CEZ and the candidate status

CEZ and the candidate status
On April 23rd, 2009, the Albanian Parliament approved with only the majority’s votes the privatization agreement for the energy distribution. This is the last legal action that transferred the monopoly from the state to the Czech Company CEZ.

Five days after that, the Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, visited the Czech government in Prague, where he handed over Albania’s request for the EU candidate status to his Czech homologue.

The Czech Republic had the EU presidency and promised to become Albania’s advocate in the integration process. The silent agreement was finalized.

The Albanian government gave the most important monopoly to a Czech company, while Prague accepted the request before its time, giving guarantees to lobby for the dream of the Albanians, the EU membership.

Three years and a half have passed since then. Albania is still outside the EU, while the Energy Regulation Entity revoked the CEZ licence only a few days ago. Besides sealing the failure of the most important and strategic privatization in our country, the decision taken by ERE also ended the agreement with Prague, and everything concluded where it started, but with a change.

The country that once promised to make Albania an EU member has now turned into the biggest threat for the integration dream, and there are no doubts on that.

The Czech Prime Minister, Perter Necash, made an open threat by saying that the Czech Republic cannot ignore Albania’s approach to a Czech investor, in the context of Albania’s EU integration aspirations.

This is a political cost, but the bill also has an economic aspect. What we know is that CEZ owes 320 million to the Albanian Power Corporation (KESH), while the government claims that there is 1 billion USD damage. Whoever is to blame, these costs will be paid by the Albanian citizens.