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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-04-26

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] MEASURES TAKEN TO PREVENT DANGER IN MILITARY BASE GRYKE-MANATI
  • [02] EDU SUPPORTS POLICY OF ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
  • [03] ARMY DEPOT WITH EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL BLASTS IN LEZHE
  • [04] ITALIAN NAVY SHIP "SAN MARKO" ARRIVES IN PORT OF DURRES
  • [05] RAILWAY TRANSPORT TOWARDS SOUTH STARTS FUNCTIONING IN DURRES
  • [06] ARMED PEOPLE KILL A CITIZEN IN HIS HOUSE IN VLORE
  • [07] WORLD BANK DISCUSSES ASSISTANCE TO ALBANIA
  • [08] FOUR CHILDREN INJURED FROM BOMB BLASTING IN GJIROKASTER
  • [09] TWO PEOPLE KILLED BY EXPLOSIVE BLAST IN HOUSE OF FORMER CHIEF OF CRIMINAL POLICE IN LAÇ
  • [10] ALBANIAN PREMIER FINO MEETS WITH EDU DELEGATION
  • [11] WORLD FOOD PROGRAM REALIZES SECOND EMERGENCY OPERATION FOR ALBANIA
  • [12] RAILWAY EXPLODED TO SELL RAILS AS SCRAP-IRON
  • [13] THE MAJORITY OF SERBS THINK THAT CRISIS IN KOSOVA MAY BE SOLVED THROUGH DIALOGUE
  • [14] SECRETARY GENERAL OF COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETS OFFICIALS OF UNDP
  • [15] POLICE DETAIN SIX TRUCKS WITH SCRAP-IRON IN DURRES
  • [16] FLUCTUATION OF LEK AGAINST FOREIGN CURRENCY
  • [17] UNION OF FOREIGN AND ALBANIAN INVESTORS' ASSOCIATIONS FORMED
  • [18] PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS DELEGATION OF EUROPEAN CENTER RIGHT PARTY FORUMS
  • [19] ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER MEETS EDU DELEGATION
  • [20] DPA CHAIRMAN MEETS EDU DELEGATION
  • [21] PRIME MINISTER FINO MEETS WORLD BANK REPRESENTATIVE
  • [22] EDU, EUCD AND DEMYC TO FULLY SUPPORT ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
  • [23] FOUNDERS OF DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT PARTY HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE
  • [24] THIRTY FIVE PER CENT OF SCHOOLS IN SARANDE DISTRICT REOPEN
  • [25] ALBANIA NEEDS NEW POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE - cdp
  • [26] CE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SUPPORTS DPA'S ANALYSIS OF THE LOCAL CRISIS
  • [27] HEIR TO ALBANIAN THRONE VISITS SHKODER
  • [28] MEETING OF ALBANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER RAKIPI WITH EDU DELEGATION
  • [29] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER VUKAJ MEETS WITH WEU MISSION
  • [30] MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY PARTY WILL TAKE PART IN THE COMING PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
  • [31] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER VUKAJ MEETS WITH WEU MISSION
  • [32] COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONDEMNS ARMED VIOLENCE, CONSIDERS THE SALVATION COMMITTEES AS ILLEGITIMATE AND ASKS THEIR DISARMAMENT

  • [01] MEASURES TAKEN TO PREVENT DANGER IN MILITARY BASE GRYKE-MANATI

    LEZHE, APRIL 25 (ATA) - By Zef Pergega: A commission of the Albanian Defence Ministry, with experts of armament and engineering, headed by general Baki Shehu, verified on Friday the reasons of the explosion of the depot in the military unit in Gryke-Manati of the Lezhe district, Northwestern Albania.

    Brigade general Hysen Repa, commander of the Shkoder division, told ATA that "The Commission of the Defence Ministry, together with the voluntary forces, is trying to evade a considerable quantity of armament and ammunition, and is storing them in tunnels."

    Eight people were injured by the explosion of the military depot with anti-tank mines and combustible material in the military unit Gryke-Manati of the Lezhe district on Thursday afternoon. The explosion also caused considerable damages in houses and social objects. /s.sh/kei/mt/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] EDU SUPPORTS POLICY OF ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA) - A delegation of the European Democratic Union (EDU) was received Friday in the headquarters of the Albanian Democratic Party by the DP chairman, Tritan Shehu, Secretary General Genc Pollo and senior officials of this party.

    On behalf of EDU, the members of the delegation expressed their complete support for the Democratic Party.

    They appreciated as positive step the political pact of March 9 and asked this pact be not infringed by anyone. Otherwise, continued Frega, head of the delegation, with the breaking up of this political consensus in Albania, the consensus of the aid sent to Albania by European countries would also break up.

    DP has favoured the application of the March 9 accord, said Shehu, and remembered one of the engagement of the Socialist Party on March 9, where she assured that within three days she would dissolve the armed committees, but in fact, on March 28, the Socialist Party signed another accord with these committees mining the political pact of March 9.

    "We ask these armed committees be dissolved, so that the parties are free to conduct their activity," said Shehu regarding the election campaign.

    You should know that Albania is not alone, said Frega, that's why we are here, engaged to help in overcoming this crisis successfully and further on. The Democratic Party has always had our support and we have expressed this in many statements or resolutions approved by EDU, which is interested in your success. This means that the way of dialogue that you have started should be not interrupted, and you should hold a good election campaign, although the situation is not that favourable. We are worried about the conditions in which the elections will be held, and they will be observed more than ever. Their monitoring will be very important and we will give our contribution for this.

