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Albania takes over OSCE Presidency

Albania takes over OSCE Presidency

TIRANA, Dec. 6 – Albania officially took over on Friday the forthcoming presidency of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation), an organization comprised of 57 member states, which it will lead throughout 2020. The next OSCE Chairman will be

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Tirana, Durres prosecutions initiate construction permit investigations after earthquake

Tirana, Durres prosecutions initiate construction permit investigations after earthquake

TIRANA, Dec. 2 – Tirana, Durres and Kruja’s prosecution offices announced that they have launched investigations into damaged buildings a few days after the strong earthquake that left 51 people dead on Tuesday morning.  The capital and Durres area, including

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Earthquake search missions conclude with 51 confirmed victims

Earthquake search missions conclude with 51 confirmed victims

TIRANA, Nov. 30 – In Albania, the number of victims of the powerful earthquake that hit the country reached 51, while all rescuing operations are now considered closed.  Over 900 people were injured, of whom 41 are still hospitalized.  Prime

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Fundraising calls raise over eight million euros

Fundraising calls raise over eight million euros

TIRANA, Nov. 29 – As the alarming amount of damages and victims continued to grow, citizens, companies and diaspora alike organized donations funds where people could contribute with monetary assistance.  In less than 48 hours various fundraising calls have raised

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Region and international community come together to help during the aftermath

Region and international community come together to help during the aftermath

TIRANA, Nov. 28 – To cope with the large numbers of injured people, a number of private hospitals including Hygeia, Spitali Amerikan and Polyklinika Doctors Hospital have opened their doors to those hurt in the quake. They are treating people

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Albanians inside the country and beyond in solidarity with earthquake victims

Albanians inside the country and beyond in solidarity with earthquake victims

TIRANA, Nov. 28 – All Albanians inside the country and beyond came in immediate to those affected by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.  A number of volunteers set up collection points in Tirana, mostly close to the centre and the country’s National

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Albanian earthquake: 29 victims counted, as gov’t announces state of emergency

Albanian earthquake: 29 victims counted, as gov’t announces state of emergency

TIRANA, Nov. 27 – The balance of victims of the powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Albania Tuesday morning continues to worsen as the search missions continue looking. According to the latest official data, at least 29 people are thought

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PM introduces new package against organized crime

PM introduces new package against organized crime

TIRANA, Nov. 26 – Prime Minister Edi Rama introduced on Monday the highlights of a new legal package that aims to hit organized crime harder.  The package appears to be similar to that of anti-mafia, in force for many years,

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US Embassy advises parties to consult Venice Commission on Constitutional Court establishment

US Embassy advises parties to consult Venice Commission on Constitutional Court establishment

TIRANA, Nov. 23 – The US Embassy to Tirana issued a statement on Thursday advising political parties in Albania to consult the Venice Commission’s legal opinion for the differing interpretations regarding the nomination process of Constitutional Court members.  “In the

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Latest Constitutional Court member dismissed under vetting

Latest Constitutional Court member dismissed under vetting

TIRANA, Nov. 21 – In Albania, the Special Appeals Panel (KPA) announced on Thursday the dismissal of Besnik Muçi, elected just a few weeks ago by President Ilir Meta’s decree as the first member of the Constitutional Court.  The Panel

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 6 - Albania officially took over on Friday the forthcoming presidency of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation), an organization comprised of 57 member states, which it will lead throughout 2020.

The next OSCE Chairman will be Prime Minister Edi Rama, but this time in his capacity as Albania's Foreign Minister. 

It was Rama who delivered the speech today, at the close of the ministerial organized in the Slovak capital, which held the presidency throughout 2019. 

Rama outlined what the priorities of Albania's chairmanship will be, starting from honoring the commitments of the member states, promoting the work of the OSCE closer to the people and strengthening the dialogue "as the only way to build trust towards each other.”

Rama did not leave unmentioned the crisis in Ukraine, which he said "remains the most pressing security challenge in Europe. It is unacceptable that prolonged conflicts in the OSCE region continue to claim lives. Therefore, efforts for resolving the conflict will be at the top of the agenda for the Albanian Presidency,” he said.

Rama ended his speech by stressing the need for compromise and urging member countries to engage constructively, open-minded and without forgetting that everything is done for the people.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 2 - Tirana, Durres and Kruja’s prosecution offices announced that they have launched investigations into damaged buildings a few days after the strong earthquake that left 51 people dead on Tuesday morning. 

