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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-03-01

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] TERRORIST EXTREMIST GANGS OF VLORA CITY ATTACK SHIK BUILDING AND ARMS DEPOT
  • [02] REFUTATION OF ALBANIAN PUBLIC ORDER MINISTRY ON LATEST EVENTS IN VLORE
  • [03] PRESS RELEASE OF NATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICE
  • [04] RIOT AGAINST SHIK BUILDING IN VLORE
  • [05] TOLL OF SHIK OFFICERS KILLED BY TERRORISTS IN VLORE AMOUNTS TO SIX
  • [06] DYNAMITE LOADED CARS GO FROM VLORA TO FIER
  • [07] TOLL OF SHIK OFFICERS KILLED BY TERRORISTS IN VLORE AMOUNTS TO SIX
  • [08] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT TODAY
  • [09] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT TODAY
  • [10] ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIOR MINISTRY
  • [11] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT STARTS
  • [12] EXECUTION OF "DEATH LISTS" STARTS IN VLORE
  • [13] ANNOUNCEMENT OF MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
  • [14] VARIOUS FOOD STUFF ARTICLES ARE MISSING IN VLORA
  • [15] PRESS REVIEW
  • [16] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT STARTS
  • [17] FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AFTER ANNULMENT OF RALLY
  • [18] ANNULLED RALLY OF FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY HELD AT "DEMOKRACIA" SQUARE
  • [19] STATEMENT OF U.S EMBASSY IN TIRANA
  • [20] COURT RULING ON VLORE STRIKERS TO BE ISSUED TOMORROW
  • [21] UNPRECEDENTED FALSIFICATION - Foreign Ministry
  • [22] HUNGER STRIKE IN GJIROKASTER ENTERS THIRD DAY
  • [23] TIRANA COURT SENTENCES AUTHORS OF FIRES IN BERAT TO IMPRISONMENT
  • [24] THE ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE
  • [25] FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY TURNS RALLY INTO ACTS OF VIOLENCE
  • [26] STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC SALI BERISHA
  • [27] TENSE SITUATION IN VLORE CONTINUES
  • [28] PRIME MINISTER MEKSI PRESENTS RESIGNATION OF HIS CABINET TO PRESIDENT BERISHA
  • [29] DP PARLIAMENTARY GROUP AGREES TO GOVERNMENT'S RESIGNATION AS POLITICAL SOLUTION

  • [01] TERRORIST EXTREMIST GANGS OF VLORA CITY ATTACK SHIK BUILDING AND ARMS DEPOT

    TIRANA, MARCH 01 (ATA) - At 22.00 of February 28, terrorist gangs with a number of cars and a considerable number of people surrounded the building of National Information Service (SHIK) in the city of Vlore and opened fire against it with machine guns and bombs. For two hours, there was an exchange of fire between the armed gangs outside the building and the limited SHIK staff in the building. During this clash, an officer was shot dead and three wounded. Three other officers, who left the building after it was set ablaze, were caught and hit with sharp arms and left on the road without allowing anyone to help them.

    After this, the terrorists attacked an army depot, occupied it and distributed all the weapons in the city.

    It is also reported that a number of democratic citizens of Vlore have been raped from their homes and nobody knows their whereabouts. The armed rebels are extreme terrorists, militants and activists of the Socialist Party (former communist.) xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] REFUTATION OF ALBANIAN PUBLIC ORDER MINISTRY ON LATEST EVENTS IN VLORE

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - Spokesman of the Public Order Ministry of Albania said to ATA by telephone that "the report broadcast by REUTER on the events of Feb 28 night is completely untrue. There have been no clashes between the forces of public order police of the city or those of SHIK and the Vlore people in front of the university building where students are on a hunger strike."

    In the recent days, Albanian official institutions have refuted several reports by REUTER stringers in Albania.xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] PRESS RELEASE OF NATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICE

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - Spokesman of the National Information Service (SHIK) of Albania reports that on Feb 28, 1997, at about 21.00, armed terrorist gangs, consisting of nearly 60-70 people, and piled into more than 27 vehicles, rioted, without warning, the building of the local National Information Service in Vlore, opening fire on the four sides of the building with automatic guns and grenades, chanting "We shall set you to fire, offsprings of democrats!"

    National Information Service officers have reacted with gunfire. After an exchange of fire for over two hours, the terrorist gangs put fuel round the building and set it to fire by using explosive substance.

    During the clashes, two SHIK officers were killed, six were seriously wounded, three of whom were caught by the gangsters and taken to the square in front of the Vlore University, where one of them was beaten until he was dead.

    National Information Service has all the necessary documentation to refute a report of Reuter agency, which said that SHIK officers had gone to the building where some students were on a hunger strike, to bring them out of there.

    This story is a fabrication by former-communists who are leading terrorist gangs in Vlore. xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] RIOT AGAINST SHIK BUILDING IN VLORE

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - At about 22.00 of February 28, after great sensitization of the people that allegedly SHIK (National Information Service) was going to bring out of the building the hunger strikers in Vlore, although the Tirana Court has not yet judged the legality of the strike of the students, a trial due on Saturday, March 1, hence not on Friday, terrorist groups separated from the crowds of people gathered in city streets and stormed the SHIK building, opening fire at it with machine guns. They surrounded and attacked the building with explosives setting it ablaze.

    During the attack, two SHIK officers were killed and six others were wounded while on duty, whereas on the side of the terrorists there were four dead and over 20 wounded. After setting the SHIK building to fire, the terrorists rioted an army depot and distributed arms among a great number of people.

    The situation in Vlore is completely under the control of terrorist groups.

    For some days now the public opinion in Vlore is misinformed about supposedly reinforcements of police forces going towards Vlore, but in fact no additional police forces have been seen neither in Vlore nor in its suburbs.

    Two days ago, the Public Order Ministry refuted publicly these false reports. Police forces of the city of Vlore are for three weeks now in a limited number and have adopted a very passive stand. xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] TOLL OF SHIK OFFICERS KILLED BY TERRORISTS IN VLORE AMOUNTS TO SIX

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - The number of the National Information Service (SHIK) officers killed in the city of Vlore during last night's attack of some terrorist gangs against the SHIK building in that city, amounted to six, spokesman of the National Information Service reports. xh/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] DYNAMITE LOADED CARS GO FROM VLORA TO FIER

    FIER, MARCH 1 (ATA) - Over 20 cars loaded with dynamite and fire arms reached Fier city yesterday. The cars, with armed people in them, came from Vlora and by terrorizing Fier citizens sought to flare up an armed uprising throughout Southern Albania. During their march in Fier streets, they threatened and offended passers-by who did not join Vlore protesters. "If you don't join us, we will kill you all!" they said.

    Sources from Vlore report that the idea to go to Fier popped up in Vlore in the first days of this week when the ranks of protesters began to go thinner. Arrival there some days ago of left wing leaders Mejdani, Gjinushi, Milo, Cupi brought about an escalation of the protests and creation of armed gangs carrying guns and axes which seek the extension of the protests in all southern Albania. pas/xh/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] TOLL OF SHIK OFFICERS KILLED BY TERRORISTS IN VLORE AMOUNTS TO SIX

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - The number of the National Information Service (SHIK) officers killed in the city of Vlore during last night's attack of some terrorist gangs against the SHIK building in that city, amounted to six, spokesman of the National Information Service reports.

    Two of the six dead SHIK officers are burnt inside the building of SHIK when it was set ablaze, and another was thrown down from the second floor of the building and although injured he was maltreated by the terrorist group that stormed the building.

    The terrorists are reported now to be attacking the hospital in the city of Vlore to take the wounded that are being treated there. xh/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT TODAY

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Albanian Parliament today will hold an extraordinary session to discuss situation created in the city of Vlore.xh/e

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT TODAY

    TIRANE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Albanian Parliament today will hold an extraordinary session to discuss situation created in the city of Vlore.

    Last night, armed groups of people have exerted terror in Vlore. According to SHIK spokesman, the attack of some terrorist gangs against SHIK building has claimed, repotedly so far, the lives of six officers.

    Two of them were burnt inside the SHIK building when it was set to fire, another was thrown from the second floor and although injured the terrorist group that rioted the building continued to maltreat him.

    According to today's press, a list with the names of the people punished with death penalty by these gangs is circulating in the city. The list has names of police forces, its leaders and even chiefs of the state administration who will be executed without trial, according to the list.

    It is reported that now the terrorists are storming the hospital to take from there the injured who are under medical treatment.

    The event has started last night, around 20.00 when, after rumours spread that allegedly riot police had reach the city to vacate the building where the students of the University were on a hunger strike, a group of 60 armed people in 27 cars came out of the crowd of protesters and stormed the SHIK building, about 1 km from the University premises.

    For four days this news keeps spreading in Vlore, where in fact there are no additional police forces besides the normal number of police forces of the city. xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIOR MINISTRY

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) - The Albanian Interior Ministry, due to the situation created, informs the opposition parties that the meeting asked by them to be held Saturday at 14.00 in "Ali Demi" field and approved by the Police Directory of Tirana is annulled.

    For the annulment of this meeting the Interior Ministry has officially informed the leaders of the Forum for Democracy and has contacted directly with the opposition leaders, ends the Interior Ministry announcement./kled/mt/sh/

    [11] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT STARTS

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) By R. Floqi: The Albanian Parliament convened today at 11.00 in an extraordinary session to examine the grave situation created Friday night in Vlore and several towns of Albania by terrorist forces of the left extreme.

    At the beginning of the session, the chairman of the DP parliamentary group, Ali Spahia, said that the DP parliamentary group is of the opinion that the parliament should convene to debate once again about the grave situation created Friday night in Vlore, as well as about the measures to be taken to avoid the deepening of the violent acts of left extreme forces.

    Spahia requested permission for an hour to discuss this problem with his parliamentary group. /mt/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] EXECUTION OF "DEATH LISTS" STARTS IN VLORE

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) - Groups of criminals, led by the left opposition, have started to execute the "list of death" in the city of Vlore, reports Albania paper on Saturday.

    The people condemned to death in this list are representatives of the Albanian government, simple policemen from Vlore and several intellectuals from this city, who are put to death by the guerilla groups in Vlore. The list is distributed in the whole Vlore and circulates freely in the city, reports the paper.

    The armed gangs have decided to execute without trial where they will find the persons who are included in the "list of death".

    The terrorists attacked the SHIK building, after they were informed that three of the people condemned to death were there. /eva/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] ANNOUNCEMENT OF MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) - A Ministry of Health announcement reports that until midday Saturday, in Vlora hospital were six persons in grave conditions.

    Agim Hazizi, age 31, Ilie Seva, age 28, Vath Lengu, age 31, Kujtim Sekani, age 24, Roland Dhimgjoni, age 24 and Nikolin Nikolla age 26. These persons are being recovered in the department of surgery and reanimation. Meanwhile 15 others are treated and sent back home.

    The Ministry of Health in the early hours of the day has dispatched in Vlora town two surgeons and two reanimateurs. They have been stopped on the outskirts of the town, and only at 9 a.m. they were allowed to enter the town.

    Meantime the murdered persons in the hospital are Fatmir Tozaj 32 year, Artur Zotaj 18 year, Shkelqim Bogdani 30 year and Leke Cokaj 33 year, reports the Health Ministry communique. kled/gen/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] VARIOUS FOOD STUFF ARTICLES ARE MISSING IN VLORA

    VLORE, MARCH 1 (ATA) - The lack of various food stuff articles is evident in Vlora town. So during Thursday afternoon, bread was missing in the majority of stores.

    The same thing can be said for other items as sugar, rice, flour etc. Varoius sources report that are being consumed reserves of grocery depots.

    Many traders asserts that the hike of the USD exhange rate, will not only increase food stuff products prices, but will reduce their imports as well.

    A clear impact on Vlora market has the shut down of town's harbour, where for many days not a single ship has docked in. It has brought azbout the cease of food stuff article from Italy, with which Vlora merchants conduct a vast activity.

