Today inhabitants of the Astir neighborhood have protested again in front of the Municipality of Tirana. They called on Mayor Veliaj to withdraw his decision to demolish their houses in order to implement the Outer Ring Road project.
They demanded full compensation for houses awaiting demolition, be they legalized or not. They asked to meet with Mayor Veliaj, who called them “cavemen” two days ago, and said that there was no chance the project would stop.
“We are the people who the mayor called “cavemen”. I don’t know when was it that the mayor became a tiranaite [a person from “old” Tirana] but we have regular papers. I have a property certificate, I have a permit for legalization, I pay taxes. Why am I a caveman, Mr. Mayor?” – said one of the protesters.
Meanwhile inside the municipality the Municipal Council meeting was going on without the presence of Mayor Veliaj.
Two days ago they had also protested in front of the municipality building, asking to meet the mayor, only to be refused by him.
During their clash with the police, which asked them to leave as they had no permit to protest, inhabitants said they had applied for a permit but it had been refused.
Despite the current situation, the inhabitants said they were firm in their decision to continue protesting, the next round of which will be tomorrow at 17:00. They also warned they would escalate their protest if necessary.