Large demonstrations in Albania against the government's economic policies



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TIRANA, Albania — Tens of thousands of Albanians are protesting the government's economic policies, claiming they are leading to rising taxes and energy prices and high unemployment.

Police said Saturday's demonstration on the main boulevard of Tirana, the capital, has been peaceful.

The protesters are supporters of the main opposition Democratic Party and its leader, Tirana Mayor Lulzim Basha, has accused the governing Socialists of taking the country into recession. The party's legislators have been boycotting Parliament since September, saying the coalition government is ignoring their complaints.

Prime Minister Edi Rama's Socialist party swept to power in June 2013, pledging to create new jobs. However, unemployment stood at 17.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014.

This year, Albania was approved to negotiate the possibility of membership in the European Union.

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