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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-05-15

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Telephone talk of Ambassador Robert Gelbard with Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano
  • [02] Relations with Germany are of priority for Albania - Parliament Speaker
  • [03] Meta and Vukicevic hail beginning of Belgrade-Prishtine talks
  • [04] Leaders of inter-border regional police of Gjirokaster and Epirus meet in Ioannina
  • [05] LDK presidency analyses situation in Kosove
  • [06] State enterprises owe money to Social Insurance Institute
  • [07] Three dinghies carrying Albanian illegals caught
  • [08] Our philosophy is co-governing with opposition - Fino
  • [09] Balli Kombetar leader to determine strategy of his party
  • [10] Albanian president favours promotion of relations with Germany
  • [11] Serbian forces operate in different fronts
  • [12] Albanian PM writes to IMF managing director
  • [13] Guardia di Finanzia to stay another six months in Albania
  • [14] Gjinushi praises France's role in support of democratic processes in Albania
  • [15] Powers of Constitutional Court and Prosecutor's office, disputable points for judiciary.
  • [16] Milosevic meets Rugova in Belgrade
  • [17] Majko says two-house parliament would shake everything positive of last seven years
  • [18] Albania president decrees central elections commission
  • [19] Four Albanians killed by Serbian forces in Kosova
  • [20] President says Belgrade-Prishtine dialogue should not be a façade
  • [21] Legislation structure be discussed outside parties
  • [22] Vedrine says good news coming from Belgrade today
  • [23] EBRD focuses on projects pace in Albania
  • [24] Bufi to discuss energy projects in Brussels
  • [25] Tirana Bourse to help in formalizing hard currency market
  • [26] USD quoted at lek 158,10
  • [27] Godo says participation in commission, DP's last chance to take part in drafting constitution

  • [01] Telephone talk of Ambassador Robert Gelbard with Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano

    TIRANE, May 14 (ata) - In a telephone talk from the U.S. State Department, Ambassador Robert Gelbard informed Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano of the circumstances and the problems the mission of the Ambassador Holbrooke had to face in Prishtine and Belgrade in order to realise the first direct and unconditional negotiations between Rugova and Milosevic.

    The Premier's press and information department reports that Gelbard stressed that President Rugova is a distinguished political personality, who has understood well it is important that the crisis in Kosove be peacefully settled, through his serious commitment in the lead of the negotiating group for the beginning of a real political process which would lead to the determination of the definite political status of Kosova. For these reasons, Rugova has ensured Washington's unreserved support, which will be expressed to him soon from the highest levels through an invitation to the United States of America.

    Holbrooke and Gelbard have asked from Milosevic a responsible and real commitment to the dialogue with Ibrahim Rugova and the Albanian delegation of Kosova, guaranteeing them a dignified treatment. The U.S. representatives have asked both Milosevic and Rugova that the process, to start on May 15, between the two parties, continue nonstop and without losing time in Prishtine, in the respective headquarters which each party will choose through its free will, committing themselves to examining the fundamental questions related with the status of Kosove, and by not losing time in discussion on the procedure of the negotiations.

    In reply to the concern of the Prime Minister Nano about Belgrade's observation of the sanctions and the measures to stabilize the situation, Ambassador Gelbard said that Holbrooke and his team has insisted that Mr Milosevic exert completely and directly his authority to stop the military and police operations in Kosove and start the withdrawal of the troops in garrisons. Gelbard laid the stress on the need of changing the insistent stand of official Belgrade with regatd to an international presence not only in the process of negotiations but also in the systematic monitoring of the situation by OSCE, EU and especially by the Contact Group, led by American diplomacy. He added that Gonzales is considered by Washington as a personality with the necessary reputation and mandate to ensure the international guarantee for a peaceful solution to the question of Kosove and the realisation of the conditions for FRY's return to the international community.

    Premier Nano informed Mr Gelbard of the latest developments on the border and the continuous armed confrontations in many areas of Kosova, quite near the Republic of Albania, and asked continuous contacts and cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the southern Balkans, to which Albania is totally committed. The Albanian Government, added Mr Nano, has publicly hailed the realisation through the American mediation of the Rugova-Milosevic meeting and in this spirit it will continue to give its unreserved support to the outstanding contribution of Ibrahim Rugova during the direct talks with Belgrade.

