Former Democratic Party MP Agron Shehaj has broken the news that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will make the Vlora-Orikum road at a cost of €600,000 per km. This is about eight times lower than the Rama government’s cost of €5 million per km for the construction of an additional road, Orikum-Dukat, through public-private partnership.
In a Facebook post, Shehaj said;
“If the tender for the Orikum-Dukat road was launched by the EBRD and not by Rama, the road would have cost only €8.4 million, not [about] €70 million. Anyone can guess for themselves where the difference of almost €62 million goes.”
He added that by inflating the cost of roads, and giving a concession contract for some €5 million per km, both Rama and the persons getting the contract will end up with the money “in their pockets”.
“Corruption in Albania is not perpetrated by second rate officials,” he said, noting that “these flagrant cases of theft clearly show that Rama is corrupt”. He accused Rama of plundering Albania, “getting rich at the expense of the poor majority”.
The Dukat-Orikum road is one of the three concession contracts that have been denounced in particular as potentially corrupt, including the Milot-Ballre and Thumane-Kashar highways. The government has awarded these projects to private companies for a total cost of about €660 million.
In August 2019, President Ilir Meta vetoed the law on the controversial €67 million concession contract for the construction of the 15 km-long Orikum–Dukat road for being “completely illegal”. However, the Socialist majority passed it again.