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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-05-06
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Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 MEETING OF MINISTER NGJELA WITH COUNCIL OF EUROPE DELEGATIONTIRANA MAY 5 (ATA) - The Albanian Minister of Justice, Spartak Ngjela, held Monday a working meeting with the Chairmen of the Political Groups of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, spokesman of the Ministry of Justice reports.
During the meeting, the group of the Parliamentary Assembly asked to know from Minister Ngjela the reasons why the political parties do not agree about the election system.
Minister Ngjela said that the Ministry of Justice has presented the drafts for the election law, by consulting with the political parties, but they are not finding a way of compromise and the conflict stands on the fact whether the system should be a majority or proportional one.
Further on, Ngjela said that compromise is requested for the participation in the elections. He also expressed to the delegation the concern that the parties are afraid of a revenge after the elections and a compromise should be reached.
"For this we ask the help of the international bodies which are present in Albania, as well as the help for a wide monitoring with the right of a referee for these elections, so that we do not have riots after the elections," said Ngjela. /s.sh/kei/mt/k
 PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS WITH AD-HOC COMMISSION OF THE POLITICAL GROUPS CHAIRMEN AND RAPPORTEUR OF THE POLITICAL COMMISSION OF THE CE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLYTIURANE, MAY 5 (ATA) - The President of Albania, Sali Berisha met today with the Ad-Hoc Commission of the Political Groups chairmem and the Rapporteur of the Political Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, President's press and information office reports.
"Today Albanians, who are very grateful to Europe, are more conscious than ever that cooperation with the Council of Europe, the adoption of European standards and all-sided economic and political cooperation with European institutions are vital for their present and future," said President Berisha.
In the past five years, Europe proved an extraordinary solidarity to Albania. Considering Albania a part of it, Europe has invested and is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Albania's stability, consolidation of democracy, for its development and prosperity. Europe has respected and respects Albanian legal institutions to the construction of which it has made a great contribution.
On this occasion, President Berisha assured of the full success of the Alba mission and confirmed to the delegation that Albanians have welcomed friendly this mission.
"We," stressed President Berisha, "defined the political solution together with Europe as the best solution in overcoming the consequences of the failed armed rebellion, whose pretext, in fact, was the collapse of pyramid investment schemes, whereas a deeper cause was irreconcialibility of Albanian former communists with the loss of power through the free vote.
Every effort to infringe the March 9 Agreement undermines our joint efforts to bring Albania out of the crisis. The conditioning of the fate of the agreement and of the country's stability with the dialogue on the electoral law, something not included in the agreement, is simply an alibi which helps divert the attention from major hindrances to the elections, which are the committees and rebel gangs or the SP armed wing, which are supported lately not only by the SP presidency, but also by the SP political wing in the Government.
The electoral process will have its way open not through supporting and keeping these committees alive, but through condemning their illegal activity, the acts of terror against innocent people. Elections in Albania will be realised not by issuing ultimatums for the adoption of the proportinal electoral system which is equally democratic with the majority system of elections, but by making sincere efforts for the successful realisation of the premises of the elections, hence, by strictly observing the March 9 agreement.
President Berisha stressed that the transparence on the pyramid schemes is extremely important for the country's stabilization. I have asked the Finance Minister repeatedly to be committed to secure this transparence.
Former opposition forces, for direct political motives, have told the people that the Government has taken their money and that the foundation presidents are being kept in prison to conceal this fact. Why now, that the former opposition is in power and has all the documentation on the pyramid investment funds and their presidents are free, does it refuse to make clear to the people which was the fate of their money?
President Berisha confirmed once more in the meeting that he is resolute to set the date of elections in the earliest possible time.
"But I ask from you, Mr Schieder (chairman of the Socialist Group in the Council of Europe) as a distinguished representative of the European left wing to insist that SP denounces its alliance with these committees, alliance which is serving the consolidation of the fundamentalist wing of this party and which is preventing the political solution, and deteriorating the situation in Albania.
