Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tripartite agreement for Prespes Lake preservation

The leaders of Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) and Albania on Friday agreed to sign a tripartite agreement in early February for the greater environmental protection of the ecologically significant Prespes Lake region shared by all three countries.

The announcement came after meetings in a lake-side village on the Greek side by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his counterparts from Albania and fYRoM, Sali Berisha and Nikola Gruevski, respectively.

All three sides also promised to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in water management, the taking of anti-pollution and soil erosion prevention measures, as well as to promote the viable management of biodiversity in the verdant region.

All three premiers also voiced their support for an international agreement at the upcoming Copenhagen summit.
The agreement is expected to be signed on Feb. 2, 2010

Friday, November 27, 2009

Swedish FM arrives in Skopje

27 November 2009, Beta

SKOPJE -- Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has arrived on an unannounced visit to Skopje late on Thursday, Beta news agency said.

Sweden is currently presiding over the European Union.

Sources in the Macedonian government said that Bildt's visit had not been announced and that he met with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

According to the sources, it is possible that Bildt will take part in the meeting between the prime ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Gruevski and Iorgos Papandreou, in the Greek town of St. Achilles on Lake Prespansko, on Friday

Gruevski and Papandreou will meet for the second time this month, as part of attempts to find a solution to the dispute between Skopje and Athens regarding the name of Macedonia, in keeping with the EU plan and through top-level contacts, so that Greece's veto on the start of Skopje's pre-accession negotiations with the EU can be avoided.

Nicholas Gage at the top of the Greek American lobby for support of Antonis Samaras cantidature for president of "New Democracy Party"

Niko Gatzogianis also, is expected to visit Tirana to the next days


The very known of Greek American Lobby and especially of PanEpiriot Federation of America, has arrived in Athens with aim to support of his old friend, former foreign minister Antonis Samaras in the campaign for president of the New Demcracy Party.

Gage coming to Athens in support of Samaras, for the major issue in which includes a new interest for Greek national issues including Northern Epirus. As advisory of Prime Minister Mitsotakis Nicholas Gage together with the General Nicholas Grilakis and Foreign Minister Anton
is Samaras , have opposed a decision of Kostandinos Mitsotakis about important issues of Greek foreign policy in the years 1991 - 1993, regarding particularly FYROM and Albania (Northern Epirus).

According to information Niko Gatzogianis will visit Tirana after Athens and will participate in a symposium on human rights which will hold in December in Tirana.
Antonis Samaras and the right to have hope

The Northern Epiriotes vote for Antonis Samaras

November 26, 2009

On Sunday, 29/11/2009 held elections for the new leader of New Democracy.

This is an important moment for the Greeks because of this election will not just elected new President of Greece but the elected leader of the opposition and of course the Prime Minister candidate.

The Greeks passed a tough time because of the global economic crisis and many other national problems are accumulated. We see the issue of unemployment affects most every Greek family, problems in education, and social problems every daily.

Within in these difficult times we see a hope in the face of the nominee for President of New Democratic Party Antonis Samaras. Antonis Samaras is a carrier of culture and Hellenism.

We look forward with hope to a better tomorrow for us, our families and all Greeks in Greece, Cyprus and Northern Epirus. We see the face of Antonis Samaras the man who would be elected leader of the Greek people and not the political will is captive of local and foreign interests. We believe that Antonis Samaras could lead to Greece and Hellenism in the way of security, stability, economic prosperity and pride, dignity, prestige, and power politics in international relations of the country.

So we appeal to all Sunday, 29/11/2009 support by voting Antonis Samaras because the knowledge, experience, and vision can give us back the right to have hope in a better future with dignity.

Alexandros Zoulis

President of Foundation Studies for Northern Epirus
Union Voreioipeiroton Cyprus''''The PYRROS"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Berisha: What will happen, responsible for the situation in Albania will
be Edi Rama

"I shall wring from teethes of the communist mafia"
Berisha declared by the Albanian Parliament for organized protests from
political opposition.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha has accused again the opposition leader Edi Rama
will hold any responsibility for future stability of the country.
Anyway, the leaders of popular protest of opposites, call again for new escalation of protests
in all country, including syndicates and politic parties.
Whatever happens, we noted Berisha Albanian parliament.

Albania Court To Review Greek Territorial Deal

Tirana | 26 November 2009 |
Ionian Sea map
Ionian Sea map
Albania's constitutional court accepted on Thursday an appeal by the opposition Socialist Party to review the legality of a territorial agreement with Greece, which delineates the continental shelf between the two countries in the Ionian Sea.

