The aim of this visit was the reconnaissance of the road Fier-Berat, 57 km far from each-other. The Italian military men met with the prefect of Berat, Kamber Elezi, as well as with leaders of local government.
In the brief conversation, Elezi wished them welcome in the ancient town.
According to the Italian Lieutenant Colonel, whose name is not made known yet, his commando has authorized him only to make the reconnaissance of the road, and the foreign troops will be not deployed in Berat for the moment.
Elezi conveyed to the Italian military men the request for the presence of these forces in Berat, where the situation after January 25, when the riots started, has not been calm. /a.ke/kei/mt/
This phase includes distribution of food aid to 68.000 families.
The Albanian Red Cross has so far distributed more than 40 tonnes of food and 15 tonnes of medicines to more than 50 social-health institutions in Albania. eva/lm/k
"The CDP is convinced that conditions do exist for the creation of a coalition of the Unified Democratic Right Wing, made up of the four right wing parties of the government coalition, CDP, National Front party, Legality Movement party and the Republican party.
The CDP presidency considers important the holding of elections within June and the disarmament of the population.
"All leaders of the 10 main parties, signatories of the March 9 agreement, should engage in the collection of weapons before the elections," the statement says.
The CDP considers indispensable the normal functioning of the prosecutor's office, investigation office and courts, as well as the depoliticisation of these bodies. The CDP also demands the reorganisation of the army and legal punishment of those responsible for the destruction of the military units.
The statements asks the restructuring and depoliticisation of the Interior Ministry and NIS institutions as well as a new platform and steering council for the Radio television.
"Verification of the aid coming between 1992-1997, control on the functioning of banks and money administration as well as inquiries into corruption should start," the statement says. pas/lm/k
This law aims at making more active the role of the prefects in implementation of the state policy throughout the country, a report attached to the law, says.
The law has been drafted, based on the French, Italian and other countries' legislation on this problem, in consultation with specialists of the Council of Europe.
According to this law, the prefect reports to the Council of Ministers on the general economic, social, educational, cultural situation of the prefecture and the implementation of the state policy, having no power on judicial and military authorities.
During discussions, SP deputy Erion Brace, asked that the law, drafted by the previous government, also be referred for examination to the Government of National Reconciliation, as the prefectures are key points for the implementation of the government programme.
This draft-law was handed over to the government for discussion 12 days before it was included in the agenda.
The draft-law was also approved by parliament. kei/lm/k
These draft-laws include: "On exempting from taxes the humanitarian and emergency aid" and "On exempting from customs taxes and VAT imported technological lines, machineries and equipment to replace those damaged during the state of emergency in the Republic of Albania".
The parliament approved these two draft-laws in principle, but the article by article discussion brought about questions and ambiguities.
For this reason, Speaker of Parliament Pjeter Arbnori decided that the Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj, attends Wednesday's sitting as the institution he runs has dealt with the two draft-laws. kei/lm/Z
It also demands that the sank ship be expertised to find the causes and provide economic aid to those in difficulty, following the March 28 tragedy of this year.
The association asks economic aid from the Italians as the victims, which "wished to work in Italy, have left other family members destitute".
The letter says that "we find force to address you, honourable deputies of the Albanian parliament, to use all your influence".
The Otranto tragedy, the worst experienced of late by the Albanian people, with an Albanian ship colliding with an Italian one, according to those who could survive the sinking, claimed 79 lives, mainly women and children. kei/lm/Z/
In his meeting with Defence Minister Werner Fasslabend, Starova made a presentation of the current political and economic situation in Albania, especially concentrating on the field of defence. Faslabend offered Austria' readiness to contribute with technical and logistic assistance to the reconstruction of the Albanian army.
Starova thanked Fasslabend for this and for the dispatch of the Austrian military contingent to Albania.
The Albanian electoral law, preparations and measures adopted by the Government of National Reconciliation for holding parliamentary elections as well as the contribution of Austrian authorities in this direction were the subject of discussion and exchange of views in Starova's meeting with the Austrian Speaker, Heinz Fischer.
