Saturday, May 21, 2011
CIA: "Come back again riots and widespread violence in Greece!
"Riots and widespread violence" does the CIA's annual report (periodic World Factbook), in Greece because of painful economic measures and even expressed the question "How far do not have widespread riots erupt! The CIA believes exactly what defencenet.gr revealed last week that foreigners are afraid: Riots and instability that will have very negative effect not only in economic but also geopolitical.
They specifically mention analysts CIA: "A general increase in popular discontent could undermine the government's ability to impose reforms and fulfill the objectives of the budget and could lead to major unrest or violence." They believe that it is indeed surprising that still have not broken a major area of unrest because of tough economic measures that have led to unemployment of 15% of the population. In a nutshell, consider that "the glass is very close to overflowing! For the economy, the report states that Greece's debt "caused significant pressure on the euro zone and raised the question whether a Member State could voluntarily abandon the common currency and be expelled. Also, CIA notes that Greece has introduced reforms, adds, however, that investors are still wondering whether the country can continue fiscal consolidation efforts before a gloomy economic outlook and popular discontent will be reflected in domestic violence and state decay.
"It recognizes that "the Greek labor unions on strike for the new austerity measures, but the strikes have so far been little impact on the willingness of the government to impose reforms." Describing the Greek question, the authors of the report refer to "a capitalist economy with a public sector accounted for 40% of GDP and per capita GDP to around two thirds of the leading economies in the euro area. According to the report of the CIA, The Greek lenders require Athens to intensify its efforts in 2011 to increase tax collection, public securitization businesses, and to contain health costs, and intend to give more time in Greece to repay the loan from the IMF and the EU.
The report makes extensive reference to what preceded the economic crisis. Overstated the "cooking" the numbers and the loss of credibility and substance, the report vindicated and foreign rating agencies for successive downgrades of the Greek economy to be made. Finally collectively criticized the Greek government from 2009 onwards "for their failure to control the growth of deficits" due to the inability of tax administration and the wasting of public money. Department news, defencenet.gr
Greek FM on isles' sovereignty
ANA-MPA/Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras on Thursday was categorical in rejecting attempts aimed at disputing the sovereignty of any part of the Greek territory.
Responding to a question by a reporter as regards the issue raised by a Turkish politician concerning the Aegean islets of Agathonissi and Farmakonissi and the alleged reactions on behalf the Turkish foreign ministry, Delavekouras said "there is no vagueness in the sovereignty of even an inch of Greek territory as it was recently emphasised by the foreign minister." ana-mpa
"The reality is clear and nobody can dispute it. Greece will not tolerate and will not accept any contestation. There is no room for doubting the sovereignty of any part of the Greek territory," he said.Regarding the visit by a group of Turkish citizens to Agathonissi on Wednesday, Delavekouras said Greek authorities' response was "immediate", stressing that the Turkish citizens left the area after it was pointed out that having the necessary legal documents with them was imperative.
The Dangers of Albania's Disputed Election
Sabine Freizer | 20 May 2011
Albania’s second disputed election in three years threatens to push the country over the edge.
Almost two weeks after local elections, preliminary results have yet to be announced. This is the time for sustained, coordinated international action to press parties to abide by the legal framework in place. The Socialist Party should immediately appeal the decision of the Central Election Commission (CEC), to change counting procedures, to the highest appropriate legal mechanism (the Electoral College), which should decide the issue on the basis of current practice. All parties should exercise restraint if conflict is to be avoided; clarity is urgently required for the smooth running of future elections.
The Economist is not exaggerating when it writes that, Albania today stands “on the brink of a return to violence”. A tight mayoral race in Tirana, a highly polarised environment which contributed to four deaths in January, and divisions within the security forces make bloodshed an unnerving possibility unless legal procedures are fully respected. Albania has a history of disputed elections, parliamentary boycotts and political violence.
