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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-11-14

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] TRADE DEFICIT - 4.9 BILLION LEK
  • [02] FLOWERS IN THE ADRIATIC SEA FOR VICTIMS OF OTRANTO - Durres
  • [03] ITALIAN PREMIER PRODI ARRIVES IN ALBANIA
  • [04] ALBANIA IS OPEN TO NATO
  • [05] 52 VICTIMS OF OTRANTO AND THEIR RELATIVES GOING TOWARDS VLORE
  • [06] PRESS REVIEW
  • [07] ITALIAN PREMIER PRODI ARRIVES IN ALBANIA
  • [08] EUROPEAN YOUTH WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD IN ALBANIA
  • [09] INCOME-TAX PLAN OVER-FULFILLED BY 3 % IN OCTOBER
  • [10] Foreign companies for investments in Albania
  • [11] 30 THOUSAND HOMELESS NEED $80 MILLION
  • [12] NEW CHIEF OF POLICE COMMISSARIAT IN GRAMSH PRESENTED
  • [13] LEK RISES AGAINST FOREIGN CURRENCIES
  • [14] OTRANTO EVENT, OBLIGATION TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALBANIA - Nano
  • [15] VEFA OWES OVER 177 MILLION LEKS TO STATE
  • [16] NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS INCREASE
  • [17] ATDHEU ASSOCIATION CONDOLES WITH FAMILIES OF OTRANTO VICTIMS
  • [18] ALBANIAN, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET

  • [01] TRADE DEFICIT - 4.9 BILLION LEK

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) By M.Noti: The trade deficit amounted to 4.9 billion lek during August this year, latest reports from Statistics Institute (INSTAT) say. According to these reports, until the end of August, 1997 the Albanian exports have been estimated at 1.8 billion lek. But if this value has had an annual increase of 34.2 per cent against a year before, INSTAT reports that as compared with July this year, the exports in August have recorded a fall of 31.5 per cent.

    The trade import of goods according to official statistics amounted to 6.7 billion lek or 1.2 per cent less that a month ago, at a time when the annual falling level is estimated at 9.4 per cent.

    INSTAT reports that in order to set the level of the trade balance for August, experts should consider the exchange rate of August, which as compared with a year ago, was 45.5 per cent higher./xh

    [02] FLOWERS IN THE ADRIATIC SEA FOR VICTIMS OF OTRANTO - Durres

    DURRES, NOV. 14 (ATA) - By S Gjordeni: Hundreds of women from Durres, relatives of the martyrs' families and of the national association of those who have fallen on the field of honour, "Atdheu," convened on Friday at 10:00 in the square near the monument of Resistance to honour the victims of the Otranto tragedy.

    They expressed the gratitude for the Italian and Albanian government, which enabled the recovery of the Albanian vessel and the transportation of the corpses found there.

    Veteran of the National Liberation War Lefteri Stavri said that "it is a great condolence that the dead bodies of our blood did not remain at the seabed, but will lie down eternally in their homeland."

    "Our grief joins today, more than ever before, with the grief of the people from Vlore, Lushnje, with the grief of all Albanians and forces us not to forget but to give our contribution for the spiritual union of all Albanians, for the national reconciliation," said the chairman of "Atdheu" association, Kurt Zebi.

    Then, scores of bouquets were thrown in the waters of the Adriatic Sea to honour those who lost their life on March 28, 1997 in the tragedy of the Otranto Strait.

    The fifty-two bodies of the Otranto victims will be buried today, mainly in Vlore. Attending the mourning ceremony in Vlore will be Albania's Prime Minister Fatos Nano and his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi. Thursday and Friday are declared national mourning day for Albania. /a.ke/kei/mt/k

    [03] ITALIAN PREMIER PRODI ARRIVES IN ALBANIA

    TIRANE, NOV 14 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi arrived in Albania on Friday at 12.30 to attend the funeral ceremony for the victims of Otranto Channel. He was welcomed at the airport by Albanian PM Fatos Nano.

    After a short meeting at Rinas airport, the two Prime Ministers will leave for Vlore to express their condolences to the family members and relatives of the victims. Mr Prodi kept the promise to recover the shipwreck and the bodies in it.

    According to government sources, the funeral ceremony for the victims of Otranto Channel will be held at 1 p.m. in Vlore.

    On March 28, 1997 the Albanian boat I Katerti I Rades with more than 100 people on board, collided with the Italian navy corvette, Sibilla. 34 people could survive.

