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Aktualitet

The big scandal, here's how Prime Minister Rama forgave the port of Vlora to Samir Manes for only 1 euro, apart from enriching the oligarch, the citizens and the state do not benefit from anything, the hard details of the contract are revealed

The big scandal, here's how Prime Minister Rama forgave the port of Vlora

"SOT" newspaper has been denouncing the secret ties of politics with powerful businessmen for several months. One of these was the oligarch Samir Mane, for whom from the scandals we have published it appears that the prime minister has placed an entire state at his disposal so that he can get rich. This fact has been confirmed by a recent investigation by "BIRN".

Here are the details from the "BIRN" article

The port of Vlora has been an inseparable part of the city and since at least the 18th century it was considered the second most important port of southern Albania. But the story suddenly changed in 2020, when it was decided to move to the area of ??Triport, about 5 kilometers north of the Bay of Vlora. While in March of 2021, the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama decided to give the existing port with a concession and the land area of ??57 thousand square meters with a symbolic rent of 1 Euro for the construction of a tourist marina and a luxury residential complex called "Vlora Marina". The government based its decision-making on the controversial law on "Strategic Investments" and a 2014 decision of the Council of Ministers on the leasing or emphyteosis of state assets - otherwise known as the "Albania 1 Euro" initiative. The "Vlora Marina" project is a joint venture of businessmen Geront Çela and Samir Mane through their company "Marina Residences Vlorë", which is 90% owned by Çela and 10% by Mane's "Balfin" group. "Marina Residences Vlorë" intends to build about 663 apartments and two hotels on a state plot of 57 thousand square meters and plans to collect tens of millions of euros from the sale of apartments in the next ten years. Economic experts criticize this business model, as they do not see benefits for the state budget.

The enrichment of Samir Manes

"Albania 1 euro was built for people to undertake entrepreneurship, build business industries and develop economic activity and not build palaces, as is the case in question," said Azmi Stringa, a finance expert and lecturer at New York University in Tirana. . "At this point, the state should do its own analysis, both the economic and social impact, as well as the benefits that the state budget would have," he added. According to the lease contract with the Ministry of Finance, the company "Marina Residences Vlorë" has taken the land in temporary enjoyment for a period of 20 years to build the residential complex and 4 and 5 star hotels. Since the beginning of the tourist season, it has started to sell apartments in the air with an average price of 3050 Euro/m2, in unclear ownership circumstances. The Ministry of Finance and Economy did not answer the direct question whether it had authorized the sale of the apartments that are expected to be built on the state land, but clarified that the Albanian state continued to be the owner of the land. "This body has not approved the alienation of ownership rights, there is no transfer of ownership, there is no privatization, but there is provision for use with a fixed term," said the Ministry. The company "Marina Residences Vlorë" told BIRN that it is authorized to build and commercialize the units for sale through VKM 599/2021 and the lease contract with the Ministry of Finance, as well as its business plan approved by the Council of Ministers. The company also stated that it planned to buy the land after making the investment.

Change of shareholders

Turizmi është një ndër sektorët strategjikë të ekonomisë shqiptare dhe qeveria ka marrë përsipër përmes ligjit për “Investimet Strategjike” që ta mbështesë zhvillimin e tij me troje, pyje dhe pasuri të tjera të paluajtshme të shtetit shqiptar. Vetëm në katër vitet e fundit, qeveria u ka transferuar investitorëve privatë qindra hektarë tokë për të ndërtuar struktura turistike në bregdet. Projekti “Vlora Marina” lindi në dhjetor 2020, vetëm dy muaj pasi qeveria shqiptare projektoi transferimin e portit të Vlorës në zonën e Triportit. Në fillim të vitit 2021, konsorcumi i operatorëve i përbërë nga “Marina di Valona” dhe “Brunes” me aksioner Geront Çelën, kompania angleze “Marina Projects Ltd” dhe ajo e ndërtimit “Ndregjoni” sh.p.k i paraqitën qeverisë shqiptare një projekt të integruar për marrjen me koncesion të portit si dhe ndërtimin e një resorti rezidencial ngjitur me marinën turistike.  Projekti rezidencial shtrihet mbi truallin ekzistues të portit të Vlorës me një sipërfaqe të përgjithshme prej 57 502,5 metra katrorë. Konsorciumi mori një përgjigje të shpejtë nga autoritetet. Më 29 mars 2021, konsorciumi u shpall fitues i koncesionit të portit të Vlorës nga Ministria e Infrastrukturës dhe në të njëjtën ditë fitoi edhe statusin e investitorit strategjik nga Komiteti i Investimeve Strategjike, i drejtuar nga kryeministri Edi Rama. Si masë mbështetëse, konsorciumi fitoi 57 mijë metra katrorë tokë që zotërohej deri në atë kohë nga porti i Vlorës. Më 10 gusht 2021, konsorciumi themelon dy kompani për operimin e të drejtave të fituara; shoqërinë koncesionare Marina Vlorë sh.p.k për koncesionin e portit dhe “Marina Residences Vlorë” për ndërtimin e kompleksit rezidencial. Në tetor 2021, Këshilli i Ministrave autorizoi përmes VKM 599 Ministrinë e Financave që të lidhte kontratën e qirasë me tarifë 1 euro me katër kompanitë pjesmarrëse në konsorcium. Kontrata e qirasë u firmos më 23 nëntor 2021 nga ministrja e Financave, Delina Ibrahimaj me kompaninë “Marina Residences Vlorë”, një kompani tjetër nga katër kompanitë e konsorciumit që autorizonte Këshilli i Ministrave. Gjashtë ditë pas firmosjes së kontratës së qirasë, kompania angleze “Marina Projects Ltd” largohet nga projekti dhe i shet aksionet e veta [10%] në të dy kompanitë e krijuara për 2 mijë euro secilën. Në janar 2022 largohet edhe kompania tjetër fituese “Ndregjoni” përmes shitjes së aksioneve për 100 lekë në secilën prej kompanive. Në qershor 2022, projekti i kompleksit rezidencial gjen një ortak të ri, grupin “Balfin” të biznesmenit Samir Mane.  “Balfin” pagoi rreth 3 milionë lekë për zmadhimin e kapitalit të shoqërisë në këmbim të një kuote të barabartë me 10% të aksioneve. Ndryshimi i aksionerëve pas përfundimit të procedurave tenderuese dhe shitja e aksioneve me vlera minimale është një praktikë e përhapur në Shqipëri, e cila ngre pikëpyetje mbi procedurat e ndjekura, raporton “BIRN”.

