Korca journalists have no social insurance, contracts

KORȁ, Nov. 7 – Journalists in the southeastern city of Korca have no contracts with their employers and they are not paid social insurance, a seminar held Tuesday in the city showed. The seminar was sponsored and held from the

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Albania will send army unit to Lebanon

TIRANA, Nov. 3 – Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Friday that an Albanian army unit would soon join the United Nations force in Lebanon. The announcement was made while the premier took part at an army training in Jube

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Elbasan municipality in a project against child trafficking

ELBASAN, Nov. 4 Elbasan municipality and Terres des Hommes international nongovernmental organization launched together last weekend a three-year project against children traffic and support for those in need. Mayor Ardian Turku said the city had a lot to do to

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Greece aims citizenship for ethnic Greeks of Albania

TIRANA, Nov. 7 – A main topic in the Albanian media outlets Tuesday and the other days was a decision of the Greek government to grant citizenship to ethnic Greeks living in Albania and also those who had immigrated into

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Three wanted persons arrested

TIRANA, Nov. 1 – Tirana police arrested Wednesday three brothers wanted since 1998 when they were sentenced with ten-year imprisonments each for an attempted murder. Mustafa, Luan and Bledar Fagu were arrested after being sentenced by theElbasan court in May

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Russia says cooperation with Albania developing dynamically

MOSCOW, Nov. 1 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that cooperation between Moscow and Tirana “is developing dynamically”. An agreement on customs issues and a programme on cultural cooperation in 2006-2007 are being prepared for signing. “We hope

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Government reshuffle?!

TIRANA, Nov. 1 – Two allies of the ruling Democratic Party coalition asked Wednesday for a government reshuffle and more posts in the executive department. The Christian Democrats of Nard Ndokaj and the Human Rights Union Party of Vangjel Dule,

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Seman Forest Fire

FIER, Oct. 31 – Around 20 hectares of pine trees in Seman, Fier district were burnt Tuesday following a four-hour fire, authorities reported. Some 200 olive trees were burnt. Experts said that the fire was likely set on purpose but

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Albania denounces Serbian constitution’s claim on Kosovo

TIRANA, Oct. 31 – Albanian Foreign Ministry considered Tuesday the new Serbian constitution’s claim over Kosovo as unacceptable. A statement said the new constitution that was approved in the weekend referendum was unhelpful at a time when international talks are

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Female student killed; refused to be exploited and trafficked for prostitution

TIRANA, Oct. 30 – A 19-year old student of the Greek language, Esmeralda Lahi, was killed Monday evening downtown Tirana, allegedly by Arben Mertiri, 31, her boyfriend, police reported. Lahi’s close friend, Marsela Guri, who was with her at the

