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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-05-26

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Nine Albanians and a Serbian policeman killed
  • [02] Egypt ready to help Justice Ministry
  • [03] Italian firm ALMAC resumes work in Shkoder
  • [04] Parliament puts off voting on decree for procedure of voting in CEC
  • [05] Smuggling goods seized in Kapshtice
  • [06] State enterprises owe money to Social Insurance Institute
  • [07] USD quoted at lek 155,40
  • [08] Witness speaks of 30 Albanians killed Monday in Kosova
  • [09] LATUA accepted in European Independent Confederation
  • [10] Morina, two hours near and far from war
  • [11] Eight members of Hamza family shot dead in Lubeniq, CDHRFK says
  • [12] Around 72 million lek earmarked for Memaliaj mine
  • [13] Minister says most of teachers boycott strike
  • [14] President Rugova leaves for official visit to Washington
  • [15] Meidani requests enhancing state authority
  • [16] Negotiations serve Milosevic to veil reprisals in Kosova
  • [17] Two leaders of LDK arrested
  • [18] Unity for democracy suspends its participation in CEC
  • [19] Opposition parties to support each-other in local elections
  • [20] Albanian peace-keeping company to be trained for Bosnia
  • [21] Mission to fight sea contraband
  • [22] Italian Premier to visit Tirana on Wednesday

  • [01] Nine Albanians and a Serbian policeman killed

    PRISHTINA, May 26 - ATA correspondent in Prishtina, Belul Jashari, reports: The fights in the region of Decan, Gjakova, Kline and Peje have continued even late on Monday. In these regions, according to Albanian sources, at least nine Albanians have been killed. While the Serbian sources report on a killed Serbian policeman and four wounded. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Egypt ready to help Justice Ministry

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - The Minister of Justice, Thimjo Kondi, held Monday a working meeting with the ambassador of Egypt in Tirana, Attia Karamanttia, during which they exchanged opinions regarding the cooperation of the ministries between the two countries in the field of justice.

    The spokesman of the Justice Ministry reports that Minister Kondi expressed to the Egyptian ambassador the wish for a further cooperation with the Justice Ministry of Egypt.

    Next week, a group of experts from the Albanian Justice Ministry will hold a working visit, invited by the Egyptian counterparts.

    Karamanttia, on his side, voiced the readiness to help the Albanian Justice Ministry, aiming at a further cooperation in the field of justice. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Italian firm ALMAC resumes work in Shkoder

    SHKODER, May 25 (ATA) - By M. Malja: The Italian shoe company, ALMAC, resumed work in Shkoder.

    Actually, the work in this firm has started with 40 workers and their number is expected to increase by 30 others. The ALMAC company is installed in one of the grounds of the former shoe factory by preparing materials (leather parts,) which are later transported to Italy.

    ALMAC interrupted its activity during last year's riots. The Italian investor, Vincenzo Udi told ATA that his friends in Shkoder helped him to protect the machineries and equipment of the factory.

    More than 13 foreign companies have resumed work in this town since the beginning of 1998. More than 1200 workers have been employed in these firms. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Parliament puts off voting on decree for procedure of voting in CEC

    TIRANE, May 25 (ata) - By Keida Kostreci: The Parliament put off Monday evening the voting for a decree of President Meidani regarding the procedure of voting in the Central Election Commission, according to a request by the Socialist Parliamentary Group.

    The chairman of the Group, Pandeli Majko said that the proposal for the decree was made "under the pressure of the Democratic Party" and that "these precedents are not according to normal standards."

    "We agree that the opposition must be respected but not caressed," said Majko in the session, adding that the socialist group understands the act of the President but in the judicial aspect it needs to be discussed.

    While the chairman of the DP parliamentary group Genc Pollo said that he did not see any argument for the approval of the presidential decree to be postponed.

    DP had criticized some supplements to the law "On elections of local government structures," adopted by the Parliament on May 13, 1998.

    The Albanian President, Rexhep Meidani, decreed last Thursday a supplement to that law which determined the procedure of voting in the CEC.

    According to the decree the decision must be taken by a two-thirds- majority of the votes of the members present. Otherwise, the voting is interrupted and nine hours before the second voting are left to reflect and consult experts of the bodies following the electoral process. After this voting, if the two-thirds-majority is not reached again, a new voting is held after three hours and the decision is taken on the basis of the mere majority of the members present.

