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The Assembly approved the project, the EU wants transparency, what is expected to happen with the Port of Durrës

The Assembly approved the project, the EU wants transparency, what is expected

The Assembly of Albania approved the agreement for the realization of the "Durrës Yachts & Marina" project, which, according to the Government, will be the largest tourist port in the Mediterranean.

In Thursday's session, which lasted about 14 hours, after midnight the agreement signed between the Albanian Government and the investor from Dubai, Mohamed Alaabar, was approved.

76 deputies voted in favor of this agreement, while 35 deputies voted against this project.

The Assembly of Albania has 140 deputies, while at the time of voting there were 111 deputies present in the hall.

Prime Minister Edi Rama was not present at the time of voting.

The session was accompanied by fierce debates and was interrupted twice, due to tensions created during the speech of the head of the Democratic Party, Sali Berisha.

Rama, during his speech in the Assembly, defended the project, describing it as historic.

"The investment is worth 1.2 billion euros. It will be an extraordinary economic engine for Durrës and the whole of Albania", said Rama, responding to the opposition's criticisms and accusations about the agreement.

The opposition considers the Durrës Port project as one of the biggest affairs of the Rama Government.

"The agreement violates the Stabilization-Association Agreement with both feet, it violates the Constitution of Albania. The agreement is a complete and utter fraud," said Berisha.

The head of the DP Parliamentary Group, Enkelejd Alibeaj, said that crime money will be cleaned in the Port of Durrës.

The agreement for the realization of the "Durrës Yachts & Marina" project was signed on August 11 of this year between the Albanian Government and the Arab investor, Muhammed El Alabbar.

A few days after the signing, there was a reaction from the office of the European Union delegation in Tirana, asking for more transparency and clarity.

On November 23, the EU Office in Tirana announced that the grant of the Investment Fund for the Western Balkans for the port of Durrës has been cancelled, due to the modification of the project.

The value of this grant was 28 million euros.

But, on Thursday during her speech before the deputies, Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku said that the cancellation of the grant was requested by her in 2019.

“E kam kërkuar personalisht, sepse nuk kishte pse Shqipëria të merrte një grant 28 milionë euro për të përmirësuar kalatat 1 dhe 2 në portin e Durrësit, për të futur më shumë çimento, grurë apo qymyr, se nuk bënte më asnjë sens ekonomik dhe teknik. U ulëm, diskutuam me BE-në, pasi ishte një aplikim i bërë 12 vjet më parë, dhe në kaq kohë Shqipëria ka ndërruar prioritete dhe strategji”, tha ajo.

Zyra e BE-së në Tiranë ka deklaruar se “sa i përket marrëveshjes tregtare ndërmjet Shqipërisë dhe Emirateve të Bashkuara Arabe, BE-ja do të vazhdojë të monitorojë rëndësinë për MSA-në dhe pajtueshmërinë me të, në dialog me institucionet shqiptare”.

Pas miratimit në Kuvend, marrëveshja shkon në Presidencë për dekretim.

The DP has filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court and has informed the international partners, as it claims that the project violates the Association and Stabilization Agreement.

With the start of the implementation of the agreement with the Arab investor in Durrës, the commercial port will have to be moved to Porto Romano.

According to Balluk, this new port will not only meet the needs of Albania, but also of Kosovo./ REL

 

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