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                    [post_content] => KORȁ, Nov. 7 - Journalists in the southeastern city of Korca have no contracts with their employers and they are not paid social insurance, a seminar held Tuesday in the city showed. The seminar was sponsored and held from the Friedrich Ebert foundation, Albanian Center for Media Monitoring and the Union of Albanian Journalists. Low salaries, lack of social insurance and contracts with employers negatively affected the quality of the work of the journalists, participants said. "Low salaries do not give the possibility to journalists to supprot themselves and makes them vulnerable to outside pressure. Such shortcomings are a concerning problem to  journalists throughout the country, and especially in capital Tirana where most of the media outlets are stationed.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 3 - Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Friday that an Albanian army unit would soon join the United Nations force in Lebanon. The announcement was made while the premier took part at an army training in Jube Sukth. Some 1,400 troops of all the forces took part in the training considered to be the biggest held recently from the Albanian armed forces. The troops were part of a fast reaction brigade that may be the unit to send the troops to Lebanon. 
There was no detail given on the number, time and other details. It was said, however, that the unit of that brigade would take joint duties with the units of the Italian army "to assist, consolidate peace to our two friendly countries, Israel and Lebanon," according to Berisha. 
Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu also said that the unit would not consist only of the soldiers and their officers, but other army officers would be part of the command line in the Italian base. Hoping to join NATO by 2008, Tirana has sent small military units in international missions in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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                    [post_content] => ELBASAN, Nov. 4 Elbasan municipality and Terres des Hommes international nongovernmental organization launched together last weekend a three-year project against children traffic and support for those in need. Mayor Ardian Turku said the city had a lot to do to fight social issues and especially children traffic. He also thanked the NGO, funded from the United States and Greek embassies for the project.  The project has created a structure to deal with such children in an effort to prevent their trafficking.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 7 - A main topic in the Albanian media outlets Tuesday and the other days was a decision of the Greek government to grant citizenship to ethnic Greeks living in Albania and also those who had immigrated into Greece. So registered members of the ethnic Greek minority of southern Albania will be able to qualify for Greek citizenship under certain conditions, according to a decision reached at a Greek cabinet meeting on Tuesday chaired by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that the delay in settling the long-standing issue emanated from a previous lack of guarantees by the Albanian state regarding the property and political rights of eligible ethnic Greeks in case of dual citizenship. He explained that the decision to naturalize eligible and registered members of the ethnic Greek minority follows revisions to the Albanian constitution and after negotiations with Tirana. That means a constitutional amendment for Albania, a decision that very likely will not attract much support among the Albanian political circles and parliament as well. Naturalization procedures can start immediately, depending on when an individual was registered by the Greek state as a member of the ethnic Greek minority, said the Greek minister. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis underlined that the government was responding to a long-standing demand by members of the minority, while pointing out that there was broad-based agreement amongst Greek political forces on the issue. She also underlined that the Albanian constitution now guarantees its citizens the right to hold a dual nationality, whereas Albania is taking steps to harmonies its legal framework with the European acquis and to fulfill EU criteria. 
The decision sparked mixed reactions in Albania. Sabri Godo, former Republican leader and also a well-known writer in Albania, was totally against the decision considering it an open interference in the country's internal affairs. He said that could be exploited by Greek nationalistic circles to increase the number of the Greek minority in the country. But Prime Minister Sali Berisha was not of the same opinion. After a meeting with the European Commission delegation head in the country who handed him over the block's annual report, Berisha said that was a good move on the part of the Greek government to give that right to the Greek minority that lived there and also in Albania He did not consider it a violation of any right, on the contrary, a good omen for thousands of Albanian-Greek inhabitants. "It is the least Athens could do for the ethnic Greeks living out of Greece", he said.
On the other side, the Cam minority, who claim to have been expelled unfairly from northern Greece at the end of World War II as if they had supported fascist Italy, said that move should serve to grant them the Greek citizenship as well. 
It is estimated that some 75-80,000 Albanian citizens with Greek origin living in south Albania will exercise the right for double citizenship.
Pellumb Xhufi, historian and one of the leaders of the opposition Socialist Movement for Integration, considered the Greek government decision as tendentious which aimed at artificially increasing the number of the Greek minority in Albania by including many other Albanian citizens who will be obliged to change their name and religion because of their economic conditions. Xhufi has also been former vice foreign minister. "That is dangerous because it runs counter to national interests, it is directed toward bilateral ties between Albania and Greece," he said in an interview to Shekulli newspaper. "The Albanian government should consider very seriously such an issue."
While Vangjel Dule of the Human Rights Union Party or the one representing the Greek community in the political circles, supported the decision of the Greek government. He said that is an individual issue and Greek minority living in Albania was not obliged to lift the Albanian citizenship after receiving the Greek one. "That decision is in accordance with the legislation of the European Union which guarantees double citizenship," he said.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 1 - Tirana police arrested Wednesday three brothers wanted since 1998 when they were sentenced with ten-year imprisonments each for an attempted murder. Mustafa, Luan and Bledar Fagu were arrested after being sentenced by theElbasan court in May 1998.
                    [post_title] =>  Three wanted persons arrested 
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                    [post_content] => MOSCOW, Nov. 1 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that cooperation between Moscow and Tirana "is developing dynamically". An agreement on customs issues and a programme on cultural cooperation in 2006-2007 are being prepared for signing. "We hope that we'll be able to fill them with substance and hold contacts at the high level in order to sign an initialed treaty on cooperation," the minister stressed. Albanian Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafaj stressed Russia's role "in ensuring stability in the world". Mustafaj was in Moscow for the 15th meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Economic Cooperation of the Black Sea countries.  Mustafaj also met with serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic and Turkish one Abdullah Gyl.
