Internationale organisationer International organizations
Verdensbanken, IMF m.fl. World Bank, IMF etc.
OSCE, Europarådet OSCE, Council of Europe (CoE)
EU European Union (EU)
ICTY - Tribunalet i Haag ICTY
Balkan, generelt The Balkans
Kosóva Kosóva [Kosovo]
Øst Kosóva / Presevo-dalen / Syd-Serbien Eastern Kosóva
Serbien Serbia-Montenegro. Serbia
Makedonien Macedonia [FYRoM]
USA United States (US)
Danmark (Norge, Sverige) Denmark (Norway, Sweden)
Two months and a half before the ‘preferred’ deadline for the solution of Kosovo’s status, Koha Ditore reports in its lead story that according to some European officials there are huge differences within the Contact Group, between the US and the Great Britain on the one side, and Russia on the other.
According to these unnamed western diplomats, with the escalation in the relations between Russia and Georgia and with the anticipation of elections in Serbia, the status process in Kosovo can become a ‘collateral victim’.
Russia has some leverage in the Contact Group and so far it has not spoiled the plans of the Western countries in this group. However, it is now clearly showing that it does not agree with what they call ‘imposed solution’ and with ‘artificial deadlines’ for the solution of Kosovo’s status.
According to Koha Ditore Brussels’ diplomats will say that another meeting between Ahtisaari and the Contact group could take place by the end of the month, to retest the unit of the Contact Group.
Ahtisaari said in a conference in Helsinki that Russia is not interested in solving the status while Finland is chairing the EU, not even during Germany’s turn. “Perhaps Russia thinks that Kosovo status should be solved when Croatia chairs the EU, which is not yet a member,” he said according to some participants in the conference, writes Koha Ditore.
What seems enigmatic in this environment, says Koha Ditore, is the tentative of Germany to position itself somewhere ‘in the middle’. “Germany is trying to create possibilities for an interim solution for Kosovo which would be some sort of independence without sovereignty. Germanys also like the idea that Kosovo should not become a UN member and that it should not have an army. They think that full independence of Kosovo should only be reached when Kosovo is mature enough to integrate in the EU, so for an indefinite period of time,” Koha Ditore quotes an unnamed EU official involved in the Contact Group processes.
Koha Ditore writes that according to the assessment of some diplomats, for Germany, good relations with Russia have always been a priority, sometimes more important than relations with the US.
EU sources say that all the efforts are being made to maintain the unity of the Contact Group because the differences between Russia and the Western states within the CG are coming more and more to the surface, says the paper.
SRSG addresses International Investors’ Conference in Pristina
PRISTINA – Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (SRSG) Joachim Rücker today spoke at the International Investors’ Conference in Pristina. The conference, organised by the Ministry of Energy and Mining, aims at attracting major investors for the energy sector to ensure an effective exploitation of Kosovo’s lignite resources and the construction of a major new generation facility to service both domestic and international markets.
In his opening remarks, SRSG Rücker said: “Kosovo sits on 45 percent of Europe’s lignite deposits and is therefore extremely well placed to be a significant electricity producer for an increasingly energy hungry region.
“In Kosovo, energy is a key sector with high growth and job potential. We also need increased security of the power supply. And we all know that Kosovo can be a leastcost producer with reasonable technology, with clean coal technology.”
The conference was attended by investors from Europe and abroad, including representatives of companies from the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and the United States. Officials from the international community and local institutions were also present for the opening of the conference.
The conference introduced its guests to the details of three major projects in the energy sector: the development of Kosovo’s lignite mining, the refurbishment of existing power plant “Kosovo A” and the construction of a new power plant dubbed “Kosovo C”. An Expression of Interest for these projects, which is currently open, will end on 31 October.
The involvement of private investment in Kosovo’s energy sector is supported by UNMIK, as well as by the World Bank, the European Agency for Reconstruction and USAID, who were also present at the conference.
October 6, 2006
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu chaired today the meeting of the National Security Council whose topic of discussions was the progress of the processes of integration of Albania in NATO.
In his address, President Moisiu by pointing out the fact that this meeting is being held at the eve of NATO Summit in Riga, praised the progress made in the relations of cooperation between Albania and the North Atlantic Alliance which are concretize through the participation of our country in the Partnership for Peace initiative and Membership Action Plan that have been the foundation for the development of reforms in various fields in the country.
On this occasion, the Head of state underlined the fact that “already in our country is has been established a very positive and supporting environment for the deepening of the started political, economic and military reforms, for the systematic efforts of the highest institutions to coordinate the efforts in the process of the European integration of the country and NATO membership. Albania is giving an important contribution to peace and security in the region and even further than that. Our Armed Forces are continuing with determination their transformation to become a small, professional, well trained and equipped force with increasing operational capabilities.”
President Moisiu expressed the conviction that although the Riga Summit would not be an enlargement one, the Alliance would appreciate the efforts of Albania and of the two other members of the Adriatic 3 Charter, Croatia and Macedonia and will convey a clear and encouraging message in the path of integration. “But, – stressed the Head of state. – the assessment for membership will always depend on meeting the standards by each individual country, hence it is our responsibility to shorten the time frame to enter in its door.”
