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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-05-17
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 DEFENCE MINISTER VUKAJ IN THE DISTRICT OF LEZHETIRANA, MAY 17 (ATA) - Albanian Defence Minister Shaqir Vukaj payed Friday a visit in Lezhe, in the village of Gryke Manati, where a powerful explosion occurred in the military depots, spokesman of the Defence Ministry reports.
Vukaj was accompanied by the prefect Balla, Chairman of the District Council Ndoc Gjetaj, other representatives of local government, of the police commissariat and of the army.
Minister Vukaj visited the families which were gravely damaged, saw the depots and the concrete situation and assured among others that the tents of the army should be sent for the homeless families.
The damages in the houses of the peasants reach the amount of some 17 million leks.
In the meeting held in the district council of Lezhe, Vukaj stressed the necessity of cooperation of the military units and the police commissariat with the local government.
In the naval base of Shengjin, Defence Minister Vukaj, accompanied by the Commander of the Naval Defence Forces, captain of the first rank, Vladimir Beja, visited the military objects and held a meeting with the whole effective of the base.
Minister Vukaj visited the Spanish military troops, deployed in Shengjin, in the context of the Multinational Force.
Accompanied by the Commander of the Troop, lieutenant colonel Alonso, Vukaj saw the grounds and through a briefing was familiarized with their activity. Vukaj thanked the Spanish team for the urgent medical aid, ends the spokesman of the Defence Ministry. /l.gj/kled/mt/k
 FIGHT AT MIDDAY NEAR NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK IN BERATBERAT, MAY 16 (ATA) - Unknown people shot by fire weapons on Friday by midday near the branch of the National Commercial Bank in Berat, by terrorizing the whole center of the town and the quarter where this institution is situated.
Police sources stressed that the attack by fire weapons was not against the Bank, but against a family who lives near the institution.
The police did not react, although the life of the family members was on danger.
This attack, the robbery of several bars and the threatening of several lives in exchange of millions, have shrunk a lot the life in the ancient town. /a.ke/kei/mt/k
 FIVE PEOPLE KILLED IN ELBASANELBASAN, MAY 17 (ATA) - Five people died Friday in Elbasan, Middle Albania, after a clash between two armed groups, sources of the police commissariat in this district report.
The victims are the two brothers Julian Nikolle Bepi, 20 and Ardian Bepi, 28, Hysen Tabaku, 31, Alket Ballhysa, 20 and Armando Dauti, 25, all inhabitants of Elbasan.
During the clash, another person is reported injured, who fled away after he was treated in the hospital./kled/mt/sh/
 SERBIAN REGIME TERRORIZES ALBANIANS TO MAKE IMPOSSIBLE THEIR LIFE IN KOSOVAPRISTINA, MAY 17 (ATA) - The Serbian Regime is severely terrorizing the Albanians to make impossible their life in Kosova, - stresses the Council for the Protection of the Human Rights and Freedoms in Pristina, in the report on the violence during April.
According to this report, "During last month the Serbian violence and terror on the unprotected Albanian population in Kosove have continued with the same intensity." 272 Albanians have been maltreated in different manners. Three of them were killed. /ag/b.j/kled/mt/k
 PRESS REVIEWTIRANA, MAY 17 (ATA) - "Europe points to those who set Albania on fire", is the editorial of Rilindja Demokratike. "One hour before Vranitzky was to declare that the law was in the context of the political contract, the socialist leader Fatos Nano had declared that his party and its allies would boycott the elections in case the law on elections would change again," says the editorial. "Berisha decrees the election day," reports the paper under the title "DP towards the victory, SP towards rebellion".
"The armed committees of south and their political chiefs warned Friday that they were ready to start the rebellion, by moving to Tirana, until the socialists come to power," reports the paper under the title "SP plots the restart of chaos." The paper carries a press release under the title "The law, guarantee for free elections".
"Albania collects taxes in Greece," reports the paper on the second page. "By transferring the Albanian customs officials in the Greek Land, let's hope that one day Malaj will not transfer the armchair of the Minister of Finances," underlines the paper.
The paper also publishes an interview with the democratic leader, Tritan Shehu, with regard to the priorities of the elections law under the title "We respected the compromise with Vranitzky and the parties."
