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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-01-31

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] USD quoted at lek 153,90
  • [02] Press review
  • [03] Albania's President leaves for USA
  • [04] Social Democratic Union evaluates suggestions of European troika
  • [05] SP presidency discusses draft-budget of 1998
  • [06] Swiss army offers 30 vehicles for the Albanian army
  • [07] Albanian Democrat Union to join constitutional commission
  • [08] Republicans hail European troika
  • [09] Albania's hails every statement defending Albanians -spokesman
  • [10] Court concerned about law on provisions, not parliament -speaker
  • [11] Official failing to pass scrutiny exam is inherited from old administration - PM Spokesman
  • [12] Semi-finalists of 46th Soccer Championship Cup of Albania
  • [13] Shkodra urges government, parliament to help resolve problems
  • [14] Speedboat seized, and dinghy blocked on Adriatic
  • [15] Albanian Army to restructure and consolidate during 1998
  • [16] $26 million credit for sea port of Durres

  • [01] USD quoted at lek 153,90

    Saturday's average exchange rate in the informal market of Albanian currency "lek" against foreign currencies like USD, DM, SFR, ITL was in favour of these last.

    So $1 = 153,90 lek, gaining 1,00 points compared with yesterday's 152, 90 lek. The DM was traded for 83,50 lek, lossing 1,00 points compared to yesterday's 84,50 lek.

    The ITL (1000) was traded for 84,60 lek lossing 0.50 points compared with yeasterday's 85,10.

    GRD (100) was exchanged for 52,70 lek, lossing 0,48 points compared with yesterday's 53,18 lek and so on. yesterday and so on.

    Saturday exchange rate

    Currency Average exchange rate

    USD 153,90 lek DM 83,50 lek ITL (1000) 84,60 lek GRD (100) 52,70 lek SFR 102,50 lek

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] Press review

    TIRANA, Jan. 31 (ATA) - Today's dailies focus on the statement that the European Commissioner, Van den Brook, issued on Friday, where he explains his stand regarding the Albanian constitution drafting process.

    Koha Jone, under the title "EU: No early elections," reports that "The adoption of a constitution does not need supplementary steps, what means that there will be not future parliament to adopt it," says that statement of the European Commissioner office. "The reports that commissioner Van den Brook has requested early elections are not true," says that statement. Thus, the Commissioner confirms that stand of the commission, which fully supports the statement of the European troika, which visited Tirana on January 23 with representatives from the European Union, OSCE and the Council of Europe, stresses the same paper. The European troika, after the two-day visit in Tirana, drafted a statement, which stressed among others its support for the way of drafting a constitution in three steps: the constitutional commission, parliament, people's referendum.

    With regard to this problem, Shekulli writes that the commissioner Van den Brook has turned down press releases, according to which he had requested new elections in Albania. Considering these statements false, he confessed once again the legitimacy of parliament. According to him, "EU applauds the government's ambition to finalize the constitutional process in 1998."

    Under the headline "Commissioner Van den Brook confutes papers of Berisha," Zeri i Popullit stresses that the reports for new elections are false. The European Commissioner said yesterday that "I hope the work of the constitution commission will be supported by a broad political base in the spirit of national reconciliation and I call especially on the opposition to play a constructive role in this process."

    Also, Albania newspaper has written on the statement of Commissioner Brook, according to which "The reports that Van den Brook has asked new elections are false." /s.sh/mt/

    (more)

    Press review (2)

    TIRANA, Jan. 31 (ATA) - Today's dailies focus on the statement that the European Commissioner, Van den Brook, issued on Friday, where he explains his stand regarding the Albanian constitution drafting process.

    Koha Jone, under the title "EU: No early elections," reports that "The adoption of a constitution does not need supplementary steps, what means that there will be not future parliament to adopt it," says that statement of the European Commissioner office. "The reports that commissioner Van den Brook has requested early elections are not true," says that statement. Thus, the Commissioner confirms that stand of the commission, which fully supports the statement of the European troika, which visited Tirana on January 23 with representatives from the European Union, OSCE and the Council of Europe, stresses the same paper. The European troika, after the two-day visit in Tirana, drafted a statement, which stressed among others its support for the way of drafting a constitution in three steps: the constitutional commission, parliament, people's referendum.

