From: Exit Staff
Albanian Ombudsman Informs President of Complaints Over Vlora-Orikum Project

The Albanian People’s Advocate Erinda Ballanca informed President Ilir Meta  that there have been some 60 complaints to her office over the proposed Vlora-Orikum road project.

Residents in Rahime, Orikum, Dukat and Tragglas have claimed that their right to property is being violated by the proposed implementation of the project. Ballanca said that her office is starting an administrative investigation into the issue.

Meta urged Ballanca to complete the assessment of the people’s complaints regarding the alleged non-compliance with laws that protect their fundamental rights and freedoms during the design, approval and implementation of the project. He stressed that if the government avoids respecting the rights of citizens, it’s the duty of independent institutions and the court to evaluate the claims.

The President has raised concerns over the proposed plans on several occasions. One issue was relating to funding. Meta said that the government had not respected the constitution when negotiating and concluding agreements relating to how the project will be funded.

Meta stated that the financing of the Vlora-Orikum road was foreseen to be done by the government by transferring the funds of a loan received from the Saudi Fund for the Vlora River road.

According to the President, a year ago the government asked the Saudi Fund to terminate the loan agreement, which was signed 3 years ago and decided to use these funds for the Vlora-Orikum road.

But this procedure according to Meta is unconstitutional as the government has not asked permission to conduct negotiations on concluding the second agreement.

The government responded by accusing him of blocking the project and denied any wrongdoing.