Hundreds of residents of the Astir neighbourhood in Tirana protested, today, in front of the parliament building, against government’s decision to demolish their houses and businesses, without proper compensation.
As they attempted to enter the parliament, they clashed with hundreds of police officers stationed outside the parliament building, where Prime Minister Rama and his cabinet were discussing the 2019 government’s budget. Protesters threw fire crackers and flares at the police.
At least 20 persons and a dozen of police officers were reported to have sustained non life threatening injuries in the clashes.
Police have detained dozens of protesters, who are currently being held in Tirana’s police stations.
As we have reported earlier, Government has decided to seize from residents and businesses at least 317 building, which will be demolished to clear the way for the extension of Tirana’s outer ring road. More than half of the buildings are legally owned by their owners, while the rest are illegal constructions in the process of being legalised, based on a legislation that provides for the legalisation of illegal constructions in the country.
Tirana’s ring road extension project has come under public condemnation due to lack of transparency, an alleged sham bidding process and excessively large project costs–the 2,2 km long extension is planned to cost more than €40 million.
Residents of the houses marked for demolished to clear the way for the extension, have been ordered out of their homes, without any formal decisions for their eviction and no decision on their just compensation as required by law.
They have been protesting for more than two weeks for their right to compensation, by the government has not provided any legal solution to their situation.