Friday, October 29, 2010

Security on the region

Espionage scandal shocked the Turkish Armed Forces, with Greek women "smell"


Great spy scandal shocked Turkey with the involvement of 49 persons of which 45 are active military. More specifically, in early August, the Turkish police conducted operation to arrest a group of executive officers who are using female escorts blackmailing senior officials of the Turkish Armed Forces, Police and government departments. These women functioned as a link between the suspects and foreign service received the documents.

According to latest information and the Star newspaper, the Turkish police search for traces of "Greek spy," which according to the Turkish authorities "conveyed this information to Greece.

Finally, as shown by a police investigation this case was not as common as expected after authorities discovered it was a case of espionage. Besides the four officers in active scientists working in government research institute involved in cryptology TUBITAK case. These people face charges of "preventing strategic research designed by the State and providing confidential information to foreign centers.

Over the next two days Admirals, Colonels 5, and 6 more officers will be required to submit to the Police. Twelve of the suspects to court again Wednesday, October 27 after he had finished questioning them. Authorities discovered that the group of blackmail knew details of hundreds of officers and their family lives.

The database team had for these people was complete, some of them found a USB that belonged to Colonel Ibrahim Sezer. Among the officers that the team had collected information was the A / Navy Admiral Esref Ugur Yigit, Admiral Fikret Gunes commander of Naval Operations Command.

In possession of the suspects were copies of e-mail with sexual content, which had been prepared by officers of the Turkish Navy most of them to colleagues. Of those who have already produced, four were serving in the Electronic Systems Command and General Staff position is said to have intercepted e-mails from their victims.

A total of 80 officers have been victims of this group, while 49 suspects must answer to the question of the prosecutor as to whether "information on key military programs have been leaked to agents of foreign secret services". According to the prosecutor in charge of the case team members were using escorts for women to trap and blackmailed officers and government officials serving in critical positions.

The prosecutor has evidence that all documents acquired by the team members went to the same recipient. Among the stolen plans for the system was Genesis, the Uzun Ufuk, the frigate Milgem tank and Altay. Also stolen documents containing information about the development of strategic doctrine of the Turkish armed forces in case of conflict with Greece.

Of the 16 suspects had been sued in the final 13 were arrested including 15 soldiers and one civilian and four soldiers and four officials of TUBITAK went to court Thursday, The surveys help the Police and MIT which three foreign women seeking the names Inesa, Lia Rahmatova, Nona Burduli are believed to be still in Turkey.

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Progress for Montenegro, but no talk for Albania

By Toby Vogel
Commission to propose opening Montenegro talks, but crime and corruption hold back Albania's EU bid

The European Commission will next month recommend that member states open membership talks with Montenegro, but not with Albania.

The college of commissioners debated the matter yesterday (27 October) and will adopt the recommendation on 9 November, together with the annual progress reports on nine would-be EU members.

Albania submitted its membership application in April 2009, but the country has been paralysed by an opposition boycott of parliamentary proceedings since the general election in June that year.

Other problems include weak administrative capacity and serious problems with crime and corruption, but the parliamentary stand-off is the main reason for the Commission's decision not to recommend opening membership talks.

“We do not have much room for manoeuvre,” an official said. “The political deadlock tells us something about Albania's political readiness [for membership talks].”

For Montenegro, which applied in December 2008, the member states will have to reach a unanimous decision if they are to follow the Commission's proposal.

Gordana Ðurovic, Montenegro's minister for European integration, told European Voice that a positive decision on her country's candidacy status was “possible” at the summit of EU leaders in December.

She acknowledged that her country was battling against negative perceptions. “Despite the legacy of the 1990s” – when Montenegro was the sole republic of Yugoslavia to remain part of a joint state with Serbia – “organised crime in Montenegro is not too deep,” she said.

She added that judicial reform and the fight against organised crime and corruption were priorities for her government, but also conceded that the EU's expectations were “higher than in 2007”, when Bulgaria and Romania – countries with similar problems – joined.