    The Italian Government in cooperation with the Albanian Government organized the operation to recover the shipwreck with the victims, most of whom women and children, and flied them home.

    This operation was over Friday morning with the arrival in the Rinas airport of an airplane C130 and two helicopters HH3F of Italian Aeronautics.

    The C130 aircraft had on board 35 bodies of the victims drowned on March 28 this year, whereas the two helicopters flied home 19 family members of the victims.

    At about 9 a.m. the bodies of the victims, the family members and relatives of the victims and the Deputy Prime Minister who are accompanying the bodies, left for Vlore.

    Two aircraft reached the Rinas airport on Thursday one at 4 p.m. and the other 4.45 p.m. with family members and a part of the bodies of the victims, whereas the other aircraft with the greatest part of the coffins on board could not land because of a strong storm.

    The coffins that were repatriated were kept during the night at the Rinas airport. kei/xh/k

    [04] ALBANIA IS OPEN TO NATO

    TIRANE, NOV 13 (ATA) - Albania is open to NATO, said Albanian State Secretary for Euroatlantic Integration, Maqo Lakrori in a meeting on Friday with the delegation of NATO experts for the implementation of the individual partnership program, NATO-Albania.

    Lakrori said that "it is important to keep the intensity of the assistance especially in some aspects which are in great need."

    "We have found in Albania a great devotion and high professionalism, and we are enthusiastic for the initialed project," said the NATO experts. ssh/kei/xh/k

    [05] 52 VICTIMS OF OTRANTO AND THEIR RELATIVES GOING TOWARDS VLORE

    TIRANE, NOV 14 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: The operation to fly home the bodies of the people who were drowned in the Otranto Channel was over today in the morning along with the arrival of 19 of their relatives.

    The last moment of the operation was the arrival in the Rinas airport near Tirane, of an airplane C130 and two helicopters HH3F of Italian Aeronautics.

    The C130 aircraft had on board 35 bodies of the victims drowned on March 28 this year, whereas the two helicopters flied home 19 family members of the victims.

    At about 9 a.m. the bodies of the victims, the family members and relatives of the victims and the Deputy Prime Minister who are accompanying the bodies, left for Vlore.

    According to government sources, Italian Premier Romano Prodi will leave for Albania at 11 a.m. to attend the funeral ceremony in the city of Vlore, due today at 1 p.m.

    Two aircraft reached the Rinas airport on Thursday one at 4 p.m. and the other 4.45 p.m. with family members and a part of the bodies of the victims, whereas the other aircraft with the greatest part of the coffins on board could not land because of a strong storm.

    The coffins that were repatriated were kept during the night at the Rinas airport. pas/xh/k

    [06] PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, NOV. 14 (ATA) - Under the headline "Albania experiences with tears and rain 'the grave calamity'. Mourning day again on Friday," Zeri i Popullit reports: "Vlore, the flag in half-most." In its editorial the paper writes that in the most painful day for Albanians, "Neither the current President of Albanians, the symbol of the nation's unity, nor his forerunner are in Albania." Under the title "Mourning sweeps Vlore," the paper carries a feature from the town, where most of the Otranto victims were born. The paper also publishes a feature in retrospective through chronicles on the Good Friday in Otranto, under the title "March 28, 1997. What has happened?" Covering the news conference of the Justice Minister Thimio Kondi, the paper reports that he has considered absurd the decision of the Constitutional Court for the invalidation of article 7 of the law "On transparency." Among social topics, we mention: "The maternity-hospital, a maternity-home or dying-home."

    "The waves are filled with grief," is the editorial of Rilindja Demokratike, writing on the impossibility of bringing the bodies of the Otranto victims by ferryboat, due to the bad weather conditions. The paper reports that only one of the planes with the corpses managed to land in Rinas airport. Under the headline "Vlore also asks international independent investigation," the paper writes "The government officials avoid uncovering the truth." The paper reports that the Constitutional Court has returned to Vehbi Alimucaj his property (Vefa). "The press strike postponed one day," is the title of a statement of representatives of the Albanian newspapers, who have foreseen a strike for November 15, but which will be staged in November 16, due to the postponement of the mourning ceremony for the Otranto victims, which will be highlighted by the paper. The paper publishes parts from the discussion in Parliament of the Chairman of the Social Democratic Union, deputy Teodor Laco, in the interpellation with Paskal Milo, saying that the Albanian diplomacy is in blind-alley.