The unofficial preliminary results of the Tirana vote gave the incumbent, Socialist Party (SP) leader Edi Rama, an edge of just ten ballots over his rival, former Interior Minister Lulzim Basha, out of a quarter million cast. In a sense then, no one won the mayoral race: for all practical purposes, it was a draw.Read the full article
Analysts: Partition statements aimed at scoring pointsSource: B92
BELGRADE -- Analysts say that Deputy PM Ivica Dačić’s statements regarding partition of Kosovo are aimed at scoring “political points”.
A question has been raised, however, whether the deputy prime minister overstepped “the red line” when it comes to the state policy toward Kosovo.
Partition of territory among the Serbs and Albanians, which was strongly opposed by all Serbian governments since the democratic changes took place, is actually a solution that was discussed by the Serbian parliament in late 1960s, Serbian President Boris Tadić said commenting on Dačić’s statements.
The deputy prime minister spoke about partition of Kosovo last week.
Tadić pointed out, however, that Dačić's positions did not affect relations within the ruling coalition.
Political analyst Milan Nikolić believes that the deputy PM thinks that these statements will increase his popularity.
Analyst Đorđe Vukadinović thinks that Dačić's opinions could have a negative impact on Serbia's position ahead of the Belgrade-Priština talks that will be held in June. He added that he believed that Serbia was slowly renouncing Resolution 1244 by voicing ideas about partition of Kosovo.
Serbian Constitution from 2006 states in its preamble that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia and that all state bodies need to protect Serbia's state interests in Kosovo.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Many times in the past heard a lot about him that example is from Main base of Himara not interested, forget its origin, etc. The interview speaks for everyone and everything about the places properties and gives us the answers.
The electoral commission is still counting votes from a tight race for Tirana mayor following May 8 local elections seen as a major test of the political stability of a Balkan country hoping to join the EU.
"It is key that the central election commission plays its role in guaranteeing the respect of the legal framework and in particular the transparency of the process," said Natasha Butler, a European Commission spokeswoman.
Butler, spokeswoman for EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele, urged the commission to live up to its role as a "key independent institution" in the electoral process.
"It is important that this process is done absolutely free of political interference," she said.
"There cannot be two different results for these elections. Results should be declared without delay and all steps have to be conducted in full respect of the rules and procedure."
The political tensions prompted European Commission president Jose Manuel Barrosos to cancel a trip to Tirana on Friday. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has appealed for calm.
The electoral commission is counting Tirana votes that were dropped in the wrong ballot boxes.
According to provisional results, opposition leader Edi Rama -- who is seeking his fourth mandate as Tirana mayor -- beat the government's candidate Lulezim Basha by a mere 10 votes.
Rama's Socialist Party has slammed the new count -- or re-evaluation as the commission calls it -- as illegal and called for a "popular uprising" to stop it.
Butler denied that Barroso's decision to cancel his trip shoud be seen as a disengagement from Albania.
"We are looking at this very closely right now, and monitoring this on a day to day, hour to hour basis," Butler said.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
THE SUN NEWSPAPER
78 Albanian killers on
the loose in Britain
A HUNDRED Albanian criminals - 78 of them MURDERERS - are being hunted in Britain.
The fugitives also include rapists, drug traffickers and robbers.
Many have lived in the UK for years, committing more crimes under false names.
Some were even given British passports after fleeing their homeland.
The killers are being hunted by Scotland Yard's Extradition Unit so they can be kicked out of the country.
Two detectives from the unit have collected a dossier on the men from cops in the Albanian capital Tirana.
One fugitive is boss of an international gang. Another shot dead his victim with a sub-machine gun soon after being freed from jail.
Other killers on the run here include a security guard who shot a colleague, and a gunman who blasted a farmer in a row over animals blocking a road.
Det Sgt Mel Humphreys, of the Extradition Unit, pledged: "These people will spend their lives looking over their shoulders."
Pellumb Seferi, head of Interpol in Albania, said of the 100 fugitives: "The majority are very dangerous.