Members of the Ad-Hoc Commission assured Prsident Berisha of the full support and readiness of the Council of Europe to help with all its manner of means to overcome its difficult situation. They voiced their understanding that the Council of Europe will play the main role in the monitoring of the elections, in close cooperation with OSCE and other national institutions. ssh/xh/k
 ALBANIAN SPEAKER MEETS COUNCIL OF EUROPE DELEGATIONTIRANA, MAY 5 (ATA) - The Albanian Speaker, Pjeter Arbnori, met Monday with the delegation of the Chairmen of the Political Groups and Political Rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, spokesman of the People's Assembly.
The delegation was made up of Peter Schieder, Rene Van der Linden, Jaako Laakso, Walter Schwimmer, Hallgrim Berg, Sir Russel Johnston, Bruno Haller, Mateo Sorinas.
Arbnori stressed the necessity of the real emancipation of the political forces in Albania.
He said that the main hindrance for the conduct of the free and fair elections are the armed rebellious committees.
"No real elections can be held without their dissolution," underlined Arbnori.
Arbnori asked the parliamentarians of the Council of Europe Assembly to help the conduct of free and and fair elections, and a correct election campaign.
With regard to the problem of the election law, Arbnori informed that in the existing law are also considered the remarks of the Council of Europe.
"It is not the system that defines whether this law is democratic or no, but its correct implementation, equal for all," said Arbnori.
In response to the interest on the anti-genocide law, Arbnori stressed that this law is amended on the basis of remarks of the Council of Europe.
"The law excludes only the Sigurimi officers, collaborators of the communist Sigurimi, from being elected deputies and ministers," said Arbnori.
The commission AD-Hoc of the Chairmen of the Political Groups and Rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly assured a wide help of the Council of Europe for the election system in Albania.
They appreciated the agreement reached among the political parties for the establishment of the National Reconciliation Government, and estimated the role of the Albanian Parliament in enriching the legislation with the contemporary European spirit.
In the discussions held in this meeting were also examined the possibilities of compromises that can lead towards the consensus with the political forces. /s.sh/kei/mt/k
 STILL NO CONSENSUS REACHED BETWEEN DP AND SPTIRANA, MAY 5 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: The leaders of the two major Albanian parties, the chairman of the Democratic Party, Tritan Shehu, and the chairman of the Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, did not come to terms on the Monday meeting to set up the conditions that will precede the conduct of the new parliamentary elections.
"The problem of law can be compared with that of the dissolution of the rebellious committees, because they are illegal, while the law is wide," said Shehu after the meeting.
"Shehu did not preconditioned the conduct of the free elections with the disarming of the population. We asked DP to play its role and to give the contribution for the disarming of the people," said Nano
Nano said that SP does not order the committees and can not dissolve them.
"If the Socialist Party can not do this, we asked her to distance herself politically from those committees for the necessity of their dissolution. A distance of SP can enable the removal of the political coverage of the committees and they will be soon dissolved," said Shehu.
The main problem, which prevents the establishment of the normal conditions for the conduct of free and fair elections, according to DP, is the existence of the rebellious committees, while to SP the most important problem is that of the election law.
SP favours a pure proportional law, while DP favours a majority system. /kei/mt/k
 90 PER CENT OF SCHOOLS REOPENED IN GJIROKASTERGJIROKASTER, MAY 5 (ATA) - By H. aani: The teaching process started on Monday in 90 per cent of the schools in Gjirokaster.
"The teaching process restarted in all the primary and 8-year schools, as well as in the high school called "Gjimnazi i Ri"," the director of the Education Department in Gjirokaster, Yzeir Poshi, told ATA.
Poshi added that the police bodies still hesitate to take the responsibility for securing the high schools, the pedagogical and the industrial ones.
The high school in Bularat, the zone of minority, as well as a series of primary and 8-year schools were opened.
The participation of pupils have been 20 per cent, but it is expected it will increase in the next days.
"We hope, said Poshi, that the teaching process will start in all the schools of the district within May 12."
