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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-01-21

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] (1)PRESS REVIEW
  • [02] Demaci refuses to run for Kosova president
  • [03] Press review (2)
  • [04] DP deputies isolate Shkoder prefect
  • [05] Press review (3)
  • [06] Kosova issue to be resolved, without changing borders - Greece
  • [07] Police deny explosion in DP headquarters in Fier
  • [08] Soros Foundation to provide $1 million for Tropoje schools
  • [09] Yzberisht gang accused of five murders, car grabbing
  • [10] Two people exchange fire, one wounded in Maliq
  • [11] Albanian soccer team to face friendly matches with Turkey
  • [12] Shkoder prefect resigns
  • [13] DP refuses to comment on deputies' presence in Shkodra prefecture
  • [14] Tirana Prosecutor's office to inquire into Shkoder event
  • [15] You deserve our support with the open policy you are following We will be always near you - HercogWe have very good political relations - Kinkel
  • [16] Yeltsin confirms support of Russia for normalization and democratic development in Albania
  • [17] OSCE regional office interested in problems of Albanian press
  • [18] Prefecture building in Shkoder under control of police forces
  • [19] Journalist of Greek television and an Albanian robbed
  • [20] I will contribute to improve Albanian-Yugoslav relations - Panic
  • [21] Citizen killed in Tropoje
  • [22] Explosion rocks Kombinat neighbourhood
  • [23] USD still high v "lek"
  • [24] DP should distance itself from crime - government coalition
  • [25] Turkish under 21 soccer team beats Albania 1:0
  • [26] DP implicated in events of Shkoder
  • [27] Islami meets UD representatives: Several DP deputies - political inspiration for crime

  • [01] (1)PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, Jan 21 (ATA) - Today's newspapers cover yesterday's events in the city of Shkodra. "Shkodra, hours of horror," the daily Koha Jone says. Policy in Tirana is tensioning. SP: This is the hand of Berisha, the paper says. The same paper reports on what happened in the city of Shkodra on Tuesday, terror in roads and the encirclement of the prefecture building.

    Reporting on the armed rebellion against police, the daily says that the building of the police directorate has been attacked and two members of the special forces have been wounded. It also informs of a demand for the release of prisoners and dismissal of director Havari.

    Koha Jone gives a chronology of yesterday's developments in Shkodra.

    Regarding yesterday's developments in Shkodra, the daily Zeri i Popullit reports that Berisha's people are siding with the crime. It says that armed bandits are terrorising Shkodra, wounding two police, accusing the DP that is trying to repeat April 2.

    The same paper reports that those responsible for this situation are identified and the situation is under control. In an article entitled "We support state in fight against crime" the paper carries the SP's statement on yesterday's events in Shkodra. The same paper informs that OSCE and Council of Europe is calling on people to show self-restraint.

    Gazeta Shqiptare reports "Shkodra on alert: Police against police". It says that the Interior Ministry refuses to withdraw, quoting the minister Ceka as saying: "They are incriminated police."

    Other newspapers cover the Shkodra events under the titles: the daily Shekulli: "Prefect of Shkodra kept hostage in office", "Tensed situation, local parties accuse each other"; Dita Informacion: "Attempt with Kalashnikovs against police Directorate in Shkodra," "Shkodra, hours of tension, two wounded"; Republika: "War, terror, panic in the city of Shkodra, commissariat under attack, prefecture occupied."

    The newspaper Rilindja Demokratike reports that the state is responsible for the unrest and that "Nano is the killer of Shkodra."

    The daily Albania says "War in Shkodra, state against Shkodra with tanks." ake/ak/

    (more)

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Demaci refuses to run for Kosova president

    PRISHTINE, Jan 20 (ATA)-Chairman of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova Adem Demaci refuses to run for President of the Republic of Kosova and considered "shameless" the presidential elections, announced to be held on March 22, in Kosova.

    "My candidature for the so-called presidential elections proposed by the presidency of the Parliamentary party and the Democratic Forum of Kosova has been put up without my consultation and consent," says Adem Demaci in a statement on Tuesday.

    "I refuse to take part in the shameless game Mr. Ibrahim Rugova and his circle intend to play with our oppressed people. I object to be involved in the further poisoning of our longsuffering people with the drug of political self-fraud. I do not want to enter race with Mr. Ibrahim Rugova to keep our enslaved people under the political hypnosis only for mean careerist purposes."

