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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-09-29
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 MASSIVE FOREST OF SHKALLE CERRUJE CONTINUES TO BE TORCHEDBURREL, SEPT 28 (ATA) - By H Ruspi:A fire, which has swept since several days the massive coniferous forest in vicinity of Shaklle-Cerruje, 30 km far from Klos, district of Mat, Northern Albania, is not extinguished yet.Sources from the Forest Service Department in this district confirm that it is torched so far a surface of 4 ha with pines.
The specialists and workers of this Department did not succeed to extinguish the fire, which was also favoured by the wind and high temperatures.
Some 9 other cases of fires in the forests of this district were noticed last summer, but the damaged surface is not made known yet. /kei/mt/k
 FIVE ALBANIANS WITH REGULAR VISAS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER GREECEDURRES, SEPT 28 (ATA) - By G Kabashi:The Greek border authorities in the port of Patras have not allowed five Albanian citizens with regular visa to enter Greece, who were returned in Durres on Sunday morning.
Five Albanians, all males, travelled on Thursday from Durres towards the Greek port of Patras by ferry-boat and they were not allowed to land with the motivation of having false documents.
The police commander of the border check point in the port of Durres, Filip Cuko, reported to ATA that according to the verification of experts, their documents were regular.
The deported were locked for 48 hours in one of the cabins of the ferry-boat, as the Greek customs was on strike.
A man around 45 told ATA that his wife and children were allowed to pass the border, although they had taken the documents together in the Greek consulate. /kei/mt/k
 NUMBER OF DETAINED FROM GANG OF ZANI REACHES 17VLORE,SEPT 28 (ATA) - By H Koci:The number of members of the Zani gang, detained Sunday by the special forces of the Interior Ministry and police directorate of Vlore, reached 17.
Among them was also the personal bodyguard of the head of gangster group and a former police officer of the Vlore police commissariat, tanker by profession, released from work two days ago.
The police forces detained on Saturday Zani and four of his gang members.
The action of police in the Cole neighbourhood, which lasted by 0:05 in Sunday morning, was also performed successfully with the detention of 11 other persons.
Meanwhile it was also seized a quantity of armament, including machine guns, semiautomatic rifles, explosive matter, cartridges, defensive grenades, and a camera with registered tapes.
Among the things blocked in the residence of Zani was also a special bronze bell, weighting 7-8 kg, Italian production.
Meanwhile that Zani was escorted to Tirana earlier on Sunday, the other persons were isolated in the grounds of the Police directorate of Vlore.
The gang of Zani, established right after the beginning of turmoil and storming of army depots in the district of Vlore, is accused of several crimes, including murder, robbery, etc.
This gang, together with some other ones, have terrorized Vlore for many months. /kei/mt/k
 TWO KILLED IN CENTER OF ELBASANELBASAN, SEPT 28 (ATA) - By P Zekthi:A person killed on Sunday morning by a Kallashnikov machine gun in the center of Elbasan two of his acquaintances and hurt another one, as a result of a conflict.
Police sources report that the perpetrator, Andi Gjata, 26, was surrendered himself in the commissariat of this district.
The victims are identified as Mehmet Sheketika, 46, and Marenglen Belishta, 26. /a.ke/kei/mt/
 VAT RAISES IMPORTS DURING AUGUSTTIRANA, SEPT 29 (ATA) - By N Mano: The Valued Added Tax (VAT) will be raised on October 1 by 7.5 per cent. Due to this, in the statistics of INSTAT (Institute of Statistics) for August it is noted a raise of imports for food articles, drinks and tobacco by 10 per cent more than in July.
The import of fuel has also increased.
The import of textiles and shoes is 11.15 per cent, constructing materials and metals 11.73 per cent.
For machineries, equipment and spare parts it is noted a decrease compared with July. The import of machineries and equipment is higher than the same period last year. /kled/mt/sh/
 FISH IN FIERZE LAKE TOWARDS DISAPPEARANCETROPOJE, SEPT. 29 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, Fish is going towards dissapearance in the artificial lake of Shkoder, Northern Albania, as a result of numerous explosions of TNT and dynamite.
If over the last three years only one dynamite explosion was carried out in two weeks, now there take place 150 explosions in one day.
According to the fish specialist, Fadil Gjuta, the respective police should be fully active as they are composed of only one inspector so far. The fall of the water level has negatively influenced this situation as well.