An EU official described Montenegro as posing “the huge issue of a small country with big corruption”, and underlined that there was no desire or intention to fast-track any applicant

Albania Places €300 Million Eurobond

Albanian Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode announced on Thursday that the country has sold, for the first time ever, €300 million in Eurobonds with a five year maturity for a yield of 7.5 per cent.

Besar Likmeta
The sale, which was managed by Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co, was postponed in April due to the adverse effect of the Greek debt crisis on emerging market bonds.

This is Albania’s third attempt to place Eurobonds after another effort in early 2009 was abandoned due to the global financial crisis.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the bonds will be used to pay-off a costly syndicated loan taken in 2009 to finance part of the Albania-Kosovo highway, the country’s largest public works project in decades.

The refinancing of the loan will save Albania roughly €7 million.

Deleted the name of Berisha by the banner for the year of Mother Teresa, at the National Museum in Tirana

Large banners in the center of Tirana, which has been several months ago big debate for the name of PM Sali Berisha in relation to the name of Mother Teresa, has been deleted during the night between Wednesday and Thursday.

50 meters from the place, where 20 years ago was removed dragged statues of Enver Hoxha, has anyone thought about missing another false symbol of greatness. It was deleted only in the part that contained the name of Sali Berisha.

Deleting the name of Prime Minister Berisha on the slogan, would create a serious gaps, between religious communities in Albania. Berisha is a believer of religion Muslims and has a great impact especially in northern Albania, Kosovo and FYROM and is often recognized as the leader of geghes tribu in Albania.

11 Greek Americans Run for U.S Congress in 2010

October 29, 2010 by Greek News

Alexi Giannoulias fights the “Mother of all Battles” in Illinois Senate Race. Space, Titus, Kosmas fight for their political lives, Bilirakis, Sarbanes, Berkley and Tsongas safe.

New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

Eleven Greek Americans are competing on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, for 9 U.S. House and two U.S. Senate seats , in an election night that everyone predicts is going to be tough for the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama. All polls show the House of Representative to go Republican, while the Democrats are expected to hold on the Senate.

From the Greek Americans, the only one who is not incumbent (Dean Scontras, R, Maine 1st District) is trailing his Democratic opponent Pingree between 8-16 percentage points. Dean Scontras is the co-owner of an alternative energy company that specializes in the development of wind farm and smart grid technology that will help Maine towns capture the benefits of distributed energy solutions. He run unsuccessfully for the same seat in 2008.

From the 8 Greek American members of Congress, four are considered safe. Gus Bilirakis (R, FL 9th),

Shelley Berkley (Dem. 1st District of Nevada), John Sarbanes (Dem. 3rd District of Maryland) and Niki Tsongas (Dem. MA-5).

In Ohio’s 18th District, Zach Space who won the seat in 2006 (the first Democrat after many decades) is facing a tough battle against Gibbs. Although a month ago the seat was considered safe for the Democrats, the latest polls show it leaning more:

An "ultimatum" on Albanian election reform



Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. [Reuters]

Political life in Albania has been mired in an impasse since the June 2009 elections. The opposition Socialists and their allies want ballot boxes re-opened; the ruling coalition disagrees, and the resulting standoff has held up the legislative process.

EU officials have regularly warned that Albania's EU prospects are being harmed. Now there are signals that the two sides may be inching towards a solution, though whether anything concrete comes of it remains to be seen, and the tone of discussions remains combative.

Edi Rama, leader of the Socialists, made a surprise decision last week to attend a meeting called by Prime Minister Sali Berisha to discuss the crisis. He brought with him what he described as an "ultimatum".

It calls for setting up a commission to investigate problems with the election, such as an alleged lack of more

Thursday, October 28, 2010


28 October

The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, one of the symbols of the struggle against the military junta, has lashed out at Greek Prime Minister Giorgio Papandreou and announced that if the latter were to call early elections in the country he wouldcreate a Movement of Civic Resistance.

