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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-11-13
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 EARTHQUAKE ROCKS ALBANIATIRANA, NOV 13 (ATA) - An earthquake measuring 4,7 on the Richter scale rocked Albania and it was felt in some areas in the South of Albania measuring 3-4 (EMS-92), the Seismologic Institute reported early on Thursday.
The epicenter is 300 km South of Tirana, in Igumenice, Greece.
An aftershock measuring 4,3 on the Richter scale was registered at 01.49 a.m. (local time) on Thursday. ake/ak/
 BODIES OF OTRANTO VICTIMS TO BE FLOWN TO ALBANIA BY SPECIAL PLANETIRANE, NOV.13 (ATA)- The bodies of the Otranto Channel Tragedy on March 28 this year will be flown to Albania by special plane.
The Government Commission charged with the official funeral reports that because of bad weather, it has been impossible to bring the victims to Albania both by sea and by air.
Consequently, the ceremony to pay last respect to the victims has as well been put off.
The commission has been in constant contact overnight with the Italian government to analyse all possibilities of bringing the bodies.
A new plan has been agreed to bring the bodies by special plane today. The commission is working out all details of this operation and official ceremony which it will make known as soon as possible. s.s/pas/lm
 ALBANIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER LEAVES FOR GERMANYTIRANA, NOV 13 (ATA) - Albania's Foreign Minister Paskal Milo left on Thursday for a one-day visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and is expected to meet with his German counterpart Klaus Kinkel.
Milo will also have talks with deputy president of Bundestag Hans Ulries Klosse, head of the Foreign policy commission, Karl Heinz Hornbues and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Cooperation Wighard Hardtl. kei/ak/k
 PRESS REVIEWTIRANA, NOV 13 (ATA) - "Albania in mourning" the newspaper Zeri i Popullit reports saying that the Otranto recovered bodies will arrive in Vlora on Thursday. It also carried the article "Silence, pain, respect". The meeting of the Albanian deputy prime minister Bashkim Fino with the Italian deputy prime minister Veltroni and the commemorative ceremony in Brindisi, are covered by the paper in the articles "Rain of tears from Brindisi to Vlora," "We ask God for Albania's progress" and "March will be remembered by all." In the second page it covers yesterday's session of the parliament and an answer and question session of the Foreign Minister Paskal Milo. As regards the Crete meeting between Nano and Milosevic, the paper carries the address of prime minister Nano to parliament under the title "We went there with allies," under the headline "Prime minister Nano says the truth on the Crete summit and the meeting with Milosevic" and with subtitle "Concept of a third side has been present." In the seventh page the paper carries an interview with the General Director of INSIG Sherif Bundo, under the title "INSIG-settings and new responsibilities."
Rilindja Demokratike entitles its editorial "Pain and accusation." "While the Otranto's victims are going to be buried today in Vlora, the reasons why the Albanian government decided on a bilateral Albanian-Italian investigation and not an international one, remain unclear," the paper say. It also carries in the first page the condolences of the Democratic leader Sali Berisha to the families of the Otranto victims. In the third page the paper says that the Albanian opposition is urging the truth about the causes of the Otranto tragedy and an international investigation. The paper accuses the Finance minister Arben Malaj that he with Zani have allowed the Kater i Rades motorboat to leave Vlora. The paper says that the Albanian refugees, who are returning from Greece are being grabbed by the gang of Gjolek Malaj.
Koha Jone reports in the first page that, according to the Socialist party, president Meidani does not want investigation on the March events. The paper devotes its editorial entitled "What is the mistake of the president." "Meidani does not find the right law and time to show his independence in relations with the parliament, because it is a law related to the interest of 2/3 of Albanians to find out those who caused the Albanian tragedy in March," the editorial says. In the fifth page, the paper, covering yesterday's news conference of the Democrat leaders, says that the DP urges international investigation on the Otranto strategy. The same paper reports in the sixth page that money lending bosses enter Albania whenever they want to. "While police and Interpol search for them in 'secret places'", the paper says. "Drug kills in a cafe," the article says that a 21 year-old drug addicted boy died in a Tirana cafe due to a heroine overdose." The paper reports that representatives of IMF, EU, and the World Bank will discuss on Monday in Tirana a project on wages for Albanians. "Wave of tears: Yesterday in Brindisi, today in Vlora," said the paper referring to the return of bodies of the Otranto victims. The paper carries another article to this topic "Vlore, pain and tension." In the economic column, the paper carries an interview with the minister of Finance Malaj. "Banks, government's concern, is the title of the article. "Nano 'exchanges' the strike of the Albanian papers with government-press dialogue," the paper says related to the warned strike of the Albanian newspapers. "Press is not a usual market commodity," the paper quotes Prec Zogaj, political and press adviser for president Meidani.
