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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-05-20

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Council of Europe offers ongoing assistance to Albanian justice
  • [02] Energy subsidies to be lifted from industrial consumers
  • [03] Ulza hydro-power station increases energy production
  • [04] Incomes totaled 17,673 mln lek until March
  • [05] Government examines draft-laws and draft-decision
  • [06] World Bank shows constant support to Albania's economy
  • [07] Italy, Greece are Albania's main trade partners
  • [08] USD quoted at lek 157,20
  • [09] Canon of Lek Dukagjini published in Italy
  • [10] PM Nano guarantees Premier Oil representatives for security of their investment
  • [11] DP leader, Albanian PM likely to hold a TV debate
  • [12] LDK says too soon to lift Serbia sanctions
  • [13] Money delivery time remains unchanged
  • [14] RP leader says SP pledge to return property a demagogy
  • [15] Union for Democracy against excluding DP from CEC
  • [16] Serbian police detain eight Albanians on Peje-Prishtine train
  • [17] Albanian found killed in Rahovec
  • [18] Serbian forces continue to attack frontier villages
  • [19] Professional education contributes to country's economic-social development - minister

  • [01] Council of Europe offers ongoing assistance to Albanian justice

    TIRANA, May 19 (ATA) - Albanian minister of Justice Thimio Kondi signed on Tuesday in Brussels four European conventions on mutual cooperation with the Council of Europe member states for penal issues and fight against criminality, a spokesman of the ministry said.

    The agreements are the European convention on extradition, European convention on mutual assistance in penal issues, European convention on transfer of legal proceedings and convention on transfer of detainees.

    Minister Kondi, who is on an official visit in Strasbourg, held talks on Tuesday with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Daniel Tarchys.

    Tarchys praised the important steps Albania had undertaken to adapt the European standards concerning the respect of human rights and expressed the readiness of the Council of Europe to actively help Albania implement the aid programmes.

    Kondi had separate meetings with the Secretary General of the parliamentary Assembly Bruno Haller, Secretary of the Monitoring commission of the Parliamentary Assembly, Egbert Ausems, the Council of Europe's representatives in Albania, Andreas Papaconstantino and others and exchanged views on cooperation between Albania and the Council of Europe and speeding up the implementation of programmes.

    Kondi met with Rudolf Bernbarot, the president of the European Court on Human Rights, and other leaders, who expressed views on necessity to train Albanian judges and need to apply directly the European convention in the Albanian judiciary. ake/mima/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Energy subsidies to be lifted from industrial consumers

    Tirana, May 20 (ATA) - Power price subsidy for industrial consumers is planed to be removed, the Public Economy and Privatization ministry said Wednesday.

    While for family consumers the power price won't be changed. In Albania the energy price doesn't correspond with its production cost, because until now, the state has subsidized the price.

    The measure is though to be taken when many industrial consumers owe Albanian Energy Corporation (AEC) money in unpaid electricity bills.

    AEC losses from all Albanian consumers in unpaid power bills have mounted $50 million.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Ulza hydro-power station increases energy production

    ULEZ, May 20 (ATA) - By H. Ruspi: Energy distribution enterprise in Ulza, Mat district, has exceeded the production of energy with over 74 million leks during the first four months of the year.

    Marjan Kulla, enterprise director, said to ATA on Wednesday that "the over-fulfilment is due to the favourable atmospheric conditions, which have improved the water reserves in Ulza and Shkopet hydro-power stations during the spring."

    The atmospheric situation promises a normal continuation of work and fulfillment of the enterprise's objectives for the next months.

    Ulza and Shkopet hydro-power stations, built over the Mat river at the beginning of '50, supply with energy the population of Mat, Mirdite, Lezhe, Bulqize and Diber districts and economic enterprises in these districts.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Incomes totaled 17,673 mln lek until March

    Tirana, May 20 (ATA) - Bank of Albania, Wednesday reported until March 1988 incomes of lek 17,673 million, compared to lek 10,274 million in February.

    Incomes in March were 3,8 percent against the annual Gross Domestic Production (GDP). While 1997 closed with total incomes of lek 45,517 million.

