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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 99-03-23

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

Albanian Telegraphic Agency


  • [01] Forensic laboratory for Gjirokaster
  • [02] Myrteza Caushi released in court hall
  • [03] Let us be totally committed to resolutely overcome situation in name of lofty interests of Homeland and Nation - Statement of the Albanian Government on situation in Kosove -
  • [04] Serb forces surround southern part of Prishtine on Monday evening
  • [05] Albania's Foreign Ministry protests against incidents caused by Yugoslavs
  • [06] Union for Democracy calls for new elections
  • [07] Ticket to visit Butrint equal to $4
  • [08] Justice Minister against Tirane court's verdict to release Caushi
  • [09] Three Albanians killed in Monday night's blasts in Prishtine
  • [10] "Promised land" to be given to kiosks of Tirane
  • [11] CE backs legislative reform in higher schools in Albania
  • [12] January controls estimate damages at 773 million leks
  • [13] UNESCO on democratic direction and peace culture in Europe
  • [14] Money to increase by 16%
  • [15] First operations of Milot-Lezhe highway
  • [16] President says international community should stop Belgrade's war machine
  • [17] Almost 13.417 country pensions to be given in Tirana region
  • [18] Project for area in former swamp or for computers
  • [19] Police take Kurds to police station
  • [20] Scandinavian countries ready to coordinate aid for Albania
  • [21] Tax Directory: Subjects to sell on proper places
  • [22] Albania is ready to respond to any kind of aggression
  • [23] Fifth common Albanian-Turkish session to be organized
  • [24] NATO guarantees Albania for protection of country's sovereignty
  • [25] To favor native production by defining excise's deference
  • [26] Albania Parliament holds special sitting on Kosova
  • [27] Holbrooke's failure puts Albania in a difficult situation, Milo
  • [28] Albanian Government and IMF to approve program 1999
  • [29] Town Municipality to restructure tax office
  • [30] Minister of Information holds press conference on govt. meeting
  • [31] Parliament discusses Albania's measures after Kosova negotiations failed

  • [01] Forensic laboratory for Gjirokaster

    GJIROKASTER, March 22 (ata) - By H Cani: A British police team promised technical and material aid for police of Gjirokaster in the context of the assistance of Britain for the Albanian police in general.

    The spokesman of police of Gjirokaster told ATA that the aid consists of a forensic laboratory and a new car to be used in mountain terrain in which the laboratory equipment will be installed.

    On Monday, the British police team started in Gjirokaster a several- day training for experts of crime of the police commissariats in southern districts.

    This is the first time that police from Western Europe provides assistance to the prefecture police of Gjirokaster. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Myrteza Caushi released in court hall

    TIRANE, March 22 (ata) - By Urim Bajrami: The Tirane district court held on Monday the final decision for defendant Myrteza Caushi and his friends.

    The head of the jury, Martin Deda, declared defendant Myrteza Caushi guilty for illegal possession of weapons and his sentence equal with the time of his detention. The court ordered his release in the courtroom.

    For illegal possession of arms the court announced guilty the defendants Afrim Rami, Kastriot Gerdhuqi, Taulant Shyti and Edmond Dule, who were also sentenced with the detention period.

    The court considered guilty and sentenced with 5 years in jail the defendants Pellumb Bajrami and Gjike Gerdhuqi, with 3 years in jail the defendants Ferdinand Tafili, Skerdian Bajrami, Renato Cercizi and Ahir Hira. The court decided 10 years in prison for Leonard Idrizi and 15 years for Dorian Saliu, and to halt the trial process for Renato Sadiku because according to the prosecutor's office of Vlore, he was killed some weeks ago.

    The jury leader declared the trial for Zani and his friends as closed beginning with Monday.

    The trial for Caushi and other defendants of the same case started on October 12, 1998, and all the session for them have been held in open doors. They were accused of creating armed groups, of illegal possession of arms, kidnapping, etc. /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Let us be totally committed to resolutely overcome situation in name of lofty interests of Homeland and Nation - Statement of the Albanian Government on situation in Kosove -

    TIRANE, March 23 (ata) - Last Monday, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Albania, Pandeli Majko, the Council of Ministers had a meeting on the latest dramatic developments in Kosove, the Albanian Information Ministry reported on Monday.

    The Minister of Defence, Luan Hajdaraga reported on the situation of the security on the northern border of the country, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paskal Milo spoke of the commitment of the international factor.

    The Albanian Government adopted in this meeting a statement on the latest developments in Kosove and the measures it must take to overcome the new situations that may be created on Albania's borders.

