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Voice of America, 97-03-16

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA DIPLOMACY (L) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [02] ALBANIA EXODUS (L) BY KYLE KING (DURRES)

  • [01] ALBANIA DIPLOMACY (L) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=3/16/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211550
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS ENDED TWO-DAYS OF TALKS SUNDAY IN THE NETHERLANDS WITH A MILDLY WORDED STATEMENT PROMISING SUPPORT TO EFFORTS TO RESTORE PUBLIC ORDER IN ALBANIA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THE MINISTERS ARE DIVIDED OVER WHETHER TO SEND A MILITARY FORCE TO THE BALKAN NATION GRIPPED BY ANARCHY.

    TEXT: THE EUROPEAN UNION IS SENDING AN EVALUATION MISSION TO ALBANIA MONDAY. BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY MALCOLM RIFKIND SAID THE ADVISORY COMMISSION WILL DISCUSS WITH THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT CIVIL RECONSTRUCTION, POLICE AND MILITARY MATTERS. THE E-U NATIONS IMPLICITLY REJECTED THE REQUEST OF SPECIAL ENVOY FRANS VRANITZKY A FORCE OF FOUR-THOUSAND POLICE AND TROOPS BE SENT TO RESTORE ORDER. THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL SEEK U-N APPROVAL FOR ANY ASSISTANCE IT MIGHT PROVIDE TO ALBANIA.

    DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER HANS VAN MIERLO SAID EARLIER THAT EFFORTS TO RESTORE ORDER WOULD BE HELPED IF PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA RESIGNED. THE DUTCH MINISTER SAID HE HAS ASSURANCES MR. BERISHA WILL STEP DOWN IF HIS PARTY LOSES NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO BE HELD BY JUNE. THE EMBATTLED ALBANIAN PRESIDENT, LARGELY ABANDONED BY HIS ARMY, EARLIER APPEALED FOR NATO FORCES TO BE SENT TO ALBANIA. NATO HAS REJECTED THE REQUEST.

    THE EUROPEAN UNION WAS DIVIDED OVER HOW TO RESPOND TO THE ALBANIAN CRISIS. BRITAIN, GERMANY, AND SWEDEN WERE THE MOST RELUCTANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH MILITARY FORCES. FRANCE AND DENMARK FAVORED A FORCEFUL RESPONSE. THE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THE E-U STATEMENT ON ALBANIA WAS NEITHER HELPFUL NOR DAMAGING.

    THE STATEMENT CALLS FOR ALBANIA TO ACCEPT PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR REBUILDING THE COUNTRY. HUMANITARIAN AID IS PROMISED FOR WHENEVER IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE DELIVERED.

    THE EUROPEAN UNION DOES NOT RULE OUT POLICE AND MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IF THAT IS THE RECOMMENDATION OF ITS ADVISORY MISSION. MEANWHILE, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER KLAUS KINKEL SAYS THERE IS LITTLE CHANCE GERMANY CAN TAKE ANY LARGE NUMBERS OF REFUGEES FROM ALBANIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/DW/RAE
    16-Mar-97 1:54 PM EST (1854 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA EXODUS (L) BY KYLE KING (DURRES)

    DATE=3/16/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211553
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUNDREDS OF DESPERATE ALBANIANS TRYING TO FLEE THE VIOLENCE AND POVERTY IN THEIR COUNTRY SCUFFLED WITH POLICE IN THE PORT CITY OF DURRES ON SUNDAY. MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SLEEPING NEAR DOCKS AND BEACHES IN THE TOWN, HOPING TO BOARD SHIPS BOUND FOR ITALY. FROM DURRES, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: OUTSIDE THE GATES TO THE PORT IN DURRES, PEOPLE HOPING TO FLEE ALBANIA ANXIOUSLY STARED OUT AT THE EMPTY HARBOR, WHICH IS BEING TIGHTLY GUARDED BY POLICE.

    // SOUND OF POLICE //

    FACED WITH GROWING NUMBERS OF PEOPLE HOPING TO BOARD ANY SHIP THAT COMES INTO THE PORT, POLICE SHOUTED -- GET AWAY -- TO ANYONE TRYING TO COME THROUGH THE FENCE.

    IN ONE INCIDENT, POLICE FIRED AUTOMATIC RIFLES WEAPONS OVER THE HEADS OF SEVERAL-THOUSAND PEOPLE, AND USED STICKS TO BEAT MANY BACK FROM THE AREA WHERE FOREIGNERS WERE EVACUATED SATURDAY BY SHIP.

    ONE PREGNANT WOMAN, WHO TRAVELED TO DURRES FROM TIRANA, SAID SHE DESPERATELY WANTED TO GO TO ITALY.

    // 4 ALBANIAN ACTUALITY //

    THERE ARE PROBLEMS HERE SHE SAYS. THE STORES HAVE BEEN LOOTED AND THERE IS NO BREAD. NEARBY, ON A SMALL BEACH DOTTED WITH MANY OF THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BUNKERS BUILT UNDER THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT, OTHERS HAD THE SAME COMPLAINT.

    /// SECOND ALBANIAN ACT, ESTABLISH AND FADE ///

    THIS MAN SAYS -- NO BREAD, NO BREAD. THERE IS NO BREAD.

    ANOTHER MAN WHO COULD SPEAK ENGLISH SAYS HE WILL GO ANYWHERE HE CAN FIND WORK.

    /// ACT OF YOUNG MAN ///

    WHAT CAN I DO IN THIS MOMENT WHEN I HAVE NO JOB. I WANT TO FIND A JOB IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.

    /// END ACT ///

    INSIDE DURRES, WHERE SUPPLIES OF FOOD, WATER, AND ELECTRICITY HAVE BEEN IN SHORT SUPPLY, A SHOP OWNER SAYS HE IS WORRIED ABOUT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.

    // THIRD ALBANIAN ACT, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    HE SAYS THE FOOD WE HAVE IN STORAGE CAN ONLY LAST US ABOUT FIVE TO SEVEN DAYS, BECAUSE ALL THE OTHER SHOPS ARE CLOSED.

    SINCE THE UNREST BEGAN, ALBANIA HAS BEEN VIRTUALLY CUT OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD. HE SAYS HE IS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPENED WHEN SUPPLIES RUN OUT.

    // 9 FOURTH ALBANIAN ACT, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    THE SHOP OWNER SAYS HE DOES NOT KNOW. AFTER HE SELLS WHAT HE HAS, HE SAYS IT WILL DEPEND ON THE GRACE OF GOD.

    DESPITE THE ANARCHY THAT HAS SWEPT THOUGH THE COUNTRY, PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA CONTINUES TO REJECT DEMANDS HE STEP DOWN.

    A SPOKESMAN FOR MR. BERISHA SAID THE ALBANIAN LEADER WILL RESIGN IF HIS DEMOCRATIC PARTY LOSES IN UPCOMING ELECTIONS.

    MOST ALBANIANS BLAME THE PRESIDENT FOR THE CRISIS AND FOR FAILING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE COLLAPSE OF UNREGULATED INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT MANY HAD POURED THEIR LIFE SAVINGS INTO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/RAE
    16-Mar-97 2:40 PM EST (1940 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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