(en) Albania Report - 03/23

Thurs, 27 Mar 1997 22.27 GMT

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Note on Origin: The I-AFD (Initiative for an Anarchist Federation in Germany) is a small anarchist organisation in germany attempting to build an extensive structure of all anarchists regardless of theoretical differences to improve effectiveness, cooperation and discussion within the anarchist movement. It is organised internationally in the IFA (International of Anarchist Federations).

Robert (for the A-Infos Group in germany)


*I-AFD Group Hamburg I* (i-afd_2@anarch.free.de) ALBANIA REPORT from March the 23., 1997

After I posted yesterday's mail, there was something else in some late-late-late news:

Prime minister Fino talked to delegates from Vlore yesterday to negotiate the re-opening of the port for shipments of humanitarian aid. In these talks, Fino not only put forward that he was only prepared to talk to delegates from one town only at a time, but he also stressed that the integrity of Albanian territory was of utmost importance.

Fino announced he cannot guarantee that elections will indeed be held in June as promised due to the situation. I suppose this statement will not contribute to a change in the situation.

Fino also was reported to have said that Berisha's resignation was not a problem of his government.

A correspondent reported from Tirana saying that the situation was pretty quiet, with only occasional gunshots. The first charter flight came into Tirana airport from Italy yesterday. The correspondent was asked about the relationship between Fino and Berisha and replied that Berisha was more and more isolated and his position was difficult to sustain, but otherwise avoided the question.


Today, news again were on the scarce side. Helicopters have taken goods into Vlore. They were said to have brought food, medicine, and medical equipment. On Monday, medical doctors will arrive in Albania, but it was not mentioned who will send them in and where they're from. In the Italian port of Brindisi, two naval vessels are awaiting to leave for Albania. They will carry further medical and food supplies, and emergency kitchens. 1,500 paratroopers will accompany this shipment, and 10 "Leopard" tanks will be sent, too [a truly humanitarian aid, indeed: most probably they'll be needed for the kitchens, or maybe even for medical treatment, c.].

Last night or this morning another 300 Albanian refugees arrived in Italy - the first to come in since two days ago; there weren't any refugees for two days. The total number of refugees in Italy was announced at slightly over 11,000.

Interestingly enough, news before avoided an explicit report that no refugees had arrived and said nothing about that at all. Furthermore, Italy's line of argumentation seems pretty weak then, as apparently there will not be a massive wave of umpteenthousand refugees flooding into Italy which was the reason given for making life hard for the people already arrived.

Further news reported a demo having taken place in Tirana today during which peace and unity of the country was demanded. The demo was said to have had several thousand participants, but pictures shown were more than short and did not allow to judge whether the figure given seemed correct.

After Fino's announcements, it should have been expected that there were comments by the insurgent towns, but if there were any, they did not make it into the news. Actually, even not every news report I watched covered Albania today and pictures were very short indeed: a few seconds on the refugees arriving today, and even less seconds on the demo in Tirana. It is also interesting to see who covers the item and who doesn't: whereas yesterday, German TV and radio stations reported next to nothing or nothing at all, today BBC World kept quiet about Albania and instead covered such highly dramatic events like a kite flying contest in Thailand, a gathering in HongKong where people watch the days of British rule fading (this had been covered several times during the last weeks), and Gore's hearty welcome in Japan was covered quite generously. Well, and then most presumably time was running out and there wasn't a minute left to waste on Albania.

*** You'll be missing my mails on Albania for some two or three days to come as we'll set out to help a comrade move his belongings to Hamburg. I hope to be back with another "report" on Wednesday. Till then

TTFN, catkawin ## CrossPoint v3.11 ##

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