After the “gift” from the Council of Europe, the Albanian government anxiously waiting on the Strasbourg ruling

After the “gift” from the Council of Europe, the Albanian government anxiously waiting on the Strasbourg ruling

IBNA Special Report

Brussels demanded Strasbourg not to accept in the next 12 months any cases from Albanian citizens who demand compensation for their properties. This was declared by the Albanian deputy minister of Justice, Idlir Peci (photo). The Committee of Ministers of the European Council has demanded to accept the request of the Albanian government to address to the Court of Strasbourg with the request of not accepting cases for return and compensation of properties by Albanian citizens for a year.

The Committee of the Ministers of the European Council officially demands to the Court of Strasbourg to give to the Albanian government enough time to solve the issue of properties by not accepting files which will be submitted within this period of time.

European Council decision has been taken at the request of the Albanian government, which demanded time in order to make adjustments to the issue of properties in Albania, a delicate issue which has been going on for 23 years in the country.

The decision was taken without any debates. This is the first time that the Committee of Ministers of the European Council takes such a positive decision toward Albania, in relation to the issue of the return and compensation of properties.

The Albanian government has laid out an Action Plan with steps and deadlines for the return and compensation of properties.

Deputy minister of Justice, Idlir Peci offers more details on this: “Committee of Ministers of the European Council, which oversees the progress of the application of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, took a very positive decision on the Action Plan approved by the Albanian government. This is a plan which solves the problem of the return and compensation of properties. The Albanian government has submitted this plan at the Court of Strasbourg. It’s a clear and realist plan. This is the reason why it’s the first time in 23 years that the Committee decided and the European Court of Human Rights is deciding, to support the Albanian government and its plans”.

Peci says that in September 2013, when this government took office, the situation with the return and compensation of properties was dramatic. “It was a real chaos and there wasn’t a clear and transparent action plan, something which was demanded for years in a row by the Council of Europe”, says Peci.

In December 2012, Court of Strasbourg issued a pilot ruling against Albania. The ruling demanded to the Albanian government to address the issue of the return and compensation of properties in order not to have violations of the rights of property owners.

So far, nothing has been done about this. The court has left a period of 18 months for the situation to be addressed, a deadline which expires on June 17, 2014.

Peci says that the Albanian government has applied for more time to the court, “in order to to carry out those necessary and much anticipated reforms”.

Meanwhile, the government says that, “more has been done in 6 months about the issue of properties than it has been done in these 23 years altogether”.

Prime minister Edi Rama says that this decision came at the right time. He considers it as a “rescue from the hole of irresponsibility left by previous governments”.

“Much anticipated news from the Council of Europe on properties. We rescued the country from the hole of irresponsibility that our predecessors left us. Let us hurry now!”, says Mr. Rama.

Nevertheless, this is a political decision and as such, in order to have legal effects, it must be adapted by the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

This is confirmed by the deputy minister of Justice, Idlir Peci: “The decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is a political decision”, said he, adding that “this is a clear message for the support that the Committee is giving to the Albanian government”.

“We hope that the ruling of the Court of Strasbourg will be as positive as the decision of the Committee of the Ministers of the Council of Europe”, said Peci.

He said that if this political decision of the Committee will be adopted by the Court of Strasbourg, citizens who for 23 years have been addressing to the court, will see the final  solution of the problem with properties. /ibna/