In this context, the President of the republic, demanded more work and a more active and determined engagement to strengthen the Rule of Law, to conduct a more organized and professional fight against illicit trafficking and organized crime, strengthen the border regime, continuing and bring to the end the reform in the judiciary, strengthening the fight against corruption and in general the further strengthening of democracy and in this framework, holding the local elections according to required standards. “In order to successfully face these challenges, it is very important to have the participation of all the institutional factors of politics, including the opposition too and this requires dialogue and finding a common language, not raising the tensions and extreme politicizing of every debate.” – stated Mr. Moisiu.
Then the meeting the National Security Council continued with the rapports of the respective Ministers and discussions by the participants, during which were pointed out the main problems and moments of the work of the Albanian state structures and institutions to fulfill as quick as possible the required standards for full membership of Albania in NATO. During the discussion it was emphasized the necessity to deepen and realize the all sided reforms and it re-stressed the unitary position that the integration of our country in the North Atlantic Alliance structures is not only a military objective, but it is first of all a political one in the service of the interests of Albania and Albanian people. The interlocutors discussed regarding the fulfillment of this objective and praised the commitment of the government to support the reform in the field of defense and increase the defense budget to 2% of the GDP by 2010. At the conclusion of the meeting, President Moisiu issued concrete tasks to resolve the problems and fulfill the objective of integration.
October 9, 2006
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu received Michael Granoff, the Chairman of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund and the delegation accompanied him composed by members of the Fund’s Board.
The Head of state praised the great contribution that the Fund has given to found the market economy in our country, especially towards the development of Albanian business and pointed out that these achievements deepen the trust for a more intensive reciprocal cooperation in the future. President Moisiu stated that the up to the present cooperation is one of the indicators of the concrete support and assistance that the United States gives to our country.
During the talks, President Moisiu emphasized the efforts of the Albanian state to improve the climate of investments to our country and to attract foreign businesses. In this context, President Moisiu hailed the projects and initiatives of the Albanian-American Enterprise fund in the South East areas of the country where the level of poverty and unemployment is high. Mr. Moisiu also evidenced some of the few main resources that present concrete potentials for the development of industry, tourism and economy in general in our country.
On his part, Mr. Granoff expressed the gratitude for the reception offered by President Moisiu and informed the Head of state regarding the planned concrete initiatives and projects to be implemented in the future in our country and expressed his interest for more contacts with the Albanian state and business to exchange views and expertise in this direction.
The Council of Ministers presided by Prime Minister Sali Berisha held today a meeting during which the 2007 draft budget was discussed.
In his speech, Prime Minister Berisha introduced the main fields this draft budget is focused on, assuring that this draft is totally compliant with the objectives set forth in the program of his government.
Mr. Berisha opened his speech by thanking the whole administration and especially the Ministry of Finance for its remarkable work in the drafting of this budget. He continued by pointing out that the 2007 budget signs a 15% income growth in comparison with the 2006 budget. Mr. Berisha stressed also the fact that this draft budget guarantees an economic growth of 6%and keeps the inflation under control. It also enables the reform of the welfare system and responds more efficiently to the problems of the people that need it the most.
In the social sphere, the budget envisages an increase in pensions, basic wages, as well as in financing of programs concerning health care. Investments on the road infrastructure, education, health system, etc. will have a priority in the 2007 budget. Public investments will reach the amount of 69 billion Lek, leaving far behind the 46 billion of 2006.
An important place in this draft budget is reserved to the correctional system. Prime Minister Berisha expressed the determination of his government to significantly improve this sector and, most important, the living conditions of the people that are living in correctional institutions.
Mr. Berisha concluded his speech by highlighting the efforts of the Albanian government for the NATO membership. His government is determined to support the reform of the Albanian Armed Forces in order to make them able to efficiently respond to the emergency situations and peace missions of the North Atlantic Organization.
10/10/2006 Prime Minister Berisha received today the European Regional Director of the World Health Organization, Mr. Marc Danzon.
Mr. Berisha introduced Mr. Danzon to the efforts and the achievements of his government in several fields, especially in the field of medicine. He paid special attention to the reforms of the medical system, which will help the creation of a better service for the Albanian citizens. The Prime Minister stressed the fact that this reform, the development of medicine as well as the improvement of the medical service quality are one of his government’s main goals.
In this regard Premier Berisha and Mr. Danzon discussed the possibilities of further modernization of the medical sector and continuous qualification of the medical staff as a means for the improvement of the medical service in Albania.
Mr. Berisha praised the positive role of the WHO in the development of the medical system in Albania. He assured that the Albanian government will continue to closely collaborate with this organization for the achievement of the common projects and strategies in the field of medicine.
Mr. Danzon positively evaluated the achievements of the Albanian government in the field of medicine and in the war against corruption in this sector.
