Discussion: Privatisation of a Pipe Factory in Ferizaj

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Justice in Kosovo broadcast a programme about the privatisation of a pipe factory in Ferizaj.

Questions covered included: Who privatised this factory, and has there been a background check about the money of buyer Arian Hasani?

How did Arian Hasani buy this factory, and who is backing him financially? Why did Arian Hasani sell the factory to Mabetex – a firm owned by Selim Pacolli, the brother of Deputy Prime Minister Behgjet Pacolli – for only 3 million euro, despite the fact that it is worth 17 million?

Did the Kosovo Trust Agency have the right to privatise the factory? Why haven’t the Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA) and the government paid the 30 million euro debt yet, even though the Constitutional Court of Kosovo has obliged them to do so?

To discuss these and related issues, journalist Kastriot Jahaj interviewed a range of people, including:

  • Sefedin Abazi, a former employee at the factory who is now a beggar;
  • Yzeir Qorrolli, the Chairman of the Union of Factory Workers;
  • Drita Osmani, a former employee;
  • Adem Metushi, a former director of the pipe factory;
  • Haki Shatri, a former member of the KTA board;
Fahmi Baftiu, an attorney;
  • Rasim Maloku, a judge in the municipal court of Ferizaj;
  • Ylli Kaloshi, spokesperson for the KTA.

The interviews began with the story of Mr. Abazi, who spoke about his experience in the pipe factory. “Until the 90s, I worked in this factory as a labourer. The work I did was very well paid.”

He went on to say that he left Kosovo in the 1990s because of the situation in the country. “I went to Germany as a refugee but, after some time, I came back because I heard that life in Kosovo had greatly improved. Like others, I understood that the factory was open, people worked there and they were well paid…But if I had known the reality, I would never have come back,” he told Kastriot Jahaj.

Mrs. Osmani said “the factory where I worked was privatised for a ridiculous price. This kind of factory, with 30 square metres of land and very expensive machinery is not supposed to be privatised at such a low price”.

Mr. Baftiu said that “apart from the production lines, this factory has many departments and also 30 hectares in the urban area of the city. This area is incredibly valuable, with the price for one acre being up to 13,000 euro”.

He went on to say that Mustafe Bucaliu purchased the factory for his nephew Arian Hasani. “Mr. Hasani has worked as a sales manager at ‘Gama Electronics’ – the company of his uncle, Mustafe Bucaliu, and than he became a bidder for the factory,” he concluded.

On the other hand, Mr. Kaloshi said that the KTA had verified the buyer’s history: “At that time, the verification was done by UNMIK bodies. We don’t know the origin of the funds, but the agency has completed the verification of the buyer’s background.”

Mr. Qorrolli said that there were many people interested in buying the pipe factory but, when the time for the competition arrived, all of them withdrew.

“I don’t know the origin of Arian Hasani’s funds…Disclosure of the property’s origin was a prerequisite, but as far as I know, such a thing was never done,” Mr. Metushi claimed.

Mr. Shatri said that “there were cases when Bujar Dugolli asked that Ahmet Shala not be involved in meetings because the information being used was gathered from people with close links to the PDK.”

Mr. Maloku said that the municipal court is powerless to enforce the payment of workers’ compensation. Among others, he said that the responsibility for the execution of this verdict lies within the KPA (Kosovo Privatization Agency).

Video: http://www.jetanekosove.com/drejtesia/934/Alb