Over the past few days, in a televised interview Papandreou did not rule out calling early legislative elections if in the upcoming local ones on November 7 Greek citizens do not confirm their confidence and if this were to block the reforms that he intends to bring in. It was a statement meant to resist the ''protest vote'' hoped for by the opposition. In statements broadcast by the Skai television channel, Theodorakis, 85, called the prime minister's words ''blackmail'' to force Greeks to vote for Pasok, which in the polls seems to be losing support though still enjoying a clear lead.

''With his interview Papandreou is blackmailing the Greek populace by telling them that if they do not vote for him then he will call early elections,'' said Theodorakis, who said that ''in the current circumstances new elections would mean the end of Greece, its dissolution and paralysis.'' According to the well-known composer, if the things that Papandreou does and says were done by a centre-right government, the left would have ''set Greece on fire''.

Albanian motorway opens

by Sandy Guthrie - 28 Oct 2010

A 61 km, four-lane highway stretches from central Albania to the Kosovo border.

A 61 km, four-lane highway stretches from central Albania to the Kosovo border.

Bechtel and joint-venture partner Enka have completed construction of a 61 km, four-lane highway that stretches from central Albania to the Kosovo border. The motorway is now open to traffic.

The end of construction was marked by a ceremony to open a second tunnel bore - the final section of the motorway. Ministers of transport from Albania and Kosovo, plus other senior officials from both countries, attended the opening.

The motorway is the central leg of a 171 km highway traversing the country from the Adriatic Sea to the northeastern village of Kalimash near Kosovo. The new roadway cuts travel time along the route from six to two hours, which it is expected will boost coastal trade and northeast tourism.

The motorway also provides a connection within Albania and across the region, linking markets to the Adriatic port of Durres and contributing to economic growth as Albania prepares for accession to the European Union.

The Albanian Motorway is one of the largest-ever infrastructure projects in the country and presented many engineering challenges because of the complexities of the geology in the region and the fast-track construction schedule. The motorway includes a 5.5 km twin-bore tunnel and 29 bridges built in a rocky, mountainous region.

During construction, the project was the largest employer in the area, with Albanians accounting for two thirds of the workforce.

Greek Security Challenges and Opportunities: Interview with Dr. Athanassios Drougos

October, 2010

Balkanalysis Drougos interview2 Greek Security Challenges and Opportunities: Interview with Dr. Athanassios DrougosIn this new interview for Greek security correspondent Ioannis Michaletos gets the insight of Dr. Athanassios Drougos, a senior lecturer for the Hellenic Defense Colleges (Army, Navy, Air Force and Joint Command) and NATO, providing analysis on issues related to defense and counterterrorism.

Dr Drougos has published numerous articles and been cited frequently in Greek media on subjects including defense and security, international relations and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, North Africa and Russia, as well as NATO issues, asymmetric warfare, weapons of mass destruction and more.

Ioannis Michaletos: What are the main security challenges facing Greece currently? Are the issues involved interlinked with domestic problems only, or also related with wider international issues?

Athanassios Drougos: Concerning the ongoing challenges and threats to Greece, I would personally consider that contemporary asymmetric issues (with global or regional ramifications) should receive more attention and prominence from the responsible state authorities.

For instance illegal migration, terrorist networks, the narcotics trade, maritime security threats, horizontal proliferation of ballistic missiles and illicit trade of weapons of mass destruction, energy threats, etc. For the time being, I certainly belong to a minority in my country [as I] consider of more significance the non-linear/unconventional threats compared to conventional one… frankly speaking, I see less danger (at least visible) coming from well known and historic conventional threats.

Some of these are related to the current globalized nature of threats and moving instabilities, for instance, the various regional and Mediterranean ‘open issues’. But beyond any doubt the deep and chaotic situation in Greece (due to extreme financial and social problems) has led to an upgrading of domestic instabilities and has enhanced existing vulnerable spots (social grievances and other parameters led, to a certain extent, to the re-emergence of urban terrorists in Athens, for example.,,,,................. more see:

Macedonia: Albanian Rebel Leader Accused of Being Serbian Spy

A Macedonian daily has alleged that an ethnic Albanian, codenamed Ibar, worked a spy for the Serbian secret service in the 1980s and 1990s.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Details of the published article sent shock waves through Macedonia, where the public recognised the biographic details of Ali Ahmeti, the leader of the junior ruling party Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, and a former rebel leader.