Loan to help improve transmission, support regional integration
The EBRD is providing further support for the development of Albania’s power sector with a new €16 million loan to state-owned power utility Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare (KESH).
The loan, guaranteed by the Republic of Albania, aims to strengthen the country’s electricity transmission network by financing the rehabilitation of six out-dated transmission substations that will also support Albania’s participation in the regional energy market in southeast Europe.
Varel Freeman, EBRD First Vice President, said infrastructure development is part of an overall series of improvements needed in the country, and the Bank, working with the government, is addressing those needs. The EBRD welcomes and continues to support government commitments to improving the power sector, which will ultimately benefit local businesses and residents, said Mr Freeman. Furthermore this project is important in supporting the further development of the regional energy market in southeast Europe, which will be of benefit to all countries in the region, he added.
The loan is the EBRD’s fourth to KESH and underscores the Bank’s commitment to helping improve the power sector in a country which, despite progress, still faces problems to provide a reliable power supply. Earlier loans have contributed to the upgrading of transmission and distribution networks, to the restoration of hydropower stations and to the construction of a new thermal power plant.
“The Government of Albania appreciates the assistance given to support such an important strategic sector as the electricity sector” said Ridvan Bode the Minister of Finance.
The EBRD is working on this project with the World Bank which is providing a co-financing loan. The Italian government is also contributing to the investment, providing a grant of €4.6 million to finance a co-management assistance programme to KESH’s top management.
JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATIONS SIGN CODE OF ETHICS AND AGREE ON ESTABLISHMENT OF A PRESS COUNCIL
The chairmen of the main journalists’ associations in the country agreed to sign the revised Code of Ethics for Journalists on September 27 as well as signed an agreement on the establishment of a council of ethics that would monitor the implementation of this Code. In a symbolic act, Armand Shkullaku, chairman of the Association of Professional Journalists, Ylli Rakipi, Head of the League of Professional Journalists, Mero Baze, chairman of the Forum of Free Media, and Aleksander Cipa, chairman of the Journalists’ Trade Union, signed the Code and the Agreement, showing their support for this attempt to media self-regulation. They also invited every media outlet in the country to adopt the Code and accept the authority of the council of ethics in this area. Present were the editors-in-chief of the main media outlets in the capital.
The new Code is a thorough revision of the first one, adopted ten years ago. The present version reflects the changes in the journalism profession and abidance by the main international principles in this regard. These revisions were made by a group of experts after consideration of other countries’ ethical codes and several meetings with journalists, editors, directors, and owners. This project was implemented by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of CASALS/ USAID, and OSCE Presence in Albania.
OSCE WELCOMES ESTABLISHMENT OF MEDIA ETHICS COUNCIL IN ALBANIA
The OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, and the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Pavel Vacek, welcomed the creation of the Albanian Council on Media Ethics. "Such instruments of self-regulation as press councils and codes of ethics are very well suited to increase professionalism in the media, while preserving editorial independence," said Miklos Haraszti."As they are used by the media and in the interest of the media, their level of acceptance should be high. It is important to create these instruments of self-regulation with an inclusive approach. I am pleased to see this happen in Albania."
The Council on Media Ethics will comprise seven recognized public figures and serve as an ethics coach and a non-official court on disputes between the public and media. Ambassador Pavel Vacek added: "The OSCE Presence supported this initiative of the media community from the very beginning. The Council is a very useful body that will help further develop the ethical and professional standards of the Albanian media. We will continue to work with the Council in the future."
NEW REGULATORY AUTHORITIES ELECTED AND DEBATED
The Parliament elected the new members of the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT) and the Steering Council of the public broadcaster on July 29, in accordance with the new amendments to the law on broadcasting. The opposition refused to participate in this process and after a one-month political crisis deriving from several issues of conflict with the ruling majority, both sides reached an agreement that included among others a new change in the formulas of composition of the regulatory authorities on electronic media. While the new amendments in the law claimed to shift the focus of selection criteria on professional qualities of the members rather than on a political balance of composition of these bodies, the new political agreement seems to head back to a greater guarantee for a politically balanced membership. According to this agreement, signed on August 30, the NCRT members would be seven instead of five and the two new members, coming from civil society, would be selected by the opposition members. Similarly, the Steering Council would expand from seven to eleven members and the new members would have to be agreed upon both by the opposition and the ruling majority.
However, this agreement has encountered difficulties in its practical implementation, since the Parliamentary Commission on Media is arguing over two different drafts submitted by the majority and opposition MPs respectively. These drafts differ on the areas of selection of members of regulatory bodies and the decision-making process in this regard. In order to solve these problems, this commission has established a work group of six MPs, where majority and opposition are equally represented. On the other hand, Fatos Lubonja, the newly elected chairman of the Steering council has added to this crisis by resigning from his post, in view of the amendments made to the law by the two political parties, stressing that this agreement was made having in mind parties’ interests alone. He claims that the new changes have violated the law, as well as the principle of representation the law has stipulated for this regulatory body. Unlike the Steering Council, NCRT has already started work, by supervising the implementation of anti-piracy provisions and even imposing fines on some operators. These developments follow several months of intensive debate on the changes made in legislation on broadcasting and recomposition of regulatory bodies of electronic media.
