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Albanian Times, 96-05-16

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

From: AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International <>

Albanian Times
May 16, 1996


  • [01] Germany's Preussag to Buy 80 % of Albanian Chrome
  • [02] NEBEX Brings Potential Investors to Albania
  • [03] Officials Dismiss Fears of Mad Cow Disease
  • [04] Hundreds of Foreign Observers to Monitor Albanian Poll
  • [05] Kosova Unrest Causes Alarm in Macedonia
  • [06] EC Official to Visit Albania Ahead of elections
  • [07] Berisha Praises Judicial Reform
  • [08] Mother Teresa Made Honorary Citizen of Rome
  • [09] New Border Crossing With Greece to Start Construction

  • [01] Germany's Preussag to Buy 80 % of Albanian Chrome

    TIRANA, May 15 - The Albanian government has agreed to a $50 million offer from Germany's Preussag AG <PRSG.F> to buy 80 percent of its ailing but potentially lucrative chrome industry, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The deal with Preussag comes after the passage of a mining privatisation law that allows foreigners to own as much as 80 percent of mining companies. The rest can be owned by Albanians. Albania's cabinet took the decision in one of its last meetings before general elections scheduled on May 26 and a final contract should be signed in a few weeks. "Preussag will invest 50 million dollars over a period of five years for modernising the chrome mines, existing (processing) plants and to expand production capacities," mining ministry spokesman Astrit Karadaku said. Albania's cash-strapped chrome industry, made up of 10 mines, three enrichment plants and two ferrochromium smelting plants, had been seeking a partner for more than three years. It had rejected offers from a German and an Anglo-American group. Karadaku said Preussag, which was investing its own money, would also use additional funds to upgrade roads, rail and hospitals in the northeastern area of Albania where most of the mines are sited. The heart of the chromium industry is the town of Bulqiza, 200 km northeast of Tirana, where most of the country's estimated 37 million tons of chrome in geological reserves are located. Preussag will bring the latest technology to existing mines and to enriching and processing plants because it wants to export ferrochrome. It plans to keep all of the industry's workforce of about 8,000. Chrome ore production rose in 1995 to 246,000 tons from 223,000 in 1994 and ferrochromium rose to 44,000 tons from 33,000 in 1994. But production is still far below the level of the 1980s, when Albania was the world's third largest chrome exporter. Chrome production fell as Albania switched from communist central planning to a market economy. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [02] NEBEX Brings Potential Investors to Albania

    TIRANA, May 15 - Canadian mining company NEBEX is introducing Albanian officials to other potential investors looking for business opportunities in the Balkan country. At a presentation event attended by representatives of mining and energy companies brought to Tirana by NEBEX, Albania's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Abdyl Xhaja took pride of NEBEX's promotion of his country. "(This shows that) we have become credible for the economic, political and institutional environment," Xhaja said. NEBEX's President, Brian Douglas said he was very pleased with the progress his company has made in Albania so far. According to company officials, NEBEX has been leading other Western mining firms in Albania, encouraged by the approval of a favourable Albanian mining law in 1994. Nebex's Albanian portfolio covers 11 copper deposits and mineral concessions at Mirdita, Kukes, Kacinar and Radomira. The projects are in partnership with Geoalba, the country's research body, and Nebex can earn an 80 percent inter est. Company officials said at Wednesday event they have spent about $1 million in Albanian mining exploration attaining half of the contract targets. (Albanian Times)

    [03] Officials Dismiss Fears of Mad Cow Disease

    TIRANA, May 15 - Albanian officials have dismissed as ungrounded fears that dozens of cows in the eastern district of Korca may have been affected by the so-called "mad cow" desease. Authorities in the village Drithas have isolated about 40 sick cows showing symptoms which they said have nothing in common with the "mad cow" disease. Several of the sick cows have been eliminated, officials said. The disease reportedly started in early May. Beef market in Albania has not been affected by the news. In March, Albania upstaged European Union moves to ban British beef by closing its borders to beef imports from the entire continent. A senior official said at that time Albania felt quite safe from the disease because it had banned beef imports from Britain and Northern Ireland three years ago. But it was imposing the ban on E.U. and other European meat imports to avoid British beef reaching Albania. (Albanian Times)

    [04] Hundreds of Foreign Observers to Monitor Albanian Poll

    TIRANA, May 15 - Hundreds of international observers will monitor Albania's general elections on May 26. Quoting sources from Albania's central electoral commission, the daily Gazeta Shqiptare said about 400 election observers were expected to help ensure the vote is free and fair. The Koha Jone newspaper said three coordinators of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had already arrived in the capital Tirana to prepare for another 30 observers from various member states. The main opposition Socialist Party said European left-wing parties would send over 100 observers. The European Union is expected to send 35 officials. The conservative Democratic Party, which has launched far-reaching economic reforms, is seen as a strong contender. The party currently holds 92 seats in the 140-seat parliament against the Socialists' 38. While supporting the Democrats' overall economic policies, the Socialists accuse Berisha's administration of inefficiency and corruption. They also say toug h economic reforms have placed too heavy a burden on the masses. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [05] Kosova Unrest Causes Alarm in Macedonia

