The smuggling of iron and cooper has become now a profitable business with grave consequences for the economy.
Many trucks, loaded with scrap-iron, which pass this boarder check point, come from all the districts of the country. Most of them come from Kruje, Durres, Kurbin, Tirane, Puke, etc.
Their number reaches 80-90 every night. Under the designation "common scrap-iron", are also exported equipment and machinery, whose value is very great. As a result of this, the paper factory in Lezhe, the cooper factory in Lac, the factory of vehicles in Shkoder, etc are destroyed.
The director of the vehicle enterprise in Shkoder, Ali Shehu, told ATA that "The smuggling of scrap-iron, including mechanic equipment, is damaging day after day the mechanic industry. The damage caused in our enterprise by this phenomenon is more than 30 million leks." /s.sh/kei/mt/k
The spokesman of the Defence Ministry says that this Ministry has verified the report and reached the conclusion that this news is not true. /kei/mt/k
Zeri i Popullit, under the headline "The Interior Ministry 'steals' the policemen", reports that although the government has increased the wages of the policemen by 300 %, they have not received the promised money. The paper carries a warning of the Italian Defence Minister, Andreatta, which says that if Fino government topples, Albania will end to chaos. In another article it is said that President Berisha aims at complete criminality of the Democratic Party. The paper carries the article "The victory in the elections needs maximal engagement of all the SP structures. The paper publishes the testimony of one of the people who saved from the tragedy of Otranto on March 28, under the title "Our pain, part of the Albanian tragedy".
Republika paper carries the article "The education, victim of the politics". The paper reports that 90 per cent of the schools to open on Monday. The paper publishes a pronouncement of the former Defence Minister Zhulali, according to whom Berisha signs only for victories, and leaves the failures to the others."
Balli i Kombit carries the confutation "ZP continues to walk on the road of cheating." The paper publishes the article "Alba - another reason to regain the trust" and "The united right wing, perspective or illusion?" In another article it is said that the National Front agrees with the elections law of 1992.
Dita carries the article "Government of National Reconciliation risks to topple". The paper covers the news conference of the commander of Alba mission, Forlani, under the titles: "The new thing of the news conference of general Forlani: he did not say anything new", and "Forlani: Intervention in the elections is not predicted".
Koha Jone carries the meeting of Premier Fino with the parties on the election law. It also reports, that according to the paper, the Ministry of Justice has given the approval for the party of the DP members who signed the motion "The movement for Democracy". The paper publishes an interview of Neritan Ceka, President of Democratic Alliance Party, under the title "Berisha, plot against Fino government". The paper reports on the landing of Turkish and Greek soldiers in Durres.
Albania carries the editorial "The state continues to be ruined". In the article "Half of the aid for Albania disappeared", the paper reports that from 6 million dollars, aid of the European Union for Albania, Koha Jone will profit half of them. The paper carries the article "Europe refuses Fatos Nano, SP leader," as well as the article "The traffickers of Vlore: We are not afraid of Aba".
Gazeta Shqiptare reports on the poisoned food articles, of which two people have died in Tirana. The paper also reports on the end of the first stage of "Alba" mission with 4 000 soldiers in Albania.
Liria paper carries the article "What is Fino government doing?", as well as the article "The obscure optics of the deadline of Vranitzky". /jz/mt/Z/
"The workers of the Saubermacher firm have found recently ammunition, like: hand grenades and bombs, cartridges, most of which of the calibre 12.7 mm," said the director of the firm which deals with the cleaning of Tirana, Pellumb Baholli.
He said that most of them had been found in the garbage-cans of the Kombinati quarter, in the outskirts of Tirana, and the workers who take them away did not know anything about them.
Due to the danger they have, the workers are forced to control the garbage-cans to separate the ammunition thrown inside them, because they may be of grave consequences for their life. /kei/mt/Z/
"Order bodies found and sequestrated the antenna of GSM, as well as parts of the television repetiteur, whose value is 80 000 dollars," says the chief of the Durres police commissariat, Arben Hasanbelliu. Along with these, many other materials, stolen in the Villa of the Government Reception in Durres, were also found.
The stolen equipment by the vandal robbery were found in the residences of some citizens, as well as in an army tunnel near the object.