The chairman of the Federal Council, Herbert Schambeck, expressed concern about the unprecedented situation created in Albania as well as his optimism that the Albanian people, also backed by international community assistance, will know to overcome this grave situation.
On behalf of the Federal Council, Prof. Dr. Schambeck affirmed the good will of Austria, based on the historical relations between the two countries, to help the Albanian people in all aspects.
Starova wound up his formal visit to Austria with his meetings this afternoon with Education Minister of Austria, Ms. Gehrer, as well as the deputy and former Foreign Minister Alois Mock. s.sh/kei/lm/Z/
"The completion of the respective procedures between the two governments and the necessary definitions by the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Japanese side have paved the way for the organisation of the bid," the specialist of the agricultural productions department at this ministry, Roland Orozi, told ATA.
According to Orozi, based on this project, 124 sowing machineries, 80 millers, irrigation equipment, as well as 5000 tonnes of chemical fertilizers are planned to be brought to Albania.
The project are thought to be applied in the coastal area of central Albania, mainly in Fier, Kavaje, Lushnje and other towns.
"The growth of this domestic production and reduction of imports makes up the goal for the project's application, and its success will pave the way for another project of this kind," Orozi says.
The grant fund for Albania, in the context of the aid the Japanese government is providing to the developing countries, is the first in agriculture. s.sh/jz/lm/Z/
The spokeswoman of the Ministry of Health reports that the patients are aged people and they have been poisoned by food offered by unknown people.
The food, consisting of pies and pastries, have been prepared with somnifacients and are given to people for robbery purposes, the spokeswoman says. eva/lm/e
Also attending was a delegation from Albania which was made up of the chairman of the Albania-Japan Friendship Association, Betim Muco, as well as of Met Dervishi, Tonin Beci and Ilir Melo, officials at the Albanian Foreign Ministry.
Attending the ceremony, held in one of the halls of the International Centre of the Ishikave, Kanazawa, were senior officials of that prefecture and many guests from other cities of the country as well as from Tokyo.
The ceremony was followed by various press representatives and of the NHK, the main Japanese TV network.
The ceremony was also attended by Joshiro Mori, chairman of the Executive Council of the Democratic Liberal Party, member of the Japanese parliament and one of the main candidates for the office of Japan's Prime Minister.
The newly elected association is headed by Dr. Tsujoshi Kurokava, former Japanese ambassador for Austria and Albania in Vienna until 1993 as well as outstanding political, cultural and scientific authorities.
Several Albanian intellectuals, either from Albania or temporary residents in Japan, are as well directors of honour in the association. kei/lm/Z/
The 221 ton cargo is the first of a considerable contingent of the aid planned for this district, which as for the level of uneployment and the speed of the delivery of the aid will be classified under the status of a pilot region on the course of this process.
About 9 106 families will profit fron the EU aid, of which 7 500 are those categorized by the town hall as the group which is had previously received economic aid and social insurances. Sources of the municipality say that the lists for the families according to regions are ready and in the region No 1 the delivery of flour started since yesterday afternoon.
Forces of the Alba mission have been present until the full amount of flour was handed over for the warehouses and then they have left for Durres. jz/xh/k
Rilindja Demokratike, under the title:"Austria gives the green light to the dispatch of a contingent of soldiers to Albania", reports that the Austrian Council of Ministers endorsed yesterday the participation of 115 Austrian policemen and soldiers in the Multinational force in Albania.
"The troops should start Thursday and their task will be to safeguard international aid to Albania," the paper says.
Newspaper Rilindja also reports on the Austrian troops expected to arrive in Albania.
"A commando of Italian forces inspects Berat", the newspaper Rilindja Demokratike says regarding the arrival of a group of Italian soldiers in the Berat district yesterday.
Republika says that bad weather and storms have prevented the Italian cruiser Vittorio Veneto from reaching the Vlore harbour. The cruiser, which escorts the multinational force mission in Albania, has stuck on a sandbank off the Vlore port.