    Alexis Vitonjak was against the recognition in any way of the armed committees and stressed as necessary the respect for the local government. The local polls was the fairest, that's why this government should be respected, he said. The EDU delegation continues the meetings. /l.gj/kled/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] ARMY DEPOT WITH EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL BLASTS IN LEZHE

    LEZHE, APRIL 25 (ATA)- By Z. Pergega, A depot with antitank mines and other explosive devices blasted yesterday at about 17.30 in the military unit Gryke Manati of the Lezhe district, Northeast of Albania, wounding 8 people and causing considerable damages in many flats and social institutions.

    According to police commissariat sources the explosion was caused by two-three youths, 17-19 years old, who are not inhabitants of the commune. In an effort to grab explosive devices in the military unit, angry at the guards' resistance, the boys fueled capsules which caused the blast.

    This morning armed groups blew up the electric booth of the commune leaving 300 families without electricity. eva/lm/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] ITALIAN NAVY SHIP "SAN MARKO" ARRIVES IN PORT OF DURRES

    DURRES, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By Sotiraq Gjordeni: The Italian navy ship "San Marko" arrived Saturday morning in the port of Durres. It transported 80 Austrian soldiers who come for the first time in Albania, in the context of "Alba" mission.

    The Spanish ship "Pizzaro", with 60 Spanish soldiers and logistic means arrived on Friday. While the Italian navy ship "Major" has brought a considerable number of containers with different equipment to help the Italian military forces. /a.ke/kled/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] RAILWAY TRANSPORT TOWARDS SOUTH STARTS FUNCTIONING IN DURRES

    DURRES, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By Sotiraq Gjordeni: The transport of travellers in the line of Pogradec and Vlore restarted on April 24. It was interrupted since April 10th due to the incidents and looting of fuel by different misdoers.

    On March 16, 1997 has also started the functioning of the lines of the travellers transport in all the districts, except the line of Pogradec and Vlore./a.ke/kled/mt/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] ARMED PEOPLE KILL A CITIZEN IN HIS HOUSE IN VLORE

    VLORE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Reports from the police said that 6-8 armed and masked persons, entered on April 24 by 22:30 the house of the citizen Sadik Kurti, 54, who lived in the "Lef Sallata" quarter in Vlore, and kidnapped his 18-year old daughter, Marsela Kurti. His father wanted to protect his daughter by the armed persons, but they have taken and later killed him by fire weapons in the first floor of the building.

    The daughter had escaped from the gangs and entered the house, while the authors of the crime fled away. The police are working to detain them. /kled/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] WORLD BANK DISCUSSES ASSISTANCE TO ALBANIA

    TIRANA, April 23, 1996 - The World Bank yesterday discussed its plans to respond to the crisis in Albania, triggered by the collapse of the country's pyramid investment schemes last February. Johannes Linn, Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia Region, briefed the Bank's Board of Executive Directors in view of the donor consultation meeting on Albania, held at the World Bank on Friday, April 18.

    The consultation meeting was atteneded by representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Governments of Greece, Italy and the United States. Participants exchanged their views on the ways the international donor community could support the Government of Albania to recover economic stability and assist those worst affected by the current crisis.

    After briefing the board yesterday, Johannes Linn said, "We would like to send a small mission as soon as possible, hopefully next week if security conditions permit,"and added, "The mission would assess the situation on the ground. The team would investigate the conditions for project implementation as well as review with the government the need to adapt the Banka supported project to the post - crisis environment and speed up the transfer of resources for emergency reconstruction efforts and critical imports".

    Carlos Elbirt, World Bank Resident Representative, returned to Tirana on Friday, April 18, and a field - based project officer is also expected to return this week. The almost twentyperson local staff has kept the office fully operational throughout the crisis.

    Last Friday's consultation of international donors focused on how priorities have changed since the situation in Albania deteriorated last Fabruary, and how the various donors engaged in Albania intend to respond in the short and medium - term. Participants of the consultation reviewed reports on the meetings of World Bank representatives with officials of the Government of Albania, whoch took place in London last week during the Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Recunstruction and Development.

    Representatives of the international donor community, who attended this and the previous three donor consultation meetings convened by the World Bank, agreed that this forum has become very useful to them in monitoring developments in Albania and coordinating their response. They expressed their willingness to include representatives of all interested donors in future consultations.

    The crisis in Albania has led to a major slowdown in economic activity and supply shortages. The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may fall significantly this years unless the Government takes vigorous action to restore economic stability. In February alone, inflation was over five percent. Since the beginning of the year, the exchange rate has depreciated nearly 40 percent. A sharp decline in tax revenues has increased the already substantial fiscal deficit.

    Participants of the meeting agreed that the top priority for the Government of Albania and the international community is to restore order and security in the country. The first crucial step in this direction has been the recent arrival in the country of the Multinational Protection Force for Albania to secure the distribution of humanitarian aid and help the government prepare for new elections. International assistance cannot be resumed unless the safety of missions can be guaranteed. The support of the international donor community also depends on how soon the government can successfully implement the initial measures to stabilize the economy. Remaining pyramid schemes may undermine the restoring of financial stability. Decisive intervention by the government is necessary in order to make it possible for externally financed technical assistance to assess the nature and extend of the schemes, evaluate their assets and liabilities, and recover assets.