    Total expenses have been lowered, thus out of lek 83,810 million in 1997, in March 1998 they dropped to lek 22,512 million. In March 1998 its was 5,0 percent against the annual GDP.

    Fiscal balances (in lek mln)

    Fiscal balance ! 1997 ! Jan '98 ! Feb '98 ! Mar '98 -------------- -------------------------------------------------- Incomes total ! 45517 ! 5490 ! 10274 ! 17673 in % against annual GDP ! 13,5 ! 1,2 ! 2,3 ! 3,9 ------------------------------------------------------------ --- Expenses total ! 83810 ! 5144 ! 10343 ! 22512 in % against annual GDP ! 24,9 ! 1,1 ! 2,3 ! 5,0 ----------------------- ---------------------------------------- Deficit/Surplas ! -38294! 346 ! -69 ! -4839 in % against annual GDP ! -11,4 ! 0,1 ! 0,0 ! -1,1 -------------------------------------------------------------- deficit without aid ! -38544! 332 ! -84 ! -4854 in % against annual GDP ! -11,4 ! 0,1 ! 0,0 ! 1,1 ------------------------------ --------------------------------- Finance of budget ! ! ! ! deficit ! 38294 ! -346 ! 69 ! 4839 internal ! 37952 ! -391 ! 24 ! 2781 Credits from BoA ! 2400 ! 0 ! 0 ! 0 Treasury Bonds ! 35343 ! 760 ! 2635 ! 3828 Govt deposits ! -210 ! 1151 ! 2611 ! 1046 external ! 342 ! 45 ! 45 ! 2058 ------------------ -------------------------------------------- Annual nominal GDP ! 337114! /gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Government examines draft-laws and draft-decision

    TIRANA, May 29 (ATA) - Under the direction of the deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Government Coordination, Kastriot Islami, was held Tuesday the meeting of the Council of Ministers, which examined a number of draft-laws and draft-decisions.

    As the press and information department close to the Council of Ministers reported to ATA, the meeting approved the draft-law "On the ratification of the agreement between the Albanian and the Turkish Governments for cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of customs." On basis of this agreement, both parties will fight the violations of legislation on the customs, the traffic of narcotic substances and will take measures to facilitate the movement of people and goods.

    The meeting also approved four draft-decisions, presented by the Ministry of Finances regarding the agreements of an Italian grant, a Danish grant, one of the European Community and one of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID.) These grant agreements have been signed by the Republic of Albania and the International Development Agency (IDA), which is the administrator of the grant funds for the project of administration and auditing of loan-taking companies. The funds created by these grants to help functioning of the transparency process are some $2 million and ECU 1.2 million and will be used for the administration of five loan-taking companies which are still under operation, the auditing of their accounts, as well as the administration of other loan-taking companies.

    Another draft-decision examined yesterday was that for changes in the decision of the Council of Minister "On the prices of medicines by fixing the maximum limit of wholesale of the imported medicines up to 12% over the initial price of buying, while the maximum price of retail of medicines in chemistries has been fixed up to 27% over the price of wholesale, from the current limit of 35%."

    The government also passed the draft-decision on several amendments to the law "On signing the European Charter of Local Autonomy," according to which the Minister of Local Government will be authorized to fully sign this Charter by the end of May in Strasbourg. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] World Bank shows constant support to Albania's economy

    By Genc Caushi

    Tirana, May 19 (ATA) - Last week the World Bank approved a $44 million credit to Albania in three sectors like health system recovery, rehabilitation of urban and transport infrastructures.

    In the health sector WB allocated a $17 million credit on development projects to establish and strengthen the country's health sector, and improve the accessibility, quality and efficiency of essential health services.

    Regarding the rehabilitation of urban infrastructure the installment was worth $10 million, while in transport sector it mounted $17 million

    The project in the health sector consists of the following components: National capacity building will develop and strengthen institutions and competencies required to implement the health sector development strategy.

    Governance and management of health system in Tirana region will support the establishment and functions of institutions to undertake the decentralization of health sector planning and management to the regional level in Tirana, through assistance to the regional health management team and its management board.