    The statement stresses that:

    "According to the latest reports, from hour to hour the Serb military and police machine is undertaking new massive massacres against Albanian civil population. The dramatic deterioration of the situation in Kosove and the blind insistence of Milosevic not to sign the Rambouillet accord is a real and immediate threat not only to Kosove, but also to the peace and stability throughout the region.

    The Albanian Government is following closely the development of the latest situations and is, accordingly, taking all the measures for the further consolidation of the defensive capability in service of the safeguarding of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and for the creation of the necessary infrastructure to face all the consequences stemming from it.

    At the same time the Albanian Government is keeping close contact with all the international factors, the Contact Group, NATO and especially with the U.S. Government, with which it is coordinating the acts and stances regarding the conflict in Kosove.

    The Albanian Government calls on all Albanians without any distinction of their political convictions or party affiliation to maximally value the present situation and in view of the great national message "One Nation, one stand" let us be totally committed to overcome the situation with a cool head and determination, in the name of the lofty interests of the Homeland and the Nation." /s.s./xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Serb forces surround southern part of Prishtine on Monday evening

    PRISHTINE, March 22 (ata) - ATA correspondent in Prishtine Behlul Jashari reports: Tanks have been seen moving around tonight on the streets of Prishtine. Serb forces have made towards the Quarter of the Hospital and Matiqan, southwards of the capital of Kosove and according to reports, have surrounded it. Many inhabitants of the region are fleeing their homes. Witnesses said that firing of weapons has also been heard. No reports have yet been released on the possible consequences. /dast/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] Albania's Foreign Ministry protests against incidents caused by Yugoslavs

    TIRANE, March 22 (ATA)-The charge d'affaires at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in Tirane was summoned to the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Albania on March 22, 1999 and was handed over a harshly-worded protest regarding constant incidents caused by the Yugoslav side on Albania's northern border.

    "The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Albania once again harshly protests the repetition of incidents by Yugoslav militaries against Albanian citizens as well as against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Albania," the protest says.

    "The Yugoslav authorities are to blame for these repeated acts, which are of grave consequences for the stability on the border between the two countries and broader," the protest concludes. /

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Union for Democracy calls for new elections

    TIRANE, March 22 (ata) - By A Haxhiu: Members and sympathizers of the political grouping "Union for Democracy" demonstrated on Monday afternoon in Scanderbeg Square of Tirane to mark elections of March 22, 1992, which brought to power the Democratic Party.

    Representatives of the grouping condemned the policy of the present government and called for earlier elections in Albania.

    "Only new polls can restore faith and hope in Albanians," said the chairman of the Democratic Party, Sali Berisha, calling for other protests until their demand is fulfilled.

    The Democrat leader hailed the efforts and fight of the people of Kosove for freedom and independence and called on the United States and NATO to intervene as soon as possible to prevent further spillover of the conflict.

    Then the participants in the rally protested peacefully on the boulevard "Deshmoret e Kombit.

    On March 22, 1992, the Democratic Party of Albania came to power and governed until 1997. In spring of 1997 it fell after people's revolts in Albania, and the Albanian left wing came to power. It is continuing to direct the country with the coalition "Alliance for the State." /lh/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Ticket to visit Butrint equal to $4

    SARANDE, March 23(ATA)-By Sh. Hajno, The price of the ticket for the foreigners who visit the antique town of Butrint has increased to four dollars from two dollars it cost earlier, Telemak Llanaj, representative of the Monuments Institute for the Sarande city, told ATA.

    He said this new charge has begun to be implemented and is being made known also to the tourist offices mediating the foreign tourists' visits to this antique town.

    The change of the ticket price for foreign visitors to the Butrint town was a decision of the Cultural Monuments Institute department in Tirane, the ticket for the Albanian visitors will remain the previous one, equal to 100 leks.

    Llanaj said that this decision is related to the need to ensure the income to be used for the reconstruction and maintenance of the antique town.

    The archaeological buildings' compound of Butrint and its surroundings, with a diameter of 5 km, in Southern Albania, was proclaimed as the national archeological park in 1988, after approval by the Albanian state institutions of a respective study by the "Butrinti" British foundation and the consent of the World Bank. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Justice Minister against Tirane court's verdict to release Caushi

    TIRANE, March 22 (ATA)-By E.Koraqi, Justice Minister Thimjo Kondi has expressed himself against the verdict ruled by the Tirane court on Monday which declared Myrteza Caushi (known as Zani of Vlore) and his group guilty only of illegal possession of weapons and gave him only the detention term.

