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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-12-24

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Value of lek encased in assets branch of INSIG amounts 200 million
  • [02] Snow blocks roads in Qafe Thane and Qafe Krrabe
  • [03] Tension rising in Kosova cities
  • [04] Tax police confiscate 1.000 bottles of alcohol drinks
  • [05] Realisation of plan by customs houses for 1998 is about 15.2 billion lek more than in 1997
  • [06] OSCE offers assistance to Lezha police
  • [07] Number of private TV channels increases in Albania
  • [08] Council of Europe provides assistance for cultural heritage
  • [09] Ministry urges efficacious measure to promote education reform
  • [10] CoE accords 30 thousand Ecu for Business without Borders project
  • [11] Albanian parliament adopts draft resolution on Kosova
  • [12] Albanian women paid less than men
  • [13] Difficulties caused in road transport due to snow and frost
  • [14] US dollar exchanged at 139.5 lek on Thursday
  • [15] Tribunal process against so called organization "Albanian revenge for justice"
  • [16] Interest of tobacco businessmen on home production increased.
  • [17] Explosion wrecks apartment in Kukes
  • [18] Albanian forces of Aerial Defence in military shooting
  • [19] Albania govt. supports right of Albanians for self-determination
  • [20] Political factor in Kosova to avoid rivalry "for power," Meta
  • [21] Right Center supports pan-national coordination of Albanian policy with Kosova issue
  • [22] "NATO action order" - more and more necessary
  • [23] Podujeva regions attacked and barbarously shelled by Serb forces
  • [24] France supports process of national reconciliation in Albania
  • [25] DP can review its stand towards Parliament
  • [26] Christmas Eve - an appeal for Albanians to join together

  • [01] Value of lek encased in assets branch of INSIG amounts 200 million

    TIRANE, Dec.23 (ata) - By A Lila: The incomes from insurance prime from the activities covered by the branch of assets of the Institute of Insurances INSIG have increased and for 1998 these incomes are envisaged to be much higher than the two previous years.

    It is the first time in 1998 that an income of 200 million lek is formed from the insurance primes for assets. During the past 10 months of this year, this figure was 15.3 per cent compared with 9.7 in 1996, which was considered the best year as far as figures of insurances are concerned. /xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Snow blocks roads in Qafe Thane and Qafe Krrabe

    ELBASAN, Dec.23 (ata) - P Zekthi: Snow during last night and today morning has blocked the vehicles on the road in Qafe Thane.

    According to drivers of Elbasan-Korce line, the freezing of snow on the road in Qafe Thane has caused over 20 vehicles sliding and accidents. Until today afternoon, no victims have been reported.

    The same situation is also in Qafe Krrabe, on the Elbasan-Tirane road segment, which has become almost unpassable from the frozen snow.

    In face of this situation, traffic police of Elbasan district have intensified road checks along these roads, not allowing vehicles riding without chains.

    The snow falls have covered all Elbasan district today which is rare for these zones. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Tension rising in Kosova cities

    PRISHTINE, Dec 23 - ATA correspondent Behlul Jashari reported that the tension in Kosova was increasing even in the cities with reinforcement of Serb forces patrolling the roads.

    Large military and police forces are keeping the city of Podujeva and its surroundings under control. They were deployed near the positions of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), in the road leading to Llapashtice village.

    Podujeva is under the target of Serb snipers positioned even on the top of houses. They have also fired at passers-by and inhabitants of nearby houses.

    A large number of Yugoslav forces with more than 80 war machines including 50 tanks are been deployed in a sports airport in Dumosh village.

    Albanian sources said that Serb forces were controlling, maltreating and arresting many Albanians in these cities and other parts of Kosova. Members of the OSCE verifying mission are closely monitoring the developments there to help ease tension. /dast/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Tax police confiscate 1.000 bottles of alcohol drinks

    VLORE, Dec 23 (ATA) - By Harilla Koci: Tax police of Vlora city have confiscated some 1.000 bottles of alcohol drinks without revenue stamp.

    Head of the local tax office Anastas Gjipali said to ATA that the bottles of alcohol drinks were seized by the tax police in a routine control early on Wednesday to a lorry with Mallakastra number plate at the Mifol bridge in the Fier-Vlora road segment.