The normal functioning of the national and international telephonic communication by cellular telephone started with the founding of the GSM antenna. /a.ke/jz/mt/Z/
"For many months, he said, the foreign press spoke of the war which would break out between the North and the South, a problem which has never existed in Albania, but the media wanted blood to feed its advertisement. And so, the Albanians began to torch their own country", said Kadare.
According to him, this spectacle was encouraged by the media, which was despaired when the war did not break out. The Albanian writer accused the foreign media of conveying on purpose an overturned image in Albania, by presenting a small number of people as typical representatives, which is the most vulgar part of the Albanian society.
At the end, by accepting the mistakes of the Albanians themselves, Kadare said that he could not understand the role of media, which has encouraged and exaggerated the acts of bandits in South, - concludes the paper. /jz/mt/k
During the meeting, held in the framework of the cooperation between the National Reconciliation Government and the Foreign Investors, the Italian entrepreneurs presented their exigencies in this particular moment, in order to go on with their activity, reports a press release of the Consulting Committee of the Italian Entrepreneurs Operating in Albania.
The Albanian party was engaged to guarantee normal operating conditions in all the sectors of the social and economic life, says the press release.
During the meeting were also discussed problems regarding customs, levies and the fiscal profits to reestablish the damaged equipment
Attending the meeting was also the Italian Ambassador in Albania, Paolo Foresti. /kei/
The Premier's press and information office reports that Mr Grubmayer conveyed to Premier Fino and the National Reconciliation Government the best wishes in the name of Mr Vranitky and his high appreciation for the very constructive and fruitful meetings held some days ago during his visit to Tirana. He reported of the steps and efforts that the mission of Mr Vranitzky has undertaken in the recent days for the solution to the Albanian political crisis through the conduct at any cost of free and democratic elections within June.
Mr Grubmayer stressed the idea not only of Mr Vranitzky but also of other senior authorities of Austria and other countries, members of OSCE, for an active participation and inclusion of all the sides in these important process. On this occasion, he voiced the predisposition of Mr Vranitzky to come again in Albania and the readiness of all the OSCE permanent team in Tirana to help and back up the Albanian Government and the political forces.
Mr Grubmayer highlighted the work of the experts mission of OSCE and the Council of Europe for the preparation of the electoral infrastructure and confirmed that such missions would increase in the coming days.
Mr Fino welcomed and wished full success to Mr Grubmayer, as deputy of Mr Vranitzky in Albania. He expressed his thanks for the understanding and support that the National Reconciliation Government has found in the euro- atlantic organizations and Mr Vranitzky, a well-known personality respected by all the international community.
In the mean time, Albanian Prime Minister appreciated as positive the visit of the OSCE envoy to Albanian and informed his interlocutor of the latest political developments in the country and the steps that the National Reconciliation Government has taken to realise its main objectives.
On the basis of the opinions and suggestions by the OSCE experts mission which was in Albania recently, Mr Fino assured Mr Grubmayer that in the coming days his Government would take all the necessary steps to complete the legal and organizational framework to enable the holding of fresh elections witin June.
He voiced once more that full will of the Albanian Government for a growing cooperation with OSCE and other international organizations. ake/xh/sh/
The Kosova president's five year term in office also expires after one month.
Rugova has stated that after consultations with parliamentary groups of political parties, the decision on constituting the parliament and holding new elections will be taken.
The chairman of the Kosova Electoral Commission, Tadej Rodiq, said on Tuesday that, based on the Kosova constitution, the president is entitled to declare the new elections, following meetings with other political structures also after constituting the parliament.
The parliamentary party has asked the constituting of parliament, adoption of the decision to put off elections and the extension of the deputies' and president's terms and several changes in the constitution.
All the political parties have expressed themselves in favour of institutionalising life, constituting the parliament and holding elections.
There are also demands for Albanians' participation in Serbia's elections. But such demands have been rejected and are unacceptable, Mark Krasniqi, chairman of the Albanian Christian Democratic party of Kosova, said on Tuesday.
"Our participation in the Serb elections means to give up independence and the people's will expressed by referendum, Krasniqi said also stressing the "need of international support".