    Minister Kondi stresses in a statement on Monday that the prosecutors' summing up, issued a week ago and which freed Caushi and his group from grave charges, also including the crime of killing a number of citizens, has been rejected and considered irresponsible by Prosecutor General Arben Rakipi, himself.

    Kondi remarks that the accused of the so-called gang of Cole have been initially charged with e series of grave criminal acts, also including preconceived killing, creation of an armed gang and other crimes, the gravest ones envisaged by the penal Code.

    "Although the prosecutor's office pretended at the court's hall that it could not prove these charges, gave them up and upheld only the accusation of illegal possession of weapons, again, the court's verdict on this charge leaves much to be desired as the Penal Code, also for this offence, envisages imprisonment up to seven years," says Kondi.

    He adds that "it is about whole arsenals of weapons, which have been suspected to be used for committing the crimes, which the prosecutor's office pretended to be unable to prove".

    Kondi also draws attention to the fact that the Court chose as the day for giving the verdict, an official festivity, a day off for all public institutions.

    "The release from the court's hall of the members of the so-called Gang of Cole and its head, Myrteza Caushi, runs counter to the stabilisation of the situation at home, strengthening of public order, calm and security of citizens, and at the same time creates a grave precedent against efforts to realise these goals," Kondi says in his statement. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Three Albanians killed in Monday night's blasts in Prishtine

    PRISHTINE, March 23 (ata) - ATA correspondent in Prishtine Behlul Jashari reports: Three Albanians were killed and five others were wounded last night in bars and streets of Prishtine as a result of a number of explosions and fire weapons.

    The first incident has been that in a club of Albanian intellectuals, called Koha, in which as a result of a bomb blast one person was killed and two were injured, while another person was killed and three were injured was the result of an attack in the cafe Magik, a complex of shops in the centre of Prishtine, Another Albanian was killed on the street, in the quarter Brgu i Diellit.

    Last night tanks and armoured vehicles were seen moving around in the streets of Prishtine, whereas the quarters of Hospital and Metican have been surrounded and people are leaving their homes. The killings last night follow the murder of four Serb policemen in Prishtine, while today in the morning, in northwestern part of Prishtine, powerful explosions and arms firing are still being heard. /p.ta/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] "Promised land" to be given to kiosks of Tirane

    TIRANE, March 23 (ATA) - By G.Dilaveri: The kiosks removed during the last months from the center of Tirane and from its main road axis, are to be given soon "the promised land".

    Town-hall aides decided in their regular meeting to give the permission of construction to the owners of kiosks removed from the capital center, in the vicinity of Pharmacy no.10, near Allias ex-greenhouses.

    Several owners of this region have offered their soils to the town- hall. They can give these areas with rent. Last talks are being hold on this issue between the town-hall representatives and the owners of the soil.

    If we take into consideration the fact that the construction of a massive market for industrial articles is approved to be made in the same region, and the fact that another market operates in this region, the whole area is foreseen to be filled with kiosks and become a powerful center. This center will supply the capital as well as all the districts of Albania with different materials.

    The Construction Police has removed from the public centers of Tirane about 300 kiosks. The action has finished in the monument of "The unknown soldier", and is being carried out in the lawn before the People's Assembly. Several people have become jobless due to this action carried out in the context of the motto "For a clean and cultural Tirane".

    On these conditions, the centralization of the kiosks in suborn of Tirane, will not only legalize their activity, but will also decrease the social problems encountered after the kiosks' removal.

    Tirane has overcome the problem of the market of electric articles with the market built near the sportive field "Ali Demi". The construction of the livestock market on the other part of the railway as well as the building of the market of industrial materials are foreseen to be carried out during 1999. /pas/A.A/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] CE backs legislative reform in higher schools in Albania

    TIRANE, March 23 (ata) - By P. Shuteriqi: The Council of Europe has voiced its support for the development of the legislative reform in the higher schools in Albania.

    Representatives of the institutions of education and higher schools of the university system of more than 40 CE member countries examined in Strasbourg from March 16-21 the development of the main projects undertaken in the CE member countries.

    The deputy minister of Education and Science, Mimoza Hafizi told ATA that the participants in the meeting expressed their support for the project going on in Albania with regard to the legislative reform in the field of higher education.

    CE representatives also supported the creation in Albania of a system of accreditation conformed to Western standards.