    Republika paper reports that Vefa won the trial with the Constitutional Court and that the transfers of this company to foreign bank have been uncovered. The paper carries the editorial "Appeal of the Otranto tragedy - Albania for the Albanians!" On the same topic, the paper publishes two pages with the titles "Vlore in the anxiety of the long expectation," as well as "Rinas with a terrible weather." The paper carries the statement of the newspapers' leader for the postponement of the strike. In the heading "Information," the paper reports "Pedophilia, 'the scarecrow is not a tale anymore."

    With regard to the process won by Vefa in the Constitutional Court, Koha Jone reports "Vefa conquests the government." On the same topic the paper carries the editorial "The fraudulence is legalized," which says that the decision of the Constitutional Court aims at leaving without protection even what has remained from the assets of creditors. The paper carries the chronicle of the first mourning day for the Otranto victims and writes "The grief of the nature: The ceremony of Vlore postponed for 24 hours." The paper reports that DP leader, Sali Berisha and Genc Pollo would go to Vlore if they had invitation from the government. Under the title "The law "Ngjela," of the National Reconciliation," the paper reports that the approval of the law "On the parliamentary Commission of investigation of the events happened in Albania during January-June 1997," is made not to investigate this event judiciary anymore. Among the social themes, we mention "Elbasan, now four with AIDS."

    Newspaper Rilindja writes that the funeral ceremony for the victims of Otranto is delayed 24 hours due to the bad weather conditions. The paper cites the NATO spokesman to have said in Brussels: "Kosova, a factor of importance in the eyes of NATO." Referring to the visit of Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo to Germany, the newspaper writes that he will meet his German counterpart, Klaus Kinkel.

    With regard to the decision of the Constitutional Court in favour of Vefa company, the newspaper Albania writes that "Vefa topples government." This paper has an editorial entitled "Political business with Vlore and its tragedy," writing that "Odysseus of Otranto, neither in the air nor in the land." The newspaper also writes that the delay of the funeral ceremony in Vlore also postponed for one day the press strike. In its further page, the paper carries an article under the title: "Mafia is scratching Albania."

    Still about the Otranto tragedy, newspaper Dita writes that the wild sea does not allow the bodies to be brought to land for ever." Under the headline "Days of tension in the city (Vlore): All arrive except the democrats, this paper writes: "Vlore, control in streets for DP. "Theft in centre of Tirane" writes this paper. It cites Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, according to whom the changes in his Ministry have been initialled by former Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi.

    Newspaper Pasqyra writes for the arrival of the bodies of the victims of Otranto that "Albania is in mourning." The newspaper reports that the National Council of Labour has not yet signed the social pact with the Government, because "during its 100 days of governing, the Nano Government has not met even once the trade unions."

    Under the headline "Grave situation in Vlore and Fier. Thousands of people waiting in anxiety," Gazeta Shqiptare writes "Vlore, storm and dismay." The newspaper reports that Vefa has won the case in the Constitutional Court and it cites the Minister of Justice who has considered the court decision a craziness. kei/mt/xh/k

    [07] ITALIAN PREMIER PRODI ARRIVES IN ALBANIA

    TIRANE, NOV 14 (ATA) - By Eva Allushi: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi arrived in Albania on Friday at 12.30 to attend the funeral ceremony for the victims of Otranto Channel. He was welcomed at the airport by Albanian PM Fatos Nano. xh/

    [08] EUROPEAN YOUTH WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD IN ALBANIA

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) - Secretary General of World Wrestling Federation Michel Dysson has confirmed recently that the European Youth Wrestling Championship will be held in Albania in the summer of 1998.

    "The reason why Albania was selected among other countries as the host of the European Wrestling championship is that your country needs messages of peace and understanding and this can be achieved better through sports," the WWF senior official told a news conference in Tirana after inspecting sports terrains and hotels.

    The Balkan Wrestling championship was successfully held in Tirana last year. d.g/ak/

    [09] INCOME-TAX PLAN OVER-FULFILLED BY 3 % IN OCTOBER

    TIRANE, NOV.14 (ATA)- By A. Gjata, For the first time this year the plan of income-tax was over-fulfilled by 3 per cent, sources of the Tax Department says.

    Only the Tirane Tax bodies, which collect some 65 per cent of the taxes on a republic scale, in October deposited in the state bank some 600 000 leks of income (4.1 mln US$-1US$=145 leks), the capital's Tax Department told ATA today.

    "Some 292 million leks have been deposited from income-tax and excise, thus, fulfilling the October plan by 100%," the responsible for this sector in the Tirane department, Jovan Cane, says.