"Berisha - Calamity of Albania", reports Zeri i Popullit. The paper carries an interview of Premier Fino under the title "I will make all the efforts to avoid the governmental crisis." The paper covers the news conference of Vranitzky under the title "Albania can be re-isolated by the International Community." The paper publishes a communique of the National Committee of the Public Salvation under the title "We are not in favour of taking the power by force, but we do not allow Berisha to keep it by violence". "The former politically prosecuted people in the files of SHIK", reports the paper under the headline "Anti-constitutional activity of the Chief of SHIK, Bashkim Gazidede."
Rilindja covers the news conference of President Rugova under the title "The concrete reality of the independence in Kosova should be accepted". "The European Parliament invites the Council of Ministers of the European Union to charge the monitoring mission, which will help starting the talks between Belgrade and Pristina," reports the paper under the title "With the pressure on Belgrade, the informative office in Pristina should open". Under the headline "Vranitzky asks not to postpone the elections," the paper carries the article "I don't recognise the angel from the devil in the Albanian policy."
"The democrats trust in votes, communists in weapons," is the editorial of Albania paper. "The Democratic Party and its allies have clearly started the preparation of the election campaign, considering the elections as the only solution for the Albanian crisis," says the editorial.
"The majority - elections, the minority - rebellion", reports the paper on the first page. "If Berisha decrees the election law, approved by the parliament, according to the socialist leader, Nano, SP will not participate in the election process," reports the paper under the title "The Socialists: We will boycott the elections". "Malaj - the gangster of the Albanian pyramids" is another article published on the third page.
Koha Jone reports: "Fatos Nano (SP chairman) does not go to Vlore. The committees convene: 'The fight continues, we are waiting for the opposition'. Vranitzky leaves Albania and the shadow of fight". The paper carries the editorial "The tragedy is March 9 (the first agreement between Albanian political parties and the president)". With regard to "a secret meeting of the 7 parties for joint stand" on the elections, the paper reports: "The opposition debates the boycott of elections." The meeting of President Berisha with Premier Fino, is covered under the title "Berisha signs the elections. Fino: There is no problem".
Dita reports regarding the visit of Vranitzky in Albania: "The mediator Franz Vranitzky is tired of the provincial politicians of Tirana". The paper highlights the political fight in Albania under the title "The parties have decided to pay themselves the tribute of their insanity". With regard to the possibility of Fino's resignation, the paper quotes the SP chairman as saying "There is no reason for Fino to resign. He should only know the manipulated laws approved by Berisha." The paper carries the article "World Bank will help the Government of National Reconciliation."
Gazeta Shqiptare reports: "The country towards a graver crisis" The elections seem too far." The paper carries the editorial "The curse no. 115 (number of constituencies fixed in the elections law) and the betrayed consensus". Covering the meeting among 15 representatives of the so-called committees of salvation, the paper reports: "Alarm among committees: We are waiting what is going on in Tirana." With regard to the yesterday earthquake, the paper reports "Quake in Prespe: Tremor and fear in Tirana".
The Independent paper reports "The committees ready for attack", and carries the editorial "Vranitzky and the mediators". On the second page the paper carries the article "Berisha decrees the elections and dissolves the parliament." On the same page the paper reports "Nano is 'taken hostage' in the court", with regard to the financial obligation he should pay, who was set free due to an amnesty of the president, at the beginning of the riots. Nano is accused of corruption and abuse of office.
With regard to the reaction of USA on the election law, approved by the Albanian parliament, the paper reports "Everybody is to be blamed".
Bashkimi paper, issued today after a long period of interruption, carries the editorial "Elections or solution". On the second page the paper publishes the article "Who were the first persons who looted the Kallashnikov machine guns? (And from where does the disarming begin...)" /kled/kei/mt/E
 0BRIDGE OF GOLEM VILLAGE DAMAGED IN SHKODERSHKODER, MAY 17 (ATA) - By Myfit Malja: Unidentified persons put on Friday TNT in the bridge of Golem village, 2 km far from the town of Shkoder, which connects this town with the communes of Mesi, Dukagjin and nearby villages.
