HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read about The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

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

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] PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ALBANIA
  • [02] BRITISH REPORTER TRIES TO ENTER ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT THROUGH FORCE
  • [03] LAW "ON SOME MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY" ADOPTED
  • [04] AMBASSADORS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES IN ALBANIA ASK FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION AND NOT SOLUTIONS IN SQUARES
  • [05] ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY INVITES FOREIGN CITIZENS TO LEAVE SOUTHERN ALBANIA
  • [06] PROCEDURE TO ELECT PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC STARTS
  • [07] ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
  • [08] PROCEDURE TO ELECT PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC STARTS
  • [09] GJIROKASTER STUDENTS COME OUT OF HUNGER STRIKE
  • [10] INTERIOR MINISTRY ANNOUNCEMENT
  • [11] PROF.DR. SALI BERISHA REELECTED HEAD OF STATE OF ALBANIA
  • [12] TERROR OF ARMED GANGS CONTINUE - Sarande
  • [13] PROF.DR. SALI BERISHA REELECTED HEAD OF STATE OF ALBANIA
  • [14] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT TAKES OATH OF OFFICE BEFORE PARLIAMENT
  • [15] SPEECH OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC SALI BERISHA ON HIS REELECTION PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
  • [16] PROFESSIONAL FORMATION CENTRE SET TO FIRE IN VLORE
  • [17] PROFESSIONAL FORMATION CENTRE SET TO FIRE IN VLORE
  • [18] LAW ON STATE OF EMERGENCY IN CASES WHEN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND PUBLIC ORDER ARE SERIOUSLY INFLICTED
  • [19] MEASURES FOR THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN KORCE DISCUSSED
  • [20] TENSE SITUATION CONTINUES IN SARANDA
  • [21] 20 PEOPLE DETAINED AND HUNDREDS OF FIRE ARMS, MUNITION AND EXPLOSIVES CAUGHT
  • [22] OPERATIONAL MEASURES ADOPTED IN ELBASAN TO FACE WITH THE SITUATION
  • [23] Four killed by gunfire in southern Albania
  • [24] Albania official blames criminals for unrest
  • [25] Albania president re-elected amid nationwide strife
  • [26] REPORT OF GENERAL ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
  • [27] REFUTATION OF ALBANIA'S DEFENCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
  • [28] CALMER SITUATION IN GJIROKASTRA ON MONDAY AFTERNOON
  • [29] STAFFS OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY MEET IN BERAT AND SHKODER

  • [01] PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ALBANIA

    TIRANA, March 2 (ata) - In the parliamentary session which opened today at 22.30, the chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Pjeter Arbnori, informed the deputies that Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi had proposed the People's Assembly Presidency some measures to be taken in the context of the state of emergency.

    The draft law regarding these measures is being discussed in the parliamentary commissions of public order, SHIK and mass media.

    The draft law says that all armed rebels must hand over arms until March 3, 1997, at 12.00. After this deadline, the armed rebels, according to the draft law, will be hit without any warning. The draft also says that active military and reservists who do not carry out the tasks they are charged with, will be punished according to respective provisions of the military penal code of the state of emergency. It also requires from the prosecutor's office to start investigation for the organizers and inspirers of the revolt and that the bread production and selling units must not stop producing, and they have to execute orders of the local Defence Staff. pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] BRITISH REPORTER TRIES TO ENTER ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT THROUGH FORCE

    TIRANA, MARCH 2 (ATA) - The Press and Information Department of the Foreign Ministry today reports that Joanna Robertson, correspondent of BBC World Service and newspapers "The Guardian," "Observer" and "The Economist" tried to enter through force the Albanian Parliament today at 16.30.

    After the exchange of some replica, reporter Robertson tried to go in the Parliament violently. The incident was avoided with the intervention of service staff of the Albanian Parliament, who asked Robertson to show them the accreditation card authorizing her to follow the sessions of the Parliament. Reporter Robertson, who had no such authorization to enter the Albanian Parliament, tried to enter the Parliament through force even after explanations by the Parliament service staff.

    The press and information department expresses regret for this violent act of reporter Robertson, which is not conformed to professional and civic values. Any Albanian or foreign reporter should have the accreditation card of the press parliament office to enter the parliament.

    The press and information department appeals to foreign reporters and correspondents to observe the principles of information and the civic standards. ake/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] LAW "ON SOME MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY" ADOPTED

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - By R Floqi, A Frasheri: The People's Assembly of Albania today approved in a special session the law "On some measures in the context of the state of emergency."

    Upon a proposal of the Council of Ministers, the People's Assembly of the Republic of Albania decided:

    Article 1

    All armed rebels must hand over arms, munition and explosives until March 3, 1997, 14.00. After this deadline, the armed rebels will be shot without warning.

    Article 2

    Active military and reservists who do not carry out the charged tasks will be punished conformed to respective provisions of the Military Penal Code for the state of emergency.

    Article 3

    The Prosecutor's office must immediately start investigation for the organizers and inspirers of the revolt.

    Article 4

    Limits are enforced for the freedom of press and information. Publication and distribution in the press and broadcasts in the radio of reports which stir up and call for violent actions against national security, the constitutional law, public security and the life of the individual are prohibited. Daily press and media are obliged to publish the full text of the official reports which are directly related with the state of emergency.

    Press organs are obliged to get an approval before selling for the materials for publication in every issue of newspaper by the local staff for the execution of the state of emergency, which has the right to suspend any publication which violates this provision.

    Article 5

    Nationals presently in military service will continue this service until the state of emergency ends.

    Article 6

    Bread producing and selling units will continue their activity and have to observe orders by the local defence staff.

    Article 7

    This law is enforced on March 3, 1997, 1.00.

    With the approval of this law, the Parliament closed the special session. ake/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] AMBASSADORS OF WESTERN COUNTRIES IN ALBANIA ASK FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION AND NOT SOLUTIONS IN SQUARES

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - By R Floqi: Ambassador of the U.S. Marisa Lino, and ambassadors of the European Union represented by the Italian Ambassador and Swiss Ambassador, held from March 2, 1997 at 22.00 to March 3, 1997 at 1.30 hrs a meeting with 10 representatives of the political parties, including DP and opposition parties.

    "We discussed the common and different points between various parties and put them questions to explain to us their options," said U.S. ambassador to Albania, Marisa Lino after the meeting held in Hotel Rogner.

    Asked by reporters whether there were common points among the parties, Mrs Lino said: "I think that in every kind of contact there are both common points and differences."

    Western diplomats in Tirana said they denounced violence.

    When asked of what kind of violence they were speaking about at a time armed gangs who are out of the control of political parties, are undertaking terrorist acts, they gave no concrete reply.

    "We," said Italian Ambassador Paolo Foresti, "gathered the parties which can also convene themselves in a round table to discuss a political solution and not solutions in squares and we appeal not to use violence."

    Asked by reporters if this political dialogue and appeal against violence is valuable at a time when the state of emergency has been declared, Mr Foresti said: "Since we held this meeting, we considered it necessary." ake/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY INVITES FOREIGN CITIZENS TO LEAVE SOUTHERN ALBANIA

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)- The Albanian Interior Ministry, through a press release published right after midnight, invites all foreign citizens residing in Southern Albania to take all the necessary measures to leave that part for security reasons. pas/lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] PROCEDURE TO ELECT PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC STARTS

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)-By R.Floqi,

    The Albanian parliament began today at 10.00 the procedure for the election of the President of the Republic.

    The commission created to organise the voting process includes Natasha Shehu, Milika Jaho and Esat Hasani, deputies of the Democratic Party, Sali Rexhepi of the SP and Gjon Markagjoni and Esat Hasani of the Republican Party.

