President re-vetoes National Theatre bill

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 11, 2018 19:43

President re-vetoes National Theatre bill

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  • According to Meta, the bill continues to present constitutional violations and has only solved the issue of preferential treatment towards “Fusha Shpk” - the private company already contracted by the Socialist Party to build the new National Theatre building as part of a high-rise commercial complex - in the surface.

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TIRANA, Oct. 11 – Albania’s President Ilir Meta vetoed once more on Thursday the bill foreseeing the demolition of the National Theatre building, which the Socialist parliamentary majority approved for a second time on Sept. 20.

In the announcement at the Presidency’s official webpage, it is stated that Meta decreed the return of the law “On the determination of a special procedure for the evaluation, negotiation and conclusion of the contract with object ‘The Design and realization of the urban project and the new building of the National Theatre” for review, in support of Article 85, point 1 and 93 of the Constitution.

“The President of the Republic has reached the conclusion that the new law has not achieved to solve in its core none of the nine constitutional and legal issues made evident in the decree of the President of the Republic nr. 10849, dated 27.07.2018, although this decree results to have been approved fully by the parliament. Although it has tried to fulfill only one of the President’s constitutional findings which was related with the preferential and unfair treatment of a private subject, it results the Parliament did not manage to fully address the issue even through the new approved law,” the announcement read.

According to Meta, the bill continues to present constitutional violations and has only solved the issue of preferential treatment towards “Fusha Shpk” – the private company already contracted by the Socialist Party to build the new National Theatre building as part of a high-rise commercial complex – in the surface.

“In its core, the law’s provisions still maintain discriminatory criteria which do not guarantee free competition, and, on the contrantry, a preferential treatment which limits participation in the competition is still evident,” the announcement further on stated.

The Socialist majority withdrew from the special bill proposed by it after encountering objections from the European Commission, which in its letter to the Albanian authorities emphasized that it encouraged them “to pursue compliance with EU public procurement principles and provide non-discriminatory access to the market.”

However, during its parliamentary meeting on Sept. 20, the majority failed to address all nine points mentioned the first time Meta vetoed the bill under the argument it was unconstitutional.

The first reason behind Meta’s initial decision to decree the return of the bill to parliament for re-evaluation was because it oversteps the principle of “equality before the law” and “citizens’ freedom of economic activity.”

The bill was also not congruent with the basic constitutional principles of “national identity” and “national heritage”, while also opposing the principles of the European Convention of Non-Material Cultural Heritage, endorsed in Paris in 2003.

Artists and citizens have been protesting since the beginning of February concerning this issue, with the opposition blaming the government time and time again of corrupt ties with the private company it has hired to build the new National Theatre and of “giving away” public land to the private subject unconstitutionally.

Meanwhile, the government continues to support that the current NT building is in miserable condition and that it does not offer favorable working conditions for the actors and for the audience going to enjoy art there.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 11, 2018 19:43