Two months after Albania was fined in the amount of EUR 109 million by the Court of Arbitration for the case filed by the businessman Becchetti, a second fine in the amount of USD 44 million was imposed on Albania as punishment. The latter case concerns the indemnification of the Copri and Aktor companies, for the Tirana-Elbasan road construction contract termination. Beyond the mutual political accusations, the damage of such bills translates into cost to taxpayers.
During the span of two calendar months, two fines amounting to over EUR 150 million have been imposed on Albania by the International Court of Arbitration. In addition to EUR 109 million in favor of Becchetti, Albanian taxpayers will also have to pay USD 44 million as indemnification to the Copri and Aktor companies, which were contracted in 2012 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy for the construction of the Tirana-Elbasan highway.
On September 1st, the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) deemed the claims of both companies regarding the additional costs for the construction of the road segment, costs that the Albanian government failed to cover, as valid.
Political parties bicker, while citizens bear the cost!
The Democratic Party, by means of former members of parliament Endri Hasa and Gent Strazimiri, accused the government of favoritism and clientelism.
“Edi Rama fined Albanians in the amount of EUR 44 million on behalf of his and Taulant Balla’s friend, Edmond Bego. The Albanian Government lost the case in Arbitration and the Albanian citizens will have to pay to the Greek company Aktor the considerable amount. Gent Strazimiri expressed during the press release” –stated the Democratic Party’s response.
Through a Facebook status, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy responded to these accusations:
The recent Arbitration decision proves once more that the consecutive changes to this project based on the greed of the frequently replaced Ministers and Directors part of the SMI party (LSI), who were criminally prosecuted for their violations, would result in financial costs to Albanians – stated the MIE response.
The accusations by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy were followed with the response of the former Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, member of the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) party, Edmond Haxhinasto, and with the SMI party publishing the information letter drafted by the former Minister in March 2016 regarding issues with the Greek company for the Tirana-Elbasan road.
The letter addressed to Prime Minister Edi Rama by Haxhinasto in 2016
On September 6, “Faktoje” made an inquiry to the International Court of Arbitration about the case involving the Albanian government and the Copri and Aktor companies.
The information request addressed to ICC
ICC stated that due to arbitration rules it could not provide us with any details on said case.
Albania in International Courts
In July, “Faktoje” submitted a request to the State Attorney’s Office inquiring on the number of cases filed against Albania in international courts. After we filed a complaint with the Commissioner’s Office about the lack of reply within the required timeframe, the State Attorney’s Office confirmed that since 2008, the European Court of Human Rights has been reviewing 205 filed cases that involve Albania as a party.
State Attorney’s Office’s Reply