    "I also reject my election as chairman of the Kosova Democratic Forum because, this, too, is done without my consent," the statement concludes./p.ta/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Press review (2)

    The newspaper Koha Jone carries the news "Police, challenge with policy." It reports on statements of main political forces on unrest and those of the OSCE and Council of Europe. Socialist party, the daily says, is accusing the DP, its press and Berisha as the main responsible for the situation in the city of Shkodra.

    The daily says "SP: Berisha's hand in Shkodra." It reports on Berisha's news conference on events in Shkodra quoting him as saying "Shkodra will not be a second Vlora."

    Zeri i Popullit carries an interview with the director of police in Shkodra Mithat Havari under the title "Support for the Shkodra people allows us to defend authority of state and law."

    It quotes him as saying: "Gjergj Deda, former officer released recently as a person involved, and Zef Gjoni, are among the main organisers of the rebellion in Shkodra." It carries a report "Berisha in Shkodra a night before? ..., saying that the DP leader should be summoned to testify.

    Gazeta Shqiptare, referring to developments in Shkodra, carries statements of Bare and Havari: "We refuse to withdraw." It carries a statement of the Interior minister Ceka, who says that the worse events in Shkodra commissariat are fruit of a part of the incriminated from the police forces in contraband and ordinary crimes in the area.

    Besnik Bregu, director of the criminal police said that members of the criminal police, who are protagonists of yesterday's events in Shkodra, are being discharged for violating the law.

    The same paper reports that even the religion mediation was unsuccessful in Shkodra.

    The daily Shekulli reports that Berisha has been in Shkodra before the unrest as the guest of the local DP head, saying that the mystery of the visit of DP leader in the northern city is being repeated.

    Dita Informacion reports that the conflict in Shkodra is still opened. ake/ak/

    (more)

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] DP deputies isolate Shkoder prefect

    SHKODER, Jan 21 (ATA)-By M. Malja, A group of DP deputies isolated the Shkoder Prefect, Gezim Podgorica, in his office last night, while gunmen stood inside the prefecture.

    A vehicle of the CE observers was robbed late last night by a group of armed men.

    Wednesday began calm in the city. The streets are busy; pupils have gone to school and shops have begun to open. Meanwhile, there is a normal supply of the population with bread, electricity and water. a.ke/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Press review (3)

    Gazeta Shqiptare says "Prosecutor's office to consider Foresti's scandal". Office of Attorney General will ask the Tirana prosecutor's office for a videotape on talks and if there is a penal offence, an investigation will start.

    Koha Jone covers the same topic saying "Shehu-Foresti talk: Investigation on the videotape."

    Republika reports "New charges on DP leader. Video tape on Shehu- Foresti talks reappears. Prosecutor's office starts inquiries. The same paper says "Accusation on the killing of the person involved in events in Lushnja. Foresti profits from diplomatic immunity."

    Dita Informacion reports "Talks between Shehu and Foresti under the attention of prosecutor's. DP former chairman Shehu risks to come under legal proceedings."

    "State control, 83 files disappeared," the daily Koha Jone reports. It says if "Blerim Çela has signed their elimination, he is highly responsible." It says that "they (files) include files on auditing on many state enterprises and some ministries."

    Gazeta Shqiptare reports that General Attorney will start investigation on the process of privatisation of small and medium enterprises soon. "Investigation file on privatisation," is the title of an article ran by the daily which reports on grave violations to this end. ake/ak/

    (end)

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Kosova issue to be resolved, without changing borders - Greece

    ATHENS, Jan 21 (ATA)-By R. Goro,

    Greece, considering the very good bilateral relations with the northern neighbours, is ready to offer the best services and work to ease tension in Kosova, Greek deputy Foreign Minister told a news conference on the situation in the Balkans on Tuesday.

    Janos Kranidhiotis said that contacts are underway with all the parties involved, with the aim to reach peaceful agreements to resolve the issue.

    But, the Greek diplomacy considers this solution only within the borders of rump Yugoslavia.