    The PM asked that U.S. continue its pressures towards Belgrade for the creation of normal conditions that talks be held not under the pressure of arms and bombs against unarmed civilians, because only in this way the political process of May 15 will have the support of the Albanian and international opinions.

    At the end of the talk, Ambassador Gelbard assured PM Nano that his mission will continue to keep contacts with the Albanian Government in the light of the meeting of the G-8 and, Contact Group and other organisations of international security which will convene in May.

    Milosevic has been told that these organizations of security and their representatives, added Gelbard, will use all the arsenal of sanctions against Yugoslavia if Belgrade doe not show serious commitment to the process of talks which will start on May 15, 1998. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Relations with Germany are of priority for Albania - Parliament Speaker

    TIRANE, mAY 14 (ATA) - In the meeting that Albanian Parliament Speaker had on Thursday with the deputy of the German Bundestag, Uelhoff he stressed that "we are resolute in Albania's integration into Europe and in this contest, the relations with Germany are of priority for Albania."

    According to the press office of the People's Assembly of Albania, Gjinushi said that the Albanian Parliament has very good relations with the German Parliament and that this was also confirmed by the visit of an Albanian parliamentary delegation to the Bundestag and the will they found there for a further consolidation of these relations.

    Speaking of the work of the Parliament, Gjinushi said that along the approval of some important laws in support of the institutions and the government program, "we are working for the constitution as a guarantee to the independence of the powers, the media, the local government etc. He said that all guarantees exist that the new constitution be drafted according to the present democratic standards, a constitution which would guarantee the democratic developments, the freedom and the rights of the citizens, the country's stability.

    The deputy of the German Bundestag, Uelhoff considered as very important the work going on for the drafting of the constitution, stressing that Bundestag is ready, as always, to offer its assistance in this direction as well. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Meta and Vukicevic hail beginning of Belgrade-Prishtine talks

    TIRANE, May 14 (ata) - By Ilir Paco: Ilir Meta, Albania's State Secretary for European Integration and the charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Tirane, Stanimir Vukicevic, said on Thursday in a meeting they hailed the decision for the beginning of talks between the Yugoslav President, Milosevic and the leader of the Albanians of Kosova, Rugova.

    Meta and Vukicevic had today a meeting of courtesy in which they discussed the latest developments in the region of Kosove, the spokesman of the Albanian Foreign Ministry reported.

    The two men considered the beginning of talks between Belgrade and Prishtine as the first step towards a political solution to the question of Kosove.

    The spokesman said that "Meta reconfirmed the stand of the Albanian Government to encourage political settlements for the crisis of Kosove, adding that Albania is for relations of cooperation and good neighbourliness with the regional countries." /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Leaders of inter-border regional police of Gjirokaster and Epirus meet in Ioannina

    GJIROKASTER, May 14 (ata) - By H Cani: Leaders of inter-border regional police of Gjirokaster and Epirus of Greece met on Wednesday in Ioannina to discuss consolidation of the bilateral cooperation against drug-trafficking, smuggling of livestock and organized crime.

    The director of police of the prefecture of Gjirokaster, Islam Qibini, said in the meeting that in the conditions of an intensification of crime, a corodination of bilateral acts becomes a necessity.

    The chief of Epirus police, Ilia Kroqidhis said that he was pleased with the support of Albanian police for the Greek police in its operations to hit smugglers.

    Officials in the meeting reached the conclusion on the roads of the joint fight against crime and exchanged opinions on concrete issues related with the spots of trafficking and the elements of smuggling networks. /s.s./das/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] LDK presidency analyses situation in Kosove

    PRISHTINE, May 15 (ata) - ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports: The presidency of the Democratic league of Kosova (LDK) led by its chairman Ibrahim Rugova analyzed the situation in Kosove demanding that Serb police- military operations be stopped and Serbian forces withdraw from Kosova.

