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Albanian Times, 96-05-14

The Albanian Times (by AlbAmerica TRade & Consulting International) Directory

From: AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International <>

Albanian Times
May 14, 1996


  • [01] Berisha Campaigns in Saranda

  • [02] EU Ministers Welcome Agreement Plans For Albania

  • [03] Albanian News Agency Starts Teletext Service

  • [04] Pope urges help for immigrants in S.Italy

  • [05] Meksi Rebuffs Socialists

  • [06] German Aid to Albania Totals DM 87 Million This Year

  • [07] Austria Concerned Over Kosova

  • [08] US Warns Serbia Over Kosova

  • [09] Roman Catholic Leaders Urge Albanians to Vote

  • [10] Fountain Oil Expands East European Ventures

  • [01] Berisha Campaigns in Saranda

    SARANDA, May 13 - Berisha called on south Albania's voters to support his Democratic party in May 26 national elections, Radio Tirana said. Addressing Saranda and other areas where Albania's ethnic Greeks are concentrated, President Berisha promised respect for the Greek minority's rights, and called for harmony between Albanians and Greeks. He said that a "full harmony between the Greek minority members and the Albanians" constituted the basic element of good bilateral relations. "The New Democracy government has helped us a great deal, but certain officials in that (ND) government were against us," he added. Meanwhile, Albania's opposition socialists have enlisted the support of the Greek Socialist Party, PASOK. Greek Socialist Eurodeputy Yiannis Roubatis said in Gjirokastra Saturday that PASOK supported the Socialist Party in Albania's upcoming May 26 elections, except in the regions of southern Albania, where it supported the ethnic Greek minority party "Human Rights Union." Mr. Roubatis added that the statement expressed official PASOK policy and himself personally. (Albanian Times/Radio Tirana/ANA)

    [02] EU Ministers Welcome Agreement Plans For Albania

    BRUSSELS, May 13 - European Union foreign ministers on Monday welcomed the European Commission's plans for an agreement with Albania that stops short of offering EU membership. ``The Council noted with satisfaction that the Commission will submit to it a draft mandate for negotiations with Albania with a view to concluding a new agreement which will be an important step towards an association agreement,'' the ministers said in a statement. The Union plans to treat Albania differently from the other former communist countries of the Balkans, but at the same time recognise that Tirana is not, like Slovenia, on a fast track to membership. The Commission is seeking a mandate to negotiate something less than a Europe agreement with its promise of membership. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [03] Albanian News Agency Starts Teletext Service

    TIRANA, May 13 - Albania's state run Telegraphic Agency has inaugurated a new service to provide free news and other information in the form of running text specially encoded for TV reception. Albanian specialists believe some 100,000 TV sets in the country already have built-in decoders allowing for mass viewing of teletext pages. The new service is a cooperation with the Albanian Television and an Italian company. Albanians can already receive free teletext from Italian TV stations accross the Adriatic. Albanian Telegraphic Agency also has plans to break into the Internet, Radio Tirana said. (Albanian Times)

    [04] Pope urges help for immigrants in S.Italy

    VATICAN CITY, May 11 - Pope John Paul made an appeal for help to support immigrants in Italy's poor south. The Pope was speaking to pilgrims from Lecce, a south-eastern province with a large number of Albanian immigrants. Lecce police said earlier they had arrested two Albanians on charges of shipping illegal immigrants to Italy for profit and had detained three other Albanians and an Algerian who had already been ordered to leave the country.

    More than 100 alleged illegal immigrants were found along the coastline in police operations during the night they said. The Italian government adopted a controversial decree last year to expel illegal immigrants in a bid to deal with a growing problem. Some estimates put the number of illegal immigrants in Italy at 500,000 and rising. The Polish Pontiff also called for help for the many young unemployed in the south. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [05] Meksi Rebuffs Socialists

    TIRANA, May 12 - Albania's Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi rejected accusations by the opposition Socialists who have blamed police for hindering their campaign by creating a climate of terror ahead of May 26 general election. The Socialist Party, had said the police had illegally detained and mistreated more than 30 of their supporters this month, destroyed their banners and removed their party flags. "Police behaved correctly," Meksi said. "The incidents have been staged by the Socialists themselves," he added.

