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Albanian Times, 96-10-17

The Albanian Times (by AlbAmerica TRade & Consulting International) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International <http://www.worldweb.net/~ww1054/>

Albanian Times
October 17, 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] Police Cracks Down On Suspected Terrorist Group
  • [02] Paper Warns on Pyramid Schemes in Albania
  • [03] ODIHR Observers Opt to Stay Out of Sunday's Vote
  • [04] Shehu Says "Trust Crisis" With ODIHR, Opposition Reacts
  • [05] Albanian Court Upholds Jail For Briton
  • [06] Police Arrests Ring Members
  • [07] Italian Company to Build Trade Center in Tirana

  • [01] Police Cracks Down On Suspected Terrorist Group

    TIRANA, October 17 - Albania's interior minister said Wednesday police had issued arrest warrants for 14 persons suspected as belonging to a terrorist group and has arrested the son-in-law of former ruler Enver Hoxha. Halit Shamata told reporters in Tirana group members are responsible for the killing last July of Bujar Kaloshi, Director General of Prisons. Shamata said police had found an arsenal of sophisticated weapons belonging to the organisation and had identified other members of the group and its ringleaders. Shamata suggested the group might be responsible for the February 26 bombing of a supermarket in Tirana but gave no details. He said police has arrested Klement Kolaneci, son-in-law of former communist dictator Enver Hoxha, after a search of his home had discovered large cash in a safe. (Albanian Times)

    [02] Paper Warns on Pyramid Schemes in Albania

    NEW YORK, October 17 - An American-Albanian newspaper has called on the Albanian government to act swiftly and decisively to end pyramid-type investment schemes which it says have infested Albania. In an editorial on Wednesday, the newspaper "Illyria" funded by the Albanian-American business community in New York, estimates that as many as one in two Albanians may have recently invested in such a scheme. "Those stricken by the fever are selling their homes, land and other valuable assets as nearly unbelievable returns of eight percent per month and greater are advertised," the editorial says. The newspaper warns of dissapointment by those who in the future turn to the government for the inevitable bail out. "Someone is going to get badly hurt," the editorial says. A recent statement by Albanian finance minister Ridvan Bode suggested that the International Monetary Fund has been pressuring Tirana to end pyramid schemes. The statement stopped just short of panicking pyramid investors but the situation appears to have cooled off again with new streams of cash flowing into the Ponzi schemes. (Albanian Times)

    [03] ODIHR Observers Opt to Stay Out of Sunday's Vote

    TIRANA, Oct 16 - Observers from ODIHR, a branch of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will not monitor Albanian local polls on Sunday after the government approved only part of its team list, the OSCE said. Tirana government had asked for less monitors from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which criticised Albania's May 26 elections as flawed. The OSCE said in a statement on Wednesday it was withdrawing its representatives from Tirana because the size of the ODIHR observer mission for the local elections was not negotiable. ``The ODIHR will therefore not be observing Albania's municipal elections and its representatives are being withdrawn from Tirana,'' the forum said in its statement. ``The ODIHR would like to state that the number of observers for any election observation mission is not a matter for negotiation with the host government,'' the statement said. However, the OSCE's parliamentary assembly and the Council of Europe still plan to monitor the vote. (Albanian Times)

    [04] Shehu Says "Trust Crisis" With ODIHR, Opposition Reacts

    TIRANA, October 16 - Albania's foreign Minister Tritan Shehu has defended the government's demand that a monitoring delegation from ODIHR, a branch of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should reduce its size, a move that prompted ODIHR to withdraw its delegation. Shehu has cited ODIHR's highly critical report following the disputed parliamentary elections in May and June as a reason for the demand. He blamed a "crisis of trust" with ODIHR for the recent dispute. Shehu was speaking at a press conference in Tirana on Wednesday night. The opposition Socialists have reacted negatively to ODIHR's withdrawal. Socialist Party spokesman, Katriot Islami told reporters in Tirana that ODIHR's failure to send monitoring delegation may damage the image of democracy in Albania. The Socialists have boycotted the new parliament but are participating in Sunday's local vote. (Albanian Times)

    [05] Albanian Court Upholds Jail For Briton

    TIRANA, October 16 - An Albanian appeals court on Wednesday upheld a two-year jail sentence on a 34-year-old Briton convicted of sexually abusing two young boys. ``We find Paul Thompson guilty of the charges of immoral acts with persons under the age of 14...and uphold the sentence from the first instance court of two years in jail,'' Judge Fatos Qato said, reading the appeal court decision. Thompson, who had been held under house arrest, would now be transferred to a jail cell. He can appeal further to the Supreme Court, Albania's final appeals court. Thompson, a divorced father of two, was arrested on August 25 after befriending two boys, aged 11 and 12, and luring them to his hotel room. The age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual relations in Albania is 14. (Albanian Times/Reuter)

    [06] Police Arrests Ring Members

    TIRANA, October 15 - Albanian police arrested members of a crime ring suspected of killing a senior justice official in Tirana last July, Albanian television reported. ``Police uncovered a terrorist organisation, members of which were also the killers of (director general of prisons) Bujar Kaloshi,'' the interior ministry said in a statement. Police found an arsenal of arms belonging to the organisation and identified other members of the group and its ringleaders, the statement added. Kaloshi, 40, died when six bullets were fired at him through the front window of his vehicle. (Albanian Times/Reuters)

    TIRANA, October 15 - The Council of Europe said it will send two delegations to Albania to oversee Sunday's local elections, widely regarded as a test of the nation's commitment to democracy. Local polls on Sunday come five months after a disputed general election which heightened tensions between President Sali Berisha's Democratic Party and the opposition Socialists, reformed heirs to the communists. ``The Parliamentary Assembly has agreed to coordinate the observation of these elections,'' the Council of Europe said in a statement. It said a 19-strong team from the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe and a 17-strong team from the congress of local and regional authorities of Europe would travel to Albania to monitor the vote. ``The forthcoming elections and the preceding campaign will serve as a test and provide an opportunity to reopen dialogue between Albania's political parties,'' the statement quoted team leader Victor Ruffy as saying. Italy and the United States have also said they intend to send observers. (Albanian Times)

    [07] Italian Company to Build Trade Center in Tirana

    TIRANA, October 3 - An Italian company plans to start building a $17 million world trade centre in central Tirana by the end of this year, with completion targetted for early 1998, the company's property advisors said. Advisors DTZ Mihalos of Greece said the five-storey building would be constructed within walking distance of government buildings near Tirana's main boulevard. DTZ spokesman Kenny Evangelou said the Italian firm, Pescara- based property developer Di Vincenzo Estero (DVE), hoped to attract funds from other investors, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). DVE, part of Italy's Igefi Group, was involved in restructuring the Tirana International Hotel. The trade centre developers believe Tirana in time could become an important business location in the Balkan peninsula. Albania is considered to have made significant strides in switching to a free market economy after throwing off more than four decades of rigid communist rule in 1990. (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 AlbaTimes@aol.com

    Copyright © ATCI, 1996


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