    Town's gas stations' were in shortage, being them private or state owned. /s.sh/kei/gen.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) - The dailies report today regarding the events which occurred on Friday night in Vlorė. Thus, Rilindja Demokratike reports: "The terrorists attack the offices of Shik (National Information Service).

    "Bloody midnight in Vlore: three were killed and scores were injured", reports Zeri i Popullit under the title "April 2nd is repeated".

    Under the headline "Vlorė under the terror of the left guerilla", Albania paper carries the article "The anarchy smears Vlore with blood". "Yesterday night the Shik building was attacked, and after the persons condemned to death were not found, the building was set ablaze", reports the paper.

    The paper in an article on the third page reports that the leaders of the Forum told journalists on Friday that they support the demonstrations of the Vlorė citizens who conquered Fier by weapons in hands". The paper cites the leader of the Forum for Democracy Kurt Kola to have said "The freedom comes through blood".

    Under the headline "SHIK intervened Friday to grab the students of hunger. The city occupies the square and set the SHIK building ablaze", Koha Jone carries the article "Vlora sunken into blood". "Vlore: Three people killed, 20 injured" reports the paper.

    "The battle of night in Vlore: three people killed" reports Gazeta Shqiptare under the headline "The protesters surrender the local building of Shik. Severe fight between both parties until midnight".

    Rilindja Demokratike also covers the meeting of Albanian President Sali Berisha with the delegation of the European Union under the title "EU resolute to help Albania". Under the headline "The left extremists encourage the armed gangs to terrify the city", the paper carries the article "SP declares terrorist war to the state". With regard to the round table between DP and SP, the paper reports "Dialogue is the only way to solve the problem". "The Democratic Party is examining the situation and will soon come out with concrete measures", underlines the paper.

    "Police grab at midnight SP leaders Kastriot Islami and Sabit Brokaj" reports Zeri i Popullit. "The boycott of teaching process in universities and high schools continues in Tirana" reports the paper.

    "Meksi provokes Vlore" reports Republika paper. "The democrats and socialists crucifies the swords" reports the paper regarding the DP-SP meeting".

    "Defend the peace, government" is the editorial of Koha Jone. "Government, stay on the side of peace and it is enough, the blood will stop", reports the paper.

    "The government threatens the strikes" reports Dita Informacion. "The gangs and policemen beat Tirana pupils" reports the paper. "Nothing new from the front of dialogue" reports the paper regarding the meeting between DP and SP.

    "Today at 14.00 the final decision on the student hunger strikers will be taken" reports Gazeta Shqiptare. "Premier Meksi accuses in the Court: 'The strike of the Vlore students is illegal. It should be dispersed'", reports the paper, adding that "If Meksi's request is approved, then the intervention of police will be needed to drive the students out by force". /kled/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT STARTS

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) By R. Floqi: The Albanian Parliament convened Saturday at 11.00 in an extraordinary session to examine the grave situation created Friday night in Vlorė and several towns of Albania by terrorist forces of the left extreme.

    At the beginning of the session, the chairman of the DP parliamentary group, Ali Spahia, said that the DP parliamentary group is of the opinion that the parliament should convene to debate once again about the grave situation created Friday night in Vlore, as well as about the measures to be taken to avoid the deepening of the violent acts of left extreme forces.

    Spahia requested permission for an hour to discuss this problem with his parliamentary group.

    Last night, armed groups of people have exerted terror in Vlore. According to SHIK spokesman, the attack of some terrorist gangs against SHIK building has claimed, repotedly so far, the lives of six officers.

    Two of them were burnt inside the SHIK building when it was set to fire, another was thrown from the second floor and although injured the terrorist group that rioted the building continued to maltreat him.

    According to today's press, a list with the names of the people punished with death penalty by these gangs is circulating in the city. The list has names of police forces, its leaders and even chiefs of the state administration who will be executed without trial, according to the list.

    It is reported that now the terrorists have stormed the hospital to take from there the injured who are under medical treatment.

