Tirana Mayor Veliaj: National Theater Troupe Controlled by the Opposition

Tirana mayor Erion Veliaj has accused the National Theater troupe of being controlled by the opposition.

During a meeting with the actors, firemen, and architects, organized by Veliaj, as soon as actor Neritan Liçaj read the troupe’s statement where they positioned themselves against the special draft law that proposes the destruction of the theater building and the construction of skyscrapers in its place, the mayor declared that the actors had been ordered by the Democratic Party to disrupt the meeting:

Before Neritan spoke, I obtained the orders of the Democratic Party and I will make them public. I saw the text message instructing him to “disrupt the meeting.”

Upon reading Veliaj’s accusations, Liçaj left the meeting. The Democratic Party and the theater troupe denied the allegations.

The troupe’s stance

The Citizens’ Alliance for the Preservation of the National Theater announced its official position against the draft law that would expropriate the public land where the National Theater is located to grant it to a private construction company.

The artists’ statement’s main points included:

  • The Citizens’ Alliance for the Preservation of the National Theater announces that there can be no consensus as long as the draft law that would steal public land is not rescinded.
  • The only way the two parties can negotiate, and the only condition we will not compromise on, is the revocation of the draft law.
  • The National Theater and the land on which it rests is, legally and culturally, a public wealth. We assure all citizens that we will protect it uncompromisingly.