"We have to work hard with our colleagues in London to send these criminals back to Albania to face justice."
The Yard has already had success. Gun killer Marash Gjoka, 48, was found in Catford, South East London, after 11 years on the run.
He has been extradited to Albania where he faces 20 years in jail.
Lulzim Hoxhaj, 44, who sneaked into Britain in 1999 after killing a man and wounding two others in a hail of machine-gun fire, was tracked to Newcastle. He has been extradited.
The Extradition Unit features in Cutting Edge - Hunting Britain's Most Wanted, on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3588634/Gypsy-mansions-in-Romania-built-from-British-benefits.html#ixzz1Muf7Xiac
EU foreign policy chief calls on political leaders in Albania to overcome differences and find a solution to the dispute over the race for mayor of Tirana.
|Catherine Ashton | Photo by : EC|
“The narrow result in the mayoral elections in Tirana means that both sides need to reach out, overcome differences and find solutions,” said Ashton in a statement issued late Wednesday night, while noting that clashes between opposition supporters and police on Saturday had shown “the fragility of the political situation.”
Ashton urged all political leaders in Albania and in the city of Tirana to support the finalisation of the election process calmly, constructively and with a focus on the future.
“This must be done within the existing institutions and within the existing legal framework, rules and practices,” the EU chief diplomat said.
“All political leaders carry a particular responsibility not to put the lives of citizens at risk," she added.
Meanwhile local media reported that EU President Jose Manuel Barroso has cancelled his visit to Tirana, scheduled for Friday.
Opposition leader Edi Rama called for popular revolts against the government on Wednesday night after the Electoral Commission controversially overturned his victory in the race for Tirana mayor, part of the May 8 local elections in the country.
The Central Electoral Commission, CEC, overturned on Wednesday afternoon Rama’s razor thin lead of ten votes in the Tirana race against his Democratic Party rival Lulzim Basha, by counting selected ballot boxes of the city council and district races which contained misplaced ballots from the race for mayor.
The counting of the misplaced ballots gave Basha a slight lead of a handful of votes.
The Socialists argue that the CEC move is illegal and a challenge to the basic principles and democratic values of the country. However, the Democrats reject such accusations, saying that they are making sure that every vote is counted and the will of every voter expressed in the results.
Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of opposition supporters, including two dozen MPs, clashed with police outside the CEC building when Socialist MPs tried to storm the Commission's meeting.
The May 8 local elections were seen as key test for Albania’s democratic credentials after a nearly two year long political crisis and the January 21 anti-government protests which left four protestors dead and dozens wounded.
The ruling party and the opposition have blamed each other for the violent riots, and the recent tension between Rama’s Socialists and the parliamentary majority of Prime Minister Berisha has aggravated an already poisoned political climate which has been in a troubled state since the disputed June 2009 parliamentary elections.
Barroso postpones planned visit to Tirana
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has postponed his visit to Albania due to political tensions surrounding the count of votes following the 8 May local elections in the country. “The tensions related to the ongoing vote count would undoubtedly affect the focus of the president’s discussions with the country’s political leaders and are not conducive to productive meetings,” said the Commission's press services, on 19 May.
Barroso, accompanied by the Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Stefan Füle, was supposed to arrive in Tirana, on 20 May, for a one-day visit after travelling earlier to Serbia and Kosovo (see Europolitics4204). Violent incidents reportedly took place in Tirana, on 18 May, during a demonstration staged by hundreds of Albanian opposition supporters against the delay in the release of results.
The opposition claims their leader, Edi Rama, was re-elected as mayor of the capital, Tirana, in the 8 May polls. They object to the electoral commission considering a recount of the votes, arguing the move threatens political stability.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has called on “all political leaders in Albania and in the city of Tirana to support the finalisation of the election process calmly, constructively and with a focus on the future”.
