After Balkan Insight lifted the lid on top Albanian officials who had not paid their car registration taxes, the Minister of Transport, Sokol Olldashi, has apologized.“Minister Olldashi publicly apologizes for not paying the taxes for his vehicle, which his wife uses,” his office said in a statement.
“This fact is a result of human negligence… and will never happen again,” it added.
The ministry said that Olldashi had gone to the office of the road tax authority in Tirana on Saturday to settle his bill.
Data obtained by Albania’s road tax collection agency also named President Bujar Nishani and the speaker of parliament, Jozefina Topalli, as owing taxes for their private vehicles.
However, on Saturday the President’s office denied that he had an outstanding tax bill, saying the agency had made a mistake.
“President Nishani was mistakenly listed, as the taxes for 2010 were correctly paid, and we have the documents to prove it,” the statement read.
Meanwhile parliamentary speaker Topalli’s spokesperson said that the taxes on her vehicle had been settled, albeit slightly late.
“The taxes were paid, not on the due date but a month later,” her spokesperson, Suela Ruseti, told Balkan Insight.
Apart from Olldashi, finance minister Ridvan Bode, health minister Vangjel Tavo and culture minister Aldo Bumci were also on the list of those owing car taxes.
The list includes some 45 of the 140 MPs in parliament, including lawmakers from both the governing centre-right coalition and the Socialist opposition.
On Saturday, the General Directorate of Services for Road Transportation, removed the list of debtors from its website.
The agency told the media that it would update the list and put it back in online once it had corrected mistakes.