"Angels of Otranto in heavens, demons of politics in hell," the newspaper Republika says. Today's editorial is entitled "Albania mourns its tragic fate." It reports that the leaders of the Democratic party Arbnori and Bode will leave for Vlora to take part in the official funeral of Otranto victims. The paper quotes the Socialist deputy for Vlora, Alushi, saying that "Arbnori represents a provocation to Vlora." In the fourth page it says that the local division of Democratic Alliance party in Gjirokastra has said that it will withdraw from a party round table of the government coalition in the city because of "atavist and monist politics of Socialists." Referring to the closure of banks, the same paper says "Bankers reveal the secret of bankruptcy," under the headline saying that the state is their greatest debtor. "Nano is closing the banks to avoid paying of debts. DP destroyed us, SP is pushing us over," is the subtitle of the article.
Rilindja says that the ceremony of repatriating the Otranto Channel victims started in Brindisi on Wednesday and that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi will attend the funeral of the victims in Vlore.
"Serb occupier's violence against Albanians is escalating" is the title of a report of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The paper says that the trial against 21 Albanians in the Serb tribunal of the Pristine county continues.
Under the headline:"Tragedy of Good Friday returns to Albania today", Albania says: "Vlore: painful return home".
As regards a statement of an association published by the Albanian television the paper says that it called for trials on the Otranto Channel tragic event and that the television politicises the painful event.
The article "Press and oppression" the paper says that stands and statements by government members give no hope for solving press problems.
Under the headline "Gjirokaster: local government in crisis", the paper says: "DAP quits coalition". The paper covers a news conference with DP deputy Azem Hajdari saying that the trial against his assassin, former-deputy Gafurr Mazreku, will be repeated when the Democratic Party comes to power.
Dita says that the Otranto Association has said through a statement that it does not welcome DP representatives in the funeral and after this the Protocol warned the opposition that the bus had no room for them. They will go to Vlore by their own cars.
Under the title: "SP, too, against Meidani", the paper covers yesterday's session of parliament, which adopted the law on the January-June investigations, while the president had referred it back for reexamination. The paper also covers the questions and answers session with Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, under the title;"Access to Islamic Conference is unlawful".
As regards the arrival of the Otranto victims to Albania from Brindisi, Shekulli carries the article: "Otranto, death comes from Italy". Under the headline: "Oil smuggling", the paper says: "'Black gold' robs the state of millions of dollars".
The paper covers the Milo's questions and answers session in Parliament and says that he (Milo) has called nonsense the policy of "declaring war against Yugoslavia and Macedonia" and regarded the policy of dialogue as the only way to solution. The paper carries the article: "Meidani, prize of independence", concerning the debate aroused in parliament yesterday after the president referred back the law to investigate the January-June events and which was finally adopted almost unchanged.
Sindikalisti carries the editorial:"Vlore, grave of people ,altar of tears and flowers..." The paper says that the absurd trial on the UITUA identity continues. The paper carries an interview with the executive director general of the VEFA Company, Ylli Limaj.
Gazeta Shqiptare reports on the arrival today of the Otranto Channel victims:"Vlore with torn heart". The paper also says that the Assembly refused to approve changes proposed by Meidani on the law on unrest".
The paper covers the news conference of DP deputy Hajdari and cites him as saying;"I do not recognise the trial against Mazreku".
The paper also reports that trial against a pedophile from Cerrik has started and that the Berat chief of gang has been arrested. pas/kei/ak/lm/k
 FUNERAL OF OTRANTO VICTIMS PUT OFF FOR 24 HOURSTIRANE, NOV.13 (ATA)-The funeral service for the Otranto victims, planned for Thursday, has been postponed to Friday, which is declared a Mourning Day.
This was decided by the Central Commission charged with the Funeral of the Otranto Tragedy Victims headed by deputy Prime Minister Bashkim Fino.
Due to the very difficult sea and air weather conditions, it has not been possible to bring the bodies of the Otranto victims as planned.
Attending the funeral will be Albanian senior officials and the Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi. Similar ceremonies to honour the victims will also be held in the town of Fier tomorrow.