    Upgrading of Tirana health care delivery system will support civil works, medical equipment and supplies for a network consisting of one hospital, three polyclinics and 37 health centres.

    It will also provide technical assistance to improve the functional relationship among health services and facilities; technical assistance for the use of standard clinical protocols, and technical assistance in support of selected public health interventions.

    Project management will provide management of the project in the form of office equipment, technical assistance, staff and training for the existing Project Coordination Unit in the ministry of Health.

    Total project cost including contingencies is $28 million. The Albanian government will provide $2,4 million and other donors will provide $8,6 million of the total project cost.

    In relation with urban land management the project will provide essential urban infrastructure to unserviced or neglected areas in Tirana and surrounding areas and will strengthen the institutions responsible for delivery of urban services at the national and local levels.

    The project consists of the following components: extension of essential infrastructure networks will provide essential primary and secondary infrastructure, such as access roads, water supply, sanitation, power supply, street lightening and domestic solid waste collection to areas now barely serviced.

    Institutional development will support the government's initiative to develop an institutional framework for addressing urban management and informal settlements.

    It will also enhance the fiscal and environmental sustainability of urban development through preparation of subsequent subprojects and strategic infrastructure planning for greater Tirana.

    Project administration and management support will support the essential task to carry out project implementation.

    Total project cost including contingencies is $15,86 million. The Albania government is providing $1,71 million and project beneficiaries are providing $4,15 million of the total cost.

    While regarding the rehabilitation of transport infrastructure the $17 million credit will be used for Durres port project.

    The project will improve the efficiency and capacity of the Port of Durres by increasing its commercial operations through the establishment of an autonomous port authority, privatization of port operations, improvement of customs procedures, operations and safety.

    It will also rehabilitate port's infrastructure to accommodate anticipated traffic and attract transit traffic as well.

    The project consists of the following components, port civil works ($8,1 million). Rehabilitation and strengthening works to enable Durres port to cope with expected volume and safety concerns of future traffic.

    Navigation aids ($0,2 million). Maintenance of the channel entrance, replacement as necessary of buoys and lights and other safety standards which require repairs.

    Port lightening ($1,5 million). Up to three port warehouses will be rehabilitated to provide a bonded warehouse for customs and facilitate leasing or concessioning.

    Modernization of cranes ($5,9 million). Rehabilitation of up to 12 quay cranes for handling equipment.

    Anti pollution actions (0,4 million). Supply of floating dams, dispersants and related equipment will assist in preventing any potential oil spill from occurring along the seashore.

    Customs modernization ($0,4 million). Expansion of the fiscal zone to the whole port area.

    Miscellaneous equipment (0,4 million). Provision of office equipment and materials for the Port of Durres Authority, the harbour master's office, the institute of transport studies in Tirana and the project management unit.

    Studies ($1 million). Analyses will be done on the future role of the secondary ports in Albania.

    The prevention of possible pollution in the port areas, physical and chemical analyses of the soil for maintenance or deepening purposes and urban transport improvements for the city of Tirana.

    Technical assistance ($1 million). Assistance in the privatization and regulation of private operators and in establishing a training centre. Supervision of port works and a project coordinator will also be provided.

    Training ($0,4 million). Adequate training of port staff and private operators.

    Total project cost including contingencies is $23 million. The Albanian government is providing $1 million and the OPEC Fund for International Development is providing $5 million of the total cost.

    All three credits will be disbursed on standards IDA terms with a maturity of 40 years and a grace period of 10 years.

    Since joining IDA in 1991, IDA commitments to Albania total approximately $313 million for 25 projects, excluding those projects.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Italy, Greece are Albania's main trade partners

    Tirana, May 19 (ATA) - Two neighboring countries Italy and Greece remain Albania's principal trade partners.

    During April, import - export volume totaled 12 billion lek, where Italy held the specific weight with around 45 percent of commercial exchanges, then came Greece with 28 percent of them.

    This month Albania relatively improved the commercial exchange ratio with the southern neighbouring country, Greece, marking a slight increase of export volume with 90 million lek and a drop of imports from Greece with 160 million lek compared to March.

