Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Czech Republic, pressure before status

Czech Republic, pressure before status
The five member countries who blocked the status on December have given positive signals for this June, but news from the Czech Republic suggest that the candidate status might be blocked from Prague, due to a conflict that the Albanian government has with the Czech company, CEZ.

The news has been announced by the Czech news agency CTK, which says that sources from Brussels confirm that the Czech Republic is preparing to say “no” to the candidate status of Albania in the EU summit that will be held by the end of June.

The cause for this decision is a conflict that has started in the beginning of the past year between the former Albanian government and the CEZ company, In June 2013, the Regulatory Entity of Energy revoked the license of the Czech company, and the Albanian government appointed an administrator to lead the company. As result, CEZ lost control over the energy distribution company.

A few months ago, the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and the Minister of Energy, Damian Gjiknuri, announced new talks with the Czech company to find a solution and avoid the Court of Arbitrage, where CEZ has filed a lawsuit against the Albanian government.

According to the CTK, Prague has launched critics saying that the talks between Albania and CEZ didn’t come to any solution. “CEZ demands compensation from Albania to defend its investments”, the Czech media says.

The European Commission recommended the candidate for Albania in the past week, and the Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Fule, announced the conclusion of this report during his visit in Tirana. Fule declared in a joint press conference with Rama that he wants “to make it very clear that the Report of the Commission recommends the candidate status for Albania without any doubt”.

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