    With regard to this problem, Shekulli writes that the commissioner Van den Brook has turned down press releases, according to which he had requested new elections in Albania. Considering these statements false, he confessed once again the legitimacy of parliament. According to him, "EU applauds the government's ambition to finalize the constitutional process in 1998."

    Under the headline "Commissioner Van den Brook confutes papers of Berisha," Zeri i Popullit stresses that the reports for new elections are false. The European Commissioner said yesterday that "I hope the work of the constitution commission will be supported by a broad political base in the spirit of national reconciliation and I call especially on the opposition to play a constructive role in this process."

    Also, Albania newspaper has written on the statement of Commissioner Brook, according to which "The reports that Van den Brook has asked new elections are false." /s.sh/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] Albania's President leaves for USA

    TIRANA, Jan. 31 (ATA) - By K. Kostreci: Albania's President Rexhep Meidani left early on Saturday for a non official five-day visit in USA to participate in an annual ceremony of the U.S. Congress. /mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] Social Democratic Union evaluates suggestions of European troika

    TIRANA, Jan. 31 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: The leader of the Social Democratic Union, Teodor Laco, in a press release on Friday, considered the recommendations of the European troika as very important in lowering down the tensions of the Albanian policy.

    "From the requests of the Troika, our party has to answer for the constitutional commission, because we and our allies of the parliamentary group 'The Center Right' take part regularly in the Assembly and its commissions. On principle, we are not against the parliamentary constitutional commission, but we have our remarks regarding its composition and management," said Laco.

    "The leaders of the commission should be elected by the parliamentarians of respective groups of the ruling party and the opposition. The opposition representative should be not appointed at the head of the commission without reaching an agreement between all the parties which are in opposition," stressed Laco. /a.ke/kled/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] SP presidency discusses draft-budget of 1998

    TIRANA, Jan. 30 (ATA) - By A. Simoni: The presidency of the Albanian Socialist Party, in a meeting held Friday evening focused on the discussions of the socialist deputies regarding the draft-budget of 1998, which will be presented in Parliament on Monday and Tuesday.

    "This is a difficult budget, because the country has been destroyed and each sector needs financing. This is the essence of the discussions of the parliamentary commission chairmen to be led by the socialists," said the SP Public Secretary, Musa Ulqini right after the meeting. /a.ke/kled/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] Swiss army offers 30 vehicles for the Albanian army

    TIRANA, Jan. 30 (ATA) - By Th. Thanasi: The Swiss army donated on Friday the first contingent of the aid for the Albanian army in a military unit in Durres. Some 30 vehicles, 20 trucks and 10 "Jeep" vehicles were donated in the context of the Partnership for Peace by the Swiss government, based on an agreement with the Albanian army.

    Talking about the aid that Switzerland has given to Albania, the State Secretary for the Policy of Defence, Perikli Teta, pointed out that "the aid of the Swiss army for the Albanian army is very precious. The vehicles will be used to help the population."

    "Switzerland will carry on the cooperation and the assistance for Albania and the Albanian army," said the Swiss ambassador in Tirana, Thomas Voeler.

    Attending the simple ceremony were senior officials from the Defence Ministry and military attaches of Switzerland and USA in Albania. /s.s/kled/mt/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] Albanian Democrat Union to join constitutional commission

    TIRANA, Jan 31 (ATA) - Albanian Democrat Union said in a meeting on Saturday that the suggestions of the European troika are right and adopted respective decisions in conformity with the troika's suggestions.

    A party press release, obtained by ATA, said that the Albanian Democrat Union will return to parliament as a constructive opposition in the framework of the center right parliamentary group and the Union for Democracy forum.

    Today's activists meeting considered the drawing of a constitution a necessity and will commit itself to this end, presenting its own options.

    So far, this party has refused to participate in the commission on constitution.

    This party has its own deputy in parliament and is member of the Unity for Democracy led by the Democratic Party. s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] Republicans hail European troika

    TIRANA, Jan 31 (ATA) - By A. Haxhiu: European troika's statement issued after a two-day visit to Albania, was hailed by the Albanian Republicans in a news conference on Saturday.