    The World Bank and the European Commission will closely coordinate their support for a recovery program in Albania. Last week, representatives of the two organizations met in Brussels to review plans for providing assistance in the following key areas:

    * essential institution building, including judiciary and governance reforms;

    * emergency reconstruction of infrastructure; and * employment generation and expansion of the social safety net for those most affected by the crisis

    For the World Bank, the first task is to assess the status of its large portfolio of ongoing projects, and determine how projects should be restructured to adapt their design to the postcrisis environment in Albania It is currently believed that the country's most urgent needs are repairing infrastructure, schools, and clinics. Another priority is maintaining essential services, such as electricity and water supplies, in order to secure conditions in which the Albanian economy can be reactivated. The World Bank will assist the government in developing an overall economic recovery program which will serve as a coherent framework for addressing such key issues as economic stabilization, governance, and public expenditure, including the expansion of the social safety net. This program will also aim at reviving private sector activity and attracting the support of the international donor community.

    In order to design a coordinated response by the donor community to Albania's recovery needs, a donor information meeting is planned to take place after the first assessment missions have completed their tasks. The World Bank, along with other key donors, is ready to play a leading role in preparing this event.

    The World Bank and Albania

    Albania joined the Banka and the International Development Association (IDA),the Bank's concessional lending arm, in October 1991. The Bank's central lending objective has been to help alleviate poverty and eliminate the major obstacles to economic growth and private sector development iN Albania; IDA has concentrated its resources in sectors with the largest economic return, such as transport infrastructure and energy supply as well as the priority areas of agriculture and human resources, which are critical to growth and poverty reduction.

    The Bank has consistently supported projects that have helped protect the vulnerable segments of the population during the economic transition in Albania, helping the government to implement projects in the areas of health, education and housing.

    Support from IDA includes: a US$8 million credit for a Forestry Project in NApril 1996; a US$29.5 million credit for a Power Transmission and Distributon Project in March 1996; a US$6 million credit for an Agro - Processing Development Project in December 1995; and a US$4 million credit for an Urban Works and Microenterprise Pilot Project in August 1995.

    The most recent IDA credit for Albania was approved on June 20, 1996, for a US$25 million National Roads Project that is designed to improve the country's road network, support, replacement of maintenance and road safety equipment, promote the development of local contracting and consulting industries, and train local staff.

    To date, Albania has received 22 IDA credits totaling US$273 million./k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] FOUR CHILDREN INJURED FROM BOMB BLASTING IN GJIROKASTER

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA) By Hysni Cani: Four children from Gjirokastra, Southern Albania, have been injured Friday from a bomb blasting, sources from the hospital of Gjirokastra report.

    Two of the children, run the risk of remaining invalids from the wounds.

    From the beginning of the riots in this town, in many cases the children's life is in danger. In the first day of uprising a ten-year-old killed accidentally his twenty five year old brother. /A.KE/kled/kei

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] TWO PEOPLE KILLED BY EXPLOSIVE BLAST IN HOUSE OF FORMER CHIEF OF CRIMINAL POLICE IN LAÇ

    LAÇ, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Sources from the police report that today, at 03:00, some persons, still unidentified, have put explosive matter in the house of the former chief of the criminal police in Fushe e Kuqe, Lac, Muhamet Çela.

    As a result of the explosion Perparim Kora, 34 and Bashkim Kora, 28, died. They have been both employed by the former chief of the criminal police to guard his house which was being built.

    The group of the investigating police went there and said that due to the explosion the house was completely destroyed. /kled/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] ALBANIAN PREMIER FINO MEETS WITH EDU DELEGATION

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - The Premier of the National Reconciliation Government of Albania Bashkim Fino met on Friday evening with the EDU delegation, reports the spokesman of the Prime Minister.

    After wishing it welcome and expressed his thanks for the visit of the EDU delegation, Mr Fino briefed the delegation members of the hitherto activity of the National Reconciliation Government and its cooperation with the Albanian political forces.

    In reply to the interest of the delegation members in the possibility to reform the electoral law and its technical aspects, Fino concentrated on the round table discussion of the political parties with the Government on these matters. He mentioned the fact that 9 parties came to terms on Friday amidst a spirit of consensus and tolerance in favour of a law based on the proportional system, differently from the opinion of DP which is for the majority system.

    He mentioned the advantages of the proportional system in the conditions of the present difficulties of the political life in Albania, of the armament of the population and for the pluralist future of the Albanian Parliament and Government.

    Fino explained that he was continuing consulations with DP leaders to reach an acceptable consensus from the 10 political parties and the predisposition of the central and local governments to create the possibilities for a free and fair political election campaign, without arms fighting.

    "Regarding the problems, they exist in fact as they have also been present in the last year's elections, although the question of arms did not exist," said Mr Fino. He appreciated the all-sided assistance of the international organizations and the contriution of the Multinational Force in the reorganization of the Albanian army and police.

    In response to the concern of the EDU delegation about the committees in the southern part of Albania and the armed gangs for the fresh ballot, the Premier said that these committees were formed the conditions of a total ruining of the local government and police and their elimination comes right after these structures will be organized and the normal life restored. He confirmed the known stand of the Government towards the legitimate government and police structures.

    "Our Government," stressed Mr Fino, " has been and remains against any imposition, but it has agreed to dialogue on proposals which serve the public order, tranquillity and the consolidation of the local government." On this occasion he underlined the distinction between these committees amd the armed gangs, against which the government is acting and will act totally conformed to the law.

