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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-01-14
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 NGO-s back anti crime political pact of coalition governmentTIRANA, Jan 13 (ATA) - By A. Keko: Fourteen non government organisations (NGO) backed on Tuesday the anti crime political pact of the coalition government.
They issued a common statement expressing their concern on the revival of crime leading to an attack on police and "efforts of Berisha's failed policy, which aims at giving a political character to the events to reach a political speculation and Albania's destabilization again."
"We support the commitment of rule of law and its structures in fight against mafia, contraband, crime in general and the organised one, terrorism and against everyone, who aims at covering these to return us to anti democracy, law of gangs, masks and political, economic corruption," the statement said.
The fourteen non government organisations favour a comprehensive anti crime legal package, an effective strategy to disarm the population and are against those, who oppose these measures and manipulate crime.
They are for legal measures, which will favour and support police, appropriate status for policemen and officers in general.
Among NGO-s, which signed the statement are the National Association of Families of the Martyrs of the National Liberation War of the Albanian People, Patriotic Association of the Nation's Martyrs, Association of the Albanian Anti fascist Union, Association of Patriotic Union of Albania's Released Militaries, division of the Association of "Laberia" Tirana, Pilots' Association. ake/pas/ak/
 Meidani extends New Year traditional reception to Diplomatic CorpsTIRANE, Jan 13 (ATA)-By A. Keko,
President of the Republic Rexhep Meidani this evening, extended the New Year traditional reception to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Albania.
"This year, which is getting us closer to the century's end, I would wish a fruitful cooperation among citizens, between the Albanian and international world, to build a healthy democracy," said Meidani.
Attending the reception were Prime Minister Fatos Nano, speaker of Parliament Skender Gjinushi, government members, deputies, representatives of various institutions and others.
Meidani presented the political platform for 1998 and said that this year of hope and all round reconstruction for Albania, the Albanian state and society face difficult tasks to carry out.
Albanian president said that this year will be the year of laying sound institutional and constitutional foundations, to make it a year of the constitution, which will guarantee separation of powers, respect human rights and freedoms, independence of local government and judiciary".
Meidani also dwelt on issues of public order, as a precondition for the country's all round development; on economic issues, aiming a more effective realisation of various projects and privatisation process, as well as on social and cultural issues.
"Through a political, open and pragmatic cooperation the Albanian voice will resound more clearly and the International Conventions become more sensible of the Albanian question in general and that of the Kosova Albanians in particular," Meidani said. a.ke/pas/lm
 Ombudsman to regulate citizens' relations with administrationTIRANA, Jan 13 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: A special institution to regulate the relations of citizens with the state administration is going to be set up in Albania under the OSCE supervision.
This was confirmed to ATA on Tuesday by Arben Imami, Minister of Institutional Reform and Relations with parliament, after a meeting with the delegation of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), headed by Director General Gerard Stoudmann.
The Ombudsman institution also operates in other states and monitors the violation of human rights in different fields, among which, the administrative right.
A draft law is needed in the first stage to set up this institution, a draft to be worked out under the OSCE auspices and cooperation with the ministry led by Imami. pas/ak/v/
 SDP to vote against DP running "anti-mafia" commission - GjinushiTIRANE, Jan 13 (ATA)-By A. Simoni,
The Social-Democratic Party (SDP) will vote against Democratic Party's running the antimafia commission, Skender Gjinushi, chairman of SDP, told ATA on Tuesday.
"The DP has not yet come to parliament, less so to expect it to run the Commission. I understand that this is a political solution, to be more transparent to the opposition, but this goes beyond the limits of transparency," said Gjinushi.
"Further more, the proposal seems to imply that the law will also be made by the DP. I do not believe this will ever be realised," the social-democrat leader said.
Gjinushi also showed lack of confidence in the very idea of creating an anti-mafia commission, if this would be a parliamentary commission.
"If the commission is parliamentary, we should be very careful. It should be provided with powers to act, otherwise you cannot tell deputies to go to uncover contraband."
"The employment of the current means at the disposal of the state, the prosecutor's office, police NIS..., would be better than the creation of a parliamentary commission without powers, which can only help coordinate state organisations."
"On the other hand it would be better to create a commission against organised crime with that of antimafia as a subcommission, to be protected against an own goal. A big antimafia commission would 'legalise' the existence of mafia in Albania," he said. a.ke/lm
 Donated blood under full control -Health Ministry adopts programme to check blood for hepatitis C-TIRANE, Jan 13 (ATA)-By K. Shehu,
The Ministry of Health has recently adopted a programme to also check the blood, deposited either by payment or family members for hepatitis C.
