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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 02:18 GMT

World: Europe

Albania moves over power cuts

The Albanian government has taken new measures in an attempt to improve electricity supplies, which have been severely reduced because of a prolonged drought.

The authorities have halved the level of import duties on gas and other fuels.

The drought has badly hit production at Albania's main hydro-electric power station, on the Drin river, in the north of the country.

Albania's antiquated electricity network is also blamed, as demand rises with the arrival of winter.

Also, thousands of Albanians gain access to the system illegally without paying. Albania's largest maternity hospital, in the capital, Tirana, says it has faced daily power cuts without warning, some occurring in the middle of operations.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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