    The event has started last night, around 20.00 when, after rumours spread that allegedly riot police had reached the city to vacate the building where the students of the University were on a hunger strike, a group of 60 armed people in 27 cars came out of the crowd of protesters and stormed the SHIK building, about 1 km from the University premises.

    Such a rumor was also spread out in Vlora town three days ago. On February 26, some foreign radio and news agencies announced that the Interior Ministry has delivered special forces in Vlora town. The news caused the aggravation of the situation in town, where in fact, besides the normal police forces, no other forces were sent. The yesterday's rumor was backed up by the news, according to which the government has demanded from the court to consider illegal the students' hunger strike.

    After the first days of massive protests in Vlora, many people, who paraded daily from Square Flag to Skele, started to spoil the daily ritual and the return of normal order.

    After students entered the hunger strike, the protests were revitalized again to a certain extend, even for the fact that words spread out in town, according to which "students were not eating anything".

    Precisely at that time the signal was given from Tirana, according to it in Vlore town protests were in danger of dying out and this brought about that politicians of Forum for Democracy as Rexhep Mejdani, (SP), Skender Gjinushi and Paskal Milo (SDP), Frrok Cupi (ADP), etc left for Vlora. Their trip to Vlora and also the rumors for an increase of police presence, announced time and again, changed immediately the town's climate. /xh/mt/gen/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AFTER ANNULMENT OF RALLY

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA) By Agim Baēi: The leaders of the Forum for Democracy decided not to hold the meeting planned for Sunday.

    The Forum for Democracy, after being informed with the decision for the annulment of the meeting asked to be held Saturday at 14.00, by the Interior Ministry, due to the non control of the situation created in several cities of Albania, has decided not to hold it.

    The meeting was approved Friday by the police and it was going to be conducted in the "Ali Demi" field, in Tirana.

    In an urgent meeting after this decision was taken, the Forum for Democracy has decided to send an invitation to all the political forces to hold an urgent meeting on Saturday at 16.00 in the grounds of "Rogner" Hotel.

    "The Forum for Democracy, following with great concern the very critical situation which is precipitating every hour, mainly after the recent events in the Vlore city, where there are reported nine dead people so far, considers very necessary the organization of an urgent meeting among all the political parties", says the invitation of the Forum for Democracy. /kei/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] ANNULLED RALLY OF FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY HELD AT "DEMOKRACIA" SQUARE

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- By R. Floqi, The demonstrators at a rally planned but called off by the Forum for Democracy, after protesting for one hour at the Ali Demi soccer pitch, incited by the opposition leaders, marched towards the capital's university campus chanting "Let's join the students", "Students are with us", "Vlore,Vlore", and other slogans.

    On their way to the "Studenti" campus the protestors attacked the campus police headquarters, overturning two police vehicles and breaking their windows.

    Later, the demonstrators headed for the "Demokracia" square of this campus and called on the students to join them. Only few of the students responded to their call.

    At this moment, the demonstrators are at the "Demokracia" square.

    The leaders of the Forum for Democracy, N.Ceka and S.Gjinushi, are speaking to the demonstrators and calling on the students to join them, failing to find a response. s.sh/jz/lm/Z/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] STATEMENT OF U.S EMBASSY IN TIRANA

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- The U.S. Embassy in Tirana, a statement from this embassy press office says on Saturday, expresses its deep concern over the latest reports of violence in Vlore and elsewhere Tirana.

    "The U.S embassy in Tirana expresses its deep concern over the reports of violence in Vlore and elsewhere over the past several days," the embassy says in a statement.

    "Our condolences go out to the victims of this violence and their families."

    The leaders of all political forces should gather together to begin a rational dialogue, which will develop a realistic solution to the crisis facing Albania, the statement says.

    "While the government has a special responsibility for ensuring civil liberties, all sides must show restraint in speech and action to lessen the potential for violence," statement adds.

    "While the United States has a strong interest in the progress of democracy in Albania, the development of this democracy is the responsibility of the Albanians themselves. Violence and extreme speech have no role in this process. s.sh/jz/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] COURT RULING ON VLORE STRIKERS TO BE ISSUED TOMORROW

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)-By M. Kora.