The agreement signed by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis in late April in Tirana, created a stir of controversy in the local media which accused the Albanian government of giving 225 square kilometers of its territorial waters to its southern neighbour.

The media accused Berisha and the Ministry of Defense of not delineating the division of the continental shelf according to the equidistance principle of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, on which the agreement was based, a charge which the Ministry of Defense has flatly denied.

In a statement released on the Thursday the court announced that it will hold the hearing on the constitutionality of the agreement on 8 December. It also suspended the procedures for the ratification of the agreement in parliament until a final decision is reached by the legal panel.

Osservatorio Balcani for last developments in Albania


Ultimatum to Berisha

Edi Rama greets protesters Socialists not only Albanians are boycotting the parliament, now down in the square. Contest the last elections, they say characterized by numerous fraud. And their leader, Edi Rama, issues an ultimatum to Prime Minister Berisha.

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has few days to decide: to reopen the polls disputed by the opposition or face a wave of protests to the incessant declaration of early elections. And 'This is the ultimatum to the number one Democratic leader of the Socialists, Edi Rama, in closing the last protest organized by his party in the square and lasted three days.

But the chief executive does not seem to be bullied: while the ambassadors of the West continue with the appeals for dialogue - and the President of the Republic is said willing to moderate a panel discussion between majority and opposition - Berisha responds by organizing an "anti-rally "as they called the media in Tirana, leading to street demonstrations by his supporters. ....

Alternate FM Droutsas holds talks with NATO SG

BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris) - Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas held talks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO's headquarters here on Wednesday, focusing on Greek-Turkish relations, relations between the European Union and NATO, the issue of Cyprus and developments in the Balkans.

Droutsas also briefed the Northatlantic Council (ambassadors) on Greece's OSCE presidency, as well as on the ministerial conference that will be taking place in Athens on December 1-2 on security in Europe.

In his meeting with NATO's secretary general, Droutsas referred to the Greek government's priority on foreign policy issues.

On the question of Greek-Turkish relations, Droutsas said that he had the opportunity of conveying to the secretary general Greece's scepticism over Turkey's attitude in the Aegean which, as he said, also has unavoidably repercussions on NATO's functioning as well.

Droutsas also outlined for Rasmussen the Greek government's initiatives on the issue of relations with Turkey and referred to the recent meeting between Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while negotiations under way on the issue of Cyprus were also discussed.

Droutsas further said that a solution to the Cyprus problem must be "European" and "Cypriot", meaning that "the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must be let to discuss freely about their common future as an EU member-state, without artificial timetables, outside pressures or even threats that speak of a last opportunity for a solution to the Cyprus issue."

As regards the Balkans, Droutsas presented Rasmussen with Greece's proposal known as the "Agenda 2014" concerning the clear perspective that Athens desires to give to the countries of the Western Balkans in connection with their European accession course.

Coming to the question of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FyRoM), Droutsas said that NATO's stance is the known decision taken by the Alliance at the Bucharest summit in April 2008.

He clarified that the only process for a solution to the issue and negotiations on the issue of the name of FYROM is the framework of the UN.

Lastly, referring to the OSCE ministerial session taking place in Athens next week, Droutsas said that it is the biggest event in Athens after the 2004 Olympic Gamers, with the presence of over 50 foreign ministers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Republika Srpska: After Independence

By Matthew Parish

Bosnia’s gradual disintegration would appear inevitable. The only question is how the international community will, and should, react to this process.

A new state – “Republika Srpska” - is shortly to be born in South Eastern Europe, the eighth to emerge from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The delivery of this troubling new child will be neither easy nor straightforward.

People may die, and diplomatic isolation may follow. The choices the international community makes in the aftermath of these events will be critically important to the welfare of all the people of the region. For Western policymakers it will be a matter of choosing the lesser evil.

Ever since the 1995 peace agreement at Dayton divided the country into two highly autonomous “entities”, it was manifest, even from its name, that the Republika Srpska had pretensions towards statehood. But after the atrocities committed by Serb forces in the Bosnian war, the West viewed the creation of Republika Srpska as a necessary evil at best, a “genocidal creation” in the words of the current Bosniak President, Haris Silajdzic, to be eventually dismantled. This goal, once achieved, would compensate the Bosniaks for the collective guilt the international community felt for having failed to intervene earlier during the conflict.