The capital and Durres area, including Thumane, are most affected by the earthquake. 

The many buildings that were damaged were part of an investigation launched by the three prosecution offices. 

According to official reports, part of the investigations that have been initiated for the offenses of duty Abuse, Illegal Construction and Providing Illegal Construction Assistance are the building permits issued by local authorities, their implementation by builders, and construction cases where responsible authorities have been abusive and failed to intervene. 

“The purpose of the investigation is to take swift action to clarify the concrete circumstances that have led to the consequences and the state of constructions. The offenses under investigation are those of ‘Abuse of duty,’ provided by Article 248 of the Criminal Code, investigating the bodies that have approved construction permits and whether they have been granted in support of the law, and whether the builders have complied with the permit, ‘Illegal construction,’ provided by Article 199/a of the Criminal Code, as well as ‘Providing assistance for illegal construction,’ Article 199/a of the Criminal Code,” said the Prosecution of Tirana, which also explained that it has requested information The Municipality of Tirana for the already identified dwellings affected by the earthquake and not classified in the appropriate housing conditions.

The first official data released this afternoon by Deputy Interior Minister Rovena Voda speaks of 7900 affected houses and buildings:

Collapsed flats: 131

 

Seriously damaged houses: 3 811

 

Lightly damaged flats: 3 149

 

Seriously damaged mansions: 461

 

Lightly damaged buildings: 324

 

The grave situation created by the earthquake was at the heart of a special meeting of the National Security Council convened today by President Ilir Meta, who explained after the meeting “closer cooperation and coordination between all institutions to provide emergency response until full normalcy is restored” was discussed and that support was given" to the prosecution to advance investigations and to hold all those who are responsible liable.” According to Meta, "internal resources and international support should be provided to overcome the serious consequences of the earthquake.” 

International support has so far been immediate. After assisting in the early hours after Tuesday's hit, 50 foreign experts have been hired to assess damaged buildings to date. 

"This phase will take several days. All areas of concern will be systematically addressed by joint teams of Albanian and international experts,” said today the Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Tirana Luigi Soreca.

By the afternoon, there were 469 objects evaluated by joint expert groups in Durres, Kruja and Shijak. In the end, 180 were found to be uninhabitable and 21 buildings to be demolished in the Durres area.

After the completion of this process, the reconstruction phase will have to start. 

"In a third phase, we will consider how the European Union will help Albania rebuild with a medium to long-term perspective. This discussion will begin on Thursday with the visit of our new European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič. Reconstruction planning will require a thorough post-disaster needs assessment and an efficient donor coordination that the EU is ready to support,” said Soreca.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 30 - In Albania, the number of victims of the powerful earthquake that hit the country reached 51, while all rescuing operations are now considered closed. 

Over 900 people were injured, of whom 41 are still hospitalized. 

Prime Minister Edi Rama called on the opposition on Saturday to sit down with the government to discuss and listen to their proposals to deal with the difficult situation created, while in the evening he met with ambassadors. 

Funeral cars queued in the central square of Durres on Saturday waiting to escort the eight Lala family members, including four children, who died under the rubble of their apartment in the former Keneta area. 

Numerous citizens gathered there to bid farewell to those who lost their lives during the earthquake that struck the country in the early hours of Tuesday morning, causing 51 deaths. Search operations have officially stopped. 

Durres was also the city that received the biggest blow, with several collapsed mansions and two destroyed hotels in the beach area,where a total of 26 lives lost under the rubble. 

Thumana also suffered a severe blow, as two buildings were leveled, trapping 24 more people. Over 900 people were wounded in hospitals, with varying degrees of injuries. 

On Saturday, a young girl passed away after three days in a coma. 

The government decided on Saturday that by mid-December, the families of the victims should be moved to new housing. 

Two of the survivors who lost their families completely will receive special state treatment all their lives, pensioners of the victims' families will receive special pensions, while children of these families will be given monthly scholarships during all their studies. 

And while the bitter balance of lost lives seems to have ended, the country will have to face the severe material consequences of the earthquake as damage data vary increases every day.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 29 - As the alarming amount of damages and victims continued to grow, citizens, companies and diaspora alike organized donations funds where people could contribute with monetary assistance. 

In less than 48 hours various fundraising calls have raised over eight million euros and dollars. 

