1- A reminder about Kukes airport
On May 8 Minister Haxhinasto inspected Kukes airport where he declared that: ‘’currently we are in the final phase of negotiations to remove the exclusivity of international flights from Tirana airport, which involves restoring the functionality of Kukes airport, after a few interventions to make it operational’’.
Kukes airport finished construction in 2006, but has never been used because the Albanian government of the time agreed to sign a concession for the only international airport in the country, for a 20-year period from 2005 until 2025. The contract does not allow a second alternative airport, because the German concessioner HOTCHIEF has an operation range of 250 km. If the state builds a second airport within this range, then each international plane operating in the second airport will have to pay taxes to Tirana airport. Currently Albanian citizens fly with an added cost.
The competition authority whose job is to conduct economic and financial analysis as well as investigations to identify anti-competition practices, cartel agreements that damage, threaten and risk deforming competition could have overthrown the Rinas monopoly a long time ago without the need for negotiations. What is the problem? Why authorities are not doing their job?
Throughout the years there were talks about negotiations starting with a meeting between the Ministry of Transport during Berisha’s government and the concessionary company Tirana Airport Partners, continuing with negotiations between the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Rama government. The aim of these meetings was to reach an agreement to make use of Kukes Airport. It is hard to believe that suddenly Rinas will give up the favorable monopolistic position it enjoys in the market.
It seems Kukes airport will be used as an electoral object, with a promise to open new jobs and improve welfare in this area. We hope this is not one of the many promises during electoral ceremonies that disappear after Election Day.
Experts explain that Kukes has little chance to transform into an airport keeping in mind the developments of a decade. Not to forget that a risk for Kukes airport is the operation of Gjakova airport, for which Mimoza Kusari is strongly lobbying. If Gjakova opens an airport before Kukes, chances for it to function are minimal.
Believing Kukes airport is not another electoral promise we kindly ask Minister Haxhinasto to accelerate negotiations.
2- Foul play
During the first Saturday of May Minister Haxhinasto inspected construction works in Rrogozhine bypass. He called for a re-evaluation of the project, its change and more underpasses in service to citizens. The Albanian Road Authority has the authorization to look at opportunities for additions not to create any obstacle to the economic activity of the area.
This bypass is very important for the road network with a length of 4.7 km, creates a good movement for south-north axis of Albania, which will serve all the economic activity of the area. This project costed 5 689 855,55 Euros and the tender was won by Impresa Prevedello isidoro S.r.l. Constructions will last for 18 months.
We don’t have any details as to where the Minister is based in his decision to change the project. What are the costs recurring from the change? What are the delays caused by the intervention? Is it normal to change a project that is towards the end? Why was this company a winner of the tender if it did not possess all necessary technical specifications (such as the number of underpasses) that the minister required for the project?
3- Meta and Haxhinasto: a train rides
Minister Haxhinasto, accompanied by Minister Koka and Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta, on 26 May took a train ride to inaugurate the new train station in Kashar.
The inauguration consisted in the restructuring of a few wagons. The aim of railway transport is to achieve speed through fewer costs compared to road transport. Which of these two advantages offers our railway service? Why should a citizen take the bus to go to Kashar and then take the train from Kashar to Durres? It takes more time to go to Durres by train than by car.
To go to Tirana a citizen has to pay 70 leke for the train ticket to Kashar and additionally 30 leke for the bus ticket to Tirana, in total 100 leke. To travel by bus at the center of Tirana a citizen has to pay 150 leke. However, the commodity and length of time offered by a train ride is not advantageous.
It is ridiculous to think that such funds are sufficient to revitalize the Albanian railway. There is a need for detailed studies to find the most appropriate project accompanied by a cost-benefit analysis.
In this case we can see the continuity of provincial ideas of inaugurating more façade projects close to elections, which is visible from the pointless presence of Mr. Ilir Meta, speaker of parliament, in the meeting.
2- Artikull: Reagim i MTI për deklaratat për Aeroportin dhe Ujësjellësin e Kukësit http://www.transporti.gov.al/al/newsroom/deklarata-per-shtyp/reagim-i-mti-per-deklaratat-per-aeroportin-dhe-ujesjellesin-e-kukesit&page=1
3- Artikull: Gjetjet e emisionit “ Të Paekspozuarit”, intervista ekskluzive e Rolf Castro Vasquez, Administrator i Aeroportit të Rinasit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x9UzRfHuYg
4- Artikull: Meta: Aeroporti i Kukësit do nisë nga puna, punësohen 250 kuksianë http://www.mapo.al/2015/05/meta-aeroporti-i-kukesit-do-te-hape-500-vende-pune-ne-dy-vjet
5- ArtikullNdryshim projekti, më tepër nënkalime në by-pass-in e Rrogozhinës në shërbim të qytetarëve http://www.transporti.gov.al/al/newsroom/lajme/ministri-haxhinasto-ndryshim-projekti-me-teper-nenkalime-ne-by-pass-in-e-rrogozhines-ne-sherbim-te-qytetareve
6- Artikull – Works for the construction of the Rrogozhina bypass, Albania | European Union http://com.mercell.com/39470273/works-for-the-construction-of-the-rrogozhina-bypass-albania.aspx?version=2&lcid=1033
7- Artikull – Z. Ilir Meta dhe Ministri i Transportit dhe Infrastrukturës z. Edmond Haxhinasto marrin pjesë në inaugurimin e stacionit hekurudhor në Kashar http://www.transporti.gov.al/al/newsroom/lajme/ministri-haxhinasto-ndryshim-projekti-me-teper-nenkalime-ne-by-pass-in-e-rrogozhines-ne-sherbim-te-qytetareve