TEAM TRAINING AND SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTION ON ROMA
A team reporting training took place at the Albanian Media Institute on September 4-8, with the participation of eight journalists from both mainstream and local media. The reporters produced a supplement that was published in daily “Korrieri.” The supplement focused on issues of Roma minority reporting and their coverage by both minority and mainstream media. The participants worked as a team and covered different stories addressing topics related to the Roma minority, aiming to bring out the aspects and voices thAt do not get any media coverage. The supplement included successful Roma stories and the different attempts made within the community to improve their living conditions and their social status. In order to assist their reporting, three key speakers were invited to address these topics: Lindita Xhillari from the Center for Promotion of Human Development, focused on the situation of minorities in Albania and introduced the main trends deriving from research this center has completed in this area. The second key speaker was Rajmonda Duka from the Open Society Foundation, who explained the results from the monitoring of the implementation of the national strategy on Roma. Third speaker was Blerina Tepelena, Head of the Section on Roma Strategy Monitoring at the Ministry of Social Work and Equal Opportunities, who presented the government’s point of view and efforts to implement the national strategy on Roma. This project was supported by Swedish Helsinki Committee and organized by the Albanian Media Institute.
TRAINING ON COMPUTER ASSISTED REPORTING AND ONLINE JOURNALISM
A training course on online journalism and computer assisted reporting took place at the Albanian Media Institute on September 13-15, with the participation of 15 journalists from print and electronic media, both from mainstream and local ones. The course aimed to introduce journalists to the main principles and skills of computer assisted reporting, as well as provide them with the basic knowledge in online journalism. Trainer Mitrulla Thodhori, IT expert, presented the participants to CAR methodology, its present development, and the main tools used in this regard, mainly using Internet efficiently as an information source in reporting. In her lecture she focused on search engines in Internet and their specific features, catalogues and databasis, the diverse search strategies, and the practical usage of Internet in today’s reporting. Other topics included advanced usage of MS Office packange and e-mail, working with tables and collection and selection of data, charts, etc. Introducing journalists to the main websites of interest to journalist, the trainer provided practical examples for the participants. Finally, participants were introduced to and tested online journalism and its main elements. This training course was organized by Albanian Media Institute with the support of National Endowment for Democracy.
REPORTING ON USA
The training course that focused on improving reporting on United States took place at the Albanian Media Institute on September 19-20, with the participation of 15 journalists from both print and electronic media. The first speaker was Luan Hajdaraga, ex-Minister of Defense and ex-Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. His lecture focused on Middle East and challenges of US foreign policy in that region. He started with a general landscape of the Middle East, focusing on the so-called Evil Axis: Iran, Syria, Lebanon. Special attention was paid to the confused situation in Iraq and the US role in solving this conflict, providing a brief historical background before and after 9/11. Afterwards the lecturer briefly focused on some Middle East countries and their role in international policy, such as Libya, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Iraq. He particularly focused on the recent events in Lebanon and on Israel’s attack. In this context, the lecturer provided a brief history of the Palestine issue and on the situation after Arafat’s death. Special attention was paid to the conflict between USA and Iran.
The second speaker was Mimoza Kondo, US expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her main focus was on the global interests of the USA, addressing especially President Bush’s problems with EU and the Arab world. She paid special attention to US-Albania relations, focusing on the very satisfactory relations between the two countries, deriving from signs of good will such as sending peacekeeping troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition the lecturer focused on multilateral alliances where both countries are involved, such as Adriatic Charter. She also addressed Albania’s involvement in the Millennium fund, aimed at assisting developing countries. The resolution of the status of Kosovo and USA’s role in the overall negotiations was widely discussed by the participants and the lecturer. This course was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of Media-Im-Pakt, a part of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, IFA, Germany.
TRAINING ON FOSTERING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FOR YOUTH
A two-day training on fostering a healthy way of living among teenagers was organized at the Albanian Media Institute on September 21-22, with the participation of fifteen correspondents of Tirana-based electronic mainstream media. The aim of the training was to raise awareness among journalists that cover youth reporting in order to foster a healthy lifestyle for teenagers and young people. The speakers were Genci Mucollari, Andi Shkurti, Irida Agolli, and Arjan Harxhi, from Aksion Plus, an organization that is active in health and youth issues. The main topics covered in the course of the training were the philosophy of damage control for drug users, HIV/AIDS and human rights, role of media in improvement of information, kinds of drugs and how to report on them. Other issues related to health reporting for young people that were addressed included the generation gap, relations and communication among youth and adults, teenagers and sexual health, etc. This seminar was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of UNFPA.
