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ATA News from Albania, 96-07-19

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency




    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - By A. Sakja: The first policewomen graduated on Thursday the Public Order Academy in Tirana, by being the first officers of the academy after the introduction of democracy.

    President of the Republic and General commander of the armed forces in Albania Sali Berisha, attending the ceremony, considered the academy degree "an important event for the public order forces."

    Praising the "deep reformation and great commitment of the public order forces in the four-year democratic governing in Albania", President Berisha said that "the academy filled a vacuum or a very serious lack of the public order forces in the police department."

    President Berisha laid the stress on the necessity of continuous training courses run by the Academy in order to meet the present demands of the fight against the crime, the safety of life, ownership and normal activity of citizens.

    Some 639 students, 20.5 per cent of whom young women, have been enrolled in this Academy during 1993-1996 period. In the last academic year the number of young women students was thrice more than in 1993. jz/ak/z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) By A Frasheri - Pandeli Majko, member of the Socialist Party General Leading Committee, was interrogated in the Prosecutor's Office about the illegal gathering of May 28, when the left opposition parties the SP, SDP and DAP tried to organise an illegal gathering to protest against "manipulated elections of May 26."

    Asked if he could identify any of the civilians, who had maltreated the protesters, were of NIS (National Information Service) or police, Majko answered he could not identify whether they were or not.

    The SP and other political forces have accused NIS and police for the maltreatment of the protesters in the gathering.

    Interior Ministry had warned them, that police would not allow illegal gathering and had offered other places in their disposal for the gathering.

    Tirana Court has found guilty four out of ten people charged with participation in this illegal meeting.

    After interrogating the SP deputy chairman Servet Pellumbi and deputy Ndre Legisi, Majko is the third SP leader asked as a witness.

    Besides the accusation of the SP and Centre Pole, another one by the Interior Ministry has been filed as well. It charges these political forces with violation of the law on meetings and gatherings. jz/fh/Z


    VLORA, JULY 19 (ATA) - By H. Koci: A delegation of the Vlora Prefecture headed by Prefect Prof Dr Bahri Shanaj recently paid a two-day visit to Corfu, Greece, on the context of cooperation between the prefectures.

    During its stay, the delegation, including heads of the Saranda and Delvina districts and chiefs of departments of the Interior and Agriculture and Food Ministries, held talks with officials of the local government of all levels and institutions of the Corfu Prefecture.

    Prefect Bahri Shanaj thanked Andreas Pangratis, Corfu Prefect, for the aid of the Greek and especially the Corfu people to Albanians in the difficult period of transition. He also said that the legalisation of Albanian economic emigrants and the seasonal employment will be positive.

    Pangratis expressed satisfaction for the visit of the Albanian delegation and pointed out that the level of relations is very good.

    A protocol of cooperation defining concrete fields such as infrastructure, culture and sport, carrying out of progressive programs of the European Union on inter-border relations, tourism and environmental protection, communication and working force was signed. jz/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 18 (ATA) - The Speaker of the Albanian parliament Pjeter Arbnori received on Thursday the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Van Tallend.

    The meeting focused on relations between the Netherlands and Albania, their promotion and cooperation in the legislative, economic and institutional fields as well as the situation in the region.

    They also discussed the development of joint projects giving priority to what Albania needs in the present stage.

    The meeting was characterised by a hearty and friendly climate. ksh/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 18 (ATA) - By S. Spahiu: The local elections would be held in the second half of October this year.

    All the political forces invited today by the President of the Republic Sali Berisha to join a round table decided local elections should be held on one of the last two Sundays of October this year.

    President Berisha told journalists that the political forces reached a consensus that the local elections should be held on one of the last two Sundays of October.

    Berisha added that they also decided that the law on local government be considered in a party round table and the necessary steps be proposed to decentralise further the competencies.

    "I insisted on an election commission which will include party representatives and be permanent," president Berisha said adding that this will be decided by party round tables.

    The proposal to abrogate the law on genocide did not find a wide support in general.

    "This proposal was opposed by political forces but there were views that a change should be considered in regards to communes' councillors. However, I think that the law on scrutiny of political figures and the antigenocide law will be amended in the future by the Albanian parliament."