Present at Rinas airport to receive the coffins and the relatives accompanying them will be deputy Prime Minister Bashkim Fino, Minister of State Kastriot Islami, Finance Minister Arben Malaj, and the Secretary of State on Defence Policy, Perikli Teta.
Afterwards, the funeral procession will head for the cities the victims were from, respectively Lushnje, Fier and Vlore, where the local government bodies will organise public viewing from Thursday until Friday, when the official ceremony begins. a.ke/kei/lm/k
 PRICES OF FOOD ARTICLES INCREASE WITHIN A WEEKTIRANA, NOV.13(ATA) - According to recent reports by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the retail sale prices of food articles have mostly increased in the main markets of the country.
Wheat recorded an price rise during the past week averaged at 43 lek per kg from 41 lek per kg that was a week before. Vlore and Shkoder have registered the highest price rise with 50 and 45 lek per kg respectively, while the wheat in the market of Kavaje was sold at 40 lek per kg.
Beans, a winter food article so widely used by Albanians, had an increased price, in Kavaje 150 lek per kg, and in Korce 130 lek per kg.
The dairy products too have been sold at higher prices. White cheese is sold this week at 320.6 lek a kg, with its highest price recorded in Tirane, 380 lek a kg. Lower prices in dairy products are recorded in Shkoder with 256 lek a kg of beans, in Korce 276 lek a kg and in Kavaje with 280 lek. The farmers' cheese in Korce is sold at higher prices than in all other districts in the country, with 346 lek per kg.
Yellow cheese is being sold this week at higher prices in Tirane with 617 lek a kilo and at a lower price in Vlore with 450 lek a kilo. Curd has recorded its highest price in Kavaje, where it was sold at 170 lek a kilo and the lowest price in Korce, with 120 lek a kilo.
Vegetables are being ranked among most expensive articles this week. Tirane takes the first place for high prices of these articles, with tomatoes being sold at 150 lek a kilo, peppers 100 lek a kilo, spinich 100 lek a kilo, cauliflower 160 lek a kilo, olives 220 lek per kilogram etc. Korca comes first for lower prices in all vegetables.
There are oscillations in the prices of fruits. Lower prices are recorded only in oranges which are sold at 116 lek a kilo from 150 lek in the previous week.
Meat products have a price rise of 20 lek per kg this week. The highest price rise is in lamb which was sold 402 lek a kilo from 388 that was last week. Tirane and Gjirokaster have recorded the highest price increase of lamb with 460 and 450 lek a kilo.
Veal is being sold at 432.7 lek a kilo from 423 lek that was in the last week. The lowest price is recorded in the market of Shkoder in which veal is being sold at 339 lek a kilo. The highest price is recorded in some markets as in Durres, Tirane, Gjirokaster, Fier and other cities, averaging at 450 lek a kilo.
Gjirokaster, although a border district, marks the highest prices in sugar, rice, cooking oil, etc., while Shkoder has the lowest prices for these products./xh/
 LEK KEEPS CONSOLIDATINGTIRANA NOV.13 (ATA)- Lek continues to gain points in the currency market. According to the average exchange rate in the free market, USD1 was changed at 142.3 lek falling 0.20 points from the previous day when its was exchanged at 142.5 lek. 1DM was exchanged today at 82.14 lek while yesterday it was changed at 82.90 lek, hence it has lost 0.76 points. Italian lira (1000) was exchanged at 83.54 lek thus marking lower points, 0.58 as compared with yesterday when it was exchanged at 84.12 lek. German Mark was changed today with 51.97 lek, falling 0.55 points from a day before when it was sold at 52.52 lek. The Swiss franc was sold today at 100 00 lek from 100.86 it was sold yesterday, thus marking a 0.86 points fall.
Foreign Currency exchange rate
Average exchange rate Kind of currency Yesterday Today USD 142.50 142.30 DM 82.90 82.14 LIT(1000) 84.12 83.54 GRD(100) 52.52 51.97 SFR 100.86 100.00
 ANOTHER MEMBER OF "MANDELA" GANG ARRESTED IN ELBASANELBASAN, NOV. 13 (ATA) - By P Zekthi: The police of Elbasan detained late on Wednesday another member of the "Mandela" gang.
Dritan Hida was detained late on Wednesday and during the house search, a quantity of armament was found in his home, the chief of police commissariat no. 1, major Gjete Ndoi, reported to ATA.
Hida, 19, is accused of gravely injuring a citizen, robbing shops and bars, vehicles and others.