    Spahia, on behalf of a group of DP deputies, put forward the candidature of the current president, Prof.Dr. Sali Berisha, as the sole candidate of the DP for a second five-year term as president.

    The commission is gathered at these moments to organise the voting which will be secret and conducted according to the alphabetic order. pas/lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTERIOR MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The spokesman of the Interior Ministry reports that on March 3, at 02.00, the police forces of the Lushnje commissariat arrested the citizens Shekelqim Veliu, 31, Asllan Vekiu, 50, Ilir Veliu, 28, and Flamur Veliu, 25, inhabitant in the village Mbrostar - Ura Fier, as well as the citizens Pajtim Kashari, 27, inhabitant in Kasharaj, Lushnje, and Dritan Sulko, 22, inhabitant in Lushnje, because at about 21.00, on March 2, while travelling by vehicles without number plates from Fier to Lushnje, were detained near Saver village with four "Kallashnikov" machine guns, anti tank and a case of munition, which they illegally possessed them.

    On March 2, at about 12.00, in Levan village of the Fier district, two trucks of big tonnage and 10-15 vehicles came from Vlore, which were built up in the Koshovica neck, entered from there in the army headquarters and seized the armaments and munition. After this, the terrorist gang, which has come with these vehicles from Vlore, immediately left for Vlore. The police forces of Fier commissariat, which patrolled in that zone, have found on their way some boxes with munition and grenades, which were transported to the Fier division.

    At about 15.00, some terrorist gangs gathered in front of the Division in Portez of Fier district, and a gun battle continued for hours between the military forces and these terrorist gangs. In these moments the police forces and the Fier commissariat went to help the forces of the division, and there was noticed that the armament were seized several hours ago with trucks.

    On March 2, after 16.00, the Fier police commissariat was informed that the Division commander was sieged by armed bands, who were said to have come from Vlore. The Police forces, who went to the spot, exchanged fire until 20.00 with the armed bands and managed to release the Division commander.

    After the release of the Division commander by the police forces, the district commissariat was informed that six wounded citizens were sent to hospital and that citizen Vladimir Murati, 30, from Fier was shot dead.

    Terrorist bands went yesterday at about 16.00 to the Tepelene police commissariat of yesterday at about 16.00, first by threatening and then by breaking doors and windows and have freed the detained and arrested found in this commissariat.

    Later, they headed for the buildings of the Court and Prosecutor's office, destroying them. Afterwards these bands attacked the Army Brigade, seizing weapons and munition, and then moved on the city and suburbs, causing terror with gunshots, the Interior Ministry spokesman concludes.s.sh/kled/mt/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] PROCEDURE TO ELECT PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC STARTS

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)-By R.Floqi,

    The Albanian parliament is voting for the election of the President of the Republic.

    The commission created to organise the voting process includes Natasha Shehu, Milika Jaho and Esat Hasani, deputies of the Democratic Party, Sali Rexhepi of the SP and Gjon Markagjoni of the Republican Party.

    Spahia, on behalf of a group of DP deputies, put forward the candidature of the current president, Prof.Dr. Sali Berisha, as the sole candidate of the DP for a second five-year term as president.

    The voting will be secret and will be conducted according to the alphabetic order.

    In his address, Spahia, after appreciating the role of President Berisha in the democratic processes in the country, consolidation of democracy, the reforms of the market economy and rule of law, invited all the deputies to vote for the candidature of Mr. Berisha for a second presidential mandate.

    Albanian Speaker Pjeter Arbnori said that no other group of 20 people has presented another candidature, and that the only candidature is that of Mr. Sali Berisha.

    Attending the parliamentary session are also representatives of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Albania. /pas/mt/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] GJIROKASTER STUDENTS COME OUT OF HUNGER STRIKE

    GJIROKASTER, MARCH 3 (ATA)- The students of the "Eqerem Cabej" University of Gjirokaster came out of their hunger strike today at 3.00 a.m. They went on hunger strike on February 27, in solidarity with the Vlore students.

    Also today, the tense situation in Gjirokaster continued. Armed people yesterday set the buildings of the district police commissariat and Prosecutor's office to fire. Shops and the tourist compound Adi Petrol have been looted.

    Shootout and explosions took place overnight.

    Hospital officials report that Bahri Dudumi, inhabitant of Gjirokaster, aged 25, has been shot dead.

    Four people are also reported wounded, one of them is in critical condition. a.ke/pas/lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] INTERIOR MINISTRY ANNOUNCEMENT

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)- Last night, at about 23.00 the Ballsh police commissariat forces intercepted a car which had covered the number plates. The people in the car, not only did not obey the stopping sign by the police but aimed their guns at the police.

    The police then chased it through an exchange of fire until the car was stopped. The people who were in the car at first took positions around the car exchanging fire with the police forces.

    Three of them fled to unknown direction, continuing to shoot at the police forces. After a police built up, the armed bandits were seiged, continuing the gun battle with them.

    Today, at about 01.00, the police forces managed to detain two of the members of this band, Jetnor Zotaj, from the village of Greshice of Mallakaster, and Mestan Ceraj from the Ballsh town. The operation continued until 05.00, during which three other members of this band were caught: Ilir Merko from Kanine of Vlore, who was also the owner of the car, Defrim Merko and Mesnik Mucaj, also from Kanine of Vlore.

    The police arrested them and intercepted a considerable amount of fire arms, including automatic weapons, pistols, cartridge and explosives. The operations continue. a.ke/eva/lm/e

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] PROF.DR. SALI BERISHA REELECTED HEAD OF STATE OF ALBANIA

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)-The Albanian parliament, convened today in plenary sitting in Tirana, reelected Mr. Sali Berisha in the post of the President of the Republic. lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] TERROR OF ARMED GANGS CONTINUE - Sarande

    SARANDE, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The armed gangs have also continued during the night and the day to terrorise the inhabitants of Saranda city. The gunshots were heard continuously in the streets of the city, where groups of youths, cruised the streets in the cars shooting into the air, ATA correspondent reported through telephone.

    The terrorist gangs have attacked the Headquarters of the Navy and have seized all the armament. Meanwhile, other groups have stormed the arm depots of this military base seizing different weapons, food staff and equipment, etc.

    The library, the building of the Attorney's Office and the Court of the city are completely torched, as well as 9 vehicles of the Police Commissariat. One of the motorboats that was in the port was set ablaze, and the others were seized by the terrorists.

    It is reported that the citizen Mete Muka, 50, was found killed.

    According to the eyewitnesses, some 2000 weapons of different kinds might have been seized.

    Meanwhile it is reported that the Greek Division of Ioannina is deployed near the Albanian border to prevent a possible exodus towards Greece. /eva/mt/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] PROF.DR. SALI BERISHA REELECTED HEAD OF STATE OF ALBANIA

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)-The Albanian parliament, convened today in plenary session in Tirana, reelected Mr. Sali Berisha in the post of the President of the Republic.

    At the beginning of the session the head of the DP parliamentary group, Ali Spahia, on behalf of a group of DP deputies, put forward the candidature of the current President, Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha, as the sole candidate of the DP for a second term as president.

    Following the secret voting, in which took part 118 deputies, 113 deputies voted in favour, one against and four abstained.

    Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha, aged 52, was elected for the first time Head of the Albanian State on April 9, 1992. kled/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT TAKES OATH OF OFFICE BEFORE PARLIAMENT

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)- After the voting commission declared President of the Republic, Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha, who won over two thirds of the votes, in which 113 out of 118 deputies voted in favour, the Speaker of parliament Pjeter Arbnori invited President Sali Berisha, newly elected, to take the oath of office.