    Another view which was widely backed, Berisha said, was "that another article be added to the law on elections, I would say not an anti-boycott, but an article which will sanction a legal responsibility for commissions' members to carry out completely their task in order that the political boycott be an inalienable right but the withdrawal from the commission be considered illegal irresponsibility and what happened on May 26 be not repeated."

    Asked about the commitment of the DP government in the election campaign, Berisha said that "the Democratic party will be committed soon in organising local elections."

    Berisha pointed out the important measures taken by the new government recently such as liberalisation of the price of bread, kerosene and gas for heating and said that these measures are extremely important in the process of reforms.

    "Naturally, privatisation of big sectors will be the major goal for Albania in the coming months," he said.

    He confirmed international monitoring of local elections.

    "Albania is an entirely open country. Observers will be present in the second local ballot as they were in the first general elections and there will be no restriction regarding the monitoring," he said.

    Regarding the next parliamentary elections, President Berisha said that "they will be held approximately in May 21, in the spring of the year 2000. Naturally, the date is not definitive because there will be consultations and the president together with the political parties will fix the date of elections."

    The SP deputy chairman Servet Pellumbi said to Albanian television that "we consider important the round table on local elections," but added that "the conditions to have free and fair elections are very important."

    Serveti said, "We expressed our readiness to cooperate in the party round table in order to prepare the legal framework for local elections," and added that "It is important that the law on local elections be the same in essence but have some amendments." He also spoke of the abrogation of the antigenocide law and that on the scrutiny of the political figures.

    Head of the Republican party Sabri Godo, pointing out the importance of the local government considering it as a basis for the development of democracy, said that the law on elections should be reviewed in order to have fair and democratic elections. He voiced the attitude of his party that the law on genocide should be the same in essence but added that it needs some amendments.

    Godo said that if the party meetings should be regular and if everybody expressed the good will to do something, the future elections should be guaranteed.

    He said that a consensus was reached on the date of local elections and other issues related to the competencies of the law on local elections.

    "First, I want to stress that this is a useful initiative which was taken at the right time because is related to the local elections, the date and respective problems," Vasil Melo head of the Human Rights Union party said to the Albanian television.

    After confirming the consensus on the date of local elections, Melo pointed out that all the political parties backed the law on scrutiny of political figures but added "this law should change in the local government level and should not have the same value and gravity as in the central power."

    Deputy chairman of Balli Kombetar (National Front), Hysen Selfo said to the Albanian TV that he appreciated the initiative of the president to hold a round table of political parties on local elections. He opposed the abrogation of the antigenocide law.

    "We should never accept that the democracy in the local government be run by those people who have opposed democracy in the period of dictatorship," Selfo said.

    He said that the law on future local elections needs an article which should make both local and central commissions and their members responsible of preventing such withdrawals as in May 26.

    Ali Spahia, head of the DP parliamentary group said that the positive result of the meeting was the consensus of all political forces related to some important points. They reached a consensus on the date of local elections, and said that the law on local elections is a good one but needs, maybe, some non-essential amendments which are required by the stage of social and political development in Albania.

    Referring to the request of Pellumbi on the abrogation of the antigenocide law, Spahia said, "We as a Democratic party do not agree because we think that the antigenocide law and that on scrutiny of the political figures should be in power in Albania for the sake of the national reconciliation and elimination of social tensions," Spahia said. ksh/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - Forces of the multinational exercises "Peaceful Eagle '96" which are going on in Bize, Tirana, launched on Thursday complex field operations.

    Co-commanders Brigadier General Vladimir Ismolli and Major General Nix attended the exercises of the company of Turkish forces. Ismolli also visited the commanding post of the Bulgaria and Greek troops.

    The dynamic stage of the multinational exercise with the participation of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, FYROM, Romania, Turkey and United States are being attended by a considerable number of foreign and Albanian journalists.

    44 different situations depending on their solution have been programmed in the 2000-troops exercise which will determine the engagement of forces of each country. jz/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - The deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu, visiting Italy, held talks with his Italian counterpart Lamberto Dini at the Italian Foreign Ministry, the daily Rilindja Demokratike reports today.

