Saturday, February 7, 2009

EU envoy urges Albania to solve property title claims

TIRANA: Albania must solve the huge problem of unclear and disputed property titles in order to attract foreign investors and meet European Union criteria for eventual membership, an EU envoy said yesterday.

Helmuth Lohan, the EU’s ambassador to Tirana, said economic progress in Albania had suffered because of fuzzy ownership titles affecting almost all families and eroding citizens’ confidence in democracy and the courts.

“Clear property titles and legal security are essential prerequisites for the prosperous development of the country, the attraction of foreign direct investment, social peace as well as for the country’s European integration process,” Lohan said.

Successive conservative and leftist governments since Albania toppled Communism have tried with little success to return property to rightful owners who were expropriated after World War Two by the late Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha.
Rural land has been distributed

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