Latest News from Albania

Corruption Hindering Albania’s War on Terror, US Says

“While Albania has the political will to cooperate with countries in the region on counterterrorism initiatives, it lacked the capacity to implement effective controls,” the US State Department said.

“Corruption coupled with a poorly functioning judicial system continued to hinder Albanian efforts in law enforcement,” the report added.

Kosovo Police Arrest 11 Over Privatization Deal

Kosovo police announced they had arrested 11 people suspected of abusing official authority and economic authorization, and of fraud, related to the privatization of a company.

Baki Kelani, police spokesperson, said the arrests concerned the privatization of Fan, a company based in Podujeva/Podujevo.

The company was sold off by the Privatization Agency of Kosovo, PAK.

Albanian Ministry's Ad Cash Enriched One Agency

The data, obtained through a freedom of information request, FOI, show that the Ministry of Interior held six major TV ad campaigns and produced one spot in four years for a total 85,389,780 lek (€610,000).

The seven contracts awarded for the production and transmission of the adverts all went to one advertising agency, Promo Sh.p.k.

EU 'to Extend' Southern Gas Corridor from Azerbaijan

The EU would extend the route for supplies through the Southern Gas Corridor and its pipes will make their way further into Europe's mainland, according to reports.

Russia's Vedomosti, which cites sources from the European Commission, suggests that pipes could lead into France and Spain and this could increase the amount of Azerbaijani gas received from the Union.

Albania Spy Agency Denies Army Drug Trafficking

“We are extremely concerned about the wave of media and political speculations over the publication of a classified document, which is being abused and damages our work and the interests of the country,” the State Information Agency, SHISH, said in a statement on Saturday.

International conference on World War One begins

BELGRADE - An international conference on World War One is being held in Belgrade on Friday, with the goal to objectivise the truth abou that great conflict.

The conference started on Thursday and includes distinguished scientists, historians and military experts from 20 countries in Europe and Asia.

EBRD Director for Bulgaria Learned of Dismissal "from Media"

Stafka Slavova, former Alternate Director of the EBRD, Poland, and Albania, learned about her dismissal from media reports.

In an interview for Dnevnik.bg, she said the decision had been taken with no debate and arguments, and was not even part of a meeting at the Council of Ministers.

Albania MP Urges New Probe Into Costly Kosovo Highway

“The highway will be remembered for years to come as the most expensive road ever built by the Albanian government,” Balla wrote on his Facebook page.

Balla accused current Albanian centre-right opposition leader Lulzim Basha, who signed the contract for the construction of the highway in 2006, of abuse of power, damaging to state to the tune of €190 million.

Burkhalter to visit Serbia on Thursday

BELGRADE - President of Swiss Confederation and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter will pay an official visit to Serbia on Thursday when he will meet with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and other top officials.

Kosovo MPs Approve New War Crimes Court

The proposal to establish the new tribunal was passed by 89 votes to 22 in parliament on Wednesday, although Prime Minister Hashim Thaci called it “the biggest injustice and insult which could be done to Kosovo and its people”.

Montenegro Improves Rating on Global Peace Index

The index of the International Institute for Economics and Peace, which aims to measure peace and stability in the world, said Montenegro has made progress compared to 2012, rising to 73rd place out of 162, up from 81st place in 2012.

Albania Starts to Waver on Waste Import Ban

The Alliance Against Waste Imports, AKIP, has called on the centre-left government of Edi Rama not to water down a law adopted last September banning all waste imports.

Albania Fines Officials For Concealing Assets

The agency said it had slapped a fine of 50,000 lek on Deputy Defence Minister Drtian Hila and Socialist Party MP Rakip Suli for failing to file their declarations of private interests, within 30 days of their appointments as required by law.

HIDAACI also announced that, contrary to previous practice, it will make the names of other officials who are penalized public.

Albania Judges Call for Halt to Public Attacks

In an open letter to the President, parliament and the High Council of Justice the Union of Judges said international standards on the judicial system do not permit denigration of judges in public.

Kosovo Extends EU Rule-of-Law Mission Mandate

Kosovo’s government on Tuesday voted in favour of a draft law which will see the mandate of the EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, extended until June 15, 2016, and guarantees the continued operation of EULEX’s Special Investigative Task Force, SITF.

The extension of EULEX’s mandate was requested by Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga.

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