Aviostart: Cost of PM Rama’s Private Charter to Belgrade Is ‘Confidential’

The Bulgarian “VIP air services” company Aviostart has all but confirmed to Exit that Prime Minister Edi Rama used the company to fly from Tirana to Belgrade on October 10, 2019. Although the company declared that the costs of the trip, as well as the client were “confidential information,” it did not deny the Albanian Prime Minister had used its services.

Government trips, including those of the Prime Minister, need to go through a public tender procedure, in order to avoid (the appearance of) corruption. Recently, Socialist Party officials, including Tirana Deputy Mayor Arbjan Mazniku, had come under scrutiny for using the credit card of a private contractor, Fusha shpk, to pay for their stay at luxury hotel in Barcelona.

Rama’s visit to Belgrade was related to an initiative of North Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia to form an economic union. Such a union in the Western Balkans has long been a desire of the European Union, and has been heavily promoted through the so-called Berlin Process.

It is unknown who paid for Prime Minister Rama’s trip to Belgrade.