    Regarding trade exchanges with Italy there is a rise in volume for exports and imports, with a total increase of bilateral exchanges estimated at 600 million lek, compared this with the registered value of the previous month.

    Other countries with which Albania exercises an expanded trade activity like Germany, Bulgaria and Macedonia, during April covered only 9 percent of the commercial exchanges' value.

    Compared to March, export volumes to Greece, Germany, France and Bulgaria rose, while a drop is noticed in exports to Macedonia and Italy, which with the last, however the export volume was realised to 55 percent.

    Export Import volume based on countries ------------------------------------ --------------------------- Countries ! Exports in mln lek ! Imports in mln lek --------------------------------------------------------------- Bulgaria ! 2 ! 198

    France ! 25 ! 65

    Greece ! 693 ! 2886 ------------------------------------- --------------------------- Germany ! 113 ! 480

    Italy ! 1252 ! 4560 --------------------------------------------------------------- Macedonia ! 30 ! 159

    China ! 0 ! 5

    Others ! 160 ! 1570 ------------------------------------- --------------------------- Total ! 2227 ! 9727 -------------------------------------------------------------- /gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] USD quoted at lek 157,20

    Tirana, May 20 (ATA) - 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 = 157,20 lek, gaining 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 157, 10 lek.

    The DM was traded for 87,10 lek, lossing 0,30 points compared to yesterday's 87,40 lek.

    The ITL (1000) was traded for 88,10 lek gaining 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 88,00 lek.

    GRD (100) was exchanged for 50,40 lek, lossing 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 50,50

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

    Wednesday exchange rates

    Currency Average exchange rates

    USD 157,20 lek DM 87,10 lek ITL (1000) 88,10 lek GRD (100) 50,40 lek SFR 103,10 lek FRF 23,20 lek GBP 220,10 lek JPY (100) 111,50 lek NLG 73,30 lek /gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Canon of Lek Dukagjini published in Italy

    LEZHE, May 20 (ATA) - By Z. Pergega: The book of "Canon of Lek Dukagjini", a variant of Puka written by the Puka scholar Xhemal Meçi, was published in Italy by the "Çabej" MÇM publishing house with the help of "Pro Helvetia" Foundation.

    The variant of Puka, north Albania, some 40 km east of Shkodra, is a result of over 25 years of Meçi's work.

    This two-part variant, the first of this kind in Albania, gives over one hundred juridical folk norms known before as well as supplements and clarifications of other norms of the canon.

    The first part highlights the whole norms of the canon, 557 articles and some two thousand paragraphs on social, economic and penal aspects. This part ends with 150 respective notes.

    The second part gives canon practices including 90 examples where many families find data on their forerunners from 13 to 30 generations.

    The canon is a collection of unwritten norms of the Albanians' canon rights, which are collected and codified by Father Shtjefen Gjeçovi. The first publication of the collection is done in 1933, six years after Gjeçov was killed by Montenegrins. The book was republished in 1993 and 1998 by the "Kuvendi" i Lezhes Publishing house.

    Other canons such as that of Arberia (Skenderbeu), Laberia, Maleve, which have been collected but not codified, are known in Albania.

    They represent a juridical act of the medieval period which regulates the relations between the members of a community not yet organised on state forms.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] PM Nano guarantees Premier Oil representatives for security of their investment

    TIRANA, May 20 (ATA) - Albania's Prime Minister Fatos Nano guaranteed Wednesday the representatives of the British Company Premier Oil that their investment in Albania is secure.

    As PM spokesman reported, in a meeting he held today with the representatives of this company, Premier Nano stressed that although Albania is on the eve of the conflict, it is an area protected by Euro- Atlantic bodies of security.

    "Albania, Macedonia and Greece, with the policy they are following, are becoming a large market for the international consortiums, like Premier Oil, said Nano.

    Premier Nano appreciated particularly the ESAF agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week and said that "it gives long-term guarantees for investment in the Albanian market, which is controlled and protected from the deformations which left grave consequences during last year's turmoil."

