Albanian military guarding Tirana Airport after the Big Robbery sparks debates

Albanian military guarding Tirana Airport after the Big Robbery sparks debates

 The decision to engage the Albanian Army in order to guarantee the security of the international airport Mother Teresa after the robbery that occurred two days ago has sparked strong debates. President Ilir Meta has requested explanations from the Chief of General Staff, while the opposition speaks of a constitutional violation. But the Defense Minister Olta Xhaçka explained today that in this case it is about an object of special importance which is also in function to NATO.

Since yesterday, the Albanian Army units have taken control the outer perimeter of Mother Teresa Airport, where days ago a group of robberies entered easily to the airfield by stealing a large amount of money.

But the decision has caused debate. The president Ilir Meta, through his spokesman, announced today that he has formally requested information to Chief of Staff General Bardhyl Kolllçaku on the legal basis for deploying the Military Police and Special Battalion officers at the airport perimeter of Mother Teresa Airport.


For its part, the opposition has spoken of a decision that, according to Democratic President Lulzim Basha, is in open violation of the constitution "without announcing the state of emergency and without authorization from the Assembly as is required clearly by the Constitution and the law on the Armed Forces ".

 The defense Minister Olta Xhaçka explained today that it is not about deploying the troops or violating national security, but "because today we have this big robbery, which is a repeated event, which is an event being investigated and up to the restoration of the measures security and threat of the airport, we will be here too because we have a legal obligation, the 99 law with the ratification of NATO status and its personalities. The point 11 of this law obliges us to guarantee the critical infrastructure and the objects of particular importance, which are in the function of NATO, its mission, its movements, namely the Alliance. And we are forced to be here."

The Albanian authorities continued today with critical tones against the Chinese company which administers the airport. The Infrastructure Minister Belinda Balluku said the that the responsibilities and the duties left to the concessionary company after the first robbery in 2016 went to deaf ears.

"The measures taken were always superficial and inadequate, the measures taken by the TIA concessionaire have been to pass the line and to continue quietly harvesting this wrong contract in its genesis, a contract that has not left room the Albanian state to penalize the Chinese company and make it ultimately aware of the damage that has caused to Albania in all aspects, financial, national security and undoubtedly the damage to the image ", said Mrs. Balluku, which is expected to have a meeting with the Chinese company president.

But for the opposition, the guilt should not be sought at the concessionaire, because the security is the duty of the state, said Mr. Basha, according to whom in the case of this robbery was not respected by the police an order of the Minister of Interior that, as Mr. Basha said, "State Police to accompany and maintain the transportation of monetary values ​​of ALL 950 million and therefore requires not only to be accompanied but to be guaranteed by the State Police any kind of money load, while none of the required security elements from this order, was not placed in sacks that could may have been taken by the robbers."

Mr. Basha even cast doubt on an involvement and state structures in the robbery two days ago.
Albanian military guarding Tirana Airport after the Big Robbery sparks debates Albanian military guarding Tirana Airport after the Big Robbery sparks debates Thursday, April 11, 2019 Rating: 5
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