    The bottles bounded for Vlora did not have the revenue stamps and tax police started procedures of confiscation, Gjipali said.

    Today's operation is a follow-up of the efforts undertaken by these forces to prevent contraband. Some weeks before the tax police seized and confiscated 9 tons of smuggled coffee coming from Greece. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Realisation of plan by customs houses for 1998 is about 15.2 billion lek more than in 1997

    TIRANE, Dec.23 (ata) - By D Koca: "For 1998 the customs are expected to encase to the state budget 36.5 billion lek, from 45.2 billion that is the plan," stressed today in the annual analysis of the work of customs houses the general director Adrian Maci.

    This realisation consists nearly 86 per cent of the ambitious plan of this year, which anyhow marks an increase of 15.2 billion lek as compared with 1997.

    Among the reasons for failure to realise the plan of this year specialists singled out the factosr of smuggling, corruption and fiscal evasion in the customs administration, imports with a realisation of 90 per cent of the plan, lower exchange rate of lek with dollar, the average tariff level of commodities and the lowering of incomes from excises.

    According to Maci, "the customs house of Kapshtice has realised the annual plan with 156 per cent, while the customs houses of Tirane, Durres, Vlore, Elbasan have realised 86 per cent of the plan.

    Referring to the restructuring of the customs, he said that at present there are 734 people employed out of 800 which is forecast, but with the establishment of other customs points, this number will be reached.

    The customs taxes as compared with 1998 are envisaged to have an increase of 23 per cent in the draft budget for 1999. /xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] OSCE offers assistance to Lezha police

    LEZHE, Dec 23 (ATA) - By M. Malja: Local office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has provided aid for police units of the Lezha prefecture.

    Police chief Zef Prendi said to ATA that the aid included 20 portable radios with batteries and battery chargers, which will help police units be more effective in their work in Lac and Lezha.

    OSCE officials Kakha Kenkade said that the assistance will continue in the future with the aim of providing continuous logistic aid in fight against crime and maintaining law and order.

    This office has also provided other 10 radios for the border police of Malesia e Madhe a week ago. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Number of private TV channels increases in Albania

    TIRANE, dec.23 (ata) - By G Dilaveri: The private televisions, despite their short three-year history in Albania, are going towards expansion. Actually, the total number of such televisions is 19.

    According to a study of the media centre of the SOROS Foundation, December 1995 marks the birth of the first private television Shijak TV. The latest established private television channel is that of Peshkopi with the same name.

    Actually, most of the programs in private tv stations is the direct broadcast from satellite and digital tv systems. Only 3 of 19 private televisions in Albania have made contracts for the distribution of film, while 16 other tv stations register or transmit directly films from foreign channels.

    Private televisions have expanded the range of TV transmissions in Albania, especially with information sport programs, social programs and those for children. Averagely 15.6 per cent of the transmission time is covered by children programs, 9.7 per cent by news, 9 per cent by sport programs, 8.8 by social news, 4.7 by economic, 3.5 per cent by advertisements and only 2.4 per cent of the airing is covered political programs. These tv stations transmit averagely 7 hours a day in the Albanian language. The total number of the employed people in these tv stations amounts to 301, of whom 32 are reporters.

    Until 1995, Albania had only one state-run tv station covering all the territory of the country.

    In September,1998, Albanian Parliament adopted the law on private tv stations which determines the rules for their licensing. /f/n/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Council of Europe provides assistance for cultural heritage

    TIRANA, Dec 24 (ATA) - By K. Shehu: Committee on cultural heritage at the Council of Europe (CoE) has examined Albania's file on policies of heritage and considered it one of the priorities of its programs for 1999, sources of the directorate of cultural heritage at the Albanian Ministry of Culture said to ATA.

    The same sources said that the CoE committee for cultural heritage set up a working group to cooperate technical assistance, a group which had agreed to back the efforts of the Albanian side for an administrative and legislative reform."

    Representatives of the CoE group headed by director of program for cooperation and technical assistance Michael de Thyse will organise a meeting with the Albanian side in Tirana related to technical support.

    To this end, the Albanian directorate of cultural heritage is reactivating an interministerial commission created in 1996 aiming at coordinating political support for the Albanian side.

