US embassy cable - 02ROME1393

ALBANIAN PM MAJKO'S MEETING WITH PM BERLUSCONI: ENERGY; TOURISM MAIN POINTS OF DISCUSSION

Identifier: 02ROME1393
Wikileaks: View 02ROME1393 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-03-19 11:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: AL ENRG IT PHUM PREF ENRG IT PHUM PREF PREL PRELAL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 001393 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE AND EUR/WE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2012 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01393  01 OF 02  191241Z 
TAGS: AL, ENRG, IT, PHUM, PREF, ENRG, IT, PHUM, PREF, PREL, PRELAL 
SUBJECT: ALBANIAN PM MAJKO'S MEETING WITH PM BERLUSCONI: 
ENERGY; TOURISM MAIN POINTS OF DISCUSSION 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR TOM COUNTRYMAN. 
REASON: 1.5 (B)(D). 
 
1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  ON MARCH 12, ALBANIAN AMBASSADOR TO ITALY 
PELLUMB XHUFI GAVE POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR TOM 
COUNTRYMAN AND POLOFF JIM DONEGAN A READOUT ON ALBANIAN PRIME 
MINISTER PANDELI MAJKO'S MARCH 6 MEETING IN ROME WITH PM 
BERLUSCONI.  ACCORDING TO XHUFI, THE MEETINGS FOCUSED ON TWO 
ISSUES:  ITALY'S COMMITMENT TO HELP ALBANIA TO SOLVE ITS 
CONTINUING ENERGY CRISIS, AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE ALBANIAN 
TOURISM SECTOR.  THE ITALIAN MFA CONFIRMED THAT A TEAM FROM 
THE ITALIAN ELECTRICITY COMPANY ENEL WOULD VISIT ALBANIA 
DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 25. END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C)  ACCORDING TO XHUFI, AN INDICATION OF HOW IMPORTANT 
ITALY IS TO ALBANIA'S FOREIGN RELATIONS IS THE FACT THAT THIS 
WAS MAJKO'S FIRST OFFICIAL FOREIGN VISIT SINCE TAKING OFFICE. 
 THE PMS DISCUSSED ALBANIA'S CONTINUING SERIOUS ELECTRICITY 
GENERATION AND DISTRIBUTION PROBLEMS.  BERLUSCONI PROMISED 
ITALIAN ASSISTANCE FOR THE SHORT AND LONG TERM.  FIRST, A 
TEAM FROM ENEL (ENTE NAZIONALE PER L'ENERGIA ELETTRICA) WOULD 
VISIT ALBANIA DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 25 TO DETERMINE HOW TO 
PROVIDE RELIEF FOR THE COMING MONTHS.  THIS WOULD BE FOLLOWED 
UP WITH MORE ASSISTANCE DESIGNED TO SOLVE THE ENERGY 
INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEM IN ALBANIA FOR THE LONG TERM. 
 
3.  (C) XHUFI SAID THAT BERLUSCONI HAD ALSO PROMISED ITALIAN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  01393  01 OF 02  191241Z 
ASSISTANCE FOR ALBANIA'S NASCENT TOURISM INDUSTRY.  FOR 
INSTANCE, BERLUSCONI PROMISED TO TALK TO HIS CONTACTS IN THE 
MEDIA INDUSTRY REGARDING TELEVISION AND PRINT ADVERTISING 
CAMPAIGNS TO MAKE ITALIANS MORE AWARE OF THE TOURISM 
OPPORTUNITIES IN ALBANIA.  BERLUSCONI EVEN PROMISED TO VISIT 
(NON-OFFICIALLY) ALBANIA HIMSELF TO HELP PROVIDE SOME 
PUBLICITY FOR THE CAMPAIGN. 
 
4.  (C)  XHUFI COMMENTED THAT MORE INVESTMENT, IN GENERAL, 
WAS NEEDED FROM EUROPEAN COUNTRIES LIKE ITALY IN ORDER TO 
HELP STABILIZE THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN 
ALBANIA.  FOR INSTANCE THERE IS ONLY "ONE-HALF OF AN ITALIAN 
BANK" (THE ITALO-ALBANIAN BANK) IN TIRANA, WHICH CANNOT 
SUPPORT MAJOR ITALIAN INVESTMENT.  IN COMPARISON, THERE ARE 5 
MAJOR GREEK BANKS PROVIDING SUPPORT TO INVESTORS FROM GREECE. 
 ITALY ALSO NEEDS TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN THE 
PRIVATIZATION PROCESS IN ALBANIA.  HE SAID THAT BERLUSCONI 
HAD PROMISED MAJKO THAT HE WOULD URGE SOME OF HIS CONTACTS IN 
THE TELECOM SECTOR TO GIVE A CLOSE LOOK TO ALBANIA, BUT MAJKO 
REALIZES THAT ITALIANS WILL BE CAUTIOUS, GIVEN THAT SOME 
OTHER INVESTMENTS BY ITALIAN COMPANIES IN THE TELECOM SECTOR 
IN OTHER REGIONS HAD FAILED. 
 