"The blood provided by donors or family members, is being checked at the National Blood Transfusion Centre (QKT) in Tirana since two months ago.
This control will begin all over the country," the QKT director, Agim Tociraj, told ATA on Tuesday.
According to Tociraj, Albania is the last country in Europe to check blood for hepatitis C, along with hepatitis B, AIDS and syphilis." pas/lm
 PRESS REVIEWTIRANA, Jan 14 (ATA) - Today's newspapers focuse on three explosions of TNT in Gjirokastra on Monday.
Under the title "TNT blows up SP headquarters," the biggest independent daily Koha Jone reports that the SP headquarters in Gjirokastra was the first, which fell into ruin after the explosion of 30 kg of TNT placed in its back wall.
Shekulli, defining the time of the horror serial at 23.23 p.m., reports that two minutes later a considerable amount of TNT blew up destroying "the building near the local government offices."
The independent daily Gazeta Shqiptare reports that even the Lazarat village did not escape the series of explosion. The daily says that the explosion destroyed the garage of the SP activist with the car in it.
Socialist local leader is quoted by Koha Jone as saying: "Since these acts destroy the party headquarters and terrorise the families of Socialist activists, it is understood that the motifs are merely political."
Gezim Basha, local DP leader, said to the same newspaper that "the explosion of January 13 showed that giving a political character to the fight against crime will not lead to an improvement of the situation but creates an appropriate climate to boost it."
"Those responsible for the explosions are identified and will be soon on the run," Islam aebini, local police director said to Gazeta Shqiptare.
A party press release, published by the daily Zeri i Popullit, said: "the Socialist Party denounced this terrorist act, which operates in an already known political spirit aiming at destabilizing situation and constitutional order."
While the dailies Albania and Rilindja Demokratike say that the three explosions in the city of Gjirokastra showed the government is not able to resolve the major problem that of returning tranquillity in Albania.
The daily Zeri i Popullit reports that in yesterday's meeting the Socialist parliamentary group focused on the improvement of its work on approval of law and parliamentary control on governing.
This meeting, which Koha Jone called as "A tensed meeting of the SP parliamentary group on anti crime", said that "the Socialist law makers stressed on Tuesday that the Democrats from the accused are turned into accusers of Socialists for the latest criminal acts and that the terrorist acts are seriously endangering the constitutional order."
Gazeta Shqiptare reports that Gramoz Ruzi, addressing the meeting, "insisted on finding out who is responsible for the discharge of order chief in Gjirokastra, Ilia Dida," something that Ceka and Legisi was not informed about.
Zeri i Popullit reports that deputies after criticizing the Interior Ministry for a delay on necessary drafts to boost the police work "asked for a meeting with Ndre Legisi, the Secretary of State at the ministry, scheduled in the coming days.
The SP deputies did not spare attacks against the statements of minister Ceka, who said in the television program days before that "there is no terror in Gjirokaster after the detention of Lazarati gang," the daily Koha Jone informs. It reports that "many of deputies think that the last terrorist act against the SP building in Gjirokastra is a deliberate response against Ceka."
Attacks on Majko and his unexpected proposal in television who said that the DP should lead an anti mafia parliamentary commission, Gazeta Shqiptare reports quoting him as saying "this has been a political move." Though Majko called it as such it was rejected by the Socialists, who said "the main sponsor of crimes is Berisha and his clan."
The Socialists' main concern was expressed by the deputy Pellumbi who says that he and many Socialists believe that the alarm bells have started tolling for the SP and its governing. If no action is undertaken now, tomorrow will be too late," the same newspaper reports. s.sh/ak/
 Greek firm to build flour mill in Tirane suburbTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA)-Greek firm "Flour Mills Loulis" will build a flour mill in Kashar commune, Tirane district.
Rudolf Shllaku, responsible for the distrcit council town-planning office, told ATA that this mill will produce flour based on a contemporary Swiss technology.
"Some $7 million will be invested for the construction of this mill. It will turn over 300 tonnes of flour in 24 hours," Shllaku said. s.s/mima/l^Z
 Albanian language university chair in Athens soonATHENS, Jan 13 (ATA)-By R. Goro,
Albanian Minister of Education and Science Et'hem Ruka and Greek Minister of Education Gerasimos Arsenis, this evening, signed a joint protocol on bilateral cooperation in education.
The protocol precedes an agreement expected to be signed in February during a planned visit of Arsenis to Tirane.
