The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Albanian government must pay more than 13 million EUR to compensate the owners of the former “Jon” complex, which was demolished in December 2013 by the National Inspectorate of Territory.
The apartment building was built by the father in law of the Democratic Party leader, Lulzim Basha, was one of the first buildings that were demolished by the government of Edi Rama to make way for the building of the seaside promenade “Lungomare”.
But the Strasbourg Court says that the government has acted illegally, and has ruled that they should pay 13.1 million EUR, mainly to Xhafer Isufi, the father in law of Mr.Basha, but also Ombudsman Erinda Ballanca, who had bought an apartment at the complex.
The decision, which is a strong hit for the budget, forces the government to pay the compensation within three months without interests.
In October 2013, one month after Edi Rama had come to power, the Inspectorate of the Territory isolated the apartment building by not allowing owners to enter their apartments.
The permit for this building was given by the former Socialist Party Mayor of Vlora, Shpetim Gjika, whose relations with Prime Minister Edi Rama deteriorated.
In November 2013, the government issued an order of urgency to compensate residents with a fund of 3.4 million EUR, and just one week later the apartment building was demolished.
The residents appealed the verdict at the Court of Vlore, demanding a higher compensation.
On March 2014, the Court of Vlore considered the government decision as illegal and increased the compensation value to 11.6 million EUR.
The government appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which suspended the compensation and the verdict of the Vlore Court.
After this, residents addressed the Strasbourg Court in April 2016, which decided that the government had acted illegally and should pay 14 million EUR with procedural spending.
The money will be taken from the Albanian tax-payers, while the officials who gave the permit and who demolished the building will not be held accountable.