5.  (C)  XHUFI ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT OBSTACLE 
TO INVESTMENT IN ALBANIA WAS ENERGY, FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY 
CONCERN AMONG INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS OVER TAXATION AND 
CORRUPTION ISSUES.  ALBANIA WAS WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE IN 
THESE AREAS.  HE CITED THE EU ACCESSION AND WTO PROCESSES AS 
DRIVERS FOR THIS IMPROVEMENT, AND NOTED THE FREE TRADE ZONES 
WITH MACEDONIA AND CROATIA AS SIGNS OF PROGRESS. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  01393  01 OF 02  191241Z 
6.  (C)  XHUFI SAID THAT HE WAS PLEASED WITH THE INCREASED 
COOPERATION BETWEEN ITALY AND ALBANIA ON TRAFFICKING ISSUES, 
NOTING THAT ALBANIAN ORIGIN HUMAN TRAFFICKING INTO ITALY WAS 
ONE-QUARTER OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S LEVEL.  HE EMPHASIZED THE 
NEED FOR EVEN CLOSER COOPERATION AMONG LAW ENFORCEMENT 
AUTHORITIES THROUGHOUT THE REGION IN DEALING WITH 
TRAFFICKING/SMUGGLING ISSUES, PARTICULARLY SINCE MUCH OF THE 
ALBANIA-ITALY ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PROBLEM INVOLVED THIRD 
COUNTRY NATIONALS.  THERE MUST BE A "REGIONAL LEGAL 
FRAMEWORK," AND OTHER COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN FOR TRAFFICKING 
WOULD HAVE TO "ACT RESPONSIBLY."  NOTE: OUR CONVERSATION WITH 
XHUFI TOOK PLACE A FEW DAYS AFTER SIX ALBANIANS HAD DROWNED 
ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A CLANDESTINE CROSSING OF THE ADRIATIC. 
WE WILL REPORT MORE ON THAT TOPIC SEPTEL.  END NOTE. 
 
7.  (C)  DURING A FOLLOW UP TO THIS READOUT, MFA BALKAN 
OFFICE DIRECTOR MAURIZIO MASSARI CONFIRMED THE ENEL VISIT, 
AND SAID THAT MFA UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE ROBERTO ANTONIONE 
WOULD VISIT ALBANIA APRIL 8-9, WHERE HE WOULD ANNOUNCE A GOI 
ASSISTANCE PACKAGE TO ALBANIA CONSISTING OF 150 MILLION EURO 
FOR DEVELOPMENT SPREAD OVER NEXT 3 YEARS.  MASSARI ALSO 
CONFIRMED THAT BERLUSCONI HAD PROMISED ASSISTANCE WITH THE 
TOURISM SECTOR.  FOR INSTANCE, THE GOI IS INTERESTED IN 
HELPING ALBANIA DEVELOP AS TOURIST SITES A NUMBER OF ROMAN 
RUINS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.  MASSARI DOUBTED, 
HOWEVER, THAT THE PM WOULD VISIT ALBANIA, OFFICIALLY OR 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4988 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  01393  02 OF 02  191242Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00  COME-00 
      CTME-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00 
      EXIM-01  E-00     VC-00    FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00 
      IO-00    ITC-01   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00 
      NSCE-00  OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PC-01 
      PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00    IRM-00 
      SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  T-00     USIE-00  EPAE-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /014W 
                  ------------------7751B6  191242Z /38 
P 191159Z MAR 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 
SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2819 
INFO EU CANDIDATE STATES COLLECTIVE 
EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE 
EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE 
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 
AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 
AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 
USOFFICE PRISTINA 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 001393 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE AND EUR/WE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2012 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01393  02 OF 02  191242Z 
TAGS: AL, ENRG, IT, PHUM, PREF, PREL 
SUBJECT: ALBANIAN PM MAJKO'S MEETING WITH PM BERLUSCONI: 
ENERGY; TOURISM MAIN POINTS OF DISCUSSION 
 
NON-OFFICIALLY, ANY TIME SOON. 
 
8.  (C)  COMMENT:  ALBANIA'S ENERGY PROBLEMS ARE 
LONG-STANDING AND HAVE BECOME A MAJOR FOCUS OF STABILITY PACT 
EFFORTS.  ALTHOUGH THE GOI, STILL THE MAJORITY OWNER OF THE 
SLOWLY PRIVATIZING ENEL, CAN ARRANGE A VISIT TO ALBANIA BY AN 
ENEL TEAM, ENEL IS NOT IN THE FOREIGN AID BUSINESS AND IS 
UNLIKELY TO MAKE A MAJOR INVESTMENT IN IMPOVERISHED ALBANIA. 
THE ASSISTANCE THE ALBANIANS THINK BERLUSCONI PROMISED WILL 
NOT COME FROM ENEL'S COFFERS.  WHILE THERE MAY BE NOTHING ON 
BERLUSCONI'S CALENDAR INDICATING A VISIT TO ALBANIA, WE WOULD 
NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE HIM MAKE A QUICK TRIP, PARTICULARLY 
IF ONE OF HIS MANY MEDIA CONTACTS ASKED HIM TO LEND HIS 
ASSISTANCE TO A PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN TO SELL ALBANIA AS A 
TOURIST DESTINATION TO ITALIANS.  END COMMENT. 
 
9.  (U)  MINIMIZE CONSIDERED. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 2002ROME01393 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


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