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Italy and Albania to sign energy deals

December 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Published on the Financial Times on December 1 2008 01:58

By Guy Dinmore in Rome and Kerin Hope in Athens

Grandiose energy projects, including what is billed as Europe’s largest wind farm, will be on the table for signing when Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s premier, meets Sali Berisha, his Albanian counterpart, in Tirana on Tuesday. Albania’s chronic energy crisis and Mr Berisha’s ambitions to create a regional energy hub in Europe’s second poorest country have opened a new market for many Italian companies.

Read more…

30 Kosovo Rebels Killed in Border Clash

December 15, 1998 Leave a comment

Article from: The Washington Post
Article date: December 15, 1998
Author: Guy Dinmore

At least 30 ethnic Albanian rebels were killed as they attempted to enter Kosovo from Albania early today, Serbian officials reported. It was the deadliest clash in the province in more than two months. The fighting deepened the pall over faltering U.S. efforts to reach a permanent peace agreement.

In five hours of fighting near the border posts of Gorozup and Liken, Yugoslav troops killed at least 30 ethnic Albanians and wounded 12 others, official reports said. The reports said the ethnic Albanians were wearing uniforms of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the guerrilla group that is seeking independence for Kosovo, a province of Serbia, Yugoslavia’s dominant republic. Read more…

Albanian Protesters Seize Buildings

September 15, 1998 Leave a comment

Article from: The Washington Post
Article date: September 15, 1998
Author: Guy Dinmore

Armed crowds seized government buildings in the Albanian capital, Tirana, today in the worst violence there in more than a year. Government security forces later retook key sites and announced they had succeeded in preventing a coup by supporters of former president Sali Berisha.

As night fell, police regained control of a state television and radio center that had been taken over by anti-government demonstrators. Residents said no more shooting was heard and that police had restored order to most of Tirana, setting up roadblocks at main intersections.

The violence in Tirana, which was touched off by the weekend killing of a popular Berisha aide, was the worst in Albania since a civil uprising began early last year after the collapse of fraudulent savings and investment schemes. Police today killed three looters in the capital, and more than a dozen people were reported wounded. Read more…

ALBANIA: Premier claims coup as mobs erupt

September 15, 1998 Leave a comment

ALBANIA: Premier claims coup as mobs erupt
By Guy Dinmore in Belgrade, FT

Albania’s prime minister, Fatos Nano, went into hiding yesterday, claiming a coup was being organised by opposition mobs in Tirana who plunged the capital into violence for a second day.

Last night police claimed they had wrestled back control of a broadcasting centre which supporters of the former president, Sali Berisha, seized earlier in the day after commandeering tanks. Three people were reported killed and 14 wounded. Read more…

Albanian refugees spur crisis in Italy

March 20, 1997 Leave a comment

by Robert Graham and Guy Dinmore

published on March 20 1997

The Italian government introduced a state of emergency yesterday to cope with the influx od Albanians fleeing across the Adriatic.

The Interior Ministry said that by early yesterday more than 10,000 Albanians had reached Italy since last Thrusday in a constant flow of boats. When Albania was consumed by anarchy last week, the Italian government set in motion plans to accommodate 3,50 Albanians in the Puglia region, which faces the Balkan state across the narrow Adriatic.

The decision to declare the state of emergency, which will last until June 30 and confer special powers that cut through bureaucracy and allow quick release of funds, came at a Cabinet meeting dedicated to the Albanian crisis.

Deputy Foreign Minster Piero Fassino said organized crime is now involved in the exodus. Gangs are charging at least $150 per person for transit. As fuel in Albanian ports become scarce, bigger vessels have been towing small craft, which are then left in international waters to be rescued by the Italians.
Yesterday saw the forst enforced repatriation of Albanians deemed undesirable. Helicopters ferried to Tirana, the Albanian capital, 210 people who had forced their way aboard the Italian warship San Giusto in Durres last week and who had been held at Taranto. Another 78 were flown from Bari to Tirana. Criminal records of hundreds more are being checked, but returning those who have escaped Albanian prisons is problematic since the jails were ransacked.

But the new Albanian coalition government is making stronger efforts to discourage the exodus. Police forces took control of Durres port from the criminal gangs yesterday, and no more refugees were seen at dockside.
Order has been restored to Tirana by mobilizing armed vigilantes, but looting and violence continues in southern Albanian towns.