The students have as well joined pressures to constitute the parliament and hold elections. "We demand the constituting of parliament with the only task, to create the juridical basis for declaring the presidential elections," the pronouncement of the Student's Independent Union of the Prishtine University says among other things.b.j/p.ta/jz/lm/sh/
Also attending the meeting was the Consul of Honour of Albania to Southern Italy and the President of the VEFA Holding Firm, Vehbi Alimucaj, accompanied by members of the leading board.
Arbnori briefed the interlocutors on Albania's efforts to integrate into the market economy as well as explained and handed over to them the law on the banking system and the law on foreign investment.
Williams, speaking on behalf of the group he represented, said that despite their disaster, the Albanians are a people of great vitality and hope to overcome the latest disaster.
He also said that even the bad experience of losing in the pyramid investment schemes may be turned into a good thing, thus, teaching the people that only through toil and sweat can life be improved. a.ke/jz/lm/sh/
Mosi thanked the multinational forces that have come to Albania and asked Mr. Fernando that the Spanish troops also be deployed to the Shkoder city.
Moso asked special assistance for the district police commissariat, which was totally destroyed during the latest anarchy.
Fernando said that: "I have come here to know the terrain and the most pressing needs you have in your municipalities and communes, as a group of Spanish deputies are working to bring aid to Albania."
The Spanish officer showed readiness to help the public order forces with the necessary means.
Afterwards he also visited the district police commissariat. kled/lm/sh/
Sources of the Spanish command report that, with the recent arrival of a Spanish ship, carrying 70 forces and a sanitary material basis, an outpatient clinic will be set up in the surroundings of the nuns' institute in this town.
The Spanish military doctors will establish contacts with the hospital centre in Lezhe, offering them qualified medical assistance.
They say many Spanish non governmental organisations have expressed special interest in helping Albania in all fields required by the Albanians. kled/lm/sh/
Yesterday by midday 1 USD on the currency market in Tirana was bought at 147.5 leks, while this morning the market opened with 1 USD bought at 147 leks and sold at 148 leks. Today by midday, the dollar lost again one point in the exchange rate: 1 USD = 144.5 leks in buying and 146 leks in selling.
At the Savings Bank today 1 USD was bought at 140.5 leks and sold 142.5 leks.
Exchange rate of foreign currencies against lek
Savings Bank Currency buying selling US $ 1 140.5 142.5 Mark 1 81 86 Lira (1000) 81 86 Drachmas(100) 50 55
He attended and addressed the seminar on the crisis in Albania, under the auspices of the International Centre Olof Palme.
During his stay in Sweden Meta was received at the Foreign Ministry by the secretary of State, Mats Carlson, as well as in the Swedish parliament by the chairwoman of the Foreign Commission, Viola Furbielke.
"The international community first aims at realising free and fair elections in Albania and then the consolidation of institutions in developing a civil Society," Meta said.
Meta took part in parliament and spoke of the situation in Albania at an expanded meeting of the parliamentary group of the Swedish Social Democratic party.
At the end of the visit he also held a news conference in Stockholm. kled/lm/sh/
The prefecture's defence staff decided in its today's meeting that the middle and general schools as well as eight year schools resume normal teaching process.
The capital's education director, Tomi Tomorri, told ATA that classes will resume on April 29 in the capital's 11 secondary schools and 50 eight- year schools.
Lessons will also resume in the Tirana University, the Polytechnic University, Academy of Fine Arts, and Higher Institute of Physical Culture, except the Agricultural University of Kamze.
In implementation of this decision, the Tirana Police department is charged with the task of assigning policemen to uphold order and peace in all schools and students' dormitories. The Defence Staff decided to equip the school guards with weapons. kled/lm/sh/
At the beginning Vukaj spoke of the causes which, according to him, have led to this situation.
In his speech Vukaj said that during the reform "some 20 000 officers have been released, a thing which was necessary to be done".
Asked of the general number of the officers currently in service, Vukaj said that:"there are 366 officers" and added that "there is still room for reductions".
Vukaj said that during the period of the army's destabilisation "seven army officers have been killed and 14 wounded. According to the data available, some 150 officers have quitted the army and some 5000 soldiers have returned to their units. 3000 out of this number of soldiers stay in the barracks during the day and return home at night".
