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Veliaj: Attacks and accusations against Albania's 20-year-old partners like AADF, shameful

Veliaj: Attacks and accusations against Albania's 20-year-old partners like

The Crimson Finance Albania Fund (CFFA), which for several years has become a partner for small businesses in Tirana, has been joined by a new partner, Helenos, a private investment company based in Belgium, which becomes the fifth shareholder of the consortium, after the Municipality of Tirana, the Albanian-American Development Fund, Norfund and Crimson Capital.

In his greeting speech at the ceremony held on this occasion, which was also attended by the Director of AADF, Michael Granoff, the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj focused on the excellent cooperation with the Albanian-American Development Foundation, with which Tirana has completed the successful New Bazaar renovation project, and is currently working to turn the Pyramid into the largest information technology center for young people.

I want to use the arrival of "Heleno" to illustrate a little of my reflection on the debates we have heard in recent weeks about the Albanian-American Foundation. Trust is very important for a society to function. Unfortunately, today I have to apologize, not for my fault, but as the mayor of Tirana, for that noisy minority which in recent weeks has been invested to undermine this trust. Many of them - not because they do not know or have forgotten, but because they do not want to be reminded that - if it were not for the Albanian-American Foundation, they would not have an Albanian passport today. Many of these people received their first credit card from the Albanian-American Bank, because once everything was done in cash. Many of them traveled abroad for the first time from the airport funded by the Foundation. Sot, many of those who learn how to code do so at Tumo, which is co-financed by the Fund. Three hundred businesses in the New Bazaar, today trade in much better conditions thanks to the Fund. Therefore, it is shameful that, after 20 years or more of contribution, we discuss such attacks ", said Veliaj.

He said that a national pact should be made for things that are of national interest. "This is nonsense! We are in 2022! We can not do such things. Therefore, not only do I feel ashamed today and I apologize for that noisy minority - which I understand when politicized with the mayor in the debate on the Square, the Lake, the "towers" of Sami Frashëri, etc., the Albanian wonders for which we have 'flabby skin' - but this is not normal! We have to make a national pact that, for things that have a national interest, for those who make philanthropic investments like the Fund, we have to ask who the other AADF is, to become 2 and 3, 13, 33, not to mix those we have. This does not honor us! Despite our beliefs, we need a national pact. We can not call success loot. We can not make conspiracy theories for every delusion that fantasizes. We need trust ", said Veliaj.

Drejtuesi i AADF-së, Michael Granoff mirëpriti “Helenos” si partnerin e ri në nismën “Crimson Finance Fund Albania” dhe theksoi se besimi është gjëja e duhur që përshpejton zhvillimin ekonomik të një vendi. “Sot bëjmë bashkë disa bashkëpunëtorë në këtë projekt - kryetari i Bashkisë ka qenë i tillë që në fillimet e këtij projekti - por çelësi për ta rritur këtë program, në mënyrë që të plotësojë nevojat ekonomike që ka Shqipëria, është rritja e konsorciumit me anëtarë të rinj. AADF-ja ka kontribuar 1.2 mln dollarë për këtë projekt, për ta lançuar atë, dhe një nga gjërat e rëndësishme që ne si fondacion mund të bëjmë është të jemi investorë thelbësorë, që ndihmon në fillimin e projektit sepse është e vështirë të kontribuosh kur ende nuk ke arritur asgjë, por është me e thjeshtë të bëhesh pjësëtar i projektit tani që ka sukses. Pra, ne marrim përsipër pak më tepër rrezik, për t’i nisur gjërat, të sjellim modele të sukseshme, dhe tani jemi në pozicionin kur mund të shtojmë anëtarë të rinj të konsorciumit, për të rritur kapacitetet dhe për të siguruar më shumë mbështetje për bizneset në rritje në Shqipëri, si dhe për të inkubuar më shumë biznese start-up”, tha ai.

Since its establishment in 2015, by four partners - the Albanian-American Development Foundation, the Municipality of Tirana, Norfund and Crimson Capital - the mission of "Crimson Finance Fund Albania" has been to serve as a bridge for small business, to access the finances needed to grow and create jobs.