Albania tense over razor-thin vote in capital
- Clashes erupt at the central election panel, which is tabulating votes
- The Socialist Party mayor holds a 10-vote lead
- But a final count could tip the vote in favor of the government candidate
- Political tension has run high in Albania since a 2009 disputed election
Tirana, Albania (CNN) -- Tension escalated in the Albanian capital Thursday as opposition members clashed with police outside the building where a commission is re-evaluating votes from a local election that was seen as a crucible for stability in the Balkan nation.
Members of the opposition Socialist Party attempted to enter the commission building by force. Police pushed them back.
Protests also erupted in three other towns, including Kavaja, where roads were blocked and people burned tires.
At issue is a razor-thin Tirana mayoral race in which the head of the opposition, Edi Rama, held only a 10-vote lead. A final vote tabulation by the Central Election Committee could tip the results of the May 8 vote in favor of the government candidate, former Interior Minister Lulzim Basha.
Rama's Socialist Party has accused the ruling Democratic Party of vote manipulation and has asked to check ballot boxes.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, urged a peaceful resolution.
"The narrow result in the mayoral elections in Tirana means that both sides need to reach out, overcome differences and find solutions," Ashton said in a statement issued Thursday.
"Developments today have shown the fragility of the political situation," she said. "I urge all political leaders in Albania and in the city of Tirana to support the finalisation of the election process calmly, constructively and with a focus on the future."
Albania, a former Stalinist nation, abandoned communism in the 1990s but the path to democracy has been bumpy. Past elections have been criticized for not being free or fair. About 300 international monitors and observers were on hand for this round of voting, a test for whether Albania was ready to join the European Union.
Albania submitted its application for membership in April 2009.
The Socialist Party has won 70% of local elections, winning seats in other Albanian towns and cities. But Tirana remained in contention after a monthlong campaign leading up to the vote was marred by violence, including explosions, stabbings, beatings and threats.
Earlier in the year, Rama, a three-term mayor of Tirana, had promoted protests alleging government corruption and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Sal Berisha. Four people were killed in the protests, for which the opposition held Basha culpable.
The recent clashes and back-and-forth allegations stem from a longstanding political stalemate following a disputed June 2009 election, one that international diplomats are pushing hard for Albanian leaders to resolve peacefully.
The country's supreme court, however, determined that those elections -- which returned Berisha to power -- were valid, and the ballots were burned by the Central Election Commission.
Since then, tension has mounted between the government and its political rivals.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Hundreds of Socialist Party supporters, including two dozens MPs, clashed with police in Tirana on Wednesday, accusing the ruling party of illegally overturning the election results in the capital.
|Socialist supporters clash with police outside Albania's Central Electoral Commision | Photo by : Besar Likmeta|
The clashes erupted outside Albania’s Central Electoral Commission, CEC, when Socialist MPs tried to storm a CEC meeting where an act was passed that will potentially overturn the 10-vote lead of opposition leader Edi Rama in the race for the municipality of Tirana.
Preliminary data from counting stations of the May 8 local elections show that Socialist Party leader Rama has a 10 vote lead, out of 250,623 valid ballots cast, over his ruling Democratic Party rival Lulzim Basha.
However, the Democrats maintain that in certain polling stations, some ballots for the mayor’s race were cast in the ballot box for city council, and argue that those votes must be added to the final tally.
The seven-member Central Electoral Commission is dominated by members of the ruling party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
In a session on Wednesday that saw heated debates between the commission members, the CEC ordered the recount of the ballot boxes which have been flagged by Democratic Party commissioners at some of Tirana’s counting stations. This is the decision that prompted the clashes between Socialist supporters and police.
|Socialist supporters outside Albania's Central Electoral Commision | Video by : Besar Likmeta|
Socialists argue that the CEC act is extra-legal and say it changes the rules of the game after the counting of ballots for the mayor’s race ended last Saturday.
In a press conference on Tuesday, opposition leader Edi Rama accused Prime Minister Sali Berisha of threatening the country’s stability by trying to overturn the election results.