    A special place in the meeting of Strasbourg was devoted to the situation in the system of higher education in Kosove, which was represented by a delegation of non-governmental organizations. Those present were told that the Albanian university in Prishtine is surviving thanks to the high sentiment for education and knowledge of the Albanians in Kosove. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] January controls estimate damages at 773 million leks

    TIRANE, March 23 (ATA)-By D. Koca, During controls exercised in January 1999 by the regional branches of the High State Control (HSC) damages have been ascertained which total 773 million leks, mainly in the process of public procurement.

    From this amount, 582 million leks have been observed as regards violation of financial discipline, while 191 million leks are of no effective damage.

    During this month, some 52 controls have been carried out, of which 21 in local government bodies, 25 in institutions, five in enterprises and one in the bank. For violations, the HSG has asked crackdowns on 97 persons. The crackdowns include 29 warnings for dismissal from work, 9 dismissals from the job and 49 fines.

    Most of the damages have been observed at the Durres department, estimated at 431 million leks, and in Korce 423 million leks. The regional branches have exercised controls on important subjects such as the Customs of Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Shkoder, regional taxation branches, prefecture, town-halls and District Councils. /pas/lm/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] UNESCO on democratic direction and peace culture in Europe

    TIRANE, March 23 (ata) - By P Shuteriqi: The Minister of Education and Science of Albania, Ethem Ruka, in the capacity of the chairman of the UNESCO National Committee, left for Kiev on Tuesday to take part in the international conference "Democratic direction and peace culture" to be held from March 24-26, 1999. Taking part in it will be countries from Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe, members of UNESCO.

    Invited by the deputy premier of Ukraine, Minister Ruka will take part in the debates on cooperation of the UNESCO member countries, sources of the Ministry of Education and Science told ATA today.

    The meeting will discuss the regional systems of stability, peace and regional security," said Artan Canaj, director of foreign relations in the Ministry of Education and Science. /pas/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Money to increase by 16%

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA) - By Lolita Thanasi- According to the sources from Albanian Bank this bank will continue to fulfill its objective on money's increase at the time when the inflation rate is 7%, by supposing that money speed in total will be constant in 1999.

    According to the same sources, the total money increase will be nearly 16%. This increase is reckoned to be sufficient to meet the needs of the public budget. The reserves of foreign currencies will be kept in the needed levels and this increase will make possible the credit increase in the private sectors of the Albanian economy.

    Till now the Albanian Bank announced only figures, referring to November 1998 and according to them the total sum was 232 billion 246 million lek, 80 billion 157 million lek of which was cash and the rest 152 billion 89 million lek is almost money./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] First operations of Milot-Lezhe highway

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA)- By M.Pupa - The road segment Milot-Lezhe, considered as a most important part of North-Southern Corridor, actually is in the phase of railway track construction and the pavement process, informed sources from the General Road Directory.

    According to the same sources several operations took place in this road segment.

    The rehabilitation process of this road section is undertaken by the Italian company "Falcone" and it is financed by World Bank with a value of 4.7 million dollars.

    Milot-Lezhe highway is 12 long and will have four devisions./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] President says international community should stop Belgrade's war machine

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - President of Albania Rexhep Meidani held talks on Tuesday with Hashim Thaçi and other members of the Albanian delegation in Rambouillet, France, who are visiting Albania.

    They discussed and made an analysis of the very tense and dangerous situation in Kosova facing ferocious attacks of the Serb military machine against civil population which caused fresh victims and massive displacement of the Albanian population, press and information office said.

    Meidani reiterated the necessity for the international community to intervene without delay to help save the life of people and stop the war machine of Belgrade.

    "Our region should be freed once and for all from war and conflict mentalities, which cause pain and sufferings not only for the Albanian people of Kosova or for the other people of former Yugoslavia but also they threaten seriously the stability in the Balkans," president Meidani said.

    It was time to pave way for clear prospective for development and democratization of all the regional countries by stimulating process of cooperation between peoples and countries of Southeastern Europe, he said.

    During this confidential meeting, according to the communique, President Meidani and members of the Kosova's Albanian delegation stressed their conviction that the Contact Group and NATO would observe their engagement for peace in Kosova. /s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] Almost 13.417 country pensions to be given in Tirana region

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA) - By Lolita Thanasi - According to the recent figures of last year taken from the Social Insurance of Tirana almost 13.417 country retirement pensions are distributed in Tirana region. The other part of the pensions in country includes familiar and disabled ones.