Behxhet Pacolli, Kosovo's foreign minister, donated 1m euros to rebuild the affected areas.

The Fundjave Ndryshe Initiative raised about 1.5 million dollars, from the government initiative about 270 thousand dollars from the initiative of JOQ Albania about 200 thousand dollars, in the USA from the initiative of Besa Association and Foundation of Albanians around the world about 100 thousand dollars.

The Open Society Foundation donated $ 500,000 and so did the government of Kosovo.

Meanwhile, the Sandesara Group, a large business presence in over 75 countries in the field of Oil and Gas, etc, donated over 1 million euros to the Albanian government for earthquake relief. 

The Albanian government, the Socialist parliamentary group and 60 mayors will donate their November salary. The company Euro-Insig donated 50 thousand euros, Municipality of Tetovo 25 thousand, Gazeta Express 10 thousand euros, Dreni-Pharm 10 thousand euros more.

Mario Dedivanovic, known as Kim Kardashian's hairdresser, donated 3,000 euros.

The Skopje Club of Northern Macedonia will donate the money raised today from match tickets against Pandev Academy. Albania's Këlcyra Second Division team donated the salaries of their convicted footballers to the families affected by the quake. 

In addition to money, there were plenty of other individual aids.

Lazim Destani, the father of Albanian actor Blerim Destani, donated 12 tonnes of food. In addition, over 200 tons of food, sanitary products and over 1,000 mattresses were delivered by dozens of trucks from Kosovo businesses.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 28 - To cope with the large numbers of injured people, a number of private hospitals including Hygeia, Spitali Amerikan and Polyklinika Doctors Hospital have opened their doors to those hurt in the quake. They are treating people for free to help out the overburdened state hospitals.

Assistance has poured in from all over the region with citizens in Kosovo posting that they will provide accommodation to Albanians made homeless by the disaster. 

Some hotels in Prishtina have also opened their doors and offered refuge to those that need it. Wednesday was announced a day of national mourning in Kosovo as well, and flags were raised midway in all of Kosovo’s state objects, as the country’s special forces continue to actively assist search missions in Albania.

“We are together, as we have always been. As entire generations before us were. Together in good days and bad days,” Kosovo President Hashim Thaci wrote on Facebook. 

Other hotels and guest houses throughout Albania including in Vlore and even Sarande have said they will house victims.

Additionally, the Kosovo government has pledged EUR 500,000 to support the government’s efforts as well as sending their army and members of the police force to assist. 

Greece and Italy were the first to offer their assistance to Albania, with many other European countries to follow. 

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday he will immediately visit Albania to offer any possible assistance from Greece following the earthquake. Dendias made the comments from Skopje during Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' cabinet's first visit to Northern Macedonia.                

Croatian, Romanian,Turkish, and North Macedonian authorities have also assisted by sending aid, rescue teams, medics, and members of their armed forces to assist with rescue efforts and the humanitarian crisis.

Montenegro health and interior ministers, Kenan Hrapovic and Melvudin Nuhodzic, went to Albania to visit the worst-affected village, Thumane. They offered help by sending medical and rescue teams, but also with treating the injured in Montenegrin public hospitals.

The Croatian Army’s chief of staff, General Mirko Sundov, said that Croatia will send two helicopters and a Defence Ministry civil protection unit to assist Albania in the recovery operation, according to local media.

The Serbian Interior Ministry’s Emergency Sector will send 13 members of the Special Search and Rescue Team, while Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic offered more help during a telephone conversation with Albanian premier Rama.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urged Islamic countries to help Albania overcome the chaotic situation.

“The responsibility falls on us. It is our obligation as an Islamic Cooperation Organization to take the first step in donor planning and organization. Now, we must support Albania in dealing with the injured and sheltering those who have their homes destroyed. I think this step is helpful and at the same time we have an obligation to our brothers,” Erdogan said. 

US Senators, foreign ambassadors, the Pope, politicians, celebrities including Rita Ora and Dua Lipa, have all pledged their support via social media and many are calling for donations to various funding channels to provide further assistance.

“I would like to greet the beloved Albanian people who have suffered so much these days. Albania was the first country in Europe that I wanted to visit. I am close to the victims, I pray for the dead, for the wounded, for the families, God bless them, the people I love,” said Pope Francis in his address applauded by those present. 