    The Council of Europe will also present concrete projects for other cultural centers. /f.n/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Ministry urges efficacious measure to promote education reform

    TIRANA, Dec 24 (ATA) - By P. Shuteriqi: Ministry of Education and Science in its annual analysis on Thursday urged a review of causes which led to the students' strike and meeting of their demands within deadlines agreed by the government.

    They also urged adoption of efficacious measures to promote the education reform.

    Present was also head of the permanent parliamentary commission for education, science and culture Limoz Dizdari.

    Many problems such as national symbols in all education institutions or finding real possibilities for free democratic elections in leading posts in universities could and should be resolve in time without the insistence of students.

    Minister of Education and Science Et'hem Ruka made evident the work for the promotion of the reform in the Albanian education. He said that the removal of the average mark as a criteria for enrollment in the higher schools and organisation of tests is a good sign to create possibilities for those who are really to study in universities.

    Coordinator for education at the Council of Ministers Vasillaq Kureta briefed about the work of the government in coordinating its activity with friendly states and governments and international specialised institutions and bodies such as UNESCO, Phare/Tempus Program, foreign foundations and others.

    He pointed out that the state budget for education was 3 percent higher than last year and that figure is increasing according to the draft budget for 1999 to be adopted by parliament soon. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] CoE accords 30 thousand Ecu for Business without Borders project

    KORCE, Dec 24 (ATA) - By B. Fejzullai: "Kredo-Phare" program of the Council of Europe (CoE) approved the "Business without borders" project and will accord 38 thousand Ecus for this project run and managed by the Regional Agency for Business Development in Korca.

    Aurel Grabocka, agency manager, said to ATA that this interborder project between Korca and Ohrid would promote relations in business and tourism in both sides of the border and aimed at creating close working relations between local governments and non governmental organisations.

    The project envisages two conferences on development of business in Korca and Ohrid, providing figures on business, economic sources, markets and prices and the publication of a bilingual newspaper, in Albanian and Macedonian language.

    Grabocka said that this project aimed at creating joint ventures between two interborder areas. He added that the agency for business development with its partners in the district council of Korca and Ohrid town hall are due to present two other projects in tourism and environmental protection.

    The "Kredo-Phare" program has allocated a fund worth 7.7 million Ecu for the development of 36 interborder regions in the Central and Southeastern Europe including both Korca and Ohrid region. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Albanian parliament adopts draft resolution on Kosova

    TIRANA, Dec 24 (ATA) - By Enkelejda Koraqi: Albanian parliament adopted on Thursday in principle a draft resolution on Kosova at the presence of deputies of all the political spectre, except those of the Democratic party, and with the participation of government ministers.

    The draft resolution was submitted to today's parliamentary session by the head of the Foreign commission Sabri Godo. Given the increasingly worse situation in Kosova due to the Serb violence and repression and lack of concrete results by the international community for a peaceful solution to that issue, the Albanian parliament and government decided to present a joint resolution to governments and parliaments, members of the Council of Europe, United States Congress and Western European political and military structures.

    The draft resolution envisaged measures that should be adopted by international bodies to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing in Kosova as well as a spill over of conflict in the region. It also called on all political forces in Albania and Kosova to adopt a unique stand in tackling the problem.

    This draft was considered after being reviewed by parliamentary groups. Albanian prime minister Pandeli Majko, deputy prime minister Ilir Meta and Foreign Minister Paskal Milo addressed the parliament on the draft resolution.

    Deputies of the parliamentary grouping of the center right were present at today's vote. The full text of draft resolution to be worked out by foreign commission will be voted on Monday.

    Deputies of all parliamentary groups called on the Democratic party to return to parliament to approve the resolution on Kosova. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Albanian women paid less than men

    TIRANA, Dec 24 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: Albanian women are paid less than men for the same work, according to figures reported by INSTAT which show a difference in their average salary.

    The average salary for an administration employee has been 14.207 leks for 1997. While the average salary for a man working in a public administration was 16.685 leks and for a woman 13.547 leks.

    This difference is also evident in the leading posts. The average wage for an official of the public administration in 1997 was 26.079 leks. If the official was a man his salary was 27.903 leks, if a woman her salary was 25.442 leks.

    INSTAT said that this difference is evident in the private sector, too.