    "The solution to the Kosova issue should be found within the borders of the Yugoslav Federation; it should create no new borders and respect the human rights of the Kosova population" said Kranidhiotis.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said earlier that Greece is willing to host senior leaders of Tirane, Prishtine and Belgrade to discuss the Kosova issue. s.s/kled/lm

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Police deny explosion in DP headquarters in Fier

    Fier, Jan 21 (ATA)-By H.Koci,

    The Fier district police department denies there has been an explosion in the DP local headquarters, dismissing such report by several dailies today.

    Sources of the Fier police told ATA on Wednesday that an explosion had accurred in the yard of "Janaq Kilica" secondary school last night by 20.30 p.m., and which had been felt in the nearby buildings, such as the military branch and the local DP headquarters, but it had caused no damage.

    On Tuesday, after 21.00 p.m., Fier DP leaders were as well on the spot, which resulted to be considerably far from the DP headquarters, police sources said, adding that DP leaders, too, admitted this building had not been the target of the explosive, which was in relatively small amount. s.s/a.ke/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Soros Foundation to provide $1 million for Tropoje schools

    BAJRAM CURRI, Jan 21 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha, The project "Vision 200", financed by the Soros Foundation, and which intends reconstruction of schools, began to be applied in the district of Tropoje, North of Albania, last year.

    "The project, worth $1 million, has so far addressed the reconstruction of six schools," the responsible for the economic sector at the district education department, Sabrie Logu, told ATA.

    She said that so far, for the reconstruction of "Beselidhja e Malesise" school, have been spent 11 million from 15 million leks, for "Asim Vokshi" school 10.7 million from 16.5 million leks.

    The project will also cover other schools, substantially improving the teaching conditions in the schools of this distrcit.

    Last year, a fond of 30 million leks were allocated from the state budget to the reconstruction of the Tropoje schools damaged during the March unrest. a.ke/s.s/kled/lm

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Yzberisht gang accused of five murders, car grabbing

    TIRANA, Jan 21 (ATA) - Police of Tirana said that Fatmir Hamdi Avdillari and Lavderim Ahmet Shaba detained on Monday, are accused of grave criminal offences.

    A spokesman of the Interior Ministry said to ATA on Wednesday that the inquiries on their activity have shown that they are responsible of murdering at least five citizens, grabbing cars and a considerable amount of leks.

    Avdillari and Shaba are accused of criminal activity with the aim of profiting during last year unrest.

    It was proved that they are responsible for the killing of Agim Ribaj in the students' campus on March 6 last year. Five days later they have attacked and killed the citizen Ylli Shurdhi grabbing him some $250 thousand.

    On October 16 last year, Avdullari and Shaba have killed Ndriçim Boca and wounded Tomorr Lamce, for unknown motifs.

    A month later, they have grabbed the Benz car of Ilir Peshku from Fier and one million leks.

    Both detainees are identified like the one responsible for the killing of Ramazan Zela with firearms in Vaqar, whom they have robbed the Benz and 300 thousand leks.

    They are also accused of robbing at gunpoint a Fuoristrada with Durres number plate near the village of Ndroq and the killing of a citizen called Agron, whose surname has not been identified, in Yzberisht a month ago. Agron's body was found in Brar village.

    Fatmir Hamdi Avdillari, 24, born in and inhabitant of Yzberisht, and Lavderim Ahmet Shaba, 24, from Selita have been convicted of theft once.

    They with other two persons have exchanged fire with the police forces, who have managed to track them down, after being signalized at a police checkpoint in Vora.

    Police have traced them for almost four hours, a trace which involved even the special forces of the Interior Ministry and its helicopters.

    The other two persons have been identified and are on the run by the police. s.s/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Two people exchange fire, one wounded in Maliq

    KORÇE, Jan 21 (ATA) - By B. Fejzullai: Two citizens have exchanged fire on Wednesday with automatic weapons in the center of the city of Maliq, near Korça.

    A spokesman of the local police directory said to ATA that the citizen Sokol Myrtezai, 32, and Tomorr Rozani, 33, both inhabitants of the same city, have shot at each other on Wednesday at 11. 00 a.m. in front of the city theater hall.

    Rozani was seriously wounded and was sent to Korça hospital while Myrtezai left for an unknown direction.

    Both have been sentenced once and the sources at the local court said that the conflict has been sparked out of a robbery at the tailor's in Maliq in which Rozani has stolen a quantity of goods.s.s/kled/ak/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Albanian soccer team to face friendly matches with Turkey

    TIRANE, Jan 21 (ATA)-By A. Keko,

    The Albanian representative soccer team, headed by Astrit Hafizi, and that of under 21, headed by Sulejman Mema, on Wednesday will open the series of their matches for this year with friendly matches with Turkey.

    These meetings will also be a test for the representative team on the eve of the beginning of the matches for the Football '2000 European Championship qualifiers.

    The Albanian representative team comes to today's match after the dignified end of its participation in the 9th qualifying group of World "France '98", being hardily beaten by the German team, 3-4, on October 11 '97.

    In the match played at the Hanover stadium, in the presence of 45.000 fans, the Albanian 11, headed by Astrit Hafizi and Faruk Sejdini, kept the German team in tension during the 90 minutes.

    The Albanian representative repeated in Hanover the scenes of the match played in Granada of Spain with the German representative as well as the performance shown in Zurich, in which it beat Northern Ireland 1-0 on September 10. a.ke/pas/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Shkoder prefect resigns

    SHKODER, Jan 21 (ATA)-The Shkoder Prefect, Gezim Podgorica, makes public his resignation, through a statement released to the press today.

    "It was the only possibility under the conditions created," the former prefect told ATA by telephone on Wednesday.

    Podgorica added that he had not yet contacted the official authorities, due to the situation in the city. lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] DP refuses to comment on deputies' presence in Shkodra prefecture

    TIRANA, Jan 21 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: The Democratic party refused to comment on the fact that its deputies had taken part in isolating the prefect of Shkodra later on Tuesday.

    The Democratic party (DP) leader Sali Berisha accused on Wednesday the government as responsible for the situation created in Shkodra saying: "dialogue will be the only means" to stabilise the situation in the Northern city.

    Berisha said that he was told "the Shkodra prefect Gezim Podgorica has resigned."

    The Unity for Democracy has been committed to resolve the crisis, Berisha told today's news conference.

    Two biggest Albanian parties have exchanged mutual accusations on the recent events in Shkodra.

    In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Socialist party (SP) condemned the events in Shkodra saying that the leaders of the DP local division have instigated and led them.

    This party urged the Interior Ministry and justice bodies to observe their competencies and not allow that pressures from the road, whatever they are, damage the efforts and determination of the coalition government to establish rule of law.

    Neritan Ceka, the Interior Minister, throwing light on the events in Shkodra, said that after the arrest of two former employees of the criminal police, responsible for the recent bandit-like acts in the city, a group of former policemen have attacked the commissariat of this Northern city.

    Police sources said that they, involved in crime, are close to the biggest opposition party, the DP.

    Forces of RENEA and MAPE, European police operating in Albania, have been present in Shkodra since early on Tuesday. ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Tirana Prosecutor's office to inquire into Shkoder event

    TIRANE, Jan 21 (ATA)-By Th. Thanasi, The Tirane Prosecutor's Office will inquire into Tuesday's event in Shkoder, in which a group of persons terrorised this city, attacked the commissariat and wounded two police officers.

    A group to investigate the Shkoder event has been created by order of the Attorney General. It includes three prosecutors from Tirane and several juridical police officers of the military prosecutor's office, the head of investigations at the Attorney Genera's office, Agim Tirana, told ATA on Wednesday.

    The investigating group is questioning the involved persons detained on Tuesday. The event will be investigated in its complexity and as a penal case, said Tirana.

    "The inquiries will be carried out by an investigating group in order not to allow any doubt or deviation from the case," he added.

    The reason why the investigation has been transferred to the prosecutor's office in Tirane is, according to Tirana, "terrorization up to threatening by arms" of the Shkoder prosecutors.

    Three detainees from Shkodra were extradited to tight security prison 313 in Tirana on Tuesday. s.s/pas/lm/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] You deserve our support with the open policy you are following We will be always near you - HercogWe have very good political relations - Kinkel

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Roman Hercog, told Wednesday the Albanian Ambassador in this country, Bashkim Zeneli, that "you deserve our support with the open policy you are following."

