Albanians March for 13th Day

VLORE, Albania -- Thousands of Albanian protesters marched for a 13th day Monday to demand that the government pay compensation for the collapse of fraudulent investment schemes.


"Down with the government. We want our money back," chanted a demonstration of some 3,000 people in this southern Albania port. They carried pictures of a protester who died last week during clashes with riot police.


Protests and rioting have swept Europe's poorest country since last month when five pyramid schemes collapsed, wiping out the life savings of many Albanians.


In Vlore, which has been the center of protests in recent days, the National Commercial Bank opened for the first time in 10 days to distribute some of the frozen assets of the failed pyramid schemes.


About 50 people lined up outside the bank. One older woman showed a deposit certificate for 40,000 leks ($400) and said she would receive 52 percent of that.


"It's better than nothing," she said.


The government seized about $300 million in assets from two failed schemes last month and said it would distribute them to clients.