Over the last seven years, only 250 000 fish eggs have been thrown into the Fierza lake, from nearly 25 million eggs necessary to be thrown. This has been due to the destruction of the fish breeding economy, built near the Kukes town.
The artificial lake of Fierza was created on the Drin river bed in 1978.
The artificial lake of Fierza is 167 metres high, 128 metres deep. The total surface of the reservoir is 11.829 square kilometres. The lake serves as a meeting point for the inhabitants of the districts of Kukes, Tropoje and Puke. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/
 OSCE SPECIAL ENVOY TO QUIT HIS ALBANIA'S MISSIONTIRANA, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: OSCE special envoy for Albania, former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky will quit his task to resolve the Albanian crisis, a task which has been charged since March, his spokeswoman Melisa Fleming said to ATA.
"Vranitzky said that his mission to Albania is almost over," Fleming said.
Vranitzky's major tasks were to organise free elections at the end of June, build bridges of dialogue between political parties in crucial moments in Albania.
The U.S. and international European institutions such as the European Union, Council of Europe and others, said that Vranitzky's mission in Albania was a success and was crowned with new elections and establishment of stability in the country.
The Albanian state considered Vranitzky's role "as irreplaceable" in finding a solution to the Albanian crisis and awarded him the Skenderbeg Order.
The spokeswoman said to ATA that Vranitzky will be present at the Donor's Conference for Albania on October 17 in Rome and in Brussels at the end of October. ak/sh/
 EXCHANGE RATE OF LEK AGAINST FOREIGN CURRENCIES STABILIZEDTIRANA, SEPT 29 (ATA) - By A Gjata: The market of exchange rate in Albania was opened on Monday morning with the same exchange rate as at the end of Saturday.
In the free market 1 USD was bought at 146.5 lek, while in the Savings' Bank it was bought at 145 lek. At the same levels was this exchange rate over the past three days of last week.
The stabilization of the exchange rate, according to the money-changers, is connected with the decline of demands of the dealers to buy foreign currencies at the end of this month, when it is expected that after two days any kind of goods entering Albania will be subjected to the new Valued Added Tax (VAT), which will enter into force on October 1.
The exchange rate of lek with some main foreign currencies (September 29, 1997)
The Savings Bank Buy Sell US$1.00 145 149 German Mark 83.3 84.6 Italian lire (1000) 83 87 Drachmas (1000) 51.8 53.7 The free market Buy Sell US$1.00 146.5 147.5 German Mark 84 85 Italian lire (1000) 85.5 86.5 Drachmas (1000) 52.5 53.5/kled/mt/sh/
 PUBLIC COORDINATION CENTRE ON DRAFT-CONSTITUTION CREATEDTIRANE, SEPT 29 (ATA)- By E. Allushi, Minister of State for Legislative Reform and Relations with parliament, Arben Imami, told the Albanian Non governmental Organisations (NGO) on Thursday they are building the Administration and Coordination Centre of Assistance on Constitution.
Imami called on NGOs, at a meeting, which was organised by the ODIHR office in Tirane, to play an active role in the debate on the draft-constitution.
"There will be created five forums of public debate, that is legislative, executive, human rights, local democracy and judiciary," Imami said elaborating on how it will be proceeded to get the people acquainted with the draft.
This center, to be run by OSCE and financed by ODHIR, will be fully independent and avoid party influences.
Albania is still a country without a constitution.
Former president Sali Berisha initiated a campaign on a draft constitution in 1994 through massive rallies. The draft was turned down by a people's referendum. The opposition said that the draft gave wider powers to president.
After June 29 elections, the program of the center right coalition gives priority to drafting, discussion and approval of constitution.
International institutions such as the Council of Europe have said that constitution is necessary for Albania and its approval should be reached after a public debate on the draft and a wide consensus of political forces.
This is the second meeting of the Albanian NGOs organised by ODHIR. The first was held on August 7 and discussed local organisations and their activity. kled/lm/ak/Z/
 OSCE CHAIRMAN TO DECIDE ON NEXT TASK OF HIS SPECIAL ENVOYTIRANA, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: Former Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky will continue to be the OSCE special envoy for Albania during October and will be present in the Donors' Conferences for Albania in Rome and Brussels, the Tirana OSCE office said.
"It is not a resignation and it will not depend on Vranitzky whether he likes to be or not the OSCE special envoy for Albania," sources for the Tirana OSCE office said referring to those from Vienna.
