Veliaj “Explains”: We’re Getting a Building for Free!

After continuous protests and arrests, Mayor Erion Veliaj has finally responded with regard to the construction of a building complex in the Bus Station Park.

In an interview with Eni Vasili, Mayor Veliaj explained that the municipality was obligated to give a building permit due to the masterplan inherited from former Mayor Lulzim Basha. Veliaj failed to mention that this plan has been superseded by a much contested Masterplan drafted by Italian politician and architect Stefano Boeri.

Mayor Veliaj claimed to have negotiated with the construction company to make the best deal:

We asked to have one of the buildings that is made there to be ours. The municipality will take €5 million in taxes and a 5-floor public property building for the municipality.

But such a 5-floor property is absent from the Environmental Impact Assessment, according to which the private complex built in the now former public park will comprise 2 11-floor towers, 2 10-floor towers, a 2-floor building, as well as 2 floors of underground parking. The property “for the municipality” is not mentioned anywhere in the documentation.

Despite Veliaj’s “clarification,” which raised more questions than gave answers, the inhabitants of the area and environmental activists will gather today at 19:00 to protest against the destruction of green space in their neighborhood.