    In reply to a question what was the forecast of the Prime Minister regarding the outcome of elections, Fino said that he personally wished none of the parties to win over 50 per cent of the ballots. As a prime minister of a government consisting of 10 Albanian parties, he wished success to the two big parties, but he would also like that other small parties win many votes, something which would increase the pluralism of the parliament and would create the possibilities for a governing on a broad political basis. At least the so far experience proves this. In this regard, Fino shared the same opinion with the European guests that the two main parties should come to terms for the observation of the basic rules of democracy, non-use of violence, for the rule of law, the disarmament, etc. Mr Fino said that the will and sincerity they are apparently manifesting should be expressed in practice.

    At the end of the meeting, the Albanian Premier thanked in particular the delegation members for the significant messages they conveyed on this occasion, considering this act as a direct assistance for the National Reonciliation Government.

    Attending the meeting, held in the spirit of understanding and dialogue, also were the Secretary for the International Relations of the Democratic Party Leonard Demi and the member of the Presidency of this Party Ylli Vejsiu./xh

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] WORLD FOOD PROGRAM REALIZES SECOND EMERGENCY OPERATION FOR ALBANIA

    TIRANA, APRIL 25 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: The World Food Program (WFP) started Thursday a new program of emergency to support the poorest people in Albania.

    The aid, according to a press release, will be given to 400 000 persons, deprived of the living means due to the reduction of the public assistance. In the previous operation, started on April 4, WFP has assisted with an aid for 7500 persons in the public structures and poor families.

    The value of the WFP operation is some 6.5 million dollars.

    "Our aid with food articles is offered to prevent the aggravation of a crisis for food as the main living mean," confirmed the Executive Director of WFP, Catherine Bertini.

    The food articles of WFP will be distributed in the whole country and their transportation will be organized in cooperation with the support of the multinational force in Albania. /kei/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] RAILWAY EXPLODED TO SELL RAILS AS SCRAP-IRON

    SHKODER, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: On Friday noon, in the vicinity of Shtoj village in the district of Shkoder, Northern Albania, was put explosive matter, which blasted later on, local bodies of this zone report.

    Some 35 meters of rails were destroyed due to the explosion, which, according to the police, would be sold as scrap-iron.

    After the riots that swept Albania, a new kind of smuggling trade has started recently in Shkoder, that of selling scrap-iron in Monte-Negro. This smuggling causes grave damages to the Albanian economy.

    According to some sources, different machineries have been sold in this form, whose value is greater than the prize they are sold. /kled/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] THE MAJORITY OF SERBS THINK THAT CRISIS IN KOSOVA MAY BE SOLVED THROUGH DIALOGUE

    PRISHTINE, APRIL 25 (ATA) - The crisis of Kosova may be solved only in a peaceful way, writes newspaper "Vecernje Novosti," referring to the latest poll of the information agency IPRES made among Serbians.

    There are 1089 Serbs who have been interviewed from 22 places of Serbia. 48 per cent of them have replied that the only way to the solution of the question of Kosova is the peaceful way and dialogue between the two parties. Regarding an inter-ethnic division of the territory of Kosova, as the only solution to the issue, about 9 per cent of the interviewers agreed to answer. Around 13.2 per cent think that the question of Kosova can be solved only through arms. For other ways of the solution to this question replies were given by 5.8 per cent of the people questioned, whereas 24 per cent of the interviewed did not want to reply.

    Asked what rights should the Albanians enjoy in Serbia, 75 per cent of the interviewed responded that the Albanians should have the right to create organizations for the development of culture and tradition. Concerning the teaching of the Albanian language in elementary and secondary schools 50 per cent of the interviewed gave their replies, whereas 44.5 per cent think that Albanian must have their representatives in the assembly of Serbia and in the Yugoslav assembly. About 14 per cent of the people questioned in the poll were in favour of the right of the Albanians of Kosova for autonomy, whereas the right for an independent state of Kosova was supported only by 0.83 per cent of the interviewed.

    For the dialogue as the form of the solution of the question of national minorities, about 88 per cent think that it is the best way. While 10 per cent of the interviewed expressed their opinion in regard to a more radical stand of the state towards the minorities if their requests inflict the territorial integrity of Serbia and the FRY, writes the Serbian paper of Belgrade. ag/bj/xh

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] SECRETARY GENERAL OF COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETS OFFICIALS OF UNDP

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA) The Secretary General of the Albanian Council of Ministers, Ekrem Kastrati, met Friday with Josyane Chapelier, director of UNDP (United Nations Development Program) for Europe and the Community of the Independent States, as well as with Soren Tejno, permanent deputy representative of UNDP in Tirana, Premier Press Office reports.

    Kastrati thanked for the readiness of the international bodies and UNDP to support Albania in these difficult moments. He suggested that the concrete assistance of UNDP be concentrated among others towards the recuperation of the damages caused to the local power bodies, computerization of the teaching system, the technical reinforcement of the national radio, as well as the improvement of the dentistry service.

    The high ranking officials of UNDP expressed their understanding for the concrete requests of the Albanian Party. They assured that with the increase of funds for Albania, their accomplishment is possible, which will lead in positive consequences towards the improvement of the quality of the activity in the above mentioned fields.

    The two parties expressed their predisposition to accelerate the relative procedures of this cooperation. /s.sh./kled/kei/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] POLICE DETAIN SIX TRUCKS WITH SCRAP-IRON IN DURRES

    DURRES, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: The police forces in the town of Durres detained recently six trucks of Shkoder, which were loaded with scrap-iron, taken in Southern zones.

    The trucks, which were loaded with different electro-mechanic equipment, were travelling after 20:00 in the conditions of curfew, aiming to sell them outside the borders of Albania. /eva/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] FLUCTUATION OF LEK AGAINST FOREIGN CURRENCY

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA) - The lek has begun fluctuating in the foreign currency exchange rate within a day.

