Usual Government Contractor Awarded Millions in Overrun Costs for Italia Square

The government has awarded another €1.8 million contract for more reconstruction works on the Italia Square, in front of the new national stadium.

One of the usual government contractors, Salillari shpk won the tender launched by the Albanian Development Fund with the lowest bid offer. The company will work for three months to pave the square and build a new path to connect it with the main boulevard.

This brings the total sum spent so far up to €5.5 million, including the €850 thousand in expropriation costs. The government had earlier allocated € 2.8 million to Albstar shpk for the construction of an underground parking lot at the square. The same company also won the tender for the (re)construction of the national stadium nearby.

Four other companies participated in the tender: Alb-Star (€2,4m); 4A-M & Ed-Konstruksion (€2,2m); Fusha (€2,5m) and Gjikuria, which did not submit an offer.

The government demolished a four-storey building on Italia Square last month, only four months after it had legalized the illegal construction.

Whilst the owner had violated the law by building a larger and taller building than the one planned and issued a permit for in 2002 by the then-Mayor of Tirana Edi Rama, the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama legalized the whole construction only four months before demolishing it, thus making it possible for the owner to get full compensation.

The demolition was ordered and carried out in an urgent manner, in contravention of the law.  It was done prior to compensation for expropriation (€850 thousand), and before it was completely vacated by the businesses that had their offices in the building.

The project intended to extend the parking lots in the area has reached to €5.5 million, which amounts to nearly half the cost for the renewal of the Skënderbeg Square.

The construction of three underground parking garages and renewal of the squares above (Skënderbeg Square, Italy Square and former “7 Xhuxhat” playground) has cost Albanian taxpayers over €25 million so far.