                    [post_title] =>  Russia says cooperation with Albania developing dynamically  
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 1 - Two allies of the ruling Democratic Party coalition asked Wednesday for a government reshuffle and more posts in the executive department. The Christian Democrats of Nard Ndokaj and the Human Rights Union Party of Vangjel Dule, both part of the governing coalition headed by Prime Minister Sali Berisha, said Wednesday that Environment Minister Lufter Xhuveli of the Agrarian Environmental party should be removed from the post, also mentioning a conflict of interest with his job as a private company of his family processes second-hand vehicle tires. "It is out of any political logic that electoral subjects represented only with one parliamentarian have ministers in the government while the Christian Democrats with eight deputies are out of the cabinet. Such a situation testifies to a low level of political seriousness," said Ndokaj. One of Xhuveli's parliamentarians joined the Christian Democrats last week and the other will very likely follow suit. That means that Xhuveli remains the only one from his party at the parliament. The New Democratic Party of Genc Pollo also has only one MP and it has a government minister. Ndokaj has said, on the other side, that his party will soon have ten or more MPs. Ndokaj said that his party contributed votes to the majority in the parliament but that would not last long. Leonard Solis, secretary-general of the HRUP, said also that the government was in a crisis and openly said that the Christian Democrats have to be present in the government. Solis said that the level of representation in the government of some political forces is unacceptable.
Democrats immediately reacted but carefully. Prec Zogaj acknowledged the fact of the need for a government reshuffle but said that it should be made after the forthcoming local elections, so that the political forces were respectively represented in the government. "Now local elections are getting near and we should strengthen ourselves around the existing government," he said. Gazmend Oketa, spokesman of the Democratic Party and also a parliamentarian, said that his party was always open to wide coalitions with all the rightist political forces. Oketa said that negotiations had already started, even with non-parliamentary political forces, adding there is time for such talks until the president sets the election date. Not everyone among the Democrats was of that opinion. Bujar Nishani, head of the parliamentary group, said that a government reshuffle was out of the question along with inclusion of the Christian Democrats into the executive, according to Panorama newspaper. But Nikolle Lesi, former leader of the Christian Democrats, said the reshuffle should be made before elections and his party deserves two government posts. Lesi has been insisting on a government post since after the polls last year.
Whatever the results of such negotiations, it is becoming clear that a government reshuffle will soon be made either before or after the local elections, and very likely Xhuveli will not remain a minister. 
The governing coalition includes the Democratic party, Republican Party, New Democratic party, Agrarian Environmental Party, HRUP, Christian Democratic Party and Liberal Democratic party but not all of them are represented by their own ministers in the government.
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                    [post_content] => FIER, Oct. 31 - Around 20 hectares of pine trees in Seman, Fier district were burnt Tuesday following a four-hour fire, authorities reported. Some 200 olive trees were burnt. Experts said that the fire was likely set on purpose but no clear indications could be made. The Seman forest has often been on fire lately.
                    [post_title] =>  Seman Forest Fire 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 31 - Albanian Foreign Ministry considered Tuesday the new Serbian constitution's claim over Kosovo as unacceptable. A statement said the new constitution that was approved in the weekend referendum was unhelpful at a time when international talks are under way to determine Kosovo's final status. Since the end of the war between Serb military forces and separatists in the southern province in 1999, the predominantly ethnic Albanian territory has been run by a U.N. administration and patrolled by NATO peacekeepers.
The new Serbian constitution refers to Kosovo as an integral part of the nation. "That was a unilateral and unproductive act," the ministry statement said. Ethnic Albanians, who make up 90 percent of Kosovo's population, are demanding independence, while Serbia wants to keep at least some control over the province. The U.N.-mediated negotiations on its future are scheduled to finish by the end of the year, but little progress has been made in talks between the two sides. Albania has been the strongest supporter of Kosovo's independence, though it says it has no territorial claims over the territory.
                    [post_title] =>  Albania denounces Serbian constitution's claim on Kosovo 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 30 - A 19-year old student of the Greek language, Esmeralda Lahi, was killed Monday evening downtown Tirana, allegedly by Arben Mertiri, 31, her boyfriend, police reported. Lahi's close friend, Marsela Guri, who was with her at the moment of death and who also suffered some minor injuries, was also arrested for allegedly collaborating with the suspect, according to police. Arben Mertiri was arrested in the Kruja village of Derven where he was sheltered by Anton Gjini, 24. Gjini was also arrested for hiding a suspected killer. It is believed that Lahi had rejected an attempt from her boyfriend to be sent somewhere abroad for prostitution. "It is suspected that the murder was motivated because of trafficking and exploiting the victim for prostitution," said a police statement. Lahi had appeared on last year Top Channel television station telling how she had broken up with another lover more than a year ago and had tried to commit suicide by throwing herself from the sixth floor.
Taking that death as a clear example, a group of women, supporters of the opposition Socialsit Party, held a protest in Tirana on Tuesday against violence toward women. They tried to raise public awareness for violence against women saying such crimes damage the already bad reputation of Albania. They also called for improvement of the legislataion in that context.
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            [post_content] => KORȁ, Nov. 7 - Journalists in the southeastern city of Korca have no contracts with their employers and they are not paid social insurance, a seminar held Tuesday in the city showed. The seminar was sponsored and held from the Friedrich Ebert foundation, Albanian Center for Media Monitoring and the Union of Albanian Journalists. Low salaries, lack of social insurance and contracts with employers negatively affected the quality of the work of the journalists, participants said. "Low salaries do not give the possibility to journalists to supprot themselves and makes them vulnerable to outside pressure. Such shortcomings are a concerning problem to  journalists throughout the country, and especially in capital Tirana where most of the media outlets are stationed.
            [post_title] =>  Korca journalists have no social insurance, contracts 
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