Monday, November 3, 2008

Albania to get IDs for easy travel

But IDs is going to failed because Tirana will make it without general population register

Nov 3, 2008 8:32 AM
Albania will start producing secure ID cards and passports that meet Western standards in 2009, so that Albanians can travel freely and fake papers will not tarnish elections next spring, the interior minister said. A national data register will be completed soon that will allow both the identification of 4.2 million Albanian citizens, including one million migrants, and the compiling of voters' lists, Bujar Nishani said in an interview.

Secure identity papers will enable Albania, which hopes to join the European Union, to meet stringent EU criteria for freer travel without visas, provide its citizens with tamper-proof documents and prevent cheating in elections. The new ID cards and passports will be controlled by the civil registry. Albania has given the EU-funded concession to produce the documents to France's Sagem, owned by the SAFRAN Group, and the Albanian American Enterprise Fund.

The Greek minority had abandoned IDs process of 2001, and actually after systematically requests to the Albanian authorities has motivated the decision to have a register of population which must include the individual declaration of the religion and nationality of Albanian citizens.

Critics, particularly the politic opposition say the government has failed to live up to the promise it made, on coming to power in 2005, to produce the documents within a year to help fight corruption and prepare the infrastructure for freer travel and free and fair elections.
At present, Albanians needing to prove their identity, in dealings with the state or foreign embassies, have to present a birth certificate obtained within the past three months.

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