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Albania  

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ALBANIA


  
  



In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 6,124 4,695 4,100 109
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,740 1,380 1,340 120
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Albania

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
28,748

Population
3,544,808

Capital
Tirana

Currency
Lek

President
Alfred Moisiu


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 Berisha said.

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 lawmakers.
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.

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BANKING

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, ANSAmed reported. 
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.

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ENERGY

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.

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