Saturday, September 10, 2011
U.S.: The political situation in Albania is worrying
According to VOA, the U.S. ambassador made the remarks yesterday during the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
Ambassador Kelly said that United States welcome the decision of the Socialist Party to return to parliament. Washington, he said, calls on the Socialist Party to fulfill its commitment to a full and active participation in parliament, and makes the same appeal to the ruling coalition to create a more inclusive political climate.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Foreign Ministry Secretary General to visit Tirana (8 September 2011)
Foreign Ministry Secretary General Ambassador Yannis-Alexis Zepos will carry out a working visit to Tirana, Albania, on Thursday, 8 September 2011. Mr. Zepos will meet with his Albanian counterpart, Gazmend Turdiu, and will be received by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berish and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto.
The deputy chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council , sipahi Kresnik, said the country's national question can not be part of trade negotiations and compromises.
Referring to a telegram published by Wikileaks, the sipahi said photographs clearly Athens who blackmails Albania for membership in a time integration can be done formally by Brussels and by the 12-point conditions, Brussels to be fulfilled by Albania.
"Today, many Albanians have different political beliefs, there are groups with different religious beliefs, but in this case there is a common theme, a national issue, which is not available for opportunistic statements or Athens or Belgrade and not part of conciliation."The telegram of the American embassy clearly brings the guise of Athens, to persuade the Albanians to sign the Agreement of the waters. We do not want to Athens, as a lawyer in Brussels and we do not need lawyers, but we can not compromise with Athens in this national issue, "said sipahi.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
With increased naval presence, Ankara wants to show flag, but not risk confrontation
Turkey has economic as much as political interests at stake as it vows to take a more assertive role in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, but Ankara risks entangling itself in military and legal confrontations with Israel along the way, analysts say.
Turkey’s new stance was unveiled by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday and subsequently elaborated by lower-level diplomats amid Turkey’s deteriorating relations with Israel over the Mavi Marmara incident 15 months ago. But Ankara’s new assertiveness was also directed at Cyprus, which is embarking on offshore gas and oil exploration plans next month.
Analysts said the new assertiveness marked the latest step in Turkey’s efforts to revive the regional power and prestige of the Ottoman era when it ruled over much of the Middle East and North Africa. Ankara doesn’t seek to reestablish its rule, which came to an end after the First World War, but to become a key player through a network of closer political and commercial ties.
“The days when Turkey was only Asia Minor are gone. They are doing it through economic ties. They have become a real economic power in the Muslim Middle East and beyond, to Uzbekistan and Kirghizstan,” Robbie Sabel, who teaches international law at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told The Media Line. “The flag follows trade.”
Under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has worked to build ties with its neighbors in all directions, including the Arab states to its south, the central Asian republics to its east and the Balkan countries to its north, by resolving long-simmering diplomatic tensions and offering trade and tourism deals. But Israel, once a close partner and even strategic ally of Turkey, has been given a cold shoulder.
“Turkey is trying to be the leading country of the region, not only militarily and diplomatically but also through its economy. The people leading Turkey understand the importance of the economy,” Salih Bicakci, associate professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Isik University
He pointed to the speed with which Turkey re-opened its embassy in Libya. Turkey signed billions of dollars in contracts with the regime of deposed strongman Muamar Al-Qaddafi and wants to ensure it takes a key role in the country’s post-civil war reconstruction. Even as relations with Israel have grown tense, trade has continued to grow.
Nevertheless, he said, Ankara wants a bigger role in the eastern Mediterranean.
“By saying it he [Davutoglu] wants to send the message that Turkey is a protector of the region and that we don’t want to give all security issues to the European Union, the United Nations or to NATO. Turkey has a role in this region,” Bicakci said.
Turkey’s new stance on the eastern Mediterranean came as part a series of steps against Israel, including a downgrade of diplomatic relations and a suspension of military cooperation, in response to the continued crisis over the Mavi Marmara incident 15 months ago.
“Turkey will take every precaution it deems necessary for the safety of maritime navigation in the eastern Mediterranean,” Davutoglu said at a news conference without elaborating on what he meant by taking “every precaution.”
