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Italy, Albania to enhance security cooperation

TIRANA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Italy remains interested in strengthening security cooperation with Albania to have a strong and secure neighbor equipped with European standards, a top Italian police officer said Wednesday. Meeting with Albanian President Bujar Nishani, visiting Director-General of the Italian police Alessandro Pansa praised Albanian security institutions for their serious and professional cooperation, underlining that Italian institutions are interested in deepening cooperation in security.

World Bank proposes Albania's gov't to rethink electricity tariffs

TIRANA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank (WB) believes that it is time to find lasting solution to difficulties in the energy sector, which has repeatedly relied on the budget's contingency funds and reserves to avert crisis, according to WB experts on Tuesday. "Such a practice should be eliminated at a time when the state budget is not in its best days and budget revenues have increased moderately," the experts said. Resolving the financial difficulties in the country's energy sector is one of the major challenges for Albanian government.

Albania's customs revenue collections exceed expectations in November

TIRANA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Albanian Director General of the Customs Office Elisa Spiropali said Monday that Albania's customs revenues have increased significantly in November, exceeding previous revenue projections. "Over the past two months since the beginning of the Customs Administration reform, in the October-November 2013 period Customs Administration has collected a total of 2.2 billion lek, or 22 million U.S. dollars, more than it was collected during same period of the previous year," Spiropali said.

Majority of Albanians support EU membership

TIRANA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- If a referendum were held in Albania Wednesday on the country's accession to the European Union (EU), 85 percent of Albanians would vote in favor, a survey showed Tuesday. The result of the survey, conducted by the International Studies Institute, was presented at the EU Information Office. Some 6 percent of the respondents have said no to the EU membership and 9 percent "I don't know."

Albania, Greece to expand agricultural cooperation

TIRANA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Albania and Greece will sign a memorandum to boost their agricultural cooperation, local media reported on Tuesday. Albanian Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration Edmond Panariti held on Tuesday a meeting with the Greek Ambassador in Tirana Leonidas C. Rokanas, during which they agreed to sign a cooperation memorandum, especially in the agricultural field, ATA reported.

Insight: Assad's sarin and how an Albanian 'Yes' became 'No'

By Benet Koleka and Anthony Deutsch TIRANA/THE HAGUE (Reuters) - On the evening of Monday, November 11, the U.S. ambassador to Tirana, Alexander Arvizu, met Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his foreign minister at a government villa in the capital. News had emerged that a favor was being asked by the United States, and an unprecedented backlash was building just two months into Rama's tenure.

Protests grow in Albania against Syria weapons destruction

Several hundred people protested on Thursday in the capital Tirana and number of other towns across Albania against the possible destruction of Syrian chemical weaponry on its soil as requested by Washington. "The parliament will not make any decision that could endanger lives and the well-being of (Albanian) citizens and the country," Ilir Meta, chairman of the assembly, told protestors in front of the parliament building in Tirana. "Every decision will take into account Albania's future," Meta said, as the crowd shouted "No to chemical weapons".

Albanian children miss school for fear of blood feuds

Hundreds of Albanian children will not attend the new school year starting Monday as they hide at home from family blood feuds stretching back generations, a non-profit organisation said. A total of 590 children, aged between three and 15, will miss out on classes due to a tradition from the Middle Ages that "blood can only be revenged with blood," said Gjin Marku of Albania's Organisation for Reconciliation.

Albania's new Socialist-led government targets economy, EU

By Benet Koleka TIRANA (Reuters) - The Albanian parliament on Sunday endorsed the new Socialist-led government of former Tirana mayor Edi Rama who has pledged to kickstart the economy, fight poverty, create jobs and move the country towards European Union membership. Lawmakers voted 82 to 55 in the 140-seat chamber to install Rama's cabinet after his Socialists won a landslide victory over the ruling Democrats in June's parliamentary election.

Socialist Edi Rama voted in as Albania's new PM

The Albanian parliament on Sunday approved the government of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama who vowed to speed up Albania's integration into the European Union and revive an ailing economy. A total of 82 lawmakers in the 140-seat parliament supported Rama and his 20-member cabinet, which for the first time in Albania has six women ministers, including Mimi Kodheli as defence minister.
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