    Surveys conducted in industrial private enterprises in 1994-1996 show that a man was paid some 13.000 leks while a woman some 9.000 leks. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Difficulties caused in road transport due to snow and frost

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By U. Bajrami: Dur to the recent snow and low temperatures, the situation of national roads in Northeastern and Southeastern zones continues to be very grave.

    The press office in the Ministry of Public Order told ATA on Thursday that in Kukes all the roads which connect the town with all the communes, as well as Qafa e Malit, have been blocked, while in the town of Puke the vehicles hardly move and with chains on the wheels.

    Also, according to this report, the road which connects Peshkopia with Bulqiza is covered with snow and ice, thus the drivers are asked to drive with chains.

    Meanwhile, the segments of the roads Librazhd-Qafe Thane-Pogradec, Pogradec-Korce and Erseke-Korce are unblocked, but there are difficulties in passing due to the ice, ends the report of the Press Office close to the Ministry of Public Order. /s.s/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] US dollar exchanged at 139.5 lek on Thursday

    TIRANE, 24 Dec. (ATA) - By Lolita Thanasi: Follow the exhange rate of some foreign currencies with Albanian lek:
    Foreign currency	Exchange rate
    USD			139.50
    DM			 83.20
    LIT(1000)		 83.50
    GRD(100)		 49.20

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Tribunal process against so called organization "Albanian revenge for justice"

    TIRANE, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By Urim Bajrami: The tribunal process against the so called organization "Albanian revenge for justice" started on Wednesday in Tirane district lawcourt.

    All the accused persons, Orik Hajredin Shyti, Altin Dolor Arapi, Leart Hajredin Shyti, Enkeled Myrteza Agaj, Nikolin Agim Novruzi, Gentian Enver Caka, Kreshnik Defrim Spaihu, Roland Sulo Shyti, Dritan Dylber Hate, Asho Agim Novruzi and Gezim Sali Gjoni are judged in absence. The tribunal panel is headed by Petrit Kaja, while Alban Kalaja is the prosecutor.

    The accused are charged of committing many thefts and lootings in collaboration, which are worth more than $ 1 million. They are accused of installing the car-bomb in the supermarket of "Vefa" ex-company in February 26, 1996 which caused 4 dead persons, and 14 wounded; of kidnaping Erion Nushi, in October 31, 1995; and of killing the General Director of Prison Administration, Bujar Kaloshi in July 26, 1996.

    One of the defensive solicitors, in the name of four other advocates, asked for exclusion from the tribunal panel of its chairman. According to him, the lawyer Petrit Kaja has judged the form of custody against Klement Kolaneci as ex-member of the same case. According to the advocates, Kaja has been pronounced for "Republic" newspaper in December 15, 1998, for the crimes of the accused persons, that is before the starting of the tribunal. The session leader, after the consultations with his two aides, did not judge as reasonable the withdrawal from the case, and said that the inquery of the advocators does not have a legal base. Now the advocators enquiry will be send to the Appeal's Court, where is to be decided whether the chairman of the tribunal panel will continue or give up judging this case. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] Interest of tobacco businessmen on home production increased.

    TIRANE, Dec. 23 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka: The processing industry supported in the traditional way of cultivating the tobacco plant has begun to be reactivated in Albania.

    The tobacco specialists concluded in a meeting held on Wednesday, that tobacco should be planted with controlled Albanian seed.

    According to the specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture, the tobacco cultivation with Albanian seed controlled by The Tobacco Institution, is more interested in its high quality.

    Representatives from different tobacco producing companies such as VEVE, KAVEKS, ALIMPEKS, and others are engaged to get contracts with farmers who deal with this plant.

    Albanian tobacco producers expressed their willingness to collaborate by signing contracts with the Tobacco Institute and with the directory of tobacco production.

    Some 1.5 kv, that is approximately 10% of the production necessities, are actually situated in the Seed Institution. /pas./A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Explosion wrecks apartment in Kukes

    KUKES, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: Explosion wrecked on Wednesday by 19:00 one of the apartments in Kukes.

    The spokesman of the district police commissariat told ATA that this explosion caused considerable damages in all the apartments of this building. No one was hurt.

    The target of planting the explosion was the house of the district hospital director, Bajram Cenaj. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Albanian forces of Aerial Defence in military shooting

    TIRANE, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By Enkelejda Koraqi: The forces of the Aerial Defence held on Wednesday a shooting with the military aviation close to River Erzen.