His comment was made by the head of the Catholic Church in front of thousands in a speech at the Vatican following his visit to Thailand and Japan.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 28 - All Albanians inside the country and beyond came in immediate to those affected by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. 

A number of volunteers set up collection points in Tirana, mostly close to the centre and the country’s National Theatre to gather items to be sent to those who lost their homes, are unable to go home, or who are sleeping outside following the  earthquake.

Items that are needed include warm children’s clothes, blankets, food for children and babies, food that can be consumed without needing to be cooked, diapers, water, fruit juice, new underwear for all ages, wet wipes, and hygiene products including wet wipes, mouthwash, and deodorant. Clothing items such as coats, hats, scarves, and socks for all ages are appreciated as temperatures are expected to drop below 10 degrees Celsius this evening.

There are currently three main drop off points in the city; Mother Teresa Square coordinated by Fundjava Ndryshe and Nisma Thurrje, the Orthodox Church near Skanderbeg Square, and the Alliance For The Protection Of The National Theatre at the National Theatre in the centre of Tirana.

However, smaller collection points were set up and help was offered by smaller organizations and independent individuals who, using social media and other ways, have mobilized all those able to assist. 

All three organisations have worked solidly throughout the week to collect, sort, and pack up items to be sent to those in need in Durres, Thumane, Kruje and other affected areas. Dozens of truckloads of items were sent already, but there is a continual demand for more as citizens prepare for more nights outside. 

In Kosovo’s capital Prishtina volunteers have also set up a major collection point in the central square Zahir Pajaziti, and dozens of truckload have already been delivered to victims in Albania.

Local media has published several videos of citizens, especially from Kosovo, which Albanians helped during the war with Serbia when many were displaced, crying and offering their houses to Albanians. 

Collection points will be open until late over the coming days and residents are urged to donate what they can to help and support those in need.

Numerous donation accounts to support the victims were opened by both the government, organizations and individuals

Army forces have so far erected several tent centers that can accommodate up to 1,000 people.

“Near the stadium in Durres and the sports field in Thumana, 300 tents have been erected to house about 1,000 residents. Also the Durres Army Vacation Home with a capacity of 200 persons is at the disposal of the residents in difficulty. There are 90 gyms in Tirana, Durres, Kruja and Lezha which are being adapted to accommodate homeless families in case of need. Apart from the accommodation capacities provided by the local and central government, there are many hotels in Vlora, Durres and Tirana that, in solidarity, have provided accommodation and treatment to every struggling fellow citizen,” said Defense Minister Olta Xhacka.

In Tirana, the municipality has offered several social centers as well as 20 hotels that have expressed a willingness to wait for the affected to spend the night.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 27 - The balance of victims of the powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Albania Tuesday morning continues to worsen as the search missions continue looking.

According to the latest official data, at least 29 people are thought to have been killed so far, 12 of whom were found in the ruins of collapsed housing in some areas of Durres, 14 in Thumana where two buildings were destroyed, and one person who lost his life yesterday in Kurbin. Authorities say there are probably about 20 more missing on appeal. Research is ongoing intensively in both the Durres and Thumana areas. In total, about 650 people applied to seek medical attention due to earthquake injuries.

Meanwhile, the Albanian government declared a state of emergency today. The decision was announced by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who addressed his cabinet in the early hours of Tuesday.

“As the constitution and legislation explain, and given the nature of the problem and situation, it will be a state of emergency in the perimeter of the two regions where the wounds are most open, in Durres and Tirana. A state of emergency is not just a matter of finances, but a series of measures. I do not know whether those who preached it were willing to submit to such measures. This has been the reason we have been reflecting, because the state of emergency means creating a new level of governance for the situation for a period of 30 days," said Rama.

Numerous damages were recorded in buildings, houses and service buildings centers in the Durres, Thumana and Tirana areas. Over 40 people were pulled from the ruins of flats and palaces collapsed by heavy shakes.

Wednesday is declared a national mourning day. while specialized teams from Kosovo have arrived in support of the Albanian authorities. Italy, Greece, Kosovo and Germany were among the first which immediately showed solidarity by sending over troops and aids.

It was 3.54 in the morning when Albania was shaken by frightening earthquakes, strong in intensity and extended in time, about 20-30 seconds. In a matter of minutes, residents not only of Tirana filled the streets, leaving their apartments in panic. Over 300 aftershocks followed, some as strong as of a magnitude above 5 degrees.

