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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-02-11

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Centre for development of forests in Prespe
  • [02] Economic dependence - one of reasons of woman abuse
  • [03] Cooperation of parliamentary foreign policy commissions towards institutionalization
  • [04] No investments on health in Polican
  • [05] Improvements in infrastructure in Lezhe financed by USAID
  • [06] Program for "Reproductive health and family planning"
  • [07] Territory Adjustment Council established in Durres
  • [08] New power substation put into operation
  • [09] Police arrest people dealing with fake documentation
  • [10] Family donors meet blood needs in hospital
  • [11] Tirana currency rate
  • [12] Number of crimes reduced in Kukes prefecture
  • [13] Rumanian Defence Minister to arrive Friday in Tirana
  • [14] Construction on another electric station to start tomorrow
  • [15] World Bank to finance $28.6 million on villages' streets
  • [16] "SARA" to complete project at Agricultural University
  • [17] Greek and Italian donations for education sector.
  • [18] Albania to carry on cooperation with EU and CoE
  • [19] Group of hooligans operating on behalf of UÇK uncovered
  • [20] Concrete projects instigate inter-border relations
  • [21] Walker warns demilitarization of Malisheve
  • [22] First bodies to head Albania integration in Euro-Atlantic set up
  • [23] 18 Travel Agencies without lincense
  • [24] Parliament adopts laws in conformity with new Constitution
  • [25] Deposits increace by 25% in Dardania Bank
  • [26] Monetary Authority: Assets and liabilities 173.8 billion lek
  • [27] Ministry of Culture proclaims competition on the city where Fest-Folk '99 will be held
  • [28] U.S. backs Albania and its government

  • [01] Centre for development of forests in Prespe

    KORCE, Feb.10 (ata) - By B Fejzullai: The construction of a centre for the development of forests in the zone of Prespe, district of Korce, has started.

    Fori Palloci, director of forest service of Korce district, said to ATA that for the construction of this centre, the German association "Euronatyra" has accorded 60 thousand DM. According to him, the equipment for the base will be brought by the same association.

    Zone of Prespa offers great tourist resources with its two lakes, the flora and fauna and with the forests of some thousand of hectares in the mountains round it. According to Palloci, an area of 6 thousand hectares has been declared protected zone.

    The new centre will also serve the defence and development of forests and for the application of some projects which will be financed by foreign donors and international organizations, such as the World Bank. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Economic dependence - one of reasons of woman abuse

    TIRANA, Feb 10 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: One of the reasons of abuse and violence against women is their economic dependence.

    The "Reflexion" association said 55.71 percent of women who have been target of abuse are housewives and they are forced to leave under the economic dependence of their husbands.

    While 58.14 percent of abused women work in agriculture where the income is very low and they have no possibility to abandoned violent relations.

    Traditionally, Albania has been patriarchal country with strong rules which have established a hierarchic level of family relations with women not enjoying their rights.

    The Albanian women have begun to react against these violent relations and have become aware of the rights they should enjoy because their rights are part of the human rights.

    An example of this awareness are 1.500 telephone calls received by the association's consulting office. Representatives of the association said that 90 percent of abused women think that the office has been very useful to them. /ake/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Cooperation of parliamentary foreign policy commissions towards institutionalization

    TIRANE, Feb.10 (ata) - The first conference of the chairmen of the commissions of foreign policy of the Southeastern European Initiative started in Ankara last Tuesday. The Albanian delegation consists of the chairman of the parliamentary commission of foreign policy, Sabri Godo and deputy Pavli Zeri.

    Prior to the beginning of the conference, the Albanian delegation had a meeting with the chairman of the Turkish parliamentary commission, Murat Karayalem, who will also preside over the conference. They spoke of the consolidation of the bilateral inter-parliamentary cooperation, especially for the support that this conference is expected to give to the question of Kosove, etc.

    The conference was also addressed by the vice-chairman of the Turkish parliament, Gurkan and the Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem. Later, the delegations reported of their activity in the parliamentary commissions. They pointed out that the conference opens the way to a more fruitful and institutionalized cooperation between the commissions of foreign policy of the regional countries, in the interests of peace and stability. At the end of the morning session, the delegations were received by the Turkish President Sulejman Demirel, who wished them success in their cooperation.

