N E W S – August 1998


German Group to Build Cement Factory

SHKODRA – August 3. 1998
Germany’s Space lip Engineering intends to work in the construction of a cement factory in the district, which would be the largest in Albania. The company is discussing the option to build the factory in the village of Mes, six kilometers north of the city, with the local government authorities. The investment would be around $125m. 700 people will be employed to build the factory in 18 months, which will produce an amount of cement equal to the production of the cement factories of Vlora, Elbasan, Fushe-Kruje and Shkoder, before 1990. The resources in rocks are enough on the region for a 50 years work of the factory.

100 Kosova people arrived in Shkodra
SHKODRA – August 12, 1998
The number of Kosova people who have arrived in Shkodra city recently is 100. Town hall secretary Bardhosh Shaqiri said that 40 of them, including women, children and elderly people from villages of Peja, were settled in families of Shkodra residents. The Italian Caritas has set up a center with 200 beds near the Catholic Church to accommodate other possible refugees. The Albanian Red Cross is continuing to distribute aid for the first 60 people such as cooking oil, sugar, rice, detergent, mattresses and blankets. Shaqiri said that an office welcoming persons coming from Kosova was opened by the town hall.

Explosion Damages Orthodox Church
SHKODRA – August 19, 1998
An explosion seriously damaged the cathedral Orthodox church in the northern town Wednesday, but did not cause any casualties, official and religious sources said. The blast, thought to be a criminal attack, occurred at 2:30 a.m. and destroyed part of the rear of the church in the town center, Artan Bizhga said. It damaged the altar and the eastern part of the wooden building that would serve for the believers until the new church would be built. The church serves the tiny Serbian and Montenegrin community that lives in the town as well as the Orthodox Christians from the South who have moved in the city during communism. ‘This is a very vicious act that aims at freezing the relations with the other communities,’ said Kristo Qurkulla, a church member. ‘And we can pinpoint on nobody who had done it. God only may punish them.’ The headquarters of the Orthodox Church in Tirana said in a press release it was ‘astonished and worried about the grave, unprecedented act, which wanted to demolish a place where well-understanding and peace were preached.’ The tiny Orthodox community in Shkodra is sandwiched between Catholic and Moslem communities, which make more 90 percent of the population. With the collapse of communism, there have been reports of strains between the two largest communities, but with no incidents.

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Arben Çokaj - teacher in Physics & Informatics - independent journalist & political analyst - Books author