A hole one metr deep was opened due to the explosion, and the heavy vehicle are not allowed to pass on this bridge because of that.
Two week ago, in the international railway Shkoder-Bajze, in the Shtoj village, such an explosion occurred, which damaged some 35 m of the railway. /kled/mt/E
 ALBANIAN PREMIER BASHKIM FINO MEETS WITH POLITICAL PARTIESTIRANE, MAY 17 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Albanian political parties had today a meeting with Premier Fino to find a consensus on the law on elections decreed by the President of Albania Sali Berisha yesterday, and its implementation.
The left wing opposition parties continue to oppose the law although it includes most of the claims of these parties.
The law passed by the parliament carries the amendments proposed by the DP deputies, amendments from the law drafted by the Government and 12 points proposed by OSCE envoy, Franz Vranitzky.
"The Government should issue the sub-legal acts to allow the practical execution of the law so that conditions be created for most correct and fair elections," said after the meeting the DP chairman, Tritan Shehu.
The SDP chairman Skender Gjinushi, said that his party would not take part in elections with this law, while the SP chairman, Fatos Nano, changing his yesterday's position, said:
"There is space for acceptable amendments so that the process be acceptable by all. I have no hurry to take now a decision to take part or not in elections."
The law that the parliament approved, according to Mr Vranitzky, has, from the formal aspect, fulfilled the plans."
The political parties will meet again with Mr Fino at 7 p.m., to continue the discussion for a consensus. xh/E
 NUMBER OF ALBANIAN REFUGEES RETURNED FROM ITALY AMOUNTS TO 5001DURRES, MAY 17 (ATA) - By S Gjordeni: So far 5001 Albanian refugees, who left Albania during the past two months, have returned home from Italy, border police forces in the report of Durres say.
Since the beginning of this month, the number of the refugees repatriated is 3400, of whom 1 300 are from Northern Albania. ssh/eva/xh/Z/
 MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION OF ECONOMY DISAPPROVE FINANCE MINISTER MALAJTIRANE, MAY 17 (ATA) - With regard to a TV declaration of the Albanian Finance Minister, Arben Malaj, that the approval for a monitor for the companies to be controlled has been "ignored," some members of the parliamentary commission of economy and finances explain:
The draft law presented to the Parliament by the Council of Ministers did not mention any of such an idea, moreover, the minister Malaj has not presented this idea even in the comments or debates held in the plenary session for the approval of the law, which had many other improvements made by the parliament.
Article 2 of the draft and the approved law does not mention the appointment of an administrator in those companies.
We judge that it is important to take into consideration the comment of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on the appointment of an administrator in each loan-taking company, which is actually continuing its activity, ends the clarification. ake/jz/xh/Z/
 MEETING OF PM FINO WITH POLITICAL PARTIES ON ELECTORAL LAWTIRANE, MAY 17 (ATA) - As the Prime Minister's spokesman reports, today Prime Minister Bashkim Fino gathered the country's political parties of the round table to discuss the development of the electoral process in the country after the setting of the election day and the electoral law passed by the parliament.
Mr Fino briefed the leaders of the political forces of his efforts in order that the parliament also examine the draftlaw of the Government which was approved by the 9 signatory parties of the March 9 Agreement. He informed those parties of the talks he had with President Berisha the night before, in which they discussed in particular the questions of constituencies, the central election commission and the TV coverage of the electoral campaign.
The representatives of the political parties declared their positions with regard to the present situation.
The speakers in the meeting demanded a consensus to be reached so that to make possible participation in the coming political elections and acceptance of their outcome by all political forces. They also demanded a social pact, as a necessary element for the electoral campaign in the grave conditions of the security in the country.
Also a declaration of the current OSCE chairman, Foreign Minister of Denmark, Niels Helveg Petersen, was read. It appealed to all the political parties and President Berisha in particular, to reach an agreement as an urgent issue for the conditions of an applicable law for the parliamentary elections. The failure to reach the agreement, he notes, will force the OSCE and others to reconsider their commitment to assist Albania to overcome the present crisis.
The meeting of Mr Fino with the political parties will continue in the evening today. ake/jz/xh/Z/
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