    In the afternoon session, the first to take the floor was the leader of the Albanian delegation Sabri Godo, who presented the opinion of the Albanian parliament for the grave situation in Kosove and demanded forcefully an urgent intervention of the international community to stop the massacres on the civil population and to force the Serbs to apply the agreements signed before on the question of Kosove. According to Godo, Yugoslav President Milosevic is keeping for 9 years now in a tense situation the whole country, carrying it in the brink of a civil war. He proposed a joint resolution of the conference in which an important place will be attached to the desire and efforts of the regional countries in support of the international community for a lasting and peaceful solution to Kosova question.

    All the participants in the conference expressed their full support for the efforts of the international community in Rambouillet to bring the parties in the conflict to a joint agreement for the solution of the Kosove problem.

    The representative of Yugoslavia said that Albanian and Bulgarian representatives did not respect the agenda and he himself passed onto issues which were really out of point.

    The conference continued with other issues of the agenda such as joint projects in infrastructure, fight against contraband, infrastructure, the money-laundering. The participants are expected to decide on the place and time when the coming conference will be held. The Romanian delegation proposed that the next conference be held in Rumania and that a working group be set up to discuss the program and decide on question of the program. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] No investments on health in Polican

    POLICAN, Feb 10 (ATA) - By I. Manka: No investments have been made in the health system in Polican city of Skrapar district in the last eight years, sources from the town hall said.

    Ibrahim Terpollari, city mayor, said to ATA that they had often demanded investments but so far nothing had been done.

    The regional hospital of Poliçan which covers not only the city with some 9 thousand inhabitants but also the surrounding villages is being destroyed.

    There are only two doctors and the funds of the hospital include only wages, a small quantity of medicaments and equipment and nothing more.

    If someone falls ill the doctors send him or her immediately to Berat or Corovoda hospitals.

    Regional hospitals of Berat and Corovoda are waiting inhabitants of the area who have never been told that their city hospital is being destroyed. ake/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Improvements in infrastructure in Lezhe financed by USAID

    LEZHE, Feb.11 (ata) - By M Malja: Twelve projects have been applied in infrastructure in the district of Lezhe, northwestern Albania.

    For the realisation of these projects, which included the cities Lezhe and Shengjin and some communes of the district, USAID accorded a fund of $500 thousand, coordinator of this program Luciano Clario said to ATA.

    According to him, the objective of these projects was the rehabilitation of the roads in cities and villages, and the rehabilitation of sewage around the port of Shengjin.

    Participants in a recent meeting in the district council, which was also attended by USAID representatives, said that studies are being completed this year for different objects, mainly in the Telecom, etc. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Program for "Reproductive health and family planning"

    TIRANE, Feb.11 (ata) - By R Xhuvani: The Program for "Reproductive Health and Family Planning" to be applied during 1999-2000 aims at dominating the rather critical situation created by the increasing number of abortions, and insufficient information about sexual education on the part of some individuals.

    The program financed by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) with 2.4 million dollars will be applied by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with obstetric-gynaeological hospitals, said Thursday to ATA Artur Rada, spokesman of the Ministry of Health.

    Insufficient medical education among the individuals has led to non- observation of the family planning, the only efficient regulator for the reproductive health. In addition, spontaneity in sexual contacts and the lack of hygienic, sanitary conditions in gynaeocological hospitals has led to the growth of the number of people infected by sexually transmitted diseases.

    In these conditions, representatives of the Project for Joint Management aim to elevate the level of national capacities to make more perfect the medical service for the reproductive-sexual health and family planning throughout the country. Their aim is also to sensitize the public opinion of these problems. /s.s./xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Territory Adjustment Council established in Durres

    DURRES, Feb.11 (ata) - By S Gjordeni: The town-hall of Durres has now its Territory Adjustment Council. Until yesterday, this function was carried out by the council for territory adjustment under the district, which from now on will deal only with the problems of urbanism in communes.

    On the basis of the law 8405 of Sept.17, 1998, the section of urbanism and the staff office of the Municipality presented the respective project, which was adopted by the Municipal Council of the city of Durres.

    The newly-appointed Council has 15 members with 4 of them representatives of the prefecture.

