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Opinion / Editorial

Edi Rama's concessions, serious abuse of Albanian taxpayers' money

Edi Rama's concessions, serious abuse of Albanian taxpayers' money

In the last eight years 2017-2024, according to the data of the Ministry of Finance, the Rama sect in government has given and is giving its oligarchs from Albanian taxpayers' money about 86 billion lek, or 827 million euros, for 12 concession contracts that are active. Only for this year, payments for concessions and active PPPs will reach 14.3 billion ALL, or 138 million euros. These payments constitute the highest level ever recorded in State Budget disbursements for concessions and PPPs. They are increasing by 9.3 percent, compared to 2023. As a result of the observations and issues collected by internationals in the period 2017-2022, the classification of PPPs with the highest level of risk for the impact on the budget was made in the Declaration of the IMF Board of Directors on December 13, 2022, after the visit of the Fund's technical staff to Tirana and the report that accompanied this statement. "Ill-designed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects for infrastructure investment can hinder the efficiency of public investment and cause large liabilities to be created, which can damage debt sustainability," warned the IMF. The Rama sect in power, hypnotized by the tens and hundreds of millions of euros of occult benefits of the 12 concessions and PPPs it generated in the last eight years, did not react, totally ignoring the strong objections from international financial institutions, and specifically from the Monetary Fund International, World Bank, EBRD, etc. All these institutions have asked for a clear analysis of the costs and benefits of concessions and PPPs, as well as to stop the abusive practice of considering unsolicited offers from private entities, for concessions and PPPs, practice which the Rama sect stubbornly followed, until January 2019, despite the fact that international institutions had been speaking out against it and the problematic contracts of concessions and PPPs for about three years. Last year, the head of the IMF Mission for Albania, Yan Sun, strongly stated in an interview that "We remain concerned about the risks of PPPs, estimated at around 40% of GDP in 2022, based on in the value of contracts of existing projects and those in the process. The framework for coordinating and managing PPPs continues to suffer from major weaknesses and it remains unclear how widespread the fiscal risks are. An urgent priority for Albania is the alignment of the management frameworks of PPPs and public investments, as well as their full integration into the normal budget cycle". Even today, there is a lack of a clear analysis of the costs and benefits of concession projects and PPPs of the sect in government, while Rama has no intention, neither today nor ever, to integrate his concessions and PPPs into the normal cycle of The State Budget and the obligations arising from it. Divided by sector,in the concessions and PPPs of the last eight years of the Rama sect, the lion's share of about 31 billion alleks, or 298 million euros, or 36 percent of the total, has been received and is being received by the four health concessions, sterilization, check up", laboratories and dialysis. The Rama sect has given and continues to give about 14 billion lek, or 135 million euros, or 17 percent of the total funds, to the incinerators of Fier, Elbasan and Tirana, even though these incinerators are under investigation, even the one in Tirana is also under investigation. seize! Of the 12 concessions and PPPs still active, for five of them, the three incinerators, checkup and sterilization, an official investigation has been opened, with accusations ranging from corruption, abuse of office to money laundering. Meanwhile, the investigation into the concession of the laboratories has also started. The total amount given and expected to be given by the budget this year as well, for these six concessions for the period 2017-2024, is about 40 billion lek, or over 384 million euros, which is almost half (47 percent) of the total payments that are made from the budget for all active concessions and PPPs! This constitutes the black corrupt "masterpiece" of the Rama sect, something never seen before in the community of states governed by law anywhere in the world. A corrupt government like Rama's has given 12 concessions and PPPs in the last eight years, half of which with almost half the value of public money committed and spent, ended up under investigation and seizure! Only the united opposition and the citizens can tell him "Stop!" to this extraordinary wave of corruption and abuse of public money, with their powerful protests in front of the Municipality of Tirana, the emblem of the metastases of the Rama sect's incinerators.A corrupt government like Rama's has given 12 concessions and PPPs in the last eight years, half of which with almost half the value of public money committed and spent, ended up under investigation and seizure! Only the united opposition and the citizens can tell him "Stop!" to this extraordinary wave of corruption and abuse of public money, with their powerful protests in front of the Municipality of Tirana, the emblem of the metastases of the Rama sect's incinerators.A corrupt government like Rama's has given 12 concessions and PPPs in the last eight years, half of which with almost half the value of public money committed and spent, ended up under investigation and seizure! Only the united opposition and the citizens can tell him "Stop!" to this extraordinary wave of corruption and abuse of public money, with their powerful protests in front of the Municipality of Tirana, the emblem of the metastases of the Rama sect's incinerators.