Defending Property Pursuing Justice Albania

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We are a grassroots movement representing the legitimate owners whose properties were confiscated by the communist regime after 1944. We ask the Albanian State Authorities to return properties to legitimate owners, now, in conformity with the Albanian Constitution and the international engagements. We ask the Albanian State Authorities to stop corrupted practices with properties and apply the requirements of the European Court of Human Rights on management of property rights. We are committed to respect of the basic right to property in Albania, to denouncing corruption at all State levels, to alerting donors and the public opinion abroad. Twenty years after the fall of communism, Albania has not yet come to terms with its past. Several issues, crucial to the well-functioning of a democracy, have not yet been resolved: no independent historical exam of the communist period has taken place, no criminal has been examined let alone held accountable for atrocities committed during this period, the rights of former political prisoners are cynically held up to ridicule, restitution of properties to legitimate owners is permanently postponed since 1993 when the first law on restitution of properties was introduced. The Albanian Constitution, whose article 181 stipulates that restitution had to be resolved until 2001 to the latest, in conformity with article 41 which guaranties the right to property, is not respected. In the meanwhile corruption flourishes, properties of legitimate owners situated in big centers and in touristic areas are being appropriated by mafiosi with strong connections to and protected by the political elite, whose both sides (the self declared "right" and "left) are mainly interested to maintain this situation. Indeed the Government is in a hurry to finish the "legalization process" which implies legalization of thefts and abuses, already by 2013. Albanian Governments' policy is unfortunately supported by the World Bank Albania which has not yet been able to recognize that this policy is contrary to the fundamental right to property, contrary to the express provisions of the Albanian Constitution and favors the enrichment purposes of corrupted politicians and other abusers. We count on your support - it's the only way to put pressure on the Albanian kleptocratic political elite.

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