“The result of the election in Tirana is being overthrown through a totally illegal process,” Rama said. “My appeal for Sali [Berisha] is to stop and not impose a breach of the law, which sends the elections process out of control and threatens democracy in the country,” he added.
Berisha responded on Wednesday morning during a cabinet meeting, accusing Rama of trying to impose election results.
“Rama should not encircle independent institutions,” Berisha said. “He [Edi Rama] is trying to impose himself in order to make the preliminary result the final result,” Berisha added.
The May 8 local elections were seen as key test for Albania’s democratic credentials after a nearly two year long political crisis and the January 21 anti-government protests which left four protestors dead and dozens wounded.
However, after a calm election day, the ballot counting process has been slow and run into political pressure from parties, especially in the race for Tirana.
Albania opposition holds protest against delayed release of local election results
By Llazar Semini, The Associated Press TIRANA, Albania —
Opposition lawmakers furious at an election commission's decision ordering a recount of ballots in the race for the mayorship of the capital scuffled with riot police Wednesday during a protest over delayed local election results. Albania has been gripped by a political crisis for months, with the opposition alleging corruption among the governing Democrats and that they rigged national elections in 2009.
The crisis has led to sometimes violent demonstrations in the small Balkan country of 4.2 million, with four opposition supporters shot dead in clashes with police in January. Prime Minister Sali Berisha has repeatedly rejected opposition calls for his resignation. The latest spat is over May 8 local elections, with most of the tension centring around the vote for the mayor of the capital city, Tirana. An initial count showed incumbent Edi Rama, a three-time Tirana mayor who heads the opposition Socialist party, ahead with a razor-thin lead of just 10 votes.
He was running against Lulzim Basha, a former interior minister and member of the governing Democrat party. In a 4-3 vote Wednesday, the seven-member election commission ordered a recount of votes for the mayor on the grounds that some ballots had been cast into the wrong boxes. "There is no electoral system in this country, there could be no free and fair elections here," said Genc Gjoncaj, a Socialist party legal representative. Angered by the decision, more than a dozen opposition lawmakers, assisted by opposition party supporters, climbed over police who had surrounded the election commission building in an attempt to get inside. "We call on the people from this moment to come out and defend their vote, to overthrow such a fascist dictatorship," said Socialist lawmaker Fatmir Xhafaj.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Berisha called on Rama to ensure his supporters moved away from the commission building, warning that otherwise "there will be extraordinary grave consequences." On Tuesday, more than two dozen opposition supporters stormed into the building, stopping a commission meeting being held inside. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United States and European Union officials called for calm and urged all sides to exercise self-restraint.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Foreign media, declared Edi Rama as the winner of the Mayor of Tirana in the local elections of 8 May 2011 in Albania. Foreign media commented the elections in Albania, considering these as very important in terms of integration into the European Union.
Reuters: Rama wins with a small difference
Brussels, at the time when rejected the Albania′s application for membership last November, clearly expressed that the vote must be free and fair to take into consideration the status of candidate country at the end of this year, write them.
Reuters news agency wrote about the victory of Socialist Party leader Edi Rama, who won his fourth term as mayor of Tirana with a close difference.
Reuters further has written that Rama defeated his opponent from the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha only with 10 votes. The same thing also writes the French news agency AFP.
Albania, a NATO member, according to Reuters, continues to suffer the wounds of post-communism, including violent clashes of January, during which were killed four anti-government protesters.
At a press conference the Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha said that although the majority has irrefutable evidence that Basha is the winner, they will accept any outcome determined by the Central Election Commission.
Sali Berisha: Even though we are the winners, will wait the result from CEC
" We guarantee that we will accept any outcome determined by the democratic institutions of this country, and we are going to stand behind every controversial vote so that the votes of citizens have the same value and weight and it will become more transparent," said Berisha .
Berisha, stated that he is a man of national struggle, considering that the Alliance for Citizen has dominated nationally