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The Buzz in Albania: Interview with Eris Hoxha of Hoxha Memi & Hoxha

The Buzz in Albania: Interview with Eris Hoxha of Hoxha Memi & Hoxha

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“The political situation in Albania is charged at the moment,” says Eris Hoxha, Partner at Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha in Tirana, who explains that “because of the upcoming elections in April 2021, the political campaign is well underway.” 

“However,” Hoxha notes, “any vestiges of real opposition have been gone from the parliament for over two years. Many opposition MPs decided to leave, and the ones who stayed can be described as ‘opportunistic.’ They don’t really concern themselves with the best interest of the people, but rather their own.” 

In the absence of tangible checks-and-balances system in the parliament, Hoxha says, a controversial law on fiscal amnesty came close to passing. The law was supposed to offer amnesty for all businesses which had previously been operating in the so-called grey economy, and include them in the tax system. “The law did not pass, mainly because of heavy criticism by the EU and the IMF,” Hoxha says. “Their main concern was that the law would facilitate money-laundering, because it had the potential of allowing a lot of money made through criminal, and other suspicious activities, to enter the legal economy.” Hoxha isn’t sure the bill is gone forever, however. “I do not think we have seen the end of this. I have a feeling that the law will be brought back to the table as we get closer to the elections.” 

Another issue which burdens the legal system in Albania is the current deficiency in judges and prosecutors. “As a result of the Justice System reform which began in 2016, we have had a comprehensive overhaul of our judiciary system,” Hoxha says. “Although the core principles behind the reform were positive, we can see that it the system is facing many problems.” According to him, “currently, we do not have a functioning Constitutional Court due to the lack of judges. Our High Court also barely meets the quorum.” He sighs. “It seems that soon we will not have enough judges to render decisions in Albania. And in turn, it is difficult to obtain an effective legal remedy.” 

That’s not all, he says. “We are also in need of prosecutors, especially in the anti-corruption area. One of the innovations the reform brought to our country was a very thorough vetting process for selection of prosecutors, but most of them are reluctant to go through the process out of fear of political pressure.” There are, he said, political ramifications of this problem as well. “This state of affairs seems to suit the majority party very well, because they are less restrained by the judicial branch. So, there is very little incentive to change things around here.”

Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha at a Glance

Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha is top tier an independent Albanian business law firm. Founded in 2003 by a group of accomplished, internationally-trained lawyers, over the course of the years the firm has acquired an outstanding reputation for professionalism and diligence.

As a full service commercial law firm, HM&H provides legal services in all core areas of business law and assist clients with solid legal support for the development of their venture. With substantive sector know-how, the firm combines high level sophisticated counselling with straightforward, clear and business-driven advice. The firm has adopted a collaborative and entrepreneurial attitude to provide creative and practical client-specific solutions.

HM&H has a dynamic team of attorneys that are adept at dealing with legal matters in various areas of law. The firm always acts in the best interest of its client, while never compromising its core principles and independence. The firm is committed to rendering legal services based on the highest ethical and professional standards, which can only be achieved through a total commitment to the clients' goals and the firms' core values of client focus, teamwork, trust and integrity.

Over the past decades, HM&H has assisted an increasing number of prominent international companies and the firm now assists and provides advisory services to several of the largest local and international corporations operating in Albania.

HM&H has a long tradition of advising clients on cross-border transactions across the Balkans and key European markets. As such, the firm has developed a broad network of corresponding law firms, allowing us to offer clients impeccable service in multiple jurisdictions.

HM&H is a member of the South East Legal Alliance – SELA, a regional network of leading independent law firms operating across South East Europe. SELA takes a cohesive approach to cross-border legal advisory, offering integrated teams and seamless service to clients across the region.

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