Tirana - the best personalized free web-based Email en en Tirana Albania's Muslims call for peaceful electoral campaign TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian Muslim Community on Saturday called on political parties to hold a peaceful election campaign that coincides with the holy month of Ramadan. Albania holds its parliamentary election June 25, which also marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-el-Fitr. The date was decided after intensive talks among the parties mediated by U.S. an... Sat, 20 May 2017 15:35:00 GMT 2017-05-20T15:35:00Z EU hails Albanian political parties' deal TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Union is hailing the political agreement in Albania "as a crucial first step" and is urging its political parties and the government to quickly start preparations for the June 25 parliamentary election. In a statement Friday, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn con... Fri, 19 May 2017 15:15:00 GMT 2017-05-19T15:15:00Z US diplomat tries to mediate compromise in Albanian politics TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A senior U.S. official on Monday called on Albania's opposition to end its boycott and take part in next month's parliamentary election. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Brian Yee was in Tirana on Monday to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, his ally President-elect Ilir Meta and main opposition leader Lulzim Basha, urging them to reach a compr... Mon, 15 May 2017 17:48:00 GMT 2017-05-15T17:48:00Z Albania opposition holds anti-gov't rally ahead of polls TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition on Saturday mounted a national protest demanding a caretaker cabinet to guide the country to a free and fair parliamentary election next month. Several thousand supporters walked peacefully along Tirana's main Martyrs of the Nation boulevard to Prime Minister Edi Rama's office, guarded by hundreds of policemen. ... Sat, 13 May 2017 12:55:00 GMT 2017-05-13T12:55:00Z Albanian federation denounces soccer bribing attempt TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation has condemned an apparent match-fixing attempt in a recent game between two local clubs. A show on private television Top Channel, Fiks Fare, broadcast a phone call of a person trying to bribe a Patizani player before the team played Kukesi last week. Both clubs were at the top of the league with equal points. The match i... Fri, 12 May 2017 12:39:00 GMT 2017-05-12T12:39:00Z Europe official denounces Albania opposition's poll boycott TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A senior European Union official says he regrets that Albania's opposition will not take part in the parliamentary election and denounces its boycott as not in line with European democratic standards. A statement from EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Thursday warned Albanian leaders would be held accountable for preventi... Thu, 11 May 2017 18:30:00 GMT 2017-05-11T18:30:00Z Albanian journalist who called EU diplomat 'terrorist' freed TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian court on Wednesday released a journalist who had been accused of making calls for violence against a European Union diplomat, after prosecutors decided he had committed no crime. Police had arrested Kastriot Myftaraj, 51, who is also a lawyer politically affiliated with the center-right opposition, the previous day after... Wed, 10 May 2017 16:01:00 GMT 2017-05-10T16:01:00Z Albania gay groups' pride not to be hindered by opposition TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Gay rights organizations in Albania say they have been assured their annual pride event will not be hindered on the day when the opposition also has planned a national protest. The organizations on Monday said opposition Democratic party leader Lulzim Basha assured them there would be "no incidents or threat" during their bike ride in Tirana Saturday. ... Mon, 08 May 2017 17:48:00 GMT 2017-05-08T17:48:00Z Albania cancels local vote, fearing political confrontation TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's ruling Socialist Party on Friday cancelled a mayoral vote in a western town, apparently fearing a confrontation with opposition supporters who were planning a protest there on the same day. The opposition Democratic Party has threatened "civil disobedience," starting with the mayoral vote Sunday in Kavaja, 50 kilometers (3... Fri, 05 May 2017 19:37:00 GMT 2017-05-05T19:37:00Z Albania court jails former imam in absentia for terrorism TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian court has sentenced in absentia a former Muslim imam accused of terrorism charges including recruiting and sending men to fight with rebel groups in Syria. The Serious Crime Court on Thursday ordered 15 years in prison for Almir Daci, who has been imam at Leshnice village, Pogradec district, 140 kilometers (87 miles) east of the capital Tir... Thu, 04 May 2017 12:23:00 GMT 2017-05-04T12:23:00Z Albania president calls for dialogue to end political crisis TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's president on Tuesday urged political party leaders to negotiate a compromise for ending the opposition's boycott of parliament and of next month's parliamentary elections. President Bujar Nishani aimed his message at Prime Minister Edi Rama of the governing Socialist Party and Lulzim Basha of the main opposition Democratic... Tue, 02 May 2017 21:30:00 GMT 2017-05-02T21:30:00Z Albanian parliamentary speaker picked as new president TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament elected its leader as the country's new president Friday, abandoning efforts to build consensus with boycotting opposition lawmakers after two weeks of delays. Speaker Ilir Meta was chosen after lawmakers in the 140-seat body who were present for the closed-door election voted 87-2 in favor of him. Meta's nomina... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:27:00 GMT 2017-04-28T17:27:00Z Europe lawmakers mediate in Albania's politics TIRANA, Albania (AP) — European parliamentarians are trying to mediate between Albania's political groupings in an effort to end an impasse following the opposition's boycott of parliament and June 18 parliamentary election. Two German lawmakers — David McAllister and Knut Fleckenstein — of the center-right and left-wing groupings respectively at the Euro... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:54:00 GMT 2017-04-25T14:54:00Z Albania opposition blocks main roads before June 18 vote TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition supporters blocked the country's main roads Monday, demanding that a caretaker Cabinet be allowed to govern until the parliamentary election in June. Thousands of opposition supporters blocked five national crossroads for an hour. Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha said they were protesting "drug traffic, crime traffic,... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:01:00 GMT 2017-04-24T16:01:00Z Albanian ex-lawmaker jailed for money laundering TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian court has sentenced a former lawmaker and ex-leader of the rightist Christian Democratic Party to 7½ years in prison for money laundering, illegal construction and hiding property. However, the Tirana Court of Serious Crimes rejected a murder charge against Mark Frroku related to a killing in Belgium in 1999.The Tirana C... Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:43:00 GMT 2017-04-21T12:43:00Z Albania opposition issues call for road blocks on Monday TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition says it will block the country's roads as part of its two-month campaign to have a caretaker Cabinet put in place to govern until the parliamentary election in June. Lulzim Basha, leader of the main opposition Democratic party, called on supporters to block the national roads countrywide at noon on Monday. Europ... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:17:00 GMT 2017-04-20T19:17:00Z Germany wants Albanian opposition to end parliament boycott TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Germany's foreign minister on Monday called on Albania's opposition to end a parliamentary boycott, not block the launch of justice reforms and take part in the June parliamentary election. Sigmar Gabriel, visiting Albania's capital, said that Germany and the European Union couldn't understand the opposition's request for a caretake... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 15:17:00 GMT 2017-04-17T15:17:00Z Europe's center-right called on to mediate Albania politics TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's governing left-wing coalition says it will ask Europe's center-right parties, of which the country's opposition is a member, to convince the opposition to sit down to talks and take part in Albania's parliamentary election. Prime Minister Edi Rama of the main governing Socialist Party and Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta of th... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 16:11:00 GMT 2017-04-15T16:11:00Z Dubai Al Habtoor Group to build 350-meter tower in Albania TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has given its approval for negotiations with a Dubai company to build a 350-meter (1,148-foot) -tall tower in the capital, Tirana. The parliament's vote Thursday didn't make it clear when the government would start negotiations with Al Habtoor Investment LLC, on the $250 million (235 million euros) Tirana Iconic Tower project. ... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 19:34:00 GMT 2017-04-13T19:34:00Z OSCE observers to monitor Albania's June parliamentary polls TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An international security agency says some 330 observers will monitor Albania's June 18 parliamentary elections. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Thursday it is requesting the observers from member states following a request from Tirana. The country's opposition has so far declared it i... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:03:00 GMT 2017-04-13T13:03:00Z EU calls on Albania opposition to end parliament boycott TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Union called on Albania's opposition Wednesday to end its parliament boycott and take part in launching justice reforms, considered key to the country's integration efforts with the 28-nation bloc. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn issued a joint statement telling Alba... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:46:00 GMT 2017-04-12T19:46:00Z Albania police seize 13 tons of cannabis TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have arrested three people and seized some 12 metric tons (13 tons) of dried cannabis hidden in a storage building south of the capital. A statement Sunday said the drug was found in an abandoned storage building in Pagri village, Permet district, 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of the capital, Tirana. A month ago the building... Sun, 09 Apr 2017 17:15:00 GMT 2017-04-09T17:15:00Z Albania police seize 1.7 tons of cannabis hidden in bushes TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have seized 1.7 metric tons (1.87 tons) of dried cannabis hidden in bushes at a western peninsula. A statement released Wednesday said the drugs were found a day earlier packed in 104 plastic bags and hidden about 100 meters (yards) from the coast in bushes at the Karaburun Peninsula, an uninhabited area in Vlora district, 160... Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:46:00 GMT 2017-04-05T11:46:00Z Albania parliament approves new Cabinet ministers TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has approved four new ministers in a reshuffle that was made to enable former ministers to campaign for the June 18 parliamentary election. The reshuffle makes the number of male and female ministers in the Cabinet equal for the first time in the country's history. Thursday's vote, held withou... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:06:00 GMT 2017-03-23T14:06:00Z Explosion slightly hurts 2 in Albania's military base TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's defense ministry says an explosion has slightly injured two army personnel at a base in the west of the country. In a statement Thursday, the ministry said that an explosion the previous day injured an army sergeant's arm and leg and another civilian from the air traffic agency. The explosion occurred du... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:15:00 GMT 2017-03-23T09:15:00Z Albanian premier replaces 4 Cabinet ministers TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister has replaced four Cabinet ministers who he says stepped down to devote their time to campaigning for the June 18 parliamentary election. Edi Rama said after a meeting of his Socialist Party's leadership Monday that Fatmir Xhafaj would be the new interior minister, Ogerta Manastirliu the new health minister, Olta Xhacka the soci... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:54:00 GMT 2017-03-13T10:54:00Z Albania's premier says 4 Cabinet ministers stepping down TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister says that four Cabinet ministers will step down and devote themselves to campaigning for the June 18 parliamentary election. Edi Rama said Sunday that the ministers of interior, health, social wellbeing and the state minister for local affairs, who are part of his governing Socialist Party's leadership, "will focus with renewed... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 19:54:00 GMT 2017-03-12T19:54:00Z Albania opposition parties threaten to boycott June election TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition parties have threatened to boycott a June parliamentary election unless the current coalition government agrees to create a caretaker cabinet to run the country until then. The opposition political parties said in a statement Friday that they would not register with the Central Election Commission without "achie... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:38:00 GMT 2017-03-10T17:38:00Z Albania opposition delays launch of judicial reform TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition boycott of parliament has delayed the launch of justice reform despite warnings from the European Union that such a move would hamper the country from launching full membership negotiations with the bloc. The Democratic Party on Monday boycotted an extraordinary parliamentary session intended to be the first ste... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 19:29:00 GMT 2017-03-06T19:29:00Z Foreign policy chief presses EU integration in Albania TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Union's foreign policy chief on Friday told Albania's opposition that its boycott of Parliament was hampering the country's ability to integrate with the bloc and therefore join the EU. Federica Mogherini met with senior Albanian officials and political leaders to remind them that reforming the justice system and holdin... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 22:29:00 GMT 2017-03-03T22:29:00Z