Regarding a decision of the government to assist the people who have sold their homes and deposited the money in the pyramid investment scheme, Zeri i Popullit carries the editorial "A lie in midday," and subtitle "Government decides to give credits, without any money in the bank." The paper writes: "Vlora protests for the 14th day - A hunger strike warned." The paper writes: "SP open for dialogue."
Newspaper Republika writes: "Kucova people march 5 km for losses in pyramid schemes. Berat prays." The paper has also an article entitled "Meksi will surrender unconditionally. Berisha to rule for one more year." The paper carries an interview of the President of Vefa Holding, referring to Radio Deutche Welle, under the title "Alimucaj uncovers secrets of Vefa Holding." The paper carries the editorial "The government responds 'Republika' with stick."
Rilindja reports on the violation of human rights and freedoms in Kosova during 1997, under the title:"Serb police maltreated 3394 Albanians". Under the headline :"Albanian troops take part in the SFOR forces in Croatia," the paper also says that "The Albanian peacekeeping second contingent leaves for Germany".
Albania says:"Peaceful protests continue in Fier and Vlore" as well as "The Forum (for democracy) bought 'the people'". The paper also says that:"The reporter of 'The economist' (Standish) with tens of professions in Albania". Under the headline: "The Democratic Party invites socialists for talks", the paper says:"The SP conditions the beginning of the dialogue".
The paper says:"A plan of violence against the Albanian embassy in Bonn". The article says that the reporter of the Albanian language section of radio Deutsche Welle, Auron Dodi, and a member of an old Germany-Albania friendship association, Michael Shmidt Nekke, known for his left convictions and attacks against the Democratic Party, are trying to convince the Albanian emigrants in Germany to join them to protest before the Albanian embassy in Bonn.
The paper cites sources from Germany as saying that this plan goes so far as to pelt stones at the staff and windows of the embassy.
Sindikalisti says: "According to yesterday's decision of the Government, the Savings Bank hosts the homeless". The paper says that:"The 'Driza' Tragedy (president of the former cheating foundation 'Populli', the epilog ready."
Koha Jone says: "The Vlore municipality asks Meksi's resignation. Otherwise, hunger strike with students". The paper carries the appeal of the Forum for Democracy to stage a rally on February 20, at 12.00, at the "Skenderbej" square.
Dita Informacion says: "Parties refuse dialogue with one another", as well as "Protests continue in Vlore and in the whole southern Albania"
The paper reports that the trial of Albanian ex-president Ramiz Alia starts today.
Gazeta Shqiptare says: "International institutions to lessen the pain due to the collapse of pyramid schemes".
The paper also says: "The Vlore ultimatum: 'Meksi should be ousted, otherwise a hunger strike'". kei/xh/lm/k
Two of the injured are in a grave situation.
The accident, according to the above sources, has been a result of a wrong driving manoeuvre of the driver of the vehicle, which fell into an abyss together with the passengers.
The dead from this accident are Mentor Mema, 18, Arif Rajku, 55, Ismail Stojku, 22, Besim Gjika, 36, Clirim Rajku, 15, Mynir Gjika, 21 and Ramadan Gjika, 31.
The injured were taken to the military hospital by helicopters of the Health and Defence ministries. kei/xh/
The National Council of the National Front Party (PBK) has blamed the government and the party in power for the current situation at home, due to the collapse of several pyramid scheme companies.
The PBK members came out in their National Council with the following demands:
An immediate resignation of the government, postponement of the mandate of the President of the Republic for one year, referendum on the way of governing and voting for a Constitutional Assembly to approve the Constitution as well as early parliamentary elections.
They said they would promote their political positions up to a withdrawal from parliament unless these demands were approved.
"It was a request of many of our branches in districts," the deputy chairman of PBK, Hysen Selfo, told ATA.
However, the PBK has expressed themselves against the creation of a technocrat government in coalition with the SP. eva/lm/e
Alex Standish is the pivot of an agreement between the Albanian state- run enterprise (NEFINK) and an English company (International Energy) on a coal supply going to be consumed by the population.
But all that resulted was a huge deceit. The coal, which came to Albania in 1993, was not up to the standards and could be used for anything but heating.
Being a broker, Alex Standish worked a lot to the unfair benefit of his company. On November 12, 1992, Alex Standish presented the offers on the coal supply and signed in the role of "a witness." The contract between the two companies was signed four days later. On January 5, 1993, the coal arrived at Durres port, but the commission, set up by the Albanian party, noticed that more than 70 per cent of the coal had the dimensions below the ones specified in Proforma Invoice.
The Albanian company and the British one signed the protocol on coal, which arrived on January 9, 1993. The protocol mentioned that 75 per cent of the coal was below the standards and it should be sent back to the port. Expenses were going to be paid by the English party.
A week later, Alex Standish sent a letter to the Albanian company (NEFINK) just the prevent the breach of the contract.
On March 13, 1993, the Albanian company breached the contract for not meeting the deadlines of the supply. The Albanians lacked coal heating that winter. Since that day on, Mr Standish forgot his centre "Standish & Yates Economic Research Consultants" in Tirana and resorted to journalism.
He was very active in the seminars held in Tirana and discussed a lot on the lack of free press in Albania.
His dissatisfaction mixed with that of his friend (the former Deputy Premier, Mr Pashko) was reflected not only in his articles, but he was also introduced as a reliable and trustworthy source for other British papers.
A very flagrant case is the phone call that Mr Standish made to one of the editors of the BBC Albanian section late at night, after the referendum in Albania in 1994.