    President of the Republic Sali Berisha took the floor and said:

    "I swear in my honour before the Flag and God to be loyal to the people and Homeland, the ideals of freedom and democracy, progress, independence and territorial inviolability of Albania.

    I swear to respect the country's Constitution and laws, to defend and develop democracy, freedoms and human rights and fulfil with will and consciousness all the duties as President of the Republic of Albania. I swear! lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] SPEECH OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC SALI BERISHA ON HIS REELECTION PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA)- Dear deputies, Ladies and gentlemen, First of all I, as President, thank all of you who, with your vote, expressed trust in my second term as president. I also would like to thank all those who abstained and voted against, because with their vote they transmitted a message which should be taken into consideration as an element of diversity and pluralism.

    To be elected president of a country is certainly a landmark in the life of every simple man. To be reelected president of a country is as a whole a sublime privilege. In fact, I again regard this reelection, at a time when several regions of the country are living through a real violence and communist rebellion, as a sublime privilege given to me to cope with these difficulties and, together with you, with the Albanians throughout the country and state institutions, for a correct solution to the problems created. Today I swore for the second time in this parliament, convinced and sure, first, that we will overcome the current difficulties and that in the coming years our achievements in all domains will be much greater then those we have realised over the past five years.

    I base this unshakable belief on the help of the God, on all what we have accomplished during the last five years, which switched Albania from the great downfall onto the road of democracy, market economy, the road of opening and integration into Europe and which make up a basis and incomparable level of development and progress with what we had five years ago.

    Five years ago poverty and shortage of bread prevailed in the country, while today Albania continues to remain the country of a rapid economic growth in Europe.

    I base my trust on my and your contribution and engagement, on the contribution and engagement of all the Albanians to realise our dreams and hopes emerging during the years of freedom to consolidate our achievements, to build our future as soon as possible, to build a society based on the universal values of our western civilisation.

    I base my unshakeable trust on friendships and friends we have made in Europe and in the whole world.

    I am convinced that we will not only overcome quickly the difficulties created, will dominate with complete efficacity the terrorism and will bring back the stability, but we will also enlarge and consolidate the human rights and freedoms, the free market as the most secure way of Albania's integration into Europe, the main fundamental direction of Albania and Albanians for today and their future.

    I would like to ensure once again that nothing has shook and will be able to shake my resolution and trust on the values of democracy and the market economy. These values are incompatible to tolerance, violence and fraudulence. To decide to destroy those values through violence, to keep silent before their destruction, you commit an ugly act, on which the nation and history will judge and will never forgive.

    I would like to ensure the Albanians all over the world that Albania, as so far, will remain resolute to defend their freedoms and rights and help the correrct and peaceful solution, in accordance with laws and international acts of the great issues created during a century for the Albanian nation.

    In conclusion, I would like to call on all the Albanians, all political forces of the country, all those who accept and know undeniably the progress of these years, but also on those who are dissatisfied or sad today, to join all the efforts, energies, and trust to build our best future in Europe to which we belong.

    May God bless Albania!" /lm/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] PROFESSIONAL FORMATION CENTRE SET TO FIRE IN VLORE

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The government press office reports that the Professional Formation Centre in Vlore set up on the basis of a project realised with the assistance of the Danish Government, was stormed and set to fire on Monday.

    The project had cost 7 million dollars.

    After the withdrawal of the Albanian government, Saturday, which was one of requests of the protesters of Vlore, terrorist gangs escalated the violence, and issued an ultimatum for President Sali Berisha that if their demands were not met within some hours, these armed gangs would move on Tirana, at 20.00.

    The arms have been looted from military units and arms stores in Vlore and other southern zones were people and objects were hit.

    The parties of the Forum for Democracy which have backed up the protests of Vlora for the money lost in pyramid schemes, have not issued any official pronunciation to distance themselves from the killings, torching and destructions in Vlore and other southern districts. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] PROFESSIONAL FORMATION CENTRE SET TO FIRE IN VLORE

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The government press office reports that the Professional Formation Centre in Vlore set up on the basis of a project realised with the assistance of the Danish Government, was stormed and set to fire on Monday.

    The project had cost 7 million dollars.

    After the withdrawal of the Albanian government, Saturday, which was one of requests of the protesters of Vlore, terrorist gangs escalated the violence, and issued an ultimatum for President Sali Berisha that if their demands were not met within some hours, these armed gangs would move on Tirana, at 20.00.

    The arms have been looted from military units and arms stores in Vlore and other southern zones were people and objects were hit.

    The parties of the Forum for Democracy which have backed up the protests of Vlora for the money lost in pyramid schemes, have not issued any official pronunciation to distance themselves from the killings, torching and destructions in Vlore and other southern districts. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] LAW ON STATE OF EMERGENCY IN CASES WHEN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND PUBLIC ORDER ARE SERIOUSLY INFLICTED

    TIRANA, MARCH 2 (ATA) - On the basis of Article 16 of the law 7491, dated April 29, 1991, "On main constitutional provisions," upon proposal of the Council of Ministers, the People's Assembly of the Republic of Albania decided:

    Article 1

    State of emergency in the cases of a serious infliction of the constitutional law and public order (hereafter referred to as state of emergency) is considered that situation when in the Republic of Albania or in a part of it violent overthrow of the constitutional law is a threat or when the activity of the state structures is halted, when arms stores of the Armed Forces, factories for their production and state central and local institutions are rioted, and when, because of the realisation of penal acts against public order and security, they are seriously risked and when the economic life and freedoms of the individuals are inflicted.

    Article 2

    The state of emergency is declared upon decision of the People's Assembly. When the People's Assembly is not having sessions, the state of emergency is declared by decree of the President of the Republic.

    Article 3

    The state of emergency has a temporary character and continues until the factors which have led to its declaring are eliminated.

    In the cases when the state of emergency is declared for a limited period of time, the prolongation of the deadline is made by special decision of the People's Assembly.

    Article 4

    When the state of emergency is declared, the constitutional rights and freedom are temporarily limited with the exception of those mentioned in Article 41 of the Law 7692, dated March 31, 1993, "On a Supplement to the law 7491, dated April 29, 1991, on main constitutional provisions."

    When the public order bodies are not able to face with, neutralize and eliminate the illegal activity which inflicts the constitutional order and the public order with their ordinary means, then forces of the army are involved in assistance of the public order bodies for the realisation of their duties.

    Article 5

    The public order bodies have the right to stop within respective constitutional limits all those people of whom there are ample information showing that they prepare acts detrimental to the public order and tranquillity and contrary to the rules set by the bodies charged by law for the adoption and execution of the measures for the safeguarding of the public order in case of state of emergency.

    Article 6

    In case of state of emergency all gatherings in public places are prohibited along with activities of political, sport, cultural and trade union character.

    For the disperse of gatherings in public places, the public order bodies have the right to use tear gas and fire arms to the level needed for the realisation of their duty in case they can't realise the dispersion through other means.

    Article 7

    In the cases of the state of emergency the following measures are particularly adopted:

    a) All state or public institutions are considered "institutions of special importance" and are protected through the force of arms.

    b) Free movement of individuals in set times of the day may be prohibited; in the hours when free movement is allowed, movement in groups more than 4 people may be limited. In any case, the exceptions to this rule are allowed only by special authorization.

    c) In the main streets leading to and out of dwelling centres and in institutions of state and public administration checking control points are posted.

    Article 8

    The activity for the realisation of the state of emergency is directed by the Council of Defence.