With the epicenter near Durres, this was the city where the damage was greater, not only in terms of material, but also the lives of some children and the elderly. Unfortunately most of the casualties are from this city, where a building collapsed, as well as two hotels on the coast or a large three-store villa in the marsh area, which was originally tilted to one side and after a few hours it all collapsed.

The second hit was Thumana where two buildings made before the '90s collapsed, raking in some residents. As with all of Tuesday, on Wednesday there was also no stopping the rescue work.

Hundreds of people, meanwhile, were injured and called for emergency aid in hospitals. Over 650 injured were registered at hospitals in Durres and Tirana, while several dozen were kept under medical supervision.

Army forces have so far erected several tent centers that can accommodate up to 1,000 people.

“Near the stadium in Durres and the sports field in Thumana, 300 tents have been erected to house about 1,000 residents. Also the Durres Army Vacation Home with a capacity of 200 persons is at the disposal of the residents in difficulty. There are 90 gyms in Tirana, Durres, Kruja and Lezha which are being adapted to accommodate homeless families in case of need. Apart from the accommodation capacities provided by the local and central government, there are many hotels in Vlora, Durres and Tirana that, in solidarity, have provided accommodation and treatment to every struggling fellow citizen," said Defense Minister Olta Xhacka.

In Tirana, the municipality has offered several social centers as well as 20 hotels that have expressed a willingness to wait for the affected to spend the night.
                    [post_title] => Albanian earthquake: 29 victims counted, as gov't announces state of emergency
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                    [ID] => 143590
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2019-11-26 10:04:44
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-26 09:04:44
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 26 - Prime Minister Edi Rama introduced on Monday the highlights of a new legal package that aims to hit organized crime harder. 

The package appears to be similar to that of anti-mafia, in force for many years, but extends its scope further while giving police, according to a project making rounds in the media, many powers that run the risk of conflicting with those of the prosecution.

Rama presented the announced initiative during a meeting with leaders of institutions and the group of Socialist Party MPs. 

In a nearly two hour speech, in a theater scene where he was the sole speaker, the longer part was more of an electoral nature, a balance of his government in some areas, during these six years in power.

Meanwhile the last 30 minutes were dedicated to what was announced as today's meeting agenda, namely the new measures against organized crime, at a time when, according to him, prosecutors and the court, which has long been considered part of the criminal organization, have become the “Capture What they can Capture,” or the KCK, and are exploiting the pre-vetting period by turning it in what he called “a servant” of organized crime.

"We must intervene with a special law against organized crime and terrorism and pass the entire norm of anti-mafia law at the expense of the subjects of this law, and their families. And every one of them has to prove before the court that his home, his car, his business are the result of his work,” said Rama.

The measures envisaged by Rama will be of three categories, personal, from the prohibition of leaving the country to the restriction of movement in a particular territory, property measures, those related to preventive sequestration while there is proof against the suspect or accused, and those of an economic nature, excluding the right to license or benefit from public funds through contracts or concessions.

Rama also demanded that the intervention of Prosecutorial or Judicial Council for prosecutors or judges committing violations be clarified by law.

It remains to be seen how these interventions have been translated into legal form. One project that is circulating in the media shows that the initiative is similar to the anti-mafia law, but surpassing it in scope. 

In this project, the police also seem to have wide-ranging powers on delicate aspects related to the restriction of persons' freedoms, which appear to run the risk of being in conflict with those of the prosecution, or setting up parallel structures and institutions that are on the rise.

On Monday, the first eight members of the Special Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime and Corruption, SPAK, were named. 

They are expected to take office on December 19, when they will take an oath to the President of the Republic.

 

Political Reactions

The Democratic Party spoke of "a ridiculous propaganda show" through which according to Secretary General Gazmend Bardhi, Prime Minister Edi Rama, "announced the duplication by law of the SPAK and BKH, giving the police powers that were stripped from the Constitutional Court four years ago.”

“In essence, the law shows no significant new measure from existing laws against organized crime and mafia. The measures introduced today are found either in the Criminal Code, or in anti-mafia law. The only new measure in the KCK law is to take over the competences of SPAK and BKH, giving them to a group under the control of the Prime Minister,” said Bardhi.

The second opposition party Socialist Movement for Integration also opposed the PM’s initiative. 