    TETOVO, May 16 - Bloodshed in Kosova has alarmed ethnic Albanians in neighbouring Macedonia and fanned fears of a wider regional conflict. Ethnic Albanian leaders in this tiny ex-Yugoslav state have pledged support for their brethren in Kosova since a spate of killings there last month. They warned their own government that, without fairer treatment, Macedonia might also explode. ``If there is fighting in Kosova we cannot just sit and watch it unfold on television. This is the struggle of all Albanians,'' said Mendukh Thachi of the Party of Democratic Prosperity for Albanians (PDPA). He said some people would feel bound to fight alongside their compatriots in Kosova, though Western diplomats in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, said practical help would probably focus on food and medical supplies in such an emergency. Thachi said shadowy Albanian groups who supported violent resistance to Serbian rule existed in both Kosova and Macedonia but his party had no contact with them and they did not appear to form an organised force. But he and other ethnic Albanian politicians sa id they were worried that more young men would join such groups if Macedonia and Serbia continued to resist demands from their Albanian minorities for greater autonomy and equality of status. ``Both here and in Kosova, Albanian leaders are holding the line against violence and calling for peaceful dialogue, but our stance brings no results and people start to look for other answers,'' said Arben Xhaferi, PDPA president. Albanians in both Macedonia and Kosova also felt betrayed by the West because the Dayton accord failed to address the issue of Albanian rights in former Yugoslavia. (Albanian Times/Reuters. For full text, see: Articles on Albanian Affairs)

    [06] EC Official to Visit Albania Ahead of elections

    TIRANA, May 16 - A senior official of the European Council will visit Albania in a show of support for the Democratic Party of President Sali Berisha. Klaus Buehler, who heads the German delegations at the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council is due to arrive in Albania Thursday as guest of the Democratic Party, Radio Tirana said. Mr. Buehler will meet with voters in the districts Lezha, Shkodra, Malesia e Madhe, Permet and Tirana. He will be present in campaign rallies to be addressed by the chairman of the Democratic Party, Tritan Shehu and in other meetings of Democratic candidates with their voters. Earlier this month, Albania's Helsinki Committee protested statements by visiting foreign personalities as election support for the ruling Democratic Party. The human rights group said their speeches on the Democrats' campaign trail contravened Albania's electoral law which prohibits ``persons not holding Albanian citizenship from conducting an election campaign.'' The claims have been rejected by Democratic Party officials. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    [07] Berisha Praises Judicial Reform

    TIRANA, May 15 - President Berisha praised the progress achieved by the Albanian judiciary under the democratic regime but raised the need for better infrastructural support for the courts. Addressing a meeting in Tirana at the 83rd anniversary of the Albanian courts, Berisha said the gap between the laws and the actual rights for the citizens has never been narrower. The President also noted that in the past few years, his country has replaced hundreds of antiquated laws and that notable progress has been made in reshaping the judiciary. Albanian government officials have been accused by the opposition of interfering with the judiciary but criticism has subsided recently. Officials defend their record by insisting that the nation's judicial system has never been more independent than it is now. (Albanian Times)

    [08] Mother Teresa Made Honorary Citizen of Rome

    ROME, May 13 - Mother Teresa of Calcutta was made an honorary citizen of Rome, Rome city council officials said. The honour, recently announced by Rome Mayor Francecso Rutelli, was conferred on the 85-year-old Albanian nun after a unanimous vote on the city council. Mother Teresa, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and to many a living saint, was born Agnese Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, to Albanian parents in Skopje in 1910. The town was given to Yugoslavia after the end of World War I. After an early decision to become a nun Mother Teresa decided to dedicate her life to the poor who swarm the streets of Calcutta. In 1950 she was granted permission by Pope Pious XII to found the order of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity which today has more than 420 branches in 95 nations. Her worldwide operation is still based in Calcutta, but a second headquarters is the residence of her Missionary Sisters of Charity on Via Casilina in a poor neighborhood of Rome. (Albanian Times/ANSA)

    [09] New Border Crossing With Greece to Start Construction

    SARANDA, May 14 - A new border crossing between Albania and Greece will open soon, Radio Tirana said. The new crossing will link Saranda in Albania and Igumenitsa in Greece and will be partly funded by the EU programs for cross- border cooperation. The radio was quoting an Albanian foreign ministry official on campaign trail in Saranda as Democratic Party candidate. Mr Leonard Demi, head of department at the foreign ministry said the construction of customs offices and roads is set to begin this month. (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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