According to the information from the University "E. aabej," all the teaching staff is ready to restart the teaching process, but not approval is taken by the police bodies, which can not secure the grounds in dormitories. /s.sh/kei/mt/k
 CE DOES NOT MAKE PRESSURE ON ALBANIA BUT IT DEMANDS DEMOCRACY AND ITS RECOMMENDATIONS BE OBSERVED- declares the leader of the delegation of the Ad-Hoc Commission of the political groups' chairmen of the CE Parliamentary Assembly -
TIRANE, MAY 5 (ATA) - By Atalanta Pasko: "We shall come again to assist Albania. We do not make pressure. The only pressure we may make is the observation of democracy and recommendations of the Council of Europe," said the leader of the delegation of the Ad-Hoc Commission of the political groups' chairmen of the CE Parliamentary Assembly, Peter Schieder in a news conference at the end of a two-day visit to Albania.
Mr Peter Schieder, chairman of the Socialist Group of the CE Parliamentary Assembly, Peter Schieder, said that after all the meetings held in Tirane with the political forces, the government, the Prime Minister and President Berisha, the group he represents has the conviction that there is a common opinion to set June 29 or another date near it, as the date of the earlier parliamentary elections in Albania. He said that there are possibilities for an agrement between various parties, an agreement which includes all or almost all the parties, but in which, nevertheless, the two biggest parties, DP and SP will be included.
Schieder stressed that this agreement would include a package on the electoral law, TV coverage of the electoral campaign, dissolution of the armed committees in some cities of Albania and the law against those who have exerted genocide.
He said that one of the demands of the parties was the extension of the mandate of the multinational forces in Albania, that is, the commitment of these forces during the election day.
"But I don't know if this will be realised because it is not up to us to decide, it depends on the respective countries," said Mr Schieder.
He pointed out that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe supports the commitment and assistance that OSCE has given to Albania to come out of the crisis, adding that CE has approved to help Albania with its observers, in cooperation with other European organizations.
Mr Schieder's opinion that the only person who has not faith in a possible agreement between various political forces is Albanian President Sali Berisha, was corrected by Mr Walter Schwimmer, chairman of the Group of the European People's Party, who said that the Albanian President does not oppose any agreement that the parties may reach.
"Berisha does not want that the legitimate issues be mixed in the same package with illegitimate ones, and which have to do with the armed committees. We, too, in our communique, say, in point 8, that 'the committees which have come to power illegally in some parts of the country, should help restore the normal functioning of the local structures elected according to the rules," said Schwimmer.
He added that the CE has also demanded a guarantee of the free movement of the people. "As far as I saw, the president is not against but is ready to accept the agreement that the parties will reach," stressed Schwimmer.
Sir Russell Johnston, leader of the Liberal Democratic and Reformer's Group in the European Parliament, said that as far as the electoral law was concerned, he believed that a comprimise would be reached, but he had his had reserves regarding the various stands he noticed with regard to the armed committees.
"Regarding these committees, different positions were adopted evein in the same ministry. Some said that they are linked with mafia and some said no, and in this point, I see that the solution will not be easy," said Mr Johnston, stressing that also CE has said that the committess should leave their place to the legal local governments.
Representative of the European Democratic Group, Mr Hallgrim Berg, said that he had confidence that a compromise will be attained on the electoral law, the timing of the polls and the anti-genocide law.
"I dont's understand the concern of the president when he says that the constitutional issues and those of various committees cannot be included in the same package, just like I do not understand that elections be held in the presence of arms. I think that these questions would be more difficult in those zones where pyramid schemes were centerd and where people possess arms. I also think that all those have have influence in those zones, should use it so that these committees be dissolved," said Mr Berg.
Mr Jaakko Laakso, chairman of the Group of the Unified European Left said that he believed that the solution will be reached, and that he had faith in the flexibility of President Berisha.
Rene van der Linden, rapporteur on Albania of the Political Commission of the CE Parliamentary Assembly, said that the main problem remains the restitution of the order and resumption of the normal life throughout the country. "Therefore, it is important that the committees be disbanded, but I am not so optimistic about this issue," he said.
In reply to a question, Mr Van der Linden said that last October local polls, monitored by CE, are described as correct and fair, therefore, the local governments that has emerged from them are legitimate.