To pursue this objective, the High Representative was invested with broad and unchecked legal authorities to dismiss elected officials, impose legislation, and freeze parties’ bank accounts. Although the constitution agreed at Dayton limited central government authorities to a paltry catalogue, by 2006 the number of functions performed by the state were significant, including prosecution of war crimes and financial crime, foreign affairs, indirect taxation, central banking, and EU negotiations. These structures were created by threatening Bosnian Serb politicians, sullied by associations with wartime crimes, with a one-way ticket to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, ICTY, if they refused to cooperate. The new central institutions were funded from outside Bosnia’s bankrupt domestic economy through foreign aid....................

more see;

Papulias: The support Balkan countries including Albania and FYROM to EU is not unconditional

"The President of the Republic reiterated its position in favor of accession to the EU-Western Balkan countries, but clarified that" the support is not unconditional"

Monday, November 23, 2009

PM invites premiers of Albania, FYROM to meeting on Prespes Lakes

Prime Minister George Papandreou has invited the prime ministers of neighbouring Albania and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Sali Berisha and Nikola Gruevski, respectively, to take part in an informal meeting in the Prespes Lakes region in northern Greece on Friday. The meeting will discuss the possibility of cooperation for the protection and viable development of the Prespes Park region, which straddles the borders of all three countries.

Announcing the meeting on Monday, government spokesman George Petalotis said the initiative "confirmed the high priority" given by the government to environmental issues, noting that it would be followed by the Copenhagen summit on climate change a few days later and was just two months ahead of the 10th anniversary since the three countries first pledged to cooperate in order to protect the Prespes Lake ecosystem.

Asked whether the meeting would also touch on other issues between the three countries - particularly the dispute over FYROM's name - Petalotis said that such issues might be discussed in bilateral meetings that might take place. He clarified, however, that there was only one process being followed for many years over the name issue "negotiations through the United Nations alone".

Albania Opposition Issues 10-Day Deadline to PM Sali Berisha

November 23, 2009, Monday

Thousands of Albanians took to the streets of the capital Tirana, in an Opposition protest demanding a recount of disputed electoral votes. Albania’s Socialist opposition ended a three-day protest in the capital, Tirana, with demands to the Prime Minister that contested election ballot boxes be opened.

The mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, who led the protest, issued a 10-day deadline to Prime Minister Sali Berisha to allow the boxes to be opened, for a partial recount of disputed votes cast in the June parliamentary election.Thousands had gathered throughout the weekend in the center of the capital, waving banners and projecting slogans reading "Where is my vote?" and "Open the ballot boxes!" onto the walls of Berisha’s offices.

The opposition has boycotted the Albanian parliament since June, claiming that a recount of the votes would put them in power. Currently, Berisha's Democrats have just 70 seats in the 140-seat parliament, and the Socialists 66. The Democrats rule with support from the four Socialist Integration Movement seats. "Unless the ballot boxes are opened, we will not just refuse to return to parliament, but shall escalate our protest. If the boxes are not opened, we shall powerfully call for the government to go and call for snap elections," Rama said, threatening a nationwide protest.

"There won't be an opening of the election ballot boxes because the state institutions cannot be above the legal ones, which decided there there will not be an opening," stated a defiant Berisha on Albanian state television.

Rama has claimed that Berisha had stifled the judiciary, distorted the media and ruined free competition. Each man accuses the other of corruption.
Western observers had declared the June vote was an improvement on previous Albanian elections but had fallen short of the highest international standards.

Security News on the Balkan Region

New VS base
set to open in

BELGRADE -- The Serbian Army (VS) Base Jug (South), located near Bujanovac, will officially open today.

The base, known also as Cepotina, was announced as the largest and the most modern of its kind in the region.

Serbia's top military and state officials are set to attend the ceremony, including President Boris Tadić, Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac and VS CoGS Lt. Gen. Miloje Miletić.

The base is located some 5 km south of Bujanovac in southern Serbia, near the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ) and the administrative line with Kosovo and Metohija.

Its location is some 90 km from Bulgarian border and 30 km from Macedonia.

The base covers 35 hectares of land, with more than 30 facilities built so far, able to accommodate almost 1,000 people.

According to the announcements of the Serbian Defense Ministry, the base could be expanded to another 65 hectares, in order to become a center for peace operations training.

"Financial Times" about opposite protest in Albania