Kosovo: Grand Hotel to be re-tendered?!

Prishtinë, Mar 20, 2006 – Three Kosovar dailies report that it is likely that the Makos Company, winner of the tender for privatization of Grand and Iliria hotels might be excluded from the privatization process. Metropol Hotel, which holds 51% of the shares of Makos, is part of the Fersped Company, suspected of corruption.

Fersped Company from Skopje, Macedonia, was privatized in 1995. It owns Aleksandar Palace Hotel in Skopje, Metropol and Bellevue in Ohrid.

The Macedonian State Commission on Anti-Corruption is reviewing the controversy privatization, with suspecting that senior Macedonian government officials have misused their positions to give the company to Sterjo Nakov, actual director of Fersped. On March 08 this year the Anti-Corruption Commission recommended to the Macedonian Government to cancel the privatization of Fersped due to suspicion of privatization procedure violations.

But it seems that Fersped is untouchable, since Branko Crvenkovski, the current President of Macedonia and Nakov had agreed to allow the company to work without limitations under the conditions that Fersped support the party of the Prime Minister – The Social-Democratic Alliance of Macedonia.

Gazmend Abrashi, member of Makos, told Kosovar daily “Express” that the Makos Consortium is collecting the money to pay for Grand Hotel within the deadline.

UNMIK Pillar IV Chief, Joachim Ruecker, said that verification should be undertaken on the company, as for all others. “Then the KTA Board will decide,” said Ruecker. Meanwhile, KTA officials said they have no information that the provisional winner withdrew. Ekrem Tahiri, KTA Spokesman, said that only after payment of the money, UNMIK Pillar I begins with the background check.

“It depends on the background check, conducted by Pillar I, if the contract should be signed or not,” said Tahiri.