National Theater Demolition Law Passes Parliament

The special law regarding the National Theater passed on Thursday, with a simple majority from the Socialist Party. The law sanctions the expropriation of the public land on which the National Theater rests and awarding it to the private company Fusha shpk, which will then build the new Theater building, as well as six skyscrapers around it.

Socialist MPs voted for an unconstitutional law that violates the decentralization principle and the local governments autonomy, robbing it of its constitutional authority. It also directly contradicts articles 71 and 74 of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, that concern competitiveness and non-discrimination with regards to public contracts signed by the Albanian government.

This law will set a dangerous precedent favoring private interests to the detriment of public ones, throughout the country. At its core, this law is little more than a procurement decision, awarding a no-competition, direct negotiation contract to a predetermined, private company. The contract includes, among other things, the expropriation of public land, while sidestepping all the legal provisions that would normally accompany such an action.