Turkey has been demanding an official apology from Israel, as well as compensation for the nine people killed in an Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, a ship which was trying to breach Israel’s blockade to the Gaza Strip. Last month Israel rejected the demands.
Last Thursday, however, The New York Times leaked a UN report on the Mavi Marmara incident, which concluded that the blockade was legal and that the ship’s passengers acted in an “organized and violent” way. The report blamed Israel for using excessive force that led to nine deaths, but the leak angered Ankara.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Albania - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Edmond Haxhinasto received a delegation from the Council of Europe
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Edmond Haxhinasto received today a delegation from the Council of Europe, members of the Advisory Committee of Framework Convention for the Protection of Minorities.
At this meeting Mr. Haxhinasto stressed that Albania is an excellent example of respect for minorities, religions, ethnicities in the region and beyond. Following Mr.Haxhinasto underlined that the respect for minorities is a fundamental issue of the Interior and Foreign policy of Albania.
On their turn, members of the Advisory Committee of Framework Convention on minorities expressed that they were impressed by the achievements of Albania in the treatment and respect for minorities.
In the context of the issue of population census to be conducted in early October, Mr. Haxhinasto said that the census is in full compliance with the European standards and offers a guarantee against any manipulation.
The delegation of the Advisory Committee, composed of Mrs.. Sanders Marajke Ten Holt (from Holland), Barbara Wilson (from Switzerland) and Christoph Zyma (by the CoE Secretariat). These experts are in Tirana to examine the latest national report for the minority prepared by the Albanian State, submitted to CoE in January 2011.
Greece and Israel agree on military cooperationSource: Ria novosti
ATHENS -- The Defense Minister of Greece Panos Beglitis and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak signed a memorandum on military cooperation in Jerusalem on Sunday.
This was announced by the Greek Ministry of Defense, RIA Novosti reported.
The contents of the memorandum is undisclosed. Panos Beglitis said that the two governments intend to cooperate closely.
"Our relations with Israel are not under the influence of the current condition," said Beglitis.
Greece has recently improved relations with Israel, exploiting the rift between Tel Aviv and Ankara over the Israeli attack on the pro-Palestinian Freedom Flotilla last year when nine Turks were killed, the Russian news agency reported.
"The socialist opposition will be present in the Albanian parliament to take up its national responsibilities with regards to Albania's integration into the European Union," opposition Socialist leader Edi Rama told his party's deputies.
The move comes just over a month before the European Commission is due to give its assessment on Albania's demand for EU candidate status, on October 12
The opposition which has boycotted all votes that require an absolute majority in parliament has been under enormous pressure from Brussels to resume its participation in parliament.
With the assessment of the EU so close, observers say Rama does not want to be seen as the one blocking EU entry by continuing the political stalemate.
"We will be here to vote in laws that are necessary for the functioning of the real rule of law and to lead a strong fight against corruption that has not only taken the justice system hostage but also some sectors in the Albanian economy," said Rama.
The Balkan nation has been mired in political crisis since disputed June 2009 legislative elections.
The opposition has never recognised Prime Minister Sali Berisha's victory at the polls and demanded a recount amid allegations of fraud. It had been boycotting parliament on and off for two years.
Every Albanian election since the fall of communism in the early 1990s has been marred by accusations of fraud.
However the current political stalemate has threatened to hamper Albania's bid to get EU candidate statues by the end of the year. Tirana is due to vote on judicial reforms as well as a new media law that requires a three fifths majority in parliament, 84 votes in the 140-seat parliament.
Albania's request for EU candidate status was rejected last December. Instead, Brussels urged Tirana to step up its fight against corruption and also expressed concern about the political crisis.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Another scandal in Albania, Wikileaks ....
U.S.Cable : The Chief of Staff of the Albanian Army, is corrupted
A cablegram shocking that former U.S. Ambassador John Withers has sent to the State Department in November of 2008, connecting the current chief of staff, Colonel Jamal Gjunkshi with a proper scheme of corruption in the Albanian army.
