Friday, February 10, 2017

‘Macedonia (FYROM) not a country – sorry’: Skopje furious after US Congressman suggests partitioning

‘Macedonia not a country – sorry’: Skopje furious after US Congressman suggests partitioning
Published time: 8 Feb, 2017

‘Macedonia not a country – sorry’: Skopje furious after US Congressman suggests partitioning
The Skopje fortress, one of the city landmarks, is seen during the sunset in Skopje © Ognen Teofilovski / Reuters


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia has expressed its outrage to the US State Department after Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher suggested it was not a country, and should be partitioned by neighbors such as Kosovo and Bulgaria.

According to Rohrabacher, the creation of Macedonia itself was a failed project, and the atmosphere is ripe for a fresh redrawing of the borders.

“My inclination is Macedonia is not a country. I’m sorry – it’s not a country,” the California congressman told Albanian TV channel Vizion Plus.

“There is such a division in their country they will never be able to live together in the future. For this reason, Kosovars and Albanians from Macedonia should be part of Kosovo and the rest of Macedonia should be part of Bulgaria or any other country to which they believe they are related,” he was cited as saying by Bulgarian news wire BGNES in a translation from Albanian.

“The idea is to keep Macedonia alive because someone 30 years ago decided it is a configuration that should come out of the dismantling of Yugoslavia,” Rohrabacher continued.

But the congressman did not stop there. Asked if US President Donald Trump would be in favor of a partition, Rohrabacher said he has “influence on US policy makers now,” given his position on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “We will have hearings in the coming months,” he was cited by Albanian English news source Ocnal as saying.

On the issue of border redrawing, Rohrabacher said this would ideally be carried out with peace for the Balkans in mind.

The congressman also added that he is not afraid of Russian influence in the Balkan region.

These words led to a swift response from Skopje, whose foreign ministry took the issue up with Washington.

“His expressed views,” the statement reads, “generated immense anxiety regarding Macedonia and the region. They inflame nationalist rhetoric in the neighboring regions, taking us back into the past. We believe that the US State Department will adequately remove any doubt about the stated positions and will affirm its policy towards Macedonia and the Balkans.”

Rohrabacher currently chairs the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, and has served in the House of Representatives since 1989. During this time, he has had similar ideas. In 2012, he pitched a resolution for the self-determination of the Aziri people living inside Iran, suggesting to VOA Azerbaijani in an interview that the ethnic grouping should have the right not to be part of a state governed by “monstrous religious fanatics.”

Rohrabacher suggested in January to the Washington Post he would be visiting Moscow with a delegation “within a month” of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. The plans are not yet confirmed and would first have to be approved by Representative Ed Royce (R-California), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who takes a hardline approach to Russia.

Rohrabacher, who has been called a part of the GOP’s “lunatic fringe” by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), has been vocal on constructive dialogue with Russia, earning him much ire with his Republican cohorts.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

French court postpones decision on Haradinaj's extradition

The Court of Appeals in Colmar, France, on Thursday decided to postpone its decision on whether to extradite Ramush Haradinaj to Serbia.
Source: B92, Tanjug

(Tanjug/AP, file)
(Tanjug/AP, file)
Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian politician and a former commander of the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army"), was arrested in France in early January on a Serbian war crimes warrant.
The court said in a statement that the decision on Serbia's extradition request would be made during a hearing scheduled for March 2.

Haradinaj spent a week in jail in France, before he was released on bail and prohibited from leaving the country pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

Appearing before the court on Thursday, the former leader of the terrorist KLA said he did not accept to be extradited to Serbia, and described the case against him as "political."

A spokeswoman for the court told Tanjug that the French state prosecutor has asked for "more information from Serbia on several issues" - including more precise information regarding certain documents, and additional information about criminal proceedings in Serbia.

Earlier in the day, she said that Serbia would have no right to appeal if its extradition request is rejected, whereas if the court rules to extradite Haradinaj to Serbia - "the French government will make the final decision" on whether that will happen.

Tanjug is reporting that a large number of Haradinaj's supporters were present in the courtroom today, including those wearing t-shirts with the symbols of "Greater Albania" - an Albanian expansionist project.

CIA director Mike Pompeo arrives in Turkey

Image result for pompeo cia erdogan turkia

CIA director Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey on Thursday to discuss the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with Turkish authorities.

It is Pompeo’s first foreign trip since taking charge of the agency. He was scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of Turkish intelligence, discussing issues including a possible mission to recapture the extremist group’s stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.

The report follows a phone call between President Trump and Erdogan on Tuesday.

It came as Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported Thursday that police arrested four suspected Islamic State militants near the border with Syria for plotting a “sensational” attack.

Police seized material including 24 suicide belts and two automatic rifles, Anadolu reported.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Almost Six in Ten Greeks in Favor of Banning Muslim Migrants

 Image result for islamics in greece
Greek Reporter

By Philip Chrysopoulos - Feb 8, 2017

Almost six in ten Greeks (58%) agree with the notion of banning Muslim migrants from entering the country, while 55% of Europeans share the same view, a study shows.

The survey, published in Britain’s Independent, was conducted by Chatham House before U.S. President Donald Trump signed the executive order that prohibits citizens of seven Muslim countries to enter the United States.

In Greece, 58% of respondents favor such a ban, 20% disagree and 22% said they don’t know if they agree or disagree.

The study was conducted taking population samples from 10 European countries, namely Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, France and Austria. In eight out of the ten countries, the majority of citizens were against Muslim migrants entering their country. On average, 55% of Europeans are in favor of a Muslim ban, 20% are against and 25% don’t know if they agree or disagree with such a measure.

Poland showed the highest support of a Muslim ban (71%), followed by a 65% in Austria. In Hungary, Belgium and France, over 60% of citizens share the same view. In no country the percentage of disagreement was higher than 32.

Age and level of education of respondents were significant factors in the study, with the majority of older people being against Muslim migrants. At the same time, 59% of respondents with secondary level education are in favor of a ban, while less than half of degree holders agree with the notion.

The Chatham House survey results are similar to a 2016 study conducted by Pew, measuring how Europeans view Muslim people who live in their country. According to that study, 72% of Hungarians had a negative view of Muslims, followed by 69% of Italians, 66% of Poles, 65% of Greeks and 50% of Spaniards.

US Needs a Clear Policy in the Balkans

 Image result for donald lu adriatik llalla

Hufffington Post


Luke Coffey
Director of the Foreign Policy Center at the Heritage Foundation

This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
US Needs Clear Policy in the Balkans The new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a highly accomplished individual. As CEO of ExxonMobil, he presided over world’s largest oil and gas company with an annual revenue of almost $270 billion— or about the size of Pakistan’s total economy. Having worked and lived in places from Yemen to Russia—and many places in between—he is perhaps one of the most accomplished geo-political operators ever to have been confirmed to the post.

Even so, one thing is certain: Tillerson has an uphill battle ahead of him. Standing in his way of implementing US foreign policy is the bureaucratic blob molded during the Obama years and now stuck in its ways—referred as the Fourth Branch of Government.

Make no mistake; there are some career civil servants who will work in the interest of the U.S. no matter what political party occupies the White House. However, many officials have become politicized with many lean their support towards the Democrats. According to research carried out by Тhe Hill, about 95 percent of political contributions by federal employees went to Democrat Hillary Clinton during the presidential race. Some career officials have even pledged to “resist” the new administration. This will be a problem for the new administration.

Unfortunately, the political activism of the State Department spreads beyond Foggy Bottom and extends to America’s global network of embassies and missions to international organizations.

One obvious example of this is in the Balkans.

In recent months the U.S. Embassy in Albania has been accused of meddling in the internal affairs of that country. Some of the accusations deal with U.S. Embassy’s alleged collusion with leftwing groups like the Open Society Foundation. The Open Society Foundation is a George Soros network of non-government organizations that promotes the billionaire’s “progressive” ideology worldwide, which is often inimical to U.S. interests. The “progressive” agenda of the Open Society Foundation is often tone-deaf to local sensitivities—both religious and cultural—especially in places like the Balkans.

Although an important NATO ally in the Balkans, the Albania faces many challenges. Controversial reform of its judicial system was recently passed in the parliament. There was no national consensus because the opposition Democratic Party headed by Lulzim Basha, boycotted the vote since it felt that its concerns about the legislation were ignored. For years U.S. AID projects focused on judicial reform have been funded, in part, by the Open Society Foundation. George Soros’ meddling in Albania is nothing new. Prime Minister Edi Rama, a Socialist, even attended Soros’s wedding. When Hillary Clinton headed the State Department Soros was communicating directly with her and her staff to help promote his agenda in Albania.

The U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu, recently and very publically accused Albania’s General Prosecutor Mr. Adriatik Llalla of impeding judicial reform in the country. This has caused outrage in Albania. Mr Llalla has written to both President Bujar Nishani and the chairman of the Albanian parliament Ilir Meta to complain about the ambassador’s brash behavior. Mr. Llalla even claims in the letter that Ambassador Lu has threaten him. The letter reads:

“In official and unofficial communications, Ambassador Lu has made it clear to Prosecutor Llalla that if he will not publicly support the changes to the law, it will result in personal and institutional consequences,”
What a diplomatic mess!

This is on the back of the U.S. Embassy recently denying visas to 70 prosecutors and judges linked to the opposition party (no visa were revoked for the ruling Socialists Party). Both incidents can be interpreted as partisan intervention by the U.S. Embassy the pre-empting a major “vetting” effort underway for members of the country’s judicial system. This has also made the political polarization in the Albania even worse.

Meddling in the domestic affairs of America’s allies is not only bad for the U.S. but contrary to the spirit and the letter of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relationship. Article 41 of the convention states that diplomats have “an obligation to not interfere in the domestic issues of that state.”

Political activism inside the halls of Foggy Bottom is bad enough, when it extends to America’s embassies it can quickly become detrimental to the good conduct of U.S. foreign relations. The job of diplomats should be to advance U.S. national interests and not the narrow political interests of a single political party or non-governmental organization.

Changing the mentality inside the State Department will be a slow and cumbersome process a keen to turning an oil supertanker in the Bosphorus. As Tillerson begins cleaning out the Augean stables of the State Department, it is worth examining if certain career ambassadors are out of step with the new administration’s foreign policy approach. There are plenty of experienced and capable individuals who are able to represent the United States who could easily fill these posts. This is common practice for the big diplomatic posts of London, Berlin, and Moscow, among many others. This practice should be considered for smaller allies too, including in the Balkans.

One of the main focuses of the Trump Administration has been this desire to rebuild relationships which have been under strain due to the policies of the previous eight years. US needs friends and allies. The U.S. also needs to advance its national interests. This is why it is vital to have ambassadors that recognize this and do not swim in the often murky waters of domestic and partisan politics.

Trump envoy says Greece is now more likely to leave the euro

Ted Malloch, proposed US ambassador to the EU, casts doubt on survival of eurozone and says Athens should return to drachma

Greeks protest against austerity outside the parliament building in Athens
 Greeks protest against austerity outside parliament in Athens last year. Photograph: Kostas Pikoulas/Pacific/Barcroft/Rex/Shutterstock

Helena Smith in Greece

Wednesday 8 February 2017 15.10 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 8 February 2017 16.51 GMT
Donald Trump’s administration has put itself on a fresh collision course with the European Union after the president’s candidate to be ambassador in Brussels said Greece should leave the euro and predicted the single currency would not survive more than 18 months in its present form.

Days after being accused of “outrageous malevolence” towards the EU for publicly declaring that it “needs a little taming”, Ted Malloch courted fresh controversy by saying Greece should have left the eurozone four years ago when it would have been “easier and simpler”.

European parliament leaders call on EU to reject Trump's likely ambassador pick
 Read more

Malloch made his comments as financial markets began to take fright at the possibility of a fresh Greek debt crisis later this year. Shares fell and interest rates on Greek debt rose after it emerged that the EU was at loggerheads with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over whether to give the country more generous debt relief.

“Whether the eurozone survives I think is very much a question that is on the agenda,” he told Greek Skai TV’s late-night chat show Istories. “We have had the exit of the UK, there are elections in other European countries, so I think it is something that will be determined over the course of the next year, year and a half.

“Why is Greece again on the brink? It seems like a deja vu. Will it ever end? I think this time I would have to say that the odds are higher that Greece itself will break out of the euro,” Malloch said.

The stridently Brexit-supporting businessman, who has yet to be confirmed as the US president’s EU ambassador and is seen by Brussels as a provocative nominee for the post, said he wholeheartedly agreed with Trump’s tweet from 2012 saying Greece should return to the drachma, its former currency.

 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
"Greece should get out of the euro & go back to their own currency--they are just wasting time".

“I personally think [Trump] was right. I would also say that this probably should have been instigated four years ago, and probably it would have been easier or simpler to do,” Malloch said in the interview with the show’s chief anchor, Alexis Papahelas.

Analysis European leaders warily await Donald Trump's choice of ambassador
The appointment of Ted Malloch would leave little doubt that the US president is willing to destroy the European Union

Seven years of arduous austerity – the price of the international bailout – had been so bad for the country that it was questionable whether what came next could possibly be worse, Malloch said.

In the third bailout in as many years, Greece has lost more than 25% of its GDP due to austerity-fuelled recession, the biggest slump of any advanced western economy in modern times. Without further emergency funding from its €86bn (£74bn) rescue programme, Athens could face a default in July when debt repayments of about €7bn to the European Central Bank mature.

Concerns on Tuesday over Greece’s debts drove up yields on two-year government bonds to their highest level since last June, reflecting growing anxiety on financial markets over Athens’s ability to keep up to date with debt repayments.

The renewed focus came as the IMF revealed its board was split over how far spending cuts in the country should go, raising fresh doubts over the IMF’s participation in rescue plans for the struggling Greek economy. The IMF believes that the budgetary demands being imposed on Greece by Europe are unreasonable and that the country’s debts will hit 275% of national income by 2060 without fresh assistance.

Malloch said: “I have travelled to Greece, met lots of Greek people, I have academic friends in Greece and they say that these austerity plans are really deeply hurting the Greek people, and that the situation is simply unsustainable. So you might have to ask the question if what comes next could possibly be worse than what’s happening now.”

The biggest unknown was not a euro exit, but the chaos it would likely engender as Greece moved to a new currency, he said.

The governance structure of the IMF means the US could block any deal it did not support.

“If the [IMF] will not participate in a new bailout that does not include substantial debt relief, and that’s what they are saying, then that, more or less, ensures a collision course with eurozone creditors,” Malloch added, saying it was imperative that EU member states forgave a substantial part of Greece’s mountainous public debt.

“Now we all know that primarily [puts pressure on] Germany, which remains opposed to any such actions, so I think it suggests that Greece might have to sever ties and do Grexit and exit the euro,” he said.

Under bailout programmes financed mostly by Germany, Greece has been given about €336bn in rescue loans, money that Berlin and other lenders are determined to get back. The euro-denominated debt pile would be essentially erased if Greece reverted to the drachma.

Malloch’s latest intervention is unlikely to be greeted enthusiastically by EU officials, who are voicing fears that stalled bailout negotiations with creditors could pave the way for an accidental default in the summer.

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Τρομοκρατούν Έλληνες της Χιμάρας για να αρπάξουν ακίνητα Μοναστηριού!

Proinos Logos

• Πολιτική κάλυψη- που οδήγησε στην απόλυση τον Υπουργό Δικαιοσύνης  που την κατήγγειλε - παρέχει η Αλβανική Κυβέρνηση στον καταζητούμενο από τις Ελληνικές αρχές και την Ιντερπόλ Κελμέντ Μπαλίλι, αλλά και νέο κύκλο διώξεων σε βάρος Ελλήνων της Χιμάρας περιλαμβάνει η «ατζέντα» της Κυβέρνησης του Έντι Ράμα στην Αλβανία. Τακτική η οποία εξακολουθεί να αγνοεί συστηματικά τις νουθεσίες- παροτρύνσεις της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για καταπολέμηση της διαφθοράς και την προστασία των Μειονοτικών δικαιωμάτων.

 Η νέα ανθελληνική επιχείρηση στη Χιμάρα, εξελίσσεται με προσαγωγές στο Αστυνομικό Τμήμα πολλών νεαρών ατόμων, με στόχο να κάμψουν τις διαμαρτυρίες και τις αντιδράσεις τους για την καταπάτηση έκτασης που ανήκει στο μοναστήρι των Αγίων Θεοδώρων. Το γεγονός αυτό καταγγέλλει με ανακοίνωσή της η «ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ», η οποία προσθέτει ακόμη ότι ανώνυμα απειλητικά τηλεφωνήματα γίνονται και σε μοναχό άλλου μοναστηριού της περιοχής για το ίδιο θέμα.

 Η «ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ» καταγγέλλει επίσης  ότι πριν από λίγες ημέρες ο πρώην Γενικός Διευθυντής της Αστυνομίας ξεκίνησε οικοδομικές εργασίες, χωρίς να διαθέτει σχετική αδεία δόμησης, σε οικόπεδο που εφάπτεται των τοιχών της Μονής ενώ στον ίδιο χώρο εμφανίζονται πρώην στελέχη των δυνάμεων ασφαλείας του αλβανικού κράτους, ως ιδιοκτήτες οικοπέδων.

«Αντί   οι κρατικοί φορείς να παρέμβουν για την αναστολή των αυθαιρεσιών, συμπράττουν με τις παρακρατικές ομάδες πιέζοντας ταυτόχρονα να σταματήσουμε τη διαμαρτυρία.
Για άλλη μια φορά ζητούμε ώστε ο διεθνής παράγοντας να στρέψει την προσοχή στο ζήτημα αυτό της προστασίας των ελληνικών και ορθόδοξων κοινοτήτων.

Θα συνεχίσουμε παρά την ψυχολογική βία και τις προσπάθειες εκφοβισμού να αγωνιζόμαστε για τα κατοχυρωμένα δίκαια μας», προσθέτει η Οργάνωση των Ελλήνων της Αλβανίας.

Καλύπτουν τον μεγαλέμπορο - καταζητούμενο!

Στο άλλο μέτωπο, της αναζήτησης του καταζητούμενου πρώην Διευθυντή Συγκοινωνιών Αγίων Σαράντα και φιλοκυβερνητικό παράγοντα Κελμέντ Μπαλίλι, διαδραματίζονται κωμικοτραγικές καταστάσεις. Ο πρώην Υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης Ιλι Μανιάνι (που προερχόταν από το κόμμα του Προέδρου της Βουλής Ιλίρ Μέτα), αποπέμφθηκε με συνοπτικές διαδικασίες από την Κυβέρνηση, προκαλώντας πολιτικές αναταράξεις εντός Αλβανίας για όσα ανέφερε περί συγκάλυψης των υποθέσεων ναρκωτικών, μεταξύ των οποίων και αυτή του καταζητούμενου. Φαίνεται όμως να μην έχουν όλοι στην Κυβέρνηση την ίδια άποψη.

