Albania’s political parties

Europe’s main security and democracy forum urged Albania’s political parties on Monday to improve a disputed new electoral code that has prompted 10 members of parliament to go on hunger strike.

Sitting in the debating chamber under a banner declaring “votes are sacred”, the MPs entered the seventh day of their fast as police manned cordons outside the building, where hundreds of protesters had gathered.

The lawmakers, all from small parties, believe the proposed new regional system of proportional representation will greatly reduce their number of seats at next year’s general election.

The ambassador of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Robert Bosch, told reporters it would “not rubber stamp” the election code.

The OSCE then issued a statement saying that “the draft Electoral Code, which was prepared by the Albanians themselves, was an achievement, but that it still needs some fine tuning”.

“For that reason, it needs to be discussed in the proper fora by the parties, but not under coercion by any one grouping,” the OSCE said, referring to the hunger strike.

The ruling Democratic Party and main opposition Socialist Party had been expected to force the new code through parliament in a vote on Monday.

But they postponed it until Tuesday, apparently in response to the OSCE comments and the protest by Socialist Integration Movement (SIM) and Christian Democratic (CHD) supporters.

CHD leader Nard Ndoka said they had asked for two weeks to re-negotiate the draft code.

The draft law does not formally require the OSCE’s approval, but its opinion is important because its observers will be the arbiters of whether the election, expected next spring, is free and fair.

The European Union has made it clear that the vote must be of a high standard if Albania wants to advance to join the 27-member bloc.

Albania, which for decades was one of Europe’s most rigid communist states, has yet to hold elections that meet international standards.

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Albanian economy in 2008

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told Albania on Tuesday it should strengthen economic fundamentals since its economy could not be completely immune to the global crisis that was slowing growth worldwide.

Gerwin Bell, the IMF mission chief, said the Balkan state’s limited integration in global markets was an important buffer but its exports were expected to fall, remittance payments could be affected and investors might re-assess risks.
“With a sharp deterioration of global growth prospects now under way, it is important that Albanian policy makers further strengthen economic fundamentals,” Bell told a joint news conference with Albanian Finance Minister Ridvan Bode.
“Obviously, the government cannot influence exogenous global events, but it can and should take extra steps to shore up confidence domestically as, in the current environment, policies should be erring on the side of caution,” Bell said.
“This would allow Albania to weather these turbulent times and still record significant growth of between 3.5 and 4 percent in 2009, with continued low inflation and an improved current account position,” he added.
Bell said the Albanian economy in 2008 had so far performed strongly and October’s annual CPI was fixed at 2.8 percent — in line with the central bank’s target range — while growth has remained buoyant and on track to reach 6 percent in 2008.
“However, growth in tax revenue has now slowed,” he added.
The IMF has monitored the Albanian economy since 1991, when the once isolated Stalinist Balkan nation toppled communism. The fund’s ongoing three-year programmes — worth together $27.9 million — expire in January 2009.
Once the current agreement expires in January, Bode said he expected the IMF to return to Albania after the 2009 spring elections to discuss a new agreement that had “less objectives”.
The IMF’s call for prudent policies in the current global turbulence have not dented the enthusiasm of the Albanian government that sees growth at six percent as its passes the biggest ever budget of five billion dollars.
“We are proud to keep preserving despite the turmoil and turbulence of the banking and financial system in the world a very high economic growth,” Bode said.
“The economic growth of 6 percent planned in the 2009 budget is again a powerful backing for the real economy to give hope and possibility to the Albanian economy,” Bode added. (Reporting by Benet Koleka, editing by Ron Askew)
source : guardian.co.uk

Lulzim Basha Albanian media in Tirana

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

ImageAlbania supports the decision of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to reject the six-point plan, said Albania’s Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha during a statement for the Albanian media in Tirana.
Foreign Minister of Albania Lulzim Basha said that Tirana is carefully following with serious concern the latest developments in Kosovo.

“Prishtina has its aspirations to continue the implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan. Albania fully supports Prishtina’s stance against the six-point plan and calls for quick deployment of EULEX in the entire territory of Kosovo,” said Basha.

Albania’s Foreign Minister also criticized the way of dialogue has been conducted between UN, Belgrade by  largely ignoring Prishtina. “Kosovo is a sovereign country and has its legitimate power guaranteed by its sovereign constitution to accept or reject such decisions. Albania supports their decision to categorically reject this plan.”

This is the first reaction coming from a high Albania Government official regarding the six-point plan issue.

