Books on Albania
Update No: 106 - (23/03/06)
The Hand of God, says Berisha
While other leaders of the Western Balkan region regretted that Slobodan
Milosevic escaped justice and a sentence, Albania's Prime Minister said that the
death of Milosevic was God's deserved verdict.
"The death of the Balkans butcher, the man who caused the biggest tragedies
of Bosniaks, Albanians (in Kosovo) and Croats in their modern history,
represents a relaxation for hundred of thousands of victims of his barbarism,
waiting for just verdict. But God gave him the deserved verdict", Sali
War saves Albania
Actually, although Albanians in Serbia suffered terribly at the hands of the
Butcher of Belgrade those in Albania benefited hugely - precisely because of the
formers' suffering. The 1999 Kosovo War marks the turning point for the Albanian
economy. Previously in a most dire state after a financial crash in 1997, the
war led to a massive international presence to deal with the huge refugee
problem, with 240,000- 260,000 Kosovar Albanians streaming in.
International aid agencies and the impact of the vast military effort, whose
base was Albania, gave the economy a terrific boost, much as the Korean War did
the postwar Japanese economy or the Vietnam War and the economies of the Asian
tigers. Growth of GDP has been over 7% annually ever since.
Political crisis defusable, says EU
The executive body of the EU, the European Commission, said on Friday that the
dispute between ruling political parties and the opposition in Albania does not
represent an insurmountable crisis insofar as it cannot damage the country's
European integration path. "The Commission is closely following the
political developments in Albania, but we don't have any indication that
confrontation at the Albanian parliament will affect the process of
implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA)" EC's
spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy has said to the press.
However she urged the ruling government, led by Sali Berisha, and the socialists
to engage in a constructive dialogue and resolve their disputes in order to
speed up the EU-demanded reforms.
The coalition government and the opposition parties are split on the
competencies of the government and the work of the office of public prosecution;
and the dispute currently has blocked the work of the parliament. The leading
Democratic Party (PD) and Socialist Party (PS) have entered a dispute over the
speaker of the Parliament, Jozefina Topalli, following a request by all
opposition parties for her dismissal.
The issue was brought for vote by the lawmakers, but then divisions erupted over
whether the vote should be made by secret ballot papers or electronic means. The
tensions surfaced in the parliament and even lead to punches between some
Recently, the work of the parliament was disrupted following socialist protest
over the presence of guardians in the assembly room.
Socialists have accused the ruling coalition of adopting a controversial
emergency act, according to which some powers of municipalities should be
transferred to the central government. According to the constitution, such a
decision should be approved by the parliament within 40 days following the
proposal of the government, which was not the case.
The act was presented to the parliament and voted several days afterwards and
Topalli was accused by the socialists of breaching the constitution.
The second issue of the dispute was the request of the parliament speaker for
the resignation of the chief-prosecutor of the country, Theodhori Sollaku, which
according to the ruling PD is refusing to act against individuals close to PS on
organised crime and corruption.
Socialists say the ruling coalition and the parliament speaker should not
interfere in the work of the public prosecutor, who is nominated by the
president of the country and approved by the parliament.
The blocking of the work of the assembly came just days after EC and Albanian
government signed the SAA, following three year of negotiations. Governments of
the EU member states are scheduled to approve the agreement in April, which then
would have to be approved also by national parliaments in order the deal can
enter into force.
Italian development bank opens in Tirana
Italian development bank, Banca Italiana di Sviluppo, (BIS), the first Italian
bank in Albania set up with entirely Italian capital, opened in Tirana recently,
BIS was established with an initial investment of five million Euro, allocated
by Italian bank, Banca Popolare di Puglia e Basilicata (BPPB), in cooperation
with Italian entrepreneur Francesco Mariano, who bought Albanian Dardania Bank
in July 2005. "BIS, with its three offices, a head office and two branches,
working mainly as a corporate bank serving Albanian business," Francesco
Mariano said is bringing in new ideas.
State power monopoly opens bids in energy tender
The Albanian Power Corporation (KESH) has already opened the bids in the tender
for the purchase of electricity for a nine-month period starting from April 1,
2006, AE News reported.
KESH's request was for 1436 GW/h and a budget of 49.5 million Euro. Eight
companies submitted a total of 10 different offers with prices varying from 37.8
Euro to 52.6 Euro per megawatt/h. The preliminary results of the tender showed
that there will be more than one winner. KESH will be purchasing less energy
than the amount requested due to Albanian legal limits which oblige the Albanian
state power monopoly corporation "to determine a fund limit." Due to
this, KESH has to ask for electricity at 34.45 Euro per megawatt/h. Nonetheless,
last December the Albanian government allowed the corporation to accept a higher
price. The prices offered in the latest tender were the highest prices recorded
since the crisis of 2001, when KESH purchased a small amount of energy at US$52
per megawatt/h due to emergency conditions.