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ATA News from Albania, 96-10-30

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] SOLAR PANELS, A NEW MEANS OF PROFITING ENERGY
  • [02] APARTMENTS' SELLING IS GOING UP
  • [03] ALBANIAN-AMERICAN FUND PROMOTING ALBANIAN BUSINESS
  • [04] ALBANIA AND BOSNIA TOWARDS ECONOMIC-TRADE COOPERATION
  • [05] TIMES' CHANGE SAVES ENERGY EIGHT MILLION KILOWATT PER HOUR
  • [06] FALSIFIERS OF OLIVE OIL UNCOVER
  • [07] ALBANIAN PREMIER MEETS HEADS OF DELEGATIONS TO BSEC MEETING
  • [08] GOVERNMENT FIGHTS LAND EROSION
  • [09] ABOUT 8 MILLION DM FOR FAMILY PLANNING
  • [10] TRAINING IN LEGISLATION ON ENERGY
  • [11] ALBANIAN FIRMS IN "EUR.-PARTNERSHIP ITALY '96"
  • [12] FAO TO ASSIST ALBANIA
  • [13] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH STATE MINISTER IN THE CABINET OF CHANCELLOR KOHL
  • [14] ACTIVITY HELD ON OCCASION OF NATIONAL DAY OF AUSTRIA
  • [15] REQUEST BY FORMERLY POLITICALLY PROSECUTED ASSOCIATION REJECTED
  • [16] JAPAN CONTRIBUTES TO UNCOVER CHROME IN SHEBENIK MOUNTAIN, ALBANIA
  • [17] PRESS REVIEW
  • [18] ALBANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER MEETS STATE MINISTER OF GERMANY
  • [19] New Malta premier insists he is not anti-West
  • [20] FIRST CENTRE AGAINST DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOR STUDENTS SET UP
  • [21] ALBANIAN JUSTICE MINISTER MEETS REPRESENTATIVE OF U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [22] ALBANIAN DELEGATION ATTENDS MEETING OF PARLIAMENT VICE-PRESIDENTS OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE MEMBER COUNTRIES
  • [23] ALBANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER MEETS U.S STATE DEPARTMENT ENVOY

  • [01] SOLAR PANELS, A NEW MEANS OF PROFITING ENERGY

    by Nini Mano

    The use of solar panels for household purposes were an important topic of the workshop staged Friday, in Tirana by the Energy Efficiency Centre (EEC), assisted by "Synergy" program of European Community in collaboration with the Energy National Committee (ENC).

    The aim of the workshop was to inform the population for the values of taking advantage of solar energy and using it for household needs.

    "To promote the wide use of these panels in collaboration with ENC and with funds of PHARE program some 1000 solar panels worth of ECU 300 000 thousand will be donated to hospitals and hotels in Tirana, Durres, Fieri and Vlore cities," told Albanian Telegraphic Agency, Aleksander Shalesi, deputy director of EEC.

    The workshop was also attended by specialists of Technical University of Athens and "Egnatia Epirus" foundation of Ioannina.

    Other themes of the workshop have to do with household energy efficient use, solar water heating for sanitary use, building installation, building heating system and controls, and also control of nontechnical electric energy losses Albania is a country, with a lot of sunny days during the whole year around and so it increases the likelihood of taking advantage of solar energy for public and household needs.

    Especially the coastal cities like Fieri, Vlora, Saranda, Durresi are more favoured in this aspect than the other ones.

    Up to the for use of solar energy is installed 32 solar panes in public places as in hospital No. 5, senior citizen centre in Tirana and in various houses.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] APARTMENTS' SELLING IS GOING UP

    by Artan Gjata

    Obviously apartments selling in Tirana are rapidly growing during these last months, report private information agencies, which offer selling and leasing of sites as well.

    At present, each agency (only in Tirana) based on citizens bids, offers about 50 apartments.

    According to the owners, each agency conducts about 10-15 apartment selling per day, estimated to be around 100 to 150 apartments per months. This comes as a result of the influx in Tirana of many people from other districts, who dreamed to live in Tirana, but wasn't allowed before 1990.

    So, the lease of apartments is going up, making the cost of living in Tirana too dearly. Prices for apartments on lease with a kitchen and two rooms go from 250-500 USD per month depending on their accommodation and location. While the selling of the apartments is increased too.