When a reporter asked him to give an example where a committee had removed the legal elected official of the local government, Mr Van der Linden said that this example is the city of Vlore itself.
Mr Schieder said in response to another reporter's question that during the talks, he had noticed that SP is ready to accept the majority system electoral law of 1992, but with some amendments. He said that the DP demand for a majority system only "is merely tactics."
In reply to another question, Mr Laasko stressed that no political force should prevent the elections. "All can realise what it means if Albania does not hold elections," he said. /kei/xh/k
 VACCINATION AGAINST POLIO BEGINS FOR AGES FROM 0 TO 5TIRANA, MAY 6 (ATA)- By A. Milo, The vaccination campaign against polio for children between 0 and 5 began on May 5, according to the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Health and Environment, Elda Kongoli.
From May 5 to 10 the vaccination will be carried out in the districts of Tirana, Kavaje, Durres, Lushnje, Fier, Mallakaster, Kruje and Kurbin.
In Diber, Bulqize, Puke, Kukes, Skrapar, Shkoder, Malesi e Madhe and Has the vaccination will be carried out between May 12 and 17.
The other districts will carry out the campaign between May 19 and 23. Of importance is the distribution of vaccines all over the districts, for which all the necessary measures have been taken, the spokeswoman explains. kled/lm/sh/
 WE ARE AGAINST COMMITTEES, ASK RESTORATION OF LEGAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AS CONDITION FOR ELECTIONS - LindenTIRTANA, MAY 5 (ATA)- By R. Floqi, The Dutch Christian Democrat deputy and rapporteur of the CE Parliamentary Assembly Political Commission, Rene van der Linden, said that the Council of Europe considers the committees illegal.
"We are against the fact that people, who illegally use force, be legal authorities. Therefore we ask the restoration of the local government as a precondition for elections. The October 20 local elections in Albania were regular and fair," Linden, who visited Albania in the framework of the CE Ad Hoc Commission, said in an interview with ATA.
He said that the European Commission had expressed its view in connection with the Committees once by the beginning of March and later by the beginning of April.
"Unless public order is restored and the committees eliminated, we cannot have free and fair elections," Linden said.
Referring to the timing of the elections, he said: "We hold it is better that the elections be held as soon as possible, but on the other hand we should be sure that the conditions exist and preconditions are met so that no objections emerge with the release of the voting results." pas/lm/e
 PRESS REVIEWTIRANA, MAY 6 (ATA)- Today's Rilindja Demokratike says in its editorial that the DP is moving towards another victory in elections. The paper covers the meeting of President Berisha with the CE Parliamentary Assembly Ad Hoc Commission under the title:"CE reiterates 'rebel committees should be disbanded'".
The paper reports on yesterday meeting of the DP-SP leaders under the title:"SP does not dissociate itself from the armed allies".
The paper considers Minister Malaj a manager of pyramid firms adding that he risks a 20 years imprisonment.
Zeri i Popullit carries the note entitled: "Financial catastrophe". The article reports on the huge financial deficit caused, according to the paper, by the "DP gangsters over their six years of governing".
The newspaper covers yesterday's news conference of the CE Parliamentary Assembly delegation under the title:"Berisha, the only one against compromise". The paper carries the article:"The country on the verge of a governmental crisis".
It carries opinions from foreign reporters and renowned western authorities entitled:"Berisha burned the country to hold the power".
Republika reports in its editorial today on the provocations to the Alba operation soldiers in Vlore and Durres".
The paper carries the article:"The bank swallows up VEFA's money". The paper reports on yesterday's DP-SP meeting under the title:"Elections at deadlock. Tomorrow political crisis".
Rilindja reports on Berisha's meeting with the CE delegation under the title:"Albanians are very grateful to Europe". The paper carries the article : "The U.S. has not changed policy towards Kosova" as well as the article "The U.N. office on Kosova may open by the end of the summer". The paper carries the article:"Alibi on hiding Serb terror".
Under the headline: "Shocking testimony of a Vlore citizen", Albania carries the article:"Arben Malaj has received the money of the Otranto victims". "The Finance Minister has admitted in the eyes of Lefter Zani that he would take the money of the Otranto victims for the Vlore pensionists", the paper says.