    The municipal Council decided also the establishment of the technical council as permanent auxiliary organism for the TAC. The establishment of the Council close to the town-hall creates greater possibilities to determine the road for a more studied and contemporary development of town- planning in the city of Durres, with a population of 140 thousand inhabitants, which is facing now great problems as a result of the constructions made without permit. /s.s./xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] New power substation put into operation

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By M. Pupa: Albanian prime minister Pandeli Majko cut the ribbon of a new power substation in Sharra, Tirana, included in a project worth 7 billion lire of the Italian government which aimed at improving power supply in Tirana and Durres.

    Putting the substation into operation with a capacity of 100 MVA is expected to increase the power supply by 30 to 35 percent. The substation, constructed by the ENEL company in cooperation with the Power Distribution Enterprise (KESH), is supplied by the 220 kv Koman-Elbasan line.

    "The power supply for Tirana will be further improved when another station will be put into operation at the center of Tirana," Alfred Paloka, KESH Director General said in the ceremony of inauguration. /ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Police arrest people dealing with fake documentation

    TIRANA, Feb 11 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: Police arrested on Wednesday evening a group of people dealing with fake documentation in some shops and bars in Durres street, Tirana.

    A spokesman of the police department said to ATA that police arrested Bashkim Jakup Sorra, 43, and Artur Asllani 29, both from Tirana of possessing fake documentation.

    Shpetim Asllan Azuni, 35, and Arjan Kazafer Muca, 36, inhabitants of Tirana have also been involved in this activity. Police brought a law suit to the prosecutor's office and asked these persons be not put into custody but be judged in liberty, the spokesman said.

    Police seized 50 forms of secondary school certificates, some certifications bearing false seals of high schools and university diplomas, vehicle permit, Albanian and international licences, insurances, German passports and personal certifications.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Family donors meet blood needs in hospital

    KUKES, Feb 11 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: The problem of blood can be considered resolved now because the family members have offered themselves to that, Bajram Cenaj, director of the civil hospital of Kukes said to ATA on Thursday.

    The hospital numbers 20 regular blood donors who can meet the need for blood in this institution. The number of persons who had been in need of blood during 1998 was over 100.

    Cenaj said that the small number of donors was related to the low payment while patients being not sure of the blood in the hospital were forced to accept their relatives blood. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Tirana currency rate

    TIRANA, Feb 10 (ATA) - By L. Thanasi: Following are the buying and selling rates of the foreign currencies against Lek in the Bank of Tirana.
    US $1.00		140.60
    German mark		 81.60
    Italian lire(1000)	 81.90
    Greek Drachmas(100)	 49.94
    EURO			158.70
    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Number of crimes reduced in Kukes prefecture

    KUKES, Feb 11 (ATA) - By R. Hoxha: Criminality was reduced by 30 percent in the Kukes prefecture, Northeastern Albania, police sources said.

    Lieutenant colonel Jonuz Hyka, chief of police directorate, said that during January and the first 10 days of February criminality was reduced by 30 percent in comparison to the same period last year.

    Hyka said that police commissariats in Kukes, Has and Tropoja have focused their attention in controlling traffic roads after being informed of troubles. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Rumanian Defence Minister to arrive Friday in Tirana

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The Defence Minister of Rumania, Victor Babuic, will come to Tirana on Friday on a three-day official visit.

    Sources from the Albanian Defence Ministry reported to ATA that during this visit, Minister Babuic will hold a series of meetings with the senior personalities of Albania. Thus, he will meet with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and he will hold talks in the Albanian Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry.

    During these meetings, the current relations between the two countries in the military field will be discussed, as well as the possibilities to further increase them in the future. The situation in the region of the Balkan will also be another topic of discussion. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Construction on another electric station to start tomorrow

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By M.Pupa - Tomorrow will start the work on constructing new electric station in the center of Tirana, behind the Culture Palace. This work will be done by the italian company "ENEL". The project of this electric stacion is financed by the Italian Government aimed at improving the situation of the energy provision in Albanian, so poor actually. The fond for this project marks the value of 7 milliard lirets.

    "The new stacion having the power of 220/110 KV covers the construction of 30 electric cabins of 20/0.4 kv, that will supply Tirana's regions with poor electric provision" inform for ATA the Director of the Investments' Developments in Albanian Energetic Coorperation (AEC), Robert Lalo.

    This stacion is predicted to finish within this month, which together with Sharra stacion inaugurate today, will meet the consumers' demands and needs for energy, so bad supplied in the last months.