    DP has not yet named its CEC members for the partial local polls to be held on June 21, at a time when the DP Secretary of Public Relations, Vili Minarolli, told ATA on May 22 that after the law is supplemented with the presidential decree, his party would present its candidacies. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Smuggling goods seized in Kapshtice

    KAPSHTICE, May 25 (ATA) - By B. Fejzullai: The forces of custom police in Kapshtice (East of Korce) blocked Monday two vehicles with smuggling goods.

    According to police sources, on Monday, in the axe of the road Kapshtice-Bilisht were blocked two vehicles which have passed with smuggling goods. From the control exercised later on, it came out that one of the vehicles had loaded carpets with an unpaid tax value worth 31 million leks, while the other transported sheet-iron with an unpaid tax value worth 7 million leks.

    Meanwhile, the officials on duty of this customs, who allowed the passing of smuggling goods, have been suspended, and the competent bodies have been informed for the investigation of the case.

    This is the second case in the customs of Kapshtice where smuggling goods are seized. The first case happened by the beginning of March, where a vehicle with food stuff was blocked. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] State enterprises owe money to Social Insurance Institute

    Tirana, May 26 (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] USD quoted at lek 155,40

    Tirana, May 26 (ATA) - Tuesday'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 = 155,40 lek, gaining 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 155, 30 lek.

    The DM was traded for 87,50 lek, gaining 0,10 points compared to yesterday's 87,40 lek.

    The ITL (1000) was traded for 88,70 lek gaining 0,10 points compared with yesterday's 88,60 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.

    Tuesday exchange rates

    Currency Average exchange rates

    USD 155,40 lek DM 87,50 lek ITL (1000) 88,70 lek GRD (100) 50,40 lek SFR 103,20 lek FRF 23,10 lek GBP 220,20 lek JPY (100) 111,50 lek NLG 73,40 lek


    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Witness speaks of 30 Albanians killed Monday in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, May 26 - ATA correspondent in Prishtina, Belul Jashari, reports: A witness from the suburbs of Decan told the Human Rights Council in Kosova that he saw on Monday Yugoslav soldiers shooting and massacring civil Albanians and had counted some 30 killed.

    It is also reported that on Tuesday, another Albanian was killed in Decan, shot by a sniper in the garden of his house early in the morning, while the Serbian forces, deployed in Hulaj and in Podi i Geshtenjave, have restarted to shoot the regions of Decan and the border line with Albania. /p.ta/das/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] LATUA accepted in European Independent Confederation

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - By P. Shuteriqi: The League of the Autonomous Trade Unions of Albania (LATUA) is accepted in the European Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions, the spokesman of this trade union, Fran Babaj, told ATA.

    A LATUA delegation, headed by its chairman Minella Kureta, started Tuesday for Brussels to take part in the regular meeting of the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions regarding problems of public services.

    The Albanian delegation will also attend the inauguration ceremony of the new seat of this organization, where it will be also reported the acceptance in it of the Albanian Trade Union. /s.s/das/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Morina, two hours near and far from war


    By Theodhori Thanasi:

    KUKES, May 26 (ata) - Anyone you happened to meet in the northeastern town of Kukes, known or unknown to you, after wishing you welcome, would tell you about the closure of the border crossing point of Morine. The same would happen in cafes, in hotels. It seemed that Morina was the magic of the that city.

    * * *

    One of the first consequences of the closure of the customs house is the shortage of the articles that the city used to ensure through the market of Prizren.

    The geographic nearness with Prizren and the favourable prices for some articles have put to motion the population of this zone as far as trading is concerned, making Morine the second gate of supply for Kukes, after that of Tirane. "The future of this city depends, to some extend, on the future of Kosova as well," says the Mayor of Kukes, Safet Sula.

    For two days, the flour was missing in the wholesale markets of Kukes. On the first closing day of Morine customs house, a sack with flour was sold at 2 700 lek as against its previous ordinary price of 2 200 lek. The eggs, although they were on sale, on the fourth day after the closing of Morine, were sold at 13 lek from 9 lek it was before. Other items had the same prices as in the capital, except the milk which had a little higher price.

    * * *

    On the fourth day of the closure of Morine crossing point, the commander of Morine gives explanations to a group of people asking him if there was any hope for the border crossing point to be opened again.

    "We have not any report. It is not the first time this border crossing point is closed," says the commander. "It was closed for the first time from March 1- July 15, last year. It is not a practice for the Yugoslav party to give explanations in such cases, moreover to say definitively when the border will be reopened."

    Behind the iron bar, there is a bridge belonging to both states and halved with a red line that marks the border. Farther more, a Yugoslav soldier stands in the middle of the road, while on the right, in a small hill far away, there are some houses covered with red tiles, of Vernic village.

    There is nothing here to relate you with the war. You can see no signs of war, none of its consequences with a naked eye. Nothing reflects the painful impressions one imagines about the rising tension in Kosove after reading the stories in papers. That reality was far from here. Our sense organs could not perceive it. But the closing of Morine crossing point, without any explanations, is worrisome...

    * * *

    At least, this is what you could see after a two-hours stay in Morine. The people's missing on both sides of the border has made the customs house silent. The beautiful buildings of the customs houses and the police check points on both sides of the border seem lifeless, valueless.

    The commander, a serious, not so tall man of Goran origin, said that when Morine point functions, averagely 150 Albanian visitors cross the border daily and they are allowed to also cross an amount of commodities on the other side of the border. Besides cars, also vans are allowed to cross the border point of Morine, sometimes they cross the border thrice a day carrying different goods. Recently, visitors from the other side of the border to Albania have been rare.

    Gorans are privileged in the granting of border permits, they speak a language similar to Serbian. There are about 5 000 of such people living in 9 villages, nearly 60 km from the border point of Morine in the territory of the Republic of Albania. Only Gorans can receive 6 month multi-pass visas from the Yugoslav Embassy in Tirane.

    "You must speak Serbian or Macedonian to be granted a visa in the embassy," explains the chief of public relations in the town-hall of Kukes.

    "Kukes has historically conducted trade in Kosove," say some merchants, who have been waiting for three days to cross the border to Prizren.

    * * *

    At the end of 1992, scores of traders from Kukes reestablished their contacts with the traditional market of Prizren, city of Kosove, only 43 km from Kukes and 21 km from Morine.

    For nearly half a century, this border crossing point was a gate without a key and was not opened even for people of the same blood, while until 1948, the crossings on both sides of the border were free. But during the following 50 years, the relatives on both sides of the border could not utter a word to each other, although they had the same language and customs.

    In the period of the embargo on the former Yugoslavia, over 700 visitors and about 300 cars crossed the border a day. Some of the cars sold a part of their fuel several times a day, and this had a significant economic impact in the life of Kukes people. A number of traders supplied local people in Kukes with various goods and moneychangers helped them with the foreign currency. Thus, a very profitable trade gave a new impetus to the city of Kukes.

    Kukes is expecting Morine to reopen. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Eight members of Hamza family shot dead in Lubeniq, CDHRFK says

    PRISHTINA, May 26 - ATA correspondent in Prishtina, Belul Jashari, reports: The Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Kosova (CDHRFK) reported that the Serbian army has barbarously shot dead eight members of the Hamza family in Lubeniq village during the military-police operations started since May 25 over several villages in the commune of Decan and Peje, and which are still going on.

    The village Baballoq, Rastavice, Prejlep, Dranoc, Sllup, Lleqan, Strellc and others have been shot by the heavy artillery and witnesses from the attacked villages report on many people killed and houses destroyed. In Lubeniq village, the military-police forces undertook a destructive operation against the Albanians, and according to early reports, scores of Albanians have been killed and massacred. A witness, who managed to escape the massacres, told the branch of the CDHRFK that only in the village of Lubeniq he had seen at least 29 Albanians killed by Serbs. /p.ta/das/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Around 72 million lek earmarked for Memaliaj mine

    Tirana, May 26 (ATA) - Memaliaj coal mine, south east Albania remains the main supply source for industrial consumers.

    Meanwhile, the mine suffered considerable damage during the last year unrest and for this purpose a rehabilitation project is being drafted, sources from the Mines' General Department said for ATA.

    Around 72 million lek are being pumped up for restoration work, buying equipment etc.

    The improvement of technical and financial sectors guarantees the mine's working pace. This year is predicted to be extracted 40,000 tonnes of coal mineral, out of which 24,000 tonnes are already contracted./gen/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Minister says most of teachers boycott strike

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - By P. Shuteriqi: Majority of teacher all over Albania boycotted a warning strike on Tuesday, Ethem Ruka, minister of Education and Science, said to ATA.

    After a 60-minutes meeting with the leading staff of the ministry, Ruka said "the lessons have been held normally in many districts."

    Bajram Kruja, head of the independent teachers' trade union, told Monday's news conference that a general strike will be held on Tuesday to urge the government meet economic demands.

    Vaso Qano, chief of cabinet at the ministry, said that the lessons were normally held in Lezhe, Mirdite, Puke, Tropoje, Kukes, Kuçove, Pogradec and Korçe.

    In Shkodra, the lessons were held only in the secondary mechanical school. In Tirana, the lessons were not held in eight secondary schools and nine eight-year schools.

    The district of Tirana has 108 eight-year schools and 38 secondary ones with over 86 thousand school children and students and over 12 400 teachers.

    The number of teachers nationwide for eight year and secondary schools is over 37 thousand. s.s/mima/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] President Rugova leaves for official visit to Washington

    PRISHTINE, May 26 - ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reported that President of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova left for Washington on Tuesday invited by the U.S. government.

    Rugova is expected to meet the U.S. president Bill Clinton. the U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other senior officials of the State Department.

    The delegation includes prime minister Bujar Bukoshi and members of the negotiating team in Belgrade-Kosova talks as Fehmi Agani and Veton Surroi.

    They are also expected to have high-ranking talks with United Nations officials in New York, sources of the Kosova The delegation is also expected to have high-ranking talks presidency in Prishtina said. pta/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Meidani requests enhancing state authority

    KUKES,May 26 (ATA)-By R. Hoxha,

    President of the Republic Rexhep Meidani on Tuesday visited Kukes, North of Albania, and stated the State authority should be enhanced through liberal forms and concepts, the Press Office of the President of the Republic told ATA.

    Meidani dwelt on the measures taken by the local government to cope with any situation that might be created due to developments in Kosova, bordering Kukes.

    The Kukes Prefect raised the main issues of this zone such as accommodation of inhabitants, whose lands have been inundated by the Fierza lake waters; state's interference in developing the third phase of the German credit in infrastructure as well as investments in the Kukes-Tirane road, which is very much damaged.

    "The local government, in cooperation with the political parties, the associations and other bodies, should keep helping the poor families," said Meidani, praising the economic assistance provided by the prefecture to 14 000 poor families.

    Meidani, accompanied by Defence Minister Luan Hajdaraga, and chief of the Army's General Staff, Brigade-General Aleks Andoni, in their meeting with leaders of the Second Infantry Division were also briefed on the measures taken to cope with any situation on the Northeastern border. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Negotiations serve Milosevic to veil reprisals in Kosova

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: The parliamentary foreign commission said on Tuesday that "the Albanian-Serb negotiations initiated under conditions dictated by the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic are serving him to veil incessant reprisals in Kosova."

    Sabri Godo, head of the commission, said that two things were not functioning in these negotiations. "The first thing is that the Serb military troops have not been withdrawn before the negotiations and the second, that they (talks) have been held without the presence of a third side as decided by the Contact Group and all the Western chancelleries," he said.

    Leader of the Kosova Albanians, who comprise 90 percent of the population, started first direct negotiations on Friday with the Serbian government to resolve the crisis, which had claimed over 200 casualties since the beginning of February '98.

    The direct negotiations have been preceded by Rugova-Milosevic talks on May 15 without the presence of foreign representatives, a condition imposed by Milosevic and accepted by Rugova after long negotiations with U.S. envoys Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard.

    Godo said that both things were laid aside "maybe to give a signal of understanding to Milosevic but this is more a submission to his dictate and results are obvious: Instead of going towards peace the situation there is precipitating quickly towards war."

    He warns that unless the international community fails to see this we will have a more unpleasant and worse repetition of the same scenario carried out in Bosnia.

    The Albanian government has often asked the presence of an international force in the border but the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU) has sent only ten observers each in the ground.

    "The commission tries to attract the attention of the government to undertake more concrete and active steps to show the world what is really going on in Kosova and urge the Western chancelleries change the strategy followed so far in negotiations with Milosevic," Godo said.

    The Albanian parliament has issued two resolutions in support of Kosova, while the parliamentary foreign commission has contacted with representatives of the embassies to ask for the deployment of NATO forces in the Kosova territory and not in Albania's border.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Two leaders of LDK arrested

    PRISHTINE, May 26/ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reports: The Serbian police on Monday arrested Besa Arllati, chairwoman of the Commission for Information, and Dr. Fehmi Vula, head of the Health Council, both leaders of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) in Gjakove.

    The Serbian police have asked the said persons to ensure the release of two policemen in Smalic of Gjakove.

    The LDK branch in Gjakove is not aware of any abduction by Kosova Albanians of the two Serbian policemen. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Unity for democracy suspends its participation in CEC

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - A. Haxhiu: The opposition political grouping Unity for Democracy will suspend its candidates' participation in the Central Commission Elections (CEC) until the parliament approves the decree of Albanian president Rexhep Meidani on the voting procedure in the commission, Genc Pollo, Democrat deputy leader, told a news conference on Tuesday.

