Friday, February 17, 2012

Kosovo Independence Celebrations

"Top Channel TV"

Kosovo Independence Celebrations
Four years ago, on 17 February 2008, the centuries old dreams of the Albanians for the freedom and independence of Kosovo were accomplished, by transforming the history of this country and turning it into an independent and sovereign state.

Today is a great day that is celebrated by everyone with harmony and tolerance, without forgetting the people thanks to whom Kosovo arrived to this day.

The Kosovo Security Forces paraded in the “Skenderbeu” Square, in Prishtina.

Jahjaga: Proud for this big day

“The Independence of Kosovo, declared four years ago, is a century old effort, the fruit of the work of many generations that worked and were sacrificed in the altar of freedom, so that we can be free, equal and with the same dignity as all other countries of the world”, declared Jahjaga in the Kosovo Security Forces Parade.

“Today we remember with pride the people that never stopped working for their homeland; the activists, the intellectuals, the fighters, the workers, the farmers and common citizens who gave their lives and contributed with their everyday work to our great national cause, which at the same time is a human cause, a civilization cause, as is freedom and the self-determination of a people. The Republic of Kosovom a sovereign and independent country has its territorial integrity guaranteed and internationally accepted. Kosovo has its complete international representation, same as all other countries, in full equality and reciprocity”, Jahjaga declared.

The President added that the Republic of Kosovo is an undeniable and nonnegotiable fact, a reality accepted by everyone and that is valued as a factor of peace and stability, considered as the most righteous and only solution. The Republic of Kosovo is having bilateral relations with a series of states, while it has become a good example in the relations with its neighbors, which is respected and honored. Kosovo has been recognized by 87 states, and among them are the countries with the most developed democracy and economy in the world. However, this number is still not enough for the aspirations of the newest European state.

Uganda, the 88th country that recognizes Kosovo

The Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, announced in a press release that Uganda has recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Uganda, an African State with more than 30 million residents is the 88th country that has recognized Kosovo’s independence. This was made public in the fourth anniversary of Kosovo’s Independence.

Pacolli presented the verbal note with which Uganda confirms the recognition of Kosovo.

Greece and Serbia Sign Memorandum of Cooperation in Belgrade

The President of the Greek Parliament, Philippos Petsalnikos, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with his Serb counterpart, Slavica Jukic-Dejanovic, on Monday in Belgrade.
The Memorandum establishes the continuance of the cooperation between the Greek and the Serbian Parliament, and also stipulates that Greece will help Serbia in its EU integration process.
Petsalnikos highlighted that the Greek proposal was the best among 8 others launched by European Parliaments, and confirmed his country’s support towards Serbia in joining the EU.
The Greek deputy also met with the Serb President Boris Tadic.

Αdriano Celentano: “Greece Was Forced to Buy Weapons from Germany and France”

(original story in Greek by Inga Athanasiadou)
Internationally acclaimed Italian singer and actor Adriano Celentano, while at the San Remo Music Festival 2012, referred to the Greek debt crisis and the “compulsory purchase of weapons the country had to make from Germany and France”.
“Merkel and Sarkozy told Greece that if it wanted their help, it had to buy armored trucks and war vessels from them. Thus, imposing new austerity measures on the Greek people, who have now reached their limits”, commented Celentano.
“Not only Italian Corriere della Sera, but NY Wall Street Journal have revealed that Berlin and Paris sold weapons to Greece in order to help it financially. Is this the cynical Europe we want? A Europe full of weapons?” wondered the Italian singer.
Celentano also referred to the politicization of the catholic newspapers in Italy and to the Supreme Court of Italy rejecting the referendum proposal for changing the electoral legislation, while he described the new Monti government of his country as made of “first-class material but subject to the corrosive powers of the political parties”.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Tunnel of "submarines" in Panormo, will be "Private Museum" of the Cold War

The State of the Culture Albanian Commission, has given to an Italian company, for it dishonored the "Cold War Museum", some part of the properties that belong to the people of Himara successors

At the same methods, the Albanian government is giving the fortress of "Ali Pasha Tepelena" without first asking the local population and its history

Actions considered "Mafia", have already included the Albanian government, which currently make decisions that are not in accordance with the sentiments of the people and history of Himara submits are cultural works, interest groups who have no connection with Himara community members, or their legitimate successors.
Decisions, are part of a non-transparent process with the people of Himara, which about 70% of the population living in the diaspora, which is attached, another process which is considered failure, the Tourist Development Plan for Region Himara sources to appropriate historical, cultural and economic of the Himara the Region.

Himara, posing risks for the history and heritage

No government, has never demonstrated to have feelings of the population, respect, which as a region, inherits a 2600-year history of independence from all systems and empires. The only area, the Himara Municipality, is considered by tourists and foreign experts in the field of tourism as the pearl of Albania and the World Destination of Tourism, but Albania and the International Mafia, helped by corruption on non trasparent process of registration of properties, whic is seeking to return to darling virgin, in a public territory, fulfilling the dream of Albanian nationalists, to consider Himara, as a core battle against Hellenism, at a time when the province is keen to build their own future, based on independence from Tirana and Athens.

