The aid was brought at the Durres Port by the French warship "Makedon". It was received by representatives of military medicine, logistics and transport of the Defence Ministry. The French military attache, lieutenant- colonel, Pjerre Lapernat, was present as well.
A ceremony of the French aid delivery for the Albanian army was held in Durres today. Attending were the Defence Secretary of State, Leonard Demi, the French ambassador to Albania, Patrick Chrismant, and representatives of the Defence Ministry.
The agreement of military cooperation between Albania and France was signed in May 1996. s.sh/kled/lm/k
During the analysis, Zhulali by mentioning some of the achievements of the army during 1996, stressed that "The year 1997 is the year of important changes, of complete reconstruction of the Albanian army". He added that of priority in this process will be the drafting and improving the main documents of the Security Strategy and the military one, the use of modern methods in the field of planning and budget of defence at the standards of NATO countries. /s.sh/kled/mt/k
The Socialist youths expressed their position in the Albanian politics today, at the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Albanian Eur.- Socialist Youth Union Forum (FRESH).
"We should offer courage to the people who want to live another life. Now not at party meetings but on streets, markets and shops," the chairman of this forum, Ilir Meta, told the meeting on the occasion.
Meta expressed the belief that FRESH has the necessary force to change the morale of the opposition from "agreement of chiefs" to a new movement of the democratic left, to a people's movement, which offers the support and defence of the people.
"The creation of FRESH at the time of the complete failure of the totalitarian regime was a great chance given to the Socialist Party to switch onto a party of the European left.
During the five years FRESH has been affirmed as the newest and most vital structure of the SP, also successfully integrating into the European structures.
Never compromising itself with the spirit of dictate and command and not serving as SP's facade, FRESH has been an interior constructive opposition inside the SP," Meta says.
He stressed that the last month developments inside the SP have weakened it as a political factor reducing its role and shaking the trust of its electorate.
Rexhep Mejdani, the SP secretary General, brought to FRESH greetings from the socialist chairman, Fatos Nano, and the SP presidency. (Nano is actually in jail convicted of official document falsification and misappropriation of Italian aid while he was prime minister in 1991).
Mejdani said that the Albanian socialists, exploiting the whole potential of the SP members, especially that of the youth, should be active "in resolving the political crisis".
"The problem of the constitution should be resolved as soon as possible by a constitutional assembly, and fresh elections should be held this year. The political parties should cooperate on these problems without any prejudice," Mejdani said. kled/kei/lm/k
The newspaper Albania, which carries this report, cites the Kavaja citizen as saying that he "is not afraid" of depositing his money in VEFA.
This act of the citizen, precisely on the days of the "Sude" company's failure and the tense situation of the other loan-taking firms, continues to testify to the logic of many people, who for four successive years, have risked their money in the usuries' game under the motto:"It is a common knowledge that one day these firms will fail, but we hope to get the first payment". pas/lm/E
Italian Deputy Foreing Minister Piero Fassino arrived on a one day visit to Albania on Thursday.
During the visit Fassino will meet the Albanian Foreign Minister, Tritan Shehu, Interior Minister Halit Shamata, and will be received by the President of the Republic, Sali Berisha.
Fassino will be invited at a working dinner by Premier Aleksander Meksi and Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu.
A meeting with representatives of political parties is also planned during the visit.
The intensive meetings, to be held during Thursday, will focus on the bilateral cooperation, democratic developments at home and the illegal emigration issue.
"Our negotiations will tackle issues of the Italian economic aid for Albania, of political equilibriums at home and the issue of clandestine emigration," Fassino said at the Rinas airport.
Asked how he explained the non-participation of the Albanian socialists in parliament, Fassino said that this issue could be resolved only through dialogue.
Present to receive Fassino at the airport were also Albanian deputy Foreign Minister Arjan Starova and other officials of this ministry.
The Italian ambassador to Albania, Paolo Foresti, was present as well./LM/E
Sources from the Prosecutor's Office, quoted by Albania paper report that the case against Sude and her accomplices has started after some 15 indictments of the fraud citizens who had deposited their money in "Sude" firm.
Meanwhile, it is learned that during the last days of her collapse, Sude had organized a lottery by a deposition quota of 10 000 leks per person, and the collected amount of money is thought to reach 4 million dollars. But the amount whereabouts is not yet known. Thus, besides the first charge, Sude is also accused of the disappearance of hte money collected by the secret lottery.
