Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Riviera Association
The Himariote Community Association
The Association “The Intelectuals of Himara"

Tirana, April 11, 2009
Press Release
The associations “Riviera”, “Himariote Community”, and The Intelectuals of Himara” with their branches in Tirana, Himara, Athens and Washington D.C. express their concern about the violations done in their properties in the area of Ionian Riviera.

The associations have shown several times by facts that state institutions and especially the local Commission for Property’ s Restitution and Compensation (CPRC) have “permitted” that different individuals to take over the properties inherited by the lawful owners of the Ionian Riviera. It’s strange to notice that in a single day (May 29, 2006) three consecutive decisions of local CPRC of Vlora, respectively nr. 133, 134, 135, restituted to one single person, respectively 5.5; 2 and 2 hectares. By decision nr. 175 of June 21, 2006, to the same person is restituted an area of 33.3 hectares. A different decision of the same CPRC on April 20, 2006, restituted 4 hectares to another person from Dhërmi, through a “gjyq fakti” that deserves to be investigated.

These facts are the peak of iceberg of a big corruption with the deeds in the Ionian Riviera. The last data of World Economic Forum for the Travel and Turist Competitiveness Index shows clearly and dramatically that Albania is ranked in the 126 place out of 136 countries of the world with regard to the respect of ownership rights. Our associations are deeply concerned about the impact of this situation for the future of the development of the area.

The Albanian Government still doesn’t seems to find the power to take the distances from the shadows of the infamous law 7501, that is chasing back as Macdaff ghost, the solution of this fundamental issue for the prosperity of the area. Our associations congratulate the government for the rejection of the decision of the government 111, decision that allowed the use of an area of more than 10 hectares by illegitimate usurpers. But we would wished that the Government and all the political forces to take the courage to see the reality and take the necessary actions for giving back the property to the lawful owners. By doing this, they will contribute positively to the long-term and sustainable development of Albanian and especially to the Ionian Riviera.

Our associations are deeply concerned by the strange attitude of the OECD, that still ‘can not find time” to meet our representatives. OECD, very strangely, insists in the first registration of properties under the law 7501!!! While the population of the Ionian Riviera, for 18 consecutive years, have expressed clearly, without any hesitation and by overwhelming majority, for the solution of this issue through the restitution of properties to the lawful owners.

Is of concern that still the expropriation for the construction of the national road are not yet compensated, while the construction firms are continuing their work. This can arise negative conflicts as has already has happened in other areas of Albania.

Our associations are collaborating with the community and the local government and have already finished the lists of all lawful owners, aiming to begin the process of restitution and resolving this major concern. The Himariote community is committed to the last sacrifice.

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