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BIRN: The government approves with a double standard the draft law on the use of confiscated buildings
While the VKM is being reviewed by the Constitutional Court after a lawsuit by the opposition deputies as unconstitutional, through this draft law, the government defines the powers and duties of the responsible public authorities, involved in the processes of development and administration of confiscated objects , as well as the sale-purchase procedures of confiscated buildings.
In the sale process that will be carried out by the government, they have the right of pre-emption at the market value; the owners of the land, the construction entity, as well as third parties who have a legal-civil agreement for the confiscated property.
If the expected parties do not show interest, the objects are put up for public auction.
The draft law recognizes the ownership rights of the owners of the land on which the facility was built in excess of the construction permit. On the part of the facility that is legally built, the terms of the enterprise contract apply and the owners sign a new development agreement with the state, the terms of which will be determined through a regulation drawn up by the line ministry.
All actions of technical and financial assessment of confiscated properties and the legal problems they present, as well as the way of their administration, will be carried out by the "Commission of Confiscated Objects", an inter-institutional structure, which will be set up near the Cadastre.
The Commission also has the duty to propose for approval in the Council of Ministers the transition to administration responsibility, temporary use or ownership of the confiscated object in favor of public institutions or relevant public entities.
The government also envisages accelerated procedures for the completion of works on confiscated buildings and their development by proposing to the KKT the change of development or construction permits.
Building without a permit is a crime in Albania and the Penal Code provides for sentences of up to 5 years in prison for ordinary citizens and 8 years in prison for objects with profit purposes.
However, the Council of Ministers bypassed these sanctions through a decision approved on September 7, 2022, which gives large builders an opportunity to legalize illegal additions or buildings, in exchange for a financial payment or the granting of surfaces in favor of the state.
The decision foresees the procedures for the transfer of illegal surfaces from private entities to the state and vice versa and does not explicitly mention criminal prosecution.
For legal experts, this decision constitutes an oversight of the legal order and establishes a double standard between big businessmen and ordinary citizens./ BIRN