Connect with us

Foreign

EU pledges $108m for Albania’s post-quake reconstruction

Published

on

The European Union (EU) pledged 108 million dollars (100 million euros) at a donors conference it organised in Brussels on Monday to help Albania rebuild after a devastating earthquake in November.

“The EU alone secured 100 million euros from the budget,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the “Together for Albania” conference.

The assistance comes after an emergency 15-million-euro package the EU already approved for priority repairs in December, shortly after the Nov. 26 quake brought down entire buildings on Albania’s Adriatic coast, killing 51 people and injuring hundreds.

Albania, which is among Europe’s poorest countries, has estimated direct damages caused by the catastrophe at 985 million euros (1.1 billion dollars), with more expected as a result of slower economic growth.

Among those attending are representatives of the EU and its member states, the Western Balkan partners and international organisations and international financial institutions, including the UN and the World Bank, the European Commission said.

Apart from reconstruction, Albania has been urged to improve its construction regulations, as many of the collapsed buildings, including coastal hotels, were built without regard for safety.

Late 2019,  Albania was prevented from starting EU membership talks after disagreement among leaders of the bloc.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

Foreign

Albania should be ready for second wave of COVID-19: PM

Published

on

By

Albania should be ready for a second wave of COVID-19, Prime Minister Edi Rama told a press conference on Tuesday.

Rama made this statement following the inspection of a new hospital structure made available to withstand any possible recurrence of a second wave of COVID-19.

“The second wave is said will come in fall with all the viruses that accompany the onset of winter. It may or may not come, we do not know what awaits us, but we will continue to be ready in case we will have to face an influx in hospitals,” Rama said.

Rama underlined that the pandemic wave was well-managed thanks to the commitment and dedication of doctors, and expressed his thanks for the plan of preventive measures implemented meticulously.

During his visit to the new hospital, Rama was accompanied by Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu, who confirmed that the hospital has a capacity of 100 beds.

“This hospital will be made available to patients after the treatment received in the Infectious Diseases Hospital until full recovery from the virus,” Manastirliu said.

Twenty-one new coronavirus cases were registered in Albania over the last 24 hours, according to health authorities. To date, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Albania has reached 1,164, with 891 recoveries and 33 fatalities.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Albania celebrates Int’l Children’s Day

Published

on

By

International Children’s Day was celebrated on Monday with fun activities dedicated to children at the newly reconstructed “Rinia” park in the centre of the Albanian capital.

Children accompanied by their parents enjoyed the new playgrounds, toys, the concerts with songs and dances, sports games, circus and other fun activities organized by Tirana Municipality.

On Monday, health authorities lifted restrictions for citizens to visit parks and playgrounds. President Ilir Meta paid a visit to an orphanage in Tirana, where he donated books and drawing notebooks to the children.

Meta stated that on this day all children, especially those without parental care and those belonging to families in economic difficulties need more love, support, understanding, health care, free education, and protection from all forms of exploitation.

The president commended New beginnings orphanage for helping some 200 abandoned children, orphans or children from families with major social or financial problems, for 25 years.

“Your mission throughout these years has been to help, support and invest in the children with major social problems, and have them educated and get them out of…poverty, preparing them for the challenges of the future,” Meta said.

On Monday via a Facebook message, Minister of Education, Sport and Youth Besa Shahini said that children have the right to live a healthy and safe life without violence or discrimination, and to receive a good education, and underlined that adults and state institutions have “the obligation to ensure these rights.”

International Children’s Day this year was also very unusual because activities dedicated to children were limited due to the coronavirus situation.

On Monday children across the country were allowed to return to kindergartens and nurseries as the government has authorized them to resume activities under strict hygiene and protective protocol.

Kindergartens and nurseries will be open throughout the summer and will give priority to children with working parents.

For more than two and a half months, all public and private kindergartens and nurseries in Albania had been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Loan payment deadline extended to end of August in Albania

Published

on

By

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Governor of the Bank of Albania (BoA) Gent Sejko signed here on Thursday a joint order to extend the deadline for loan payments until the end of August 2020, Rama announced via a Facebook message.

BoA also approved relief measures for commercial banks to make proactive credit rescheduling until Dec. 31, 2020 with an extension from one or several years, according to the degree of difficulty facing each business,” Rama wrote.