    An experts mission is actually in Tirana to prepare a "packet" of Italian finances marking the value of 49 billion lirets on rehabilitation and strengthening of the transmission and spreading web of the electric energy everywhere in Albania./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] World Bank to finance $28.6 million on villages' streets

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By M.Pupa - The villages' streets in Albania expect to be improved till 2000. World Bank prepared a project started already on the pavement of 95 km rural street in 12 different dictricts in Albania. The total value financed by the World Bank is nearly 28.6 million.

    The work on villages' streets started in 1996 and during this time nearly 92 km are improved spending $2.7 million from the total sum. While in 1997 due to the political situation created in Albania the work stopped and restart in year 1998.

    The Ministry of Transport and Public Affairs coordinates the work with the Albanian construction companies to finish 664 km from the remaining fond of $19.3 milion./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] "SARA" to complete project at Agricultural University

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka - The american project "SARA" (Support on Agriculture Reconstruction in Albania) after a four years period completed the assisstance provided for the Agricultural University in Tirana.

    "SARA" financed $5 million lek on the reconstructions of different faculties of this University, on the substitution of the equipments damaged during the troubles that took place in Albania in 1997, on the new library and labs' equpments, too.

    A part of the financing sum is used on different training of the students and the profesors of this University and on the equipment of the labs with 100 computers.

    "SARA" started its activity in Albania in 1994 and consits of four parts, the assisstance for the Agricultural University of Tirana, the agricultural policy and research, the agricultural statistics, the market information and the development of Agrobusiness. All of them financed by a total value of $15 million lek.

    Actually "SARA" project continues to engourage the agrobusiness and the establishment of the bilateral coorperation between the albanian agrobusiness council and american one./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Greek and Italian donations for education sector.

    TIRANE, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By P.Shuteriqi: A Greek credit worth $3 million, a fund equal to this sum allocated by Soros foundation as well as the Italian government grant worth 4 billion liras, are to be used for the reconstruction and building of the school objects, sources from the Education and Science Ministry told ATA on Thursday. Vlash Veleça, engineer in the sector of the Education and Science Ministry, told ATA today that some 290 million leks are to be used from the state budget for 1999. The Greek credit, rather "tender", with a low interest percentage and long term of repayment, is to used together with $3 million of Soros foundation for rehabilitation of more than 20 school objects. The majority part of these funds are to be used for the elementary schools, while the aid worth 4 billion liras accorded by the Italian government is to be used mainly in 20 different school objects, out of which 4-5 buildings are new, while 15-16 other objects are reconstructed. /dast/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Albania to carry on cooperation with EU and CoE

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By I. Luto: During a meeting held Wednesday in Strasbourg, the Council of Ministers of the European Union and the Presidency of the Council of Europe reconfirmed the continuation of cooperation with Albania to implement the third program of aid, press office close to the Albanian Foreign Ministry reported to ATA.

    This program has been focused in the stabilisation and democratization of Albania.

    The recent diplomatic movements for the solution of the Kosova issue were also examined. The meeting backed the conclusions of the Council on 25 January regarding the situation in Kosova and the outcome of the Contact Group on 29 January.

    The meeting also voiced the delight that the talks started on 6 February in Rambouillet successfully end. Along with this, the European Union is ready to examine the contribution that the Council of Europe may give for the implementation of the political agreement that might be reached in Rambouillet by the parties.

    Attending the meeting was also the Chairman of the EU Council, Gunter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Hans Van der Broek, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Daniel Tarschys, and others. /dast/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Group of hooligans operating on behalf of UÇK uncovered

    PRISHTINA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - The Kosova Liberation Army (UÇK) reported on the uncovering of a group of hooligans operating on behalf of UCK in the commune of Mitrovice.

    "Cases of maltreatments of citizens have been manifested recently in the commune of Mitrovice and its suburbs by persons, who have used the symbol and uniform of UÇK," says a release published Wednesday in Prishtina. "According to the current data, the group is made up of 17 persons, whose names are not published due to the investigation secret, but these hooligans will be soon detained by the military police," stressed the UÇK release, quoted by the Kosova Press agency. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Concrete projects instigate inter-border relations

    KORÇE, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By B.Fejzullai: The General Greek consulate in Korçe is totally engaged to realize some projects which stimulate the inter- border relations of the region of Korçe and that of Northern Greece.

    According to the General Consul, Nikos Vamvounakis, there are collaboration projects between the chambers of commerce of Korçe and Kozani to stimulate the businesses and investments in the economic sector in Korçe region; between the University of Korçe and that of Greece; between the civil hospitals of Greece and its counterpart in Selanik, as well as in the cultural field.

