From: Exit News
Tirana Mayor Demands Municipal Council to Vote on National Theatre Demolition

Tirana mayor Erion Veliaj has illegally demanded the municipal council approve the Institute of Construction’s 2018 technical assessment report on the National Theatre on May 15.

The report states that the building is not fit for cultural activities and could not be restored to optimal conditions.

This vote falls outside the municipal council’s competencies and will likely be used by Veliaj as a pretext to demolish the National Theatre building.

Socialist members of the municipal council will have to decide whether they will participate in an illegal vote aimed at the illegal demolition of a cultural institution protected from demolition by citizens for about two years, or they will refuse to do so.

After Veliaj rejected the idea of a popular referendum on the National Theatre, claiming that the people had already spoken on the issue when they elected him and a Socialist majority at the head of the Tirana municipality. A referendum would be a waste of money, Veliaj said.

On Wednesday, under the orders of Mayor Veliaj, the municipal police tries to post an announcement on the National Theatre’s walls notifying the transfer of the land’s ownership to the municipality. Protesting artists and citizens said the mayor was trying to provoke an incident. They didn’t allow the police to post the announcement on the wall.

Earlier this week, President Ilir Meta threatened to take the government to the Constitutional Court over the transferal of the National Theatre’s land from the government to the Tirana municipality.

Update: The vote was postponed for Monday, May 18, for unknown reasons.