Mayor George Goro again in Washington

According to sources from Himara Diaspora in USA, The Mayor of Himara Goror George, will visit Washington unexpectedly for the second time, but details of the visit, confirm to express criticism addressed to Goro, during the mandate of local government in Himara.

Also in Washington, will go very Himara personalities, including Olympic champion Pyrros Dhimas , mostly from Albania.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Athens today the Secretary General of NATO on the anniversary of the accession of Greece

Visit Athens is currently conducting the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on the occasion of completing 60 years of the accession of Greece to the Agency in 1952.

Rasmussen will meet with Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas, at the conference "Greece and NATO: present and future" organized by the Greek Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) in Athens Concert Hall, where both will be speakers.

Dimas will meet privately with Mr. Rasmussen at 12:55 at the Foreign Ministry.

According to a statement of NATO, Mr. Rasmussen will meet with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister L. Papademos and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Defense.

Kosovo Serbs say 'no' to ethnic Albanian rule Two-day referendum has no legal weight and has been dismissed by both Belgrade and Pristina

Reaction after nortern Kosovo Referendum

Al Jazeera

Two-day referendum has no legal weight and has been dismissed by both Belgrade and Pristina.
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2012 00
Analysts say the referendum demonstrates that the Kosovan government does not control the whole of its territory [AFP]
Serb voters in northern Kosovo have rejected ethnic Albanian rule in a referendum, defying efforts by Serbia and the EU to resolve differences over the territory.

"Out of those who voted, 99.74 per cent answered 'no' to the referendum question" if they accept Pristina institutions, Ljubomir Radovic, a spokesman of the referendum commission told reporters after all the votes were counted on Wednesday.
In all four Serb-dominated municipalities in northern Kosovo, where 75 per cent of voters cast ballots out of the 35,500 eligible to vote, only "69 votes were marked 'yes'," Radovic said.
However, the two-day referendum has no legal weight and has been dismissed by both Belgrade and Pristina as well as the international community.
The vote was called as many Kosovo Serbs fear that Belgrade, which is hoping to win official EU candidate status in March, would eventually give up its claim to Kosovo.
Neither Serbia nor local Serbs recognise the 2008 unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo.

Referendum in north: 99.74% say "No" to Priština

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Polls are closed in the two-day referendum in the four, predominantly Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo; turnout of 75.28 percent reported.
A polling station in Zvečan (Tanjug)
A polling station in Zvečan (Tanjug)
According to the first, unofficial results, 99.74 percent of those who decided to vote did so to reject the Kosovo institutions.
The area north of the Ibar River has consistently rejected the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the unilateral proclamation of independence made by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians four years ago.

see more photos of the day

In the two days of voting, 69 residents in the north, or 0.26 percent, voted "Yes" to the referendum question, "Do you accept the institutions of the so-called Republic of Kosovo?"

The final and official results will be announced on Sunday.

Organizers claim that the referendum was "a forced solution". Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor Krstimir Pantić expects the international community to take the position of the Serbs in the north - who do not wish to be a part of an independent Kosovo - into account.

"This referendum, as they have said in Belgrade, will not have any legal consequences, because we were deciding on something that is already contained in the Serbian Constitution - that Kosovo and Metohija is a part of Serbia. However, it will be a clear message that we expect less pressure to be exerted on northern Kosovo by the international community, and for the international community to start changing its approach to solving the many problems," said Pantić.

Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvečan and Zubin Potok - whose mayors all come from parties that are in the opposition on the state level - voted for two days, while Leposavić, whose Mayor Branko Ninić is a ruling Democratic Party (DS) official and was against the referendum, voted only on Wednesday.

The local assembly in Leposavić went against the mayor's stance and decided that the town would organize the plebiscite, but Ninić expects no changes after the voting. He also believes that "anyone who acts out of personal or partisan interests should be sanctioned".

"There was no need for a referendum now, because it will bring nothing new. The citizens, we all know that, will say they are against the (Priština) institutions, and of course, we all know that it (the referendum) is opposed to the stance of our top state officials," Ninić was quoted as saying.

Representatives of the International Crisis Group (ICG) acted as observers and according to local authorities who organized the voting, this organization was "pleased with what they found in the field".

OSCE and the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, said earlier that the referendum was invalid, and that it would have no legal consequences.