According to Ndoi, the number of members of this gang, detained by police, has reached in seven so far. /s.sh/kled/mt/sh/
 SOME OF THE BODIES OF THE OTRANTO VICTIMS ARRIVE IN ALBANIATIRANE, NOV 13 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: On Thursday at 4 p.m. a part of the bodies of the victims of Otranto tragedy, on the board of two aircraft arrived at the Rinas airport.
Present at the airport were the deputy Premier Bashkim Fino, ministers and representatives of the Presidency.
In the conditions of a bad weather, after the landing of two civil airplanes of Alitalia carrying the relatives of the victims, two military aircraft could bring home a part of the bodies of the victims. Other bodies are expected to be brought home tomorrow morning.
The family members and relatives of the victims and a part of the bodies will be sent tonight to Vlore, Fier and Lushnje, where homage will be paid.
According to Government sources, the procedure for Friday will be as planned. Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi will arrive at Rinas airport on November 14 in the morning, and together with his Albanian counterpart, Fatos Nano, will leave for Vlore to bid the last farewell to the victims of Otranto. xh/sh/
 ALBANIA FORESEES VALUE OF EXPORT TO REACH $176 MILLION FOR 1997TIRANA , NOV. 13 (ATA)- The Albanian exports have become active, after a paralyzation of the production activity in spring of this year. During the first six months, 54 million USD have been exported, and the figure is expected to reach 176 million dollars until the end of the year.
The productions of the textile and shoe group are actually in the first place. The reactivation of agro-industry has brought the increase of exports from this sector, when at the same time "food-stuffs, drinks, tobacco" group is in the first place regarding imports.
Only during June, the export of goods in value reached in 2991.1 million leks, marking an increase of 38.8% compared with the same month last year.
During the last three months, changes have been noted in the structure of import, according to the group of goods. The export of shoes and textile is in the first place, produced by "ordered material," is in the first place. In the second place is the group " building materials and metals," occupying only in June some 32.3% of exports. While in the third place is "food-stuffs, drinks and tobacco" group. In January-March 1997, this group was in the second place.
According to these data, it seems that except the production firms of textile and shoes, which are already consolidated, the other firms are still far from finding stable trades of export.
Meanwhile the exports with Greece and Italy have a normal continuity any time of the year, due to binding regular contracts, mainly for the products of textile industry and shoes.
In the first six months of this year, the exports with Italy were some 47.13% of the total, while with Greece 20.84%, thus continuing to be the main commercial partners with Albania. /mt/
 ALBANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA TO FURTHER DEVELOP COOPERATION IN FIELD OF TRANSPORTTIRANA, NOV.13 (ATA)- Albania's Minister of Public Affairs and Transport Gaqo Apostoli held a meeting with the Yugoslav Ambassador in Tirana in the grounds of the Ministry.
Both representatives of two countries expressed in the meeting the necessity of making concrete steps to set up relations in the field of road and railway transport.
The Yugoslav party proposed holding a meeting between representing commissions from both ministries as soon as possible.
According to them, this meeting was considered a concrete step for cooperation in accelerating good relations, after the summit of Crete 1997./mt/
 NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED INCREASED BY 5530 PERSONS IN SEPTEMBERTIRANA, NOV.13 (ATA)- September has carried the number of unemployed, registered in the Labour Offices, to 190 426, thus increasing by 5530 persons "the army" of unemployed, compared with August, INSTAT (Institute of Statistics) reported.
The number of unemployed in August was 184 896 persons.
The number of unemployed has increased, while the number of those who profit unemployment payment has decreased. Out of 35 344 persons who profited this payment in August, their number in September is 34 969, reducing it by 375 persons.
With the allocation of funds worth 2.7 milliard leks for public works, this payment will be received only if the persons, registered in Labour Offices, who will receive social assistance, will do public works.
 NATIONAL TRADE BANK TOWARDS PRIVATIZATION -DEBTS NEARING SOLUTIONTIRANA , NOV.13 (ATA)- The National Trade Bank is expected to be privatized until the end of this year, while within the first quarter of 1998, the Agrarian National Bank will become part of the National Trade Bank. According to the general director of the NTB, Spiro Brumbulli, "NTB is in the stage of privatization including the restructuring with all required adjustments."
According to the draft prepared in cooperation with the World Bank, the second level banks, the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Albania, on the strategy of privatization of the second level banks, also the respective points have been determined as a basis of the privatization process.