This is the second time the government decides to postpone the loan payment deadline for three months as a measure to assist enterprises and households that may face difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 17, Rama and Sejko signed the first joint order on the extension of the deadline for payment of loans.

On Thursday, health authorities reported 26 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total infections to 1,076, with 823 recoveries and 33 fatalities.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Coronavirus cases in Albania top 1,000

Published

on

By

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Albania has exceeded 1,000, health authorities reported on Monday.

Speaking at a daily briefing, Eugena Tomini, an expert from Public Health Institute, said that six coronavirus cases were registered in Albania over the last 24 hours, raising the total to 1,004.

“Since the start of the epidemic, about 79 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have already recovered,” Tomini said.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection reiterated its call on all citizens to be careful, respect physical distance and personal hygiene, especially when the government has decided to ease the majority of restrictive measures imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

As of Monday, Albania confirmed 32 deaths from coronavirus. Health authorities have tested a total of 14,659 people suspected of being positive with the coronavirus, according to Tomini.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Albania registers fewest new COVID-19 cases since outbreak

Published

on

By

Albanian health authorities reported on Tuesday only one new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, the fewest since the outbreak more than two months ago.

Fifteen patients have recovered from the disease caused by the coronavirus in the same 24-hour period, Adela Vasili, an epidemiologist from Public Health Institute, said at the daily briefing.

“Currently, 15 patients are hospitalized at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, and only three are in intensive care, whereas the others are in stable condition,” Vasili added.

Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu announced on Monday that the second COVID-19 hospital in the capital Tirana was closed, given the low number of cases that need hospitalization.

To date, 949 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and 742 of them, or 78 percent, have recovered. No fatalities were registered in the country for more than two weeks, placing the death toll at 31.

The Albanian government has eased most of its nationwide lockdown measures starting from Monday.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Albania allows graduating senior high students to return to schools

Published

on

By

Graduating senior high students wait to enter their classrooms while observing social distancing in Tirana, Albania, on May 18, 2020. The Albanian government has announced further easing lockdown measures including allowing graduating senior high students to return to schools from May 18. (Photo by Arben Celi/Xinhua)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Albania announces further easing of restriction measures including allowing restaurants, bars to resume businesses

Published

on

By

Customers sit at a bar in Tirana, Albania, May 18, 2020. The Albanian government has announced further easing of restriction measures including allowing some restaurants and bars to resume businesses from May 18. (Photo by Arben Celi/Xinhua)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Demonstrators protest against demolition of Albania’s national theatre 

Published

on

Demonstrators protested against the demolition of Albania’s national theatre in Tirana on Sunday as work began early in the morning.

Police cleared 37 artists and activists from the futurist theatre, that was designed in 1939 by architect Giulio Berte during the Italian occupation and is now the heart of the country’s theatrical scene, a local broadcaster reported.

The authorities also detained street protestors, including Monika Kryemadhi, the wife of President Ilir Meta, who runs a small opposition party, TV Klan reported.

Images from the scene showed large numbers of police confronting protesters and some scuffles during the day.

Albania’s socialist-led government has sought to demolish the building for years, arguing it would be too expensive to renovate.

The building is located in the capital, Tirana, a prime real-estate location.

A shopping centre and residential buildings are now due to be built on the site, with the help of a Danish investor.

These plans met with massive protest as artists and citizens argued the government had removed the building’s protective status as a historical monument.

Critics say the land was sold without being put out to tender, aided by a special law.

The president, a member of the socialist party until 2004 and now one of its toughest opponents, refused to sign the law.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Albania’s National Theatre demolished despite protest

Published

on

By

The National Theatre of Albania was demolished on Sunday despite resistance from a group of artists and activists, local media reported.

The demolition started at early morning, reported local media Ballkan web, adding that about 20 people were taken to the police station.

In 2018, the Albanian government approved a project to tear down the old theatre building and construct a new one.

Local media said hundreds of people have gathered near the building to protest the demolition, while around 1,000 police cordoned off the area to stop the protesters from entering.

The country’s President Ilir Meta, who strongly opposed the demolition, called the project a “constitutional legal and moral crime” on his Facebook account.

“With the demolition of the theatre, cultural heritage will disappear,” Meta told reporters at a press conference.

The theatre, dating back to 1939, was designed by Italian engineer and architect Giulio Berte.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Read Also