    Yesterday by midday 1 USD on the currency market in Tirana was bought at 147.5 lek, while this morning 1 USD was bought at 147 lek and was sold at 148 lek. Today by midday, the dollar lost again points in the exchange rate: 1 USD = 144.5 lek in buying and 146 leks in selling.

    At the Savings Bank today 1 USD was bought at 140.5 lek and sold at 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

    A.gj/EVA/MT/E

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] UNION OF FOREIGN AND ALBANIAN INVESTORS' ASSOCIATIONS FORMED

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By R Floqi: A news conference held in Hotel Tirana Friday declared the creation of the Union of Foreign and Albanian Investors' Associations.

    "This union is indispensable for the conditions created in the Albanian economy also due to the fact that the present Albanian government is not being so active to solve the investors' complex and urgent problems, " said Vehbi Velija, one of the organizers of the Union.

    The aim of this Union is to come to agreements with vvarious European and world financial institutions, through the Albanian Government, to ensure the easing of the damages caused in their economies and their revival, and to urge this government to be seriously committed to the compensation of the damages and the support for these economies.

    The Union, consisting mainly of Albanian,Italian and Greek investors, is open to other investors as well.

    Asked whether the union would also accept companies which have based a part of their loan-taking activity on the pyramid schemes, Mr Velija said that he had not receiived any request for membership from such companies.

    The Union asks from the Albanian Government to engage international companies in the verification of the damages caused in the investments made in Albania and on the basis of their reports to demand their assistance. The Union also asks that it be a party in these talks.

    The union demands that the law on the protection of investors in Albania and their compensation if need arises, must be adopted as soon as possible. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS DELEGATION OF EUROPEAN CENTER RIGHT PARTY FORUMS

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA)- President Berisha met yesterday afternoon the delegation of the three most powerful organisations of the European parties: EUD, EUCD, DEMYC, headed by Jose Maria Robles Fraga, EDU deputy chairman of the People's Party of Spain, Alexis Wintoniak, EDU executive secretary, and representatives of the New Democracy, Christos Valtadoros, of the European People's Parties and of DEMYC, Mathias Peterlik, according to the Press and Information office close the President of the Republic.

    EDU's cooperation and aid is of great significance not only for the Democratic Party but for the whole Albania on its road towards integration into Europe, Berisha told the EDU delegation.

    Albania lived through the abortive armed rebellion, organised by the SP fundamentalist wing in the centre and districts, in collaboration with mafia people, traffickers and ordinary wrongdoers.

    This rebellion destroyed the public institutions elected by the free vote, banks and foreign investment, army depots - all these according to the Marxist classic schemes of taking power through violence.

    The pyramid schemes we inherited, the negative side of our governing, whose responsibility has been acknowledged only by us, was only the pretext of the armed rebellion.

    The major cause lays with the former communists' non reconciliation with the loss of power by free vote and their determination to regain it through violence.

    But this rebellion failed, Berisha says, not because it was crushed through violence but, first of all, because it did not find support and very soon the terrorised population realised the anti-democratic and anti- Albanian aims of seizing power through violence, civil conflict, or north- south confrontation by the organisers of this rebellion.

    The armed rebellion failed because through the political solutions we offered, solutions based on the democratic principles and values we uphold and share with the your parties and countries as well as with the other other countries of the European Union, we avoided the probability of a civil conflict and brought about the failure of all north-south confrontation attempts.

    The rebellion failed because the platform of National Reconciliation was considered as the best solution both by the Albanians and the European Union.

    Hence, it is true Albania is the only former communist country where the former communists decided to come to power through violence and organised the rebellion, but, it is at the same time, today, the country of the abortive communist rebellion.

    Albania is fully determined to continue the path for which the Albanians have for several times expressed themselves by the free vote and plebiscite.

    We very much appreciate the ongoing success of the Vranitzky mission and are very grateful to the European Union and the friendly countries for coming as part of the Multinational Force, which has been welcomed to Albania.

    Berisha also stressed his determination to hold free and fair elections in the shortest time frame as possible and to fully recognise their outcome. He stressed that the main stumbling block at present, maybe, the only one in holding the elections is SP's armed wing in several southern towns.

    The delegation especially appreciated the political solution offered by the president and the DP. It stressed that they have come to help Albania overcome the difficulties and that the parties of the European Democratic Union are completely committed to supporting the DP and Albania in the International organisations.lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER MEETS EDU DELEGATION

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA)-By P.Shuteriqi, Interior Minister Belul Celo today received at a separate meeting the delegation of the European Democratic Union, EDU, headed by the organisational secretary of this union, Alexis Wintoniak.

    Celo briefed the delegation on the current situation in Albania as well as the efforts to restore order and peace as soon as possible.

    "The situation in several towns, where the local government has been paralysed by severalillegitimate committees, which intend to exercise violence on the local government executive structures, remains a problem," Celo said.

    The EDU delegation members said that the EDU supports Albania in its efforts to consolidate democracy after the European standards, the ministry spokesman says. eva/lm/Z/

    DELEGATION

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] DPA CHAIRMAN MEETS EDU DELEGATION

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 9ATA)- The Democratic Party (DP) chairman, Tritan Shehu, and secretary General Genc Pollo met the EDU delegation at the DP headquarters this morning.

    At this meeting Alexis Wintoniak, EDU organisational secretary, focussed the attention on the pre-electoral situation ,especially on the new electoral law.