For about 20 minutes, Standish persisted in convincing the editor to broadcast in the morning programme the safe news from Tirana on an irrevocable resignation of President Berisha. The phone call was made at 14.00 a.m and the "bomb" news should be broadcast after three hours. The news was not broadcast but it was commented at length by the BBC Albanian section.
After failing in heating the Albanian people during winter 1993, Alex Standish is failing in being an expert, who knows the developments in Tirana very well.
The motive of the rally will be: "The day of toppling the symbols of communism", according to the spokesman of the Interior Ministry.
The police department rejected the request to rally at the Skenderbej square, because of the traffic and problems linked with it, but approved that of staging it in front of the University. s.sh/lm/k
Claiming that the jury had adopted a biased stand in refuting the requests of the defence party during today's session, Kleanthi Koci, attorney of Ramiz Alia demanded the relinquishment of all the jury which tried in the Tirana Court for the first time the people who caused the armed revolt in the United Officers School and the killings on the border.
Martin Deda, head of the jury and deputy chairman of the Tirana Court, on the basis of the code of penal procedure, interrupted the trial and the defensive party request was sent for estimation in the Court of Appeal.
Today's session examined the file of the prosecutor's office in which the prosecutors Adnand Xhelili and Shkelqim Ganaj accused Ramiz Alia, 72, Hekuran Isai, 64, Simon Stefani, 68, Qemal Lame and Gramoz Ruci, on the basis of articles 73, 74 and 25, of genocide and crime against humanity, in cooperation. Present in the courtroom in front of the jury were Alia, Isai and Stefani (the latter ex-Interior ministers) and the defence attorneys of Lame, former chairman of the Attorney General Office and Ruci, former Interior Minister, who will be defended in absentia.
So far, about 300 witnesses have been questioned and the file has reached to 1000 pages. The five defendants have been indicted by the Forum of Independent Intellectuals.
Alia has been arrested for the first time in 1992 and sentenced with 9 years in prison in July 1994 for abuse of office and funds. He was released in 1995 favoured by an amnesty and arrested again in February 2, 1996, under charges for genocide and crimes against humanity.
Former Interior ministers Isai and Stefani have been punished in 1994 for violation of equity of nationals and abuse of office.
One of the episodes where the prosecutor's office has based its charge for the 5 accused is the killing of 58 people who tried to pass the border from 1990 until March 22, 1992.
In the spring of 1990, the ex-communist government decided that the fleeing from the country be not considered any longer as "treachery to the homeland" (according to which the people involved in this act faced maximal punishments and greatest persecution for their families,) but be simply called "illegal passing of the border." Hoping to live in freedom, many youths at that time made for the border, but there they faced the soldiers who were ordered to fire at them, and for this act they were also paid. During this period, 58 people, most of them youths, tried to pass the border. Their bodies were massacred and exposed to terrorize the people in many border villages. kei/pas/xh/k
(DP chairman Tritan Shehu said on Monday that he agreed with an open dialogue without any preliminary condition).
SP has presented its conditions for dialogue, in response to the DP invitation:
"The allowance of peaceful rallies in the whole country, mainly in Tirana, forbidden since two weeks, as well as penal procedure against those structures and government institutions responsible for this violation of the constitutional right; the setting free of the opposition leaders and peaceful protesters, as well as interruption of penal processes against them; the resignation of Meksi government, as being direct responsible for the current economic, social and political crisis; the establishment of a government of experts to guarantee the control and complete transparency for the situation created from the loan-taking companies, to uncover where did the people's money go and give them back; set a date for the new parliamentary elections and discuss the legal modalities for this issue".
"In order to give the necessary time to the Democratic Party to reflect, the meetings can be held beginning from February 21, 1997", says the SP announcement. /a.ke/jz/mt/
President Berisha was received by more than 5000 inhabitants of the town, DP members and supporters, who carried in their hands national and DP flags. Attending were also the mayor, deputies of the district, and others.
In his address before some 700 participants in the theatre hall of the town, Berisha presented a series of measures to help in the solution of the crisis and further development of the Lushnje district.
Berisha mentioned the measures taken in this relation the lifting of taxes for the farmers for two years, the declaration of a free zone in the Lushnja district, faciliating practices for construction, and asured that the privatization of the energytic industry, telecommunication, Albpetrol, and the distribution of these assets in the form of bonds for the citizens would begin soon.
President Berisha stressed that "I have not lost the trust in the dialogue with you, anywhere, in no case and moment, however difficult it may be". He said that for this purpose we sent the DP chairman and the deputy Premier Tritan Shehu to Lushnje. He considered taking hostage of the deputy Premier by a groups of aventurers a "aterrorist act", which "has nothing to do with Lushnje or Myzeqe", because "Lushnje and Myzeqe tried with dignity and during those hours the boys of Lushnje and Karbunara protected him", said Berisha. He said that he would decorate the persons who protected deputy Premier Shehu.
Berisha stressed that "had come to Lushnje with the unshakeable belief and to ask the help and cooperation of all Albanians to overcome together the difficulties and consequences created by loan-taking, to continue to realize our best dreams and hopes of the freedom".
The loan-taking was not only a grave loss, but it was also a bad dream, of which we should come out by every means", he said.
President Berisha admitted the mistake and responsibility of the government and DP for not warning investors sooner of the danger of loan- taking and for not preventing the pyramid schemes before, but he said that "we are resolute to treat loan-taking and all the problems created by their collapse only in the framework of the rule of law".
President Berisha promised that the government would take care of the sports club "Lushnja" for its further financing.
Meanwhile, the conversation of President Berisha with the participants in the meeting continues. /a.ke/jz/mt/