    During the reception that Hercog held for senior officials of the Diplomatic Corps, accredited in Bon, expressed to the Albanian Ambassador the delight for the stabilization of Albania. "You deserve our support with the open policy you are following," said Hercog, adding that "it was a real drama that even those things constructed over the past five days were destroyed in Albania. Let us consider it a closed chapter which will be never repeated. We will always be near you."

    Also the German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, voiced to the Albanian Ambassador the delight that the government is working well. "My collaborators, he said, have told me about the frequent contacts you have had with them. As representative of Albania, come in our offices without knocking. I have given my word and will come to Albania as soon as possible. To me, a day in Albania is not loss of time, but obligation to support you in the way you are following. We have very good political relations. We should work better towards the economic cooperation. Let the visit of SIEMENS in Albania be a concretization of this cooperation," ended Kinkel. /s.s/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Yeltsin confirms support of Russia for normalization and democratic development in Albania

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Tirana, A. Saprikin, gave Wednesday to Albania's President Rexhep Meidani a message of the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, thanking President Meidani for the message sent during the visit of the Albanian Foreign Minister, Paskal Milo, in Moscow last month. The Russian President confirms once again the support of Russia in the international efforts to the favour of the normalization of the situation and the democratic development in Albania.

    According to President's press and information office, Meidani also received in this message the security for the bilateral will to boost the Albanian-Russian cooperation and accepted the invitation of President Yeltsin to sign "The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation" during the official visit in Moscow.

    President Meidani thanked him for the invitation and considered his forthcoming visit in Moscow as a very important moment in the legal consolidation of the mutual cooperation and partnership, by also contributing to strengthen stability and regional confidence. /a.ke/pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] OSCE regional office interested in problems of Albanian press

    GJIROKASTER, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By R. Bejko: The representative of the regional office of OSCE in Gjirokaster, Tobias Svensigen, held Wednesday a meeting with journalists of the league of journalists in Southern Albania to exchange thoughts on the situation of press and the country in general.

    "OSCE is closely following the developments in Albania and is drafting projects for the democratization of institutions and to help promoting the Albanian society," said Svenigsen.

    He mentioned the contacts with leaders of local government and state bodies.

    "OSCE will soon monitor the registration process of the population for the local elections to be held in several regions of the country after the removal of some local leaders," stated Svenigsen.

    The chief of regional office was also interested in the problems of the Albanian press.

    The chairman of the Southern Journalist League, Aleksander Cipa, said that local press faces difficulties which come from lack of topographic industry in districts. The papers, he said, face financial difficulties and problems related with the training of journalists.

    The other journalists, present in the meeting, including press bodies and correspondents of foreign media, appreciated the fruitful communication with bodies of local government. They have asked from the international bodies to help drafting a favourable juridical framework on private media and drafting an ethic code for journalists. /s.s/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Prefecture building in Shkoder under control of police forces

    SHKODER, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By M. Malja: Armed persons, who had occupied the prefecture building in Shkoder, quietly left it on Wednesday by 16.15.

    Sources from the police directorate of the district reported to ATA that "after their removal, the prefecture building was immediately put under the complete control of police forces."

    The prefecture building was under the control of the above persons since Tuesday at 13:00. The offices of the district council, of the departments of aid and social assistance, education, and others, did not function even on Wednesday because they are in the prefecture building. /s.sh/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Journalist of Greek television and an Albanian robbed

    SHKODER, Jan. 21 (ATA0 - By M. Malja: Armed and masked persons robbed the vehicle in which were travelling a Greek journalist and a journalist of the Albanian Radio-Television, as well as their working means. The event occurred on Wednesday at 11:30 in Torrovice village in the district of Lezhe, 25 km far from the town of Shkoder.

    A group of 50 persons blocked early on Wednesday the national road Lezhe-Shkoder by protesting against the negligence of the local government in the accord of the aid for the damages caused by the floods of December 1997. It is still unknown whether those who robbed the journalists were participants of this rally, which lasted about two hours.

    Meanwhile, in Bushat village, 15 km far from Shkoder, armed persons tried to stop the vehicle of the journalist Lutfi Dervishi and photographer Armando Babani. /s.s/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] I will contribute to improve Albanian-Yugoslav relations - Panic

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA0 - By Eva Allushi: The Albanian-Yugoslav relations and the solution of the Kosova matter were in the focus of talks held Wednesday between Albania's Foreign Minister Paskal Milo and the former Yugoslav Prime Minister, Milan Panic.