The get-rich-quick pyramid scheme, the first of this kind in Albania, started her activity some 4 years ago. Thousands of citizens have deposited their money in her firm. The amount of money this firm owes to the depositors is 60 million dollars. /jz/mt/z/
Regarding this issue, newspaper Rilindja Demokratike says that:"The 'Sude' company declares failure" and cites Sude as saying that:"My game is over. My money have nothing to do with the government."
Under the headline:"From Tirana to Vlora, the Albanians in revolt", Zeri i Popullit says:"The government is a thief", as well as "Sudja failed. 'Gjallica' on its track."
The paper also says that on Friday leaders of the opposition met protesting citizens, gathered near Sude's house.
Republika says that:"The tragic hour for usuries. Sude dies with the name of the state in her mouth". As regards the other loan-taking companies the paper says:"'Xhaferri',too, blocked. VEFA only pays the returns".
Albania reports on the failure of Sude: "Hopes of depositors waiting for January 15 vanish. Sude admits it has been a fraudulent pyramid scheme. The prosecutor's office starts legal proceeding".
The paper also carries the editorial:"Usuries and cynicism of the opposition", which also refers to the goal of the Socialist Party declared by it, "to gain political capital from usuries' failure".
Koha Jone says that:"Sudja fails. "Gjallica" puts off schedule. VEFA blocked by the bank. Xhaferri robbed. People beaten by police". The paper also carries the editorial:"The state and usuries in a vicious circle".
Regarding yesterday's protest of people who had deposited money in the Sude firm, Dita Informacion says that :"Five thousand people cry and are beaten by police", as well as "60 million dollars disappear". The paper carries the news of Sude's arrest. In regard with other loan-taking companies, the paper says: "Yesterday VEFA paid only the returns-Alimucaj (the VEFA president) with megaphone calms down the citizens", as well as "Gjallica puts off the payment deadline".
Gazeta Shqiptare says:"Sudja 'dies': arrested at night", and cites Sude as saying:""I played the pyramid".
The paper also says that Gjallica, the other loan - taking companie, has put off payment deadline.
Among other topics treated by Thursday's press we separate: Rilindja Demokratike carries an interview with the Chairman of the Albanian Democratic Party, under the title:"All DP structures should engage in reform".
Zeri i Popullit covers the meeting held on the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Eur.-Socialist Youth Forum (FRESH), under the title:"Eur.- socialsists carriers and realizers of progress".
Republika says:"There is a criminal network exploiting street children".
Rilindja covers the meeting of the chairman of the Republic of Kosova with Elisabeth Rehn, while the events in Sofia and Belgrade the paper says:"Between collapse and chaos...".
Koha Jone reports: "The 'Nano' issue arrives in Geneva", as well as "Epidemic diseases break out in several districts of the country".
Dita Informacion says: "Students again on the verge of the strike" while Gazeta Shqiptare reports on the 5th anniversary of FRESH: "FRESH to the opposition:'You should restore confidence in people'". kei/lm/z/
Rugova remembered the statement by people's referendum for independence and stressed that Kosova, independent and neutral state, open towards Albania and Serbia and with international guarantees for Serbs in Kosova, would be the best solution.
"The establishment of an international civil temporary protectorate in Kosova would set up the preconditions for the normalization of life and functioning of democratic institutions. Thus, the way of long-term and fair solution of Kosova people in conformity with the will of its people would open", said Rugova.
Mrs. Rehn said that the situation in Kosova is unacceptable. She was interested in different aspects of human rights violations and the possibilities of solving the Kosova issue through negotiations.
After the meeting, Rugova and Rehn responded to several questions of the journalists.
"I can say that I have supported the approach of Rugova for the solution of the Kosova problem. We also talked about the agreement on education, because I appreciate it, for it is very important to take measures to apply it by the presence of a third party", Rehn told the journalists.
Asked whether she is optimist for the application of the agreement on education, Mrs Rehn said: "i would like to be optimist, but it will be better if someone is realist, because I know there will be problems, before the real application of the agreement will take place. But the situation, as it is now, cannot continue. Something must be done and I will talk about this in Belgrade during this week. /ag/pas/mt/
Reporting on this news, Zeri i Popullit, SP paper, informed on an extraordinary meeting of SP Presidency to be held Thursday.
Meanwhile, the independent daily paper Koha Jone reported that the collapse of the loan-taking firms would made the "ideal case" for the Albanian opposition to "return to life", but this did not happen because "depositors at Sude and other loan-taking companies, 'according to some well-informed sources', are also several leaders of the opposition. /pas/mt/k
Albanian Defence Minister Halit Shamata met with Italian deputy Foreign Minister Piero Fassino who arrived today in Albania. They stressed the importance of police cooperation between Albania and Italy.
Shamata said that in Albania the structures dealing with the discovery of drug traffic and prostitution have been set up.
Among the successes, after the signing of the protocol of cooperation between the two countries, Shamata mentioned the curbing of illegal traffic by Albania, also the strengthening coastal control, the interception of a considerable amount of cannabis, the interception of a number of traffickers, the blocking of the access to Albania of foreigners with the emigration aims as well as the approval by parliament of the anti-crime and anti- corruption law.
On December 9 last year, Albania and Italy signed in Tirana the process- verbal of the First Meeting of the Italian-Albanian Joint Committee in police cooperation against crime.
Shamata stressed that Albania needs technical assistance from Italy in all fields of police activity as well as an exchange of information.
"Now, the crime internationalisation requires a greater police cooperation between the two countries. All the points of the agreements signed should function. The forms of crime should be fought since in their offspring. We are interested in developing at the most the bilateral cooperation in the field of the regulation of laws and border checking," Fassino said.
Afterwards, the meeting continued without the presence of reporters. kei/lm/Z/
Some individuals in the group tried to politicize the question, launching slogans against the government and demonstrating in the main streets of the city and in front of the Municipality headquarters.
Police forces which interfered to normalize the situation, said the spokesman, were opposed violently and with stiff things by these persons which stirred up the citizens and consequently, two policemen had slight injures.
After police mediation and contacts with local authorities, the situation was stabilized, the reports of the Interior Ministry said. ssh/kled/xh/sh/
President Berisha and deputy Minister Fassino discussed about the further strengthening of the bilateral relations.
Both parties expressed the delight for the constant and increasing development of friendship and cooperation between our people and countries.
President Berisha expressed his gratitude for the great help and the important support of Italy given to Albania in all aspects.
Deputy Minister Fassino ensured President Berisha that Italy considers relations with Albania fundamental and of priority and will continue to support all efforts of Albania for the integration in Europe.
With regard to the situation in the region, both sides appreciated the democratic movement of Belgrade as an important and positive development.
President Berisha, expressing his concern on the situation in Kosova, stressed that Kosova is the biggest problem of the crisis in the Balkan. Rejecting the change of borders through violence, he said that "we have supported and will still support all the peaceful efforts of the Kosova Albanians to regain their freedoms and human and national rights". Albania will not agree with the racism against Albanians which unfortunately do exist even today. She has never considered and does not consider Kosova as a card in the hands of Milosevic, but she thinks that it is before all an issue belonging to Albanians.
Deputy Minister Fassino stressed that Italy follows the grave situation of Albanians in Kosova and is totally engaged for the solution of the Kosova issue. /s.sh/kled/mt/sh/
The meeting was considered by the two sides as a continuation of the contacts to the benefit of the bilateral cooperation.
They discussed extensively the legislation and the modalities for the signing of the Agreement of Cooperation between Italy and Albania, estimated at 210 billion liras.
Fassino guaranteed Shehu of the continuous support of the Italian Government for Albania on its road towards the market economy and the integration in Europe. The signing of the above agreement will open way to the intensification of bilateral cooperation, stressed Mr Fassino and will increase the possibility for investments in Albania.
On the basis of the fact that during the past four years Italy has been the main economic partner for Albania, Minister Shehu stressed that the two neighbouring countries have an optimistic future of the bilateral cooperation, also in the context of Albania's efforts towards its integration in the European Union.
Then the talk focused on the preparations for the visit of the Albanian Prime Minister Meksi to Italy, which will be a further concrete step for the intensification of the cooperation between the two countries.
Shehu and Fassino also discussed the question of Kosova in the framework of the latest events in Serbia, said the spokesman.
Mr Shehu considered the movement for democracy of Serbian students and people as a positive factor also for the question of Kosova, because this question, which is as important as delicate, might be solved better by a democratic Serbia and a democratic Kosova, than by a dictatorial Serbia and an oppressed Kosova.
Minister Shehu confirmed once more the stand of the Albanian Government against any sort of violence or undemocratic means and at the same time the observation of the legitimate rights of the people of Kosova to decide for their future like other peoples of the former Yugoslavia. ssh/kled/xh/sh/