The protocol speaks of an intensification of bilateral exchanges in education. Greece is committed to rendering its contribution also in the context of the European Union to overcome the numerous problems the Albanian education is facing.
Greece has also also shown understanding in regard to constant demands by Albanian emigrants in Greece for their children to be taught in their mother tongue.
This issue was also discussed in the Albanian delegation's meetings with deputy Foreign Minister Janos Hranidhiotis and representatives of the parliamentary education-culture commission.
Minister Ruka's request to open Albanian university chair in Athens found a positive response.
Ruka made this request considering the fact that in Albania there are two Greek language and literature university chairs, one in Tirane and the other in Gjirokaster. a.ke/pas/lm
 It would be in the interest of DP to return to parliament -ODIHRTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci,
ODIHR's Director General Gerard Stoudmann, repeating the words of DP chairman Sali Berisha at a meeting on Monday, told today's news conference at OSCE headquarters that it would be in the interest of the Democratic Party to return to parliament.
Stoudmann added that this act "would be a logical extension of the DP's acceptance of the results of the June 29 parliamentary election, which were deemed "adequate and acceptable" by the international community.
"At no time and in no manner, did Ambassador Stoudmann indicate any 'skepticism about the situation in Albania and especially the present government leaders,' as was asserted in a Rilindja Demokratike editorial of January 13," the press release distributed at a news briefing of ODIHR delegation, which wound up its three-day visit to Albania, said.
The press release said that the meetings of the ambassador Stoudmann, especially his first meeting with Berisha, were aimed at promoting the efforts of the international community to persuade the political opposition to participate in parliamentary activity and debate, including the work of the parliamentary commission developing a needed new constitution.
Stoudmann said that such baselesss allegation like those of the Rilindja Demokratike raises serious ethical and journalistic integrity questions and only harms the necessary process of political reconciliation in Albania. s.s/lm/ak/
 Enquiries into Tropoje event exclude political motivationTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA)-By Th. Thanasi,
The inquiries made by the Prosecutor general's office about the Tropoje event, in which the chief of the district police commissariat, Fatmir Haklaj, killed border police officer Shaqir Hoxha, exclude any political motivation.
"Investigations into the Tropoje event are now being carried out for vendetta, Agim Tirana, director of Prosecutor General's Investigation office, told ATA.
"Based on the investigations, Haklaj does not result to be a person under penal prosecution or declared wanted as pretended by several representatives of various political parties."
"There is no data to testify whether Haklaj has been or not trained in the Yugoslav state," Tirana explains.
The Prosecutor General's Office will carry out all acts conform the law and holds that this event may be of grave consequences because of vendetta. s.s/mima/lm
 The Constitution - an urgent issue for Albania - OSCE appeals Berisha for the last time to cooperate for the Constitution -TIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: OSCE made its last call to the Democratic Party of Albania and its chairman, Sali Berisha to cooperate for the Constitution.
"There is hardly any possibility to wait with regard of the process for the Constitution, because it is an urgent issue," ODIHR General Director, Gerard Stoudman told a news conference in the OSCE headquarters in Tirane on Wednesday.
Whereas the OSCE Ambassador in Tirane, Daan Everts, voiced his concern for the lack of evident progress concerning the question of the constitution due to the fact that not all the parties are taking part in the debates on it.
"We appeal to all the parties to unite for the Constitution. We hope that after the work of La Pergola of the Venice Commission (who visited Albania some days ago) and the arrival of an international delegation for this question, an agreement will be reached," said Everts.
Stressing the neutral role of OSCE with regard to the political forces in Albania, Everts said that during the past two weeks, OSCE has intensified its relations with the opposition.
"If Berisha observes the rules of game, we will support him," said Mr Stoudman referring to the question of the Constitution and the participation of DP in the Parliament where it must present its opinions as it happens in all western countries. /s.s/xh/
 It would be a luxury if elections were held in Albania every six monthsTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: OSCE criticized on Wednesday in Tirane the idea of the Democratic Party of Albania for new elections, considering a luxury the holding of elections every six months in Allbania.
"Let the new Government work. The idea of polls is strange for the international community," OSCE Ambassador in Tirane, Daan Everts told a news conference also supported by the ODIHR director, Gerard Stoudman, who ended his three-day-visit to Albania on Wednesday.
Stoudman voiced his concern for the lack of the sense of conciliation in Albania.
"The challenges are defied through unity, forgetting the differences between left and right wings," said ODIHR director.
DP leader has demanded that fresh elections be held in Albania on March 22, this year.
