanians join protest against price hikes

12 March 2022

Thousands of Albanians are holding a protest in the capital against price hikes that authorities have blamed on the war in Ukraine.

Albanians from all around the country gathered at the main Skanderbeg Square in Tirana before marching in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office with banners and anti-government slogans.

Many people made speeches on the fourth day of protest asking the government to tackle a recent significant hike in the price of fuel and food.

Protesters gather during an anti-government rally in Tirana (Franc Zhurda/AP) (AP)

After fuel prices rose 50% last week, Mr Rama’s government imposed price controls on fuel on Thursday and urged Albanians to use their cars less.

Fuel suppliers’ profit margins have been frozen for the coming months, while retail prices will be set daily and petrol stations that charge more will be closed.

The fuel price hike has had a knock-on effect on food costs in the small Balkan country.

Protesters accuse the government of profiting from the higher prices by not reducing taxation. They have urged ministers to emulate neighbouring countries — which have also been hit by global price hikes due to Russia’s war against Ukraine — and cut fuel taxes to cushion the blow to consumers.

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