    According to the chairman of Korçe town-hall, Dhionis Kotmilo, the Greek general consulate in this city is helping even in the realization of some inter-border projects, which are being financed by the European Community. So, in the framework of CROSS BORDER and INTEREG programs is almost ready the project for beginning of work in the Korçe airport, while in the framework of ECOUVERTURE program is drafted the "Balkan" project, which foresees the creation of a free zone for economic collaboration between the regions of Korçe, Kozan and Manastir.

    The General Greek consulate has been the mediator of all these projects. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Walker warns demilitarization of Malisheve

    PRISHTINE, Feb. 11 - ATA correspondent, Behlul Jashari, reports: William Walker,

    OSCE Chief of Verifying mission in Kosove, warned the demilitarization of Malisheve and return of normality in this small city, completely destroyed by the attacks of the Serb forces last year.

    The OSCE Verifying Mission has placed labels all over the city on Wednesday to warn the population not to use arms, while the chief of this mission in Kosova, Walker, said in a meeting hold with representatives of Albania subjects in Malisheve, that the work for demilitarization of the city is under the way. The presence of the Serb forces has made impossible the return of the displaced population and normalization of life in the city of Malisheve, where the schools and other institutions continue to be closed down. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] First bodies to head Albania integration in Euro-Atlantic set up

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By I. Luto: The Inter-ministerial Committee of Integration, headed by the State Secretary for the European Integration, Maqo Lakrori, decided in its meeting on Thursday to set up several special commissions, which will help drafting and implementing the strategy of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

    These commissions are: the Commission of the European Union, the Commission of NATO and WEU, the Commission of the Council of Europe and OSCE and the Commission of Regional Aid.

    Today's meeting also decided to establish the Units of Integration which will be set up close to ministries and other state institutions, according to the platform drafted by the Albanian Government. The participating ministries and institutions will draft the programs of measures to be taken in the respective fields of integration.

    The inter-ministerial meeting for the Euro-Atlantic Integration is a structure set up recently upon a decision of the Council of Ministers with the aim to accelerate the integration of Albania into the European and Euro- Atlantic structures. The chairman of this committee is the State Secretary for the European Integration, Maqo Lakrori. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] 18 Travel Agencies without lincense

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By A.Lila - All the Travel Agencies that act without lincense in Albania will be stopped to continue with their activities in the country.

    According to the sources of the Committee on Tourism Development all the Travel Agencies without lincense with stop their activities within this month.

    Only in Tirana act nearly 40 Travel Agencies, 22 of which are lincesed and the rest act by disobeying the rules, because they don't have the lincense to act in Albania.

    Marketing Directory asked the Tax Directory to do a control into 18 travel agencies by making them to go to the Tourism Committee to take the licenses./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] Parliament adopts laws in conformity with new Constitution

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: The Albanian Parliament, in the plenary session on Thursday, approved several important draft-laws according to the new Constitution, which was approved in a people's referendum on 22 November 1998.

    The deputies approved several amendments to the "Code of penal procedure in the Republic of Albania," in conformity with the new Constitution, and concretely in the chapter regarding the rights and freedoms of the individual. These amendments clearly define the rights of the police and justice bodies, as well as the rights of the arrested or condemned by the justice bodies.

    Parliament also adopted the law "On the classification of the information 'top secret'." The above information is defined as such by the senior official of the respective ministry and legal measures are taken for those who reveal these secrets. But this law, different from what it has been commented so far, does not penalize the press, but deals mainly with the officials who reveal the information considered as "Secret."

    The deputies also approved several other laws. The law on the strategy of privatization of sectors with special importance was turned to the Council of Ministers for reexamination. The next sitting of Parliament will be on Monday. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] Deposits increace by 25% in Dardania Bank

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By Lolita Thanasi - According to the sources from Dardania Bank the deposits of this bank in 1998 increase by 25% compared with the value of a previous year. Also there is an increase of the number of the pays abroad by 30% compared with the value of 1997.

    Dardania Bank acts in Albania since 5 years ago. It has its corresponds in Vien, Frankfurt, New York, Torino, etc. The bank is known for the pays abroad and for credits' openings. The work is completely computerised and the staff is very skilled one. Usually the bank gives credits to the small business and the credit companies have been Albanians.