They say that the decision should be taken by the present OSCE chairman, the Danish Niels Petersen.
It is a normal procedure, the above sources said, recalling the case of Felipe Gonzales, the OSCE representative in Bosnia who was charged with a similar task.
However, until a decision was taken, former Austrian chancellor Vranitzky, will continue to be the OSCE special envoy for Albania, confirming that he will participate in a conference of foreign ministers in Rome on October 17 and in a meeting of donors in Brussels at the end of October.
The above sources said that although his mission in Albania was a success, there is not a case of resignation whatever the decision may be. ake/jz/ak/Z
 SEVEN THOUSAND WEAPONS COLLECTED IN DURRESDURRES, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By S.Gjordeni: Prefect of Durres Martin Cukalla told the conference on disarmament on Monday organised by the Prefecture of Durres, Central Albania, that some seven thousand weapons have been collected in this district.
"Some 615 automatic rifles, 800 rifles, 209 light and heavy machine-guns have been collected in the last two days," he said adding that the people are still in possession of weapons.
A resolution approved by the conference said that the operation for the collection of weapons will continue until October 20. ssh/jz/ak/Z/
 SUPREME COURT CEASES CASE ON GENOCIDETIRANA, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By Manjola Hodo: The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to cease the case against nine ex senior officials of the politburo who were accused of genocide and crime against humanity.
The court considered the case in the last three days and turned down the decisions of the district and appeal courts.
The General Prosecutor's office urged this case be ceased and change of indictment to abuse of power saying that the decisions of two above courts were groundless.
"None can be punished for a penal offence, which was not envisaged by the then laws," a prosecutor said.
The legal case against nine defendants accused of genocide and crime against humanity is ceased. jz/ak/Z/
 Transparency process startsTwo well-known loan taking companies, "Silva" and "M.Leka" received Monday afternoon, state appointed administrators, while at "Cenaj" and "Kamberi" companies the work will start tomorrow.
Meanwhile the Supervising Group is expected to commence talks soon with the president of VEFA, the only one which has repelled the administrators, sources close to the Prime Ministry report.
So the law "On financial checks for non banking judicial persons, who have borrowed money from people" otherwise called the Transparence law, approved on July 97' by the Council of Ministers, starts its implementation.
In the meantime strains with VEFA company go on, which on his part insists in not accepting the administrators. Only a few days ago VEFA managed to win a case in the Appeal's court, against the government decision to let administrators to conduct cheks on comany's activity
In today's press conference, VEFA's president Vehbi Alimucaj, declared that he won't allow any administrator to interfere in his company's affair and allegedly he is the winner of the court battle with the state.
According to the chief inspector Farudin Arapi the implementation of the transparence process will be wrapped up by the end of the year and is one of the three main conditions imposed on Albanian government by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank until the Conference of Donors
 PRESIDENT OF CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES OF ITALIAN PARLIAMENT INVITES ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKERTIRANE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - Upon invitation of the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Prof Luciano Violante, an Albanian parliamentary delegation led by the chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Skender Gjinushi, left for Italy on Monday.
The Parliament spokesman said that during the visit the delegation is expected to have meetings in the Chamber of Deputies, in the Senate, the Foreign Ministry, to His Holiness, Pope John Paul 2, and other Italian authorities. ssh/jz/xh/Z
 Persons of transparency process announcedIn a press release issued by the supervising group on financial checks of non banking judicial persons, who have borrowed money from many people, otherwise called transparency law, was announced Monday the composition of administrators' groups, who will carry out checks on loan taking companies.
According to the press release, administrators Fahri Dahri, Mihal Kerkezi and Luan Kamberi will conduct checks in Silva Company, with Pellumb Shehaj as president.
Administrators Artan Xhihani, Mimoza Sula and Fatime Mica will conduct checks in "M.Leka" company.
While Adrian Liko, Gani Limanaj, Esmeralda Moci, Nelson Hick and Viktor Frasheri will start tomorrow checks in "Cenaj" and "Kamberi" companies.
The supervising group headed by chief administrator Farudin Arapi and Shkelqim Cela and Isa Sinani will soon meet the President of VEFA Holding company, Vehbi Alimuca.