    The newly constructed apartments in the centre of Tirana with a kitchen and three rooms are sold at a price ranging from 35 to 40 thousand USD.

    Referring to private construction companies, the bulk of the apartments is sold out, since the company buys the construction site. This si the reason why the volume of the construction in Albania on the part of private sector for the half part of the year 1996 is 103 times bigger than that of the state sector.

    There are some 50 thousands apartments constructed for a three year period.

    Compared to the same period in 1995, the volume of the construction by the second half of this year including the state sector companies is augmented 2,4 times.

    Currently in Albania are given 2113 licenses for the private construction companies, out of which, 111 licenses go to foreign companies. The majority of them conduct their activity in Tirana, for the simple fact the capital is attracting thousands of inhabitants in search of apartments.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] ALBANIAN-AMERICAN FUND PROMOTING ALBANIAN BUSINESS

    By A.Lazaj

    The Albanian-American Fund of Enterprises, FSHAN, will provide for ten years in succession some $30 million for credits and financing to help the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Albania.

    "Our aim is to help both the process of the enterprises' privatisation and the SME", said Domenick Scaglione, head of the fund's board departments, founder and president of the Intercontinental Company Inc, a trade and investment consultative firm.

    FSHAN was created by the government of the United States to encourage investment in the Albanian private sector. Since the beginning of its operation in January 1996, FSHAN, has approved financing for 12 companies worth $ 4.3 million.

    The fund has the right to grant credit and become co-owner in a company at the extent it makes investment and to offer technical assistance to encourage fresh private investment.

    FSHAN will lay special emphasis on the encouragement of the small and medium enterprises as will as of the joint ventures with U.S. or foreign capital and with Albanian partners.

    All the firms in which FSHAN invests should have at least an Albanian or American co-owner.

    The fund's policy is to finance projects beginning with 200.000 to 1.000.000 USD.

    The credits have an annual interest rate, usually 15% or more and normally have no more than five year terms.

    The fund can finance projects in all the economic sectors and in every region of the country, and has no most favourite sector.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] ALBANIA AND BOSNIA TOWARDS ECONOMIC-TRADE COOPERATION

    The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tirana Arben Shehi met recently with the Ambassador of Bosnia Herzegovina, Muharrem Zejnullahu.

    Mr Shehi stressed the full readiness of his institution to establish contacts with analogous institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He proposed an exchange of business missions in the two countries and the signing of an agreement of cooperation as a basis for the institutionalization of these relations.

    Mr Zejnullahu spoke of the economic situation of his country, the third Conference of Donators, Investments and Reconstruction of Bosnia- Herzegovina, and the tendencies of the present business development.

    They agreed on a participation of Bosnia-herzegovina in the Fair "Tirana Trade 96" held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana from November 16-20, 1996 and the participation of Albania in the International Fair of Zenica in Bosnia.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] TIMES' CHANGE SAVES ENERGY EIGHT MILLION KILOWATT PER HOUR

    By Nini Mano

    Setting out from October 27, in 15 European Union countries the time change by moving one hour behind.

    The saving of electric power is the primarily target of time changing in spring and winter times and for Europe this is one of the advantage of energy exploitation. The change is adjusted on exact calculation and the saving of energy is evident.

    But in Albania what are the advantages of time change ? Asked on this issue, the vice director of Albanian Electric Energy Corportion, Ymer Balla told ATA: "It is already known the economical advantage brought about to energy system by the time change. For November-March period, the average energy use reduction effected by the time change in our country is estimated to eight million kilowatt per hour, which constitute a large save of energy on Albanian energetic system.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] FALSIFIERS OF OLIVE OIL UNCOVER

    The Food Inspectorate near the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has carried out several controls in Southern districts where the olive oil is produced in order to uncover the falsifiers of this product, - Albania paper writes.

    The Inspectorate intercepted in the Mallakastra district 3.5 ton oil produced by amateurs, which was sold as a high quality olive oil. After the analyses, it came out that this oil contained 10% olive oil and 90% sunflower oil.