    Dardania Bank is included in the group of the banks that gives credits. The credit limit for 1999 approved by the Albanian Bank for Dardania Bank is 270 million lek. 50 million of them belongs to the first three months, 70 million to the second one, 80 million to the third one and the rest 70 million to the fourth one./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] Monetary Authority: Assets and liabilities 173.8 billion lek

    Tirana, Feb.11 (ATA) - By Lolita Thanasi - According to the recent figures taken from the Albanian Bank on Monetary Authority the assests and the liabilities reached to 173.8 billion lek, from 175.7 billion that were before.

    Assets: The currency assets from 91.6 billion lek fall to 91.4 billion lek. The pretensions towars the Albanian Government decrease to 78.8 billion lek. The pretensions towards the public not-financed interprices continues to be zero and the pretensions towards the banks with deposits fall from 4.5 to3.7 billion lek.

    Liabilities: Reserves from 85.6 billion lek fall to 84.5 billion lek. The time limited deposits and the currency one continues to be zero. Currency liabilities decrease from 55.1 billion in 54.8 billion lek. The government's deposits fall from 7.7 to 7.2 billion lek. The capital income decrease in 43.1 billion lek and the others remain -15.9 billion lek./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Ministry of Culture proclaims competition on the city where Fest-Folk '99 will be held

    TIRANE, Feb. 11 (ATA) - Bt K.Shehu: The Directory of Cultural Inheritance in the Ministry of Culture issued on Thursday the criteria for the city which will host the competition of the National Folk Festival.

    According to the same source, "the winning city will be proclaimed on March 5, while the materials according to the requirements of the competition, are to be handed over by the town-halls of the cities to the Directory of Cultural Inheritance as far as February 28".

    The criteria of this competition comprise the distinguished historical, cultural and architectural traditions of the cities, the insurance of good conditions for the foreseen 1000 participants, conditions for rehearsals, the competition of the groups in closed grounds and opened halls, that may be either in castles or in amphitheatre, the guarantee of order and tranquillity during the days of the festival, as well as the insurance of as many sponsors as possible.

    The Folk Festival started in 1949 in the city of Tirane and afterwards it was organized in Elbasan and Lezhe. From 1968 till 1988 this activity was held in the castle of Gjirokaster, while in 1995, this activity was displaced in Berati castle.

    Folk groups from Albania and diaspora are to be presented in Fest '99. /lh/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] U.S. backs Albania and its government

    TIRANA, Feb. 11 (ATA) - Albania Prime Minister Pandeli Majko held Thursday a report in Parliament regarding his recent visit to the United States. He stressed that the U.S. government continues to support the Albanian government and the Albanians.

    Speaking in Parliament, after the request of the Socialist Parliamentary Group, PM Majko pointed out that the relations with the United States in all plans are the priorities of the Albanian Government.

    The Albanian PM said that "this visit was part of the work for the further materialization of the priority that the Albanian government has given to the relations between Albania and USA. It marked another step forward in enriching and strengthening the excellent Albanian-U.S. relations."

    Premier Majko appreciated the contribution and the positive role of the United States to the good of Albania and Albanians, to the good of the interior political and institutional developments towards the integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures, to the good of overcoming the crisis and finding a peaceful and stable solution for the Kosova issue, to the good of preventing a new all-embracing fight in Balkans, to the good of security, peace and stability in the region.

    Talking about the Kosova problem, PM Majko said that in all the meetings "we stressed the necessity to continue the direct engagement of the United States even for the solution of this major problem."

    "Our concepts and stands regarding the Kosova matter, offering of logistic facilities for the possible movements of NATO in regard to the actions in Kosova, found a positive and encouraging appreciation. Also, our policy followed in the region," said Majko, adding that the U.S. authorities reconfirmed the all-round commitment of USA for the constant solution of the Kosova question, also for the stability and the peaceful development of the region.

    In regard to the policy of good neighbouring, followed by the Albanian government, the Albanian PM stressed that the development of closer relations with Italy and Greece, the increase of relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the intensification of friendly traditional relations with Turkey have a positive influence not only for Albania, but also for the situation in the region.

    In the end of his speech, Majko said among others that "Albania, with friends and allies of such dimensions, like the United States, will continue to move forward towards its way of normalization, development and then of prosperity." /dast/mt/

    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at

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