    Panic, actually a U.S. citizen and businessman, held Wednesday a series of talks with senior officials of Tirana.

    "If we speak of integrating processes of this region, there should be no dividing walls between Albania and Yugoslavia, as well among the other countries in the Balkans," Panic was quoted as saying.

    While Milo said that during the meetings with leaders of Belgrade, the Albanian government has given clear messages.

    According to Milo, the improvement of relations with Belgrade should pass in two lines which fit with one another; the concrete engagement of Belgrade to respect the human rights and freedoms in Kosove, as well as the mutual cooperation between Albania and Yugoslavia.

    According to Milo, the democratization of respective societies and increased exchanges of goods and peoples would lead to a speedy integration into the European family.

    Panic stated that he fully supported the steps of the Albanian government "for an integrating regional policy and for a cooperation with all the countries of the region, also including Yugoslavia."

    "As I actively participate in the field of business, I am interested in having an effective cooperation in the region. With my influence and economic potential, I would contribute to the creation of a cooperation spirit in the region, particularly in the relations between Albania and Yugoslavia," said Panic.

    Panic and Milo stressed that the Kosova issue is not simply a domestic affair of Serbia, but an international matter which needs the attention and total engagement of the international community. s.sh/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Citizen killed in Tropoje

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: Unidentified persons killed on Wednesday morning the citizen Uk Dizdari, 53, in Bajram Curri, Northern Albania, the Interior Ministry spokesman reported.

    On January 6, in the place called Qafa e Luzhes (Tropoje) Shkelqim Haklaj and Artur Myftar Demiri were killed by fire weapons. In Cernice village, the same district, the police officer on duty, Abdyl Matoshi was also killed. While on January 9, the police chief of the Tropoje commissariat, Fatmir Haklaj, killed by a pistol for revenge motives the border officer Shefqet Hoxha.

    Sources from the General Prosecutor's Office pointed out that the murder of Dizdari has been committed on the course of the three above- mentioned events.

    The situation in Tropoje is grave. /s.s/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Explosion rocks Kombinat neighbourhood

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: A powerful explosion occurred on Tuesday evening in one of the main streets of the Kombinat neighbourhood, which did not caused victims, but only material damages.

    Due to explosion, planted in the cross-way of Kavaje street with that which leads to the glassworks, a bar was damaged and the windows of the nearby buildings were broken, sources from the Tirane Police Directorate reported to ATA.

    The inquiry group and the judicial police are working to throw light on the event and identify the perpetrators. /mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] USD still high v "lek"

    Wednesday's average exchange rate in the informal market of Albanian currency "lek" against foreign currencies like USD, DM, SFR, ITL was in favour of these last.

    So $1 = 154,40 lek, lossing 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 153, 50 lek. The DM was traded for 84,56 lek gaining 0,36 points compared with yesterday's 84,20 lek.

    The ITL (1000) was traded for 85,12 lek gaining 0.51 points compared with yeasterday's 84,61.

    GRD (100) was exchanged for 53,12 lek, gaining 0,09 points compared with yesterday's 52,91 lek and so on.

    Wednesday exchange rate

    Currency Average exchange rate

    USD 154,40 lek DM 84,56 lek ITL (1000) 85,12 lek GRD (100) 53,12 lek SFR 102,89 lek

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] DP should distance itself from crime - government coalition

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: The parties of the government coalition asked Wednesday from the Democratic Party and its representatives of the local government in Shkoder and other towns "to distance themselves from crime and the incriminated persons who threaten the state and the tranquility of people and to support with clear acts and without equivokes the activity of democratic institutions and law."

    "We urge the Interior Ministry and justice bodies to observe their competencies and not to allow that different road pressures infringe the work of the coalition government, institutions and other powers," says a statement of the parties of the coalition, issued after the meeting of the Secretaries General of the Socialist Party, Democratic Alliance, Social Democratic Party, Human Rights Union Party, and the Agrarian Party.