Το αντίθετο συμβαίνει  και είναι ενδεικτικό του βαθμού της διαφθοράς που υπάρχει. Κυβερνητικά στελέχη επισκέπτονται και διαμένουν στο ξενοδοχείο του καταζητούμενου στους Αγίους Σαράντα, με το βουλευτή του Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος Εντουάρντ Ντότσα να συγχαίρει τον Μπαλίλι για την ανάπτυξη της Αλβανικής Οικονομίας. Δεν δίστασε μάλιστα να επιτεθεί και κατά της Ελλάδας, μιλώντας έμμεσα για σκευωρία και για σκοπιμότητες που έχουν στόχο τις πλούσιες αλβανικές οικογένειες.

Στο ίδιο κλίμα «αποενοχοποίησης» του καταζητούμενου κινούνται και ορισμένα δημοσιεύματα στον Αλβανικό Τύπο, που κάνουν λόγο για παραβίαση των Αλβανικών χωρικών υδάτων από σκάφη του Ελληνικού Λιμενικού. Σημειωτέον ότι ο Μπαλίλι κατηγορείται ως εγκέφαλος διακίνησης με φορτηγά, μέσω Ελλάδος, δύο τόνων χασίς προς χώρες της Ευρώπης.

Οι καταγγελίες του πρώην Υπουργού Δικαιοσύνης, αλλά και η πίεση που ασκεί η αντιπολίτευση στο ζήτημα της καλλιέργειας και διακίνησης ναρκωτικών και ειδικά του χασίς, έχουν προκαλέσει παρασκηνιακές πιέσεις της Αμερικανικής πρεσβείας στα Τίρανα, που ζητά από την Κυβέρνηση Ράμα συγκεκριμένο σχέδιο δράσης. Τελικά η υπόθεση πέρασε στα «χέρια» του Προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας της Αλβανίας, ο οποίος προχωρά στη σύγκληση του Συμβουλίου Εθνικής Ασφάλειας, το οποίο θα κληθεί να πάρει αποφάσεις, τις οποίες ωστόσο παραμένει εξαιρετικά αμφίβολο αν θα τις υλοποιήσει η Κυβέρνηση Ράμα.

ZSO should be formed "by Serbs, not by Albanian politicians"

(Tanjug, file)
The Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) should be formed by the Kosovo Serbs pursuant to the Brussels Agreement, and not by ethnic Albanian politicians.


The head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, said this on Wednesday.

Commenting on media reports that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, PM Isa Mustafa and assembly speaker Kadri Veselji had "agreed for the formation of the Community to start," Djuric said the situation was reminiscent of some kind of a political game aimed at politically subjugating and humiliating the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs.

"That is not the way of forming the ZSO that had been agreed in Brussels and that the Serbs expect. The ZSO should be formed formed based on the agreement reached between Belgrade and Pristina. It should be formed by Serb representatives in Kosovo and Metohija, not by Albanian politicians," Djuric stressed.

He added that "there would be nothing strange if the three of them announced the formation of a community of Albanian municipalities" - but as this concerns the ZSO, "this is something that's not their job."

According to Djuric, the intention of Pristina to exclude the Serb side and Belgrade from the process of dialogue is "visible."

"And that's one of the reasons why crises were being generated artificially in the past days, and now this behavior only confirms their intention to try and exclude us - however, it won't work that way," he said.

Χειμαρριωτησα: Μακριά από τη γη μας, σε αντίθεση, θα τους σκοτωσου

 Μετά το "SOS" κλήση που έγινε από τον ιερέα της Χιμάρας, Πατέρα Ευθυμίου, πολλές οικογένειες απο Χειμάρα, έρχονται, για την προστασία της ιδιοκτησίας, διότι ούτε η εσσαγεληα ούτε τα αλβανικά δικαστήρια και το αλβανικό κράτο, δεν μπορούν να δώσουν τη δικαιοσύνη, σουσ Χειμαρρηοτες..

Οικογένεια απο Δρημαδες τησ Χειμαρρας που παλεύει με θηρία για να μην της καταπατησουν την γη 22000m και η αλβανική δικαιοσύνη που δεν δίνει δικαίωση.

Αφτο που συμβαίνει στις Δρυμάδες, έχει περάσει κάθε μέτρο της υπομονής.

Ελληνικής οικογένειας, επέστρεψε από την Ελλάδα και ΗΠΑ, και αντιμετωπίζουν ακραίες σε έκταση, με ολιγάρχες και της μαφίας της Αλβανίας.

Albanian found in possession of forged documents to be deported

The man's actual Albanian passport was discovered in his checked-in luggage

 A court has ordered the immediate repatriation of an Albanian man who tried to leave Malta using a fake ID card

Gabriel Schembri
Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Malta Today

A 28-year-old Albanian national was arraigned before the courts today accused of being in possession of forged documents.

 Inspector Darren Buhagiar explained that the man had been arrested yesterday as he tried to board a flight to Dublin. His actual Albanian passport was discovered in his checked-in luggage.

Erjon Sala, who resides in the Albanian capital, Tirana, was accused of using a forged Romanian identity card. When arrested, the man said he had wanted to travel to Dublin for work. He cooperated with the police and told them he had bought the documents from a person in Albania for a price of €400.

The man admitted to the charges brought against him. Magistrate Francesco Depasquale found the man guilty and condemned him to a year imprisonment suspended for four years. He also ordered the man to be immediately removed from the Maltese islands and be sent back to Albania.

Albanians caught entering UK illegally more than any other nationality

Security men search lorries before they depart for UK in the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium
Home Office statistics show 981 Albanian ‘clandestine migrants’ discovered at UK entry ports from 2008 to 2016
 Security men search lorries before they depart for UK in the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium
 Security men search lorries before they depart for UK in the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium. Most illegal immigrants are caught before they arrive in Britain. Photograph: Jo de Man/EPA

Wednesday 8 February 2017 08.47 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 8 February 2017 09.38 GMT
Twice as many Albanians have been caught as stowaways at UK ports than any other nationality, new government figures reveal.

Some 981 Albanian “clandestine migrants” were discovered at UK entry ports from 2008 until spring 2016, according to Home Office statistics released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

These included a group of more than 50, including a pregnant woman, discovered in a lorry at the Humber sea terminal at Killingholme near Grimsby in June 2015. Albania is not part of the European Union, but borders Greece, an EU country, and its mafia are known to UK police as ruthless people traffickers and drug smugglers.

Afghans formed the second biggest cohort, with 425 port detections during the same period, followed by Algerians (424), Iranians (348), Indians (322), Palestinians (129) and Vietnamese (124). These include clandestine migrants found at UK Eurostar terminals and airports as well as ports and harbours.

One US passport holder was discovered stowed away, as well as one Russian and one, in 2012, from the Czech Republic, which is part of the EU. Despite the free movement of people between EU states, the UK can bar some serious criminals from entering the country.

As the refugee crisis took hold in 2015, there was a big rise in Iranians, Syrians and Iraqis caught entering the UK illegally. In the first quarter of 2016, the last period for which figures are available, there were 122 Iranians detected at UK entry ports, along with 31 Syrians and 21 Iraqis. During that three-month period 318 clandestine migrants were found at UK ports – compared with 556 in the whole of 2015, and 681 in 2014.

Most illegal immigrants are caught before they arrive in the UK, with lorries at Calais and other continental European ports x-rayed for stowaways. Yet the new figures show that hundreds each year still make it onto UK soil before they are detected. In one of the most successful border force operations, 68 migrants were discovered in the back of four lorries at Harwich in Essex, including two pregnant women and 15 children, in June 2015.


The Home Office appeared reluctant to release the information, only partially submitting to the Guardian’s request after they were ordered to comply with the FoI act by the information commissioner.

They refused to comply in full to the Guardian’s initial FoI request, made in May 2016, which also asked at which UK port, train station or airport clandestine migrants had been detected.

Officials from the Home Office considered the information to be exempt from disclosure “on the grounds that release would or would be likely to, prejudice the operation of the immigration controls”.

In their response to the Guardian, an official accepted there was a public interest in revealing the information. “The Home Office recognises that there is a general public interest in openness and transparency in all aspects of government. It is acknowledged that there is public interest in locations where clandestine migrants were discovered. Disclosure of the information requested would result in greater transparency and accountability around operational matters. The release of information would enhance the understanding in Border Force operations at ports of entry, such as Heathrow and Hull,” they wrote.

But they concluded that the information should be kept secret because it would help illegal immigrants and people traffickers to evade border controls.

The Home Office also refused to disclose how many of the clandestine migrants detected at UK ports claimed and received asylum, saying it would cost too much to collate the information.

Information about clandestine migrants can fall into one of three categories: (a) those stopped at the juxtaposed controls (where checks take place on certain cross-channel routes before boarding, rather than disembarkation), (b) those stopped at UK ports and (c) those picked up in-country.

The latest figures released to the Guardian only cover monthly port detections of clandestine migrants in the UK.

Most clandestine migrants are discovered trying to board boats and trains bound for the UK, rather than on UK soil. Information released under FoI laws to the Economist last year showed the number of detected clandestine entry attempts to Britain via European ports and train tunnels increased from about 1,000 a month in 2008-12 to 2,000 in late 2013, before rising to 4,000 in 2014 and almost 13,000 in July 2015.

SOS: This is the red line Against the Hellenism of Himara

The Orthodox priest of Drymades, father Efthimios, calling SOS: This is the red line in Himara Region

In the Ordodox Church of Drymades in Himara Region, the father Efthimios, calls all himariotes in the World, to be united, because, the albanians musulmans, are occupying properties with the help of state authorities and the police, and are demanding dominate the population of ethnic Greeks in Himara Region.

