Balkans News

Albanian Government Cuts Power To Protestors’ Homes In Middle Of Winter

The Albanian government has started to use military tactics to evict the inhabitants of the Astir neighborhood from their apartments. Today, the government decided to cut the electric power for hundreds of families it’s trying to evict from their houses, thus leaving them in cold and darkness.

The cutting of vital services until these families give up is a military tactic used against enemy fortifications and cities with the aim of draining their supplies and ultimately having them surrender. It is a criminal tactic that endangers citizens’ lives, particularly the lives of the elders, children and sick people.

Police arrested 11 inhabitants who were protesting after the government’s criminal act of the power cut. They claimed this was an intentional operation aiming to open the way for the demolition of their houses.

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The latest government action came after Prime Minister Edi Rama’s arrogant statement:

“It’s useless to talk about [the fact] that in the year 2018 they still discuss in Tirana weather one can forcefully impose [oneself] on the public interest, against the law and the future of the city. The outer ring road is indispensable. There are families and businesses [here, too], as everywhere, but public interest prevails. The state will pay the rent for 3 years for those who had no [building] permit. Houses had no [building] permits; their challenging cannot prevail. The road will be cleared because the road will be for all. I’ve settled this debate since the year 2000.”

Mayor Veliaj had earlier called the inhabitants “cavemen”:

“How could I have explained today to the former Salzburg Governor? [T]hat a part of us belong to cavemen political parties that tear buildings and violate people who work for this city? [T]hat we still have primitive species who represent political parties and violate people who work for this city?”

Eventually Rama and Veliaj have decided to treat the inhabitants as “cavemen” by cutting the electric power.

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The government is trying to demolish at least 317 buildings (up to 800 according to some sources), affecting about 600 families and tens of businesses. A minimum of 163 buildings are awaiting legalization, but the government decided to stop the legalization process without notifying the citizens.

The government has decided to evict the citizens from their houses and businesses without following any procedure whatsoever, without fair compensation, and in violation of their human and constitutional rights.

Following the citizens’ firmness not to leave houses, the government appears to have decided to forcefully evict them by means of military tactics.

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