    Expressing solidarity with the appeal of the religious communities representatives, the governing parties call on "all the citizens to leave aside their political affiliations and not to allow the incriminated people from the past to infringe order, tranquility and their future." /s.s/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Turkish under 21 soccer team beats Albania 1:0

    BORDUR (TURKEY), Jan. 21 (ATA) By A. Keko: In the soccer stadium "Gazi Ataturk" of Burdur city in Northern Antalya, Turkey, in a friendly match, the Turkish under 21 soccer team defeated 2:1 the Albanian under 21 soccer team, the Turkish news agency, Anadoli Azhans, reported on Wednesday.

    In this match, with the Turkish referee, Ilhami Kapllan, the only goal was scored by Selahatin in the 22nd minute.

    The match was hard in several moments and for this the referee was forced to book the football players with the yellow card.

    The friendly meeting between the representative soccer teams of Albania and Turkey are being held in Antalya. /a.ke/mima/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] DP implicated in events of Shkoder

    - Interior Minister accuses Berisha and DP deputies of instigating events in Shkoder -

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By K. Kostreci: The Albanian Democratic Party supports set criminal groups which have triggered terror in the town of Shkoder, Albania's Interior Minister Neritan Ceka declared in a release asked urgently by several deputies on Wednesday.

    "Behind the acts of some police officers in the Shkoder district, stay incriminated political forces, which are interested in the destabilization of the country, and the deputies of DP, who are in the prefecture of Shkoder, support in a way the act of holding the regional prefect hostage," said Ceka.

    He added that "unprofessional groups of police officers have also rejected before two other appointments of police chiefs in Shkoder and they are suspended of political implications in these acts."

    Ceka informed parliament that there are evidences on a flux of incriminated persons (some 50 persons), who have come from abroad and have carried out criminal activities during March of last year and have also contacted with political forces.

    Ceka accused directly DP head Sali Berisha, who, at the time that he was president, set these criminals free through different amnesties and they are back to Albania now.

    "The data speak of clear instructions that the criminals have taken in different districts of the country, who have returned to serve to define political forces," said Ceka.

    He stated that events like that of Shkoder speak of the aim of Berisha for the creation of a "principality" in North. Ceka added that they convey the message that there is no stability in Albania and support the aim of DP that new elections should be held in Albania and a technocrat government should be set up.

    Parliament called in an urgent sitting the Attorney General, Arben Rakipi and the Chairman of the National Information Service (SHIK), Fatos Klosi. /mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Islami meets UD representatives: Several DP deputies - political inspiration for crime

    TIRANA, Jan. 21 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: The State Minister close to the Prime Minister, Kastriot Islami, held a meeting with representatives of the Union for Democracy (UD) grouping on Wednesday afternoon, PM press and information office reports.

    According to the above sources, Islami asked them "to distance themselves from illegal acts" that occurred in Shkoder, otherwise "the political inspiration of several deputies of the Democratic Party would make them political collaborators of crime and as a result this would incriminate their political forces."

    Minister Islami informed on behalf of the government the deputies Vili Minarolli (Democratic Party), Teodor Laco (Social Democratic Union), and Zef Bushati (Christian Democratic Party), on recent developments in Shkoder.

    "The government has full information and is operating quietly by putting the situation under complete control," said the Minister.

    "The police of Shkoder have acted in conformity with the law and this has been pointed out not only by the Interior Ministry, but also by MAPE representatives," said Islami.

    The situation was aggravated when a group of former incriminated police officers used the name of the director of the local police directorate, Mit'hat Havari, as a pretext to terrorize by weapons the streets of Shkoder. They attacked the police commissariat of the town, injured two innocent special police officers, occupied the prefecture building and forced through threatens the Shkoder prefect to resign."

    "I meet you as representatives of parliamentary groups, although the political strategy of your grouping is different from that of the government coalition, which aims at observing law and restoring the democratic institutions. It is necessary to use Parliament for finding solutions, not only in the case of Shkoder, but also for other problems the country is going through," Islami told the representatives of Union for Democracy.

    According to Premier's press office, "the deputies said that the incidents in Shkoder do not have political motives and they are against the interference of political forces in the appointments of local authorities, prefects or police officers."

    "These appointments are competence of the government and only of the government," said Bushati, who added that leaders of local party branches have interfered in the discharges and appointments of local leaders." /s.s/mima/mt/


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


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