Now we have an explanation. OLAF, the Commission's anti-fraud unit has been involved in a lengthy inquiry concerning "suspicions of corruption, the manipulation of tender procedures and fraud in the context of the leasing and procurement of EC delegation buildings and their security installations in countries outside the EU."
The website of the EC delegation in Albania carries the press release from which this quote is taken, but what it doesn't say is that the circumstances surrounding the delegation's change of headquarters is at the heart of this inquiry.
Last Wednesday, in co-ordinated raids across Europe, three Italians were arrested. One of those arrested is Giancarlo Ciotto, an official at the Commission. According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, "Ciotti is suspected of pocketing bribes from real estate and security companies in return for the assignment of contracts to rent, equip and secure EC buildings," including the building on Rr. Durresit.
ANSA reports that the building in Tirana "is owned by a private company, one of whose partners is an Italian businessman based in Potenza" and notes other press stories claiming that the EU has been paying somewhere between 40,000 - 50,000 EUR per month.
If it weren't my taxes being wasted by this profligate and corrupt institution it would almost be funny, given recent activity by the Commission on the transparency of public funds, and the improving of external auditing.
Unfortunately we have all become so used to stories of the EU's corruption that we are no longer shocked or angered by it. Welcome to the club.