The latest elections in Albania were conducted on June 29, 1997. /s.s/mima/xh/
 Situation in Albania has improved - Van der LindenTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - The Political Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe convened on Tuesday. Participating in it was also the deputy chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly of Albania, Namik Dokle, member of this Commission.
According to the spokesman of the Albanian parliament, the Commission listened to the panorama made by the German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, who presented the main objectives of the policy of Germany, as the rotating leader of the Ministers' Committee of the Council of Europe.
One of the main reports that the Political Commission discussed was the situation in Yugoslavia and the implications in the region. The report and the draft of the resolution that the Commission adopted also highlighted the political activity of the Albanian Government for the establishment of dialogue and understanding in the Balkans.
After analyzing the situation in Kosove, the resolution of the Commission denounced the Serbian repression in the territories inhabited by ethnic Albanian population and demanded that permanent international observers be installed there. It also called on Albania to play its role for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Discussing a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and OSCE to accelerate the process for the preparation of the Constitution in Albania, which was considered as very positive, opinions were exchanged also on other questions of the situation. The main rapporteur for Albania, Van der Linden, said that although there are still problems to be solved, the situation is being improved. He stressed that the process of national conciliation must continue and for this the dialogue between the ruling parties and the opposition must be established in the parliament, laying the stress to the need that the DP must take part in the parliament. "There can be no democracy outside the Parliament," the Commission stressed. The Commission also decided that the possibility of sending experts to Albania to help in the process of the Constitution must be considered. a.ke/xh/
 Albanian mayors demand from politicians civil commitment to country's stabilityTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - The Leading Committee of the National Association of the Mayors has called through a declaration on "politicians of any party for more civil commitment to the country's stability."
In a meeting held on Wednesday, the Leading Committee of this association denounced "with indignation the terrorist acts on public institutions of the city of Gjirokaster," during which the whole building of the SP local branch was ruined and some other institutions such as the Prefecture, a kindergarten, etc. were partly damaged.
"The terror in the public premises of this city aims at inflicting public institutions at all costs," says that declaration signed by the chairman of this association, the Tirane mayor, Albert Brojka.
The Leading Committee demanded from the public order structures to adopt all measures for a total stability of the situation in the country, because, according to them, cases of violence and terror have been seen in all districts of Albania. /s.s/pas/xh/
 Albania's Democratic Party changes stance regarding new electionsTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - By A Haxhiu: "The time of elections is a question which can be negotiated," the DP leader, Sali Berisha told a news conference on Wednesday, implying that March 22, 1997 which this party had declared as the date for new elections, may change in for unlimited time.
After throwing a glance on the latest events in the country, especially of those in the South of Albania, Berisha described them as "acts of the present policy against the opposition." In this context, he did not forget to repeat the charges against the Government, calling it a "mafia clan."
"The recent events in Gjirokaster prove this," added Berisha, because, he said, "the attacks there are not against the Socialist Party offices, but first of all against the local government bodies, since the town hall offices of that city were damaged." "Gjirokaster has now been turned into a battlefield, in which the rivalry between state mafia groupings to control the trafficking, is intensifying."
Referring to the demand of the OSCE Ambassador, Stoudmann for DP's participation in the Parliament, Berisha said that his party will not take part in the Parliament for sake of appearances. "But if this organization realises the monitoring, then we too will review our stance," he added.
Berisha reiterated the demand for the withdrawal of the present government and the creation of a technocrat government, inviting the deputies and supporters of the Socialist Party to support this request of the opposition. /a.ke/pas/xh/
 Albania will have long-term support of ODIHR - StoudmannTIRANE, Jan 14 (ATA) - By A Keko: In a meeting held on Wednesday with Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, the ODIHR General Director, Gerard Stoudmann, residential representative of this organization in Tirane, stressed that Albania will have ODIHR's long term support.
"Actually we are following the realisation of three of our projects for Albania, one for the Human Rights Institution, one for the system of prisons and the third for the Magistrature School," said Stoudmann.
The ODIHR high representative pointed out that things in Albania cannot change in a day. "Great efforts must be made so that Albania take the road of development," he added.
Mentioning the political be-polarization in Albania, Stoudmann said that "we must defy this challenge together, you, as a government and we as an international organization, so that things in Albania move ahead such as in the direction of employment, the legislative system, the implementation of the projects in the field of economy etc., in which you will have our support."
They also talked of the political dialogue between Albania and the EU, due on January 27 in the Brussels, in which the Albanian delegation will participate with members from different political forces. /A.KE/pas/xh/
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