Monday, January 14, 2008

Foreign Press May Stop Distribution Published:

TIRANA, Albania International press distributors threatened Friday to stop sending overseas newspapers and magazines to Albania because of a new tax approved by parliament. Peter Emod, managing director of the Zurich-based agency Distripress, wrote a letter to Albanian President Bamir Topi urging him not to ratify the law, adopted by parliament last month, levying a 20 percent tax on all imported press products.A copy of the letter was faxed to The Associated Press.

"The new law (would) force the companies dealing with the distribution of foreign press products to stop their activity. This would mean the end of the presence of foreign press in Albania," Emod wrote. The law could also seriously affect foreign book imports, according to Distripress' Albanian affiliate Adrion Ltd.All foreign news media were banned in Albania during decades of Communist isolation that ended in 1990.

Among Distripress board members include Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. Inc., a New York subsidiary of Hachette Filipacchi Medias, DPV Worldwide and Dogan Media International.

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