Albania submits application for EU candidate status

29/04/2009

TIRANA, Albania -- Prime Minister Sali Berisha on Tuesday (April 28th) officially submitted Albania's application for EU candidate status to the current Union president, the Czech Republic. During a ceremony in Prague, Berisha described it as "a dream come true". He thanked Czech counterpart Mirek Topolanek and European Commission (EC) Director-General for Enlargement Michael Leigh, assuring them that "Albania considers this process a great obligation." The EC had asked Albania to postpone its application until after the June 28th parliamentary elections to prove its ability to hold free and democratic elections.

In other news Tuesday, Albania's two main political parties, the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Socialist Party, struck a deal on the process of issuing new electronic ID cards. They agreed that all citizens who don't have an ID card can apply for the document by paying only 1.5 euros now and can pay the balance of the fee -- 9 euros -- later. Voters must show a valid ID at the polls in June. (Lajme, BBC, VoA, Top Channel, Telegrafi, Balkan Web, Shekulli - 28/04/09)

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