    President Rugova informed the LDK Presidency of the mediating efforts by ambassadors Holbrooke and Gelbard and the work for the organization of the unconditional meeting with the FRY President, Slobodan Milosevic. President Rugova stressed that he was going to that meeting with the mandate to demand the independence of the Republic of Kosova. In the meeting of the LDK presidency, a special attention was devoted to the constitution of the Parliament of Kosove and the preparations for the meeting of the General Council of the LDK due on May 18, 1998. /p.ta/mima/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] State enterprises owe money to Social Insurance Institute

    Tirana, May 15 (ATA) - A clear rise was noticed in paying social insurances contributions during the first quarter of 1998.

    Revenues from social insurances during January rose lek 791 million, in February lek 2 billion and in March mounted lek 3,5 billion, Finance ministry said Friday.

    Social Insurance Institute (SII) plan for the first quarter of 1998 in country scale was realised 106 percent senior official from the Institution Vullnet Sadushi said.

    Sadushi explains that many state run enterprises are paying their back dues, so Albanian Energy Corporation which owed SII lek 130 million during 1995, 96 and part of 97 has paid off until now lek 70 million.

    Also have started to pay their contribution non budgetary enterprises like the coal mine, which is paying off up to 11,7 percent of workers wages.

    While quite the opposite is the situation regarding private subjects in paying their social insurances.

    According to Sadushi these subjects have paid completely social insurance contributions, because due to law that without paying the contributions they can't exercise their commercial activities.

    However, based on the good work, the collecting of social insurance revenues this year will rise, Sadushi said. /gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Three dinghies carrying Albanian illegals caught

    KAVAJE, May 15 (ata) - By G Kabashi: Italian-Albanian boats of Guardia di Finanza, in cooperation with the border police of Durres and police forces of the Commissariat of Kavaje brought back ashore last Thursday night three dinghies with Albanian illegals who had set sail from the coast of Kavaje towards Italian coast, the spokesman of the group of Guardia di Finanza, deployed in the port of Durres, said.

    According to the same source, the two dinghies, one of which was carrying narcotics, were sealled off in the sea, and accompanied to the coast of Durres.

    The chief of criminal police of the Commissariat of Kavaje, Odise Ndreu told ATA that the majority of the illegals were from the villages of Kavaje district, some from Durres and one girl was from Tirane.

    The vedettes of Guardia di Finanzia are making efforts to catch the third dinghy. /s.s/mima/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Our philosophy is co-governing with opposition - Fino

    TIRANE, May 15 (ata) - Deputy Premier and Minister of Local Government, Bashkim Fino said to Uelhoff, deputy of the German Bundestag on Friday in Tirane that the philosophy of the present government is co-governing with the opposition, the Premier's information and press department reports.

    Fino pointed out the great importance that the present Government attaches to the relations with the local government.

    "To this end also serves the extended autonomy, which is presently noticed and the self-administration of the funds by this government along with the increase of the fund of incomes realised by this government," said Fino.

    The German deputy laid the stress on the budgetary independence that the local government must have. He also suggested the establishment of continuous sister relations between Albanian and German cities as a way which may serve the exchanging of the experience on problems of local government.

    "With the signing of the Charter of Local Autonomy in Brussels, a new and more efficient period will start for this government," said Fino. /s.s/mima/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Balli Kombetar leader to determine strategy of his party

    TIRANE, May 15 (ata) - By A Haxhiu: The coming congress of the party of Balli Kombetar (BK) due at the beginning of June, will determine the line and the strategy of this party, the BK leader, Abaz Ermenji told in news conference on Friday.

    Ermenji, residing outside Albania, said that he had returned home to participate in the congress, which would analyze the work made so far and determine the stand of the BK towards political groupings on the eve of partial local polls.

    The Balli Kombetar leader considered the beginning of negotiations between the leader of the Albanians of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova and the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, without the presence of a third party, as a dialogue which can bring nothing new. "One cannot expect Milosevic to change his policy towards Kosove," said Ermenji.

    This is the third time that Abaz Ermenji, the historical leader of Ballists, comes to Tirane since establishment of pluralism in Albania. /mima/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Albanian president favours promotion of relations with Germany

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA) - President of Albania Rexhep Meidani expressed on Friday his will for the promotion of relations between Albania and Germany.