"They want to destroy us and leave our lands thousands of years, the land of our forefathers, want to eradicate our culture"....

"We will resist, we have courage, and history  and we can not allow, that foreigners, Albanians, , to" make law "on our lands and properties," said indignant, Father Efthimios.

The statement was made during a religious ceremony, given to the population in the Orthodox Church "Agia Haralambos" in Drymades of Himara.

“Macedonia not a country”: US Congressman says FYROM should be partitioned

By InSerbia with agencies - Feb 8, 2017

 BELGRADE – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia has expressed its outrage to the US State Department after Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher suggested it was not a country, and should be partitioned by neighbors such as Kosovo and Bulgaria.

According to Rohrabacher, the creation of Macedonia itself was a failed project, and the atmosphere is ripe for a fresh redrawing of the borders.

“My inclination is Macedonia is not a country. I’m sorry – it’s not a country,” the California congressman told Albanian TV channel Vizion Plus.

“There is such a division in their country they will never be able to live together in the future. For this reason, Kosovars and Albanians from Macedonia should be part of Kosovo and the rest of Macedonia should be part of Bulgaria or any other country to which they believe they are related,” he was cited as saying by Bulgarian news wire BGNES in a translation from Albanian.

“The idea is to keep Macedonia alive because someone 30 years ago decided it is a configuration that should come out of the dismantling of Yugoslavia,” Rohrabacher continued.

But the congressman did not stop there. Asked if US President Donald Trump would be in favor of a partition, Rohrabacher said he has “influence on US policy makers now,” given his position on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “We will have hearings in the coming months,” he was cited by Albanian English news source Ocnal as saying.

On the issue of border redrawing, Rohrabacher said this would ideally be carried out with peace for the Balkans in mind.

The congressman also added that he is not afraid of Russian influence in the Balkan region.

These words led to a swift response from Skopje, whose foreign ministry took the issue up with Washington.

“His expressed views,” the statement reads, “generated immense anxiety regarding Macedonia and the region. They inflame nationalist rhetoric in the neighboring regions, taking us back into the past. We believe that the US State Department will adequately remove any doubt about the stated positions and will affirm its policy towards Macedonia and the Balkans.”

Rohrabacher currently chairs the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, and has served in the House of Representatives since 1989. During this time, he has had similar ideas. In 2012, he pitched a resolution for the self-determination of the Aziri people living inside Iran, suggesting to VOA Azerbaijani in an interview that the ethnic grouping should have the right not to be part of a state governed by “monstrous religious fanatics.”

Rohrabacher suggested in January to the Washington Post he would be visiting Moscow with a delegation “within a month” of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. The plans are not yet confirmed and would first have to be approved by Representative Ed Royce (R-California), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who takes a hardline approach to Russia.

Rohrabacher, who has been called a part of the GOP’s “lunatic fringe” by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), has been vocal on constructive dialogue with Russia, earning him much ire with his Republican cohorts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jo shkëmbimit të territoreve me Kosovën

Kryeministri i Serbisë Aleksandër Vuçiç ka komentuar dy ditë më parë prishjen e murit në Mitrovicë, duke lënë të kuptohet se dikush po tenton të ndajë serbët e Kosovës nga Beogradi. Sipas tij muri duhej prishur një ditë më parë nga sa ndodhi, por diçka e ka penguar atë.
Jam ende konfuz dhe kurioz që nuk kam marrë ende një përgjigje se përse nuk u bë gjithçka në po atë mbrëmje. Jeni I bezdisur nga Beogradi? Dakord, thoni që jeni i bezdisur nga Beogradi. Pse po korruptonit deputetë të Listës Serbe në Kosovë? Sepse ju donit t’i ndani ata nga Beogradi? Nuk e rekomandoj një gjë të tillë, nuk do fitoni”, tha Vuçiç.
Nuk dihet kujt i adresohen këto fjalë, por ngjan se kryeministri serb po hamendëson për përpjekje për të shkëputur serbët e Kosovës nga ndikimi i Serbisë. Një ditë më pas nga prishja e murit përfaqësues të serbëve të Kosovës folën për një mur të ri, çka bie ndesh me marrëveshjet mes dy vendeve.
Lidhur me shkëmbimin e territoreve, propozuar nga kongresmeni amerikan Dana Rohrabacher, Vuçiç tha se ai “është i afërt me lobin shqiptar” dhe se këto “janë disa përpjekje për të arritur zgjidhje të tjera. Kushtetuta flet qartë për integritetin territorial”.
Unë nuk pres asgjë nga shqiptarët e Kosovës”, shtoi ai.

Γερουσιαστής Ντέινα Ρορομπάκερ: Η ψευδομακεδονία πρέπει να διαλυθεί…

 Image result for US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
«Ρορομπάκερ: Τα σύνορα πρέπει να αλλάξουν στα Βαλκάνια, ένα μέρος της ψευδομακεδονίας να ενταχθεί στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο», γράφει το δημοσίευμα της «Gazeta Express»

Η αλβανική τηλεόραση Vizion Plus βρέθηκε στο Κογκρέσο των ΗΠΑ, στο γραφείο του Ντέινα Ρορομπάκερ, λίγες ημέρες μετά την αποστολή της επιστολής του προς τον πρόεδρο της Σερβίας, Τόμισλαβ Νίκολιτς , από τον οποίο ζήτησε να εξετάσει τη δυνατότητα ανταλλαγής εδαφών στο βόρειο τμήμα του Κοσσυφοπεδίου. (Ο Σέρβος πρόεδρος σύμφωνα με σερβικά δημοσίευμα αρνήθηκε αυτήν την πρόταση).

Ο  αμερικανός γερουσιαστής όμως προχώρησε και παραπέρα. Ζήτησε όχι μόνο να αλλαχθούν και τα σύνορα των Σκοπίων, αλλά να πάψει να υπάρχει αυτό το ‘πράγμα’.

Ο Ρορομπάκερ δήλωσε στη συνέντευξή του:

«Μισώ να το πω αυτό, αλλά… η θέση μου είναι ότι η ψευδομακεδονία δεν είναι κράτος. Λυπάμαι, αλλά δεν είναι κράτος. Είναι τόσο διχασμένη κατάσταση που ποτέ δεν θα είναι σε θέση να προχωρήσει. Έτσι, οι Κοσοβάροι και οι Αλβανοί των Σκοπίων, πρέπει να είναι μέρος του Κοσσυφοπεδίου. Ενώ η υπόλοιπη χώρα θα πρέπει να γίνει μέρος της Βουλγαρίας ή οποιαδήποτε άλλης χώρας με τους οποίους ισχυρίζονται ότι σχετίζονται.

Η ιδέα ότι η  ψευδομακεδονία θα κρατηθεί ζωντανή, επειδή κάποιος πριν από 30 χρόνια το αποφάσισε έτσι να διαμορφωθεί, από τη διάλυση της Γιουγκοσλαβίας, δεν οδηγεί σε μια εξήγηση ότι η ιδέα αυτή εξακολουθεί να υφίσταται.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Media Silent as a Record 250,000 Romanians March to End Govt Corruption

Image result for romania protest

Upwards of a quarter of a million Romanians have taken to the streets in record breaking numbers to protest the country’s corrupt politicians. For the first time since the fall of communism and the execution of Romania’s brutal leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena (1989), Romanians have gathered in masses to demand change.

The crowds gathered in Bucharest to protest the apparent double standard the oligarchy has created for itself. No longer is it illegal to take a bribe, for example, so long as the amount does not exceed 45,000 euros (roughly 48,500 dollars). Also, the measure sets free from prison, many politicians who were doing time for corruption.

The grassroots protest started with roughly 12,000 Romanian protesters taking to the streets outside the government building in the capital on Tuesday, and climbed daily to well over 250,000 by Friday.

Romania’s leftist Social Democrat Party (PSD) issued the emergency decree which decriminalized cases of corruption involving less than 45k euros. The PSD won the election of 2016 and the measure was one of the PSD’s first executive orders put in place since taking over power in November. To put things into perspective, consider this headline from the Economist describing the PSD’s rise to power, “Conviction politics: Romania elects a party led by a vote rigger.” Not only was the party’s leader already a convicted election defrauder, but he now reportedly wants to be the country’s new leader. Sound familiar?

Following the election, the PSD reportedly wanted then to install their leader, Liviu Dragnea, as the prime minister of Romania. However, the party was unable to do so because Dragnea was serving a two-year suspended sentence for election fraud, although he denied any wrongdoing. The suspended sentence originally barred Dragnea from ever serving as the prime minister. But with the government’s new emergency decree decriminalizing political corruption in cases involving less than 45k euros, it’s now conceivable Dragnea will be named prime minister.

Αμερικανός γερουσιαστής προτείνει στον Νίκολιτς ανταλλαγή εδαφών με Κοσσυφοπέδιο

Σύμφωνα με τη σερβική ραδιοτηλεόραση ο Αμερικανός γερουσιαστής βλέπει δυνατή την ανταλλαγή εδαφών
Φεβρουάριος 5, 2017. 20:18

Ο Ρεπουμπλικάνος γερουσιαστής Ντέινα Ροραμπάχερ (Dana Rorabaher) ο οποίος προεδρεύει στην Υποεπιτροπή Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων για την Ευρώπη, την Ευρασία και των αναδυόμενων απειλών, σε επιστολή του προς τον πρόεδρο της Σερβίας, προτείνει την ανταλλαγή εδαφών μεταξύ Σερβίας και Κοσσυφοπεδίου για την επίλυση των εντάσεων σε αυτό το μέρος των Βαλκανίων.