    In implementation of the provisions of this law, the Council of Defence examines and adopts all necessary measures for the safeguard and defence of the public order. The Council of Ministers adopts measures for the coordination of the activity of central and local structures to guarantee the economic activity and vital needs of the nationals.

    Article 9

    For the application of the measures for the state of emergency, the defence staff is created on the basis of districts (prefecture.) As chairman of the staff is appointed the prefect, whereas members of the staff are named the chairman of the district, the mayor, the commander of the largest military unit and leaders of the police commissariat.

    Article 10

    This law enters into force on March 2, 1997

    ssh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] MEASURES FOR THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN KORCE DISCUSSED

    KORCE, MARCH 3 (ATA) - By Behar Fejzullai: Under the direction of the prefect of Korca, Pjerin Kiri, the staff of the state of emergency met on Monday and adopted the measures for the state of emergency and protection of the Prefecture of Korca.

    Military measures have been already adopted in the four districts of this prefecture, armoured vehicles are installed in Leskovik, in the roads into and out of Korca, Pogradec, etc.

    The staff has discussed the measures for a normal supply of the population with bread, electricity, food articles, etc.

    Since Sunday 17.35 a state of emergency has been declared throughout Albania in response to unrest in some southern districts of Albania, especially in Vlore, where armed gangs have killed, ruined institutions and looted some shops. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] TENSE SITUATION CONTINUES IN SARANDA

    SARANDA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - Armed terrorist gangs continue to terrorize inhabitants of the town of Saranda, by firing guns on the streets.

    At noon, armed rebels have looted a warship and sailed with it in the Saranda bay opening fire in the air.

    Armed terrorist gangs have reportedly rioted and looted arms and an amount of ammunition in the military unit of Rusan (2 km from Delvina) and an amount of arms in the military unit in Bajkaj.

    Last night, the terrorist gangs have stormed the rugs production enterprise, stealing from there all the production for export.

    It is also reported that a group of terrorists have pressurized the mayor of Saranda, Capajev Zera, not to allow the state of emergency be declared in that town.

    In the mean time, a military marine unit is being looted and one can see even teenagers with arms in hands moving through the streets. xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] 20 PEOPLE DETAINED AND HUNDREDS OF FIRE ARMS, MUNITION AND EXPLOSIVES CAUGHT

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - On Monday police forces and those of SHIK and army detained over 20 people and caught some hundred of fire arms, a great among of ammunition and explosives, spokesman of the Interior Ministry of Albania reports.

    A part of these arms were handed down by the national themselves within the deadline set by law (at 14,00 today.)

    The operations of these forces to crush the armed gangs extended to a broader zone on Monday, following the state of emergency was declared throughout Albania, on Sunday afternoon. ake/kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] OPERATIONAL MEASURES ADOPTED IN ELBASAN TO FACE WITH THE SITUATION

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - By P Zekthi: The second meeting of the staff of the state of emergency of the prefecture of Elbasan was held today in Elbasan after the first one held yesterday, under the direction of the Prefect Tonin Alimehilli, staff chairman, with the participation of the mayors, chiefs of police commissariats and defence brigades from the districts of Elbasan, Gramsh, Librazhd and Peqin.

    In order to overcome the situation, all the institutions defined as of special importance such as water supply, electric supply enterprises, telekom, town halls etc., will be guarded by armed police and army forces.

    The meeting also decided that all the bakers and bread factories will work nonstop.

    According to confirmations by the public order bodies in Elbasan, a relatively calm situation is prevailing in this city.

    Since Sunday, at 17.35 a state of emergency was declared in Albania in response to the unrest in some Albanian southern areas, especially in Vlore, where armed gangs have killed, ruined institutions and looted shops. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Four killed by gunfire in southern Albania

    (Updates death toll, adds other detail) VLORE, Albania, March 2 (Reuter) - Gunfire killed at least four people, including an eight-year-old girl, in riot-hit towns in southern Albania on Sunday, hospital sources and the Interior Ministry said.

    The ministry named the girl as Emine Hoxhallari and said a man called Sulo Sulaj was shot dead in Vlore. A hospital employee in the town of Fier had also been killed and at least three other people were injured.

    "Terrorist bands in Vlore have shot dead this evening a girl, Emine Hoxhallari, eight years old, and another resident called Sulo Sulaj," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    "In the town of Fier, terrorist bands this afternoon killed a hospital employee and injured three other people," it added.

    An unspecified number of other people had been injured, the ministry said, quoting sources close to Fier police station.

    Hospital sources in Vlore, a southern Adriatic port, said earlier the girl had not been the target of attack. The bullet either ricocheted off a building or hit the girl after being fired into the air.

    A further 22 people were treated for wounds at the hospital on Sunday, the sources said.

    In Gjirokaster, near the Greek border, one person was killed and two were injured by gunfire and were undergoing surgery, hospital officials said. "They were all hit by stray bullets for sure," one official said.

    Rioters in the town sprayed a police station with bullets from Kalashnikov assault rifles and then set it ablaze, witnesses said.

    Police fled as up to 30 masked raiders attacked the building. Flames rose up soon afterwards and the crackle of automatic gunfire mixed with the din of ambulance sirens.

    Vlore was the scene on Friday night of the worst violence in two months of unrest in Albania, Europe's poorest state, following the collapse of pyramid savings schemes which had soaked up many people's life savings.

    Up to nine people, three of them civilians, were reported killed in the Friday gun battle between demonstrators and Shik secret policemen.

    The Albanian parliament on Sunday declared an immediate state of emergency in response to the uprising in Vlore and a string of southern towns.

    REUTER

    Albania warns rioters to give up arms by 1300 GMT

    TIRANA, March 3 (Reuter) - Albania's parliament warned armed insurgents in the south of the country on Monday that they would be shot without warning unless they surrendered their weapons by two p.m. (1300 GMT).

    The state-run news agency ATA said the directive was among seven measures introduced by parliament to end the insurrection. Others included strict controls on the media and an extension to military service.

    "All the armed rebels must surrender their arms, ammunition and explosive materials by 2 p.m. on March 3, 1997. After this time, armed rebels will be shot without warning," ATA quoted the order as saying.

    Parliament earlier declared an immediate state of emergency after bloody unrest swept towns in the south, where rioters raided police and army weapons depots and looted and burned shops, banks and public buildings.

    The new emergency measures included a requirement for all media to carry official announcements and for the written press to submit their reports for official clearance. Publications which did not respect the ruling would be "blocked".

    The measures came into force at 1 a.m. (midnight GMT).

    REUTER

    Albania advises foreigners to leave violent south

    TIRANA, March 3 (Reuter) - Albania has advised foreigners in the violence-torn south of the country to leave, the state-run news agency ATA reported on Monday.

    It said the advice had been issued by the Interior Ministry and covered the towns of Vlore, Gjirokaster, Sarande and Fier.

    "The ministry stressed that this is necessary for reasons of security," ATA said. It gave no figure for the number of foreigners in the affected area.

    Parliament earlier declared an immediate state of emergency in Albania.

    Subsequent measures adopted by parliament included a directive that "armed rebels" would be shot without warning if they did not surrender their weapons by 2 p.m. (1300 GMT), ATA reported.

    REUTER

    Media intimidation in Albania must stop-Britain

    LONDON, March 3 (Reuter) - Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind on Monday demanded an immediate end to intimidation of journalists, including Britons, in Albania and called on the country's leaders to conform to democratic norms.

    In a strongly worded statement, Rifkind said: "I am...deeply concerned by the reports of the intimidation of journalists, including British journalists, and of attempts to control the freedom of the media. This must stop now."

    Controls on the media enacted by Albania's parliament came into force at midnight GMT.