Albania also reports on the Vittorio Veneto cruiser.
Koha Jone reports that the multinational forces operating in Vlore passed the first night in this city in unsuitable conditions.
Under the title:"Alba discovers Shengjin", the paper reports on the deployment in the rest house of Shengjin of the Spanish troops participating in the Alba mission.
Gazeta Shqiptare, regarding the cruiser stuck on a sandbank of Vlore, says that "The Italian giant anchors on sandbank".
Under the title: "Alba creates bridgehead in the north: The Spanish land", the paper reports on the arrival of Spanish troops at Shengjin.
Rilindja Demokratike carries the editorial:"Socialists threaten administration". It says that the socialists have intensified propaganda terror against state administration officials.
Under the title "I won't fall victim of political passions", the paper carries an indictment that the deputy Interior Minister, A. Shehu, files to the Constitutional Court, against Prime Minister Bashkim Fino.
RD carries the article: "Fino towards resignation" and reports on a powerful explosion two days ago in Tirana, when the car of the Tirana police colonel-lieutenant, A. Ujka, was blown up.
The paper carries the articles "Italian government undertakes concrete initiatives to help Albania" and "Albania is not in constitutional vacuum". The paper carries the interview "State budget in crisis" with the World Bank Executive director on Albania, Passacantando.
Zeri i Popullit carries the article entitle:"Berisha - has posed the greatest harm to Albania" as well as the article:" Agim Shehu, symbol of political incrimination". The paper also today reports on special DP forces which, according to the paper, are being trained in military units of Fier, Southwest of Albania.
The paper carries the article:"Strategy of tension, permanent strategy of DP" and the article: "Who ruined the Albanian army?". In another article the paper asks which force seeks to counterpose police to the current government?
Republika carries the editorial entitled:"The Right wing has no time to lose". The paper continues with the interview of ex-Defence Minister Safet Zhulali under the title:"Responsibility lays on the Albanian politics not on the army". The paper also carries the article: "Sudja will return the money loaned".
Rilindja carries the editorial: "Demise of Albanian government would lead to civil war" as well as the article: "Albanian democracy should exploit the second chance" by L. Fischer, President of CE Parliamentary Assembly, published in "Die Welt".
The paper carries the article:"WB to help Albania". The paper also carries a pronouncement of Leka Zogu I: "I am considered factor of stability in Albania".
Albania carries the editorial: Socialists replace March 9 with March 28". Under the title:"Vukaj freed from Washington's punishment", the paper reports on yesterday's meeting of Defence Minister Vukaj at the U.S. embassy. The paper also carries the article:"Socialists likely to boycot polls".
Koha Jone carries the editorial: "Undermined field of National Reconciliation". Another article says that the DP deputies deprive Fino of the right of appointing prefects. The paper carries the article:"A coup d'etat is being prepared". The paper carries the article:"Opposition repeats previous errors". The paper carries the article:"NIS, the sharp weapon of Berisha".
Dita carries the editorial:"Tragic-comedy of crisis" and an interview with Gjoleke Malaj, leader of the "Committee of National Salvation" for Tepelene.
Gazeta Shqiptare carries the article:"Explosive attack" and the article:"DP motionists: 'We will create new party'". jz/lm/eva/E
"The tritum was sent to a safe destination," told AtA representatives of the Defence Ministry, without identifying the destination for security reasons.
19 other tons of tritum stationed in one of the army depots near the "Donika Kastrioti" city quarter in Berat, were removed monday under strict supervision of police and city inhabitabts.
Three days ago, 6 km from Berat, two army depots with artillery and engineering devices blasted near some military depots in Gjeroven and Palikesht. ssh/kei/xh/e
Two of the ships are of the Turkish Navy, and three of the Greek one.
Under the protection of the French forces, which are deployed in the port and of the Albania military police, was conducted the landing of some hundred military means, such as armoured vehicles, heavy means of transport, logistic means, ammunition and troops.
