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Albania Passes Waste Import Law
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 4th November 2011

Parliament in Albania has passed legislation allowing the import of waste from abroad.

Hundreds of Albanians, who fear their country will become the dumping ground for countries like Italy, protested outside parliament in Tirana as lawmakers debated the bill inside.

President Bamir Topi had opposed the legislation as did the opposition.

But lawmakers of Prime Minister Sali Berisha's Democratic Party secured passage of the law after many hours of debate.

Berisha said the law bans the importation of toxic waste.

Berisha said the list of waste items allowed for import had been cut from 400 to 50. 

Gramoz Ruci, leader of the Socialist Party, said the waste law would be the first one they repeal if they come to power.

He said it would do nothing to solve Albania's own trash problem.

A youth group, the Civil Assembly, had collected thousands of signatures, including those of two former Albanian presidents, calling for a long-term ban on waste imports.