    Shehu praised the great help Italy has given to Albania.

    The paper cited Italian minister Dini saying that a special economic program for Albania, based on the treaty of friendship and cooperation reached during the visit of President Berisha in Italy last October, is underway.

    Both ministers praised the bilateral relations in military, cultural and economic and other fields.

    Dini said that Italy has closely followed the latest political development in Albania, elections and others.

    "We appreciate cooperation and climate of increasing understanding," Dini said.

    Shehu informed in details the Italian counterpart on the political developments and elections in Albania. He stressed that though certain political forces tried to compromise the election process the Albanians vote without hesitation for the democratic alternative.

    He considered positive the dialogue with political forces in and out of the parliament.

    Dini highly regarded Albania's policies as a factor of stability and peace in the region.

    Shehu, head of the Democratic Party, also met earlier on Thursday with the head of the National Alliance party Gianfranco Fini and head of its parliamentary group Tatarela.

    The meeting was characterised by a feeling of understanding, the paper said. jz/ak/z/


    Open Albania's morality buried by unbridled passion of handful of "Soros" employees, who should also register Foundation as political party

    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - Following is the article carried by the English page of newspaper "Albania"

    The Albanian press is now faced with a dangerous ploy of a "Soros" Foundation branch. Unexpectedly finding themselves faced with the financial crisis of a private newspaper, which had given them political satisfaction for almost four years in succession, the staff of the Foundation and their preferred clients in embassies and other Soros centres in the East hastily launched a financial operation, which cost about $ 1 million. The dangerous likelihood of being left without a newspaper of theirs in the very heart of Tirana is at the very centre of the operation at a time when use is being made of the Albanian press as a cover of the purpose. Thus in the wake of the fierce Lesi-Frangaj conflict, which, though it may not be concocted or foreseen from the very start, has been justified at least with absence of some $ 300 thousand in the coffers of the newspaper, the "Soros" project mounts the stage in order to rescue the newspaper "Koha Jone." The project supported by a club of employees, who have made a name for themselves only thanks to the visitor cards of "Soros", Tirana and its thousands of dollars worth applications, was exposed yesterday despite the statement of the Tirana "Soros" Foundation, which calls the $ 130 thousand sum a loan of the Foundation to this private newspaper.

    Is "Soros" Foundation a Trade Bank or a Cultural Bank?

    This is the first question that crops up while reading the sterile statement of the "Soros" Foundation executive in Tirana. Unexpectedly exposed in their political zeal, they made a ridiculous statement yesterday, which George Soros would not tolerate even the champion of his plushy seat in the USA to make. In saying this, we consider that those who guard his comfortable chair in Tirana overlooked the ethic of representation befitting the American multimillionaire in Tirana by unwittingly removing the cultural cloth of his armchair and leaving it with just the original leather exposing him for what he really is, an aggressive politician, who steps in to dictate with arrogance that his billions of dollars inspire, finally imposing his hegemony with help of a mere $ 1 million sum in a country like Albania, which is still poor and in a press like the Albanian press, which is as poor.

    However, problems should be tackled calmly. Is "Soros" allowed to accord a loan to the Albanian press? If yes, it should be thanked for rushing to the rescue of the newspaper "Koha Jone" for it can also be asked to help at least some seven daily newspaper from left to right, which are as needy as the newspaper "Koha Jone" with the exception that theirs is a more orderly administration, which does not waste money on Miss Albania at Rogner Hotel like Nikolle Lesi, who gives vent to his whims of a ragged millionaire in the press salons. However, Soros is kindly requested to register his private Bank in Albania first so that the way for such activities be paved officially. We believe that the Albanian state has no objections to low interest funds of the multimillionaire for the Albanian press. But if Soros fails to act like this, he should in no way engage in provocations by capitalising on the poverty of the Albanian press and offering such projects simultaneously with the financial crisis of a newspaper, which has so far misused not only its finances, but the freedom of the press in this country.

    Political project for hardly a private press

    What catches one's eye in the statement of the "Soros" Foundation is allegedly cynical phrase, signed by former communist Popa, who says that he cannot make comments on the accusation that together with an American diplomat he is installing communism in Albania. In fact, such a phrase by way of accusation does not exist in the Albanian press.