Since the beginning of the "Alba" operation and on, more than 10 ferryboats and different navy ships of the multinational force, as well as more than 4 000 foreign troops have arrived in Durres.
The troops and means have been accompanied to the defined destinations by the Albanian police./a.ke/eva/mt/sh/
They verified on Tuesday and Wednesday several possible centers for the deployment of the troops of the "Alba" mission in this town.
According to the military sources, Gjirokaster will be the center of a Rumanian battalion made up of 400 troops and a limited number of Italian soldiers. These troops are thought to be deployed in this town by the end of April.
The Italian and Rumanian military men met Wednesday with leaders of local government in Gjirokaster to cooperate together for the fulfillment of the mission. They also payed a visit to the boarder check point of Kakavije.
A grave incident occurred on Tuesday in the axe of the road Kakavije-Gjirokaster. Armed persons, who were travelling as passengers in the bus, robbed and plundered the passengers and killed a young man, only because he did not obey./kled/mt/sh/
Mayor Fernando said in a meeting organized Wednesday in the prefecture of Lezhe that, without changing the aim of our mission, we will support with armoured vehicles the opening of schools to avoid the present fear which at the pupils, teachers and parents.
Today, continued Fernando, we set up cooperation with the local government, police commissariat, so that our mission has complete success, like a bridge of friendship between our people. We are totally engaged to support the distribution of the humanitarian aid and will contribute ourselves for bringing some medical aid to the health centers of this district.
Attending the meeting were also the chairman of the district council, Ndoc Gjetja, the Mayor Njazi Reci, the chairman of the Shengjin commune, Gjergj Ivanaj and chief of the police commissariat, Luke Deda.
The Spanish soldiers were familiarized with the organization and functioning of the local government. /kled/mt/sh/
In this sitting, the Albanian Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj, gave explanations regarding some problems and ambiguities that came out during the discussion of this draft-law in the Tuesday sitting.
The aid which will come to Albania, according to this draft-law, will be excluded from the customs duties and other fiscal obligations.
They are divided into three groups: in the first group are included food articles, which will be not put on sale, and the aid which will be distributed by the Red Cross and other NGO and non-lucrative organizations; in the second group is included aid containing medical equipment and medicines, and in the third group is included aid offered to the damaged institutions during the state of emergency.
The parliament decided that the validity of this law be 31.12.1997.
"To eliminate the export of this aid, we have thought to ask the help of the multinational forces for the control of the boarder checking points. Those aid which will be exported will be smuggling goods", said Malaj./kled/mt/sh
"None of the SHIK officers have been trained in Feken during the last five years.
It would be better that before issuing the first paper with such pretentious articles, Zeri i Popullit should have asked for further details in the SHIK offices regarding this question, and we ensure that if it would have acted this way, it would have not conveyed such a scrupulous misinformation which does not serve to any one", stresses the SHIK spokesman, pointing out that the Socialist Party leads the Government of National Reconciliation, participates in parliament and has all the possibilities to control the activity of the State Institutions, including SHIK as well./eva/mt/sh/
Albanian and foreign businessmen profit from this draft-law.
It is not the possibility to compensate these damages. This has to do even with the possibilities of the state. Although, there is no legal obligation for this," said the Albanian Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj, in response to the questions of the deputies. According to him, only the damage caused to VEFA company is some 302 million dollars.
According to the report of the government, which follows this draft-law, such an exclusion is done to protect the Albanian workers employed in these companies and to favour the investors. Malaj said that, according to the sporadic data, some 23 000 workers employed in these subjects can remain without work. /s.sh/kled/mt/sh/
The debate was presented by the journalist of HEBO, Alian Maillard. Invited were also the analyst of the Balkan issues near "Le monde diplomatique" paper, Christophe Chiclet, the outstanding personality of the human rights in Kosova, winner of the International Prize for Human Rights, Veli Leuenberger, President of the International Cultural Center, Jean-Fred Bourquin, as well as the representative of the Albanian Ministry of Culture, Youth and Woman, Ylljet Alicka.
