- Title: ALBANIA: PANDELI MAJKO FORMS FIVE-PARTY COALITION GOVERNMENT.
- Date: 3rd October 1998
- Summary: TIRANA, ALBANIA (OCTOBER 2, 188) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV: EXTERIOR OF GOVERNMENT BUILDING IN TIRANA 0.06 2. GV: SOLDIERS GUARDING MAIN ENTERANCE 0.10 3. GV/PAN: SOCIALIST LEADER AND PRIME MINISTER ELECT PANDELI MAJKO WALKING DOWN STAIRS AND INTO PRESS CONFERENCE 0.29 4. CU: PANDELI MAJKO SAYING 'THE NEWLY FORMED GOVERNMENT MUST FIRST RESTORE ORDER AND THEN WORK ON THE CONSTITUTION' (ALBANIAN) 0.40 5. SV: CONFERENCE HALL 0.46 6. CU/GV: PANDELI MAJKO SAYING 'VERY SOON YOU WILL SEE OUR PLANS FOR KOSOVO WHICH ARE COORDINATED WITH NATO'S PLANS TO STOP THE MASSACRES' (ALBANIAN)/ NEWS CONFERENCE HALL (2 SHOTS) 1.07 7. SV: OPPOSITION LEADER SALI BERISHA SITTING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE 1.13 8. MV: JOURNALIST TAKING NOTES 1.19 9. CU: BERISHA SAYING 'WE INVITED THE PRESIDENT TO INVITE POLITICAl PARTIES TO HAVE CONSULTATIONS WITH THE NEW GOVERNMENT. THIS IS OUR NEXT STEP. WE ARE WAITING. WE MUST WAIT. WE MUST BE PATIENT (ENGLISH) 1.47 10. GV/PAN/MV: OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER FATOS NANO WALKING INTO CONFERENCE HALL/ MEETING IN PROGRESS (3 SHOTS) 2.00 11. GV: VARIOUS OF ARMED MEN WERAING BALACLAVAS STOPPING CARS 2.07 12. GV/MV: CARS BEING SEARCHED/ MAN HOLDING ARMS UP/ CAR STOPPED BY SIDE OF ROAD (4 SHOTS) 2.28 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th October 1998 13:00
- Location: TIRANA, ALBANIA
- Country: Albania
- Reuters ID: LVA3BJ5COAMD06CACU4C830IFLXJ
- Story Text: Socialist Pandeli Majko has become Europe's youngest head of government after being sworn in as Albanian prime minister by President Rexhep Meidani.
The 30-year-old said on Friday (October 2) his five-party coalition would work to restore stability to Europe's poorest country, rocked by political violence three weeks ago, and seek a dialogue with the opposition Democratic party.
"The main priorities of the new government will be a return to stability, drafting a new constitution and the Kosovo problem," Majko told reporters.
Outgoing Prime Minister Fatos Nano resigned last Monday after his efforts to reshuffle his cabinet in the wake of the violence failed.
Meidani praised Majko for his courage and responsibility in taking on a difficult job."Any commitment in these difficult times requires sacrifice," the president said.The new cabinet, little changed from that led by Nano, is likely to be approved by parliament within 10 days.
The coalition has a comfortable majority in the 155-seat chamber.Majko said Albania and the NATO alliance would soon make an announcement on the crisis in the neighbouring Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
"Very soon we are going to announce a new step which the government will undertake together with NATO and international institutions to respond to the massacres in Kosovo," Majko said, without elaborating.
The new leader was expected to take a similar line on Kosovo to that of his predecessor Nano, who said Kosovo should become a third republic of the Yugoslav Federation alongside Serbia and Montenegro but not get outright independence.Nano had repeatedly asked for NATO troops to be deployed in Albania.
More than 20,000 refugees from Kosovo have fled to Albania to escape fierce fighting between Serbian security forces and separatist guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Foreign diplomats hope Majko's youth and the fact that he is untainted by links with Albania's Stalinist past may reduce tension between the government and opposition, but there has so far been little sign of this.
Democratic Party leader and former President Sali Berisha has heaped abuse on the new prime minister and described him as Nano's puppet.
Majko said talks with the opposition were high on his list of priorities."The priorities are well-known -- a return to normality, calm, a lowering of political tension, getting to the negotiating table with the opposition, starting joint discussions on the constitution and meeting our obligations to the international community," he said.
Among key changes, Minister for European Integration Ilir Meta was appointed deputy prime minister while fellow-Socialist Petro Koci became interior minister in charge of the key law and order portfolio.
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