Albania’s capital expenditures

Tirana, Nov. 19, 2008 ( – Almost 89 per cent of Albania’s capital expenditures during 2008 have been spent for the Albania-Kosovo highway, – data published by Ministry of Finance suggests.

For the nine months ending on Sept. 30, Albania had spent 40 billion lek, (€328 million), from its 45.5 billion capital expenditures budget for the highway. About half of this sum was raised in the international market as syndicated loans. Albania will need to invest another €250 million to complete the 60 kilometer long highway.

The Albanian Government admitted in August that the highway linking the country’s coast with Kosovo will cost €630 million, more than €200 million than the original contract of €418 million.

The admission came in a letter by Albania’s government to the International Monetary Fund.

The highway, which links the port of Durres with Kosovo, is the country’s biggest public works project in decades, however its has been dogged by allegations of irregularities and corruption.

Prosecutor-General Ina Rama is probing alleged irregularities in the tender for the construction of the highway won by the American-Turkish consortium, Bechtel-Enka.

Former Prosecutor-General Theodhori Sollaku began an investigation last year into alleged irregularities surrounding the awarding of the tender.

The investigation led to a request by Sollaku that parliament lift the immunity of Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha, who was at the time of the tender, the Minister of Transport.

Basha’s immunity was lifted by parliament at the end of December.

A few weeks earlier, President Bamir Topi had dismissed Sollaku, following a call for his sacking by a parliamentary commission, and nominated Rama, a former Serious Crimes Court Judge, as his replacement.

Local media have reported that several other officials from the roads department of the Transport Ministry are being investigated along with Basha.

Although Basha has sought to characterise the investigation as a politically-motivated attack by Sollaku, since Rama took over, she has continued to push ahead with the probe.

Fjalëkryqi Shqiptar

Fjalëkryqi është krijimi më i popullarizuar në fushën e enigmatikës. Në fillim u shfaq në një gazetë amerikane. Fjalëkryqi është kryqëzim i fjalëve të ndryshme nga fondi i një gjuhe në drejtimin horizontal ose vertikal në një rrjetë katrorësh të cilat përkufizohen dhe numërohen nga përpiluesi i fjalëkryqit. Detyrë e klientit pra lexuesit është që fushat e zbrazëta të rrjetës së katrorëve të plotësohen me germat e duhura. Ekzistojnë lloje të ndryshme të fjalëkryqit:

1. Fjalëkryqi italian
2. Fjalëkryqi amerikan
3. Skandi
4. Katrori magjik etj.

Historiku

Fjalëkryqi i parë u botua më 21 Dhjetor të vitit 1913 në Gazetën “New York World“ edicioni i krishtlindjeve dhe përmbante 31 pyetje. Shpikësi i fjalëkryqit ishte gazetari Arthur Wynne nga Liverpuli. Si bazë për hartimin e fjalëkryqit të parë ai ka pasur një Lojë të Gjyshit të tij të quajtur “Katrorët Magjik“. Fjalëkryqi i Arthur Wynne-t nuk përmbante fusha/katrorë të zinjë, dhe kishte formën e rombit. Në fillim të shkullit të 20. u botuan edhe fjalëkryqet e parë në gazetat dhe revistat Europiane.

Charles Cilard pas një pune katër vjecare në vitin 1985 arriti të prezantoj edhe fjalëkryqin më të madhë në botë. Ai ishte 870 metra i gjatë dhe 30 cm i gjërë dhe përmbante 2.610.000 fusha/katrorë.

Pishtari olimpik

Pishtari olimpik, është prej çeliku dhe ka formën e një skije. Është i gjatë 77 cm, i gjerë 10,5 cm, ndërsa peshon 1,9 kg. Nga jashtë është lyer me një ngjyrë të veçantë që mundëson rezistencë të madhe termike që shkon nga -20°C deri 25°C. Pishtari ka një autonomi prej 15 minutash dhe mund të funksionojë deri në 5.000 m lartësi. Flaka e tij ushqehet nga një përzierje hidrokarburesh (40% propilen, 60% butan) që ndodhet brenda pishtarit në një lloj bombole prej alumini.

Lojrat olimpike dimërore

Lojrat olimpike dimërore përparohet që 1924. Ka pasur konteste të sportit dimërore (patinazh) si pjesë të lojrave Olimpike te Londra 1908 dhe Antwerpen 1920. Së pari u mbajtën lojrat olimpike dimërore njëjtin vit si lojrat olimpike verërore. Që 1994 mbahen me ndryshime e dy viteve me lojrat olimpike verërore.