OSCE Secretary General Says “all parties” Should Await Court Ruling on National Theatre

The Secretary General of the OSCE, Thomas Greminger has stated he believes that “all parties” should wait for the decision of the Constitutional Court before proceeding with the issue of the National Theatre.

Greminger who is visiting Tirana today made the comments in reply to a formal invitation to meet with the Alliance of the National Theatre who have been leading protests for almost 18 months. Whilst he had to turn down their invitation due to “a short visit and a tight agenda” he spoke of the “pleasure” it gave him as it “shows consideration for the Organisation that I represent.”

The Secretary General seemed to be aware of the fact that President Meta had filed a request to the Constitutional Court regarding the controversial special law that essentially legalilses the illegal sale of public land to a private company.

He added that “all parties should await for the top Court’s ruling before proceeding further with this issue”, making it clear that no demolition should take place before the matter has been heard in the Constitutional Court. 

Albania’s Constitutional Court has been defunct for over a year and has a backlog of tens of thousands of constitutional cases, many of which are by citizens against the government. Whilst the Socialist Party has said the Constitutional Court could be up and running by September, not only is this highly unlikely, but it is also likely to be unconstitutional in itself.

Greminger has now become the most prominent international leader to comment on the issue at a time when the EU delegation and foriegn institutions in the country stay silent. His comment has been widely welcomed by activists and protestors, many of whom had lost faith in institutions such as the OSCE and others.

His comments also serve as a great counterbalance to the fierce propaganda being pumped out by the Veliaj and Rama camps. In continued attempts to undermine the motives of protestors and defiance that the project will continue, Germingers sensible comment is an important vote of confidence for those who want to see their heritage protected.