    This is the second case of falsifying the olive oil, after uncovering a quantity of 3.4 quintals in the Lezha district (Central Albania). The Inspectorate's actions have been due to the expired oil imported recently from Greece.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] ALBANIAN PREMIER MEETS HEADS OF DELEGATIONS TO BSEC MEETING

    Prime Minister Alseksander Meksi held a series of bilateral meetings with state and government heads of the countries participating in the BSEC meeting.

    The meeting with the President of Turkey, Sulejman Demirel, was a confirmation of the very good relations between the two countries. Meksi briefed Demirel on the successful development of the elections and their result.

    Meksi also made known the Albanian government's options on the correct solution of the Kosova issue.

    Demirel stressed that Albania has been and continues to be backed by Turkey.

    Meksi met with Romanian Prime Minister Vakaroju and together exchanged views on the development of the reforms in the two countries. Meksi invited the Romanian Premier for a visit to Albania.

    Invited by the Russian Prime Minister, Cernomirdin, the state and government heads conducted talks without reporters' presence.

    In his talks with Russian Prime Minister Cernomirdin, the President of Ukraine, Kucma, the President of Georgia, Shevardnadze, and the President of Azerbaidjan, Aiev, Meksi exchanged views on the situation in the region, the development of the bilateral relations and other issues.

    Meksi was received at a separate meeting by Bulgarian President Zhelju Zhelev. Meksi familiarised him with the development of the privatisation process in Albania.

    Zhelev said that the steps made by Albania, the most isolated country during the Hoxha regime, are an example not only for the Balkan countries but for the whole post-communist countries.

    On the same day Premier Meksi met with his Greek counterpart Kostas Simitis. "I express my delight at the very good relations between us, especially after the visit of President Stephanopoulos to Tirana", said Simits. He said that a new stage of our economic development should respond to this level.

    Meksi confirmed the will of the Albanian government for the development of the relations with Greece. He asked Greece's backing in signing Albania's association agreement with the EU.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] GOVERNMENT FIGHTS LAND EROSION

    The Albanian government will allocate Lek655m to protect land from erosion. This fund will be used in particular to protect 47 objects where the land has been eroded by rivers.

    About 40,000 hectar fo lands in Elbasan and Fier (central Albania) will be protected from the flooding of the Shkumbini and Vjosa rivers.

    Also, this grant will be used to reinforce the banks of the Terkuza river in Tirana, which has flooded many areas in the town of Kurbin.

    A lek2m fund is needed to systemize the rivers of Shkumbini, Vjosa and Buna,which flood very easily as soon as there is heavy rainfall. M.Spa

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] ABOUT 8 MILLION DM FOR FAMILY PLANNING

    By A.Lazaj

    A project drafted by the Ministry of Health and Environment Protection will began implementing by the beginning of 1997.

    Referring to Kristo Haxhi, it is the German government that is according 8 million DM for the rehabilitation and setting up new centres of family planning all over Albania.

    Within November, the construction companies will be selected. During the coming year, special attention will be paid to family planning. Each woman will have the advisory centre near every health centre, which will offer advises on how to create the family of the future. Lack of information about family planning often brought a lot of problems to the health of new couples. So such a project emerged as an immediate necessity.

    Woman, family sexual disease etc consist the most sharpest problems of the Albanian society. A project of such size will bring about knowledge and culture on family planning even in the remote districts of the country. Lack of a qualified personnel will be sorted out through special training courses. About 3 million DM will be used for this purpose.

    The courses will be conducted by an Albanian and German specialist and the lesson will be accompanied with audiovisual means.

    The first million will be absorbed by Kukes, Has, Peshkopi, Pogradec, Devoll and Kolonje districts. The project will also be expanded in other districts too.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] TRAINING IN LEGISLATION ON ENERGY

    By Nini Mano

    A two day training seminar on the legislation of the Energy Charter Treaty was held on October 24-25 at the Rogner Hotel in Tirana.

    The seminar, part of the PHARE-96 programme on Albania, was attended by specialists of various governmental institutions related to the energy system.

    The seminar had to do with technical assistance in the legislation of the Energy Charter Treaty for Eastern and Central Europe.

    The seminar was organnised by a three-firm-consortium including Denton Hall, the Energy Institute in Leiden of Netherlands and a Czech consultant firm, which are the winners of the tender for the Treaty's legislation.

    The treaty has been signed by 50 countries also including Albania, but it is not yet ratified.