HUMAN RIGHTS TRAINING AND SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTION
A team reporting training was organized at the Albanian Media Institute on September 11-15, with the participation of ten journalists from the main Tirana-based newspapers. The reporters produced a supplement that was published in daily “Gazeta Shqiptare.” The supplement focused on salient human rights issues in the country, such as return of property, the elections’ register, sexual orientation and work opportunities, street children, etc. other topics covered in the supplement included the right to practice faith and its compatibility with the laic state, the high school dropout rate in the countryside, etc. In order to assist their reporting, three key speakers were invited to address these topics: Xhezair Zaganjori, member of the Constitutional Court, focused on European Convention of Human Rights and other relevant legislation in this area, paying special attention to the attempts to amend Albanian legislation in this regard. The second key speaker was Njazi Jaho from the Albanian Helsinki Committee, who addressed the notion of presumption of innocence as a human right and as one of the main principles that journalists should have in mind. Third speaker was Dajana Kumbaro, UNICEF, who provided a brief overview of the main international instruments that are supposed to protect human rights, with a special focus on children’s rights. This project was supported by the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands and organized by the Albanian Media Institute.
TRAINING ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING REPORTING
Two training courses were organized at the Albanian Media Institute on human trafficking reporting on September 25-28, with the participation of 15 journalists from Tirana-based and local media respectively. The main objective of these courses was to inform the participants on the phenomenon of trafficking and the profile of victims, introduce the journalists to specific cases of human trafficking, and raise awareness of this phenomenon, having in mind international standards and the need to respect privacy. The main speakers in the course of the training included representatives from the government, such as Iva Zajmi, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and National Coordinator of Anti-Trafficking, representatives from the relevant NGOs, such as Miriam Neziri and Silvana Mjeda from IOM, Adem Tamo from the Center of Human Development, and journalists or photojournalists, such as Lutfi Dervishi, Armand Babani, and Mark Marku. The trainings were a combination of information on the situation of human trafficking in the country and in the region, the international and national legislation in this regard and the surveys done in this aspect in several areas in the country with more professional aspects of media ethics when reporting in these cases, bringing specific cases of articles that cover these issues and their problematic sides against the background of the Code of Ethics. These training courses were organized by the Albanian Media Institute with the support of the British Embassy in Tirana and the International Organization for Migration.
WORKSHOP ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
A workshop on access to information and investigative journalism brought together media and local government representatives in Saranda on September 29-30. The main aim of the workshop was to get acquainted to the law on access to information and the manner the local administration implemented this law, as well as the way it can be used for investigative reporters. The first lecturer, Arben Ristani, from Citizens’ Advocacy Office, explained with practical examples the essence of the law and how it can be used by journalists and the general public for a more in-depth and transparent reporting. Giving specific examples, the lecturer addressed the weaknesses and strength of the implementation of the law in everyday life, including the bodies that ensure this implementation: administrative complaint, court complaint, Ombudsman. Ristani also provided a brief history of this law from other countries’ experience.
Second speaker was Lutfi Dervishi, freelancer. In his lecture he addressed the issue of writing a detailed, in-depth investigation story. Specific steps included: picking the topic, planning the sources, searching, reporting, writing the story, checking the facts before publication, the actual publication, follow-up, etc. After becoming familiar with the main problems journalists in this area face with regard to this law, he gave some specific advice and examples that would improve their reporting for the community.
Kastriot Qelepiri, representative of the Municipality of Saranda, focused on the work that was being done by this body for a better implementation of the law on access to information. He clarified the problems that existed in the relations between citizens and journalists on one hand, and the city officials, on the other, briefly explaining the way of functioning of the press office. In his speech he also addressed the problem of meeting the citizens’ attempts for information. The present journalists also suggested some ways that would help a more efficient functioning of the office. This workshop was organized by the Albanian Media Institute, with the support of National Endowment for Democracy.
TRAINING ON LOCAL NEWS REPORTING
A training course on reporting local news was organized at the Albanian Media Institute on September 4-8, with the participation of 15 journalists from both mainstream and local media. The main reason for organizing this training is that Albanian media in general, and especially print media, devotes little space to local events. The basics of local news reporting in local press was the focus of this course, where Lutfi Dervishi, freelancer, was the lecturer. He addressed the main difference in nature between local news reporting for the local press and the local news reporting for the mainstream media, paying specific attention to the target group. Then he discussed with participants where to find news, their value and criteria, distinguishing between pseudoevents and the true events. Sources and preparing for the news through the map of ideas was an exercise that provided the participants with the opportunity to learn local news criteria by doing them. Special attention was paid to interviewing and writing profiles for a local newspaper, as well as the specifics of editing and writing a local news page in a newspaper. This training course is part of an extensive project on professional skills training for journalists, organized by Albanian Media Institute with the support of Network Media Program.