Death of Aristotelis Goumas

Special Edition of the "World Enciclopedia" Wikipedia

Death of Aristotelis Goumas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The death of Aristotelis Goumas took place on August 12, 2010, in Himara, Albania, when the motorcycle of 37-year-old ethnic Greek shopkeeper Aristotelis Goumas was hit by a car driven by three Albanian men from Vlore. According to eyewitnesses the death occurred after an altercation in Goumas' store, when the three men demanded that Goumas not speak to them in Greek in his own store, which Goumas refused. The suspects reportedly drove over the victim at least twice to make sure he was dead.
The death sent shockwaves through the ethnic Greek community of Albania, and demonstrators blocked the main highway from Vlore to Saranda, which passes through the region. The event was reported by all major news outlets in both countries, and was strongly condemned by both the Greek and Albanian governments. Three suspects have been charged with murder and are awaiting trial.


On the morning of Thursday, August 12, 2010, three Albanian men from the town of Vlorë accosted Goumas in his store in the predominantly ethnic Greek town of Himara, and demanded that he not speak to them in Greek according to eyewitnesses.[1][2][3] According to eyewitness reports, Goumas refused, resulting in an altercation.[1] The three men then assaulted Goumas.[1][2][3] Several hours later, as Goumas was leaving his store, patrons at the store saw the three men leave in a hurry.[1] Suspecting something to be amiss, friends of the 37-year-old followed them and found Goumas a short distance outside the town lying bleeding on the pavement, his motorcycle bearing marks of a hit and run.[1] According to police reports, the suspects had rammed Goumas' motorcycle with their Audi, injuring him fatally.[1][2][3] The suspects reportedly drove over the victim twice, so as to make sure he was dead, then fled the scene.[1][4]

[edit] Reaction

The death and lack of immediate police response sparked outrage throughout the predominantly ethnic Greek[5] region of Himarë.[2][3] Demonstrators blocked the main highway between the towns of Vlorë and Sarandë using rocks,[2][3] while municipal workers in the town of Himara held a work stoppage.[3] According to the Himariote Union, the death of Goumas was the culmination of a series of recent provocations in the town of Himara by Albanian nationalists.[1]

Local Greeks further called for the replacement of certain individuals in the Himara police force, stating that attacks against ethnic Greeks have occurred frequently in the past and been duly reported, without the local police authorities showing the slightest interest.[4]
Initial reports in the Albania news media characterized the incident as a traffic accident resulting from road rage.[2][3][4] However, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha issued an unusually strong condemnation of the incident, calling the incident an "act of extreme and blind fanaticism" and demanding that police authorities make every effort to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.[1][3][4][6] The death of Goumas was also condemned by the main opposition Albanian Socialist Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration party.[3]

Spiker Topalli in Beirut, Lebanon, lobbies for Kosovo

Topalli in Beirut, Lebanon, lobbies for Kosovo
The Albanian Parliament Speaker, Jozefina Topalli, who is attending an official visit in Lebanon, asked the authorities of this country to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

This is the main goal of the Parliament Speaker in Lebanon, who, in her second day in Beirut, met the Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati. The Parliament Speaker declared that Kosovo is a unique case and that Albania supports the theory for not changing the borders in Balkan.

Kosovo has been recognized by 87 countries, and Spokesperson Topalli expressed the opinion of official Tirana that the Kosovo recognition by Lebanon would be a very important contribution from a Middle East country. Topalli defended this request even during the meetings with the Lebanese President, Mishel Slejman, and her homologue, Namih Berri.

According to Topalli, now is the time that Lebanon becomes the 88th country that recognizes the Kosovo independence, as the other Arab league countries and those from the Persian Golf. During her visit in Beirut, Topalli and the Lebanese authorities agreed to sign all necessary agreements for consolidating the economic relations between the countries. The Lebanese Prime Minister confirmed that he will attend a visit in Tirana, together with a group of investors, and will sign with the Albanian PM, Sali Berisha, some agreements that would facilitate the Lebanese investors in Albania.

Greek police block a ton of hashish "Made in Albania"

- An superBoat with about 1 ton of hashish came from Albania, is blocked by Greek police during an operation conducted yesterday evening.

Corfu police suggests that the suoperboat 11 meters long and with two engines of 350 cubic feet, loaded with a ton of hashish, was blocked on the beach called "Rio Antirio", near the city of Patra (Greece).

Sources by greek police, precision that the marine driver attempted twice to enter tp the Albanian territorial waters, but the border police, in cooperation with the Greek police have launched a joint action to stop the traffickers
"When the boat is inserted inside the waters of Corfu (Greece), in the south of the island, in its pursuit of the police was also Lefkada", specifies the police, adding that after several hours of chase boat was found abandoned in Patra.

Policecoastal city suggested that the driver has left supergomonen to escape arrest, while the control lock a gun Kalashnikov-type automatic fire.

Tirana: Serb Referendum in Kosovo is illegal 
Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it is following the developments in northern Kosovo and expressed concern about holding a referendum organized by the Serbian parallel structures.