    The seminar widely analysed the Albanian legislation on energy to examine its conformity with the treaty's legislation.

    The legislation includes various provisions to defend foreign and domestic investment under equal conditions for all investors wherever they work.

    This not only defends the investors and does not allow their discrimination but at the same time opens way for Albanian invertors to invest in other countries in the energy sector, the local representative of the Denton Hall Firm, Irena Agalliu, tells ATA.

    The specialists of the Albanian Energy Committee showed optimism in completing the legal framework on the energy situation of Albania with the recognition of the Energy Charter legislation, which intends Albania's inclusion in all European energy structures.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] ALBANIAN FIRMS IN "EUR.-PARTNERSHIP ITALY '96"

    By Artan Gjata

    Preparations are underway to increase participation of Albanian firms in the "Europartnerity Italy '96", to be held in Genova from November 27 to 29, upon the initiative of the European Community.

    The fair is part of the expansion of contacts between the Albanian firms and businessmen with European ones, sources of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tirana report.

    The aim of the activity is to stimulate the development of the less favoured regions of a country and to establish business relations with partners of this region.

    This autumn has enriched the spectrum of bilateral cooperation between the Albanian productive and trade firms and the European ones, especially of the neighbouring countries.

    Over the last 2-3 years Albanian companies and businessmen have participated in several Eur. partnerships including Lille of France, Glasgow of Scotland, Gdansk of Poland, Dortmund of Germany, Bilbao of Spain, Lisbon of Portugal and other counties where they have been familiarised with and have signed contracts with foreign firms.

    In the Genova meeting in which take part representatives of economy from the whole Europe, the Albanian businessmen will be enabled to get acquainted with the activity of over 400 Italian representatives of small and medium enterprises as well as with some 2500 enterprises of this kind from other European states.

    Business representatives are actually taking part in the fair of Porte de Versailles in Paris where businessmen from 11 states of Eastern and Central Europe and from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union have been gathered with the aim to develop new exports and encourage mutual investment.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] FAO TO ASSIST ALBANIA

    The World Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, through its affiliate, the International Division of the Food Nuclear Control, confirms through an official document sent to the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Food that it will help intercept the toxic food brought to Albania from neighbouring countries.

    Sources close to the Ministry report that the ministry will be provided with considerable aid to consist in technical assistance, training of Albanian specialists and bringing modern control laboratories in Albania from Vienna.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH STATE MINISTER IN THE CABINET OF CHANCELLOR KOHL

    TIRANA, OCT. 29 (ATA) - Albanian President Sali Berisha met Monday with Bernd Schmiedbauer, State Minister in the cabinet of Chancellor Kohl.

    Mr Schmiedbauer congratulated Mr Berisha on the important victory in the local vote and said that he rejoiced over the ballot turnout which confirmed that of May 26 and proved that most of the Albanians do not like communism but the democratic parties.

    By appreciating the important changes made in Albania, he said that "Your country has progressed a lot in the past four years and we are pleased that the election results of this year have created the country the possibility to progress in the coming years. Your visit to Bonn last year showed that you have good friends among the leaders of our country."

    President Berisha said he was pleased to welcome friends like Minister Schmiedbauer in such a moment of joy. After appreciating Germany's important assistance and support during the past four years, President Berisha expressed his gratitude to the German Government and institutions for their unshaken faith in the Albanian democracy and in the efforts of the government for the consolidation of democracy. "In these elections, the Albanians voted not only for the achievements reached so far but also for the values they share with their friends."

    Mr Berisha and Mr Schmiedbauer highlighted the level of the all-sided cooperation between Albania and Germany and expressed their satisfaction for the projects underway throughout the country.

    "Germany is resolute to increase its support and aid for Albania as a friendly country," said Mr Schmiedbauer, and "it considers very important the successes of Albania on the road of democracy." ake/kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] ACTIVITY HELD ON OCCASION OF NATIONAL DAY OF AUSTRIA

    SHKODRA, OCT 29 (ATA) By Myfit Malja: The branch of Albania-Austria Friendship association in Shkodra district, Northern Albania, held Tuesday a scientific conference on the occasion of the National Day of Austria. Participating were members of this association, teachers, students and others.