Συγκεκριμένα σύμφωνα με τη σερβική ραδιοτηλεόραση, προτείνει εδάφη της νότιας Σερβίας με αλβανικό πληθυσμό να παραχωρηθούν στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο και εδάφη του βόρειου Κοσσυφοπεδίου και Μετοχίων να ενσωματωθούν στη Σερβία.

«Αντί να έχουμε τα αρνητικά παραδείγματα, όπως η αποστολή ενός τρένου με προκλητικά σύμβολα για το Κοσσυφοπέδιο, μπορεί να είναι καλύτερα για το κοινό συμφέρον να εξετασθεί η πρόταση για ανταλλαγή εδαφών που θα φέρει το σερβικό πληθυσμό (του βόρειου Κοσόβου) στη Σερβία και τον αλβανικό πληθυσμό της νότιας Σερβίας στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο» σημειώνει το Αμερικανός γερουσιαστής που εκλέγεται στην Καλιφόρνια.

Ο Ροραμπάχερ στην επιστολή του προς τον Τόμισλαβ Νίκολιτς συνιστά ότι η πρόταση αυτή είναι δυνατή και δεν πρέπει να αγνοηθεί..echedoros

Skopje: The Russian embassy against political interference in FYROM

The Russian embassy in Skopje, during a press release, considers unproductive speculation, of some politicians, seeking the causes of the political crisis in the rivalry of the great powers.

"We believe that the difficult internal political crisis occurred in FYROM, can only be resolved within the existing constitutional terms, the generally recognized rules of a democratic society,  says the Russian embassy commenting on the current political situation in the south Slavic state of Skopje.

"All attempts to intervene in this process from the outside, to impose solutions against the will of the people, it is very dangerous and should be condemned by the world community".

The principles of equality of sovereign states and  non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries have universal character and their circumvention is a violation of international law, "says the embassy and stressed that the Russian Federation continues to support the security and stability of that country Balkan as an independent, sovereign and territoriality integral state.

The text of the " Plus Info ", apparently referring to reports of US intervention in the internal affairs of the country, but also in the continuing reports of Albanian Prime Minister for the Albanian element in FYROM.

Στη Σούδα, το αεροπλανοφόρο του Αμερικανικού Στόλου «George H W Bush»

Έδεσε λίγο πριν τις 9 το πρωί της Δευτέρας στο Λιμάνι της Σούδας το αεροπλανοφόρο του Αμερικανικού Στόλου «George H W Bush»..


Έδεσε λίγο πριν τις 9 το πρωί της Δευτέρας στο Λιμάνι της Σούδας το αεροπλανοφόρο του Αμερικανικού Στόλου «George H W Bush».
Το «USS George H W Bush» με το ψευδώνυμο «Εκδικητής» αποτελεί το καμάρι του αμερικανικού στόλου, καθώς πρόκειται για το πιο σύγχρονο πυρηνοκίνητο αεροπλανοφόρο των ΗΠΑ.\
Η ναυπήγησή του ολοκληρώθηκε το 2009 και κόστισε στο αμερικανικό δημόσιο 6,2 δισ. δολάρια

Το αεροπλανοφόρο θα παραμείνει στα Χανιά για την αναψυχή του πληρώματος μέχρις την Παρασκευή 10 Φεβρουαρίου.

Akuzat jo vetëm nga Fronti i së Keqes/Arqipeshkvi Massafra: "Njerëzit mbajnë armë, sepse shteti nuk i mbron".

Ministri i Brendshem i Shqiperise, Tahiri hasi për herë të parë në një këndvështrim tjetër të çështjes së armatosjes së shqiptarëve, kur Arqipeshkvi i Shkodrës i tha se njerëzit kanë frikë.

"I bëj thirrje që të dorëzojnë armët, por edhe shteti duhet të jetë më i fortë dhe të mbrojë qytetarët në mënyrë që të mos kenë frikë dhe të mos mbajnë armë”, është shprehur Arqipeshkvi i Shkodrës, Angelo Massafra gjatë takimit në fshatin Dajç.

Imzot Angelo Massafra shtoi se njërëzit nuk janë të sigurtë, ndërsa ministri iu përgjigj se kjo nuk është arsye që ata të mbajnë armë.

Elections, OSCE Ambassador calls on voters to make the right selection

The OSCE Ambassador to Albania, Bernd Borchardt, held a meeting with students of the University of Arts, where he mentioned democratic elections, cannabis, the Judicial Reform, and respect for human rights as some of the challenges Albania will face.
The OSCE Ambassador considers cannabis as the greatest threat of the last 25 years, and said that the government needs to implement a comprehensive national plan to combat against cannabis planting.
The OSCE Ambassador said, “There are many challenges you will face. Elections are coming, and they are the first step to a better future. You will make your choice. You may be tempted to sell your vote, to photograph your vote in order to prove that you voted for the “right people”.
You are the ones that will choose the Democracy you want to live in, so please make the right choice. We support Albania’s Electoral Reform; we will give our advice on the best practices. Our colleagues from the OSCE / ODIHR will come to monitor the elections, but in the end you will decide. ”
Borchardt said that Albania has undergone some dramatic changes with the spread of cannabis being the most dangerous, and appealed for a national anti-cannabis plan to be implemented, saying “Albania has gone through dramatic changes in the last 25 years, and one of the most dangerous for the future, is the further spread of cannabis in the country. Cannabis harms society and future generations. We all need to make the right choice, but especially the young people. Albania’s OSCE monitors will support the government in its efforts to implement a comprehensive plan to combat cannabis “-said Borchardt.
The OSCE Ambassador said that art and culture in Albania are also facing some challenges, and he urged artists to break away from the pitfalls of politics and address the issues important to art.

Serbian reaction: "Land swap" US congressman is close to Albanian lobby - PM

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said the same agreement concerning a wall Kosovska Mitrovica as the one implemented over the weekend, was reached on December 8.
Source: B92
Vucic is seen in Belgrade on Monday (Tanjug)
Vucic is seen in Belgrade on Monday (Tanjug)
"I don't know what somebody's intentions were in the days that followed, and I still wonder what that was about. To those who think they're smart and who are saying that the Serbs gave in, I recommend to demonstrate their heroism with real deeds," Vucic said on Monday.
According to him, "peace has been preserved and Kralja Petra Street in northern Kosovska Mitrovica protected."

"I am still confused and curious about still not receiving an answer - why wasn't everything done the same evening," said Vucic.

"You're bothered by Belgrade. Well, say you're bothered by Belgrade. Why were you bribing Serb List (Kosovo) assembly members? Because you wanted to separate them from Belgrade? I don't recommend doing that, you can't win. I'm waiting for them to tell me I lied and didn't say the truth. Nobody from the EU can say that, and I still have not spoken about a good chunk of the details in front of the citizens," the prime minister said.

Vucic also stated that US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher - who has reportedly sent a letter to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, proposing "a land swap" involving southern parts of central Serbia and northern Kosovo - "was both to Belgrade and in Pristina."

"He (Rohrabacher) is close to the Albanian lobby, these are some attempts to (reach) other solutions. Our Constitution speaks clearly about (territorial) integrity," Vucic stressed.

He added that he "expects nothing from (Kosovo) Albanians."

"I don't believe them at all, they want to make an NGO out of the ZSO (Community of Serb Municipalities) and play gramophone records. The whole essence of everything is, 'how can we make a mockery of what has been signed four years ago'. I don't believe them at all. Not them, and not those who are protecting them," the prime minister said.

President "did not receive U.S. congressman's letter"

President Tomislav Nikolic has not received a letter from a US congressman reportedly proposing "an exchange of territories," the daily Vecernje Novosti said.
Source: Blic, Tanjug

Sources at the Presidency said on Monday afternoon they were unaware of the existence of such a letter, and had only heard about it "from the media."
Earlier, another Belgrade-based daily, Blic, reported that U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who chairs the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, had sent a letter to Nikolic.

According to the newspaper, Rohrabacher proposed "an exchange of territories" in southern Serbia for those in northern Kosovo as "a solution that would ease tensions in this part of the Balkans."

Southern Serbia has the largest ethnic Albanian minority in Serbia outside of Kosovo itself, while the north of Kosovo is predominantly inhabited by Serbs.

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, Serbia's southern province, unilaterally declared independence in 2008 - a move Serbia considers a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

According to the daily's Sunday edition, the US congressman wrote that "instead of the negative examples, such as sending a train with provocative symbols to Kosovo" it may be in the mutual interest to consider "an exchange of territories that would result in a greater number of Serbs in Serbia and a greater number of Kosovars (Kosovo Albanians) in Kosovo."

According to the same source, Rohrabacher stated that this option was "possible" and, "should not be ignored."

Albanian Media Silent as three Chinese miners trapped and dead in north Albania

Photo released by the Chinese embassy in Albania shows counsellor Bai Yunbin (2nd R) and defense attache Liu Xingjiang (1st R) coordinate the rescue operation in the town of Bulqiza, north Albania, on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo released by the Chinese embassy in Albania shows counsellor Bai Yunbin (2nd R) and defense attache Liu Xingjiang (1st R) coordinate the rescue operation in the town of Bulqiza, north Albania, on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Chinese embassy in Albania confirmed on Sunday that three Chinese miners were trapped in a chromium mine in the town of Bulqiza, north Albania, and the other Chinese miner got injured after a hydrogen gas explosion there.
The embassy has sent a working team to Bulqiza to coordinate the rescue operation and visit the Chinese miners.
According the Albanian state police, the Albanian authorities on Sunday continued the rescue operations in order to find the three Chinese miners trapped in the mine.
A hydrogen gas explosion took place on Saturday, leaving three miners trapped inside the mine at level 21.
A total of 10 miners were injured and three of them are still in critical condition.
The search and rescue teams have so far arrived at level 14 of the mine.