    They also praised the contribution of the OSCE ambassador to Tirana Daan Everts to end the judges' hunger strike on Friday.

    Republican leader Fatmir Mediu expressed support of the Republican party (RP) for the process of constitution calling absurdity claims of some politicians to replace the leadership of the constitutional commission with the Democratic party.

    "The RP finds itself available for this commission," said Mehdiu.

    He considered Godo's position an "attitude of the Republican party, with the sole aim of making Albania with constitution."

    Later, the RP leader Mehdiu, expressed his reserves on a state draft budget.

    "The draft budget presented despite all efforts from the government abstracted from the reality and presented a demagogy of figures," Mehdiu said.

    "At a time when the government will increase the number of unemployed through administration cuts, the draft budget does not explain how will the level of unemployment be reduced, when this is the major factor in GDP's increase," said the RP leader.

    He also criticised the reform on wages, calling unjust a wage rise of 100 percent for the functionaries and 20 percent for the administration and pensioners.

    On Friday's meeting, the Council of Ministers decided on a wage increase with over 50 percent for order staff and justice, finance personnel.

    Over 500 thousand people will profit from this increase. ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] Albania's hails every statement defending Albanians -spokesman

    TIRANA, Jan 31 (ATA) - By Aurel Simoni: Albania's government said on Saturday that the statement of the Macedonian president Kiro Gligorov on a corridor through Macedonia to allow Kosova refugees to go to Albania in case of a flare up in Kosova "should be praised if this is a true one," a government spokesman said.

    "Naturally, this statement should be greeted if it is true, because every statement of any friendly country, including the Macedonian one, if it aims at defending Albanians, should be hailed," Ben Blushi, the spokesman told today's news conference.

    "On the other side, this shows that the visit of the prime minister Fatos Nano in Macedonia has functioned perfectly," said Blushi. s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] Court concerned about law on provisions, not parliament -speaker

    TIRANA, Jan 31 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: Albania's Speaker Skender Gjinushi told ATA on Saturday that there is no crisis between the Constitutional court and parliament, but the former is concerned about the law.

    "None can say that the parliament cannot draft laws," Gjinushi said, referring to a decision of this court, which called anti constitutional an article on constitutional provisions, amended by a legislative majority.

    Gjinushi said that this problem will end when the court will not reject rotation anymore which he called as normal.

    Head of the Parliamentary commission on laws, Fehmi Abdiu, said to ATA on Friday that the "conflict between parliament and the constitutional court will be resolved in the next three days."

    He said that if the rotation fails, the court will be out of operation, like a suspended body. s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [11] Official failing to pass scrutiny exam is inherited from old administration - PM Spokesman

    TIRANE, Jan 31 (ATA) - By A Simoni: The official who fails to pass scrutiny of Commission "Bezhani" which depends on the Council of Ministers, "is inherited from the old administration," when the Democratic Party was in power, spokesman of Prime Minister Ben Blushi told a news conference on Saturday.

    "The Prime Minister has knowledge of the request of the Commission of the Scrutiny of Officials for the discharge from his post of a Council of Ministers official, within 15 days," said the PM's spokesman - and he will adopt the proper measures within legal deadlines."

    Some leaders of the Democratic Party accused these days the chairman of the Scrutiny Commission, Nafiz Bezhani, "of going several times a week to the office of Prime Minister Nano to take instructions;" Bezhani has refuted this charge, saying that he has never gone to the PM's office.

    "It is not true that Bezhani goes several times a week to the office of the Prime Minister," said Blushi, "it is natural for the government and the Scrutiny Commission to have official contacts, while the contacts DP refers to, do not exist." /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [12] Semi-finalists of 46th Soccer Championship Cup of Albania

    TIRANE, Jan 31 (ATA) - By A Keko: The return matches of the third tournament of the 46th Cup of Albania in football were played on Saturday afternoon. Standings: Tirana - Laci 0-0 (0-0) Vllaznia - Partizani 0-0 (0-0) Apollonia - Elbasani 4-0 (2-0) Flamurtari- Lushnja 1-2 (1-1)

    On the basis of the standings of the previous week, the semifinalists are the teams of Vllaznia, Lushnja, Lac and Apolonia. a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [13] Shkodra urges government, parliament to help resolve problems

    TIRANA, Jan 31 (ATA) - By K. Kostreci: Deputies and authorities of the local government in Shkodra have urged the government and parliament to help resolve the problems this city is facing on the eve of a discussion and approval of a draft budget for 1998 in parliament.