    After several meetings of the delegation with President Berisha, Prime Minister Bashkim Fino and other political parties leaders, the delegation stressed the indispensability for the Democratic Party to continue the road of dialogue in the spirit of the March 9 agreement and cooperate with the other political parties.

    "We evaluate the ongoing steps made by the DP and support it on this path. We have asked from the political parties to distance themselves completely from the military committees and cooperate with the local governments, a condition for holding new elections," Wintoniak said.

    Shehu considered very important the EDU delegation's visit to Albania, reconfirming them that:"The marxist military putsch in Albania was a complete failure, although it was accompanied by huge material, human and moral losses."

    "We will implement the March 9 agreement and consider dialogue with the political forces as the way to tackle the electoral law issue and other domestic political issues." he said. s.sh/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] PRIME MINISTER FINO MEETS WORLD BANK REPRESENTATIVE

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA)- By A. Baci, Prime Minister Bashkim Fino met today the representative of the World Bank, WB, to Albania, Carlos Elbirt.

    The representative of the World Bank reaffirmed full support of the organisation he represents for the Government of National Reconciliation.

    He made a presentation of the concrete projects the World Bank plans to apply in Albania soon. Elbirt also expressed the World Bank's evaluation of the Albanian government's efforts to provide the country with a budget, an indication of its serious performance.

    Fino considered fruitful the cooperation with the World Bank and expressed the belief that this interest be promoted in fields of interest for Albania.

    Describing the activity of the Government of National Reconciliation Fino underscored the mission of the government he runs, to lead the country to elections, as well as the full commitment to lay the bases of an economic and financial normalisation. jz/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] EDU, EUCD AND DEMYC TO FULLY SUPPORT ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - By R Floqi: Three European political formations of the European centre right expressed in a news conference today their support for the Democratic Party for the coming electoral campaign and condemend the cooperation of some parties with the armed committees.

    "We do completely support the Democratic Party," said the EDU (European Democratic Union) executive secretary, Alexis Wintoniak in today's joint news conference with the DP leaders, Tritan Shehu and Genc Pollo, at the end of a visit to Albania, adding that "EDU, EUCD (European Union of Christian Democrats) and DEMYC will surely help DP in the European institutions."

    "We have cooperated during the past years and will continue this cooperation. We do not change our friends when they are in a difficult situation," he said.

    Wintoniak is one of the members of a delegation of people's democratic and conservative parties invited by DP, led by the Robles Fraga, secretary of the International of the Spanish People's Party,Matias Peter Linck, DEMYC Secretary General, Christos Valtadoros, secretary for the foreign relations of the "New Democracy Party," who paid a tow-day-visit to Albania.

    "In order that the democratic order in Albania has a firm basis it should be based on the March 9 agreement. We believe that the problems related with the electoral law can be solved through dialogue," said Mr Fraga, adding that they "appeal to all the parties to distance themselves clearly from the military committees and to recognize only the legal local governments elected on October, 20, 1996."

    "The electoral process in Albania must respect this country's territorial integrity. There will be no excuse if the March 9 Agreement is ruined and the legal local government are not recognized," said Mr Fraga.

    Fraga did not see "any disconcordance between their demand for a stable Albania and the DP as a EDU member."

    The delegation left Albania on Saturday. jz/xh/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] FOUNDERS OF DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT PARTY HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA)- By A. Frasheri, The founders of the Democratic Movement Party, DMP, held a news conference at Rogner Hotel this morning.

    In a communique distributed during its first news conference, this party did not deny the successes attained by the DP over the last six years.

    During the Conference Dashamir Shehi, one of the leaders of DMP presidency, said that:"This is a movement emerging due to DP's lack of renovation, product of the Albanian crisis in general and of the DP in particular," which, according to him, began after the referendum and climaxed with the usury crisis.

    "We quitted the DP at the last meeting of the national council, after a memorial issued sometimes ago to get out of the crisis which was ignored but later applied point by point," Shehi said.

    Shehi said that "in the memorial we expressed ourselves against overestimation of the role of the individual in the party and the only point not applied had to do with the role of the president inside the party" and added that:"this was the last move for the DP to take part in the new elections united".

    The signatories of this memorial, now the DMP founders, who, since the creation of the DP, have held Albanian DP party and state high positions. When the DP assumed power, they were prime ministers, interior and finance ministers.

    Asked whether this party is ready to join in the planned upcoming elections, Shehi said that:"We are ready, although the period is very short". jz/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] THIRTY FIVE PER CENT OF SCHOOLS IN SARANDE DISTRICT REOPEN

    SARANDE, APRIL 26 (ATA)- By Sh. Hajno, Thirty five per cent of the schools have reopened in the Sarande district, South of Albania, in recent days.

    Classes have resumed in Konispol, Dhivri, Markati and other communes.

    Schools have not reopened in the Sarande town because parents are afraid of sending their children to school under the conditions of a reorganised order but with weapons still in the hands of the people. a.ke/eva/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] ALBANIA NEEDS NEW POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE - cdp

    TIRANA, APRIL 26 (ATA)- By A.Baci,

    Representatives of several political parties met today the visiting EDU delegation.

    The Christian Democratic party (CDP) chairman, Zef Bushati, stressed the stand of the Chrisitian democrats that :"Albania needs a new political alternative, besides the DP and SP alternatives. It will aim at winning power in the June 29 parliamentary elections."

