Friday, February 27, 2009

World Bank Probe “Damaged” Albania RelationsTirana

27 February 2009
The village of Jale Albania’s Minister of Finance accused the World Bank on Friday of damaging their excellent relations with a probe by an independent investigative panel on a coastal management project that has embarrassed the conservative government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

“We regret to note that Bank’s internal issues are being transposed as problems of the Bank with the Albanian government,” Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode told a press conference. “This is not in the interest of the Government and would be damaging at this stage of our excellent cooperation and joint efforts,” Bode added.

The World Bank chief of mission in Albania, Camille Nuamah, on Wednesday presented the bank’s report on the controversial demolition of a village in southern Albania, which blames the government in Tirana as well as the project coordinator, Berisha's the son-in-law .

Note to the readers: There are many articles about the scandal of World Bank and Albanian Government by Albanian journalists, but never they not refereed exactly the position of the village of Jali. The village of Jali is part of Himara Municipality, exactly 3 miles in north of Himara`s Harbor. The ihnabitatnes most part are with old greek origin.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guilty as charged

Feb 26th 2009
A flawed project in Albania has highlighted some broader concerns
ReutersA large, embarrassing footprint on Albania's sands
WHEN Robert Zoellick took over the World Bank in 2007—after months of bitter wrangling over professional favours done by its former president, Paul Wolfowitz, for his girlfriend—many people hoped that happier times lay head for the institution.

So it was a shock to hear Mr Zoellick describe as “appalling” the bank’s behaviour over a bungled project to develop the coast of Albania. He was responding to the findings of a bank-appointed panel which found a clear link between the wrongful demolition of 16 homes in the coastal town of Jale and the project, to which the bank had pledged $17.5m. ....

Go directly to Jale
Indeed, the demolitions were carried out by the Albanian construction police, not the bank. But the panel found that the aerial photographs which identified the targets for demolition were provided by staff in the project co-ordination unit, and that they used World Bank funds to get them taken. These photographs were then sent to the construction police, along with a letter from the project co-ordinator asking for action to be taken “as fast as possible”.

The construction police responded to the project co-ordinator’s request with alacrity, arriving in the hamlet of Jale to demolish the “illegal” houses in the early hours of the morning. This eagerness to please was probably not entirely out of respect for the World Bank: the project co-ordinator was the son-in-law of Albania’s prime minister, Sali Berisha, who has recently turned his ire on the bank.

The Economist

Time for a change?

Feb 26th 2009
The forthcoming election looks like being a close contest
THE general election is four months off, but it feels closer. Every day Albania’s politicians are on the stump, addressing packed town halls and assembling campaign teams. Edi Rama, the colourful leader of the opposition Socialists, is underlining phrases in a book of Barack Obama’s speeches.

For change will be Mr Rama’s mantra as he challenges Sali Berisha, prime minister and leader of the Democratic Party. Mr Berisha has been at the heart of Albanian politics since the collapse of communism in 1991. Those born that year will be voting for the first time. They have no memory of communism, but also none of a time before Mr Berisha. Mr Rama thinks this is to his advantage.

Yet Mr Rama is not quite a new figure on the political landscape. The 44-year-old has been mayor of Tirana since 2000. He has transformed the city. Illegal buildings that scarred its centre have been bulldozed, grey blocks painted in colourful designs and plans are afoot to transform Skanderbeg Square into a pedestrian zone. Tirana is no longer the chaotic, declining city of the 1990s.

more see:
These documents are presented from Albanian Journalist by "KLAN TV" television station in Tirana.


According to a publication of the newspaper "Elefteros Tipos"(10/2/09), the document contained an internal report of the Hellenic Research Center ELIAMEP, adopted by the rating «top secret» and was drafted in 2001 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the Northern Epirus issue, presented on 5/2/09 by Albanian National television "KLAN TV" during te emission "Opinion"

Specifically, the journalist Mentor Nazarko, , said that holding the disputed document contains analysis of the top secret information to the foreign ministry of Greece to protect the Greek minority in relation to the Northern Epirus issue, and generally relations between the two states.

SMANALYSIS which the newspaper "Elefteros Tipos" refereed, has inquiring about the scandal of foreign Greek policies noted on: February 6, 2009..more see:

Scandal, a document of the National Hellenic Policy in the hand of the Albanian journalist!

Photo: The Journalist Mentor Nazarko
The document which contains an internal study of Institute "ELIAMEP" and the Greek Foreign Ministry about the future of Northern Epirus, is known by journalist Mentor Nazarko been declared. The statement was made on "Opinion", of KLAN TV, during a debate concerning the Greek Albanian relations.

It is very surprising that an Albanian journalist known for anti Hellenic positions had the opportunity to have read a top secret material which contains a study of Greek diplomacy and the prestigious institute "ELIAMEP" during the years 2000 - 2001 in Albania.
A group of journalists and experts financed by the Greek Foreign Ministry, under the accompaniment of the former Greek ambassador Alexandros Mallias conducted closely investigation team to study relationship that will be deployed consistently between Albania and Greece regarding the Greek minority in Albania and the future of autonomy Northern Epirus.