    Press and information office at the presidency said that Meidani held talks with the German deputy in Bundestag Dr. Welhof and said to him that "the ancient links between the nations and the durable political will to promote relations between the two countries need wider space in bilateral exchanges."

    President Meidani praised as necessary the economic exchanges and the presence of powerful German companies.

    "The arrival of nine industrialist teams in Albania will be a new impetus to that," he said.

    Meidani expressed the wish for a German college in Albania and the German guests said to him that they would work for a promotion of cooperation in the education and culture and the opening of the college and later of an institution of Germanology.

    The German parliamentarian Welhof and the ambassador Hans Peter Disdorn expressed their engagements in carrying out the idea of the Albanian president. s.s/das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Serbian forces operate in different fronts

    PRISHTINE, Maj 15 - ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reported on Friday that the situation in Kosova was increasingly aggravated with Serb forces bombarding the Gradish hill and Gexhe, Malesi e vogel, Ratkoc and Xerxe villages of the Rrahovec commune as well as villages of the border area between Kosova and Albania and in Gjakova suburbs, Mahit Thaçi, head of the sub council for human rights said.

    From Thursday mid-night till 12.00. a.m. on Friday the border villages of Morine, Pomoshec and Smolice are under attack, Besa Arllati, spokesman of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) said.

    Serbian helicopters continue flights over the Decan commune at a time when Serbian forces have been seen moving, Osman Cacaj, spokesman of the LDK said.

    Cacaj said that shootings were audible from Vokshi and other border regions while the Baballoq village had been shelled since Thursday mid- night.

    Military operations and movements of troops are also continuing in some regions along the road Prishtine-Peje which is closed recently.

    The Serbian forces continue to shell the place called Kroi i Mbretit, villages Llapushnik and Komaran, sources from Gllogoci said.

    Villages of Llaushe, Açareve, Vojnik, Kopiliq, Buroje, Turiçef, came under heavy attack of Serbian forces in early morning on Friday, Haxhi Geci, activist of the LDK said from Llausha.

    Reports from Mitrovica and Skenderaj said that numerous Serbian forces had been deployed along the road linking both cities and armoured carriers had already intensified their movements. pta/mima/ak

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Albanian PM writes to IMF managing director

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA) - Albanian prime minister sent a letter on Friday to Michael Camdessus Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reconfirm the engagement of the Albanian government in continuing the road of economic and social reforms for a full stabilisation of Albania and guarantee of economic stability.

    Nano, speaking for his government, thanked Camdessus and the IMF board for the approval of the ESAF II agreement with Albania, the department of media and information of the Council of Ministers said.

    "I especially want to express my sincere evaluation for the IMF team who worked with us for the program and I also expressed my gratitude for your personal contribution and ongoing support for the economic reforms in Albania," Nano said to Camdessus.

    Prime minister Nano expressed his conviction that " a successful implementation of the ESAF agreement and our close cooperation with the IMF, the World Bank and donors' community are strong guarantees for success."

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Guardia di Finanzia to stay another six months in Albania

    DURRES, May 15 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: Mission of the Guardia di Finanzia deployed in the city of Durres, central Albania, since September '97 will stay another six months, General Simone, chief of the mission said on Friday to the Durres perfect Martin Cukalla.

    A group of Italian Frontiers, which will operate in the South of Albania, is going to join four Italian motorboats actually involved in preventing illegal traffic.

    General Simone, assessing the work of the Albanian police units code- named "Shqiponja" in preventing illegal traffic towards the Italian shores in cooperation with the Guardia di Finanzia, said that they were trying to extend the cooperation even in Kavaja, Lushnja and Kruja cities.

    Simone said that "we will promote the cooperation with the Albanian police" by extending contacts with the Albanian authorities." ake/mima/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Gjinushi praises France's role in support of democratic processes in Albania

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA)-Speaker of Albania's parliament Skender Gjinushi praised the role of France, especially in the context of the European Union and OSCE, in support of the democratic processes in Albania.

    At a meeting on Friday, Gjinushi familiarised French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine with the performance of the Albanian Parliament in drafting a new constitution, as a guarantee for the consolidation of the rule of law and democratic developments at home.