Media Adviser at MFA, Eva Kushova stated that "this referendum does not serve the interest of ethnic communities to become fully integrated in the social, economic and political society of the Republic of Kosovo."

"The holding of this referendum does not serve climate of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, a process necessary to resolve important issues for the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia, and quality indicators of their maturity in the process of European integration." - Said Kushova further.

Note: Annyway, this is the first Regional reaction after the Self-Determination of Kosovo in 2008 and giving the Right by Hague Tribunal of Kosoovo Indipendence.

"Next government might turn to Russia"

BELGRADE -- Interior Minister Ivica Dačić told a Belgrade daily that "Europe would make a big mistake" if Serbia were not made candidate for EU membership next month.
Ivica Dačić (file)
Ivica Dačić (file)
Dačić, who is also one of deputy prime ministers and leader of the Socialists (SPS), noted that it was "obvious there was great affection for Russia among the people, while the popularity of the EU was increasingly declining".
Speaking about the conditions set before Serbia in order to become candidate, he said "a way out" was expected to be found in the dialogue with Priština, but added that Serbia must insist on preservation of Resolution 1244 and asymmetrical representation of Kosovo in regional forums.

"If the EU and America fail to understand our position and are always taking the side of (ethnic) Albanians, it is to be expected that a political option will come to power that might turn to Russia," Dačić told Večernje Novosti newspaper.

He also commented on the decision by the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) not to take part in the work of parliament, to say that despite this, the government had not collapsed and that he "did not believe it was in SPO's interest to bring down the government".

However, the minister noted that the party led by Vuk Drašković "obviously no longer wished to be in a coalition with the Democrats, and vice versa".

Dačić also revealed that his Socialists would not join a future coalition where "key leverage" belonged to the SPO and the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP).

"However, the LDP would not create difficulties as a minority part of a coalition, where it would be unable to impose its foreign policy ideas. The (city) government in Belgrade is a good example," he asserted.

Dačić also stated that he was "not rejecting" the Serb Progressives (SNS) or the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) as future partners, but that it was "normal" for his party to first talk to the Democrats, whom he described as "strategic partners".

But Dačić still claims that the DS and the SNS will attempt to form a technical or transitional government after the next election - due to take place in the spring - unless a different majority were "mathematically possible".

Addressing the speculation that the Democrats were "offering him premiership in advance", Dačić said he never discussed this possibility with any DS official.

"Let's wait and do the sums when elections are over. Premiership is not my basic goal," Dačić was quoted as saying.

Second day of referendum in northern Kosovo

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The citizens are on Wednesda voting in the second day of a referendum called in the four predominantly Serb municipalities of northern Kosovo.
A billboard in Kosovoska Mitrovica urges a 'No' vote (Tanjug)
A billboard in Kosovoska Mitrovica urges a 'No' vote (Tanjug)
The voting is continuing for a second day in Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvečan and Zubin Potok, while in Leposavić, the referendum is held only today.
The question on the ballot is, "Do you accept the institutions of the so-called Republic of Kosovo?".

The polling stations will close at 19:00 CET. Some 35,000 citizens are eligible to vote in the four municipalities.

In the three towns that voted on Tuesday, the turnout was 48 percent. 82 polling stations are open today, according to Ljubo Radović of the local election committee in Zvečan.

The first, preliminary results are expected to be known during the night, while the official results will be announced on February 19.

The referendum, meant to make official the Serb rejection of the Kosovo Albanian authorities, has met with opposition from the international community in Kosovo and the government in Priština, who said the voting would have no legal consequences.

Officials in Belgrade are also against this plebiscite, saying that it would deteriorate the position of Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo.

President Boris Tadić on Tuesday said that the referendum organized by local authorities was "harmful when it comes to the state's interests".

"Red and Black", Alliance to visit Washington

A delegation of the "Black Red" Alliance was launched today in Washington an official visit. During his stay in USA, the delegation headed by Kreshnik Spahiu would be expected in the U.S. State Department and perform a series of meetings in the House and Senate.

The delegation consists of red and black activists and some important figures. The visit to Washington comes after the official declaration and full involvement of Kreshnik Spahiu on top politics of this movement.

Albania, Serbia promote sites at major TA tourism expo

Two historical adversaries in the Balkans journey to Tel Aviv to entice Israelis to think different for their next vacation.

A lake in Kukes, Albania By Arben Celi/Reuters
Albania and Serbia may not be at the top of Israelis’ lists of vacation destinations, but the two historical adversaries in the Balkans journeyed to Tel Aviv this week to entice Israelis to think different for their next vacation.

Albanian tour operator Shkelgim “Jimmy” Lama was among the contingent manning the Albanian booth at the Tel Aviv International Mediterranean Tourism Fair (TIMT), below a banner that read: “Albania – a new Mediterranean love.”