DEBATE ON HISTORICAL TURNS AND MEMORY COMEBACKS
The Institute of Dialogue and Communication and the Albanian Media Institute, in cooperation with the Center of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona organized a debate on the topic of Historical Turns and the comebacks of memory with well-known intellectuals from Albania and other countries in the region and Western Europe. The debate, which took place on September 16 in Tirana, evolved around different dilemmas that societies have to face in historical moments, while encountering their past anew, such as should the truth be sought at all cost, should the past be reconstructed in order to serve present political needs, or what would be a fair relation between the need to forget social dramas of the past and the need to remember or discover the truth. Some of the topics covered in order to debate on these questions included the reconstruction of the past, historical myths as legitimating tools, amnesia or amnisty, the idea of collective responsibility, media and memory, etc. Some of the distinguished speakers included Prof. Paul Garde, professor at the University of Provence, Piro Misha, Director of Institute of Dialogue and Communication, Tirana, Kepa Aulestia, director of Vocento media group, Spain, Josep Ramoneda, director of the Center of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona, Veton Surroi, well-known intellectual, Prishtina, G. M. Tamas, a philosopher and well-known dissident, Romania, and Blendi Kajsiu, analyst, Tirana.
JOURNALISM AWARDS ON CHILDREN REPORTING
The journalism awards on best reports on children for 2006 were distributed on September 15 in Tirana from the Center for Protection of Children’s Rights in Albania. This ceremony marked also the start of a process that aims to establish a tradition of awarding best reports on children on an annual basis. Three were the winners for this year: Holta Zhiti from Top Channel, Arben Muka from Deutsche Welle, and Denisa Xhoga from Metropol. The main aim of these awards is to raise awareness among journalists to improve reporting on children’s rights and devote more space to children in the media, as well as pay special attention to ethical issues in this regard. This award was suported by Olaf Palme International Center and SIDA.
Below you will find an invitation to participate in the event in which the First Report of the Unevotoj.com Project will be made public. The report contains analysis of the work of the Parliament after monitoring of this institution during the period January-July 2007.
10 October 2006, Tirana International Hotel, at 12:00
• Do you know how rich your representatives in the Assembly of Albania are?
• Do you know which are the rules and procedures that have been broken by the Albanian Members of Parliament?
• How much do our MPs promises match what they vote in the Albanian Parliament?
• Did you know that our parliament is the only one in Europe that provides every MP with a vehicle and a driver?
• Did you know that there are three times more former policemen than political science graduates among the Albanian MPs?
• And, did you know that only 7% of our MPs are women, which makes it the lowest percentage in Europe?
To get more information on such data, you are cordially invited to participate in the event organized on the occasion of the publication of the First Report of the www.unevotoj.com Project, on the work of the Albanian Parliament during the period January – July 2006.
This event is organized by the MJAFT! Movement, on the 10th of October, at 12:00 am, at the Tirana International Hotel. Special guests attending this occasion will be important personalities of the Albanian Parliament and diplomatic corps. If you are MPs of the Albanian Parliament, officials of the Administration of the Parliament, actors of the civil society, members of the media or the diplomatic corps, you should be interested in these data. We are looking forward to your presence in this event.
Rr. Elbasanit, Nr. 77, Tirane
A large number of communist-era files kept in Albania's former secret police agency Sigurimi have been destroyed.
Two former chiefs of Albania's National Intelligence service SHIK, Sigurimi's successor, said most files have been already destroyed. The statement comes after the announcement of Socialists' leader Edi Rama to submit a draft-law on opening of classified files of Sigurimi.
Bashkim Gazidede, former chief of SHIK during Democrats' rule, told Tirana's daily Panorama that secret services had destroyed most important files run by Sigurimi, a product of Dictator Enver Hoxha.
Fatos Klosi, the former chief of Albania's secret service during Socialists' rule, claims that most important files had been destroyed during Gazidede's tenure.
Given the circumstances, it's not possible to make a real judgment on communist-era wrongdoings in Albania, as number of files are missing.
Social-Democrats leader Skender Gjinushi was the first to announce that most files had been destroyed, citing sources in secret service.
During the latest session of parliament, Prime Minister Sali Berisha called for opening of Sigurimi files. The opposition deputies backed the move.
Ismail Kadaré: Efterfølgeren: Angstens arkitektur
Enver Hoxha i »The Titoites« (1982)
»Efterfølgeren« er som så mange andre af Kadaré's bøger relativt nem at gå til på overfladen, men går man bare et par spadestik ned bliver den sværere og sværere.
Bogen handler om forholdet mellem to af de store gamle kommunister i Albanien, Enver Hoxha og Mehmet Shehu, og om Shehu's pludselige død, og dét uden at hverken Hoxha's eller Shehu's navne nævnes. Hoxha omtales som Lederen, Shehu som hans kårne Efterfølger.
Det er ikke så meget virkeligheden og dens detaljer, der interesserer Kadaré, men dén surrealisme der udviklede sig på samfundsplanet og det individuelle plan, den ejendommelige »psykologi« som Hoxha-styrets mennesker var underlagt, og til dét formål har han valgt nogle detaljer fra virkeligheden, drejet dem og tilføjet en række andre.