    Wishing that the work in the oil well will start as soon as possible, Nano said that the Albanian administration will respond to the serious investments with the same seriousness, correctness and rapidness, which it asks also from its foreign partners.

    The representatives of Premier Oil said that their 25-year investment in drilling oil in the zone of Patos-Marinez and finding the sources in Dumre only for 1998 will reach some 30 million dollars.

    Several English, German, Italian and Norwegian banks, which will come in Albania until the end of the month, will support the project of oil drillingwith a credit worth $50 million. After the rehabilitation at the beginning of July, the oil-wells will work and it is expected that from 5000 oil barrels a day, by the middle of next year the quantity of production will reach 10.000 oil barrels a day.

    The representatives of Premier Oil said that this investment will be accompanied with training of Albanian experts. /s.s/pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] DP leader, Albanian PM likely to hold a TV debate

    TIRANA, May 20 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The leader of the Democratic party (DP) Sali Berisha expressed on Wednesday his readiness to face a televised debate with the Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano and his team.

    "I have not received any invitation so far for such a debate, but I am ready to hold it," Berisha told journalists in today's news conference.

    Nevertheless, Berisha is sceptical on such a debate.

    "Such a debate should be held on equal footing for both sides with the presence of a large number of journalists," Berisha said.

    The readiness of the Democrat leader results from a statement of Ben Blushi, the spokesman of the Albanian prime minister to the daily Gazeta Shqiptare today saying: "The spokesman Blushi has meant that the executive head has not seen any obstacle to that."

    "As long as Albania is able to reach agreements and contracts with international partners, it is unimaginable not to reach agreements between sides in Albania," the spokesman of the prime minister said to the daily.

    So far Berisha has refused all the invitations coming from the government head.

    "There are three or four invitations, which Berisha has refused, but this does not mean that the things will remain at that," Blushi said to the daily.

    This would have been the first televised debate between the two foremost opponents of the Albanian politics. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] LDK says too soon to lift Serbia sanctions

    PRISHTINE, May 20/ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports: The Democratic League of Kosova, LDK, yesterday, regarded as a "hasty step" the decision of the Contact Group to lift a ban on foreign investments in Serbia, as Belgrade "has not met any of the conditions put by this group."

    A statement issued at the end of yesterday's meeting, the LDK leadership condemns the violence and repression of the Serbian military forces against the Albanians and urges the immediate withdrawal of the Serbian troops from Kosova.

    The LDK also considers the prevention of goods from entering Kosova by the Serbian regime an effort of this regime to cause panic among the Albanian population and asks that the blockade of the ordinary supply of citizens with the necessary articles be removed.

    The LDK also considers "vandal and barbarous" the acts of the Serbian students and citizens after handing over the technical faculties and calls on St. Egidio to ask from the Serbs that these acts are not repeated and the agreement is applied according to the foreseen dynamics, the statement of the LDK says. /p.ta/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Money delivery time remains unchanged

    Tirana, May 20 (ATA) - The due time to commence creditors reimbursement will not be postponed.

    Recently the press has rumored that creditors will receive their money from the bogus pyramid investment schemes later than it was said.

    But chief administrator, Farudin Arapi reiterated that the money delivery will start as it was planed, so June-July period.

    The loan taking companies under auditing have in their bank accounts around $11 million, which along with the money from the sales of 320 objects in auctions will be used to pay off the creditors.

    Initially will be paid off creditors, who have never received interests for their deposited money in these loan taking companies. /gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] RP leader says SP pledge to return property a demagogy

    TIRANA, May 20 (ATA)-BY I. Paco,

    Republican party (RP) leader Fatmir Mediu on Wednesday told a news conference that the latest stands of the Socialist Party and its allies on returning properties to former owners are a communist demagogy.

    Mediu said this shortly after a statement of the SP Secretary General, Pandeli Majko, to a daily paper, that "We are making all efforts to reach a historic agreement between the left and the right on the property issue."

    The Secretary General of the Social-Democrats, Dhori Kule, told the press today that "the SDP is for the titles to property of 1946."

    "This is a demagogy," said Mediu.