    The Tirana Court examined today the indictment of the Council of Ministers, signed by Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi, with the aim to call a halt to the Vlore students' hunger strike and to consider it illegal.

    The court's jury, presided by judge Alfred Vasili, postponed the decision for tomorrow, at 14:00, to inform the accused party, not present today, to take part in the process.

    Judge Vasili explained today that the rector of the Vlore University was asked on February 27 to attend the trial.kled/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] UNPRECEDENTED FALSIFICATION - Foreign Ministry

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- Reports by REUTER news agency and radio BBC that the violence and killings taking place in the Vlore city yesterday were due to the attempts of Albanian police forces to get the hunger strikers out, are an unprecedented falsification, the Foreign Minister Press and Information Department reports.

    This fresh falsification of the local and foreign correspondents of these media follows another report by them (February 27,1977), according to which special forces had left for Vlore to get (student) hunger strikers out, which is as well falsified.

    The Press and Information Department confirms that no effort has been made by the Interior Ministry or the National Information Service, SHIK, to get the hunger strikers out.

    It dismisses as completely untrue and falsified the reports broadcast today by Reuter's correspondent, Steve Pagani, that tanks have been ordered in the capital to be sent towards Vlore. s.sh/kled/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] HUNGER STRIKE IN GJIROKASTER ENTERS THIRD DAY

    GJIROKASTER, MARCH 1 (ATA)- By H. Cani, The hunger strike of the "Eqrem Cabej" University students in Gjirokaster today entered the third day.

    The chief of the team of doctors taking care of the striking students, Tahir Bitri, said that the health condition of the students does not present any serious problem so far, except for two students who had some small problems.

    Meanwhile, the Forum for Democracy organised today at the main square of the "18 Shtatori" quarter a protest rally in support of the striking students chanting various slogans "Vlore, Vlore", "Down with the government" and other slogans.

    The national road is still blocked by the inhabitants of the Memaliaj town near Gjirokaster. jz/lm/z/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] TIRANA COURT SENTENCES AUTHORS OF FIRES IN BERAT TO IMPRISONMENT

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- By M. Kora,

    The Tirana court today sentenced the organisers of fires in Berat, Artur Dushi, aged 22, and Kujtim Hoxha, 32, to 17 and two years imprisonment.

    Dushi and Hoxha are accused by the prosecutor's office of organising the torching of the town-hall, Prefecture and Berat commissariat during the violent protests of January 25-26, 1997. kled/lm/Z/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] THE ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 9ATA)- EDU Steering Committee discussed thoroughly the recent development in Albania. The EDU expresses its concern and:

    1.Expresses its solidarity with those Albanian people who suffered great losses by the collapse of the pyramid loan schemes and supports all efforts to minimise the damages incurred.

    2.Regrets that the government did not act earlier to outlaw the pyramid loan schemes.

    3.Supports all efforts by the legitimate government to restore economic confidence in Albania, including providing a proper legal framework for financial transactors.

    4.Condemns all those anti-democratic elements and political groups which have exploited the situation to destabilise the country.

    5.Calls on all political parties to join in a political dialogue with the government without preconditions on either side.

    6.Calls on Western and European countries to continue to offer assistance to Albania in its transition to a modern, pluralistic, democratic county with a working market economy and calls upon Albania to accept the assistance offered by the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union in this regard.

    Paris, March 1, 1997

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY TURNS RALLY INTO ACTS OF VIOLENCE

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 9ATA)- By R. Floqi, The demonstrators in a rally planned and called off by the Forum for Democracy, after protesting for one hour at the soccer pitch "Ali Demi", incited by the opposition leaders, headed for the "Studenti" campus chanting "Let's join the students", "Students are with us", "Vlore,Vlore" and other slogans.

    Some 3000 people headed for the "Demokracia" square of this campus calling on the students to join them. Only few students responded to their call.

    Around 7000 students live in the Studenti campus.

    On their way to the "Studenti" campus the protestors attacked the campus police headquarters, overturning two police vehicles and breaking their windows.

