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Where do Albanian authorities stand on building an airport in Narta Lagoon?

Unreported Europe
Unreported Europe Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Hans von der Brelie
Published on Updated
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“The airport is an existing one and it is just an idea to build a new one, but it would be a really good and very important mechanism to develop tourism in the south" - Blendi Klosi, the Albanian Minister of Environment and tourism discusses plans to build an airport in a protected zone.

The Narta Lagoon in Albania is a haven for migratory birds making trips back and forth between Europe and Africa. It is a protected area due to it being a breeding ground and also due to its wealth of bio-diversity.

But the lives of these migratory birds in the Narta Lagoon are now in danger due to plans to create an international airport within this protected zone. Many locals and Albanian politicians are for the airport because they expect it will increase tourism to the area, creating more employment. But bird and wildlife experts say it will cause irreversible damage.

Albania has aspirations to become an EU member state, which means it must abide by EU law. Building an airport in the Narta Lagoon zone would go against EU directives on birds and habitats.

Some argue that the site of the future airport was actually an operational military airport until the early 90s and so they don't see what difference an international airport there would make.

Blendi Klosi, the Minister of Environment and Tourism in Albania, gives us his insight on the government's plans to build this controversial airport.

To watch the full interview with Blendi Klosi, click on the media player above.

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