    Attending also were the chairman of the district council Mehdi Shabani, and the Ambassador of Austria in Albania, George Kalic.

    "The historic development of Austria and its international position" was the title of the first paper read out by the teacher of Gratz University, Hoder Hefler. While the second paper "Testimonies to ancient ties between Albania and Austria, and their revival in the years of democracy" was read out by Assistant Prof Dr Mahir Hoti.

    The Association branch secretary, Kolec Cefa, announced the winners of the competition "Austria's developments", and distributed some symbolic presents for 11 young people from Shkodra.

    After thanking for the activity, Kalic focused mainly on the Austrian assistance for the Shkodra district. He mentioned the funds for the complete reconstruction of the city aqueduct, the assistance for schools given by the Austrian Ministry of Education,etc.

    The documentary film "Austria developments in the economic field" was shown for the participants. /a.ke/kei/mt/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] REQUEST BY FORMERLY POLITICALLY PROSECUTED ASSOCIATION REJECTED

    TIRANA, OCT 28 (ATA) By Eva Allushi: Tirana Court has rejected a request by the Formerly Politically Prosecuted Association to be financed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Assistance.

    The request says that the Ministry is obliged to pay for the association, represented by Kurt Kola, for the period beginning from January 1, 1996 until now.

    According to the report of this Ministry to the Court, the association has violated the fundamental principle of pluralism, taking upon itself duties of the political parties, contrary to the legislation in force according to which this association must have a social character.

    The report also mentions the fact that "this association has become a member of the Right Wing League, which is made up of a set group of political parties."

    For this reason, according to a decision of the Council of Ministers, the Formerly Politically Prosecuted Association should not receive any financing from the special monetary fund, beginning from January 1, 1996. /kei/mt/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] JAPAN CONTRIBUTES TO UNCOVER CHROME IN SHEBENIK MOUNTAIN, ALBANIA

    TIRANA, OCT. 30 (ATA) - Japanese are helping to uncover chrome ore in the mountain of Shebenik, Central Albania, through a fund of about 3 million dollars by the Japanese government in the context of the technical cooperation between the two countries, spokesman of the Albanian Mining and Energy Sources Ministry reports.

    After a work for more than one year, Japanese experts are doing research to find chrome through drilling realised by the Italian firm Sorige.

    So far, two of three drillings have reached the layer of the chrome ore which is is about one meter thick, Japanese representative for the Albanian project, Hiroshi Mijajima said.

    The Minister of the Albanian Mining and Energy Sources, Abdyl Xhaja and the director of Geoalba, Vasil Grillo, saw closely the work made so far in this stage and highlighted the importance of the application of the Japanese project. In the mean time, negotiations are going on with the Japanese government for the continuation of the project.

    On this occasion, Mr Xhaja stressed the successful introduction of foreign companies in the mining field, especially Canadian, which are investing for the research, discovery and exploitation of the rich copper ore and its accompanying elements such as gold etc., in some northern districts of Albania, as in Mirdita, Shkodra, etc. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [17] PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, OCT. 30 (ATA) - Rilindja Demokratike carries an editorial entitled "SP belongs to the past." It also has a report on the meeting of Albanian President Sali Berisha with the State Minister in the cabinet of Chancellor Kohl, Schmiedbauer, citing him as saying that "I am pleased with the latest elections which confirmed those of May 26, 1996."

    Zeri i Popullit runs "The power in the mouth of Tritan Shehu declares war to pluralism." The paper writes that "Italy concerned over crime stemming from Albania."

    Republika writes "Meta attacks Sp leaders: The party in catastrophe, the presidency has failed." The paper also writes that "The Parliament starts working. Deputies after the campaign."

    Rilindja has an article on the meeting of the president of the Republic of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova with the deputy director of the Department for Southeastern Europe in the Foreign Ministry of Germany under the title "Life in Kosova should become normal." The paper also has a story entitled "Talks on the return of gold to Albania."

    Liria writes: "Shkodra, starting point for a new impulse of the right, " regarding the victory in the local vote of the new mayor, representative of the Shkodra Right wing League.

    Tribuna has an article entitled "After the second round of local ballot: CE declared elections in Albania were free and correct." The newspaper writes on the meeting yesterday of the Albanian Interior Minister Halit Shamata with the Italian Ambassador in Tirana, Paolo Foresti.

