Albania blames riots on Stalinist plotters
Wednesday 29 January 1997
Tritan Shehu, the powerful Foreign Minister, denied all responsibility for the collapse of three of the country's so-called "pyramid" schemes, investment scams offering sky-high rates of interest which have kept the population afloat for the past four years. He denied he had been warmed for months by the IMF and other international bodies about the precarious state of the financial system.
Instead, he blamed the pyramid schemes, their collapse and the riots that broke out across the country over the weekend, on the opposition, in particular the Socialist Party.
"The destruction of state and public buildings ... the strategy of the `burned soil', all these features are a complete proof that the Albanian left extreme is led by a terrorist- Stalinist clan."
Mr Shehu, who was kidnapped for several hours by an angry mob in the town of Lushnje on Saturday, issued a list of names of people he said had been responsible for the violence in different parts of the country. All of them were active members of the opposition parties.
President Sali Berisha added to the official climate of fear by refusing to address a rally in the centre of Tirana, citing fears for his security, even though he was surrounded by at least 3,000 supporters and cordons of police and army troops.
The ruling Democratic Party is desperate to shift blame for the banking collapse away from itself - a delicate task, since the investment schemes were advertised on state television and even featured in the Democratic Party campaign for last October's municipal elections.
The government has promised to compensate disappointed investors for around 70 per cent of their lost capital, starting next week, though it has not said how it plans to organise or finance such a payout.
Prominent anti-government intellectuals and politicians have also been approached by thugs and beaten up over the past few days. One of them, the former Socialist deputy Ndre Legisi, was in such poor condition yesterday that doctors feared he had suffered permanent brain damage.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...