“A private person handed us the documents, with stamps and signatures. I expect the state to verify it. We have information that the file has been submitted to the Lustration Commission today,” the editor-in-chief of Dnevnik, Saso Kokalanov, told Balkan Insight on Wednesday.

Kokalanov urged the authorities to verify the file as soon as possible “because there has to be consequences, either for the person listed as “Ibar” or for the persons who forged this file”.

Kokalanov believes that the details in the dossier could trigger deep discord in the ethnic Albanian community in Macedonia.

Ali Ahmeti, a rebel turned politician, was the leader of the ethnic Albanian guerilla force which fought against Macedonian state security forces in an armed conflict in 2001. The six-month conflict ended with an internationally mediated peace deal which guaranteed greater rights for ethnic Albanians in Macedonia.

According to the daily, the Serbian spy Ibar, who also worked as an informant for the Albanian secret service, was present during the secret formation of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, in Zurich, Switzerland. The KLA, an ethnic Albanian force in Kosovo, fought against Serbian security forces in 1999.

In 2001, the National Liberation Army, NLA, a sister organisation of the KLA, launched the insurgency in Macedonia.

Meanwhile, DUI vice-president Abdulhakim Ademi dismissed the allegations against Ahmeti, saying that the story was created by somebody who had lost his mind or was working for other secret services in the region.

“This is an effort to discredit the deeds and personality of the founders of the KLA and NLA, the successes of these two armies, the bright history of the Albanian people and everything Ali Ahmeti acomplished," Ademi said.

Utrinski Vesnik daily wrote on Wednesday that the file “throws a different light on the motives and the character of the 2001 Macedonian armed conflict”.

The newly revealed documents, the paper says, “question the position of the DUI and the credibility of the Macedonian government”.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

70th Anniversary of OXI Day on October 28th

On October 28th, Greece, Cyprus and other Greek communities worldwide will be celebrating what is known as Greek OXI day. Every year Greeks have celebrated this event since 1940 when the day was founded. OXI day is a Greek national holiday in Greece.

The national holiday was established in 1940 when the Italian Ambassador asked the Greek Prime Minister to have Italian soldiers based in Greece. Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas refused the Italian’s request, much to the Ambassadors surprise.

The Greek army went on to fight the Italians out of Greece. Even though they had little ammunition and very few bullets the Greek defeated the invaders.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Albania, latest update

Greek Banks in Albania, extraordinary meeting: "The Ionian coast, a decisive moment to buy properties"

There are around 500 million euros, to "save" the Greek Community lands from the clutches of the Albanian Mafia.

The news comes from closer sources to the Union of Greek Banks in Albania. "The Albanian mafia is buying everything into Ionian coast area of Epirus" have taken an immediate response from the secret sources of political control to the Board of Greek banks operating in Albania. "We are able to pay with any cost each square meter, to the Greek community property in Ionian Coast, Vlora, Himare, Lukovo, Sarande and Ksamil wich are under target, affected by the Albanian Mafia."

Source points to the fact that, the Banks have taken in high consideration the reality in Southern Albania, alarming proportions arbitrary and illegal sale of lands in Ionian coast, and has forced the boards of Greek banks to receive concrete initiatives by offering residents and especially in Himare Lukove, opportunities to sell property in the way with legal rather than Albanian Mafia, offering twice the price in special cases.

It is worth to point out that, particularly, Greek National Bank, Alpha Bank and Pireas Bank, for the first time, with concrete initiatives, undertake to invest in the coastal area of Northern Epirus, since the lack of missing property management, has forced them, not to invest in these areas.

Just this year, all three banks have provided loans amounting to 110 million euros, to support with great credit, both supermarkets in Tirana, as "Mega Tech" and "City Park", providing these banks, to have put in available around 500 million euros, to "save" as noted by the source, the Greek community lands from the clutches of the Albanian Mafia.