    At the end the annual plan of trainings in Durres, the military aviation hold a military shooting with all the aviation arms, the spokesman of the Defence Minister, Albert Mullai, told ATA on Wednesday. The Defence Minister, Luan Hajdaraga, the chief of the Army General Staff, Brigade General, lieutenant Aleks Andoni and other senior officers came to take part in this event.

    According to the vise-commander, lieutenant, Astrit Jaupi, "the main aim of this training was the preparation of the pilots to commit their duties in the interest of earth forces."

    In this training the pilots operated the same activities that they have done in the mutual trainings with NATO, but it was the first time that they use military munition.

    At the end of this successful training the Defence Minister, Luan Hajdaraga, said in a meeting with pilots, that this model training of our aerial forces, shows that they are one of the Albanian Army special weapons. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Albania govt. supports right of Albanians for self-determination

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By I. Luto, E. Koraqi: Albania Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, in a speech held Thursday in Parliament regarding the Kosova issue, declared that the stand of the Albanian Government is categorical and supports the right of Albanians for self-determination.

    "The situation in Kosova continues to be grave, the Serb violence dominates there with murders, imprisonments and bombing of dwelling centers, " Majko told the deputies.

    "The withdrawal of the Serb forces is partial and without any guarantee for not being returned. The expulsion of Albanians from Kosova has been escalated. Their return to Kosova is practically impossible due to the situation in the field and the constant efforts of Milosevic people," he said.

    Analysing the current situation for the acts of Belgrade authorities, Majko said that "the armed provocations in the border line with Albania have become frequent, and this clearly shows the aim of Milosevic for the extension of the conflict."

    Although the international factor continues to be engaged, the development of events proves that the determining factor for the real and political solution of the Kosova problem is the NATO operation, declared PM Majko.

    "The aim of the Albanian government is categorical and clear," said Majko, adding that "we favour the respect of the will of the Albanian people in Kosova and the international principles and rules."

    The Albanian government reconfirms its maximal engagement for the sensitization of the international factor and materialization of its operations to find a rapid and long-term solution of the Kosova issue, stressed Majko in the end of his speech. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Political factor in Kosova to avoid rivalry "for power," Meta

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The rivalry between the Kosovar political factor, the issue of "who will rule" when the Kosova status is defined, is becoming one of the main obstacles for the Albanian government to introduce this problem to the international community in order to reach a rapid solution of the Kosova issue.

    The problem for the union of all political forces in Kosova and the declaration of a pan-Albanian attitude to balance the unique Serb stand was one of the topics on which Albanian Foreign Minister, Paskal Milo and the deputy PM, Ilir Meta, focused in their discussions on Thursday during a special plenary session regarding the draft-resolution on Kosova.

    Deputy PM Meta stressed that "it would be better if the Albanian government maintains a categorical stand regarding the climate of rivalry among the political forces in Kosova. This rivalry is absurd and we do not support it," he stated.

    While Minister Milo considered the cooperation between all the political forces and those which operate in field as one of the main factors for the solution of the crisis as soon as possible.

    "The authorities of Belgrade continue to minimize the role of the international community with the policy they follow in order to turn it to their favour, and thus we have not heard any categorical stand from the international political factor recently," said Milo. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Right Center supports pan-national coordination of Albanian policy with Kosova issue

    TIRANE, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By A.Haxhiu: The parliamentary grouping "Right Center" supported on Wednesday the idea of a pan-national coordination of the Albanian political forces for Kosova problem.

    The representatives of this parliamentary grouping voiced that the international political bodies have not been capable to oblige Serbia to stop the terror on Albanian civil population.

    "Their stand has encouraged Serbia to reopen the long line of massacres in the coming Spring by risking seriously the escalation of the conflict outside Kosova," added Hysen Selfo, chairman of Democratic National Front Party.

    Teodor Lao, presenting this grouping, hailed the resolution on Kosova, introduced on Wednesday to the Albanian parliament, during the conference. "The resolution on Kosova expresses the aspirations of the Kosova people for self-determination," he said.

    The Albanian Parliament adopted in principle a draft-resolution on Kosova on Wednesday, which foresees the measures that should be taken by the international bodies for the interruption of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Kosova and the escalation of the conflict in the region, and appealed to all the political forces in Albania and Kosova to share a unique stand in facing this problem. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] "NATO action order" - more and more necessary

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - The spokesman of the Albanian Foreign Ministry is authorized to energetically protest against the attack of the Serb military and police forces against Podujeva and its suburbs today, press and information office in this ministry reported.

    This attack is the continuation of the strategy of Belgrade to exercise the military violence instead of dialogue. With this act, Milosevic opposes the agreements signed with the international community which clearly define the peaceful way as the only mean to resolve the conflict.

    Milosevic and his regime are trying to sabotate the Verification Accord in Kosova. This is also manifested through the obstacles put to the international observers who operate in field.

    According to the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, in these conditions it is necessary an urgent act of the international community to avoid a second wave of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Kosova. Another conflict would be extremely dangerous for the peace and stability in the entire region.

    The circumstances show that the "NATO Action Order" remains not only actual, but is becoming more and more necessary to interrupt the Kosovar drama to give it the solution wanted by everyone, ends the report of the Foreign Ministry press office. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Podujeva regions attacked and barbarously shelled by Serb forces

    PRISHTINA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - ATA correspondent in Prishtina, Belul Jashari, reports:

    The regions of Podujeva were bombed by the Serb forces on Thursday at 09:00. Sources close to the spot said that the forces of the Kosova Liberation Army (UK) are resisting to halt the penetration of the Serb forces in the attacked villages where the Albanian population is facing the dangers of the Serb terror.

    Sources from the Kosova Information Center report that enormous Serb military and police forces attacked the villages of Obrance, Llapashtice, Gllamnik, Burnice, Konushefe and Lluzhan and new forces are going towards these regions with heavy armament, tanks, armoured vehicles and others.

    It is also reported that the Serb forces have kept under control the village of Sekirace and open fire against any movement of the inhabitants there.

    Due to the complete blockage of the attacked villages, there are no reports on casualties, but they are thought to be grave.

    The attacks of the Serb forces and the severe confrontations with the UK forces continue in the suburbs of Podujeve. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] France supports process of national reconciliation in Albania

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - "France has supported and will always favour the process of national reconciliation in Albania," the spokesman of the French Foreign Ministry stressed in a statement published on Wednesday, the Albanian Ministry of Information reported.

    This statement says "In this climate, we have followed with attention the meeting of 21 December between the Albanian Prime Minister, Pandeli Majko, and the leader of the Democratic Party, Sali Berisha, a meeting which seemed to us towards the right direction." /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] DP can review its stand towards Parliament

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The Democratic Party declared on Thursday that it can review its decision, taken times ago, for a final separation with Parliament.

    "If the current government will respect its statements on the political situation in the country and the stand towards Kosova, then we can review our attitude towards Parliament," the leader of the Democratic Party, Sali Berisha, told a news conference on Thursday.

    But, as DP leader said, the stand towards Parliament can be decided only by the congress of the Democratic Party, because the National Council cannot change a decision taken by it (the congress) before.

    Berisha re-estimated once again his meeting held Monday with Premier Majko, stressing that he appreciates the new climate introduced by the latter in ruling the country. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] Christmas Eve - an appeal for Albanians to join together

    TIRANA, Dec. 24 (ATA) - Albania PM Pandeli Majko, on the occasion of Christmas, sent Thursday a message of greetings to His Holiness, prof. dr. Anastas Janullatos, the Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and the entire Albania, as well as to His Holiness, Monsignor Rrok Mirdita, Chairman of the Bishopric Conference and Archbishop of the Archbishopric of Tirana and Durres.

    In these messages, PM Majko expresses his special delight to wish all the Orthodox and Catholic believers "Merry Christmas!"

    The Albanian PM stresses among others that "this popular holiday is also an appeal to increase the civil commitment and the contribution to remove from us the conflictual relations and disbeliefs of any kind (...), aiming at joining together more and more to cope with the challenges of the present and the future and to make the life of all Albanians more secure and prosperous."

    In the end of his messages, Majko wishes once again His Holiness Monsignor Rrok Mirdita and His Holiness Anastas Janullatos "Merry Christmas!" /dast/mt/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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