President Meta Refuses to Sign Theater Law, Cites Unconstitutionality

Today, President Ilir Meta refused to sign the special National Theater law, sending it back to Parliament for another vote.

The President’s official announcement stresses that the law, that was passed by a simple Socialist majority on July 5, does not comply with Constitutional principles and international agreements that the Albanian Republic has ratified.

Find the arguments put forth by President Meta below:

First of all, this law violates the principles of “equality before the law” and “citizens’ free trade,” principles that are protected by the Constitution.

Second, law no 37/2018 dose not comply with fundamental Constitutional principles of national identity and heritage upon which the citizens of the Republic of Albania have decided to build and grow their nation.

Third, law no. 37/2018 conflicts with the principles of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, signed in Paris in 2003, causing, thus, legal activity to clash with international law we are obliged to follow.

Fourth, law no. 37/2018 infringes heavily on Constitutional principles of the establishment and functioning of local government, namely that of “decentralization” and “local autonomy,” conflicting, at the same time, with the principle of the division and balance of powers.

Fifth, law no 37/2018 conflicts with EU standards and values, as well as the provisions of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, which the Republic of Albania is obliged to follow.

Sixth, the draft law proposal, as well as the law itself are not based on a comprehensive and full assessment of the expropriation of public property, compared to the Albanian state’s financial profits and public interest.

Seventh, this law is not consistent with already existing Albanian legal principles and standards.

Eighth, the passing of law no. 37/2018 is not based on extensive assessment and research of the current status of all the real estate in question. Furthermore, this law’s provisions create legal uncertainty with regards to exercising property rights, be they on public land, as well as on private property.