    Gjinushi laid the stress on the policy of good neighbourliness and determination for the country's integration into the European family and said that the Albanian parliament follows with concern the tragic events in Kosova.

    He said that he endorses the will of the Kosova population for self- determination, hoping in a peaceful, long-term and viable solution.

    Vedrine evaluated the traditional French-Albanian relations, especially those in culture and stressed the need of expanding and strengthening them in all domains.

    France is playing an active role in the Contact Group, said Vedrine, adding that the Contact Group nations have no doubt that Milosevic is to blame for the situation in Kosova.

    Stressing that all are working for a wide-ranging autonomy for Kosova he said that "the Contact Group considers that the first objective is the beginning of the negotiations, and hopes that the Rugova-Milosevic meeting will be followed by other fruitful negotiations. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Powers of Constitutional Court and Prosecutor's office, disputable points for judiciary.

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci, The powers of the Constitutional Court and dependance of the Prosecutor's office were the points mostly disputed in Friday's symposium on the three powers in the new constitution which focused on the judiciary.

    "We should have a constitution which should sanction the independence of the judiciary and regulate the relations of this system with the other two powers, the legislative and the executive," Justice Minister Thimio Kondi told ATA on Friday.

    He said "the powers of the Constitutional Court and its relation with the Supreme Court are not well defined".

    "The Constitutional Court has more powers than necessary. They are not well defined and this court has also assumed powers of the lower courts, " said Kondi.

    The co-chairman of the Constitutional Court, Arben Imami, said that "the discussions are concentrated on the fact that the Constitutional Court should not judge everything, but only the laws, or constitutional issues."

    The other pending issue in the new constitution is the position of the prosecutor's office.

    "It is yet unknown whether the prosecutor's office will belong to the judiciary or the executive," said Kondi.

    He said that currently the system of justice in Albania has many shortcomings, and "what is more important is that it is not coherent."

    Imami said that the criteria to have an independent justice are "professional skill and morale." /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Milosevic meets Rugova in Belgrade

    PRISHTINE, May 15 - ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reported that the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic held talks with Ibrahim Rugova and his delegation, according to the Belgrade radio.

    These talks should mark the start of a peaceful solution to the Kosova issue, Milosevic said at the beginning of talks, which dealt with key issues.

    President Milosevic said that the peaceful, human, right and long- term solutions in Kosova could be met only through political means, direct dialogue on principal basis.

    These solutions should be based on the fact that all the citizens and national communities in Kosova are on equal footing.

    Milosevic said that the common future and the equal life of Serbs, Montenegrins, Albanians, Muslims, Gipsies, Turkish and other citizens in Kosova, mutual respect and tolerance are in the interest of all as the violence and particularly terrorism is their common enemy.

    President Milosevic believed that dialogue represented the best way for a peaceful negotiation of outstanding issues, to be dealt with in next meetings between the delegations.

    They agreed the meetings be held once in two weeks. The first meeting would be next week. la/das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Majko says two-house parliament would shake everything positive of last seven years

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci, Socialist Party (SP) Secretary General Pandeli Majko on Friday said that the creation of a two-house legislative structure would shake everything positive attained in the last seven years as regards institutional viewpoint.

    "In the two-house concept I foresee a multi-faceted crisis of unpredictable institutional consequences. This variant tends to justify the institutional crisis," Majko told ATA on Friday. The SP and its allies (except DAP), have expressed themselves in favour of a one-house legislative structure.

    "We should not make any allowance in this direction. However, there might also be surprises in the next discussions, but the SP will not change its stance," said Majko.

    Commenting the latest idea of the DP for a commission with four co- chairmen, Majko said that "this would not be efficient from the organisational point of view".

