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Chaos with properties, Myrshit Vorpsi accuses the government of massacring the owners and shows what is hidden behind the indexation, the association warns of a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court
Written by Sidorela Braçja 29 Nëntor 2023
The head of the "Property with Right" association, Myrisht Vorpsi, yesterday, in an interview for "SOT" newspaper, was asked about the acceptance by the Constitutional Court of the lawsuit of the Muslim Community of Albania to suspend the changes in the law on property compensation, while it was decided for the issue to be considered in a public plenary session, he stated that the association requests that a party be included in this process. According to him, there was a procedure that prevented the association from entering this process, but according to him, this procedure has now ended. Asked what are the specific points or articles that are opposed by the owners, he stated that what they object to is that, according to him, the state cannot expropriate an owner for a second time. He emphasized that with a right acquired by law of 1994, the state cannot remove it with another law of 2016, because according to him many years have passed from 1994 to 2016.
- Mr. Vorpsi, a few days ago, the Constitutional Court accepted the lawsuit of the Muslim Community of Albania, suspending the changes in the law on property compensation. In the lawsuit, the methodology of calculating the financial compensation for the properties against which the cadastral item has changed is disputed. The Constitutional Court accepted the request of the Albanian Muslim Community, passing it for trial and until the final decision, the implementation of the changes in the law on properties that were approved last year is suspended. Thus, he decided that the case should be considered in a public plenary session. Have a comment about this?
The association requests that parties be included in this process. There was a procedure that prevented the association from entering this process for the moment, this procedure has already ended.
-Since you are the head of the "Ownership with Right" association, can you give us more details about why the owners do not agree with the recent changes made in the law "On the treatment of properties and the completion of the compensation process"?
It is such a process, it is always discussed about the financial evaluation of 7190 hectares of land and 606 thousand hectares of agricultural land, forest and pasture that according to law 133 should be financially evaluated. So if until the previous legislation the state was obliged to compensate the owners for this area, with 133 the state was obliged to compensate these owners for the values ??that their property had. This is according to the value map that the state, by decision of the Council of Ministers, had approved in 2016. In 2016, this procedure changes these surfaces that I said according to the law of that time were financially assessed and an invoice should be issued according to the value map of how much they were worth these surfaces. History showed that the procedure followed by the government had many unknowns behind it. In the case in the court of Strasbourg, i.e. the second case 2020-2021, the state officially declared in front of the court that if these 7190 hectares of arable land and agricultural land were translated into monetary values, the bill that the Albanian state would have against the Albanian owners would be 6.5 billion euros. This is a statement in the Strasbourg court by the state attorney. 133 continued his duty, as a result of those modifications made by the Albanian legislator, this bill was reduced to other figures. In 2022, when the financial evaluation process had ended, and then publicly with the 2022 annual report, the Property Handling Agency admits that 26 thousand and 92 compensation decisions have been evaluated and from these evaluations, it says that the rest of the decisions have been evaluated as exhausted 18,000 or so decisions have been valued at 101 billion ALL. So, from 6.5 to 133, this financial invoice was reduced to 1 billion lek, this does not include the revaluation that would be done later and that has already been done regardless of the fact that the Property Handling Agency has not published it. In that report, it is stated that 3,700 decisions were not evaluated, but 3,000 other decisions were not evaluated. The Property Handling Agency takes into account the fact that it also evaluated the unassessed decisions at the end of February 2019, because the legal deadline of the Property Handling Agency for financial evaluations of the decisions given by the property restitution and compensation agent in those years should have been financially assessed within 2019, but the agency had not dealt with them and it is a figure of around 3000 or so decisions at the moment, a part of them it has assessed and reached this conclusion. With the amendments to Law 133 by the Albanian state, all the previous decision-making of the Property Handling and Compensation Agency is brought into play, so if there were 18 decisions estimated at a figure of 101.3 billion for 18 thousand and 92 decisions of the property compensation commission, yes if you add another 18 billion to this figure, the figure amounts to 102 billion new lek. What do the Albanian legislators intend with the 77th law that was approved a few years ago, where it is claimed that even these 18 thousand and 92 decisions will be evaluated by removing the value of the returned land in the calculation of the value for compensation. This is the solution of the Albanian state, these 18 thousand decisions and other decisions that may come later, from the value of 101.3 billion lek according to law 77, the value of the returned land should now be removed and the owners would be paid only for the difference between land for compensation and land returned. For 30 years, starting from 1994, the state said, until 2016 when Law 77 came out, the state said that the obligation I have towards you will be fulfilled in the square meters that the Albanian state had, this was a legal obligation, whether with the first law or even the second one. Today, with this financial assessment that was made with 166, we see what reality we are in today, this is the reality, so the bill that was financially 6.5 has ended in a bill of 300 million euros. Today, after almost 70 years, the Albanian owners find themselves at a crossroads. Why should the Albanian owners have this fate after 40 years of dictatorship to end up at the level we are today. This is a disaster for the whole nation, not only for the Albanian owners. It is a cannibalism that the Albanian state with a cold logic is exercising against the owners.
- Have you thought of filing a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court on this issue?
Yes, we have done and it will be presented within these days. There was a procedural obstacle, which has already been overcome and in a few days we will present our lawsuit to the Constitutional Court.
-What exactly are the points or articles that are opposed by the owners?
What the owners object to is that, if the decision of the Strasbourg Court and decision 4 of the Constitutional Court were about the lands whose cadastral entry was changed with 77 legislators also passed it to the properties whose cadastral entry was not changed. The property restitution commission in 1994 assessed it as land and today, according to the Property Handling Agency, the land is assessed as land. Land surfaces for compensation, land, agricultural land, etc., the Property Handling Agency for 18 thousand and 92 thousand decisions that had not changed the cadastral item, I estimate 101.3 billion ALL, with the 77th, to these owners that the agency had published the value of the compensation, the state says wait, that this is not the right figure, I will deduct from this value that you have to receive, the value of the land that has been returned to you. So if I have returned 100 meters of land to you and have evaluated and published it in the lists of financial evaluations from 2006-2019, I will deduct the value of the returned land. If you had 10 meters and I gave you back 5 meters and you have another 5 meters as compensation, you will simply receive no money, because 5 minus 5 equals 0. This is the logic of the Albanian legislator in relation to the Albanian owners. What we object to is that the state cannot expropriate me a second time. With a right acquired by the law of 1994, you cannot take it away from me with another law of 2016, because many years have passed since 1994 and until 2016. The legislators in '94 told the owners that they will compensate you for the land they will not return, and there was no doubt about the plot of land, then for the agricultural land it was up to 115 hectares. The state wants to take away this right that they acquired by law with the 2016 law, it is a right acquired by a law and cannot be taken away by another law. Those Albanian owners should benefit from the compensation, but the state is massacring those Albanian owners. Today, after 30 years, you cannot tell an owner who has not changed the cadastral entry of his property that I will take away the value of the returned land, because it is expropriation for the second time. Why are they doing this?
Interviewed by: Sidorela Bra?ja