The Mayor of Himara Municipality, Vasil Bolanos, has called often the Greek Banks that operate in Albania since 1998, to invest in Himara Region, but until now, the legal procedures of selling and buying real estate, was an obstacle as a result of missing property management in this area.

Albanian local official slain

Oct 26, 2010,

Tirana - A municipal official from the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) was killed in a gangland-style ambush, police said Tuesday.

Remzi Veseli, head of the commune of Terthora, 100 kilometres northeast of Tirana, was fatally shot while driving his car late Monday, police said.

The police in the surrounding county of Kukes brought several people in for questioning but said that it has no suspects yet. It offered a 5-million-lek (51,000 dollars) reward for information leading to arrests, reports said.

SDP leader Edi Rama condemned the assassination, saying 'it shows how difficult the situation is.'

Albania has been locked in a deep political crisis ever since the SPD contested the outcome of June 2009 elections, accusing Prime Minister Sali Berisha's conservative Democratic Party of rigging the results.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Information Technology will be priority in Albania UN Programme 2012-2016

Balkan Business News Correspondent - 26.10.2010
Prime Minister Sali Berisha received this week, the Mrs.. Zineb Benjelloun-Touimi, named to the post of Resident Coordinator and United Nations Resident Representative Development Programme United Nations in Albania. Prime Minister congratulated Mrs. Zineb Benjelloun-Touimi welcome in Albania and expressed confidence that cooperation with and with the office of the UN will continue in the same way to demonstrate further progress. UN programs - in Albania have given a great support for the reforms undertaken by the government in some priority sectors.

On her part, Ms.. Benjelloun-Touimi said he felt privileged to receive this important task in Albania as a country with great progress in implementing the One UN. On the other hand, it stressed that it is impressed with the remarkable progress made by Albania in the process of European integration, focusing particularly on some key sectors like information technology, gender equality and poverty reduction. She also stressed that the United Nations Organization will continue to support Albania in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, now set for 2015.

Prime Minister Berisha expressed his utmost appreciation for the support given by the Organization of the United Nations so far, while reiterating some priority sectors, which will be included in the new One UN Programme 2012-2016, such as gender equality, support for Information Technology on the program following the Internet in school, fighting corruption, the continuation of the Brain Gain program, as well as environment. Source; Government

Danas, Serbia: Division of Kosovo and BiH is the most logical decision

25 October 2010 FOCUS News Agency

The Separation of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most logical decision. That is what William Montgomery, the last US Ambassador to the nation known as Yugoslavia said for Danas today.

“It is giving the impression that most Europeans would not oppose in there is “frozen conflict” in Kosovo and BiH.

On the other side the USA paid great efforts for overcoming the problems on the Balkans, because that situation is not in their favor”, the former diplomat announced.

The hellenism and the Albanian census planned


The first half of April 2011, the neighboring Albania will host the first-hopefully objective, the democratic-census population.

For the country itself that is important because the census is one of the conditions set by the institutions E. Union's approach to further Albania's economic and political institutions of the EU.

The survey of minority ethnic and religious communities, the way will become and the presence or absence of protests from interested parties will provide a good sample of the intentions of Tirana to the respect of Human Rights. Let us not forget that the concepts minorities, religious groups, etc. έχουν ιδιαίτερη φόρτιση στη γείτονα χώρα. have a special charge in the neighboring country.

Interestingly, the whole problem of the Romanian authorities on how to put the written question on ethnic and religious integration of every citizen.
Others claimed not to be any question as somehow personal data, but you lost the main purpose of the inventory is to record, quantify and geographically, of minorities.

Others spoke about the need for mandatory recording of such information. Eventually won the middle ground, ie in the form are the questions on ethnicity and religious confession, but everyone will respond if he wants..........more in Greek...

Asylum rise puts Balkan visa-free scheme in danger

There has been a sharp increase in asylum applications from Serbia and Macedonia, which is causing concern in Belgium and Germany and could endanger the EU visa liberalisation scheme introduced last year.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has written to Serbian and Macedonian ministers responsible for interior affairs – Ivica Dacic and Gordana Jankolovska – to say their countries could lose permission for citizens to travel in the EU without a visa.