 GOVERNMENT WORKING GROUP ON QUESTIONS OF LOAN-TAKING FIRMS TRANSPARENCY CONVENESTIRANE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - By M Spahivogli: Under the chairmanship of deputy Prime Minister Bashkim Fino, the working group for the loan-taking firms transparency convened today, press office of the Council of Ministers reports. Members of the group also are the Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj, Interior Minister Neritan Ceka, Minister of Justice Thimio Kondi and chief auditor of the loan-taking firms Farudin Arapi.
The group voiced its opinions regarding the legal basis for the appointment of auditors for the loan taking firms which are in judicial process. The group members also discussed a possible new expertise of the financial data, the evidence of the transfer of sums of money from loan-taking firms to other countries, of the transactions with real assets of the loan-taking companies, etc. jz/xh/Z
 PRESIDENCY REACTS TOWARDS CRITICISMS FOR THE PRESIDENT BY PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITYTIRANE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - By Aurel Simoni: The Presidency of Albania today reacted towards criticisms by the parliamentary majority in the address of the President Rexhep Meidani.
The chairman of the Presidency of the Parliament, Skender Gjinushi, criticized lately President Meidani for returning to the parliament some laws it had previously adopted, among which the most debated one, the Arbnori amendment on the Albanian Radio-Television status.
The President must not return laws even when not necessary, said Gjinushi on Sunday to one of Albanian dailies.
Prior to the above mentioned amendment, Meidani had turned for review by the Parliament the law on the High Council of Justice and that on the State Control Service, which had as well been strong points of polemics between the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party.
But today, the President's spokesman said that "The President examines every law which he has to sign and reacts towards it conformed to provisions in force." "The President returns the laws whenever he considers it reasonable," said the spokesman. jz/xh/Z/
 FOUR NATIONALS DETAINED FOR BARBAROUS KILLINGSDELVINE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - By Sh Hajno: Four nationals, one of whom a policeman, were detained by police of Delvine under the charge of having killed barbarously, Ilir Bako Xhufi, 27, in village Vllahat, 1 km from Delvine (Southern Albania.)
The crime is rare in the practice of crimes committed in that region as for the sadism and the way of the criminal punishment, including the events during the unrest in Albania.
Xhufi was found by police after being massacred on Sunday with stabs on his body, his arms broken, sign of hittings with ax and a TT type pistol.
From the first inquiry it resulted that the tortures and massacres of the victim had not been made in the place where the victim was found.
"Still the motives of the crime are unknown," said a source of police. ssh/jz/xh/Z/
 A DECREE OF 1992 BY PRESIDENT BERISHA NOT RATIFIED BY PARLIAMENTTIRANE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - By Aurel Simoni: The jurists of the People's Assembly have uncovered a decree of 1992 by former President, Sali Berisha, which has not been and is not yet approved by the Parliament. The decree refers to the transfer of the assets of former Trade Unions to the trade union organizations that replaced them.
According to the parliamentary sources, the decree has not been countersigned, according to the law.
The meeting of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, considered "the discovery" a great scandal, on the grounds that according to the decree the assets of former Trade Unions, including some rest homes and other buildings of such character, had been transferred to the present trade unions.
According to Albanian constitutional laws, the decrees of the President cannot be legal if they are not approved by the People's Assembly. The non-ratification by the Parliament of Berisha's decree, prepared in the first year of his election to the post of the President, made the present Parliament's leadership think of a solution to the issue by the Constitutional Court. ssh/jz/xh
 KOSOVA ON THE EVE OF STUDENTS' PROTESTSPRISHTINE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - The President of the Republic of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova today talked with a delegation of the Independent Student Union for the beginning of the student protests.
The ATA correspondent in Prishtine, Behlul Jashari, was told that the decision of this students Organizational Council for the beginning of the protests on October 1, remained unchanged. With regard to the suggestion of President Rugova to postpone the protests for a later date, the Council is expected to decide during a meeting to be held today afternoon.
The students' delegation gave no details on the content of the talks with Dr Rugova but considered them "good and positive."
Today too, a delegation from the United States, the European Union and some embassies in Belgrade arrived in Kosova. The joint delegation welcomed the declarations by the local community and political leaders which express worry for the demonstrations of the students, calling for self-control. cela/jz/xh/Z
 CUSTOMS HOUSES ON THE PRESSURE OF THE VALUE ADDED TAXTIRANE, SEPT.29 (ATA) - By A Gjata: Thousands of tons of imported goods have entered today in Albania from all all customs houses, from land and sea, surpassing by more than 50 per cent the daily average volume, sources from the General Customs Department say.