Lama said the Albanian delegation came to Israel this year because the country is emerging as a tourist destination after more than four decades of being cut off from the outside world during the reign of Marxist dictator Enver Hoxha, who cultivated a bizarre cult of personality and helped make Albania Europe’s poorest and most-isolated country.

The country has come a long way since it was a punch-line for jokes a little over a decade ago. In the 1997 black comedy Wag the Dog the US constructs a fake TV war with Albania in order to draw attention away from the incumbent president’s sex scandal, the joke being that the country is so unknown to most Americans that the ruse should work.

Also, in Robert Kaplan’s 1994 historical travelogue book Balkan Ghosts he described being in the Albanian port city of Durres in 1990 and watching a crowd gather around a display of safety razors as “hope and wonder registered in their eyes.”

Another running joke is the more than 750,000 concrete bunkers built during Hoxha’s regime, to stave off an “invasion by the West,” which in true North Korean fashion, the people of Albania were told was imminent. Today, campaigns are underway to convert the bunkers into hotel rooms, bars, and restaurants.

Lama said Israelis shouldn’t worry that the country is majority Muslim, saying it is a predominantly secular country with a unique Orthodox Christian, Catholic, and Muslim heritage.

While there are still no direct flights from Tel Aviv to Tirana (or anywhere else in Albania for that matter), Lama said it is only a quick one hour flight from Athens to the resorts on the Albania coastline.

Outside of Israel, it appears Albania is no longer off the tourist radar. It attracted over 3 million visitors in 2011, most of whom visited the 450 kilometers of beaches on the “Albanian Riviera” on the Adriatic Sea coast as well as the country’s three UNESCO world heritage sites. That same year it was also named No. 1 on Lonely Planet’s list of the Top 10 countries to visit in 2011.

Neighboring Serbia also has a great deal to offer Israelis visitors, said Dejan Veselinov, Director of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade.

Veselinov’s expertise is the Serbian capital, the largest city in all of the former Yugoslavia, which has repaired most of the damage suffered in the NATO bombing campaign of 1999.

Veselinov hyped the city as a top-notch “urban vacation” destination, with world-class nightlife, great restaurants, and festivals year-round. When prodded, he also confirmed the city’s reputation for having a disproportionately large population of beautiful women.

He also spoke of the twice-weekly direct flights to Belgrade from Tel Aviv, which he said are perfectly-timed on Wednesdays and Sundays for Israelis looking to make it a very long weekend in Serbia.

Ahead of the expo on Tuesday, Veselinov managed to take a trip to Jerusalem, where he visited sites holy to Christendom, and strolled through the city that is holy to three religions.

He said he felt moved by the city’s mix of history, culture, and conflict, saying “it reminds me of the Balkans.”

The IMTM expo is being held this week on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 18th year in a row. It features dozens of booths promoting domestic tourism in Israel as well as destinations around the globe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New change of borders in the Balkans in view!


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Sunday, 12 February 2012 20:32
During the past twenty four months, Greece has been subjected to the kind of brutal austerity no other European nation had to endure since 1945. Standard of living for millions of Greeks has collapsed; unemployment is pushing past 20 percent; the economy continues to shrink at a precipitous rate; and although the austerity formula has been demonstrated to lead to economic death and destruction, Germany, seconded by several other EU “developed” member states, continues to extract revenge from what she sees as a peripheral country of loafers and habitual liars and not a member EU state with equal and treaty-established rights. If comrade Lenin were alive, he would have instantly recognized the perfect setup for a popular revolution. “I fear for a social explosion,” a veteran foreign correspondent wrote recently; “Greeks can’t take any more punishment.”

So far, Greeks appear confused, and even, some would say, complacent, in the face of certain mass extermination by austerity and have repeatedly surprised foreign observers with their capacity to absorb the most vicious punishment without racing to the barricades.

Will this behavior though last?

How much is enough?

Would there be an explosion of violence as Frau Merkel and the rest of Greece’s “partners” keep tightening the garrote?

These are questions that occupy many inside and outside Greece.

Here’s then a “quick and dirty” Q&A that attempts to shed some light on the potential for a Greek “Commune” which, when it comes, could put May 1968 to shame and trigger unpredictable ripple effects throughout “united” Europe groaning under the economic crisis and the patent failure of European politicians to provide leadership at this critical moment..continues

Albanian helicopter; difficult missions

Difficult air missions
In a sunny day, after an entire grey area, the helicopters were finally ready to start the flying for sending food supply to isolated areas.

The Farka Regiment pilots had prepared their helicopters early in the morning, but they had to wait the trucks with food from the state reserves for more than three hours.

One of the destinations the stadium at Puka, an area that has urgent need of food supply.

After flying over dozens of isolated villages, the helicopter arrived in Puka, but no one was waiting in unloading spot. The pilots unloaded the packs, while the helicopter had to hover for not getting stuck in the snow.

