The Albanian media have begun to speak out against the Albanian government’s strategy of building incinerators whose capacities exceed the country’s needs, possibly built in anticipation of importing waste from Italy and other countries. The media have also denounced the suspect public-private partnership scheme through which the incinerators are being built.
Journalist Artan Rama was the first to shed light on the corruptive scheme of the companies that are behind the incinerators and showed that all of the country’s incinerators, in Fier, Elbasan, and Tirana, can be tied to one single businessman, Klodian Zoto.
Lately, it was a Voice of America report that described the suspect concessions going to offshore companies that manage the waste landfills and incinerators in Albania, showing, once again, that everything was owned by a single person.
However, not for the first time, immediately after the VoA report was published, Prime Minister Edi Rama posted the following on his Facebook page:
Do you remember Sharra with its mountains of trash and fires, clouds of poison over the entire Kombinat area and the water poisoned by thousands of tonnes of trash rotting under the sun and the rain?! Look at how the fight for a clean, Europan Albania is being won, right at the heart of our country […] and judge for yourself the rivers of mud and accusations that keep being slinged against our enterprises in this direction that saw no attention at all for a quarter century!
This is not the first time the Prime Minister attacks voices of dissent when it comes to the construction and concessions of waste incinerators.
On September 24, 2016, Rama posted on Facebook:
What people are being told today, by political and media charlatans, regarding the new waste law, are all fabrications aiming to scare them and use them against the government.
On September 29, 2016, during an interview with journalist Blendi Fevziu, Rama declared:
You [the media] are the biggest threat. Coming up with these kinds of things and alarming the public with your ignorance is criminal. You are causing panic for everyone with a lie.
On January 23, 2018, on the talk show “5 pyetje nga Babaramo”, Rama declared:
We have repealed [the waste importing law] for a simple reason, to inhibit the blindness-inducing poisoning of a part of the public opinion by all the trash instigators, who are making politics out of trash, and trash out of politics.
In the last year, the government has awarded concessions for the construction of three waste incinerators in Elbasan, Fier, and Tirana, and several other concessions for the construction of landfills. The three concessions will cost the Albanian tax payer about €236 million, even though none of them are currently in operation.