    Albania's Speaker Skender Gjinushi scheduled a meeting with some heads of the parliamentary commissions, ministers, Shkodra Mayor, Bahri Boriçi, head of the district council Lorenc Mosi, Governor Ali Laçej and some deputies to deal with these problems.

    The Mayor Boriçi said that Shkodra numbers some 20 thousand unemployed.

    Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Women's Elmaz Sherifi assured that he will help small and medium business for a time by paying social assurances and securing wage fund.

    "The representatives of Shkodra presented problems arising from the closing of border crossings of Hani i Hotit and Murriqan and stressed that their opening will facilitate much the social problems because 4 to 5 thousand families from Shkodra live on income from business with Montenegro, " a spokesman of parliament said after the meeting.

    Other problems dealt with were some projects suspended during the unrest, for which Sherifi, Gaqo Apostoli and Ylli Bufi, assured them that financial sources from the state budget and other donors will be planned. s.s/ak/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [14] Speedboat seized, and dinghy blocked on Adriatic

    DURRES, Jan 31 (ATA) - A dinghy carrying about 25 illegal Albanians was forced to return to Albanian seashore on Friday evening, while a speedboat with three people on board was seized.

    Authorized sources of "Guardia di Finanza" confirmed to ATA that at 11 p.m. on Friday, three miles off Vlora shores, two Italian patrol vessels, V-5007 and V-5008, intercepted a three-engine dinghy with 22-25 people on board, which was making for the Italian coast. The Italian vessels followed the dinghy until it returned to Albanian shores.

    Whereas at 2.30 on Saturday morning, the same Italian patrol vessels intercepted about 9 miles from the bay of Vjose a speedboat, carrying three people on board, and forced it to come back to Albanian coast. At a distance of 800 meters from the seashore, two of the people on board left the speedboat but after some minutes the three people and their speedboat were seized.

    The same sources reported that Eduard Profi, 21, Tritan Tringa, 24 and Zamir Hangazi, 32, all living in Vlore, were detained, while the speedboat was sequestered. /s.s/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [15] Albanian Army to restructure and consolidate during 1998

    TIRANE, Jan 31 (ATA) - By Th Thanasi: 1998 will be determinant for the restructuring of the Albanian army. Priority will be attached during this year to the treatment of the military according to contemporary standards, Albanian Defence Minister, Sabit Brokaj, said on Saturday in a meeting to analyze the 6-month work of his Ministry.

    "Emergency stage passed with success," said Mr Brokaj, explaining that "full control has been placed on army armament and munition, the Naval Defence Forces have been organized and military aviation has resumed flights."

    Brigade General, Aleks Andoni, chief of Army General Staff, said in his report that the present level has been reached through a devoted and responsible work by the military staff and the specialized assistance from NATO, armies of its member and partner countries."

    Speaking of the objectives of 1998, Andoni laid tasks for the perfection of the structural organization, further perfection of direction and improvement of living conditions, the treatment of the militaries, improvement of the infrastructure and the growth of cooperation with NATO and partner countries.

    "The fact that the army has played a positive role, without obeying blindly any political force, must be hailed, and the army has been operating conformed to its status, to the moral code that it serves only the defence of the people and the homeland," said the Chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Skender Gjinushi, who also was present in the meeting. /a.ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [16] $26 million credit for sea port of Durres

    DURRES, Jan 31 (ATA) - Gezim Kabashi: The sea port of Durres will receive this year a $26 million credit for the reconstruction and improvement of its technology.

    A fund of $1 million, financed by the European Union will be used to set up the terminals for ferries. The Portuguese firm, Profabric" is working to complete the project for the terminal, which will increase the volume of work with the ferries, while the World Bank has invested $15 million dollars to be used on the reconstruction of the quays of the port of Durres.

    The project for the total reconstruction of the port is being realised by the French firm "Sogrea." /a.ke/xh/


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


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