    The paying of the social insurance duties in country is a great problem, because most of the farmers do not pay the social insurance duties, forgetting that in the retirement they will need the government assistance and will have nothing to take. It true the fact that the paying the social insurance duties are almost out of peasants' minds.

    The incomes from social insurance were predicted to be 200 million lek, but in fact only 126 million lek was realized.

               The structure of pensions in country
       Pensions' kind            | Number of the inscribed persons
     Retirement pensions'         |        13.417
     Disabled pensions'           |          484
     Familiar pensions'           |          2.227

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] Project for area in former swamp or for computers

    DURRES, March 23 (ATA) - By S. Gjordeni: The representative of USAID in Albania held Monday a meeting with officials of the Durres town- hall in which they exchanged opinions for the integration of the area of former swamp in the city's life.

    According to the major, Arqile Gorenja, a special study has finished for this area, where some 40 000 inhabitants live who have come from different districts of Albania. The project aims at creating the normal living conditions for them. Thus, some $1 750 000 are needed, which will be used for the infrastructure, roads, supply with water and energy, etc.

    The drafted project has been approved by USAID, but the Ministry of Local Government has not given its approval yet, added Gorreja.

    According to this Ministry, these funds can be used for the construction of training centers of local government and their equipment with computers, typing machines and others.

    The major of Durres said that it would be more useful if the project is implemented to help 40 000 inhabitants of former swamp, who actually live in bad conditions, than to buy computers.

    The USAID representatives have supported the major of Durres to pave the way to investments in this area. /pas/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] Police take Kurds to police station

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - By Urim Bajrami: Four Kurds travelling by car along the Klos - Burrel road axis, north of Albania, were taken to police station on Monday evening.

    A spokesman of the Public Order Ministry said to ATA on Tuesday that the Kurds were seized in a routine police check in a car directed by Rahim Merkja.

    The spokesman said that the four and the driver were taken to local police station of Mat district for further verification.

    Since the beginning of the year the police have detained many foreign citizens among whom young girls suspected of prostitution.

    Police say that the foreigners use Albania as a transit to other states. /pas/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] Scandinavian countries ready to coordinate aid for Albania

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: Albania President Rexhep Meidani met Tuesday with the Norwegian ambassador to Tirana, Bjorn, who was accompanied by a group of experts for the coordination of the Norwegian assistance for Albania, President press office reported.

    President Meidani underlined that the assistance in the field of justice should be multilateral to reach the long-term objectives for fundamental improvements in this system.

    Meidani urged the guests to coordinate their assistance in the framework of "Action Plan," also approved by the Council of Europe.

    "The troika of Scandinavian countries is coordinating its assistance for Albania in all fields," declared the Norwegian Ambassador.

    Attending the meeting was the Albanian Minister of Justice, Thimjo Kondi, who exchanged thoughts regarding the priorities in the field of justice. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] Tax Directory: Subjects to sell on proper places

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA) - By E.Metaj - The commercial subjects with licenses and declared their marketplace are forbidden to sale in open markets approved by the local power, ordered the General Tax Directory.

    According to the sources from this directory it is ordered also that the subjects to sell in open markets and approved by the local power must take the licenses from the tax directories in each district. In this license will be defined also the kinds of inscribe license.

    According to the General Tax Directory in the group of the subjects to be equipped with the license are excluding the farmers, who sell their own products.

    General Tax Directory declared that the subjects which do not respect the tax rules will be punished by Tax Police./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] Albania is ready to respond to any kind of aggression

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - The parties of the government coalition "Alliance for State," convened Tuesday upon the request of PM Pandeli Majko, and discussed about the situation created in Kosova, which is becoming more and more dramatic, as well as about the concrete measures taken by the government for this situation, PM spokesman reported to ATA.

    The coalition parties reiterated their complete support for the stands and measures taken by the government in the political, diplomatic and military plan to contribute to the political and peaceful solution of the conflict in Kosova, in close cooperation with the Contact Group countries and particularly with the United States, as well as with other partners and allies of Albania in the Balkans and broader.

    The parties of the government coalition expressed their maximal appreciation for the constructive role of the government in the unification of the stand of the political and military factor in Kosova, as well as for the contribution given for signing the Interim Peace Accord in Kosova, reached in Paris.

    The parties of the Government coalition, after being familiarized by PM Majko with the latest dramatic developments in Kosova and in vicinity of the Albanian border, considered necessary the measures taken by the Albanian government for the protection, defence and guarantee of the country's sovereignty.