    They follow widespread and sometimes violent popular protests in recent weeks after thousands of Albanians lost their life savings in the collapse of pyramid investment funds.

    Many of them believe, despite vehement denials, that these funds helped to finance the 1996 election campaign of the ruling Democrats.

    Rifkind said he was deeply concerned by the violence and loss of life in Albania, Europe's poorest country.

    "I look to the Albanian Government to act in accordance with democratic standards, and to use responsibly the emergency powers they have granted themselves," he said.

    "It is vital that all parties work together to address Albania's financial and political crisis, and to resolve the situation peacefully."

    REUTER

    Albanian President Berisha re-elected unopposed

    TIRANA, March 3 (Reuter) - President Sali Berisha of Albania, where a state of emergency is in effect, was elected unopposed by parliament to a second five-year term on Monday, the Speaker said.

    The vote was 113 in favour to one against with four abstentions, Speaker Pjeter Arbnori announced.

    Berisha's Democratic Party holds 122 of the 140 seats in the parliament. Deputies chanted "Berisha, Berisha" when the result was announced.

    The president, who required a two-thirds majority for election on the first ballot, was in the chamber with his wife and was sworn in after the vote. Several diplomats also observed the session.

    Albania's parliament voted unanimously on Sunday to declare an immediate state of emergency in response to armed unrest in the south of the Balkan country.

    It later said "armed rebels" in the south would be shot without warning if they did not surrender weapons by two p.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday and introduced other emergency measures including media controls and an extension to military service.

    The measures took effect at 1 a.m. (midnight GMT).

    REUTER

    Greek border quiet, Albanians said afraid to move By Stephen Weeks

    ATHENS, March 3 (Reuter) - Greek customs officials said on Monday that only a limited number of Albanians had so far tried to flee across the border to escape violence sweeping their homeland.

    An officer at the border post at Kakavia, the main crossing point, said 100 people and 30 vehicles had arrived so far -- all with valid visas.

    Border police said the number of illegal refugees, who flee across a rugged mountain chain on foot, was unchanged in recent days, numbering some 10 to 100 people.

    Tens of thousands of Albanians streamed across the border in 1990 and 1991 after the Balkan country's Stalinist regime fell.

    Albanian border guards, who had shoot to kill orders, abandoned their posts in the chaos surrounding the collapse of 45 years of communism.

    Greece was unprepared to stem the tide and has an estimated 350,000 Albanians, mostly working illegally at menial jobs.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Sunday that Greece had taken measures to deal with the crisis in neighbouring Albania, which has a large ethnic Greek population in the south.

    "First, it has seen to it that there is close monitoring of developments at the borders to prevent a wave of immigrants or at least check the situation effectively," he said.

    Greece was also in contact with its European Union partners to take joint action to deal with the problem, citing food aid and political developments.

    Simitis said the government planned to convene in Athens a group of representatives from other European states to discuss the Albanian crisis.

    "I believe the developments (in Albania) are negative. We on our side need to remain calm. We will be able to control any negative repercussions, " he said.

    Customs chief Andreas Tsaprazis told Reuters on Monday the border was open and operating normally. But he said Albanians appeared to be afraid to drive to the border because of armed bands roaming the southern region.

    Tsaprazis said he closed the customs office at Kakavia between 1 a.m and 7 a.m on Monday as a precaution because lorries were arriving and he feared they might have armed groups inside. He will consult with Athens about security precautions, he said.

    "You'd have to be the heroic type to try to cross southern Albania right now to get to the border," he said.

    Albanian mobs, enraged after losing large sums of money in get-rich- quick investment schemes, ransacked sections of the southern towns of Vlore and Gjirokaster over the weekend.

    Local armouries were raided and gangs of people are roaming the region heavily armed and out of control. Many buildings have been burned, and banks and shops raided.

    The Albanian parliament warned on Sunday that anyone with unauthorised weapons in the south would be shot without warning unless they surrendered their arms by 2 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday.

    Protests and violence have swept Albania since January when five fraudulent investment schemes failed, wiping out the life savings of many Albanians. President Sali Berisha has become the focus of the anger of duped investors.

    A large part of the estimated $1 billion to $2 billion which was lost in the scandal came from money sent home from Greece and other countries by illegal immigrants.

    REUTER

    Press group blasts media restrictions in Albania

    VIENNA, March 3 (Reuter) - The International Press Institute (IPI) on Monday condemned the Albanian government's move to restrict press freedom under a national state of emergency declared on Sunday.

    "The IPI strongly condemnes the introduction by Albania's parliament of controls on the media," the Vienna-based group of editors and publishers representing media in 88 countries said in an open letter addressed to President Sali Berihsa.

    "IPI believes that restrictions on the right of news media to freely gather and distribute information (are) unacceptable and urges your excellency to ensure that censorship of the media, both direct and indirect, is eliminated," it added.

    Albania's parliament, controlled by Berisha, on Sunday unanimously voted to put the country under a state of emergency in response to an armed uprising spreading through the south of the Balkan nation.

    The restrictions came into force at midnight GMT.

    Two months of unrest since the collapse of several dubious pyramid investment schemes reached their climax at the weekend.

    At least 12 people were reported killed, either in clashes or by stray bullets, as demonstrators in several towns raided weapons depots and went on a rampage of violence.

    REUTER

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Albania official blames criminals for unrest

    VIENNA, March 3 (Reuter) - A spokesman for Albanian President Sali Berisha said on Monday a wave of violent unrest that has swept the troubled Balkan nation was the work of criminals intent on toppling the government.

    Violence flared across Albania over the weekend as rioters vented their anger against the government and defied a national state of emergency.

    "This is a rebellion of ordinary and political criminals who are trying to topple the legitimate power," Genc Pollo, a member of parliament for the ruling Democratic Party and Berisha's spokesman, told Austrian state radio in an interview.

    "This is an armed insurgency against the government," he added.

    Two months of unrest sparked by the collapse of a string of fraudulent pyramid schemes climaxed this weekend when at least 12 people were killed after enraged crowds in several southern towns raided weapons depots and went on a rampage of burning and looting.

    Berisha on Sunday blamed "communist rebels helped and financed by foreign espionage services" for the violence and vowed to use the "iron hand" of the law to quash the uprising.

    Parliament unanimously voted to declare a nationwide state of emergency, giving security forces power to open fire to disperse crowds and restricting political activity as well as press freedom.

    "The people have realised what this is about, the situation is clear," Pollo said, speaking in German. "On the one hand there are these armed gangs, which include criminals, and on the other side the people who want calm, order, and law."

    Asked whether Berisha still enjoyed the trust of his people, Pollo said: "Of course."

    The unrest has posed the most serious challenge to the Democratic Party government of Berisha since it came to power in 1992. Parliament on Monday re-elected Berisha for a second five-year term.

    Pollo acknowledged there was widespread dissatisfaction among Albanians with the way the government had handled the pyramid scheme collapse but said that he was confident the crisis could be resolved.

    "The problems can be solved. Order has to be restored in this country. There was dissatisfaction, but the risk that Albania is now facing is much greater."

    REUTER

    EU calls for end to violence in Albania

    MOSCOW, March 3 (Reuter) - The European Union expressed concern on Monday at developments in Albania, where a state of emergency is in effect, and urged the government and its opponents in the impoverished Balkan state to refrain from violence.

    "The situation is extremely worrying and the European Union will certainly urge President (Sali) Berisha -- but also the opposition -- to show restraint, not to use violence and to try to solve this serious crisis by peaceful means," Hans van den Broek, a European Commissioner, told a Moscow news conference.

    Van den Broek, who is responsible for relations with central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, said the EU would be carefully monitoring the situation in Albania.