Regimets »officielle« beskrivelse af hvad der skete déngang kan man finde i Enver Hoxha's bog »The Titoites« (sidste kapitel), og den er såmænd lige så bizar som Kadaré's. Shehu havde i alle årene været agent for Albanien's fjender - for ikke færre end fire forskellige udenlandske efterretningstjenester, står der hos Hoxha - men til sidst var Shehu kommet under et så voldsomt pres at han ikke kunne andet end at begå selvmord. Skulle man tro Hoxha var Shehu parat til at opgive Albaniens uafhængighed; han lå under for kravene fra såvel imperialisterne med USA i spidsen, revisionisterne med Sovjetrusserne i spidsen og de jugoslaviske naboer i Nord og Øst (nutidens Montenegro, Kosóva og Makedonien).
Bogens plot og personer ligner - på overfladen - virkelighedens, men kombinationen af virkelighed, veltilrettelagte afvigelser og ren tildigtning fører læseren langt væk fra en samfundsmæssig, politisk eller bare en journalistisk analyse og forståelse - til en surrealistisk konstruktion, der ikke lader Kafka og hans verden noget efter.
Læseren får ikke meget mulighed for selv at »se«, men må stole på hvad de mange modsatte og forvirrede fortællere tænker, drømmer eller siger, indbefattet den næsten blinde Hoxha, den afdøde Shehu og indenrigsministeren. Dén objektive fortæller, der tager over fra tid til anden, er egentlig ikke mere troværdig end fortællerne, selv om 'han' taler med større autoritet.
Virkelighedens Efterfølger døde - så vidt vides - natten mellem 17. og 18. december 1981 og ikke som anført i fortællingen, nogle dage før. Fortællingens indenrigsminister 'Adrian Hasobeu', der muligvis var dén der myrdede Shehu - han véd det i »Efterfølgeren« tilsyneladende ikke selv - er en synligt påfaldende konstruktion der dog næppe ligner virkelighedens Kadri Hazbiu det mindste. Hazbiu var tæt på inderkredsen omkring Hoxha - eller ligefrem part i den - for han var indenrigsminister i omkring 25 år, fra 1954 til 1980, hvorefter han i en kort periode var forsvarsminister (fra april 1980 til oktober 1982). I Kadaré's bog er han et fjumrehoved der ikke forstår hvad Lederen ønsker af ham, som ikke kan tage sig sammen til at gøre noget, som siden erklærer at være »uskyldig« i hvad det måtte være, men som alligevel ekskluderes af partiet og straks efter anholdes af sin egen sikkerhedstjeneste.
Det samme gælder (helt sikkert) flere andre af bogens figurer, såsom retsmedicineren Petrit Gjadri og arkitekten - at de er litterære konstruktioner. Fælles for de to personer er at de er angste over at blive involveret. Den ene fordi han skal forestå obduktionen af Shehu, den anden fordi han var blevet gjort opmærksom på en hemnmelig gang der forbandt Lederens og Efterfølgerens huse.
Kano Zhbira, som omtales flere gange er »bygget« over Nako Spiru (navnet er meget tæt på; der skal kun byttes lidt rundt i fornavnet og ændres en vokal i efternavnet, så er der identitet). Spiru var en højtplaceret, meget berømt kommunist der begik selvmord i forbindelse med opgøret med de albanske »jugoslaver«, hvoraf den vigtigste var Koçi Xoxe [udtales: Kozi Dodsje]. Spiru's historie svarer ikke til Shehu's, men han og Shehu var dog i sin tid gode venner.
Én af bogens centrale personer er Shehu's datter Suzana. En datter havde Shehu ikke i virkeligheden; hun er én af Kadaré's tildigtninger og nødvendig, fordi hun skal referere til Agamemnon's ofring af Ifigineia. Suzana's kærlighedsliv gik på grund og måtte ofres, fordi det kom på tværs af faderens politiske rolle.
At Suzana overtales eller tvinges til at opgive sin forlovelse, bringer et andet tema frem i bogen, der dog ikke udfoldes, for efter gammel Nordalbansk sædvane kunne et sådant brud udløse slægtsfejde og blodhævnsdrab.
Shehu havde (vist nok) en datter uden for ægteskab, men hun er først blevet kendt i de senere år. En vis relation til datidens virkelighed er der dog, for ét af Hoxha's problemer med Shehu var angiveligt at hans søn havde forlovet sig med en pige der havde »forkerte« forældre. Hvilke tider, hvilke skikke. Datteren Suzana er en konstruktion som allerede spillede en rolle i »Agamemnons datter«.
Hvad der muligvis, ifølge bogen, var med til at udløse bruddet mellem Hoxha og Shehu, var konkurrencen mellem dem, og dén jalousi som Lederen havde over for sin tronfølger. Mest tydeligt kommer det frem i forbindelse med at Efterfølgeren får bygget sit hus om. Nok skulle ombygningen gøres ordentligt, men huset blev Albaniens smukkeste og dét på trods af at arkitekten - der var blevet sur på sin bygherre - gjorde forsøg på at skæmme det. Hvert forsøg på at fjerne noget, en veranda, eller at ødelægge noget, et par søjler der blev forkortet, førte til det modsatte, at huset blev om muligt mere fuldendt og dermed en endnu større torn i øjet på den blinde Leder.