But even after they unloaded the food, the pilots were obliged to take them back. After hovering for five minutes, they were ordered to return to the stadium, and again, it was the pilots who unloaded the packages.

The same thing had happened to another crew, which waited for more than 20 minutes in the air for someone to take the packages. The main pilot went himself to warn the local authorities that the food had arrived.

The pilots flew off the stadium by leaving the food supply in the white field, with the hope that the local authorities would take them before the snow would cover them up.

Polls open in two-day referendum in north

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The citizens in four municipalities of northern Kosovo will vote on today and tomorrow in a referendum on accepting or rejecting the authorities in Priština.
People vote in a polling station in northern Kosovo (Beta)
People vote in a polling station in northern Kosovo (Beta)
The referendum question reads, "Do you accept the institutions of the so-called Republic of Kosovo".
A total of 21 percent or 4,842 citizens cast their ballots in three municipalities of northern Kosovo until noon, representative of the Referendum Commission Ljubomir Radović stated.

Radović told a press conference in Zvečan that, out of the total number of eligible voters, 15 percent voted in the city until noon, while 11 percent cast their vote in Zubin Potok and 30.1 percent in Kosovska Mitrovica.

The citizens of Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvečan and Zubin Potok will be able to vote on Tuesday and Wednesday, while in Leposavić the referendum will be held only on Wednesday.

Earlier on Monday, Radović told Tanjug that 35,500 ballots have been printed, some in Albanian, which citizens would use on 82 polling stations in northern Kosovo to vote.

The preliminary results will be made public late on February 15, while the final results would be released on February 19.

Radović also pointed out that representatives of UNMIK and OSCE have been invited to monitor the course of the referendum, and that representatives of the International Crisis Group have already expressed willingness to observe the referendum.

He said that all polls were open in urban areas this morning and that the voting was taking place without problems, but that it was still unknown what the situation in some villages was, considering the weather, where snow and low temperatures cut off many places.

Radović said that for this reason the turnout will likely be lower than expected.

Representatives of international community and the government in Priština were against the holding of the referendum saying it would have no legal consequences. Officials in Belgrade were also agains, as they believe it will deteriorate the position of Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo.

79 suspects arrested on rioting and looting charges linked to the previous day's violence in central Athens, 53 are local residents, nine are Albanian nationals

AMNA--Ninety three buildings totally destroyed or seriously damaged by fire, among them nine listed or historically significant buildings, and at least 150 others looted and damaged, were the sad toll of Sunday's violent riots in downtown Athens, according to the latest reckoning on Monday.
A total of 74 people were arrested during the rioting while more than 90 people were brought in for questioning by security police during clashes between riot police and groups of hood-wearing youths that infiltrated a large but mainly peaceful demonstration against new harsh austerity measures.

 Police on Monday announced that of the 79 suspects arrested on rioting and looting charges linked to the previous day's violence in central Athens, 53 are local residents, nine are Albanian nationals, while the rest of the arrested suspects include four Algerians, a Tunisian, one Mauritanian man, two Romanian nationals, two Poles, an Afghan, four Palestinians and one Iraqi.
Authorities did not specify whether the foreign nationals are considered illegal migrants or holders of legal residence permits or valid travel documents.
Moreover, three of those in custody are minors, aged between 14 and 17 years old; 41 suspects are aged from 19 to 29; 27 from 31 to 39 and eight suspects over the age of 40.
Of the 92 individuals detained for questioning, 68 are Greek citizens and 24 are foreign nationals -- two Armenians, three Albanians, a Pole, a Russian, seven Afghans, five Iranians, an Iraqi man, a Pakistani, an Algerian, one Kazakh and one man from Palestinian territories.

Police used teargas and chemicals, while in many instances they also accompanied the fire engines to help them approach the flaming buildings.
Some 103 police officers were injured and also a large number of citizens, who were taken to hospital. amna
The clashes began when scores of black-masked individuals threw rocks, stones and firebombs at riot police outside the Greek Parliament on Sunday afternoon, once again spoiling a much larger demonstration by protesters rallying against the latest round of austerity measures demanded by Greece's creditors to approve a new bailout package.
The original protest was called by the country's two major umbrella labour federations (GSEE and ADEDY) and the Communist Party-affiliated PAME labour organisation against the new memorandum.
Among the buildings that suffered extensive damage was the two-storey listed building on the corner of Stadiou and Christou Lada streets, while some damage was also inflicted on the Aghios Dionysnnsios Cathedral on the corner of Panepistimiou and Omirou streets. amna
Culture ministry preservation of monuments staff fear the two-storey building on Christou Lada, which housed the cinemas Attikon and Apollon, may have lost its upper floor entirely but were denied entry by the fire department on Monday on safety grounds. The building was erected between the years 1870 and 1881, based on a design by Athens' foremost architect of that period, Ernst Ziller.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Albania: Air support interrupted

Air support interrupted
The helicopters have interrupted their flights over the isolated areas, in which they offered aids in food.