    Nobody refers to the danger of a return of communism or what is more nobody attributes this merit to a man like Ylli Popa whose days are numbered or to some employee like Agim Isaku whose days are over.

    The problem is simpler and more practical. First of all, it has to do with millions of dollars, pocketed in the name of the "Soros" Foundation by the Soros clients in Tirana, including American diplomats of the Walsh type, who spend very few hours of the day without Agim Isaku or Ben Blushi keeping them company. The problem grows even simpler, when one sees that the heretofore two quarrelling publishers have been removed from the role of figureheads, which they have been playing for almost four years and have been given their welcome role, that of receiving a percentage of the profit in exchange for the use of their names in Soro's political projects. For this reason, efforts have been made to find such names of a ploy national origin as is the case of Kosta Geberts, who has been charged with the task of restructuring the newspaper on the model of a western newspaper, so that Soros money should not be spent together with prostitutes at Rogner, but with gays at "Fidel."

    Time is to come when buyers of shares will turn up at the financial board of the newspaper. This will come to happen when the balance sheet drops to zero and the two publishers, faced with pressure because of failure to further finance the newspaper, will agree to be paid a good salary and leave room for the true politicians, who have already invaded the newspaper. References to their names is a mere formality and boring for the readers, but the phenomenon they are trying to introduce into Albania is more than boring, it is alarming, a fact that should bring to their senses every Albanian journalist, who feels free to honestly compete in the Albanian press, far from falling victim to the political passion of a multimillionaire and his half-witted employees in Tirana.

    Adherence to the rules of the game is the only way to compete in a democracy, for the demagogy of open society ends up where the arrogant dictate of a multimillionaire starts to be imposed through out-and-out one-sided and political projects. Nobody can trust the open society formula. Furthermore, nobody is any longer in need of such a society if it is conceived by such Albanian blockheads as Isaku and Rama, who are creating a dangerous precedent in the Albanian press.

    Though in poverty left over mainly from the time when Albania was ruled by people who have came together at "Soros" or by their fathers who satisfied the physical passion of dictator Hoxha, Albanian journalists cannot put up with dictate on the press by a lobby of perverse people, who have invaded a culture-coated Foundation. "Soros" Foundation still has an obsolete licence. If it has decided to change it, let it make a statement to this effect and come to terms with the state, if not, it should replace the quacks, its employees in Tirana, who stop at nothing when it comes to pocketing millions of dollars via the coffers of the newspaper, which they have made entirely their own.


    TIRANA, JULY 18 (ATA) By F Nikolla - The National Theatre will represent Albania in the Festival of Theatres organised in August in the Hungary, sources of this theatre said for ATA.

    Its troop put on the drama "Tiranosaur" directed by Gezim Kame.

    This is the second time the Albanian theatre participates in such an activity, which aim at the exchange of cultural and artistic values among European countries.

    The Albanian theatre has put on scene, in the previous activity, the comedy "Eight people plus" of Ferdinand Radi. jz/fh/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - Rilindja Demokratike gives a coverage of yesterday's meeting between the President Sali Berisha and the political parties under the title "Local elections at the end of October." It carries Berisha's statement to journalists.

    Yesterday's round table is also highlighted by the daily Zeri i Popullit through an interview of the deputy chairman of the Socialist party Luan Hajdaraga entitled "Appropriate conditions to hold free elections." The paper carries the statement of the SP deputy chairman Servet Pellumbi on the round table. It also carries an interview with the deputy chairman of the Social Democratic party Paskal Milo.

    Poli i Qendres carries an article "Diversion instead of dialogue" and the article "Known game of Berisha with 'nominal invitations'." The paper carries a statement of Poli i Qendres coalition entitled "Local elections - only under the auspices of the Council of Europe."

    Republika carries the editorial "Local elections on October 13 or 20."

    Regarding the round table, the daily Dita Informacion carries the article "Peace or ceasefire." Another article cites the absence of the Social Democratic party in the round table.

    Rilindja carries an editorial entitled "Second half of October is optimal" referring to yesterday's round table on next local elections.

    Tribuna carries statements of political party leaders who participated in the round table.

