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The government requested more than 1 billion euros of properties for Strategic Investments

The government requested more than 1 billion euros of properties for Strategic

Based on the controversial law on 'strategic investments' the government has followed the practice of giving public properties with the symbolic value of 1 euro or in exchange for prices many times lower than those of the market to businessmen who have benefited from the status of strategic investors.

In the annual report submitted to the Assembly, ATP says that there are 44 letters sent to AIDA, through which information was provided on various areas where investments were proposed by businesses in the tourism, energy, economy sector if there are decisions with the object recognition, return or compensation of properties'.

ATP told BIRN that it was about 16 thousand hectares of land, which are included in the districts of Tirana, Durrës, Fier, Shkodër and Korçë. In an approximate calculation with the reference price of the sale of agricultural land, this land is worth more than 1 billion euros.

ATP refused to make available the institutional documents with detailed information on the location of these properties and their status, but informed that in 14 cases out of 44 requested, 'it turns out that there are no decisions for recognition, return or property compensation for the area/property object of AIDA's request'.

Since the adoption of the Law on Strategic Investments, AIDA's requests for properties that are required to be made available for these investments have been increasing according to ATP data and peak in 2023, which was predicted as the last year of the effects of this law.

In total, from 2016 to 2024, AIDA has sent ATP 105 requests for information on the ownership status of properties where various investors seek to invest.

Although the extension of the law until the end of 2024 has not yet entered into force, after the approval in the session of April 4, the agency has requested information on 13 different properties only in the first 3 months of this year when it could not to accept requests for strategic investor status due to the end of the legal term for this procedure.

The truncated data provided by the ATP is the only official public data that shows how much demand there is to use public property for construction, mainly in tourism, through the implementation of a law that is criticized as favoring a group of oligarchs near to the government.

The Albanian government has previously admitted that it does not have an inventory of public assets that have been given or are expected to be made available for strategic investments, despite the fact that the law obliges it to do so.

Decisions approved by the Strategic Investments Committee, headed by Prime Minister Edi Rama, have offered hundreds of hectares of public land to 'strategic investors' through 1 euro lease contracts, ancillary infrastructure; such as supply and adaptation of the electrical network, supply of drinking water and other public benefits.

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