Νέα πρόκληση με αλβανική σημαία στην Άρτα – Στο έλεος Αλβανών κακοποιών οι κάτοικοι στην Ήπειρο – Αναγκαία η συμμαχία Σερβίας-Ελλάδας κατά των Τιράνων

Συνεχίζουν τις προκλήσεις οι Αλβανοί κατά του Ελληνισμού, δείχνοντας με κάθε τρόπο πως θέλουν να αναβιώσουν το όνειρο της «Μεγάλης...


Συνεχίζουν τις προκλήσεις οι Αλβανοί κατά του Ελληνισμού, δείχνοντας με κάθε τρόπο πως θέλουν να αναβιώσουν το όνειρο της «Μεγάλης Αλβανίας».
Τον γύρο των αλβανικών ιστοσελίδων κάνει η εικονιζόμενη φωτογραφία που δείχνει μια αλβανική σημαία να κυματίζει έξω από εστιατόριο δίπλα σε αυτοκινητόδρομο στην Ήπειρο.
Όπως μεταδίδει το Epirus Post, οι αλβανικές ιστοσελίδες γράφουν ότι «μετά από πολλά χρόνια αναρτήθηκε η σημαία της Τσαμουριάς σε μια περιοχή όπου οι Αλβανοί στερούνται τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα».

Νέα πρόκληση με αλβανική σημαία σε εστιατόριο στην Ήπειρο – Πανηγυρίζουν εθνικιστές Αλβανοί

Στα αλβανικά δημοσιεύματα αναφέρεται ότι πρόκειται για περιοχή στην Άρτα, κοντά στα Γιάννινα, και τονίζεται ότι το εστιατόριο έξω από το οποίο βρίσκεται η σημαία έχει ελληνικά γράμματα.
Είναι άγνωστο αν πρόκειται για στημένη προβοκάτσια Αλβανικών κύκλων οι οποίοι το τελευταίο διάστημα βρίσκονται σε ανθελληνικό παραλήρημα ή πρόκειται για πραγματικό γεγονός.
Την ίδια στιγμή, δύο εκκλησίες και 4 σπίτια, «χτύπησαν» μέσα σε μία νύχτα κακοποιοί στα ακριτικά χωριά των ελληνοαλβανικών συνόρων, Ορεινό και Ξηρόβαλτο, στο Πωγώνι.

«Δεν θα γίνουμε σκλάβοι στα σπίτια μας» είναι η κραυγή απόγνωσης και αγανάκτησης των λιγοστών ακριτών που ζουν στα σύνορα και όπως λένε στο Πρακτορείο, ζουν μέσα στην τρομοκρατία και τον φόβο των Αλβανών κακοποιών, που εύκολα περνάνε σε ελληνικό έδαφος.
Χαρακτηριστικά, χθες αργά το μεσημέρι, η κτηνοτρόφος Σοφία Δημητρίου, κάτοικος του Ορεινού, και ένας συγχωριανός της, όταν αντιλήφθηκαν πως ο ιερός Ναός της Αγίας Παρασκευής στο χωριό, βρέθηκε στο στόχαστρο κακοποιών, ειδοποίησαν την αστυνομία και κλείστηκαν στο σπίτι.

Σε επικοινωνία της, αμέσως μετά και με το Πρακτορείο, η κτηνοτρόφος Σοφία Δημητρίου, είπε: «Είδαμε το παράθυρο του Ναού σπασμένο και ανοιχτό. Κάτω υπήρχε ένας σιδερολοστός. Αν και έχουμε κλειδί από την εκκλησία, δεν ανοίγουμε μέχρι που να έρθει η αστυνομία. Φοβόμαστε, μήπως βρούμε κάποιον μέσα. Θέλουμε να πάμε και στα άλλα σπίτια του χωριού, να δούμε τι γίνεται, αλλά φοβόμαστε. Κάθε νύχτα τα σκυλιά γαυγίζουν. Στο διπλανό χωριό τους Ποντικάτες, πριν ένα μήνα ένα ζευγάρι κτηνοτρόφων, βρήκε Αλβανούς με καλάσνικοφ έξω από το σπίτι τους. Είμαστε σε πανικό. Δεν θέλουμε να αφήσουμε τα σπίτια μας, που χτίσαμε με αίμα. Η ψυχική οδύνη, δεν πληρώνεται με τίποτα! Έντεκα σκυλιά έχω. Έντεκα σκυλιά ταΐζω… Ένα βράδυ ελάτε εδώ να το ζήσετε… Τα σύνορα είναι αφύλακτα. Τα περάσματα δεκάδες. Σε κάθε χωριό ζούμε μετρημένοι στα δάκτυλα του ενός χεριού. Ζητάμε βοήθεια από το κράτος. Να λειτουργήσουν και πάλι τα στρατιωτικά φυλάκια».
Στις 17:30 το απόγευμα έφτασε στο Ορεινό η αστυνομία και ο ιερέας. Όπως διαπιστώθηκε, οι κακοποιοί μπήκα στον ιερό ναό από το παράθυρο και αφαίρεσαν δύο παλιές εικόνες.
Σημειώνεται πως, πριν από ένα χρόνο, ο ιερός Ναός της Αγίας Παρασκευής έγινε στόχος άγνωστων ιερόσυλων, οι οποίοι είχαν αφαιρέσει εικόνες από το τέμπλο και ένα επιτάφιο.

Έντρομος ένας κάτοικος από το Ξηρόβαλτο, λέει πως τη νύχτα της Παρασκευής προς το Σάββατο, τα σκυλιά γαύγιζαν συνεχώς και συνέχισε: «Ο φόβος πάγωσε το αίμα. Αμέσως καταλάβαμε τι συνέβαινε, στο έρημο χωριό μας. “Αυπνους και με αγωνία, μας βρήκε το ξημέρωμα. Το πρωί, είδα πως τα σπίτια που βρίσκονται στη γειτονιά και οι ιδιοκτήτες τους ζουν στα Γιάννενα και την Αθήνα, ήταν ανοιχτά. Το ίδιο και ο “Αη- Γιώργης. Κάτω στο καλντερίμι, υπήρχαν λοστοί, από σίδερο και ξύλο, καθώς και ένα τσαπί».
Το δελτίο τύπου της αστυνομίας αναφέρει: «Χθες το μεσημέρι, καταγγέλθηκε κλοπή στον Ιερό Ναό Αγίου Νικολάου στον Ξηρόβαλτο Ιωαννίνων. Ειδικότερα, την 03/04-02-2017, άγνωστοι δράστες διέρρηξαν τον Ιερό Ναό και αφαίρεσαν μία εικόνα, έναν χρυσοκέντητο Επιτάφιο και δύο μεταλλικά κηροπήγια. Προανάκριση ενεργεί το Αστυνομικό Τμήμα Δελβινακίου».
Όλα αυτά, συμβαίνουν την ίδια ώρα που στην άλλη πλευρά των συνόρων, και σε απόσταση λίγων χιλιομέτρων, οι κάτοικοι στα χωριά της ελληνικής μειονότητας στην Αλβανία, βιώνουν το τελευταίο διάστημα, ανάλογες καταστάσεις με αλλεπάλληλα κρούσματα ληστειών και διαρρήξεων.
«Είναι πολύ πιθανόν, οι ομάδες κακοποιών που ρημάζουν τα χωριά του Αργυροκάστρου, να δραστηριοποιούνται οργανωμένα και στην περιοχή μας» επισημαίνει στο Πρακτορείο ο δήμαρχος Πωγωνίου Κώστας Καψάλης.
Ο ίδιος υποστηρίζει, ότι τα χωριά βρίσκονται «στο έλεος Αλβανών κακοποιών» και συνεχίζει: «Παρά της δεσμεύσεις που έλαβα επανειλημμένως από τους αρμόδιους ότι θα ξαναλειτουργήσουν τα στρατιωτικά φυλάκια, θα ενισχυθεί η αστυνομία στα σύνορα και θα τοποθετηθούν θερμικές κάμερες, δεν είδαμε τίποτα μέχρι σήμερα».
Ο Κώστας Καψάλης εκτιμά πως οι αρμόδιοι δεν μπορούν να αντιληφθούν το μέγεθος του προβλήματος και προσθέτει: «χάθηκε το αίσθημα ασφάλειας, με αποτέλεσμα οι ακρίτες να κοιμούνται με το όπλο δίπλα από το κρεβάτι και να σκέφτονται να εγκαταλείψουν τον τόπο τους».
Μετά από όλες αυτές τις προκλήσεις, είναι απαραίτητη η Ελληνοσερβική συμμαχία κατά του Αλβανικού αλυτρωτισμού.