    The Unity for Democracy presented on Saturday its candidatures, six members and a deputy head, for the election commission.

    Pellumb Çela, commission's deputy head, presented by the Democratic party, considered amoral the fact that the Albanian president Meidani did not make public the decree on the CEC composition.

    "When Meidani asked for the first meeting of the CEC on Tuesday, we did not know whether we were included in the commission. This was not made known publicly to us. Therefore we asked today in presidency for the decree be made public, but we received no positive answer," Çela said.

    He expressed his reservations regarding the compilation of electorate lists in partial local elections of June 21.

    The Albanian parliament suspended on Monday evening the vote on a decree of the president of the Republic on the voting procedure of the election commission after the Socialist parliamentary group asked for more time to discuss the decree within the group and respective institutions. /mima/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Opposition parties to support each-other in local elections

    TIRANA, may 26 (ATA)-By A. Haxhiu, The opposition political forces of the right will support the candidates of each other in the partial local polls.

    This was the conclusion of a round table that the opposition political forces held Tuesday on the initiative of the Association of the Formerly Politically Persecuted.

    Taking part in the meeting were the political grouping "Union for Democracy" and the political formation "The United Right Wing".

    "At this table they reached the compromise that during the partial elections, the right wing spectrum do not to attack each other. It is not unlikely that in certain zones we have joint candidates, who will represent the Albanian right wing," Fatos Bejo, organisational secretary of the Democratic party told a news conference on Tuesday.

    All representatives of the participating parties aired the view that the creation of a joint block of the whole right wing spectrum should have been realised at least one month ago, not now, when their candidatures have been projected and appointed.

    Except the fact that the representative of the Republican Party, Maksim Begeja, showed reserves towards the DP, as, according to him, the alliances with this party had failed also in the other elections, all the other parties considered this meeting a success, regarding it as a beginning of the effort to create a joint front of all the opposition forces. /mima/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Albanian peace-keeping company to be trained for Bosnia

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA) - The Albanian peace-keeping unit, which left late on Tuesday for Germany, will replace the Albanian unit operating for six months in Bosnia under the multinational stabilization forces (SFOR).

    The new Albanian unit will go to Germany where together with the German contingent, which is also part of the SFOR, will be trained in specialised shooting ranges to cope with certain tasks in the ground.

    Deputy Defence minister Ilir Boçka, deputy chief of staff of the Albanian army Colonel Mehmet Musai and the Ambassador of Germany to Albania Hans Peter Disdorn were at the airport to see off the unit. s.s/mima/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Mission to fight sea contraband

    DURRES, May 26 (ATA) By G. Kabashi: Anti contraband via the sea will have its own structure beginning with Tuesday, according to protocol signed between the Albanian government and the European Union (EU).

    Two specialized Italian motorboats will contribute to fighting illegal goods trafficking on the open sea for a three-month period.

    "In the context of the CAM-SEA mission (Customs assistance mission on sea) the G-101 Lombardi and G-103 Trezza motorboats arrived at Durres port on Monday," according to the Durres-based commander of the customs assistance mission Lieutenant Colonel Marcello Marzocca.

    "These motorboats, which besides Italian financial militaries will always carry Albanian customs officials, will aims at preventing and intercepting illegal goods trafficking, directly helping the 21st Division of the Tirana-based European Customs Assistance," the commander added.

    The Italian contingent, located in Durres, is composed of 50 militaries. The motorboats produced in the La Spezia shipyard in 1995 have a speed of around 60 km per hours.

    Along with four motorboats of the Guardia di Finanza, which aim to prevent illegal emigrants and goods trafficking, the CAM-SEA mission will strengthen the fight against sea contraband.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Italian Premier to visit Tirana on Wednesday

    TIRANA, May 26 (ATA)-Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Wednesday will make a several hour visit to Tirana, according to the media and information department close to the Council of Ministers.

    In Tirana Prodi will conduct separate meetings with the President of the Republic, Rexhep Meidani, Prime minister Fatos Nano, and Italian investors operating in Albania.

    Prodi will also take part in the ceremony of the opening of the Fiera del Levante, the biggest Fair realised so far in Albania with the participation of the Italian firms.

    This will be the first visit of the Italian Prime Minister to Albania since the riots of the last spring.

    Italy is one of the main economic partners of Albania. It led the "Alba" operation, undertaken by the international community to restore democratic normality after the spring turmoil. /s.s/mima/lm/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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