    On a country scale this income has been secured by the collection of taxes in the big business sector and all other branches are trying to over-fulfill the plan in the last two months of this year, to compensate for the nonpayment of taxes during the Spring.

    The value added tax (V.A.T.) is going to be collected from the sales of the commodities entering the country before October 1. The subjects that have paid in the customs 12.5 % of V.A.T., now should pay the difference of 7.5 % to the tax bodies.

    The Customs' General department has also reported that some 6.3 billion leks, as opposed to some three billion leks deposited at the same period of the last year, have been deposited during the last two months, September-October. lm

    [10] Foreign companies for investments in Albania

    The interest of foreign investors to invest their capitals in Albania after a 10-year period, seems to have increased.

    The Spanish gigantic company of tobacco, Sunset, with 40 modern factories in many countries of the world, has turned its eyes to Albania with the aim of building a factory there. Although these company's representatives are in the stage of negotiations with Albanian partners, the Spanish tobacco company with the monopoly of Virginia Blend, is demanding at present serious partners to enable the opening of the factory.

    Six German firms are presenting themselves in Tirane in order to introduce the latest know-how in construction. In cooperation with the SOROS Foundation and the firm Freab in the context of the program "Tirana 2000," these firms consisting of Komerling GMBH,BSW-Regupol GMBH, Dorken - AG, UZIN0AG, Desso DLV-AG and DLW-AG are taking interest in the cooperation with Albanian partners to introduce new technologies in the building materials, beginning with hydro-isolation, floor production, construction of sport grounds, etc.

    [11] 30 THOUSAND HOMELESS NEED $80 MILLION

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) - By N. Mano: Some $80 million are needed to tackle the housing problem for 30 000 homeless in Albania.

    "The Greek government has planned a fund worth 5 billion drachmas of 25 years maturity and negotiations have started to this end. Finding foreign soft credits can resolve the housing issue at a time when the government should give a redoubling fund for construction establishments," Adem Duka, Housing Director at the Public Works and Transport Ministry said to ATA.

    In the last four years, only 15 percent of the homeless have been lodged through state credits. The National construction Establishment has constructed only 10 thousand apartment so far. Some 300 million Leks have been allocated to this establishment to finish the works.

    The private construction market has been greatly extended, but the homeless cannot afford buying these apartment due to the high prices per square meter, which vary from $350 to 450 per square meter. ak/sh/

    [12] NEW CHIEF OF POLICE COMMISSARIAT IN GRAMSH PRESENTED

    GRAMSH, NOV.14 (ATA)-By P. Zekthi, The new chief of police commissariat of the Gramsh district was presented on Friday.

    Ali Vokshi, 40, from the Shkoder city has been a career officer for a long time, sources of this commissariat report.

    Vokshi replaces in this office the 37-year-old Luan Mema, who will work in the structures of the Lushnje district commissariat. In four months, Mema reorganized the local blue uniforms, attacking most of wrongdoers active in this region.

    Gramsh is among the first districts in the republic to undertake the collection of the weapons.s.sh/kled/lm/sh/

    [13] LEK RISES AGAINST FOREIGN CURRENCIES

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) - By L.Thanasi: The local currency Lek has been strengthened at the close of trading on Friday against other foreign currencies.

    In the free market, the dollar was at 142.05 leks losing 0.25 points from the early trade 142.30 leks.

    Following the buying and selling rates of foreign currencies.

    Currencies                    Thursday        Friday
    $1.00                         142.30          142.05
    German mark                    82.14           81.82
    Italian lire (1000)            83.54           83.12
    Greek Drachmas (100)           51.97           51.74
    Swiss Francs                  100.00           99.66
    
    ak/sh/

    [14] OTRANTO EVENT, OBLIGATION TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALBANIA - Nano

    By Arban Hasani, VLORE, NOV. 14 (ATA)-The procession with 44 coffins of the Otranto channel victims arrived in Vlore by midday, accompanied by the Guard of the Republic and soldiers of the Navy.

    The funeral service began in front of the Prefecture square at around 14.35, with a convoy of military trucks carrying the coffins lining in front of the mourners and government Commission.

    Later the procession headed for the Independence Square, where at 15.30, the Albanian and Italian Prime Ministers, Fatos Nano and Romano Prodi, addressed the large number of mourners.

    "We have come to Vlore to respect those who lost their lives and I remain deeply shocked by this event," Nano said considering the March 28 event "a great national disaster" and thanked Prodi for keeping his promise to bring the victims' bodies home.

    "They were victims of a wrong governing, banditry and chaos. This cost Vlore a great loss of blood. This event is an obligation to work together for the good of Albania."