    Van den Broek was in Moscow with EU Commission President Jacques Santer, Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and other senior EU officials for talks with Russian leaders including President Boris Yeltsin.

    Albania's parliament voted unanimously on Sunday to declare an immediate state of emergency in response to armed unrest in the south of the country.

    It said "armed rebels" would be shot without warning if they did not surrender weapons by a Monday deadline. It also introduced other emergency measures, including media controls and an extension to military service.

    On Monday parliament elected Berisha unopposed to a second five-year term.

    REUTER

    Greece braces for possible Albanian exodus (Updates with comments by Greek deputy foreign minister) By Stephen Weeks

    ATHENS, March 3 (Reuter) - Greece said on Monday its army was watching the border with Albania closely, amid fears that violence sweeping the Balkan neighbour could send thousands of refugees fleeing for safety across the frontier.

    "There is a concern that there might be some mass movement. We are watching the situation so we can deal with such an event if it occurs," deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis told a news conference.

    The foreign, defence and public order (police) ministries were in constant contact and "the army is keeping a close watch on the frontier with Albania," he said.

    Greece has expressed concern that Albania is on the verge of collapse after six-weeks of anti-government protests ended in an orgy of violence in southern towns over the past few days. A state of emergency was declared on Sunday.

    "Events are leading to an anomaly which could totally upset the political system of that country," Kranidiotis said.

    Greek border police said there was limited movement across the frontier on Monday. Most Albanians appeared too frightened to travel to the southern border, with armed gangs roaming the area after breaking in to local armouries.

    Albanians streamed across the border in a mass exodus in 1990 and 1991 after 45 years of Stalinist rule crumbled. Greece estimates 350,000 Albanians reside in the country, mostly illegally, and send home about $400 million in remittances each year.

    Much of that money was pumped into "get-rich-quick" schemes which collapsed in Albania early this year, triggering a wave of anti-government protests and culminating in riots and the state of emergency.

    Kranidiotis said Greece was concerned the Albanian crisis could destabilise the volatile Balkans, threatening peace in the whole region.

    He also noted the large ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania, which has been a source of friction between the two states in the past.

    "You know there is a Greek minority in Albania and it is in our interest to support this minority if it is in danger," he said.

    Albania has been rocked by anti-government protests and clashes between demonstrators and riot police since January when five fraudulent "get-rich- quick" investment schemes collapsed.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars was lost by investors, many in the south.

    Kranidiotis said Greece was in touch with its European Union partners and a committee overseeing Balkan issues would meet urgently in the next few days to discuss the Albanian crisis.

    In the meantime, he said, the ambassadors of the 15 EU states in the Albanian capital of Tirana would draw up a report on the situation.

    Kranidiotis also left open the question of whether Albanian President Sali Berisha, widely blamed by investors for the fall of the pyramid schemes, would be in a position to make a planned state visit to Greece later this year.

    "If the trip takes place it will be in May or June of this year and it depends on the evolution of events and the situation (in Albania)," he said.

    Greece extended the invitation of Berisha last month, in the midst of the crisis, prompting criticism by Albanian opposition parties in Albania.

    Berisha was elected unopposed by parliament on Monday to a new five- year term. Parliament voted unanimously on Sunday to declare a state of emergency in response to armed unrest.

    It also said "armed rebels" in the south would be shot without warning if they failed to surrender weapons by two p.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday.

    Italy evacuates foreigners from Vlore

    ROME, March 3 (Reuter) - Italian military helicopters on Monday evacuated 36 foreigners, including 20 Italians, from the southern Albanian port of Vlore, the foreign ministry said.

    The head of the ministry's crisis unit said the foreigners, who included 10 reporters, were due to arrive at about 1645 GMT at the southern Italian port of Brindisi.

    Two Chinnook transport helicopters took off from an Italian air base and picked up the foreigners at a Vlore airfield. They were escorted in and out of Albanian airspace by two armed Scout helicopters from a nearby Italian navy frigate.

    Vincenzo Petrone, head of the foreign ministry crisis unit, said among the people evacuated were four Germans, one Dutch and at least three Greek nationals.

    Vlore has been the scene of the worst violence in two months of unrest in Albania, sparked by the collapse of pyramid savings schemes, with up to nine people killed during a gun battle there on Friday.

    The Albanian government has declared a state of emergency for the small Balkan state and warned armed insurgents in the south of the country that they would be shot without warning unless they surrendered their weapons by 1300 GMT on Monday.

    REUTER

    Council of Europe deputies urge calm in Albania

    STRASBOURG, France, March 3 (Reuter) - The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly urged an immediate end to the violence in Albania on Monday after clashes over the weekend left several people dead.

    "This crisis has to be resolved in a peaceful manner, by democratic means and through democratic institutions," parliamentary assembly president Leni Fischer said in a statement.

    The assembly reiterated its call for dialogue among all political parties and formation of a national consensus government, opening the way to investigation of financial scandals in which thousands of Albanians lost their savings.

    When Albania, which is one of 40 council member states, joined the organisation, "it undertook to respect the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law," the statement said.

    REUTER

    OSCE closely watching strife in Albania

    VIENNA, March 3 (Reuter) - Europe's top security body, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said on Monday it was closely monitoring the situation in Albania, where a state of emergency has been declared.

    "The OSCE is following the developments closely, taking them very seriously, and is considering several options of what it could do," a spokeswoman for the Vienna-based organisation told Reuters.

    Albania's parliament voted unanimously on Sunday to declare an immediate state of emergency across the country in response to armed unrest in the south of the nation, which has claimed at least 12 lives over the weekend.

    Rioters who raided weapons depots and went on a rampage of violence were given a Monday ultimatum to surrender their arms or risk being shot without warning. Media freedom and political activity were restricted.

    Western diplomatic sources said the OSCE was planning to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Tirana but that the Albanian government had so far failed to give its approval.

    REUTER

    Albania is Europe's poorest country

    VIENNA, March 3 (Reuter) - Albania, where a state of emergency has been declared in response to armed unrest in the south, is Europe's poorest country.

    Parliament declared the emergency after weeks of increasingly violent protests in the south by thousands of people who had lost their savings in failed pyramid investment schemes.

    President Sali Berisha, elected unopposed by parliament to a second five-year term on March 3, blamed the violence on former communists and foreign spy services seeking his overthrow.

    POPULATION: 3.4 million, the average age is 25. The people are primarily Moslem. Other religions include Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic. Religious worship, banned in 1967, was made legal again in 1990.

    AREA: 28,748 sq km (11,101 sq miles). Much of Albania is mountainous. It is bounded by the Adriatic Sea to the west, Macedonia to the east, Yugoslavia to the north and east and Greece to the south.

    POLITICS: Albania is a unicameral parliamentary democracy. Its legislature has 140 seats. Deputies are elected in 115 constituencies on a first-past-the-post system with the remaining 25 seats allocated on a proportional basis.

    The president is elected by parliament. President Sali Berisha was elected unopposed to a second five-year term on March 3.

    MODERN HISTORY: Albania gained independence in 1912 after 450 years of Turkish rule. It became a monarchy in 1928 under King Zog, who fled after fascist Italy occupied Albania in 1939. Albania was later occupied by Nazi Germany and liberated by communist-led partisans in 1944.

    After a year of interim rule, Stalinist leader Enver Hoxha came to power when a communist-dominated parliament was elected in 1945 and a People's Republic was proclaimed in 1946.

    Hoxha led a harsh regime for 40 years until his death in 1985, isolating his state under a policy of self-reliance. Relations with Moscow were ruptured in 1961 and ties with China cut in 1978.