Shehu's exit. Montage: BA.
»Efterfølgeren« er en besynderlig bog som nogle vil værdsætte, mens andre - som jeg - hensættes i undren. Hvorfor gå så langt i surrealistisk og »psykologisk« retning uden at slippe forbindelsen til virkeligheden? Fører det læseren tættere på en forståelse af hvad der skete dén gang i Albanien? Tættere på en forståelse af hvordan surreelle regimer som Hoxha's fungerede? Efter min mening har Kadaré gjort historien vanskeligere og mere uigennemskuelig end den var i forvejen. Men er man interesseret i Albaniens nyere historie og i Kadaré's store forfatterskab må man læse bogen, indvendingerne til trods.
Kadaré - eller måske snarere »den objektive fortæller« - antyder at albanerne er svære at forstå for os andre. Den albanske kultur og mentalitet er klart forskellig fra den franske, engelske eller danske, men den bygger på gamle principper og sædvaner, som man kan genfinde paralleller til i vores egen forhistorie. Der pågår i disse år en omfattende omstillingsproces, som er meget påvirket af de muligheder det giver at være del af en mere åben verden, og det vil - på længere sigt - også ændre afgørende på kultur, mentalitet, omgangsformer og forståelse.
Det er ikke mærkeligt at Kadaré i de senere år har brugt så meget energi på at »vende« Hoxha-perioden og på at »vende« sin egen position dén gang. Han er imidlertid ikke sluppet helt så godt fra det; måske fordi han sér tingene langt mere indviklet end fx sin kollega Dritëro Agolli? Agolli havde et mere ligefremt forhold til Hoxha-styret end Kadaré - og tilsyneladende også en mere ligefrem holdning til det efterfølgende opgør? Kadaré havde et temmelig sammensat forhold til Hoxha-styret; han var en del af systemet, et kunsterisk fyrtårn, men samtidig en afviger, og denne kompleksitet er han - tilsyneladende - ikke kommet ud af.
Oversættelsen fortjener megen ros; den skyldes Gerd Have, der tidligere har oversat »Hvem hjemførte Doruntine?«, »Drømmenes Palads« og »Ufuldendt april«. Skønt oversættelserne sker efter de franske udgaver, synes sproget i den danske »Efterfølgeren« at ramme godt.
At dømme efter omslaget var der ikke tale om selvmord; desuden kan vi se at morderen må have været kejthåndet ...
Noter og henvisninger:
Mehmet Shehu's lig blev genbegravet et hemmeligt sted efter den første begravelse; det er først blevet lokaliseret inden for de aller seneste år i et samarbejde mellem den tidligere indenrigsminister Kadri Hazbiu's søn og én af Shehu's.
David Bellos: »The Englishing of Ismail Kadare / Notes of a retranslator« (2005).
Wikipedia om Mehmet Shehu [PDF]
Kosovska Mitrovica, Oct 12, 2006 - Head of the Economic team for Kosovo-Metohija Nenad Popovic presented today to experts of UNMIK the National Investment Plan for Kosovo-Metohija and was promised by representatives of the OSCE Mission to Pristina that the referendum on the Serbian Constitution in the province will pass off peacefully.
Popovic said at a press conference in Kosovska Mitrovica that he wants to communicate in a transparent way with UNMIK representatives and citizens of Kosovo-Metohija who want to know how €32.6 million from the National Investment Plan is being spent.
He voiced hope that UNMIK will soon give its opinion on the National Investment Plan and reiterated that the realisation of this plan would secure new jobs and influence the improvement of infrastructure and living standards in the province.
This new volume shows how state sovereignty is more fluid and contested than is usually appreciated withinboth conventional and constructivist literature. Whereas previous constructivist works have investigated the temporal contingency of state sovereignty, the spatial contingency of this concept has been neglected. This book tackles this situation, showing the reader how the meaning of state sovereignty was constituted differently in the case of the intervention in Kosovo and the case of non-intervention in Algeria in the late 1990s. This essential study clearly and concisely:
• takes existing constructivist and poststructuralist work on state sovereignty one step further, arguing that state sovereignty not only is open to different constructions over time, but also across space
• probes further into the conceptual relationships between sovereignty/ intervention, arguing that legitimations of non-intervention also can be analyzed as a practice, which gives meaning and content to the concept of state sovereignty
• contributes to the emerging debate on the importance of 'methodology' in constructivist studies, turning the philosophical and meta-theoretical assumptions of constructivism and poststructuralism into an informed 'analytical strategy' guiding the book’s empirical discourse analysis.
Information om »Sidste Nyt«
»Sidste Nyt« sættes på nettet senest hver fredag morgen, hvor der sendes besked til dem der ønsker det.
Nyheder, materiale, kommentarer og spørgsmål modtages meget gerne, både om småting og større ting. Send en e-mail.
»Albansk Almanak 2004«
Til dig der kigger på et ældre nummer af »Sidste Nyt«.