    He said the Democratic Party has maintained the same stance.

    "Only by abrogating the current law on property, the SP and DP would really testify to their stands in favour of the former-owners," said Mediu.

    The SP, which had never before discussed restitution of properties to the former owners, expressed itself in favour of discussing this issue only few weeks ago.

    The republicans are the main supporters of the Albanian former owners. /mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Union for Democracy against excluding DP from CEC

    TIRANA, May 20 (ATA)-By A. Haxhiu,The "Union for democracy" political grouping in a news conference on Wednesday expressed itself against the decision of President of the Republic Rexhep Meidani to exclude the Democratic Party (DP) representatives from participation in the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) for local elections and replace them by members of other opposition parties.

    "This act testifies to the attacks that the government coalition, with Albanian president turning into their tool, is undertaking against the Albanian opposition," said Sali Berisha, chairman of the DP (member of the Union for Democracy grouping), told the news conference.

    The Union for Democracy leaders said they would refuse sending names to the Commission even if Meidani withdrew this decision.

    The president's decision on Monday to assign opposition parties candidates to the seats belonging to DP in this commission (six members and a deputy chairman), came after successive official requests by the President's office to the DP to sent the lists of names to the CEC.

    "The law passed in parliament 'On local government elections' should be implemented by all the political forces, which want to take part in these elections, due on June 21. This law is the same with that employed in the local government elections on October 20," Sotiraq Kroni, advisor on public relation close to the President of the Republic, told ATA on Wednesday. /mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Serbian police detain eight Albanians on Peje-Prishtine train

    PRISHTINE, May 20 (ATA)-Serbian police on Tuesday detained eight Albanians on the Peje-Prishtine train, after a control carried out in the railway station of Pograxhe.

    An eyewitness told the Kosova Centre of Information (QIK) that some 200 policemen checked during travel all the vans and stopped 30 Albanians, eight of whom were detained.

    QIK says there is no immediate report on the eight men detained by the police, adding that it is the first time the police carry out such detentions, which also seem to intend to block railways, after closing the Prishtine-Peje motorway. /p.ta/mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Albanian found killed in Rahovec

    PRISHTINE, May 20/ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports:An Albanian, Ymer Doliboqa, 40, was found killed in Rahovec (Kosova) this morning. He had been shot dead on his way to work in his own fields and the working tools were also found on the spot, according to the human Rights Council in Kosova.

    According to reports the Serbian forces, also today, continued their military operations in the villages of Anadrinise of Rahovec, where there is also sporadic shelling from Kodra e Gradishi and other strategic spots. /p.ta/mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Serbian forces continue to attack frontier villages

    PRISHTINE, May 20/ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports: The villages on the Kosove-Albania border, Morine and Strubell (near Gjakova), on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning have been the target of Serbian forces' attacks, which have burnt and destroyed a large number of houses, according to the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) in Gjakove.

    The villages of Baballoq and Gramacel of the Decan commune as well as other villages on the Kosova-Albania border have also been attacked, sources of the LDK and the Council for Human Rights in Decan say, adding there are no immediate reports on killed or injured.

    LDK reported on Tuesday on two Albanians injured in Gramacel, while the latest reports from Gjakova speak of new barricades erected by Serbian forces on the roads leading to the frontier villages. /p.ta/mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Professional education contributes to country's economic-social development - minister

    TIRANA, May 20 (ATA)-By P.Shuteriqi, Albanian Minister of Education Et'hem Ruka on Wednesday stated that professional schools will be increased in number as they contribute to the social-economic development of the country.

    "The decrease in the number of pupils in the professional education from 80 000-90 000 in 1990 to some 10 000 at present is dramatic."

    "Nevertheless, we will aim at changing the ratio between the general and the professional education from 84:16 per cent at present to 70:30 per cent," Ruka told a news conference in Tirana today.

    Ruka held the news conference at the end of the 1st National Conference on Professional Education, which lasted three days.

    Ruka said that Italy, Austria the Swiss-contact programme will open schools of new specialities in Vlore, Shkoder and Tirane. /mima/lm/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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