Government-businesses litigations, ten lawsuits lost in a decade

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Over the last ten years, the Albanian state has lost 10 lawsuits in arbitration, which translated to losses that amount to some hundred million euros.

The costliest one, estimated at circa €110 million, was a recent lawsuit won by Francesco Becchetti, while several other cases of companies claiming over €350 million remain still open.

Within a brief amount of time, Albania has been billed a staggering €150 million by International Arbitration Court. The matter at hand is over two court rulings in favor of private investors banned by Albania.

Besides €110 million that will go into the pockets of Francesco Becchetti, Albanian taxpayers will have to pay another €45 million in compensation to Copri and Actor, which were contracted in 2012 to build the Tirana-Elbasan highway.

The International Arbitration Court said that the companies’ claims are fair, over additional costs to build the segment, which were never accorded by the government.

These are two among dozens of cases that were lost throughout the years, some of which were rigorously kept away from the public’s eye.

The State Advocacy, the institution representing and defending the state’s interests, has kept its lips tightly sealed when asked to provide information and financial bills from lost lawsuits.

However, according to data compiled by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, referring to active arbitrary cases, the costs add up to 350 million.

Meanwhile, the Supreme State Audit only, as of the end of 2019, had lost 10 lawsuits worth over 19 billion Albanian Lek.

In the year 2000, when Albania ratified the recognition of arbitrage rulings, the first case that was lost was that of the Electric Train when the government at the time annulled a $90 million contract for the construction of the Tirana-Durres train, and as a result, General Electric won the case and accorded $20 million.

 

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