The head of the regiment declared that the bad weather does not allow the vehicles to fly, and that they will start working as soon as the weather conditions will get better. The mist and the strong wind are considered very dangerous for the life of the pilots, who have risked their life with some recent missions in the area.

“Today it is impossible to fly, because the clouds are very low. The pilots are ready to realize their mission as soon as there will be any availability. Our pilots finished 8 missions, but the weather conditions are not allowing us to intervene. Everything is programmed to start helping as soon as the weather conditions will be better”, declared Dhori Spirollari, Commander of the Aerial Forces.

The air operations were stopped this Saturday, and judging by the weather, they might not work until Wednesday.

The Farka Air Base pilots have distributed aids in Trebisht, Ostren, Klenje, Zall Rec and Derjan.

Greek Frigate HS Hydra Joins EU NAVFOR Somalia


Following its passage south through the Red Sea, the HS HYDRA will join the multi-national EU NAVFOR off the Horn of Africa on February 4, 2012.
HS HYDRA is a MEKO 200HN type multiple role frigate which has been in the service of the Hellenic Navy since March 1992. She has a displacement of 3,350 tons, a crew of 189 and carries an SH-70 Sea Hawk helicopter.

The Greek ship joins EU NAVFOR to protect merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program, other vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, as well as operating in a manner to deter and disrupt piracy while monitoring fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Greek lawmakers pass austerity bill as Athens burns

ATHENS | Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:33pm EST
(Reuters) - Greece's parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill Monday to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.
Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens and black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament before lawmakers voted on the package that demands deep pay, pension and job cuts -- the price of a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout needed to keep the country afloat.
State television reported the violence spread to the tourist islands of Corfu and Crete, the northern city of Thessaloniki and towns in central Greece. Police said 150 shops were looted in the capital and 34 buildings set ablaze.
Altogether 199 of the 300 lawmakers backed the bill, but 43 deputies from the two parties in the government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, the socialists and conservatives, rebelled by voting against It. They were immediately expelled by their parties.
Asian shares and the euro gained modestly Monday, relieved by the Greek parliament's passage of austerity measures that put the country a step closer to securing a much-needed bailout fund and avoiding a messy default.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan edged up as much as 0.3 percent on the news.
The rebellion and street violence foreshadowed the problems the Greek government faces in implementing the cuts, which include a 22 percent reduction in the minimum wage -- a package critics say condemns the economy to an ever-deeper downward spiral.
Papademos, a technocrat brought in to get a grip on the crisis, denounced the worst breakdown of order since 2008, when violence gripped Greece for weeks after police shot a 15-year-old schoolboy.....more..

AKP Deputy Chairman Claims Τhousands of Greeks Wish for Turkish Citizenship

One of the Deputy Chairmen of the leading Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), Ekrem Erdem, claimed that a Turkish citizen of Greek descent told him that some 120,000 Greeks want to apply for Turkish citizenship at the moment.

With his statement, Mr. Erdem tried to justify and support the politics conducted by the government for the past few years.
“These people used to live here, in Istanbul, and they left. Now they wish to come back here to Turkey and this is because AKP is in office. Because here all citizens are equal” said Mr. Erdem, commenting on the wish of hundreds of Greeks to receive Turkish citizenship.

In support of his claim, Mr. Erdem also noted that Turkish success in the fields of economy and the rapid development of the “Turkish miracle” in the fields of health, diplomacy and social politics “have turned Turkey into an international role model country”.

Ten die as avalanche hits homes in Kosovo

ZVEČAN -- Ten people from a single family died when a dozen houses were destroyed by an avalanche in the Gorani village of Restelica in Kosovo on Saturday afternoon.
The village of Restelica after the avalanche (Admir Idrizi,
The village of Restelica after the avalanche (Admir Idrizi,
Children are among the victims from the Reka family, the youngest only 18 months old.
A girl was found alive in the snow on Saturday. She was transferred to a Prizren hospital and is now stable.

The avalanche that hit the family homes is about ten meters high and 500 meters wide.

New snowfall and strong wind was hampering the rescue operation, reports said earlier in the day.

Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović said he was in constant contact with EULEX, KFOR and local representatives “so the residents of Restelica would get help as soon as possible”.

He added that the Ministry for Kosovo would “as soon as possible send all necessary material and financial aid to the residents of Restelica”.

Meanwhile the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština announced a day of mourning after the tragedy, while members of the Kosovo Security Force, police and locals are searching for another missing person.

Elsewhere in Kosovo, snowdrifts are reaching up to eight meters in height in some areas, prompting KFOR members to take part in clearing and rescue efforts.

The situation in other parts of Serbia is also difficult, with fresh snowfall in the past 24 hours creating more problems, particularly in southwestern municipalties of Prijepolje, Priboj, Nova Varoš, Čajetina and Sjenica.