According to customs officials, this flux of commodities is linked with the entering to force of the higher value-added tax, VAT, on October 1, which the merchants hurry to avoid paying before this date.
Only in the Durres port, 13 ships have arrived and are being unloaded, while some other ships are ready to set sail from the Bari and Trieste ports, in an effort to have customs clearance in Albania on September 30.
More than 100 loaded long vehicles entered Albania through Kapshtice and Kakavije customs houses today, after a stoppage of work by the Greek customs house people. jz/xh/Z/
 INSTITUTE OF FORMERLY POLITICALLY PERSECUTED TO BE LEGALIZED AFTER TWO DAYSTIRANE, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By H Hajno: The Institute of the Formerly Politically Persecuted will be legalized the coming Wednesday in a plenary session of the Parliament, the Presidency of the Parliament decided today. The Institute, which is being created upon initiative of Prime Minister Fatos Nano, will institutionalize the relations of the Government with the formerly politically persecuted.
According to this week's agenda of the parliament, the Minister of Agriculture Lufter Xhuveli will have in one of the parliamentary sessions an interpellation demanded by the deputies of the Socialist Party.
Some amendments to the laws on taxes as the law on excises, adopted some days ago by the Parliament but returned for some clarification by the President, will also be discussed in plenary sessions this week. ssh/pas/xh/Z/
 EXPERTISE ON THE BLAST OF MILITARY DEPOT OF PICARRGJIROKASTER, SEPT. 29 (ATA) - By H Cani: The Military Prosecutor's office of Gjirokaster district decided on Monday to demand an expertise for the explosion of the military depot of Picarr on May 18 this year.
According to military prosecutor Spartak Cocoli, the expertise group consisting of qualified specialists in this field from Tirane, will determine whether the blast was a result of the failure to observe the regulation on the part of the militaries or there is some deliberately exploited factor.
As a result of the blast of the depot near Picarr village, four militaries lost their lives and nine others were seriously injured. ssh.pas/xh/Z/
 $3 bln property, $300 mln debts -VEFA companyI wanted to protect all my creditors, told Vehbi Alimucaj, president of VEFA company a press conference, Monday.
In the press conference VRFA was accused of violating all the agreements with Albanians, by not returning peoples' deposits. More precisely some 86 contracts have been broken up by Alimucaj. After he called the creditors, VEFA 's investors at the same time, Alimucaj said that company's obligations are only 1/10 percent of company's capitals. Based on Alimucaj's declarations that he owns Albanians $300 million and referring to the figure that the debt is equal to 1/10 of its capitals, results that the company possess over $ 3 billions.
In a letter sent to Premier Fatos Nano in August 27, Alimucaj pretends that his company's property is worth only $365 million.
But in his previous declaration Alimucaj has estimated the damage during the March unrest in Albania, worth $300 million. In face of a property worth $ 3 billion, the inflicted damage $302 million and the debt $300 million compose only 2/10 percent of VEFA's capitals.
The creditors, who have deposit hard currency, are more hit by the capital "return", because VEFA has converted their deposits in Albanian currency lek with discriminate rates.
But today Alimucaj declared: "With the capitals at my disposal and company's accurate accounting, Albanians who have deposit money in the company have received until now 300 percent of the deposit amount, and will take another 100 percent."
Before VEFA's last cancellation of the deposit return, the creditors bribed up to 50 percent of their deposit, company's corrupted employees, in order to get the other 50 percent of their amount.
 ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER'S VISITS WASHINGTONTIRANE, SEPT 29 (ATA) - Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano started Sunday evening a two-day-working visit to Washington, during which he will meet a number of representatives of the executive, legislative, judiciary, finance and study centres of America.
In the meeting with the President of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, Kenneth d. Wollack, Prime Minister Nano and American scholars exchanged opinions on the political developments, the reforms and economic situation in Albania, along with the contribution that non-government organizations can make to the efforts being underway for the creation of a civil society in Albania.
PM Nano and his delegation had a working meeting with the assistant deputy Secretary of State, Ms A Malloy and with officials of the State Department for Europe.
Additionally, Albanian PM met with the Attorney General of the U.S., Ms Reno and other representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, during which they spoke about the reform in the field of justice. In this regard they considered the possibility of cooperation, and a direct U.S. assistance in the field of justice.
Mr Nano also met with the leading staff of the U.S. Organization BAR ASSOCIATION, specialized in legislative matters. ssh/jz/xh/z/
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