    "The DP should file a document to the Constitutional Commission presenting its own claims," said Majko. /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Albania president decrees central elections commission

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA) - President of Albania Rexhep Meidani decreed on Friday the composition of the Central Commission for the partial local elections based on the amended law on elections of the local government bodies upon the proposal of the political parties and after the consultations with the political groupings. Following are the commission's members: 1. Dilaver Cano chairman SP 2. Shahin Bistri secretary Local govt.ministry 3. Fotaq Nano member SP 4. Liri Jani member SP 5. Fluturim Guni member SDP 6. Sadik Shkembi member DAP 7. Kosta Qerama member HRUP 8. Nazmi Biçoku member NUP 9. Mitat Sanxhaku member AP 10.Arben Voshtina member RP Press and information office close to the presidency informs that based on the last parliamentary local elections, the Democratic party (DP) has six members and the post of the deputy chairman. Though the DP has been informed many times to present the names for the above posts but until Friday it has failed to send them.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Four Albanians killed by Serbian forces in Kosova

    PRISHTINE, May 15/ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports: Albanian sources report on Friday that four Albanians have been killed by the Serbian forces in Kosova.

    The sub-council for Human Rights in Decan reports that on Friday two Albanians have been found killed on the mountains overlooking the Junik village, on the border belt with Albania.

    The Democratic League of Kosova (DLK) branch in Gjakova reports that two Albanians were killed in yesterday's attacks of the Serbian army-police forces in the suburbs of the Xerxe village.

    There are no reports of other persons killed in today's Serbian forces' attacks in several regions of Kosova. /m.p/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] President says Belgrade-Prishtine dialogue should not be a façade

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA) - President of Albania Rexhep Meidani has urged an incessant international commitment for a solution to the Kosova issue for the Belgrade-Prishtine dialogue not to be a façade.

    "We should hope for a possibility of reflection to put an end to the old mentality of Belgrade in resolving Kosova issue," President Meidani told the French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine on Friday, according to press and information office close to the presidency.

    The French minister explained the attention of France and other Contact Group member states to continue pressure on Belgrade for a democratic solution to the Kosova issue.

    President Meidani and French minister Vedrine discussed the need for the development of regional cooperation and especially the economic progress in the region.

    Referring to promotion of bilateral relations, President Meidani stressed both the strengthening of economic cooperation and enrichment of experience of the French school in Albania. s.s/das/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Legislation structure be discussed outside parties

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: Head of the Constitutional Court Fehmi Abdiu favoured on Friday a one-house legislation structure adding that parties should not join the discussion on legislation structure.

    He considered the problem of legislation structure the most delicate and most important in the new constitution but said that the public opinion is unprepared for a change in the legislation structure.

    Abdiu said that "the creation of a Senate will limit the sovereignty of the people."

    "Rapports in parliament are decided by the people and the restraint role of senate does not suit their will," Abdiu said.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Vedrine says good news coming from Belgrade today

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA)-By I. Paco,

    French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine in Tirana on Friday said he was delighted at the news on the beginning of the Belgrade-Prishtine talks.

    "Very good news has come from Belgrade today," Vedrine told a news conference with his Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo today.

    "It seems the Contact Group's insistence is yielding its own fruits," said Vedrine.

    Asked whether he would agree to a solution which would give Kosova the status of the Republic, Vedrine responded: "The Contact Group countries hold the same stand as regards the solution to the crisis. These nationals have long since been of the opinion that the current "status quo" is unacceptable and only our efforts have not allowed a precipitation of the situation. The Contact Group has offered a substantial autonomy as a solution".

    Milo said that his government has already made known its stand, declaring that the future of Kosova and its status should be determined by the Kosova people themselves.

    "But it would be an acceptable solution if Kosova won the status of the third Republic within the Yugoslav Federation," said Milo.

    Vedrine said that "the NATO member countries have decided to carry out an exact study of the possible hypotheses to avoid cases of a precipitation of the situation". /s.s/das/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] EBRD focuses on projects pace in Albania

    By Erion Duka

    Tirana, May 15 (ATA) - The investments' process in the transition economies was the theme, where Business Forum focussed during the seventh annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development staged in Kiev, Ukraine.

    The Forum's aim was to support investments in 26 East European and former Soviet Union countries.

    During the meeting thoughts were exchanged on setting up a sound business climate, legal aspects and the role of private sector in fighting corruption and financing infrastructure, the international circulation of capital and financial system in East and Central Europe.

    Albanian delegation was headed by the minister of Economic Cooperation and Trade, Ermelinda Meksi, who during talks with senior officials of various countries discussed on the possibilities of direct foreign investments in priority branches of economy.

