/en/file/show//Images/ADA/Road to ruin/bechtel-kosovo-motorway-fall-940-330.jpg News 24 Apr 14

Albania MP Urges New Probe Into Costly Kosovo Highway

Socialist MP Taulant Balla has called for a new investigation into the Albania-Kosovo highway after Balkan Insight reported that the cost of the 60km road had soared over €950 million.

Besar Likmeta BIRN Tirana
Albania Democratic Party chairman Lulzim Basha

“The highway will be remembered for years to come as the most expensive road ever built by the Albanian government,” Balla wrote on his Facebook page.

Balla accused current Albanian centre-right opposition leader Lulzim Basha, who signed the contract for the construction of the highway in 2006, of abuse of power, damaging to state to the tune of €190 million.

The contract to build the first stage of the highway - connecting Tirana with the Kosovo border - was awarded in 2006 in a fast-track procurement process, while Basha was transport minister in the previous government.

The US construction giant Bechtel and its Turkish partner, Enka, won the contract to build a 60km-long mountainous section between Reshen and Kalimash for 418 million euro.

But, by the time construction was over, the price-tag for the 60km stretch, which includes a six-kilometre tunnel, had reached €950 million.

Basha was indicted for abuse of power in 2009 but the case was thrown out by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

The chairman of the Democratic Party has always denied any wrongdoing over the affair.

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