"Serreqi attacks Americans", is the title of the newspaper's editorial.
Albanian former Foreign Minister (1992-1996) and chairman of the Albanian Parliament Foreign Policy Commission, Alfred Serreqi, publicly accused the U.S. yesterday of being the author of destabilising Albania and of the current crisis," the editorial says further on.
"If the SP said today it cannot disband the committees, we invited it to publicly distance itself from them," the paper cites democrat leader Shehu as saying under the title:"SP does not surrender 'the committees'".
Under the headline:"CE believes in reaching a quick political consensus", the paper carries the article:"The committees will be disbanded by those who created them". "In reaching the compromise I count on the flexibility of Berisha", the paper cites the chairman of the European Left Union, Jaako Laasko, as saying.
Koha Jone entitles its editorial:"The political players are confused". "Masked men ambush at Thumane the Movement for Democracy leaders", the paper says underlining that over 15 bullets have pierced the car which Serreqi and deputy Fehmi Godo were travelling in. "He has toughly criticised Berisha", the paper says adding that none of them was harmed.
"SP-DP, the o'clock hand has stuck on March 9", the paper says regarding yesterday's meeting of the DP and SP leaders, Shehu and Nano. "The committees and the electoral law itself are two knots which seem to force the politics violate the March 9 agreement, the paper says.
Drita carries an interview with Finance Minister Malaj under the title:"The hitherto truth".
"First I have made public the contradictions existing between me and the President of the Republic. President's approach to ask from the Ministry of finances the control of the pyramid firms is anti-constitutional," the paper cites Malaj as saying.
The paper also carries an interview with the republican leader, Sabri Godo, under the title:"We should become conscientious". The DP and SP, kilometres far from the consensus", the paper says regarding yesterday's meeting of Shehu with Nano.
"Berisha is the only one who is against compromise on the electoral law. The parties should convince him", Gazeta Shqiptare says describing this as "the message of the European delegation from Strasbourg on the polemics about the Albanian elections and the way the parties should move towards them".
"Men with masks and arms ambush Serreqi", the paper says. "DP-SP: Talks fail. Everything starts from the beginning", the paper says regarding yesterday's meeting of their leaders.
"The Albanian crisis again in Strasbourg", the paper says under the title:"CE ministers meet. What will we do with Albania?". jz/kled/lm/Z
 BUS PASSENGERS IN PEQIN ROBBED OF THEIR MONEYPEQIN, MAY 5 (ATA)- By P.Zekthi, Four armed men robbed passengers on a Peqin-Elbasan line bus of their money on Monday morning.
Witnesses on the spot say that after forcibly stopping the bus, the gunmen asked 200 leks from each of the passenger as a condition for unblocking the road.
After receiving the required money, plus the sum of money gained by the driver up to that moment, the bus was let free to go without incident.
District police commissariat sources say that similar incidents have also taken place with two other lines: one on the Tirane - Elbasan line and the other on the Rrogozhine - Elbasan line. s.sh/kei/lm/Z/
 ALBANIAN ILLEGAL EMIGRANTS RETURNED TO DURRESDURRES, MAY 6 (ATA)-By S. Gjordeni, Another 300 Albanian illegal emigrants were returned to Durres this morning by an Italian naval vessel.
The emigrants left Velipoje for Bari on the "Irini" ship two days ago.
The Durres police took measures to receive and fully identify the persons based on the lists sent by the Italian authorities, to see whether there were wanted persons among them.
Beginning from Sunday until today the total number of the returned emigrants has amounted to nearly 500.
Other illegal emigrants are expected to arrive by the "La Vikinga" ferryboat this afternoon. jz/lm/Z
 GRENADE BLAST KILLS THREE AND INJURES AT LEAST 10 IN KAVAJEKAVAJE, MAY 6 (ATA)- By S. Gjordeni, A painful incident took place in Rogozhine yesterday before noon, according to well informed sources at the Kavaje distrcit council.
A drunk man in the Kavaje district who had a grenade with him wanted to get on a bus of the Berat line.