Document which is called "Top Secret" seen by the Albanian journalist, is classified for national strategy and Greek diplomacy but no for the public opinion. The journalist Nazarko is very known as author of a book about "Chameria" Issue.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Albania criticizes Inspection Panel report

The Government of Albania has requested a revision or retraction of an Inspection Panel Report implicating the country's government in corruption.In response to the report produced by the Inspection Panel of the World Bank, the Government of Albania has issued a response (PDF, 163KB) which claims that implications of corruption on the part of the Government of Albania in the Jale case are unsubstantiated and that the scope and nature of the Government’s involvement has been exaggerated by the Inspection Panel Report.

The Albanian Government has urged the management of the World Bank to reconsider the Panel Report and has requested its quashing or rewriting “to be more objective” towards the Government’s position. Albania has also asked for an official inquiry on the part of the Bank into the reasons for the Inspection Panel’s involvement with the Jale incident.

World Bank Board of Executive Directors Reviews Independent Inspection Panel Report on Coastal Zone Management Project in Albania, World Bank press release, February 17, 2009 (World Bank website)
Original text of the Albanian Government response (in Albanian), February 14, 2009 (Gazeta Standard website).
Inspection Panel, (World Bank website)
World Bank violated policies and misinformed Board in Albania project, February 18, 2009 (BIC website)
Albanian Government response to Inspection Panel report (PDF, 163KB)
Albanian Security News


Photo: Vlora`s Gulf

The Italian military mission in Albania DIA ordains to leave from Sasani Island the Italian naval forces. Making a ceremony in Sasani Island, 10 miles a front of Vlora city, the experts of Italian military forces in Albania known as DIA, reported the accomplished mission in Vlora Gulf.

The mission was installed after the "ALBA" operation in1997 during the "Civil War in Albania". The 28 district naval forces, Guardia Finanzza" and Italian Coast Guard mission united forces, where installed in Sasani island, to fight the clandestine traffics between Italian and Albania on Otranto corridor in Adriatic Sea.
Photo: The "Alba" operation of italian forces in Vlora 1997

Reports by Vlora insists other news about the Turkish naval forces to prepare to leave also the Vlora Gulf. The Turkish naval forces where installed in Orikus Naval Base, since 1998 to help the Albanian forces to construct the Albanian base after destrutcion of Albanian army in 1997.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Families oppose €40m scheme for Albanian resort
By Kerin Hope

Arben Leka carefully unfolds a document brown with age and runs a finger down a handwritten list of landholdings that was drawn up in 1937.
The Lekas are one of 129 families fighting the construction of Albania’s first five-star tourist resort.The Tirana-based Riviera group wants to build an 800-bed resort at Kakome bay, an arc of white pebbles backed by olive trees, a swath of evergreen forest and the 13th-century convent of St Maria.

The company has fenced off the bay and blocked access to the convent.
“We all have title deeds, we’re defending our ownership in the courts, yet bulldozers have moved in and we’ve lost access to our property,” says Mr Leka, a civil engineer.

Dritan Celaj, Riviera’s chairman, says Kakome is public land. His company was granted a 99-year lease in 2004 to develop the bay but the €40m ($51m, £35m) project was put on hold after protests by residents and a change of government.

Vladimir Kumi, mayor of Nivice village, 6km from Kakome, where most of the protesters live, says most families have three titles to their land. One dates from the 1870s when Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire, another was issued by the land registry set up by King Zog in the 1930s and a third covers the 1994 restitution of land collectivised under Communism.

Land-ownership disputes are rife along Albania’s mountainous southern coast, mainly because of its potential for development as one of the last unspoilt stretches of the Mediterranean. The restitution of land to pre-communist owners remains a thorny issue, with many claims still outstanding. A new land registry set up with the assistance of foreign experts has a long backlog of title deed applications.

Albania’s judicial system has been criticised by the European Commission as weak and open to influence, adding to the difficulties of settling a property dispute through the courts.
The protesters, who refer to themselves as “Club 129,” say they have no objection to the development of “soft” tourism at Kakome – small independent guesthouses or hotels – provided their ownership claims are recognised and they have a stake in the project.

The right-of-centre government of Sali Berisha, the prime minister, opposed the project while in opposition. Now it backs Mr Celaj,.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Albania to open its port to Kosovo

Albania is ready to open its northern port of Shengjin on the Adriatic Sea for the use of the landlocked Kosovo, Albania's Prime Minister Sali Berisha said on Monday. "Albania is ready to provide Kosovo with a port, which would meet its needs," a press release on the government's website quoted Berisha as saying.

Berisha made the announcement in his meeting with a group of representatives from Kosovo, who are in Albania to open talks on using the Shengjin port. The two sides agreed to study the possibility of enlarging the port which is about 90 kilometers north of capital Tirana and about 100 kilometers west of Kosovo.

Kovoso, an ethnic Albanian-dominated province of Serbia, unilaterally declared independence in February in 2008. Its independence has been vehemently opposed by Serbia. Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci sent a letter to Berisha earlier this month, asking him to allow Kosovo to use the seaport.

Albania is currently building a highway to link the central Albanian port of Durres with Kukes and beyond to Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo.

Former Albanian President Alfred Moisiu calls politic parties to hold free elections on the next politic elections in 22 June 2009. The declaration was made during exclusively interviewe on "News 24 TV".

Regarding the standards of Albanian next elections, Moisiu stated about the necessary to hold free elections that never Albania historically has held, but noted Moisiu, is Albania does not hold free elections, the country risk to come back to the 1997, on the civil war.

Speaking for the "Gerdeci Blust" and the inquiring process, he said as principal responsible are the member of the government and not the officers of Albanian army.