A rise in asylum applications could risk visa privileges for some Balkan states (Photo: johnnyalive)

She said the EU Commission, together with the Belgian EU Presidency, is considering organising a high-level mission later this month to confirm the situation on the ground.

"Almost 10 months have passed since the visa obligation for entering EU Schengen countries was lifted for citizens of your country," wrote Ms Malmstrom. "Some member states are once again experiencing an alarming increase of persons coming from your country and seeking asylum. This trend is extremely worrying and might seriously jeopardise the entire process of visa liberalisation in the Western Balkans."

Ms Malmstrom's letters – seen by WAZ.EUobserver, and which are largely identical – are a double warning. The situation could lead to a renewed visa regime for Serbian and Macedonian citizens, but it could also delay an EU decision to lift the visa regime for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania.

"As you know, a post-visa liberalisation monitoring process has been put in place by the commission service since January 2010. Consideration is now being given to further step up this process, so as to enable the EU to take appropriate action if difficulties persist," wrote Ms Malmstrom...............................

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Albanian Archbishop Targeted by Extremists

Orthodox church Primates and leaders of international Christian organizations are alarmed by the attacks being directed lately against the Archbishop of Albania Anastasios and hierarchs of the Church of Albania. Many clerics speak of actions attempting to denigrate Anastasios due to the tragic events in Himara last August.

This is when 27 -year- old Aristotelis Goumas was murdered. It has been stressed that he was the first to speak of murder when many were trying to attribute this event to a car accident.

The Archbishop himself advises his associates to stay calm and calls to avoid self-redress. He has been accepting supportive telephone calls from many sides, as he is an internationally recognized and accepted figure.

Latest News. According to professor Nikola Pano, International relations in USA, for Arbishop Janullatos, is the times that he, must leave from the head of Orthodox Churche of Albania. During an interview given to the Albanian newspaper "Gazeta Shqiptare", Pano declared his opinion against any archbishop to be Greek over Orthodox Church of Albania.

Albania - Kosovo; Thirra, second tunnel opened

24. October 2010.
Source: Alsat

The opening of the northern tunnel in the Durres-Kukes motorway signs the official end of the biggest project in the Albanian infrastructure. Starting from Friday, October 22, vehicles can easily move in this motorway starting from Tirana or Durres until the border checkpoint of Morina.
The opening of the northern tunnel in the Durres-Kukes motorway signs the official end of the biggest project in the Albanian infrastructure. Starting from Friday, October 22, vehicles can easily move in this motorway starting from Tirana or Durres until the border checkpoint of Morina.

Now Bechtel-ENKA Construction Company is continuing the project in the territory of Kosovo. “The construction of this road was finished in the best possible way, within the defined deadline, with the right quality and it will help in avoiding traffic between Albania and Kosovo or between different parts of Albania,” said Albanian Minister of Transport Sokol Olldashi. “The value of this project is bigger than its commercial effect; it increases the faith of Albania in its capacities, and it increases the contribution that Albania and Kosovo are giving to the region through this motorway,” said Albanian Interior Minister Lulzim Basha.

“The project would have never started in Kosovo if it had not ended in the Albanian part. We are starting work where the Albanian government left it, by concluding in this way a dream project of both Kosovo and Albania,” said Kosovo Minister of Transport Fatmir Limaj. The most debated project in Albania, which has also been defined as a project that economically joins Albania and Kosovo, is now more than functional. This project has been perceived in different ways by different people. “Normally I should say I am really happy, but in fact, I am sad because this is the end of a wonderful project,” said Olldashi.

“Sokol should not feel sad because he can always see the continuance of his work in the territory of Kosovo. You are welcomed to inspect and monitor the construction work for the nation’s road,” said Limaj. “Sokol, you will soon feel happy again with the beginning of the construction work for Elbasan’s tunnel and for Tirana-Elbasan road,” said Basha. The 60 kilometers of this road from Rreshen until the end of the Kalimash’s tunnel, which is 6 kilometers long, are the most difficult part of the road. This road segment has been constructed by Bechtel