Vukaj considered the recent preparations for bringing the multinational force in Albania an important direction in the performance of the Defence Ministry. kled/lm/sh/
The Austrian Interior Ministry approved a monthly fund of one million shillings, which will cover the expenditures of the Austrian experts, who will engage in training the Albanian special forces, as well as the necessary up-to-date equipment needed for the training of these forces.
The group of experts of the Austrian special forces, headed by commander general of these forces, Dr. Michael Siko, will come to Albania after two days.
The necessary material basis will be brought in by the Austrian side. s.sh/kled/lm/sh/
Since the beginning of the unrest in this district, 16 people have been killed and 75 others wounded. ssh/kled/xh/sh/
The incident took place last night, at about 18.00, with these gunmen firing at the building of this commissariat, asking the release of two persons which the criminal police forces have recently detained, according to sources inside the public order institution.
The gang was equipped with antitank, machine guns and grenades. According to the same sources, the leading staff of the commissariat, in order to avoid a grave incident, of consequences for both sides and for the order in the town, decided to free the two detained after half an hour.
The number of the killed in this town has reached 30 and of the wounded 250. s.sh/kled/lm/sh/
The first to contest were the Fier group of singers.
The Kruje group included songs which have not been sung since 80 years ago.
The Diber group of singers was distinguished for its original character of the land they represent.
The groups of Durres, Korce, Berat and Kakavije will contest tomorrow, the second day of the festival. s.sh/kled/lm/sh/
With various representatives waiting for him to come standing as farther as the Bridge e Mifol, Leka I entered the city accompanied by the Minister of the Royal Court, Abedin Mulosmani, chairman of the Legality Movement Party Guri Durollari and an escort of cars.
Scores of citizens of Vlore accompanied Leka I while he headed to the Flag Square, where the first he did was to pay homage to the grave of the People's Hero Ismail Qemali.
Around 5 000 people were gathered in the central sqeare of Vlore where the car of Leka I entered the sea port premises. Those present saw with indifference the candidate for the Albanian throne while he was placing a wreath on the Ismail Qemali's tomb.
At the beginning he called for a minute of silence to the memory of the victims in the Straits of Otranto and then he appealed to people of Vlore for peace and cooperation as one of the roads to come out of the present situation.
Leka Zogu stressed that the referendum for the form of the regime would be held soon in Albania, and it would determine the further road of the country as a hope for ethnic Albania.
Also present in the rally was the chairman of the Legality Movement Party, Mr Durollari.
In the middle of the crowd there were people who tried to prevent the normal course of the visit by chanting and whisling. ssh/kled/xh/sh/
Ambassador Grubmayer conveyed to President Berisha the greetings of Austrian former Chancellor Vranitzky and discussed with him questions related with the elections in Albania, such as the electoral law, the preparation and the holding of the polls, the local political climate, etc.
After voicing his satisfaction for the the current success of the Alba Mission, Mr Berisha thanked for this the OSCE, all the friendly participating countries in the mission and especially Italy, which is leading the multinational forces in Albania, pointing out that the multinational forces have been extended a friendly welcome in this country.
President Berisha assured Ambassador Grubmayer of his contribution and full support in the realisation of free and fair elections within the earliest possible time.
With regard to the electoral law, he said that there are many systems, but "I am determined to respect, first of all, the country's interest. From the coming elections Albania needs to have a solid government, that is, a firm parliamentary support to solve the numerous and complicated problems. Therefore I favour the majority system with two rounds, as one of the best democratic systems, and proven as such in some countries of Europe and the world. The parties must make pre-electoral coalitions if they wish to and this system does not prevent them from this." President Berisha said further on that "although the OSCE must coordinate all the activity for the organization of the coming elections, their polls monitoring will be led by the Council of Europe through a team headed by a socialist euro-parliamentarian. I consider as very important the ODIHR participation in these elections, but the main report on them should be that of the Council of Europe. So far, the main obstacle for the elections have been the rebel groups consisting of Enver's supporters, traffickers, Mafia members and the alliance with them by the SP, the armed wing of this party. These groups are terrorizing citizens of the cities where they are formed and are hindering the activity of the political forces there.
At the end of the talk, President Berisha assured once more the Ambassador Grubmayer of his determination to cooperate intensively to guarantee free and fair elections, as the basic way to bring Albania out of the present crisis. xh