Along with the Albanian auditor charged with the steps for the restructuring of the bank who is also present director of the NTB, a foreign auditor is expected to arrive in January next year to audit the bank. These are conditions that the NTB has to accomplish according to the privatization strategy.
According to Mr Brumbulli "the Government is expected during November to recognize its old debt to the NTB, which conformed to and in implementation of the international standards of accountancy, and with the associate process of foreign auditing, fulfils all conditions for the NTB to pass onto the process of sale."
The position of the NTB regarding old state and private debts towards the bank and the level of the unpaid credits by state enterprises needs to be clarified. The maximal debt may be around 5.7. billion lek, "but this figure may change between 4.5 to 5.7 billion lek and this depends on the best chosen alternative.
Within the coming week, the NTB leading board will analyze the debts of the state towards this Bank. After the figure and the structure of this debt will be made present to the Ministry of Finances (the owner) a report will be sent to the Government to make the final decision for the procedure to be followed.
"In line with the strategy," said Mr Spiro Brumbulli, "the Ministry of Finances is working to create the Agency for the Accumulation of Credits with the idea of forming a national institution which will treat the bad debts and after it will accumulate all of the debts the NTB will be able to be free from the old accounts and come out for sales."
According to Brumbulli, the Finance Ministry is ready to make luring offers to every strategic investor who is interested in purchase in the NTB, and concretely speaking, there are two German banks interested in this point, since they see that their interests coincide with the objective the NTB aims to attain.
 INFLATION ROSE 5.04 PER CENT IN OCTOBER - 10 month level of inflation growth is 36.07 per cent -TIRANA, NOV 13, (ATA)- During October the Index of Consumption Prices (inflation) increased with 5.04 per cent as compared with a month before, the state Statistics Institute (INSTAT) reports.
According to INSTAT, the annual index of the prices of consumption rose by 36.07 per cent.
The articles grouped in "Food stuff, drinks and tobacco" have been more expensive with a price rise of 5.9 per cent as compared with the previous month, which according to INSTAT have felt the greatest impact of this increase.
A considerable growth has been recorded in October in the price of bread, which has been 10.4 per cent higher, and 11.4 per cent more expensive prices for the fresh milk, 18 per cent for curd and 6.2 per cent for the white cheese.
Official statistics speak of increases in the prices for fruits and vegetable, respectively 2.8 and 18 per cent higher. As compared to the previous month, grapes, oranges, pears, tomatoes, lady fingers, peppers and cucumbers have been sold at higher prices.
Also garments and shoes have recorded a price rise, with the highest prices recorded in coats and trousers for men, and pullovers for women.
In the prices of the group "Transport and Communication" according to INSTAT, a great impact was noticed in the increase of the prices of petrol, payments for taxes and the inter-urban bus tickets.
 FOREIGN CREDITS FOR NATIONAL ROADS SOONTIRANA , NOV.13 (ATA)- Foreign credits and aid will be delivered within a short time, which will be used for national roads. This was confirmed on Thursday during a meeting held between the Albanian Ministry of Public Affairs and Transport and foreign donors.
Sources from the Ministry for Development and Cooperation report that the national roads which will be reconstructed or constructed, expect an initial fund worth 250 million dollars.
Minister Gaqo Apostoli talked with participant donors regarding the way the funds will be offered, as well as about the acceleration of procedure for their delivery.
Attending the meeting on the donors' side were representatives from the World Bank, PHARE program, European Bank, representatives from the Italian Embassy, Kuwaiti Fund, representatives from the Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Finances, etc.
 STORM DOES NOT ALLOW THIRD AIRPLANE TO LAND IN RINASTIRANA, NOV. 13 (ATA) - By A Simoni: The third civil airplane, carrying most of the coffins of the victims, could not land in the Rinas airport due to a strong storm, Albania's State Secretary for Defence, Perikli Teta, declared, who was in the airport.
The first airplane CD9 arrived in Rinas at 16:00, carrying on board most of the family members and relatives of the victims, while the second airplane arrived later, and their number reached in 65. According to Teta, there are 14 other relatives expected to be brought home tomorrow morning.
The third airplane, with most of the corpses, is also expected to arrive on Friday by 06.00, while the corpses which have already arrived are sheltered this night in the military headquarters of the airport.
The family members and relatives of the victims were lifted to the military resting-home in Durres, where they will pass the night. On Friday morning they will go to Rinas again to receive the bodies together with the senior officials.
These delays foresee another postponement of funeral ceremonies in southern towns, from 10:00 to midday. /kled/mt/sh/
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