Northern Kosovo ready for referendum

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Everything is ready for a referendum on Priština institutions in four northern Kosovo towns, said Referendum Commission member Ljubomir Radović.
He told Tanjug that the referendum will be held on February 14 and 15 in Zubin Potok, Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica and on February 15 in Leposavić.
Radović noted that 35,500 ballots had been printed and that a certain number of them were in the Albanian language. Citizens will vote at 82 polling stations and will be able to vote “yes” or “no” to the question “Do you accept the institutions of the so-called Republic of Kosovo?”.

He added that it was possible that bad weather conditions could affect the turnout but stated that he was certain it would be “satisfactory”.

Preliminary results will be released on Wednesday evening and the final results will be known on February 19.

Radović pointed out that UNMIK and OSCE representatives will be invited to monitor the referendum and that the International Crisis Group representatives had already expressed readiness to monitor the voting.

According to him, representatives of international missions in Kosovo have been informed about the referendum and the Commission expects KFOR and Kosovo police to provide safety to all citizens on February 14 and 15, just like any other day.

EULEX representatives have stated that they have no official stance on the referendum in northern Kosovo, adding that the mission was not a political mission but technical one.

KFOR Commander Erhard Drews has warned, however, of possible conflicts if ethnic Albanians felt provoked by the referendum in the north.


The Himarriotans of America, motivated by the love of Himarra, the land of their native origin, and dedicated to the noblest ideals of their forfathers, have established this organization which aspires to the cultivation and preservation of Himarriotic culture in America, to making a positive difference in the lives of its members, and to promoting the rights and interests of the Himarriotans in Himarra, through the realization of patriotic, charitable, philanthropic, educational and cultural endeavors.

Finally, Himara Development Plan in the waste bin, Failed

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A citizen of Himara, speaking Greek and Albanian to panel: Whyshould done the HimaraMaster Plain, without turning private property?

Continues to concern always arises why the Albanian politicalparties, in the Himara Municipality, insist to develop Master Plain, before the return of all property and lands, residents of Himara.

Himara Residents: "We have not property official documents by Office registration"

About 90 percent of the population do not have an ownership documents in his possession, which means that only 10 percent of residents can develop Himara

HIMARA REGION. Their property must be only under the laws, not other. No municipalities in Albania can not grant a building permit if the person has a property registration certificate. The process was blocked in 2006 by a government decision to prevent unfair recordings that were seen during the process. In 1997 during riots burned documents containing cadastral maps with property registered under the 7501 law. Lately a project funded by the OSCE for the registration of houses and land appears to be moving forward and is blocked on many issues. The process is stopped to agricultural lands, pastures and forests. 

 The area has not been subject to demographic shifts, the type of citizens to come, as has happened in Durres and Tirana, where the existing population before vitetve 90, is changed by several times. Rather on zone demographic popullation is under reserve. After 90-summer, 67 percent of the population left the area to migrate mainly in Greece. Southern Nfrom Qeparo to Llogara to all the coast line including the villages under the administration of the Municipality of Himara, has now only 4500 inhabitants. An equal number of students it's a serious high school in Tirana.

Owners will contribute monetary value land or that services provided in it, be provided. The plan envisages the establishment of commercial service areas, or light industry, and protects frutikulturën.These are some of the advantages while there are many parts that must be viewed with caution. In Porto Palermo must possess not less than 35 ha, to seek njëleje construction under the new plan. In Drale, the beaches of "white road" down Llogara and Palasa, are two such surfaces, one of 50 ha and 20 ha tjetraprej. Himara internetitnë through blogs, have begun to point to put black on white, the names of politicians who have ownership

in these areas.  

Registration properties office in Vlore can quench the curiosity of those who owned there. During discussions after the presentation of Himara, the residents say proecupeded development of this plan, since very few people in the area owning property titles. This hot potato, after having received determiatied plan will remain in the hands of the municipality, which will review the appropriate requirements for development. Another such problem is that here we talk about infrastructure and services such as water supply, sanitation and sewerage, electricity supply, or the creation of corridors forcyclists, remains to be detajuar.Një another problem remains transparent.  

There are very few people who have seen and heard something about the plan. The idea preserves a series of gaps and is indjeshëm gjlbërta trashgimnise towards historic buildings in the area. There is a positive approach towards ndërtimimeve height and saves linjate hills facing the sea. Yes amjafton it to have a contemporary plan. Is well elaborated concept development inside

Sustainable? Is there a ecologic stance versus utilizing clean energy in the range of positive experiences with the world? Responses we receive will probably be ready kurgjithçka before it is approved in the National Territory Adjustment. So far the complaints are centeredon surfaces that are left outside development areas being considered untouchable for their characteristics, which are of type or forest green crown. Yes ashtuankohen and owners whose land is located in parking spaces considered.