Struggling to find his way through the bus door the grenade blasted, killing three people, one of whom a woman. The drunk carrying the grenade was as well killed.
The explosion also injured 10 people, among whom the bus driver.
The Public Order bodies took the respective measures to take the injured to the hospital. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/
 PART OF MULTINATIONAL TROOPS ARRIVES IN GJIROKASTERGJIROKASTER, MAY 6 (ATA) - By H. aani: A part of the troops of the multinational forces arrived Monday night near "Laberia" division in Gjirokaster, Southern Albania.
One of the leaders of this division ATA that "The soldiers, all Rumanian, precede the other part of the Rumanian troops, which are expected to arrive soon, together with the troops and the logistic means necessary for the completion of the "Alba" mission.
392 Rumanian troops will escort the distribution of aid in this region, where there are also included the districts of Tepelene and Sarande. /s.sh/kei/mt/k
 MEETINGS OF ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINOTIRANE, MAY 6 (ATA) - Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino had today a working meeting with the permanent representative of the International Monetary Fund in Albania, John King.
As the press and information office close to the Premier reports, they talked on the relations of Albania with this international financial organization and on the work that IMF is presently making for Albania. They focused in particular on the question of Albania's state budget for 1997, the loan-taking firms and other aspects of the Albanian finance.
Premier Fino stressed that the Government he is leading took its duty at a time when the country was in a total crisis and without a budget. Precisely for this, it was committed to compile this budget which is sent to the parliament and which is supposed to be the best possible budget fpr the situation Albania is passing. Mr Fino also explained to the IMF representative the draft law which would throw light on the activity of the loan-taking forms.
Mr John King informed Mr Fino of a one-week-mission that a team of the IMF wants to undetake in Albania soon and demanded from him any necessary suggestions regarding the activity of this mission. They also discussed the meetings that Prime Minister Bashkim Fino would have with IMF leaders during his coming official visit to Washington.
Mr Fino declared on this occasion that although the National Reconciliation Government has a defined and short mandate, it is working to contribute as much as possible to the creation of the best possible optimal conditions for the coming government in its work to revive the country's economy. The realisation of a political solution by the National Reconciliation Government will make possible its commitment to the economic revival, said Mr Fino. During a meeting with the chairman of the Miners' Trade Unions of Albania, Gezim Kalaja, Premier Fino discussed at length the problems that the mining sector workers are facing and the possibilities for just and realistic solutions.
Mr Kalaja, in the name of the Miners' trade union, voiced his support for the Government of National Reconciliation, and also knowing the very great difficulties this government is working to carry the country towards coming parliamentary elections.
They agreed in the meeting that in a near date another meeting be held between the representatives of the trade union and those of the government to reach results which will be in the interest of the workers and the development of mining industry, which is a national colossal asset. Today, Prime Minister Bashkim Fino had a separate meeting with representatives of the Union of Albanian and Foreing Investors in Albania, led by its President, Vebi Velija.
During the meeting, representatives of the Union explained to the Albanian Prime Minister the aims of their Union, created in the conditions of the present Albanian crisis, the great damage caused to investments and the destructions in all Albanian economy. It was also stressed the objective of the Union to create agreements with various European and world financial institutions through the Albanian Govenment to ensure some compensation for the damages caused in investments, which will be a basis for the revival of the Albanian economy, and a guarantee for the encouragement of new investors in the country.
The President of the Union presented to the Premier, as an urgent demand, an assistance from the Government to make possible that an internatinal company make the real estimation of the damages caused in the investmens, and the destructions caused in Albania during the latest unrest.
Premier Fino considered the working meeting as an expression of the will of Albanian and foreign investors to resume their work. He also considered the initative for the creation of the union as well as its objectives as interesting and valuable.
Fino said that it was only the first meeting which must continue with the drafting of concrete, joint and detailed programs, open to the public opinion. During the next week, said mr Fino, "we shall organize a meeting between the investors in Albania and the representatives of ministries to treat in details the question of investments, whose solution will be made concrete after the political solution in Albania, ends the report of the President's press and information office. ake/xh/k
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