    Albania writes: "The money-landing and the bankers without banks." It also carries another article "DP in Vlora protests to the commission - U.S. diplomat, a pro-socialist."

    Koha Jone writes: "Italian observers report about the elections: 'DP wanted to corrupt us." This paper also writes that "London agrees to give Albania its gold."

    Dita Informacion writes that "The most massive transportation of Albanian emigrants uncovered in Greece," whereas Gazeta Shqiptare writes that Hajdin Sejdia, the man involved in the greatest financial scandal in 1990, will return in Albania. kei/xh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [18] ALBANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER MEETS STATE MINISTER OF GERMANY

    TIRANA, OCT 30 (ATA) - The Albanian Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affaires, Tritan Shehu, met Tuesday State Minister of Germany Bernard Schmiedbauer, Foreign Affaires Ministry press department reports.

    Shehu stressed the special interest on a broader cooperation between Albania and Germany. To us Germany is a great guest which has helped and supported a lot during the years of democracy, he said.

    Minister Shehu remembered the fact that the DP program has always stressed that cooperation with Germany will be of first priority. According to him, this cooperation is important not only for Albania, but also for the peace and stability in the region.

    Shehu asked Minister Schmiedbauer for the support of the German government to achieve a specific association agreement between Albania and the European Community.

    Schmiedbauer estimated the current level of the all-round cooperation between both countries, as well as the achievements in the Albanian foreign politics.

    Schmiedbauer expressed the concern of the German government on the situation in Kosova and stressed that the improvement or aggravation of the situation in Kosova is reflected in Albania as well.

    Shehu stressed the opinion of the Albanian government that the problem of Kosova is a political problem which needs solution through dialogue and in the presence of a third reliable party, ends the information of the Foreign Ministry press department. s/sh/kei/mt/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [19] New Malta premier insists he is not anti-West

    VALLETTA, Oct 30 (Reuter) - New Maltese Prime Minister Alfred Sant said on Wednesday Malta's decision to withdraw from the NATO Partnership for Peace programme and not to seek full EU membership was not directed against Europe or the United States.

    Two days after being sworn in as prime minister, Sant told a news conference that his government would evaluate talks held so far between the European Union and Malta and would maintain and continue those which were compatible with the sort of relationship Malta was seeking.

    "We want a special, close relationship with the European Union based on Malta's particular circumstances. EU regulations might be good for large countries such as France but they are unsuitable for Malta."

    "Those talks with the EU which were coherent with the new approach Malta is taking will be kept up," he said.

    For example, he added, the VAT taxation system imposed to meet Europe's rules "is not suitable for Malta and will therefore be removed, thus signifying that Malta is not seeking full EU membership."

    Sant said he did not expect to attend next December's EU summit meeting in Dublin. Malta's prime minister has for the past two years been invited to EU summits along with the leaders of other countries seeking EU membership.

    Sant said Malta will also seek close relations with the United States.

    "With the United States we will seek the best possible relations in political and economic areas, particularly for investment purposes. We also hope to increase security cooperation in areas like fighting drugs," Sant said.

    He said a Maltese envoy left for Brussels on Tuesday and would be meeting the NATO deputy secretary general on Wednesday to present a verbal note explaining that Malta was withdrawing from the NATO Partnership for Peace programme because it saw it as incompatible with its constitutional provisions.

    This action, Sant said, should not be seen as a judgement of how other countries implemented their neutrality.

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [20] FIRST CENTRE AGAINST DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOR STUDENTS SET UP

    TIRANA, OCT 30 (ATA)- By A. Milo,

    The association "For the benefit of the Albanian women" , in the context of its projects in the social field, inaugurated recently the monitor centre for gathering data on the students who are drug and alcohol addicts in Tirana.

    The centre will also recommend ways to alleviate these phenomena of the time.

    It will also serve as a consultative centre not only for the youths but also the parents and public concerned in these phenomena. kei/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [21] ALBANIAN JUSTICE MINISTER MEETS REPRESENTATIVE OF U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS

    TIRANA, OCT 30 (ATA)-The Albanian Justice Minister, Kristofor Peci, held a working meeting on Wednesday with the representative of the U.S. State Department on Human Rights, Steve Coffey, and familiarised him with the activity of the Justice Ministry in drafting the new legislation, the spokesman of the Justice Ministry reports.

