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Written by Elmas Bogdani 21 Shtator 2023
In Albania, oligarchs are some very big businessmen who have more money than the state budget, as they have "volunteered" to make large investments in order to receive refunds from the government. But in addition to refunds, they have become regular customers of the state. One of these oligarchs is Samir Mane. During the "Rama" government, he has benefited from very large services from the state in the service of his businesses. To begin with, we are mentioning the taking over by Samir Mane with the signature of the Albanian Prime Minister, the status of strategic investor. Controversial law passed with debate in 2014 allows the government, through a committee chaired by the prime minister, to grant strategic investor status to anyone, giving away private and state-owned land, with the sole condition that they invest over 5 million euros and employ 80 citizens. The biggest beneficiary is the Albanian businessman Samir Mane. His companies have received several strategic investor statuses. There are 5 decisions that are for Manes companies, such as Green Coast, Green Coast 1 and 2, as well as two projects in Gjirin e Lalzit, New Bord and ValaMare. All decisions state that land ownership is private and public, as well as thousands of square meters of beach in use.
Rama's "gifts" to oligarch Samir Mane
"SOT" newspaper also mentioned a few days ago the case where the government has changed the territorial map and, through a dubious legal decision, removed a part of the territory from the Municipality of Tirana, to transfer it to the Municipality of Kamza. It is about the land where Mane is building the "Univers City Residence" residential complex. The reason for this change seems to be taxes. Both municipalities apply the same values ??for building permits, at 1 percent of the investment cost. However, the difference is made by the infrastructure impact tax, which is calculated on the sales value for each square meter/square of usable area, which the Municipality of Tirana applies at values ??twice higher than that of Kamza. According to a December 2019 decision of the Kamza Municipal Council, the infrastructure impact tax in this municipality is 4 percent. On the other hand, the government put the state at the service of Manes and at the time he took over the mining business in Bulqiza. Laws were passed that removed the tax on processed minerals, and in the end Mane sold Albchrome to the Turkish group Yildirim, at a better price due to the fact that the buying company would operate two years tax-free just because of the government's favoritism. Also, for the resort of Samir Manes, there have been some accusations from the media and residents of the area that the tourist road in Vlora was built for the sole purpose of enabling Samir Manes to go to his tourist village "Green Coast". The Palasa road on the beautiful touristic coast of the South in Albania, which was started in 2015 to connect this area with other tourist areas, no longer exists, although it was completed. The media write that this is a damage of millions of euros caused to the Albanian state by the demolition of the road due to the breach of the contract by the construction company only so that Samir Mane would have a road as short as possible and that would pass from the beach to went to his tourist resort. Also some time ago "BIRN" discovered that the state invested public money, i.e. Albanian taxpayers' money in the construction of a helipad, a yacht pier, a hangar for private aircraft and other support services near the luxury resort "Green Coast" in Palasa and according to the investigation that they did the state institutions turned a blind eye to the damage to the natural monument. The "Green Coast" company tried to justify to BIRN at the time that the helipad and other services are public investments, that serve as facilities for its residents and vacationers. "In the territory in question there is also a health center, the police station, which Green Coast has communicated as a facility for its residents and vacationers, but not as its structures or properties," said Green Coast. The "Green Coast" complex lies alone on an area of ??185,000 square meters on the once virgin beach known as Dhraleo or the White Roads in Palasa. In 2015, the government headed by Edi Rama gave the complex the status of a strategic investor in the field of tourism. In September 2019 to October 2020, the state announced two tenders for infrastructural intervention on Palasa beach. The first tender provided for the construction of a multifunctional center on Palasa beach and the rehabilitation of the stream and a parking lot in Dhërmi. According to the tender document, the multifunctional center would serve as a health center, police station and border crossing point. The tender also provided for the construction of an observation point in Gjileka as well as the rehabilitation of a parking lot beyond the village of Dhërmi. The second tender was launched on October 8, 2020 and had the title "Integrated intervention to improve access, services and urban retraining in the area of ??Palas - Drymadhe beach with a limited fund of 525 million ALL.