    Hoxha was succeeded in 1985 by Ramiz Alia, who cautiously opened the country to the outside world. Popular turmoil and student unrest prompted the legalisation of opposition parties.

    The communist party won Albania's first multi-party elections in March 1991 and changed its name to the Socialist Party. But its authority faded as Albania grappled with the birth pains of a market economy and political pluralism.

    Dozens were killed in food riots during the run-up to the second free elections in March 1992.

    The Democratic Party won a landslide victory over the ex-communists. Berisha, a former heart surgeon, became Albania's first non-communist president in April 1992.

    International observers criticised the conduct of a general election last May, boycotted by most of the opposition parties who accused the Democrats of rigging the vote.

    Berisha's party won 122 seats in the 140-member parliament. The opposition refuses to take up the handful of seats it was allocated in the chamber.

    Berisha has also come in for criticism from international human rights groups following the jailing of Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano in 1994 on charges of corruption.

    ECONOMY: The economy is the continent's poorest but growth, officially estimated at about 10 percent last year, outstrips that of any other European nation. Still, living standards remain low with average monthly wages barely above $65.

    Tight monetary and fiscal policies have reduced inflation to a low of six percent in 1995, from as much as 237 percent in 1992, but inflation crept up again to about 17 percent last year. Registered unemployment hovers around 20 percent.

    Industrial recovery remains hampered by a desperate lack of working capital, a shaky banking system and obscure legal structures. Foreign investment is minimal, the economy remains dependent on foreign aid and remissions from some 400,000 Albanians living abroad, estimated at $380 million per year.

    Main industries include mining, agricultural product processing, textiles, oil products and cement.

    DEFENCE: Army - 60,000 men (20,000 conscripts). Navy - 2,500 (1,000 conscripts). Air Force - 10,000 (1,800 conscripts). (source: The Military Balance 1995/96, International Institute of Strategic Studies).

    REUTER

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Albania president re-elected amid nationwide strife

    VIENNA, March 3 (Reuter) - President Sali Berisha of Albania was elected unopposed by parliament to a second five-year term on Monday, winning 113 votes to one against and four abstentions.

    On Sunday, parliament declared an immediate state of emergency to quell armed unrest in the south of the country.

    President Sali Berisha vowed to quash the violence and accused former communists and foreign spy services of plotting to overthrow him.

    The turmoil began with mass protests by Albanians who had lost their life savings in failed pyramid investment schemes, angry that the government had not clamped down on the schemes and refused to compensate them. Up to 90 percent of Albanians invested an estimated $2 billion.

    Clashes between protesters and police began in the southern port town of Vlore and spread to others, escalating from stone throwing to gun battles.

    Here is a chronology of the main events in the crisis.

    Jan 16 - The government seizes 25.5 billion leks ($255 million) deposited in state-owned banks by two of the schemes.

    People in Vlore, 147 km (80 miles) south of Tirana, hurl stones at the city hall after a local firm postpones payments.

    Jan 18 - President Berisha vows to crack down on pyramid schemes.

    Jan 19 - Some 3,000 people, led by opposition politicians, break through police cordons to demonstrate in Tirana's main Skanderbeg Square.

    Jan 21 - The government forms a commission to investigate the crumbling investment companies.

    Jan 22 - Thirteen people are sentenced to between one and two weeks in jail for taking part in the January 19 protest.

    Jan 23 - Parliament bans pyramid schemes and imposes a minimum jail term of 20 years for those trying to run them.

    Hundreds of investors demonstrate in the northern city of Shkoder, others in the Adriatic port of Durres.

    Jan 24 - Around 5,000 people go on the rampage in the southern town of Lushnje.

    Jan 25 - Demonstrators attack Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu in Lushnje.

    Jan 26 - Protests spread, sparking the worst violence seen in Albania since 1991. Thousands of people converge on central Tirana and clash with riot police. Government and ruling Democratic Party buildings set ablaze in towns and cities across the country.

    Parliament calls in the army to guard government buildings.

    Jan 27 - Democratic Party accuses leftwingers of inflaming the protests and calls for a counter-demonstration on Tuesday in front of the main opposition Socialist Party headquarters.

    Jan 30 - Ten opposition parties from across the political spectrum form the Forum for Democracy, vowing to hold protests across the country. They ask Berisha to dismiss his government and set up a technocrat government to resolve the crisis.

    Jan 31 - The local currency, the lek, falls some 30 percent as the failure of pyramid schemes sparks a hard currency shortage. Berisha repeats pledges that the poorest depositors would be reimbursed in cash whereas others would get government certificates or shares.

    Feb 2 - Police prevent opposition supporters and trade unions from staging protests in Tirana.

    Feb 3 - Berisha invites other political parties to join government in talks on how to compensate investors left destitute by dramatic crash of pyramid schemes. Opposition turns down the call.

    Feb 5 - Some 3,000 angry investors march in the port of Vlore demanding their money back and clash with riot police.

    Feb 6 - Over 30,000 people take to the streets again in Vlore, besieging the police station.

    Feb 7 - Vlore demonstrators protest for third day running.

    Feb 8 - As protests in Vlore enter their fourth day, police in Tirana use batons to prevent opposition from holding rally.

    Feb 9 - Enraged protesters attack Vlore police station. One person dies and 40 are injured in the fighting.

    Feb 10 - Protests in Vlore reach fever-pitch, violent clashes between riot police and thousands of angry demonstrators leave two people dead of heart attacks and up to 100 injured.

    Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi asks parliament to proclaim a state of emergency in Vlore. Parliament puts off decision after lengthy debate.

    Feb 11 - About 30,000 attend funeral of anti-government demonstrator in Vlore, expressing outrage at police, who stay out of sight.

    Feb 12 - Policeman is shot dead in Vlore by an unidentified gunman.

    Feb 14 - Some 5,000 protesters skirmish with police in southern town of Fier, protests continue in Vlore.

    Feb 15 - President Berisha admits mistakes in handling of pyramid investment scandal, but also blames investors and says the state will not compensate them. Thousands attend rallies across Albania demanding reimbursement and the resignation of the government.

    Feb 18 - President Berisha visits southern town of Lushnje, says he will scrap all taxes on the region for two years to help citizens recover from pyramid losses.

    Feb 19 - Albania's biggest holding company Vefa Holding, which froze client accounts during pyramid scheme collapse, says it will repay all small investors.

    Feb 20 - Police in Tirana use truncheons and fire live rounds in the air to disperse hundreds of angry protesters. About 50 students launch anti- government hunger strike in Vlore.

    Feb 21 - President Berisha visits northern towns to win back support, rejects demands for his resignation.

    Feb 25 - EU offers Albania money and technical assistance, provided it sticks to democratic principles and works closely with IMF to improve economy.

    Feb 26 - U.S. ambassador in Tirana urges government to draft new constitution and call early elections.

    Feb 27 - Ruling Democratic Party chooses President Berisha as its sole candidate for new five-year term. Democrat majority in parliament ensures Berisha victory in March parliamentary vote. 46 students begin hunger strike in southern town of Gjirokaster in solidarity with Vlore students. Police prevent students from starting hunger strike in Tirana.

    Feb 28 - Democratic Party and main opposition Socialists hold first talks since general election last May. No common ground emerges over nationwide unrest, Socialists demand formation of technocrat government and early elections.

    Feb 28 - Night gunbattle erupts in Vlore after townsfolk seize weapons from police armoury. At least three civilians and one secret policeman die and 22 people are injured. Secret police later say five more police were also killed. Protesters later set fire to police headquarters. Worst violence in Albania since 40 died in 1991 food riots.

