On May 25th I got a glimpse of what it is really like to live in a still Communist/Socialist country run by Communists and Socialists and it wasn’t pretty. This is my story! My family has owned property in the center of Shkodra for over 100 years. The house belonged to Princ Preng Bibe Dode and following his death to my grandfather, Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni #gjomarkajfamilyhistory. The house was stolen from us by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha in 1944, my family evacuated, imprisoned and interned for the next almost 50 years. After ‘democracy’ arrived in 1991 my family home was restituted, but the land had been divided, part of it in the back was now occupied by 2 buildings built during communism where now families lived. We have never been compensated for that portion of the property!
Back to the main house. This “Kulla” is roughly 2650sqmt and encompasses a house of 813sqmt. The back of the property was left ‘open’ since my family reoccupied it, for various reasons. This ‘lot’ is roughly 71sqmt. This is the crux of the problem. Now that I live here we have decided to finally clean up the lot and fence it in, thereby taking away the 30 year long ‘free parking’ for the residents in the back buildings. It took me almost 2 years of battling City Hall to get a permit to finally build a fence and close in the property but I finally got it despite all the obstacles thrown at me. The Vice Mayor of Shkodra, Dritan Meta, went on record saying that “a year ago the Municipality of Shkodra addressed the issue of the possibility for the urban retraining of this residential block and the municipality has planned the retraining of this square with an investment of 13 mln new and will be realized within half of 2018.” In the end, Meta made it clear that the Markagjoni family was asked to leave out two sections of their property to enable the movement of emergency vehicles.” This is what was ultimately approved in the permit: the full lot less the necessary footage for access by emergency vehicles, not so the ‘animals’ could freeload for the next 30 years off my land and graze like sheep. They did ask for more but we AGREED ON JUST WHAT IS ON THE PERMIT.
We went to start work on the property some months back and the contractor we had hired backed out at the last minute for ‘his own reasons’. I came to find out he got paid off! Ok…next plan was to have material for the project delivered to the site until I could find another suitable contractor, which by the way is turning out to be very hard because nobody wants to be ‘involved’ in the mess they know is coming. This month I finally found a contractor who would build me cement blocks and deliver them to the site for later. Everything was set up for this morning. We had to have the bailiff come on Monday with the police and topographer to stake out the property line and after some altercation with the ‘animals’ and I don’t use that term lightly because that is what they are, we finally staked it out. Well no sooner did night fall that the ‘animals’ in the back were either driving over the iron stakes to flatten them or tearing down our construction tape. Ok, no biggie.
On May 25th we were ready to roll. The truck parked there the night before with the materials and all we were going to do was unload the material onto our property in designated spots according to the permit given to us by City Hall. The day started off fairly easy at about 6.30am, by 9.00am the ‘animals’ were out screaming and yelling like the wild dogs they are.
They called the police, ON US! The police by the way had signed off on the project on Monday and was supposed to come and endorse OUR order, not because some commie dwellers weren’t happy that they weren’t going to get anything for free any more. With that, at least not one or two but five police cars came: State Police, Road Police, Tax Police, Tax Commissioner, and some other useless state vehicle. Not to protect the owners of the property from these ‘animals’. The day went from bad to worse. The news channels came. The police took my cousin in for ‘questioning’. A stop order was put on the site. I spent all day running around from the mayor’s office to the police station to the site. In the end I was told by the head of the Permits at City Hall that we had ‘every right to deposit’ material on our property. I was told by the police that ‘they had no problem with us depositing material on our property’, yet when we tried for the second time, again the police didn’t come when we called five times within the hour, but came when ‘they’ called and promptly took my cousin back to the police station without reason.
In the end my friends, it was a very telling day and one that I will not forget. The corruption, the lies, the backstabbing, the venom coming out of people when they feel something is being taken from them, when they have no right to it, is abhorrent. I can see why everyone who lives here wants to leave. 10% of the country, roughly 3m people, desperately put in for a Visa Lottery to either America or Canada. It is a cesspool of corruption, greed and lawlessness. This story will not end here. I will fight it til I can but the world needs to know what the hell is going on here. My family’s contribution to this country, the sacrifices and love for it helped to maintain the North a Catholic region. Without the Dera e Gjomarkut there wouldn’t be any Catholicism in this country and this is the THANKS WE GET! A spit in the face by the leftover commies in power, their underhandedness and deceit, their total disregard for private ownership and the list goes on. I am very, very, very glad that my father and his father did not see what a cesspool their beloved country has become!
These are photos taken of the police who came when called to come and remove cars parked illegally on the property. The came, they saw, they had coffee in the bar in the back and they left!
P.S. Since drafting this article on Thursday, May 25, I found out that one of the people involved in the ‘demonstration’ that day was the Head of the Socialist Party here in the City. This is just one of many articles that came out in the paper Shqiptarja.com yesterday. In the second photo you can see the head of the Socialist Party in Shkodra, Mr. Luan Heta. The Socialist Party has been the force behind all this malice and vicious attacks. The Socialist Party has interest in my property as do many others, however there are relatives of people in high levels within the Party who live in one of these buildings hence the circus. They claim that they don’t have enough space for emergency vehicles to get by when that is not correct. I negotiated with City Hall to leave enough room for emergency vehicles to reach the buildings. What I did not negotiate on is to leave a much larger piece of property for those residents to park their cars. At the end of the day I gave up square footage for the allowance we negotiated on, but that is not enough for these people. They want what’s not theirs and will go to any length to get it. Well I hope not to ANY length. Regardless, if their intention is to tire me out, wear me out, wait me out, they don’t know me very well. I will fight fire with fire as long as possible. I will not give up the fight for what’s rightfully, legally, historically and morally mine. So bring it on. My two questions to Mr. Rama are this “How do you propose to be received into the European Union #europeanunion, #privateproperty, #Albania, #edirama, #lulzimbasha, #jozefinatopalli, #saliberisha, #eduartndocaj, #albandaci, #bujarnishani, #donaldlu, #voltanaademi,#usembassytirana, #usstatedepartment, #whitehouse, when your government, your party in particular, is prohibiting its residents from utilizing THEIR OWN property AS THEY SEE FIT, not as you see fit?” and “Who exactly is in charge? The police? The elected officials?”
Article 11 of The Albanian Constitution guarantees that:
“2. Private and public property are equally protected by law”.
ARTICLE 1 of the ECHR (European Council of Human Rights):
Protection of property
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law”.
Nobody had any answers on Thursday, all they knew how to do was look at each other when challenged with the question, “This is my property. You have no right to tell me I can’t unload materials here, who gave you that right? Where did the order come from?”
Mr. Rama, I don’t know you therefore my opinion of you is neutral and I don’t make any judgments without knowing an individual, but I do hope that you will look into this and put a stop to it now!
As Prime Minister and head of the Socialist Party, it is your responsibility to ensure that your representatives are not disrupting the law but rather work within it. In this case the interest of the residents of Shkoder, in Llagja Vasil Shanto, behind the Kulla Markagjoni has not been infringed upon but rather the interest of the property owners has! I’m asking as a member of a family who is part of this nation’s history. A family who sacrificed through the ages for a Free Albania. A family who never asked anything of her country but only loved it, fought for it and died for it! Put a stop to this now!
Mr. Luan Heta (far right), head of the Socialist Party in Shkoder, giving interviews to the media as to how ‘this constituents were being disenfranchised’ HA! Let us all go to his house and take over his yard!!!
By the way, the same media interviewed me for 5 minutes where I showed them all my documentation and told them my story but they decided not to run that portion of it! Free Press!!!!! It’s all being driven by the ruling political party, PS.