[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Russian
Polish
Albanian
Greek
Serbian
Turkish
More
Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 09:38 GMT
Albania faces no-confidence vote
Albanian survivor
The victims were trying to reach Italy illegally
Albania's government faces a no-confidence vote over its handling of an accident which killed at least 20 people trying to reach Italy illegally.

The governing Socialists control more than half the seats in parliament, and are not expected to be threatened by the vote on Friday.

Victims' relatives hurled abuse at Prime Minister Fatos Nano on Thursday.

The opposition accuses him of poor leadership for not returning from holiday after the accident.

In turn, the government has accused the opposition of exploiting the accident for political gain.

Freezing

The accident happened when a powerboat smuggling people across the Adriatic Sea to Italy broke down.

Seventeen men and three women, either drowned or died of exposure in freezing temperatures.

Two survivors, who were steering the boat, and three local officials, including the head of border police in the port of Vlore, have been arrested.

The tragedy shocked Albania and prompted a national day of mourning on Monday.

The victims had each paid more than 2,000 euros to the smugglers for the sea passage, which in a fast boat takes only three hours.

The Italians say the number of illegal immigrants arriving from Albania has decreased considerably since their navy began patrolling the Albanian coast to intercept people-smugglers.




SEE ALSO:
Albania mourns smuggled migrants
11 Jan 04  |  Europe
Crackdown on human traffickers
04 Feb 01  |  Europe
Country profile: Albania
30 Sep 03  |  Country profiles


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific