Prime Minister Sali Berisha answered to media interest following meeting at Civil Emergency Committee in Shkodër. In his statement to the media, PM Berisha said: All measures are being taken and every effort is being made to rescue lives. The rescuing of lives is absolute priority. Likewise, all efforts are being made to guarantee water and food supply as transportation over an area of more than 12 thousand hectares is possible only by boat, dinghies and rafts. In short, transportation is quite complicated. However, the utmost is being done. The helicopters are flying, but today they cannot land in the same place they used to because water level has reached one meter high. Other spots are being identified so that evacuation is realized, but also supply of food and medicaments. This is wet weather. There is heavy rain even in the Southern areas, but the important thing is the full commitment and devotion by the citizens and the authorities as well.
Question: Are the civil emergency units of Albania able to handle the situation and have you appealed for the assistance of the other countries?
PM Berisha: Albania civil emergency units are fully committed round the clock. The friendly countries have been constantly offering their help. Naturally, we are grateful for the solidarity, but as a matter of fact the whole of Europe has been hit by bad weather and have suffered even people killed. The commitment and mobilization scale of the civil emergency unit is high as all the army and police as well as the local government units have been turned into emergency structures.
Question: Kosova sent an army unit specializing in emergencies to help thousands of Albanian police officers and soldiers who have evacuated people from flooded areas. Are the NATO members providing assistance in rescuing people from the flooded areas?
PM Berisha: We expect the NATO assistance, but Kosova was the first. Also the first who telephoned me was the Prime Minister of Kosova while tens of Kosovar communes are ready to host the citizens, to provide shelter and help them. Thus, there is a great solidarity. Naturally, the up to now situation is under control. We don’t have any loss of lives and that’s the important thing. We shall do the utmost not to have any victims, while the other damage can be recuperated.
Question: You have suggested the citizens can move toward the capital Tirana by train. Is this a safe travel for the citizens?
PM Berisha: Travel by train assumes great importance because the road is narrowing and it’s only the old road available. I pointed to travel by train because the trade exchanges and supply demands great intensity. We shall do the utmost to guarantee the line and consider the possibility of an increase of train movement, especially of the freight trains so that the supply of the town is realized. We are going to supply a commune through Montenegro as the line is interrupted. The Montenegrin authorities have shown willingness to help.
Question: Will there be taken punishment measures for those who speculate with the prices?
PM Berisha: I do not believe anyone will allow themselves such a thing, but if they speculate in a state of emergency they will get exemplary punishment. However, the traders in a general have offered their assistance. The businessmen have been in Torovica overnight and in the early hours of the morning by their means and engineers. But, if someone thinks of getting rich under the current circumstances, then he will not succeed.