The President denounces the violence against the forces of order, against state and public property and stresses that the open democratic society creates conditions for all the individuals to express their ideas openly, not through violence but through dialogue or peaceful protests.
Albanian legislation ensures all the citizens, including the investors in pyramid schemes, the right to protest peacefully and the political parties the right to voice their political stands in peaceful protests, but always observing the law.
He invites the opposition and the citizens to respect laws because illegal acts create conditions for the situation not to be controlled by police and to be exploited by the extremists. xh/
Spokesman of the Interior Ministry informs the public opinion that Mr Islami, in the moment when some citizens have attacked him in the Kavaja street in Tirana, was protected by police. The report which claims that police has hit Islami is an ill-willing slander against police, and for which we shall demand investigation by the Prosecutor's office, spokesman report of the Interior Ministry says. ake/xh/k
They talked on the question of Kosova and the fresh developments there and the region. U.S. officials took interest in the work and activity of the U.S. Office in Prishtine.
Mr Rugova highlighted the work of this office in Prishtine and stressed that its establishment was an historical event for Kosova and its people.
Dr Rugova also met with the chairman of the Peasant Party of Kosova, Dr Hivzi Islami and its deputy Dr Jusuf Bajraktari.
They talked on the latest situation in Kosova and the possibilities for a better organization so that it be overcome. ag/kled/xh/k
"The Forum for Democracy reiterates its determination to accelerate the political solution to the crisis through dialogue and continuous peaceful protests. The Forum will make public tomorrow the course of the protests on national scale," said a communique issued on this occasion.
The Forum for Democracy stressed that it will lead the protests under the motto "Flowers instead of stones." Asked by an ATA reporter about the return of the money to investors in pyramid schemes, Kurt Kola, one of the leaders of the Forum, said: "With regard to the money lost, the Forum gives no solution or guarantee... The forum holds that a technical government would please the pyramid scheme investors more than the present government."
Attending the news conference were the SP Secretary General, Rexhep Mejdani and other leaders of this party, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Skender Gjinushi, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance Party, Neritan Ceka, the chairman of the Right Democratic Party, Petrit Kalakula and others, who did frequently give answers to reporters' questions.
Asked what would be the program of a technical government, Fatos Lubonja, one of the Forum leaders, did not give any response for the program but said:
"Our opinion is that dialogue should be the first to start...a technical government should emerge from the dialogue with the party in power, because only in this way everyone would bear his responsibility."
"The economic situation of the country is catastrophic," said Lubonja. "This is one of the reasons why the Party in power should sit down for a dialogue, not only because of our manifestations."
In reply to a question about the reasons why the Forum boycotted a round table dialogue with the President, Lubonja said that its topic was "rather limited."
The Forum for Democracy had invited citizens of Tirana to protest in the Scanderbeg Square "towards injustices of the Government, the economic collapse of Albanian people and to side with the people of Vlore," although the rally was declared as illegitimate. Representatives of the opposition parties accused the "police state of Berisha for a fierce intervention to prevent the people to join their legal protest."
There was not any effort by citizens to join the protest of the opposition in the Scanderbeg Square. kei/xh/k
Zeri i Popullit writes that the Forum for Democracy appeals to all Albanians "to unite against dictatorship," in peaceful protests every day at 12.000 - 14.00. Besides, this paper carries a message of the SPA leader, Fatos Nano, jailed for abuse of Italian aid when he was Prime Minister in 1991, addressed to the Forum for Democracy, under the title "Albania cannot survive without the coexistence of its free people."
Republika writes: "Investment companies suspend interest rates for creditors," and carries the editorial entitled :"The opposition too has its responsibility for the pyramid schemes." The paper also writes that "Rallies and counter-rallies in Tirana. Policy instead of pyramid schemes."
Albania has an editorial entitled "Days of self-control and transparency." The paper writes "Illegal rally in the Scanderbeg Square fails. Tirana abandons violence." Regarding the news conference of the Forum for Democracy held Saturday, the newspaper cites one of the leaders of the Forum, Kurt Kola, to have said "I will make socialists become rightists."
Rilindja has an interview of the President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova with the German National Radio "Deutchelandfung," under the title "Kosova is not any more 'terra incognita' as it was before." The paper says that the DPA leader Tritan Shehu has invited Albanian political parties in a consultation about the question of the money lost in pyramid schemes. The newspaper also writes: "Illegal rallies in the centre of the capital prevented."
Demokracia writes:"In search of solutions after the failure of pyramid schemes-President of the Republic again to hold a round table discussion with the parties." With regard to protests in Vlore, after the collapse of Gjallica investment firm, the newspaper writes: "Citizens occupy city squares for the fourth consecutive day."
Koha Jone writes "Tirana oppresses Tirana," and carries an editorial entitled "Protect reporters from the state." It also writes "40 000 people in Vlora in front of DP."
Dita Informacion writes "All opposition leaders beaten up and experiencing jail," and "Foreign agency reporters beaten." Regarding yesterday's news conference of the Forum for Democracy, the newspaper writes that the Forum calls for other protests.
Gazeta Shqiptare writes "The protest in the capital stamped out."