    Gazeta Shqiptare carries the article "Local elections: at the polling booth in October."

    Koha Jone carries the article entitled "Local elections in October - parties in full consensus with president." It carries the article "A table without legs, policy or moral."

    Albania carries the statement of the president to journalists under the title "There is a consensus on the date of elections."

    Yesterday's meeting was also covered by Sindikalisti under the title "Berisha presided the round table."

    Following are other topics carried by today's newspapers. Rilindja Demokratike carries the articles saying that the SP deputy chairman Servet Pellumbi accuses Nano, the SP jailed leader, of "trying to destroy the Socialist party." It carries an interview with the director of the Demokracia printing house Fejzi Bozgo entitled "Koha Jone was suspended because it went bankrupt..." The paper carries the article "Soros Foundation has started money exchange."

    Zeri i Popullit carries the article "Political moment and party reformation" and the feature "Greek government rejected Berisha's claims on general elections of May 26."

    Poli i Qendres carries the article "Firm trust in U.S. policy" and the statement of the leader of the Social Democratic party Skender Gjinushi entitled "Return of belief to democracy through new elections."

    Dita informacion carries the interview with the Democratic Alliance party head, Neritan Ceka entitled "United States are always a step before Europe."

    Koha Jone highlights the visit of Albanian Foreign minister Tritan Shehu in Italy in an article entitled "Italy urges new elections soon."

    Albania carries the article entitled "Albanian press facing financial dictatorship."

    Tribuna carries the editorial "Soros - an economic, police-style association.

    Republika carries an article on Kosova "Boni backs Albanians' demands." jz/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA) - Koha Jone was suspended because it went bankrupt, said on Friday director of the Publishing House "Demokracia" Fejzi Bozgo in an interview with newspaper Rilindja Demokratike.

    Bozgo said that the debt this paper owed to this publishing house was USD 187 thousands. After bringing a law suit against the newspaper and urging its confiscation two days ago, Bozgo said that representatives of this paper confirmed him they had managed to get about USD 135 thousand from "Soros" Foundation to clear the debt.

    Bozgo said that after the official confirmation from SOROS on the grant given to the independent daily Koha Jone, he had a meeting with the USIA director Wollsh on these problems.

    "The meeting lasted 10 minutes and covered problems of media and 'Demokracia' printing house which is a present of the United States. We also discussed on the newspapers printed by this printing house and whose directors are members of its board and different problems. But we focused on the problems of the daily Koha Jone and especially on the debt the daily owed to the printing house," the paper cited Bozgo as saying.

    Bozgo said that "there were no intermediating or intervention on the decisions of the board regarding the issue." jz/fh/ak/Z/


    TIRANA, JULY 19 (ATA)- By A. Frasheri,

    The Tirana Military Court has issued jail terms for the three protagonists of the Military Academy February 1991 events, which were considered an open military insurrection by the dictatorship.

    The trial on these events began on June 24, 1996.

    The panel of judges, presided over by Shyqyri Dylgjeri, declared guilty and sentenced ex-defence Minister Kico Mustaqi to five years imprisonment, ex-commissar of the Military Academy to four years imprisonment and ex-commander of the Military Academy Arseni Stroka to three years, charging them with abuse of power in complicity.

    Based on the Penal Procedure Code, the above were tried in absentia as their whereabouts are unknown.

    Inquiries are being made into the act of killing, mass terrorism and violent destruction of property due to the orders issued by the top ex-officials.

    At a time when 720 students of the Tirana University were on a hunger strike and a great number of people were fighting to topple the most savage communist dictatorship in Europe, one day after the monument of communist dictator Enver Hoxha was hauled down in the midst of Tirana on February 21, 1991, they ordered the furnishing of cadets with arms and munition and on 22nd they ordered the adoption of military actions to put the academy's effective on full alert.

    Experts said the orders issued surpassed their powers. According to the then regulation and laws, the orders were a competence of the Commander General of the Armed Forces, at that time ex-President Ramiz Alia, who declared in the court that "he had not issued such an order".

    The shooting inside the academy left five people dead and several others wounded. The Tirana Municipality has declared the February 1991 victims "Torches of democracy". kei/lm/k

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