    On Friday, a senior Socialist Party member said ``(The Democratic Party)...has provoked us, created a climate of terror and manipulation...hindering the holding of free, democratic elections.'' ``Free and democratic elections have been gravely compromised by the Democratic Party and Berisha,'' Gramoz Ruci, an Interior Minister under the former communist regime, said in a statement read out at a news conference. The opposition says it has also been hamstrung by a state committee set up by the Democratic government to vet candidates for the May 26 elections. So far, 143 candidates have been rejected, including 40 from the Socialist Party and three from the Democrats. (Albanian Times/DPA, Reuters)

    [06] German Aid to Albania Totals DM 87 Million This Year

    BONN, May 11 - German government has allocated a total of DM 87 million in development aid for this year, according to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation. The aid includes a DM 48 million soft credit for the reconstruction of Tirana airport, the Ministry said. (Albanian Times)

    [07] Austria Concerned Over Kosova

    TIRANA, May 10 - Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel expressed concern over tension in Kosova and backed Albania's call for dialogue between Belgrade and the mostly ethnic-Albanian region. "It is important a dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade starts and international observers, at best from the U.S. and the European Union, participate,'' Schuessel told a news conference in Tirana. ``It is important that the autonomy they had in former Yugoslavia be given back to the (ethnic) Albanians,'' he added. Schuessel said he opposed any suggestion of border changes and was satisfied at Albania's call for the Kosovo problem to be resolved through negotiation. ``I am pleased to have the guarantee from Albania that it supports this peaceful way,'' he said. Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi said the Kosova problem would be solved through respect for the right of self-determination of the ethnic Albanians. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [08] US Warns Serbia Over Kosova

    WASHINGTON, May 9 - The United States warned Serbia on Thursday that an ``outer wall'' of sanctions would remain in place until the situation markedly improved in its mainly Albanian Kosova province, where violence has risen recently. U.S. officials also said Secretary of State Warren Christopher had given orders to go ahead as quickly as possible with a plan to station a U.S. diplomat in the Kosova capital of Pristina. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Christopher expressed concern over the rising violence in Kosova during a 45-minute meeting on Wednesday with Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi. ``The secretary said that the government in Belgrade would have to show substantial progress on Kosova before the so-called outer wall of sanctions would be removed, at least by the United States,'' Burns told a news briefing. Burns said Christopher wanted to proceed rapidly with a plan agreed in February with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to place an officer of the United States Information Agency in Pristina. ``We have identified an officer and now need to move that officer and his personal effects to Pristina to take up residence there,'' Burns said.

    ``The secretary on Monday said in a meeting we had here he wanted that person to be on the ground as soon as possible ... because of the concern we have for the situation there,'' he said. (Courtesy of Reuters)

    [09] Roman Catholic Leaders Urge Albanians to Vote

    TIRANA, May 8 - Albania's Roman Catholic clergy took the unusual step of calling on all Albanians to vote in the May 26 general election, saying it was their sacred duty to do so. The ex-communist state's two archbishops, two bishops and Pope John Paul's nuncio in Albania, Ivan Diaz, signed the statement urging people to take part in the election despite what they called the difficult economic situation in the country. "The voting day is a sacred day so we should respond to the sacred call to decide our fate," said the statement. "We should not be discouraged by the ever hard economic situation that we have inherited from the bitter past," the Roman Catholic leaders' statement said. "We...pray to God that through the voting...real democracy can win once and for all for the honour and the glory of God and the benefit of the whole nation," it said. The statement seems to be a veiled support for Berisha's Democratic Party, although it did not openly back any one party. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [10] Fountain Oil Expands East European Ventures

    HOUSTON, May 13 - Fountain Oil Inc. announced today that the Kashtan Petroleum Ltd. joint venture, in which Fountain is a major participant, had received the formal license to proceed with the development of the Lelyaki Oil Field in the Pryluki region of Central Ukraine. The venture enhances Fountain Oil Inc.'s growing portfolio of international projects which includes Albania, western Ukraine, Russia, and now central Ukraine," company officials said. Fountain Oil Inc. is actively acquiring and developing a portfolio of oil and gas properties. The company also owns a patented technology for electrically enhanced oil recovery used to increase the production of paraffinic oil and heavy oil. (Albanian Times)

    This material was reprinted with permission of AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International. For more information on ATCI and the Albanian Times, please write to

    Copyright © ATCI, 1996

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