Σερβία και Ελλάδα πρέπει να αναβιώσουν τη βαλκανική συμμαχία του 1912-13, κατά του σχεδίου της Δύσης και των Τούρκων που αφορά την δημιουργία της «Μεγάλης Αλβανίας» και περιλαμβάνει εδαφικά κομμάτια της ΠΓΔΜ (Δυτικό τμήμα) , της Ελλάδος( Ήπειρος), του Μαυροβουνίου, του Κοσόβου και της νότιας Σερβίας ( Πρέσεβο).
Αναγκαστική εξέλιξη θα είναι και η είσοδος της Βουλγαρίας στον πόλεμο αναβιώνοντας πλήρως την βαλκανική συμμαχία.
Οι Αλβανοί όπως έπραξαν και πράττουν και με την Ελλάδα, ειδικά με το περιστατικό με τους αλβανικής καταγωγής στρατιώτες του ελληνικού στρατού, ενεργούν βάσει συγκεκριμένου σχεδίου για την δημιουργία της «Μεγάλης Αλβανίας». Όσο πιο ταχύτατα το κατανοήσουμε αυτό τόσο πιο αποτελεσματικά θα δράσουμε αποσοβώντας μέγα κίνδυνο για την πατρίδα μας.

Change Balkans borders? US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher for FYROM, must Divide

Image result for US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Rohrabacher: "One of the issues that we will discuss is the change of the borders so that they make sense and bring peace to the Balkans".

US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is one of the most significant people in the House of Representatives. As a former aide to President Reagan, Mr. Rohrabacher likes to give a jolt of internal policies and external. He expects enthusiastically carrying out such a policy by the new President of Trump.

Vision Plus TV in Albania, was in the US Congress, in the office of Mr. Rohrabacher few days after he sent a letter to Serbian President Nikolic, in which, asked to examine the possibility of exchange of territories in the north of Kosovo, as the most good. Rohrabacher goes further: Let's change the boundaries of Macedonia (FYROM).

Change Balkans borders?

Dana Rohrabacher:... My position is that Macedonia is not a state. I'm sorry but it is not a state. They are so divided that they never will be able to go well together. So Kosovars and Albanians in Macedonia should be part of Kosovo. While the rest of the country should become part of Bulgaria or any other country with whom they claim to be related. The idea that Macedonia will keep alive because someone 30 years ago decided that this is the configuration that should emerge from the breakup of Yugoslavia, does not lead to an explanation that this idea is still held.

But the administration will support this idea Trump?

Dana Rohrabacher:

I have influence on US policy makers now. I am chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives that deals with that part of the world. We will have hearings in the coming months. One of the issues that we will discuss is the change of the borders so that they make sense and bring peace to the Balkans.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Athens on alert over Aegean tensions

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Ties between Ankara and Athens remained strained over the weekend, with Greece’s armed forces under instructions to remain alert but calm, following an escalating war of words over sovereignty in the Aegean and an unprecedented spike in Turkish provocations.

According to sources, the Greek military is particularly concerned about a possible surprise move by the Turkish Navy in the Aegean – either another attempt by a Turkish vessel to approach the Imia islets or a claim by Ankara to search and rescue rights in the area – that would ratchet up tensions further.

A week of challenges by Ankara, prompted by a Greek court decision on January 26 to reject a request for the extradition of eight Turkish military officers linked to last year’s failed coup, culminated in a terse verbal exchange.

Late on Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the “tone” and “absurd remarks” of Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, saying that they were “deplorable.”

“We condemn his baseless, inappropriate as well as unethical expressions against our country and our President and return them to the owner,” the Turkish ministry said in a written statement issued late on Friday.

“It is so unfortunate that this person, with such lack of consideration, fairness and utter disregard for the most basic rules of courtesy at the international level, and being ignorant of the principal bilateral instruments regarding irregular migration, occupies the office of the Minister of National Defense of Greece at these difficult times for the whole world as well as our region,” the statement added and called on Greek authorities to “act with responsibility.”

The statement followed Kammenos’s comments during an interview with ANT1 TV during which he accused Ankara of “cowboy tactics” in the Aegean and defended his right to fly over the Imia islets, the sovereignty of which Turkish authorities contest. That overflight prompted a barrage of violations of Greek air space by Turkish jets – a record of 138.

Overall, Athens has opted for a low-key response to a series of statements by Turkish government officials broaching territorial claims in the Aegean.

Speaking from an EU leaders’ summit in Malta at the end of last week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stressed that there are “no gray zones in the Aegean,” an apparent response to claims by his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim, according to which 130 rocky islets in the Aegean have “no identity.”

Diplomats fear that a power vacuum in Washington could mean that there will be a delay in any reaction if tensions escalate further. New US President Donald Trump has yet to fill key vacancies in the State Department and Defense Secretary’s office.

Παραμύθια και αλήθειες της «Μεγάλης» Αλβανίας

Η Αλβανία, ένα απομονωμένο κράτος και ένας λαός μετέωρος, που ζει κάτω από αυταρχικά καθεστώτα και παραπαίει μεταξύ διάφορων «προστατών», φαίνεται να κυλάει προς το τελευταίο σκαλοπάτι του άκρατου εθνικισμού, που μέσα από ιστορικές παραχαράξεις προσπαθεί να αποκτήσει πολιτιστική-ιστορική ταυτότητα, ανακαλύπτοντας σε αυτή την κρίσιμη στιγμή εχθρούς παντού, προκειμένου να επιβιώσει πάνω σε μύθους.

Από την εποχή της πτώσης του καθεστώτος Χότζα-Αλία, οι διάδοχοί τους πολιτικοί επανέφεραν μιαν αστήρικτη θεωρία περί Μεγάλης Αλβανίας, διεκδικώντας εδάφη από γειτονικά κράτη δυναμώνοντας τον εσωτερικό τους εθνικισμό με μύθους.

ΣΤΗ ΣΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ περιοχή, από τον 7ο μέχρι το 12ο αιώνα, υπήρχαν τα βιλαέτια (ομάδες κατοίκων που τους συνέδεε μόνο η θρησκεία) και όπως γράφει ο αυτοκρατορικός διπλωμάτης Γ. Γκεόργκ, «δεν υπήρχε καμιά οργανική σύνδεση ούτε οποιαδήποτε επικοινωνία ανάμεσα στις επαρχίες. Η περιοχή ήταν διαιρεμένη διοικητικά σε τέσσερα βιλαέτια, τα οποία συνιστούσαν de facto αυτόνομες μονάδες. Για να μετακινηθούν από το ένα βιλαέτι στο άλλο απαιτούνταν ειδική άδεια».

Στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του 1870 αναπτύχθηκε ένα εθνικιστικό κίνημα, από μια μικρή ομάδα διανοουμένων που ζούσαν στο εξωτερικό, με στόχο τη δημιουργία ενός ενιαίου έθνους για να διεκδικήσουν την παρουσία τους στην περιοχή. Οι Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις το 1870 συγκάλεσαν συνέδριο στο Βερολίνο, με σκοπό το διαμελισμό της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας μεταξύ των νέων-δημιουργούμενων κρατών. Η απόφαση του Βερολίνου δεν αναγνώρισε ότι υπάρχει Αλβανία και ο Γερμανός καγκελάριος Μπίσμαρκ ανήγγειλε ότι η Αλβανία δεν ήταν τίποτα περισσότερο από μια γεωγραφική έκφραση.

ΑΠΟ ΕΚΕΙΝΗ την εποχή το κύριο μέλημα των Αλβανών ήταν η δημιουργία πολιτιστικής ιστορικής ταυτότητας, δημιουργώντας το δικό τους μύθο για το παρελθόν και ότι ήταν ένα ξεχωριστό έθνος. Η δημιουργία του παρελθόντος είναι αναπόσπαστο κομμάτι κάθε διαδικασίας που μετατρέπει έναν λαό σε έθνος.

Για τους Αλβανούς εθνικιστές η κατασκευή του παρελθόντος ήταν σημαντικό στοιχείο γα να δώσει στους κατοίκους της περιοχής την αίσθηση ότι όλοι μοιράζονταν κοινή ιστορία. Πιο σημαντικό όμως, ήταν, σύμφωνα με τα λόγια του γνωστού συγγραφέα Ισμαήλ Κανταρέ, να τους πείσουν ότι «αυτοί είχαν μια λαμπρή ιστορία και πως οι εθνικές συμφορές δεν ήταν λόγος για να τους κάνει να απομακρυνθούν από την πατρώα γη, αλλά αντιθέτως να τους φέρει πιο κοντά σε αυτή».

Αυτό έγινε το καίριο στοιχείο για το αλβανικό εθνικιστικό κίνημα, το οποίο βρέθηκε απροετοίμαστο να υλοποιήσει μόνο του το βασικό προπαγανδιστικό πλάνο. Ζήτησε τη βοήθεια των Νεότουρκων και των Σέρβων εθνικιστών, οι οποίοι δεν αρνούνταν την ύπαρξη του αλβανικού έθνους, αλλά έφταναν στα άκρα, όπως στην περίπτωση ενός προπαγανδιστικού βιβλίου που δημοσιεύθηκε στη Γαλλία και τη Γερμανία από τον πρώην Σέρβο πρωθυπουργό Βλάνταν, που ανέφερε ότι είναι από τους πρώτους λαούς που κατοίκησαν στην περιοχή, την εποχή που οι άνθρωποι είχαν ακόμη ουρές.

Η ΔΙΑΧΩΡΙΣΤΙΚΗ γραμμή ανάμεσα στο μύθο και την ιστορία ήταν συχνά θολή και δύσκολα ορατή. Ο Ναούμ Βεκιλάρτζι, ο πρώτος θεωρητικός του αλβανικού εθνικισμού, κωδικοποίησε τις αντιφάσεις και παραχαράξεις σε βιώσιμα γλωσσικά και ιστορικά στοιχεία.