    Coffey appreciated Albania's achievements and expressed the desire for a further cooperation and assistance from the U.S. State Department.

    Coffey highly estimated the latest positive achievements including the local elections and the courts' independent budget.

    He showed interest in the approval of the constitution, suggesting cooperation between the political forces; in the independence of the judicial system; the freedom of the press, the respect and support to be provided to non governmental organisations.

    Coffey confirmed that the USA is ready to support Albania, where the democratisation process is going on.

    Also attending the meeting was the U.S. ambassador to Albania Ms. Marisa Lino. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [22] ALBANIAN DELEGATION ATTENDS MEETING OF PARLIAMENT VICE-PRESIDENTS OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE MEMBER COUNTRIES

    TIRANA, OCT 30 (ATA)-An Albanian parliamentary delegation, headed by the parliament's deputy-speaker, Margarita Qirko, attended the proceedings of the Vienna meeting of the parliament vice-presidents of the Central European Initiative member countries, at the invitation of the deputy chairwoman of the Austrian Federal Council, Anna Haselbach.

    On the first day of the meeting, held between October 27-29, 1996, Qirko said that the landslide victory of the democratic forces in the October 20 local polls in Albania confirmed once again the consolidation of democracy in Albania. It also clearly testified to the natural position of Albania.

    The Albanian delegation at the end of the first day proceedings was among the most active ones in drafting and approving the final act, in which the Kosova issue found a special place.

    Qirko was also received at a separate meeting by the president of the Austrian parliament and deputy chairman of the Social-democratic Party of Austria, Mr. Heins Fischer, who considered excellent the current relations between Austria and Albania.

    Fischer showed readiness to help expand contacts between the two parliaments and help democracy in Albania.

    Another meeting was held between the deputy chairwoman of the Federal Council, Haselbach, and Ms. Qirko. They agreed to intensify relations between the Austrian Federal Council and the Albanian parliament.

    Haselbach accepted with pleasure the invitation of the deputy speaker of the Albanian parliament for a near visit to Albania. kled/lm/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [23] ALBANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER MEETS U.S STATE DEPARTMENT ENVOY

    TIRANA, OCT 30 (ATA)- The Albanian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Tritan Shehu, had a working meeting with the envoy of the U.S. State Department, Coffey, this morning, according to Foreign Ministry Press and Information department.

    Shehu, on behalf of the Albanian government, thanked the U.S. government and President Clinton for the great support and precious and generous assistance to Albania.

    The comprehensive aid and support of the U.S. government has been a very significant factor for the successful development of the reforms in Albania and the materilaisation of Albania's efforts on the road of its integration with the Eur.-Atlantic structures, Shehu said.

    "We have always valued the U.S. contribution to the solution of the Bosnia conflict and are grateful to it for its concern over the Kosova issue.

    "The opening of the Information Office in Pristina was a significant development in this relation.

    "We have considered the cooperation and friendship with the United States of special significance. But the deep friendly feeling Albanians cherish for the U.S. as well as the support of your country and government for Albania have roused unfriendly attitudes among some groups with specific interests and, perhaps also in some official group, that have allowed themselves absurd misinformations about the Albanian reality and unkind and unfavorable words of the free and fair vote, and even acts running counter to the joint interests on the stability in the region.

    "Despite all these, we are determined, through constructive dialogue, to continue to engage ourselves in consolidating our friendship with your country, which is significant not only for Albania but for the whole region as well", Shehu said.

    Coffey said he and his colleagues have noticed impressive changes and progress in Albania in so short a while. Coffey regarded the October 20 local polls as a step ahead on the road of democracy.

    He said that with the elections being over in Albania, the drafting and approval of the news constitution should be considered another step towards the consolidation of democracy.

    Shehu said that the Council of Europe has clearly expressed that there is no political vacuum in Albania. The democratic government and the democratic Party have been most interested in drafting and approving the new consititution.

    Shehu said that the October 20 elections result fully and convincingly confirmed the result of the May 26 polls.

    Also attending the meeting was the U.S. ambassador in Tirana, Ms. Lino. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/


    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at http://www.telpress.it/ata


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