    "I swear before you, as I have also sworn earlier to Albania's speedy economic and political development and integration."

    Prodi also addressed the mourners. He offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims saying "I kept my promise."

    "Today is a day of prayers even for the Italian people. Italy is by the side of Albania. Albania should be a country with no one wishing to flee. Italy loves Albania as a neighbour and considers it a partner," Prodi said.

    He added that his government is ready to continue bilateral cooperation and ties.

    "The Adriatic should be a sea which unites, not a sea which which divides. It will not be a sea of death but a sea of life," Prodi said in conclusion.

    The mourners shouted against former president Sali Berisha, making both Albanian and Italian prime ministers beg for this procession of pain not to be turned into an election campaign.

    "This pain should not be turned into hatred," Nano said.

    Later, Aferdita Bani, head of the Otranto Victims Association, addressed the mourners and thanked the Albanian and Italian senior officials, diplomatic corps accredited to Albania, politicians, deputies and others for participating in the funeral ceremony.

    The group of the Democratic deputies, including Jozefina Topalli, Pjeter Arbnori, Ridvan Bode and Ylli Vejsiu, invited to take part in the official funerals by the head of the government commission Bashkim Fino, were not allowed by the people of Fier early on Friday to enter the Prefecture of Fier.

    After visiting the DP local division they headed for Vlore but were stopped by citizens in the Mifol bridge.

    The Otranto Victims Association said on Wednesday that it would not allow any DP officials to enter Vlora.

    "The DP and Sali Berisha should be held responsible for the tragedy," the head of the association said.

    After the ceremony at the Independence Square, the procession made for the city's cemetery, in which the 44 victims of Vlora would be laid to rest.

    Afterwards, the government commission condoled with the families of the Otranto victims. ssh/lm/ak/sh/

    [15] VEFA OWES OVER 177 MILLION LEKS TO STATE

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) - By A. Gjata: The VEFA Holding owes over 177 million leks to the Albanian state, the Department of Taxes in Tirana reported on Friday.

    The audit commission urged the company to pay all the taxes to the tax department.

    They will ask, conform the rules, that all delayed amounts including over 89 million leks, as a value added tax, over 72 million leks, as a turn-over tax, some 14 million leks, property tax, some 456 thousand leks, as personal income, be paid. ak/sh/

    [16] NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS INCREASE

    TIRANE, NOV.14 (ATA)-By L. Thanasi, September brought to 110.304 the number of the unemployed youths enrolled in the labour offices. There were 2053 more youths than in the previous month waiting to be employed.

    According to statistics, 21-34 age group was mostly affected by unemployment, that is, there were some 87670 unemployed in September, from 85079 in August.

    In September some 5639 of the unemployed were of higher education and around 91886 of secondary education.lm/sh/

    [17] ATDHEU ASSOCIATION CONDOLES WITH FAMILIES OF OTRANTO VICTIMS

    TIRANA, NOV 14 (ATA) - The Atdheu association for refugees and emigrants issued a message on Friday to the families of the victims, who lost their lives in the Otranto tragedy, saying that the Albanian politicians should not stir up exodus like the one, which caused the tragedy.

    It expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the Otranto victims and shared the deep sorrow, which shook all the Albanian hearts.

    The association thanked the Italian government and its Italian prime minister Romano Prodi for their engagement in recovering the bodies and participation in the funeral services.

    It also thanked the Nano government for helping solved this issue. kled/ak/sh/

    [18] ALBANIAN, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET

    TIRANE, NOV.14 (ATA)-Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo met with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel in Bonn today.

    Milo briefed his counterpart on the Albanian foreign policy of integration and dialogue in the Balkans to peacefully resolve the issues existing especially in Kosove and Macedonia.

    "We know it is difficult to reach compromises with Milosevic, but dialogue should start, also with the assistance of the international community, such as the latest U.S.- German initiative," said Milo.

    Kinkel said that the latest U.S.- German initiative is another important step on the Albanian issue in Kosova and that it should influence a solution to this issue.

    "We totally agree with the policy of dialogue already started by Tirana with Yugoslavia and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as a European, civilised way to resolve different problems, even the Albanian one," Kinkel said.

    Referring to FYROM, Kinkel said that the existing problems should be esolved through understanding, opening of universities, integration of Albanians in the political and social life.

    Kinkel accepted the invitation of his Albanian counterpart to visit Albania promising that he will come by the beginning of 1988. kled/lm/ak/


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