President calls for brand new Great Ring project due to corruption and lack of transparency

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 4, 2019 15:09

President calls for brand new Great Ring project due to corruption and lack of transparency

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  • Meta said extreme illegitimacy and malfunctioning of state institutions have been found concerning this matter - enough ground to abolish the ongoing procedures on the exclusion of objects from the legalization process, the demolition of existing constructions or the fines against residents.

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TIRANA, Feb. 4 – Albanian President Ilir Meta asked the government to launch a new project for the construction of the Great Ring road, done in full transparency and in consultation with the affected citizens, who have been protesting against it since last October.

He suggested that the existing project be canceled due to being investigated for a series of violations.

Meta issued on Sunday a detailed statement on the issue, the protests against which have been taking place in front of the parliament and the Tirana Municipality, as well as in front of the affected residents’ homes day and night.

Meta requested that during the drafting phase of the project, public consultation is opened with the area’s inhabitants and independent experts for this public work.

Meta said extreme illegitimacy and malfunctioning of state institutions have been found concerning this matter – enough ground to abolish the ongoing procedures on the exclusion of objects from the legalization process, the demolition of existing constructions or the fines against residents.

“It was publicly proven that the competition in all three parts of the road was fake; two companies compared for each lot, where the same company gave a zero-value economic offer for all three lots! This proves clearly the realization of a manipulated bidding process. One of the winning tender companies (DH Albania) came up with a fictitious company and forged documents, after public confirmation of forged facts by American authorities. The government’s decision to reopen the tender of this work after public denunciations is considered as a hasty and not the least objective task, because the Prosecution is conducting investigations on this matter,” Meta said.

He demanded that any expropriation procedure be suspended and this process be carried out carefully after the adoption of a new and reliable project.
He also called for a fair and equal treatment of citizens’ properties and housing, which may be affected by the new project.

For all these steps, which he called urgent, Meta said the government should first demonstrate political will and further act by opening procurement procedures for this public work in accordance with international law once a stable project has been formalized, stimulating the free competition of domestic and international operators.

Meta said that public construction work of the likes of the Great Ring should be realized respecting the fundamental rights of citizens, in accordance with the legislation in force and with full transparency.

He also invited all international and local organizations engaged in the fight against corruption to investigate the violations and abuses of this project.

However, the government is seeming determined to continue on its path, with the only measure taken against all the corruption surrounding the project being the disqualification of DH Albania and the opening of a new public tender.
The government, in a rapid social media response, praised this comment as an attack on the president’s side, similar to that of the opposition.
Shortly before, the government decided to provide residence free of rent to other flats of all the families that release the apartments that hinder the Great Ring project.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 4, 2019 15:09