Çmime trefish më të larta, shteti asnjë përfitim

Sipas kontratës së qirasë me Ministrinë e Financave, kompania “Marina Residences Vlorë” do të marrë në gëzim të përkohshëm sipërfaqen prej 57,502 m2 në Gjirin e Vlorës në këmbim të një investimi prej 93 milionë euro mbi këtë truall dhe punësimin e të paktën 100 punonjësve. Në planin e biznesit të miratuar nga autoritetet, kompania parashikon se kostoja e ndërtimit për metër katror është 496 Euro për apartament, e ndarë në 408 Euro ndërtim plus TVSH dhe 88 Euro për blerjen e tokës. Apartamentet llogariten të shiten me 750 euro/m2, por ndryshe nga plani i biznesit, kompania “Marina Residences Vlorë” po shet sot me çmime që variojnë nga 2500 Euro në 3500 Euro për m2, duke siguruar një normë fitimi gati 3 herë më të lartë se ajo që thuhet më dokumentin e miratuar. Me çmimet e tregut, kompania planifikon të arkëtojë rreth 180 milionë euro vetëm nga shitja e njësive rezidenciale, ndonëse në planin e biznesit ky zë ishte 58.6 milionë euro. Stringa thotë se ndonëse fitimet e privatit parashikohen të jenë shumë herë më të larta se sa janë planifikuar, shteti sërish nuk fiton. “Shteti mund të merrte nga fitimi i rritur, por jo në këtë rast, sepse nuk e ka parashikuar në kontratë,” tha Stringa. “Me këto fitime që siguron privati do të ketë mundësi të privatizojë [tokën] me çmime reference dhe pa konkurrim, gjithashtu do të ketë mundësinë që ta bëjë këtë pa futur asnjë para të vetën, por nga paratë që do të mbledhë nga shitja e apartamenteve,” shtoi ai, sipas “BIRN”.

Detajet nga kontrata

The "Marina Residences Vlorë" company told BIRN that the business plan was an economic projection to guarantee "a minimum investment value" on the land made available by the state, while the sales of the apartments were subject to the economic law of demand and supply as well as increasing construction costs. The company also added that it had no obligation to share these profits with the state. "The Lease Agreement does not establish a public-private co-investment relationship, where the parties undertake to share the risks of a joint investment and, therefore, profit or loss," said Marina Residences Vlorë. "According to the Lease Contract, neither Marina Residences Vlorë nor the Ministry have any commitments regarding the change in prices or the value of the land," she added. Albanian legislation provides for competitive auction procedures for the sale of state assets, but there are also exceptions. In the law no. 54/2014 on the granting of state property for rent, emphyteosis or other contracts, it is also provided that when the value of the investments is over 150% of the value of the land, then the ministry carries out the direct privatization of the state property. Referring to this decision, the company "Marina Residences Vlorë" told BIRN that it intended to request the purchase of the land after making the investment. In the business plan, she has planned to pay the state about 4.8 million euros for the plot in the coveted Vlora Bay area – or almost 88 euros per square meter. According to lawyer Redi Ramaj, this is a legal path that can be followed in the future, but for now, he estimates that buyers can face risks. "Marina Residences Vlorë" told BIRN that its customers were protected by the enterprise contract and the provisions of the Civil Code and that possible increases in costs in the future would not affect the contractual commitments in force. "For example: if the performance of works by Marina Residences Vlorë results in a violation of the terms of the contract and standards according to Article 861 of the Civil Code, the Client has the right to terminate the business contract and request compensation for the damage suffered and the lost profit according to provision 640 of the Civil Code," the company said. For the economy expert, Azmi Stringa, the leasing of land in this case is a farce. "When the Albanian government gives a temporary 20-year lease contract, what did it have in mind, when the very business plan accompanying the contract is very clear that buildings will be built and sold?" he asks. "This scheme has avoided the element of transparency and competition, because the state had to develop clear auction procedures to get the most from the property," he concluded.