    The parties state that the stability of Albania is very important; thus, strengthening of institutions, understanding of political parties and broader, the cohesion of the entire civil society are needed. The parties are engaged to work in progress for this sacred aim and appeal to leave aside the close and partial interests of individuals and different political groupings, which run counter to this direction.

    The government coalition parties renovated their call addressed to NATO for a quick and sudden intervention in Kosova, which would stop the fighting and massacres there, would punish those who caused this situation and would guarantee the implementation of the Accord signed in Paris. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] Fifth common Albanian-Turkish session to be organized

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA) - By E.Xhajanka - The Fifth Common Albanian- Turkish Session in hold on Tuesday with the initiative of the head of the economic, technical, commercial and technological commission and at the same time the Minister of Food and Agriculture Lufter Xhuveli.

    The Albanian part hailed the recent results and the steps taken to fulfill the Cooperation Agreement assigned in September 1998 in the Common Albanian-Turkish Protocol.

    Representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Trade Cooperation and the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs considered the bilateral corporation as very important and very fruitful as well.

    They appreciate the Turkish assistance in Steel Combine Elbasan, Albanian Telecom, (where a sum of 250 000 dollars are spent in buying only the equipment) and in the social insurance, where the Turkish government will give its assistance for an effective scheme in the Albanian social insurance. The cooperation in forests and plants' protection is considered very productive one, it is said in this meeting.

    The meeting between the two associations of Albanian-Turkish business is going to be hold in April aiming at supporting two economic, commercial and technical Commisions./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [24] NATO guarantees Albania for protection of country's sovereignty

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - By E. Nepravishta: The Albanian Government has been guaranteed by NATO and the United States that the integrity and sovereignty of Albania will not be infringed due to the quick precipitation of the situation in Kosova, the Albanian Minister of Information, Musa Ulqini, told a news conference on Tuesday.

    "The Albanian Government hopes in the solution of the situation in Kosova, but it has taken all the measures to cope with any kind of situation, even the worst one, in case of a further precipitation of the situation there," said Ulqini, pointing out the readiness to allow NATO use Albania's air and port facilities.

    Minister Ulqini also informed on the latest measures taken by the Albanian government. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [25] To favor native production by defining excise's deference

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA)- By M.Pupa - The Minister of Public Economy and Privatization Ylli Bufi hold on Tuesday a meeting with the representatives of the International Monetary Fond (IMF). The topic of the discussions was the possibility of keeping for a short time the slight excise difference of 20% to favor the native oil production.

    The restructure of "Albpetrol" company, the privatization of "SERVCOM" company predicted to end in 1999 is discussed in this meeting. The aim of this company is to help the Albanian Petrolium Corperation (APC) through different services and maintenance of the mechanical equipment.

    The Albanian Parliament approved December 1998 the excise for the native products and the imported ones./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [26] Albania Parliament holds special sitting on Kosova

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - By Ylli Pata: The Albanian Parliament convened Tuesday in a special plenary session on Kosova to examine the latest developments there and the measures taken by the Albanian government to cope with any kind of situation.

    Attending the session was also the President of the Republic, Rexhep Meidani.

    Albania Prime Minister Pandeli Majko reported in this sitting. He appreciated the work of all members of the Albanian delegation of Kosova in the Rambouillet talks and gave several details from the peace negotiations in France, where the Albanian government has given a great contribution.

    "We have greeted the signing of the peace deal in Kosova, not because it is an ideal solution, but a way to go towards the solution," declared Majko, who added that the Albanian army has already deployed the largest army arsenal in the northern border to respond to any kind of ominous scenario.

    The Albanian Premier urged the Albanian politics to "disarm" from conflicts and unite in front of the national problem.

    The sitting is going on behind closed doors with the report of the Minister of Defence, Luan Hajdaraga. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [27] Holbrooke's failure puts Albania in a difficult situation, Milo

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - By Ylli Pata: The Albanian Foreign Minister, Paskal Milo, declared Tuesday during the Parliament sitting that the failure of Holbrooke puts Albania in a difficult situation.

    "The Albanian Foreign Ministry will be on service to keep in constant touch with the western chancelleries, mainly with the NATO structures, which are expected to put the situation under control," said Milo.

    The chief of the Albanian diplomacy said that the government has asked the conduct of a joint meeting between Albania and NATO, which is expected to be held this weekend.

    "NATO is expected to start missile attack on the Serb military positions," Milo declared in today's Parliament sitting, which is still going on. /lh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [28] Albanian Government and IMF to approve program 1999

    Tirana, March 23 (ATA) - By Elton Metaj - The International Monetary Fond (IMF) since two weeks in Albania will ask the Executive Board to approve the program for the second half of 1999.