    Meanwhile, at the "Demokracia" square the opposition leaders N.Ceka, S.Gjinushi, M. Milo, G. Apostoli, D.Gumeni, P.Kalakula and K.Kola tried to speak to the protestors, inciting them to march towards the "Skenderbej" square.

    A group of activists of the Euro-Socialist Youth Forum, FRESH, chanted at the centre of the square.

    Around 17:00, after the Forum leaders left, a group of 100 protestors headed for the campus police headquarters, breaking windows and attacking two policemen who were on guard.

    A policeman beaten to death could hardly escape the attackers from the crowd. The participants of this group, who were mainly teenagers, seized several shields in the heaquarters and broke them in the eyes of the foreign television cameras.

    Several students there tried to protect the two policemen. At about 17.20, the crowd hurled stones at the dormitories of the girls who did not respond to calls to join the protestors.

    After police intervention, the protestors left the "Studenti" campus and some of them gathered around the U.S. embassy.

    The crowd hurled stones at the police forces in the square between the U.S. embassy and the Italian Embassy residence.

    Afterwards, in the Elbasani street, the protestors dispersed at around 17:30. kled/lm /Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC SALI BERISHA

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- President of the Republic Sali Berisha today conducted separate intensive meetings with political party leaders: the Socialist Party, Republican Party, National Front Party, the Human Rights Union Party and the Democratic Party, on the difficult situation created in the country.

    At the end of these meetings, Berisha made the following statement for the Albanian Television:

    "Today I conducted a series of intensive meetings with leaders of political forces: SP, RP, National Front, Human Rights Union Party and the DP regarding the extremely difficult situation created due to yesterday's dramatic developments in the Vlore district and developments in several other districts.

    In these meetings, the party representatives expressed various views. I might say that the conclusion was drawn for the Meksi government resign. A motion could be carried but the Prime Minister considers the motion unnecessary and sees it reasonable to resign.

    On the other hand, I hold that instituting a party round table to discuss different problems of the country would be very fruitful. I suggested the political forces, but a consensus was not yet reached, the creation of an inter-party commission with experts to study the loan-taking issues and those created and to suggest the next government measures to resolve these problems.

    I avail myself of the opportunity to call on the Albanians once again, to show restraint. Three weeks ago I promised them only political solutions and I keep to my word. But I hold that the use of violence is destructive, not only for the achievements gained so far, which are not few, but very great, but also for the fact that these acts gravely compromise the future of the country.

    We will work intensively for the creation of the new government, which although will be a government of the Democratic Party, and, as a whole, this was also agreed upon by other political forces, will be a government for which broad consultations will be held with all the political forces. a.ke/lm/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] TENSE SITUATION IN VLORE CONTINUES

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)-The situation in the Vlore city on Saturday has been tense with the gun battle continuing during the whole morning and afternoon hours.

    Meanwhile 20 of the "Ismail Qemali" University students on hunger strike have been sent to hospital in a very difficult health condition.

    The funeral of three civilians killed during the clashes was performed on Saturday afternoon. kei/lm/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] PRIME MINISTER MEKSI PRESENTS RESIGNATION OF HIS CABINET TO PRESIDENT BERISHA

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 (ATA)- Albanian Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi presented the resignation of his Cabinet to President of the Republic Sali Berisha on Saturday evening, according to the Press and Information Office close to the President of the Republic.

    President Berisha accepted the resignation of the Meksi government and asked Prime Minister Meksi to hold this post until the nomination of the new Prime Minister after consultations with other parties. s.sh/kei/lm/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] DP PARLIAMENTARY GROUP AGREES TO GOVERNMENT'S RESIGNATION AS POLITICAL SOLUTION

    TIRANA, MARCH 1 9ATA)- By A.Frasheri, The parliamentary group of the Democratic Party, in its today's meeting, which lasted several hours, discussed and agreed to the government's resignation as a political solution.

    This was also the main demand of the striking students of the "Ismail Qemali" university in Vlore.

    "Today we have made a step towards one another," said one of the deputies, signer of the memorial, Bashkim Kopliku.

    As regards the new government, Kopliku said he believed "the SP, too, would want a DP government," pas/lm/k


    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at http://www.telpress.it/ata


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