Kadare for La Stampa: Our children have Italian fathers, is there a problem with an agreement?
Ismail Kadare gave an interview to the Italian La Stampa where he talked about the political reality in Albania and was also asked about the Albania-Italy agreement for immigrants.
Kadare says: "Albania and Italy are already united: there are 500,000 Albanians living and working in Italy, many Italians have moved to Albania, there are mixed marriages, big companies have been established here, our children have Italian fathers. Where does the problem lie? To an agreement?”
What should we celebrate?
"On November 9, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, like thirty-four years ago, communism was defeated and the dream of freedom returned. Even if politics in its everyday life has been and is many times anti-European, we live on a European continent. Marxism-Leninism has been defeated, dictators and autocrats will not win over this European spirit".
Where does your Albania fit in?
"I am very optimistic. I always expect a change, a different Albania and I believe that my nation will soon become better than I can imagine. This is our moment, our chance. There are Albanians in leadership and governance in several countries of the Balkans, from Kosovo to North Macedonia. We carry with honor on our shoulders, in this sea, the oldest literary tradition in the world, the Latin and the Greek, the first cradle of literature. The European dream of culture began between our shores and yours. Peoples can be divided or united, but we are already reunited, even if politics is slower."
Someone between Brussels, the government buildings of self-centered European states and your Balkan neighbors should read and listen to it more. You are the best sponsor of the entry of the Western Balkans into the EU. Why did you wait 20 years in vain?
"The daily life of politics has many stages. In Albania, the liberal dream was never extinguished, not even during the dictatorship, when Enver Hoxha killed and imprisoned his enemies, saw the evil that had to be fought in Europeanism and thought only of the Soviets. But Marxism-Leninism, the greatest enemy of humanity, has been defeated."
Putin's Russia is far from the "European dream". What did you think when the war broke out in Ukraine?
"It was a shame. A new war in Europe to break everything again. Russia has remained spiritually frozen in the deprivation of freedom".
There are those who compare Putin with Stalin. Do you agree with this?
"I don't know. But dictators are small people. As I say in my latest book about Pasternak (which will be published in Italian in the next few months, the original Albanian title is When Rulers Quarrel", translated into English with the title ("A dictator calls."), autocrats do not dominate anything and sooner or later fall. Writers dominate the soul of a people. Power only makes small agreements".
Speaking of the agreements, what do you think about the one envisaged between Rama and Meloni to bring immigrants to Albania?
"These are small things that happen between governments, I don't care about them, nor protests and power games. As I said, Albania and Italy are already united: there are 500,000 Albanians living and working in Italy, many Italians have moved to Albania, there are mixed marriages, big companies have been established here, our children have Italian fathers. Where does the problem lie? An agreement?".
Is it right to ban immigrants from outside Europe? Is this policy humane or inhumane?
"Europe is a beautiful neighborhood and everyone wants to come here, that's normal. People have always moved, since ancient times. I don't understand anyone who disagrees."
For years and years you were a candidate for the Nobel Prize, which never came. Are you still waiting for it?
"No. IM tired. I haven't thought about it in years. It is not important for me as a writer, but for Albanian culture. I feel sorry for my people who deserve it."