The meeting had many debates and discussions, often even contradictory, on issues: - The 'Why' of the Albanian crisis, the current situation, the achievements and failures of the international community, the role and veracity of international media, etc./jz/mt/sh/
"Our mission will not interfere in the tasks of the police. We will not interfere into the crimes if we are not affected by them directly," said Forlani./mt/sh/
According to a report of the Juridical Department in the Foreign Ministry, which refers to a report of the Albanian Embassy in Athens on April 15, 1997, Altin Ibrahim Xhela, 21, and Luan Gani Plaku, 24, inhabitants of Elbasan, have been wounded.
According to the police sources of Kastoria (Greek city in the East of the Albanian boarder), to which refers the Albanian Embassy in Athens, both persons were travelling in a car together with 15 other Albanian emigrants, in a bid to enter the Greek territory. The Greek police made signals to them to stop, but the driver increased the speed. The police have opened fire, and two Albanian citizens were injured in their legs. After this, they have been sent to the hospital of Kastoria. Their situation is good./s.sh/kled/mt/sh/
Gjoke auni, owner of a travelling agency, told the Commission for information of the branch of Kosova Democratic League in Gjakove that the armed plunderers, who spoke and insulted in Serbian, have robbed 5000 Swiss franc and 2500 DM.
In the commune of Gjakova, inhabited already 100 per cent by Albanians, along with the repression of the Serbian police forces and the provocations of the Serbian column, who ask to change through violence the ethnic structure, recently have been increased the tensions and insecurity from the terrorist acts and plunders of the armed and masked people.
Prey of the acts of terror and plunders during the last two months has also been an Albanian woman, who was killed and 4 other Albanians who were injured./ag/bj/kled/mt/sh/
"We have not had and will not have contacts with the committees, but only with the central and local bodies whose tasks and functions are determined by the Albanian Government," said the Alba Mission general commander today, Luciano Forlani in his first news conference in Hotel Tirana.
During the conference, Mr Forlani explained the objectives of the Multinational Force mission in Albania, its organization and distribution until the present moment.
During the first stage of the Alba Mission led by Italy, 4170 forces fom 8 participating countries have been deployed.
The deployment of these forces and the coming of commander Forlani in Tirana marks the completion of the first stage of the Alba mission, whose main objective will be to ensure the international emergency aid for the Albanian population.
The Multinational Security Force has the task to ensure the main terminals of transport, sea ports and airports, to ensure the roads of communication for the delivery of the humanitarian aid, thus guaranteeing the activity of assistance of humanitarian organizations by guarding their headquarters in Tirane.
In the first stage these forces have been deployed in the Western and Southern part of Albania. The second stage envisages a gradual extension of these forces in inland regions of the country.
Asked why the forces are not also stationed in Northeastern Albania, Mr Forlani replied that "the present deployment is for the beginning period and the first points are the main roads for the delivery of aid."
"Our mission will not intervene in the duties of the police. We shall not interfere against crimes if they are not directly directed against us," said Forlani in reply to another question.
Forlani did not rule out assistance of the force through equipent for the Albanian police.
"Since the adoption of the resolution for the multinational forces, in my opinion, things are changing for the better," said Forlani.
Ai highlighted the cooperation with the Albanian Army and coordination of the work with Albanian officers from the central staff down to the grass root units. xh
"This was an accident caused by Shiroku wind, whose circumstances were unpredictable," said Lieutenant General Luciano Forlani, commader of the Multinational Force in Albania in his first news conference given at the end of the first stage of the Alba mission. The cruiser is now in open sea, surrounded by 4 Italian tug-boats which pulled it out of the shallow. The high-tide also helped for the pullout.
"Accidents may happen," said Forlani and explained that the cruise suffered unimportant technical damage and no casualties, there were only small damages at the bow. xh