“Today that the SPAK and the Bureau of Investigation, which has been held hostage by Edi Rama and his group for more than two years, is today launching its famous KCK, its political police,” a SMI representative said. 

 
                    [post_title] => PM introduces new package against organized crime
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                    [post_date] => 2019-11-24 18:57:56
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-24 17:57:56
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 23 - The US Embassy to Tirana issued a statement on Thursday advising political parties in Albania to consult the Venice Commission’s legal opinion for the differing interpretations regarding the nomination process of Constitutional Court members. 

“In the absence of an appropriate Albanian legal institution that could rule on the diverging interpretations, the United States supports referring the question to the Venice Commission as a competent, neutral third party for its legal opinion. We further encourage disputing parties to abide by the Venice Commission’s legal opinion,” the statement reads. 

It says this strategy would be fully consistent with the country’s European aspirations. 

“Albania’s legal institutions, the constitution, and judicial reform implementing laws must guide the process of resolving these disputed interpretations,” it further reads. 

The statement highlights the ongoing judicial reform is among the US’ highest priorities in Albania and its progress is essential for advancing Albania’s European future. 

“The United States will continue to stand by Albania as it undertakes these essential reforms as a friend, a partner, and an ally,” it concludes. 
                    [post_title] => US Embassy advises parties to consult Venice Commission on Constitutional Court establishment 
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                    [post_date] => 2019-11-21 10:01:11
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-21 09:01:11
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 21 - In Albania, the Special Appeals Panel (KPA) announced on Thursday the dismissal of Besnik Muçi, elected just a few weeks ago by President Ilir Meta’s decree as the first member of the Constitutional Court. 

The Panel noted that Muci, who underwent a reassessment process as a prosecutor involved and in the race for the Special Prosecutor's Office, did not have sufficient financial resources to justify spending for four years on loans for the purchase of two apartments and did not declare a piece of land acquired by the spouse as belonging to her family. 

Muçi also disputed the fact that he had social relations with a person involved in a gun conflict from which he had obtained privileges for the purchase of an apartment or an unsecured loan. 

A situation that, according to the college, has brought about "public infringement of the justice system".

While dismissing the KPA assessment as unfair, Muçi also stated that in his view the decision to dismiss him is not valid. He said that as soon as he took the oath as a member of the Constitutional Court, he had lost his status as a prosecutor, for which he had undergone a reassessment process, and therefore could no longer be subject to the college's treatment. 

For this reason, he said he will remain in office, though the constitution and law stipulate that the decisions of the KPA take effect immediately and leave no room for anyone who is dismissed to be in the justice system again.

Meta, who, at the time decreed Muci as a member of the Constitutional Court, was aware of the questions raised against him during the reassessment process at the Appellate Panel, considered today's decision a "shame". 

His spokesman Tedi Blushi, through a Facebook post, said that was "no surprise from the Party's vetting.Following the failure to flagrantly abduct the Constitutional Court, plans returned to block this institution by the same actors who blocked it for three years ”.

Today's ruling by the KPA reduces the number of members of the Constitutional Court to four again, while the chances remain that it can become operational with six members, if the re-evaluation process of candidates is to be successfully completed for the two vacancies announced by Parliament and the President.

 
                    [post_title] => Latest Constitutional Court member dismissed under vetting 
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            [post_author] => 29
            [post_date] => 2019-12-08 12:07:03
            [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-08 11:07:03
            [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 6 - Albania officially took over on Friday the forthcoming presidency of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation), an organization comprised of 57 member states, which it will lead throughout 2020.

The next OSCE Chairman will be Prime Minister Edi Rama, but this time in his capacity as Albania's Foreign Minister. 

It was Rama who delivered the speech today, at the close of the ministerial organized in the Slovak capital, which held the presidency throughout 2019. 

Rama outlined what the priorities of Albania's chairmanship will be, starting from honoring the commitments of the member states, promoting the work of the OSCE closer to the people and strengthening the dialogue "as the only way to build trust towards each other.”

Rama did not leave unmentioned the crisis in Ukraine, which he said "remains the most pressing security challenge in Europe. It is unacceptable that prolonged conflicts in the OSCE region continue to claim lives. Therefore, efforts for resolving the conflict will be at the top of the agenda for the Albanian Presidency,” he said.

Rama ended his speech by stressing the need for compromise and urging member countries to engage constructively, open-minded and without forgetting that everything is done for the people.

 
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