The cablegram tells that the Colonel Gjunkshi, then commander of the Commando Regimen,t was accused by a group of Albanian army officers to take money to appoint military in peacekeeping missions overseas, primarily Iraq.
The American Embassy cablegram says that paying a bribe to the military to go to Iraq is 7 thousand dollars, nearly half the compensation they would receive for a period of 6 months stay there.
The group of officers, who accused Colonel Gjunkshi, through a confidential letter notified about this affair highest leaders of the government.
On paper, the current Chief of Staff accused of bribery not only in determining the commandos who go on missions overseas, but also involved in other corrupt schemes.
As officers of cablegram detects and have even threatened to send the letter also to the prestigious New York Times newspaper, which at that time had become rather less well known in Albania because of investigations into corruption in the event the depot.
The US embassy says that the practice of bribery in peacekeeping missions is not new for the Albanian army and its consequences are that commando missions abroad are also sent untrained people.
Unite States have been very concerned by this scheme of bribes in the army and extensive self Widhers ambassador wrote in documents that will launch Washington raised this concern to senior executives in government.
Former Commando Regiment commander, Colonel Jamal Gjunkshi few weeks ago was put in charge of General Chief Staff of the Albanian Army.
Filettino declares independence from Italy in protest at Silvio Berlusconi's cuts
The small Italian town of Filettino has declared itself independent in protest at planned spending cuts by Silvio Berlusconi's government.
As part of the austerity measures, Filettino was ordered to merge with neighbouring Trevi in a bid to cut administration costs.
Mayor Luca Sellari was unimpressed by the idea and set about transforming the 550-resident town into an independent state.
Local people have reacted enthusiastically to his plan for Filettino to become a principality, with him as the monarch.
'If that's what it takes to keep the town autonomous and protect its natural resources,' he told the New York Times. 'It's everyone's dream to be a prince.'
Mr Sellari - or perhaps that should be Prince Luca - has begun printing his own currency, the Fiorito, complete with notes featuring an image of himself.
Shops in Filettino now accept them as legal tender and the tourists who have flocked to the town since the independence plan was announced have been buying them as souvenirs.
The move reflects the widespread unease among councils about Mr Berlusconi's plans to reorganise local government as part of his response to the eurozone crisis.
And Mr Sellari believes there is no reason why independence should not work for Filettino, as San Marino manages to survive.
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/874355-filettino-declares-independence-from-italy-in-protest-at-silvio-berlusconis-cuts#ixzz1WxygBINP
Is Himara paying extra taxes for Albania?
A citizen of Himara, sends letter to Albanian Ombudsman: The Municipality of Himara applies taxes, as in Benelux countries.
The Himara Municipality has taken taxes from its citizens forcefully, four times more than needs, for Albanian State
NGO-s of Himara is seeing very critic the taxes situation of Himara Municipality, after property issue.
The Himara `s resident, Milton Polo, from Kiparo village, has asked the Albanian Ombudsman, to review the taxes that, the Himara Municipality under the Albanian State, has applied to their citizens. Milto Polo, a resident, complains that it is in economic assistance and is unable to pay four times the taxes that it is a municipality, as classified for Himara the third category Municipality, in Albania.
The complaint has come to the Himara Municipality and the Mayor George Goros, who has promised to call urgently the Municipality Council, for the tax reduction.
In fact, all campaigning for the Himara Municipality, has been characterized by a "hot war" between the candidates, in which, the winner should lower taxes for the local population, which is the only Region in Albania, that paying taxes regularly more 100%.
The new Himara `s Mayor, George Goros, has promised tax cuts to businesses and construction permits, which are four times higher in Albania, while has accused former Mayor Vasillios Bollano as "dictator to their citizens" separately, applying taxes, bigger than himself, to Benelux's countries.
During electoral campaign, former Mayor Bollanos declared that to the Albanian media, "We have applied four times taxes more than was planed by the Albanian parliament".
According to new law, the Albanian state takes about 80% of taxes by Municipalities and local administrative.
In addition the NGO-s of Himara Region, are seeing very concerning after the property issue, the taxes that the Municipality of Himara, applies for their citizens, considering the taxes to go extra for the Albanian budget, not for their residents.