Under the headline "No to violence," the newspaper writes "Police helmets do not solve the crisis" and "Still afraid of the truth?" kei/xh/k
"This is a marked day for all the believers, who jointly appreciate the sacrifice and efforts of one another," said President Berisha. "This day tells people that nothing can be attained without toil and sacrifice, understanding, harmony, peace and in this context, this is a great day for all believers."
The chairman of the Albanian Moslem Community, Haxhi Hafiz Sabri Koci together with other believers, prayed that this Bairam opens the doors of success and peace for all Albanian homes. ake/kei/xh/k
The protests have continued almost with the same intensity in the previous days as well.
At about 9.00, they gathered in the Flag Square and then made for the square of the Prefecture, where they stayed for a relatively long time.
Shouting "We want our money," "Down with the Government," etc., at 11.30 they made again for the centre of the city and then for the square in front of the town hall. ssh/kei/xh/k
Present in the square of the city, at about 12.00, were small groups waiting the leaders to start the rally. As reported, opposition forces did not appear in the square seeing the small number of the participants, about 60 people.
According to sources of the district police commissariat, the Forum was not given permission for the rally.
Also on Saturday, an illegal rally was held in the town of Tepelena for 10-15 minutes with a few number of people participating.
The Forum for Democracy, after the fall of fraudulent pyramid schemes, as a result of which many people remained penniless, has demanded the resignation of the government and creation of a technocrat government.
The Forum had called for a rally on Saturday in Tirana to protest against the arrest of the people who torched and ruined in some Albanian towns after the collapse of pyramid schemes and to side with the creditors of the investment firm Gjallica, which went bankrupt some days ago.
Creditors of Gjallica are marching for five days today asking for their money lost in pyramid schemes.
The Forum for Democracy was refused a request for rally by the Police Department in Tirana, on the basis of the law "On the rights for gathering." ake/kei/xh/k
Berisha expressed his grief for and solidarity with the creditors who have lost their money in pyramid schemes.
"I appeal to them and their maturity to cooperate with each other and the government in order to reduce and limit as much as possible the consequences of the bankruptcy of these firms," said Berisha.
He invited the people of Vlore, "not to leave their desperation be exploited by those who organized the torching of the town hall, which has not been set fire to even in the three previous occupations, during which hundreds of thousands of people laid down their lives."
"I invite the people of Vlore not to follow those who fight to win their posts through violence and not for the lost money, who want to topple the government but offer no solution, who seek to defend through protests those who set fires, who violate laws, institutions and streets of a free democratic country, because they want to exploit your desperation as a shield for themeselves," said Berisha.
The President assured them and all the Albanians that they will be completely free to protest according to the law on gatherings, but stressed that no force will prevent the judiciary of this country to give the deserved legal punishment to 'those who torched the symbols of Vlore and other cities, to the violators of laws and institutions.'
"I am convinced that through dialogue and total commitment, the loss of the creditors of Gjallica can be reduced and within a medium term limit it may be, perhaps completely eliminated. Therefore, let us sit down to work as soon as possible. Firstly, all the assets of this firms must become properties of the investors. Also in the interest of these investors, we must define all possible facilities to complete the unfinished objects in order to increase their efficiency and profitability," said Berisha.
He voiced the determination of the government and the parliament in this direction. To this end, Berisha proposed the immediate creation of the investors' assembly. Besides, in order to throw full light on all the aspects of the activity of the former Gjallica firm, Berisha proposed that along the prosecutor's office and the government commission, also a commission of the investors of this firm must be set up and work in this direction.
Berisha guaranteed that this commission will have at its disposal all the existing documentation of the firm and all the facilities needed to investigate in every aspect and detail of the activity of this firm until its bankruptcy.
The President also proposed to help with credits all the families who had invested in pyramid schemes the money of their sold homes, considering them as homeless, and the families without any income, he said, would to receive social assistance. He mentioned also the possibility of credits for small private activity.
The local government members of Vlore presented to President Berisha the problems and the grave situation created as a result of the failure of pyramid schemes. They agreed with the proposals of the president but insisted that all measures should be adopted with priority to solve the housing question, to create a free zone in Vlora as soon as possible and to complete all calculations for the former Gjallica firm."
Vlora local government members also asked verification for the person who has taken the money after the firm went bankrupt, that projects be prepared to encourage small business, and establishment of a transparent control on other investment firms.
Citizens of Vlore are protesting for five days today asking for their lost money after the collapse of Gjallica firm where their had invested their savings for big returns. ake/kei/xh/k
They chanted slogans against the government and asked the release of the detained people. Then, they tried to enter the commissariat building and hurled stones and other hard object at police forces.
Regarding this event, an officials in the Vlore police commissariat told ATA that "the police commissariat was so well protected by the crowd of the people." kei/xh/k
The Interior Ministry does categorically disassociate itself from these arbitrary acts and declares that the people who carried out this act will face court.
The spokesman reports that police forces of the Commissariat no 3 went to the spot immediately and the judicial police of this commissariat has started investigation based on the testimonies by the threatened people themselves.
The spokesman reports that police have identified one of the people who caused the conflict with opposition leaders and are trying to identify and catch the other persons involved. ake/kei/xh/k