    This is confirmed through a statement for press, spread on Tuesday, by the representative of IMF in Tirana Volker Treichel. In the end of the discussions the mission and the Albanian authorities approved in principle the agreement for the second half of 1999 in the frame work of ESAF agreement to continue till March 2000, it is said in the statement.

    The international financial institution hailed the economic developments in Albania. The economic increase for 1998 after the Albanian crisis mark 8%. The inflation in December 1998 was under the limit of 10% and continues to fall in the first months of this year.

    IMF the 1999 budget approved by Albanian Parliament is a solid step toward the macroeconomics stability. At the same time the progress in the privatization process, land inscribes and the reform in banks' system will affect in economy structure.

    According to the statement the main macroeconomics objects for 1999 is GDP increase by 8% and keeping the inflation rate at 7%. To fulfill these objectives it is necessary the strength of 1999 budgets by the Albanian Government with measures to accomplish the New Custom Code, custom duties and the fight against smuggling and corruption. The Albanian Bank must follow a careful monetary policy.

    The Government must make a progress in the structure's reforms, especially in the banks' system and the enterprises privatization, developing of agriculture land market and the public administration of the Government.

    According to the statement of IMF representative in Tirana Volker Treichel the Albanian Authorities are involved to take some of these measures in the coming weeks.

    Having in mind the economic developments, according to the objectives of ESAF program, the mission will ask the Executive Board to approve the program.

    During the visit in Albania the mission of IMF met high Albanian Authorities.

    During the meeting hold between the Albanian Prime minister Pandeli Majko and the mission head Korker the macroeconomics indicators are considered as positive by IMF. He said to the Prime minister that the mission agrees to approve the objectives of "Letter of Intent" for the second six months of 1999.

    "We will support the Albanian Government to accomplish this agreement", stressed Korker./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [29] Town Municipality to restructure tax office

    Saranda, March 23 (ATA) - By Sh.Hajno - Saranda Municipality will restructure the tax office. "The restructure aims at minimizing the fiscal evasion and clear evidence of all subjects that have to pay their duties at this municipality", inform for ATA the chief of this office Lefter Thomari.

    According to the head of the Municipality Çapajev Zera the competencies of the local power presented in the budget 1999 mean the support in the local incomes.

    The specialists of the tax office are trying to identify all the subjects to pay the tax duties.

    Meanwhile the tax inspectors stimulate the direct cashing of the taxes in the tax office, by avoiding the previous way of paying the tax duties.

    "The structure of this office is not seen only as an increase of the number of the inspectors, but we are looking to increase the effectivity of this office in collecting all the tax duties within a short period of time", said the head of town hall.

    "This is the way to minimize the fiscal evasion" stated the head of Saranda municipality Çapajev Zera./linda/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [30] Minister of Information holds press conference on govt. meeting

    TIRANA, March 23 (ATA) - Council of Ministers held an urgent meeting on Monday at 19.30 p.m. to discuss the dramatic situation in Kosova which was increasingly aggravated as the time passed by, a situation, which could get out of control creating possibilities for a conflict of huge dimension accompanied with unprecedented massacres against the civil population.

    The Council of Ministers discussed the security of northern borders of Albania and passed a statement, which was made public.

    In its meeting the council presented a series of concrete measures aiming at maintaining Albania's stability, protecting and guaranteeing sovereignty and territorial integrity and undertaking maximum efforts in coordination with the international factor in order to avoid a bloody conflict and a real humanitarian catastrophe in Kosova.

    Defence minister Luan Hajdaraga briefed on the security situation in the northern borders and measures to put military structures in readiness in order to guarantee Albania's sovereignty.

    Foreign minister Paskal Milo reported on the meeting of the NATO ambassadors, intensive consultations with the NATO headquarters, understanding expressed in Brussels by the NATO Council of Ambassadors to discuss Albania's security in the coming days, consultations with Albania's partners especially the U.S. Department of State.

    He stressed the engagement of Albanian embassies, particularly those of the Contact Group on developments in Kosova, the situation of security in Albania. The Council of Ministers charged the foreign minister to hold intensive contacts because the situation in Kosova and in northern borders was aggravating as the time passed by.

    The Council of Ministers said that the Ministry of Order should complete as soon as possible the number of troops in border police units. The ministry was asked to provide necessary needs in logistics for all kinds of troops, in its dependent, deployed in north of Albania.