    During the recent years EBRD policy towards Albania focused on four pivotal points like the supporting and boosting of investment in private industrial sector, development of infrastructure especially in transport, energy and telecommunication sectors, the strengthening of financial sector by supporting banks and other financial institutions with foreign potential sponsors and the development of tourism sector focusing on the southern coastal line.

    At present EBRD platform is composed of 8 signed projects totaling Ecus 61 million.

    The total value of the approved projects where EBRD is co financier mounts Ecus 152 million.

    Meanwhile the current portfolio consists of three projects in public sector (telecommunication, hydro power rehabilitation and delivery and transmitting electricity) totaling around Ecus 31,7 million.

    Also private sector encompasses five projects, two of which is financial sector, two others in tourism sector and one in agriculture sector totaling Ecus 30,5 million. GEN/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Bufi to discuss energy projects in Brussels

    Tirana, May 15 (ATA) - Economic policies and the prospective of energy sector development will be on the focus of the Albanian minister of Public Economy and Privatization, Ylli Bufi talks during his two-day visit in Brussels with his Belgian counterpart.

    Besides talks with Belgian minister of Economy, Elio di Rupo, Albania minister will meet representatives of the European Union, told ATA Friday ministry's spokesman.

    Talks will focus on the mutual projects with the European banking institutions on energy, mining and telecommunications sectors.

    Belgium companies have been interested in the Albanian energy sector recently. Among them is EIECTRABEL company, which wants to invest in Albania $300 million in hydro power constructions, Albanian Energy Corporation management and in gas sector.gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Tirana Bourse to help in formalizing hard currency market

    Tirana, May 15 (ATA) - Tirana Stock Exchange aims at formalizing the hard currency market, which also means the first phase of its program.

    The second phase has to do with the operation of bourse as a seller and quoter of shares of most promising companies.

    Tirana Bourse is the first financial institution of this kind in Albania. As such it is trying to familiarize the financial system, legislation and Albanian public with notions less known in the market of capitals.

    It is trying to set up the vision of the market's capitals in the future, the duties and special role of financial institutions in achieving their goals.

    The current limited activity of the Bourse in selling treasury bonds or a limited series of obligations is an objective consequence of the Albanian legislation and economic system in generally and Tirana stock exchange in particular. gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] USD quoted at lek 158,10

    Tirana, May 15 (ATA) - Friday'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 = 158,10 lek, gaining 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 158, 00 lek.

    The DM was traded for 87,70 lek, gaining 0,20 points compared to yesterday's 87,50 lek.

    The ITL (1000) was traded for 88,40 lek gaining 0.20 points compared with yesterday's 88,20 lek.

    GRD (100) was exchanged for 50,50 lek, lossing 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 50,60

    The Swiss Franc was traded for 104,30 lek lossing 1,00 points compared with yesterday's 105,30 lek and so on.

    Friday exchange rates

    Currency Average exchange rates

    USD 158,10 lek DM 87,70 lek ITL (1000) 88,40 lek GRD (100) 50,50 lek SFR 103,20 lek FRF 23,70 lek GBP 220,60 lek JPY (100) 111,60 lek NLG 73,70 lek


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Godo says participation in commission, DP's last chance to take part in drafting constitution

    TIRANA, May 15 (ATA)-By K. Kostreci, The co-chairman of the Constitutional Commission, Sabri Godo, said on Friday that the participation of the Democratic Party (DP) at this moment might be its last chance to take part in the drafting of a constitution.

    "If they jointed this process after examining the draft it would be incomprehensible and unfair," Godo told ATA on Friday.

    He added that "maybe now there is a more favourable climate for the DP to reconsider its position."

    Godo referred to the positive views and support of foreign experts for the draft-constitution, expressed during the symposium on the three powers in the new constitution, held from Wednesday to Friday.

    Godo said that the participation of the political grouping, Union for Democracy, in the commission, "would also help solve the problem of the legislative structure in the constitution: with one or two houses."

    However, he added that the commission has done well and has decided to go ahead even without the DP.

    Godo considered successful the symposium, which wound up on Friday. /

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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