    This new political alternative, according to the Christian democrats, was the Albanian Union of the Right coalition, whose basis would be formed by four right wing parties (PBK,PLL,PR,PDK), which are also represented in the Government of National Reconciliation. jz/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] CE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SUPPORTS DPA'S ANALYSIS OF THE LOCAL CRISIS

    TIRANE, APRIL 17 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly supported the analysis that the Democratic Party of Albania has made of the situation and the crisis that has gripped the country, said in a news conference today the DP Secretary General, Genc Pollo. Mr Pollo together with some leaders of other Albanian parties took part in the latest meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in Strasbourg.

    While making a panorama of that meeting, Pollo said that "these were also the stands of the socialist group and the liberal group ofthe Assembly."

    The meeting also approved a resolution which according to Pollo, "denounced in the clearest way the effort to topple the legitimate power through armed violence."

    This resolution also demands that for the realisation of the free elections a full security, free of movement and the possibility for every candidate to go to each zone of Albania should be established."

    With regard to the so-called salvation committes in some southern cities of Albania, Pollo said the resolution in particular, described them as illegal because in some zones they have taken the power illegally, adding that they should leave their place to the elected legitimate bodies and this is considered a premise for free and fair elections."

    "Only the united left wing, with members from the communist parties, was against this resolution. They refused since the beginning the draft of the resolution which was presented to the Assembly. Two of the firmest opponents were the representative of the Italian Communist Refoundation Party and the representative of the Greek Communist Party," said Pollo. Through an adopted amendament, the CE pledged in the meeting it would play a central role in the preparation and monitoring of the ballot.

    Regarding the question of the preparation of the Constitution, Pollo said that "CE also backed up the initiative of the President of Albania, Sali Berisha, to start in the spirit of cooperation which emerged from the March 9 Agreement, the process of discussion for a draft of Albania's constitution." jz/xh/z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] HEIR TO ALBANIAN THRONE VISITS SHKODER

    SHKODER, APRIL 26 (ATA)- By M.Malja, Thousands of Shkoder inhabitants welcomed today the heir to the Albanian throne, Leka Zogu, at a rally in front of the "Migjeni" theatre.

    The major of the city-hall of Shkoder, North of Albania, Bahri Borici, expressed delight at the visit of Leka to the Shkoder city.

    "Your messages of understanding and peace have been hailed by the Shkoder people. We aspire a genuine democracy and this will be achieved by a quick integration in Europe," Borici said.

    Zogu said that: "I am entranced with today's reception in the Shkoder town. I have come here to bring peace and understanding".

    Afterwards, Zogu met intellectuals, local government leaders , deputies and others. They discussed problems concerning the country and ways to get out of this situation. eva/lm/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] MEETING OF ALBANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER RAKIPI WITH EDU DELEGATION

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - The Albanian deputy foreign minister, Albert Rakipi, today met with the delegation of the European Democratic Union (EDU), Foreign Ministry press and information department reports today.

    During the meeting, he briefed the delegation of the local situation after the collapse of pyramid investment schemes and focused in particular on the objectives of the National Reconciliation Government.

    Mr Rakipi described as very important the presence of the Multinational Security Forces in Albania in the this situation.

    "We are so grateful to the international community and to those countries which contributed to the multinational force in Albania," he said.

    Referring to the present situation, Mr Rakipi said that Albania has all the possibilities to come out of the crisis. The March 9 Agreement among the political forces marked an important moment and the beginning of a dialogue which must continue. But at the same time, he added, Albania needs greatly an all-sided support by the international community.

    While declaring the objectivs of the Albanian foreign policy, Mr Rakipi stressed that an unchangable priority of this policy remains Albania's integration in the euro-atlantic structures.

    The EDU delegation members highlighted the efforts made so far by the Albanian legitimate institutions to restore the normal life in the country and to carry it towards free and democratic elections. ssh/jz/xh/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER VUKAJ MEETS WITH WEU MISSION

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - Albania's Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj had yesterday a separate meeting with the mission of the Western European Union (WEU), Defence Ministry spokesman reports.

    Members of this mission were representatives from European countries, France, as the WEU chairman, Denmark, as current OSCE chairman, representatives from Holland, as EU chairman, civil representatives and experts of police and gendarmerie from Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Spain etc.

    Mr Vukaj briefed the WEU mission of the work of the National Reconciliation Government to stabilize the situation. The Defence Minister stressed that the majority of the Albanian people has arms to protect itself from criminels and armed gangs. The Army, continued Mr Vukaj, along with its reorganization, has prepared the situation for the successful activity of the Multinational Forces in Albania.

    These forces have been welcomed everywhere by the Albanian people, without any incident. Besides the set regions, according to the initial plan, they are spreading gradually to other zones as well.

    The chairman of the WEU mission expressed his optimism for the achievements in Albania regarding the stabilizaion of the situation, the functioning of the Albanian army and military police.

    Some representatives of the mission recommended in the meeting the experience of the armies of democratic countries, that are engaged in civil missions, sonmething which would contribute to a normal conduct of the coming elections in Albania. ssh/jz/xh/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [30] MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY PARTY WILL TAKE PART IN THE COMING PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

    - declares one of the initiators of the creation of this party, Dashamir Shehi -

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - The new Party, Movement for Democracy which has just been created by a group of former DP deputies declared that it will take part in the coming elections, despite the difficulties. In the mean time a delegation of the European Democratic Union arrived in Tirana to voice its support for the Democratic Party in the coming electoral campaign.

