- Title: ALBANIA: UNREST CONTINUES
- Date: 29th January 1997
- Summary: TIRANA, ALBANIA (JANUARY 29, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GENERAL VIEW OF MAIN SQUARE (2 SHOTS) 0.15 2. LV/SV PEOPLE IN SQUARE (2 SHOTS) 0.24 3. LV/SV SOLDIER (2 SHOTS) 0.29 4. LV STATUE 0.33 5. CU/SV PEOPLE EXCHANGING FOREIGN CURRENCY IN SQUARE (2 SHOTS) 0.39 6. SV ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA SITTING DOWN FOR NEWS CONFERENCE/ PAN OF JOURNALISTS (2 SHOTS) 0.52 7. SV BERISHA SAYING THE DATE OF FEBRUARY 5TH FIXED BY THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE THE STARTING DATE FOR DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS (ALBANIAN WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION)/ CUTAWAYS OF MEDIA (6 SHOTS) 2.19 Initials s3-3, p3-2 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 13th February 1997 12:00
- Location: TIRANA, ALBANIA
- Country: Albania
- Reuters ID: LVA1131GT7H19H8Q77F933N14BDU
- Story Text: INTRO: Unrest continues in Albania despite assurances from President Sali Berisha that pyramid investors would get their money back.
Albanian President Sali Berisha said on Wednesday (January 29) money frozen in failed pyramid scheme accounts would be returned to thousands of investors but he could not guarantee they would get all their money back.
Protests have gripped the Balkan state for the past three weeks after get-rich-quick schemes began to crumble, leaving some of Europe's poorest people facing total ruin.
Tempers were calmed after violent clashes at the weekend when the ruling right-wing government vowed to start returning money from February 5. This, however, may be temporary.
Expressing his regret and solidarity with the people affected by the investment scams, Berisha said the failure of private enterprise was one of the downsides of a free market in a young democracy.
"The date of February 5th fixed by the government will be the starting date for the distribution (of frozen pyramid scheme funds)," Berisha told his first news conference since the unrest began.
On Tuesday (January 28) Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu said the total damage suffered by people investing in the pyramid schemes had been estimated at the equivalent of 50 million U.S. dollars.
Asked on Wednesday about full compensation for investors, Berisha said he had never said the people would get all their money back.
"I have said they would get back the money that has been frozen," he said.
Authorities froze an estimated 300 million U.S. dollars deposited by two failed schemes -- Xhafferi and Populi -- in state banks. However the figure is unlikely to be enough to satisfy some people, who sold homes, livestock and other possessions to join the investment bandwagon.
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