    March 1 - Citizens blockade road and railway line in Lushnje in support for Vlore protesters, several other road blocks set up in southern region. In Tirana, 5,000 protesters clash with riot police, overturn police vehicles, police withdraw.

    President Berisha says government will resign, ruling Democratic Party will form successor cabinet after consultations with opposition parties. Opposition Socialists again demand formation of technocrat cabinet and early elections.

    March 2 - Protesters in Vlore demand that Berisha dissolve parliament and not stand for re-election. In Adriatic town of Sarande, rioters sack police headquarters, seize weapons, loot shops and banks. Police flee, troops desert army barracks.

    In Tirana, Berisha accuses former communists and unspecified foreign spy services of plotting his overthrow. Parliament declares immediate state of emergency nationwide to crush insurrection. Ten-article law bans public gatherings of more than four people, restricts political activity, gives security forces power to open fire to disperse crowds, imposes controls on media.

    Shortly afterwards, masked rioters set fire to police station in Gjirokaster.

    Four killed, 22 wounded by gunfire, including stray bullets, in southern Albania.

    March 3 - President Sali Berisha is elected unopposed by parliament for a second five-year term, 113 deputies voting for him with one against and four abstentions. Parliament orders armed insurgents in the south to surrender their weapons by 1300 GMT or face being shot without warning. Interior Ministry advises foreigners to leave the south "for reasons of security".

    REUTER

    Emergency powers in Albania, Berisha re-elected (This story is based on official information. Our Tirana team is seeking clarification about how newly-introduced official restrictions on the media apply to foreign news organisations' reporting of Albania.)

    TIRANA, March 3 (Reuter) - A state of emergency and nationwide curfew came into force throughout Albania on Monday as parliament elected President Sali Berisha to a second five-year term in office.

    The election took place a day after the parliament voted unanimously to declare an immediate state of emergency in response to armed unrest in the south of the Balkan country.

    The deputies issued a deadline of 2 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday for "armed rebels" to surrender their weapons or security forces would shoot them without warning.

    Albanian state television said police had been given powers to shoot stone-throwers on sight and arrest anyone not in possession of valid identity papers.

    It also said a nationwide curfew would be in force between 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) and 7 a.m. (0600 GMT).

    Under the state of emergency, working hours would be restricted to between 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) and 3 p.m. (1400 GMT), the television said. Public gatherings of more than four people are banned, the law passed on Sunday said.

    The Interior Ministry said the army, police forces and officers of the Shik secret police had conducted a series of successful operations against "armed bands".

    "These forces have detained more than 20 people and they have also seized some hundreds of firearms, a large amount of ammunition and explosives," the ministry said in a statement.

    Some of the weapons had been handed in by citizens ahead of the deadline laid down by parliament, it added.

    The statement did not say where the operations had taken place.

    State-run media reported separately on Monday that "armed gangs" had raided a naval base and seized weapons in the southern Adriatic town of Sarande and burned down a training centre in the port of Vlore, further up the coast.

    Berisha, first elected to power in 1992, was elected by 113 votes in favour to one against with four abstentions in a vote broadcast by Albanian television.

    The president's Democratic Party holds 122 of the 140 seats in the parliament. Deputies chanted "Berisha, Berisha" when the result was announced.

    Berisha, who required a two-thirds majority for election on the first ballot, was in the chamber with his wife and was sworn in after the vote. Several diplomats also observed the session.

    Other emergency power measures, which took effect at 1 a.m. (midnight GMT), included media controls and an extension to military service.

    Berisha, in a televised address on Sunday, blamed foreign intelligence services and the former communist elite for the unrest in the south.

    "Constitutional law and order has been violated and so have...the institutions and the territorial integrity of Albania, creating conditions to engulf Albania in a civil war," he said.

    "They will very soon feel the iron hand and the full punishment of the laws of this state."

    The president called on Albanians to defend democracy and warned against a return to the Stalinist rule that isolated Albania from its neighbours for half a century.

    REUTER

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] REPORT OF GENERAL ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - Spokesman of the Attorney General of Albania today reported that a special working meeting was held under the direction of the Attorney General, Alush Dragoshi, with the participation of all the leading staff of this institution.

    The meeting discussed the tasks and measures to be taken for an efficient realisation by penal persecution structures at all the levels of legal provisions related with the state of emergency.

    Taking into consideration the recent events in some southern cities such as Vlore, Sarande, Delvine, etc, where armed gangs have carried out mass violent acts, such as looting of arms stores, organized riot against military units, their occupation, destruction, torching and looting of state institutions, the terrorization of people and flagrant infliction of public tranquillity, the Attorney General ordered the immediate penal procedure for these acts.

    He also ordered the creation of a special group of specialists for the penal prosecution, directed by experienced prosecutors of the attorney- general office, with the aim that it bring documents proving the penal responsibility of all the people, despite their posts, who have organizeed, executed, encouraged or supporteed organized criminal activity.

    According to the Penal Procedure Code, participants in these mass violent acts, such as posting of hindrances or barricades to halt forces of order, to put against them an armed resistance or disarm them, violent occupation of buildings, looting, gathering or putting of weapons, ammunition and people, creation of facilities at the disposal of and in favour of rebels to overthrow the constitutional law, will be sentenced to imprisonments terms ranging from 15-25 years. Those found guilty for participation as a leader or organizer in such acts will be sentenced with life in prison or death penalty.

    The meeting brought to the fore the direct responsibility of the military subjects for failure to carry out the necessary tasks for the protection of military units, armament and munition and to ensure the military property. Also for this question, the Attorney General ordered the creation of the group of specialists and officers of military judicial police which, under the direction of military prosecutor, will carry out all the necessary acts to put before penal responsibility in time all the military chiefs at all levels.

    Participants in the meeting noted that the Military Penal Code envisages very strict punishments for failure to carry out military duties and orders in the conditions of the state of emergency. ake/pas/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] REFUTATION OF ALBANIA'S DEFENCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

    TIRANA, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The spokesman of the Defence Ministry belies a report of ANSA today which says that the General Staff Chief of the Albanian Army Sheme Kosova has been replaced by the chairman of the National Information Service (SHIK) Bashkim Gazidede.

    "Kosova is replaced by General Adem Copani," says the refutation. pas/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] CALMER SITUATION IN GJIROKASTRA ON MONDAY AFTERNOON

    GJIROKASTER, MARCH 3 (ATA) - The situation in Gjirokastra in Monday afternoon has been relatively calmer than the previous days, but still there is a rush of the people in shops to buy great amounts of food articles.

    The mayor of Gjirokastra, Ylli Asllani, conveyed a message to inhabitants of Gjirokastra on Monday, calling on them for self-control, culture, tranquillity and maturity.

    Frightened by the looting a night ago, traders have vacated their shops and taken the commodities at home.

    The Adi Petrol, the tourist complex, former asset of the failed Gjallica firm were being looted during all the day, while in the late afternoon hours smoke was seen coming out of these buildings.

    Tanks has started to move on the national road. kei/xh/k

    [29] STAFFS OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY MEET IN BERAT AND SHKODER

    TIRANE, MARCH 3 (ATA) - By Ilir Manka, Myfit Malja:

    The staff of the state if emergency under the direction of the prefect of Berat Kamber Elezi met on Monday morning to set the tasks for all the vital sectors of the economy in the prefecture of Berat.

    According to Elezi the situation is normal in the three districts of this prefecture.

    Also in Shkoder, the Prefect of Shkodra, Elham Sharra, called the first meeting of the emergency state staff in that district, which set the tasks for the conditions of work under these circumstances.

    The situation in that Prefecture is calm. kei/xh/k


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


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2012 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ata2html v1.01 run on Friday, 7 March 1997 - 15:14:16 UTC