    It said that the ministry of local government in close cooperation with the U.N. Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should equip and prepare all rehabilitated buildings for the accommodation of a possible influx of people coming from Kosova. So far, free buildings can shelter some 10 thousand people but are expected to be increased in 15 thousands.

    Intensive work is underway to equip the main center of accommodation in Kukes for the people in need from Kosova in order to shelter some one thousand people at a time. Only 50 families have arrived recently in Kukes area while thousand others have gone to Macedonia. This is because the northern border is mined by the Serbian army.

    The Council of Ministers in its Monday meeting charged the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Local Government, prefectures and bodies of the local government with the task of putting into full efficiency the Republic's Civil Defence. They urged that all shelters not only in the north but also in the capital be prepared urgently.

    It charged the Ministry of Health to provide urgent supply with necessary medicaments for hospital centers in the north and capital, especially the military hospital.

    The Council of Ministers defined concrete tasks to increase the efficiency of all the state administration and ministers assumed the task that the organisation of and discipline in work, starting from Tuesday, function not only in compliance with the law but also with the present situation facing Albania.

    It decided that the prime minister Pandeli Majko being also in the capacity of Secretary General of the Socialist party called out a consultation on Tuesday with government coalition parties to discuss the situation. The meeting ended with all coalition parties backing the engagement of the Albanian government in facing the situation.

    Head of the Council of Ministers Pandeli Majko urged the deputies of the Albanian parliament to hold a special sitting on the latest development in Kosova and security situation in Albania.

    Praising the role of media in informing the public opinion on development in Kosova and the security situation in the north, the Council of Ministers considered reasonablely to appeal to it in order to contribute more and help Albanian public opinion have a real evaluation of the unusual security situation in the recent days.

    The Ministry of Information and spokesmen of ministries, especially those of Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry, Order Ministry be ready in any time to communicate with the media so that all journalists be able in every moment to be in touch with official information on every development they are interested in.

    The Council of Ministers said that - while all state structures are engaged in maximum to carry out the constitutional task of guaranteeing the security and sovereignty of Albania,

    - while the situation in Kosova is extremely grave and a conflict of huge dimension is possible and when some 200 innocent citizens have been killed on Monday, according to recent reports, - while the international factor is engaged as ever before in resolving the crisis in Kosova, the political grouping under Berisha (Democratic leader Sali) gathered on Monday in Tirana his supporters and chanted harsh slogans against the government asking in such moments for political solutions, which did not strengthen security and did not mobilise all Albanians to face the present situation but did incite instability.

    The Albanian government called on all Albanians despite party affiliations, to assess in maximum the situation and be engaged in compliance with the national message "One nation-One Attitude" to face this situation with determination and cold blood in the interests of the nation and the fatherland.

    On behalf of the government, I declared that all mentioned above confirmed the engagement of the Council of Ministers for a peaceful solution to the Kosova crisis, but at the same time the government was forced to be prepared in maximum in order to face any possible situations, which violates the security and territorial integrity of Albania. /lh/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [31] Parliament discusses Albania's measures after Kosova negotiations failed

    (Adds premier, foreign minister, defence minister quotes) TIRANA, March (ATA) - A few hours after the mission of the U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on the Kosova crisis failed, the head of the Albanian state and two ministers of his cabinet told on Tuesday the parliament that Albania was seriously preparing for the worst scenario, that of war.

    Albanian prime minister Pandeli Majko and two cabinet members, foreign minister Paskal Milo and defence minister Luan Hajdaraga, the latter in close door session, reported the parliament late on Tuesday on the efforts of the government in resolving the Kosova crisis peacefully as well as measures undertaken to face a possible spillover of the conflict.

    "Albania is being prepared for the worst scenario ... which implies total war not an Albanian-Serbian one but a war, which will engulf the whole region and expected to have a higher cost," prime minister Majko said.

    Foreign minister Milo said that "the failure of ambassador Holbrooke in Belgrade puts Albania in a very delicate situation in the days to come, therefore NATO intervention is necessary."

    Head of the parliamentary foreign commission Sabri Godo stressed the necessity for the establishment of some special structures of emergency which could face the needs in any situation.

    He protested against the stance of the Macedonian government on the closure of the border with Kosova, an attitude, which deserves to be strongly condemned by the Albanian government.

    Deputies of the Socialist majority voiced their support for the efforts of the Albanian government in facing a conflict with Serbia saying that they would join the army if it was needed. /lh/ak/

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