Albania’s Constitutional Court on Monday approved a controversial deal signed with Italy to host two holding centres for migrants rescued in Italian waters. But the agreement has sparked anger among politicians in both countries and human rights groups who describe it as “dehumanising”.
The agreement has been condemned by opposition parties in both countries, as well as rights groups, resulting in a legal challenge taken up by the top court in Tirana.
“The agreement does not harm Albania’s territorial integrity,” the court said in a statement.
The ruling comes just days after Italian MPs voted in favour of the agreement – with the lower chamber of parliament backing the protocol by 155 votes to 115, with two abstentions.
During the parliamentary debate, opposition MPs accused Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of using migrants as “electoral propaganda”, saying the project would have little impact on numbers and was hugely costly.
The Albanian right-wing opposition has lambasted Prime Minister Edi Rama for an alleged lack of transparency over the agreement, calling the deal an “irresponsible and dangerous act for national security”.