Tirana City Hall fines the opposition with 120 thousand euros during the damages of the protest

Tirana City Hall fines the opposition with 120 thousand euros during the damages of the protest

It’s still unclear how the money is being sought. A fine slip is issued where the Democratic Party is asked to pay 120 thousand euros and at the same time and with the same value, the leader of opposition is fined by a simple municipality police officer. USA and EU launch criticism against DP for the incidents that were registered

Tirana, 9 December 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

For the first time in Albania, the consequences of a protest have been billed to the political subject that organized it.

Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, has signed this invoice that you can see below, which identifies all the damages, which he says, have been caused during the 8 December protest in the Albanian capital.

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“This is the detailed invoice of the damages, which must not be paid by taxpayers of Tirana, but by those who caused it!”, Mr. Veliaj says.

But Veliaj is contradictory in naming this value. First he calls it an invoice of damages, as you saw in the facsimile above, then he calls it a fine for the DP, where the value is the same, as you can see below.

This invoice issued by Veliaj, says that DP can pay the 120 thousand euro invoice within seven working days and if a month goes by and the invoice has not been paid yet, then the bank accounts of this party will be blocked.

Meanwhile, the penalty slip issued by a police officer of the municipality, is addressed to the leader  of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha and he has five working days to pay the fine.

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The opposition’s protest was monitored by foreign diplomacy in Albania. The EU embassy issued a statement where it considered violence used by demonstrators through the use of different objects, as unacceptable.

“The European Union delegation in Albania closely followed the rally organized by opposition parties today in Tirana. The right of the citizens to express their concerns and discontent through peaceful protests is a key element of European modern democracy and it must be preserved as such. A number of violent acts and vandalism were reported. Return to violence is unacceptable”, the statement said.

The statement also stresses the importance of dialogue between majority and opposition. “Albania faces a difficult agenda of reforms in relation to the process of European integration. We call upon all political parties and public servants, including the opposition, to condemn violence and engage in a constructive political dialogue”.

The United States of America too reacted on yesterday’s developments. The US embassy to Tirana said that such acts of violence do not comply with democratic values. “The right of the citizens to gather, to address demands for the government and protest in a peaceful manner is the symbol of a free and healthy society. However, such acts such as throwing stones, setting fire to objects and damaging public properties, has nothing in common with democratic values”.

Meanwhile, the US embassy has demanded for future protests to be held in a peaceful way. “The US embassy calls upon the Democratic Party of Albania and all other parties to make sure that future protests remain peaceful and constructive”.

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Yesterday, the Democratic Party, the main opposition political force gathered some tens of thousands of citizens in the center of Tirana, in a march of protest where it demanded the resignation of PM Edi Rama, the creation of a technical government and early elections.

Opposition leader, Lulzim Basha justified these demands with what he called failures of the left wing government to improve the life of Albanian people.

Yesterday’s protest was somehow similar to the one held by socialists on 21 January 2011. But four years ago, four protesters remained killed and based on all suspicions, by the Republican Guard. Meanwhile, yesterday’s protest didn’t register any wounded. /ibna/

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