    The correspondent of the Voice of America in Tirane reports: The newly-created party Movement for Democracy declared today that it will take part in the coming parliamentary elections. One of the initiators of this party, Dashamir Shehi, said in a news conference held today for the presentation of this party that "June is still early for this party to take part in this competitive ballot." Nevertheless, they will take part in the coming polls.

    "We think that the elections in Albania will be an outcome of some political agreements, of some important vectors. First of all of the agreements among the parties, in which "we unfortunately do not take part, the Albanian crisis depends on the stand of the international community." "We think that it will also depend on the real possibilities, the efficient possibilities for the elections. I think that none of us today, that is, none of the political parties have it clear that what day these three vectors will converge into one." In reply to reporter's questions Mr Shehi said that "in fact the committees are a reality in the South and the North of Albania." The political stand of the party Movement for Democracy towards them is that this party recognizes only the Albanian constitutional context.

    "The Movement for Democracy," said Mr Shehi, "will never recognize the armed structures existing parallel with the Albanian state throughout the country." The initiators of the Party Movement for Democrcy declared in the news conference that they are convinced that a really democratic Albania, which will be able to stay with dignity among the nations of Europe, may be formed. This, according to them, "will be made possible even if the return to power of the etatist unreformed left dominated by the feelings of revenge be avoided along with the dominating existence of the autocracy, pseudo-democracy and kryptocommunism of Mr Berisha." In the mean time, a delegation of the European Democratic Union declared today in another joint news conference with the chairman of the Democratic Party, Tritan Shehu that this delegation had come to Tirana to back up the political line followed so far by the Democratic Party and "to make joint preparations for the coming electoral campaign." The leader of this delegation, Hose Maria Fraga, said that he had come to Albania to be close to the Albanian people in this difficult situation, after the calamities it suffered as a result of the failure of the pyramid investment schemes, but also to express their friendship for and to encourage DP for the coming elections.

    "The delegation of the European Democratic Union," declared Mr Fraga, after many meetings he had with senior officials of the Albanian state and various political parties in Albania, including the Socialist Party, has formed the conviction that the situation in Albania is difficult, but everything can be mended with the good will of all the parties." The EDU delegatioon was convinced that all the disasters and grave events that Albania experienced during the past weeks have been caused by old and new cricminal structures linked with foreign trends.

    The EDU delegation declared that "the friend cannot be abandoned in a difficult situation," adding that it would powerfully support DP in the coming electoral campaign. lt/n/xh

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [31] ALBANIAN DEFENCE MINISTER VUKAJ MEETS WITH WEU MISSION

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - Albania's Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj had yesterday a separate meeting with the mission of the Western European Union (WEU), Defence Ministry spokesman reports.

    Members of this mission were representatives from European countries, France, as the WEU chairman, Denmark, as current OSCE chairman, representatives from Holland, as EU chairman, civil representatives and experts of police and gendarmerie from Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Spain etc.

    Mr Vukaj briefed the WEU mission of the work of the National Reconciliation Government to stabilize the situation. The Defence Minister stressed that the majority of the Albanian people has arms to protect itself from criminels and armed gangs. The Army, continued Mr Vukaj, along with its reorganization, has prepared the situation for the successful activity of the Multinational Forces in Albania.

    These forces have been welcomed everywhere by the Albanian people, without any incident. Besides the set regions, according to the initial plan, they are spreading gradually to other zones as well.

    The chairman of the WEU mission expressed his optimism for the achievements in Albania regarding the stabilizaion of the situation, the functioning of the Albanian army and military police.

    Some representatives of the mission recommended in the meeting the experience of the armies of democratic countries, that are engaged in civil missions, sonmething which would contribute to a normal conduct of the coming elections in Albania. ssh/jz/xh/Z

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [32] COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONDEMNS ARMED VIOLENCE, CONSIDERS THE SALVATION COMMITTEES AS ILLEGITIMATE AND ASKS THEIR DISARMAMENT

    TIRANE, APRIL 26 (ATA) - The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, in its resolution for Albania issued on April 24 condemns every effort to topple the legal authorities through the armed violence. It considers that the committees which have taken the power illegally in a part of the country should surrender the arms and leave their place to the elected local structures, as a condition for free and fair elections.

    This is part of Article 6 of the Resolution, which says that the free and fair elections demand a free movement throughout the country, access to the media on the basis of an agreement and the functioning of the local bodies at all levels.

    The resolution stresses that the Council of Europe will play a central role in the preparation and monitoring of the elections. The Assembly hails the proposal of the President of the Republic to all the political forces for the beginning of the process for the compilation of the draft of the constitution. The rapporteurs Van der Linder, Culumberg and Rufi stressed that it is indispensable that the elections be free and fair, that the electoral campaign be conducted without any obstacle by the candidates of all the parties.

    The realisation of these conditions is more important than the date of elections.

    "We shall not hurry in this direction," said Mr Culumberg. The resolution was supported by the group of Christian Democrats, Conservatives, Socialists and Liberals. Only the group of the United Left (communist) disapproved the Resolution.

    His spokesman Mr Brunetti from the Italian Communist Refoundation, reporting on the refusal for the Resolution, criticized fiercely the Democratic Party and President Berisha.

    Mr Klaus Byler (CDU of Germany,) speaking in the name of the group of the People's Parties, Right Centre, supported the March 9 Agreement, President Berisha, he denounced severily the committees, describing them as communist-mafia-typed, and asked from the Socialist Party to disassociate itself from them.

    All the deputies who took the floor, voiced their solidarity and will to help Albania in this difficult moment. Also Albanian deputies Spahia, Pollo and Dokle took part in the discussion. ssh/xh


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


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