Η καταγωγή της εθνογένεσης είχε ιδιαίτερη σημασία για τους Αλβανούς εθνικιστές συγγραφείς. Πρώτον, οι πρόγονοι ήταν οι μυθικοί Πελασγοί. Αλλά σταδιακά, ενώ ωρίμαζε το αλβανικό εθνικιστικό κίνημα, η ρομαντική πελασγική θεωρία, όπως και άλλες, αντικαταστάθηκαν από τη θεωρία της ιλλυρικής προέλευσης, που ήταν περισσότερο πειστική γιατί είχε τη στήριξη πολλών λογίων (αγνοώντας τις αρχαίες ελληνικές αναφορές). Η θεωρία της ιλλυρικής προέλευσης έγινε σύντομα ένας από τους κύριους πυλώνες του αλβανικού εθνικισμού εξαιτίας της σημασίας του ως τεκμήριο της αλβανικής ιστορικής συνέχειας στο Κόσοβο.

ΠΡΩΤΟΣ ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ ήρωας έγινε ο Σκεντέρμπεης, παρά το γεγονός ότι η δράση του δεν αφορούσε όλους τους Αλβανούς. Δεν περιλαμβάνονταν ούτε το Κόσοβο ούτε τα περισσότερα μέρη του Νότου. Μια προσπάθεια που είχε κάνει το 1455 να καταλάβει την οθωμανική πόλη του Μπερατίου, απέτυχε. Επομένως, ο μύθος του εθνικού ήρωα χρειαζόταν κάποια αναπροσαρμογή. Δεν μπορούσαν να έχουν έναν ήρωα ο οποίος για ένα τέταρτο του αιώνα ήταν ορκισμένος εχθρός των Οθωμανών. Συνεπώς έπρεπε το αφήγημα να αλλάξει και ο Σκεντέρμπεης να συμβολίζει την ύπατη θυσία των Αλβανών στην προσπάθειά τους να υπερασπιστούν την Ευρώπη από τις ασιατικές ορδές.

Οι εθνικιστές θεώρησαν τις θρησκευτικές διαιρέσεις ως παράγοντα διχόνοιας, αλλά και ως όχημα ξένων επιρροών. Αυτό εξηγεί τον ιδιαίτερο κοσμικό χαρακτήρα του αλβανικού εθνικισμού, που προσομοιάζει με δυτικοευρωπαϊκό εθνικισμό παρά με αλβανικό, γι’ αυτό ο Πάσχος Βάζα επινόησε τον όρο «αλβανισμός», υποστηρίζοντας ότι η «αληθινή θρησκεία του Αλβανού είναι ο αλβανισμός». Το δόγμα αυτό έδωσε τη δυνατότητα να αντιμετωπιστεί ο προβληματισμός για τη δημιουργία του εθνικού μύθου της εθνικής συνοχής, της ομογενοποίησης της αλβανικής κοινωνίας, ανεξαρτήτως του θρησκευτικού δόγματος που τους χώριζε σε χριστιανικά, μουσουλμανικά, προτεσταντικά, καθολικά βιλαέτια.

Το δόγμα αυτό αξιοποίησαν οι πολιτικοί ηγέτες για τη νομιμοποίηση της πολιτικής τους. Για παράδειγμα, ο Αχμέτ Ζόγου και ο Χότζα, οι οποίοι προσπάθησαν με κάθε τρόπο να εφαρμόσουν αυτό το δόγμα για τη Μεγάλη Αλβανία.

ΟΙ ΜΕΓΑΛΕΣ ΔΥΝΑΜΕΙΣ, με την υποκίνηση της Αυστρίας και της Ιταλίας, αποφάσισαν την ίδρυση ανεξάρτητου αλβανικού κράτους με το Πρωτόκολλο του Λονδίνου (29 Ιουλίου 1913). Η διάσκεψη αυτή όρισε μια διεθνή επιτροπή για τον καθορισμό των συνόρων της Αλβανίας. Με το Πρωτόκολλο της Φλωρεντίας (17-12-1913) διαχώρισε τη χώρα σε δυο ζώνες, άφηνε τη νότια στην Ελλάδα, τη βόρεια στο νεοσύστατο κράτος και διέτασσε τα ελληνικά στρατεύματα να αποχωρήσουν από το έδαφος των περιφερειών που προσαρτούσε η Αλβανία.

Η Διεθνής Επιτροπή Ελέγχου, με εντολή των Μεγάλων Δυνάμεων, όρισε κυβερνήτη της Αλβανίας τον Γερμανό πρίγκιπα Γουλιέλμο του Βιντ. Μέσα σε αυτό το χρονικό διάστημα δεν κατάφερε να επιβάλει την εξουσία του και κάλεσε την κυβέρνηση του Γιώργου Ζωγράφου σε διαπραγματεύσεις, των οποίων προϊόν ήταν το πρωτόκολλο της Κέρκυρας (17-5-1914).

Το πρωτόκολλο αυτό προέβλεπε ότι οι περιοχές που είχαν καταλάβει τα βορειοηπειρωτικά στρατεύματα θα αποτελούσαν μεν τμήμα του αλβανικού κράτους, αλλά θα είχαν ευρύτατα προνόμια αυτονομίας. Στο τέλος του πολέμου το 1919, με τη συμφωνία Βενιζέλου-Τιτόνι αναγνωρίσθηκε η ελληνικότητα του Αργυροκάστρου και της Κορυτσάς.

Ο ΣΗΜΕΡΙΝΟΣ πρωθυπουργός της Αλβανίας αλλά και ο προηγούμενος ακολουθούν τη γραμμή του Τούρκου προέδρου Ερντογάν. Πρόσφατα έκαναν δηλώσεις που αμφισβητούσαν τα ελληνικά σύνορα, αγνοώντας τις συμφωνίες φιλίας που υπογράφτηκαν διαχρονικά μεταξύ των δυο χωρών. Ο δε Μπερίσα ήταν αυτός που είχε υπογράψει το τελευταίο σύμφωνο φιλίας δηλώνοντας τον Μάρτιο του 2008 ότι: «Το σύμφωνο φιλίας (μεταξύ Αλβανίας και Ελλάδας) προσδιορίζει ξεκάθαρα την αναγνώριση και το σεβασμό των συνόρων μεταξύ των δυο χωρών. Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο καμιά από τις δυο χώρες δεν έχει διεκδικήσεις σε βάρος της άλλης. Αυτό είναι οριστικό».

Τι έγινε και άλλαξε τώρα άποψη;

"Ελεύθερος Τύπος"

Rama Upholds Kosovo's Sovereignty on Pristina Visit

On a visit to Pristina at a troubled time for the EU-led Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said his country stood 'side by side' with Kosovo in its efforts to defend its sovereignty.

Fatjona Mejdini


Albanian PM, Edi Rama (left) and his Kosovo counterpart Isa Mustafa on Thursday in Pristina. Photo: Edi Rama's Facebook page

Albania's Prime Minister used an official visit to Kosovo on Thursday to stress the deep solidarity between the two countries at a time of serious tension between Kosovo and Serbia and following tough talks in Brussels between the two sides.

Guesting on a show on Thursday night on TV Klan Kosovo, Rama and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci talked about tensions with Serbia, about the controversial wall built by Serbs in the divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, and about the train bearing the slogan "Kosovo is Serbia" that Serbia tried to send to the northern part of Kosovo.

Rama used the event to repeat that Albania stood by Kosovo's side when it comes to the issue of Kosovo's sovereignty over its territory.

"The issue of Kosovo's territory was closed on the day Kosovo declared independence [in 2008]," Rama said.

Kosovo and Albania are ... side by side in promoting peace, but also, in the theoretical hypothesis that this sovereignty needs to protected from anybody threatening it, we will remain stay side by side," Rama said.

Rama emphasised that this was just a hypothetical scenario as he did not see the sovereignty of Kosovo as currently at risk.

"We don't have to push this further, however there is no chance of Kosovo being violated on its territory, not even on a single square metre of it," Rama emphasized.

On Facebook on Friday, Rama repeated the solidarity that Albania shares with Kosovo in the wake of the latest tensions with Serbia.

"In Pristina ... we talked about the latest developments and joint challenges, highlighting the brotherly solidarity between Albania and Kosovo on the joint and difficult path towards peace and the democratisation of our states," he wrote.

On his visit to Pristina, Rama, met his counterpart, Isa Mustafa, President Thaci and the Mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti.

He also visited the office of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo party, AAK, whose leader, Ramush Haradinaj, remains detained in France under a Serbian warrant for war crimes.

Serbia's Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, criticised Rama's visit to the AAK party's office in Kosovo and accused Rama of encouraging its "extremists".

"I don't want to comment on Rama's visit to Haradinaj's party, but if I visited Serbian extremists, the whole EU would react," he said on Thursday, according to Serbia's Tanjug news agency.

Understanding Albanian nationality and regional political-security consequences

Understanding Albanian nationality and regional political-security consequences

The Albanian nationhood as understood in the 19th century was part of a romanticist notion of nationality, i.e., the Albanians were the Balkan people whose mother tongue was Albanian regardless of any confessional division of Albanian people into three denominations (Moslem, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox). 
Within the north Albanian tribes, especially among the Miriditi, the Roman Catholic Church was very influential. The Roman Catholic Church became the main protector of the Albanian language and cultural heritage and the main protagonist of the national identity of the Albanians in the Northern Albania. The expression of common notions of the Albanian nationhood were expressed by the Albanian political leadership in the years of the Balkan Wars 1912–1913 in slogans such as: “Neve Shqiptar nuk jemi Greke, Sllav, or Teerk, neve jemi Shqiptar” (“We Albanians are not the Greeks, Slavs, or Turks, we are the Albanians”).

The Albanian political “methodology” from the time of the First Prizren League in 1878 until the Balkan Wars was applied in preparation for unification of all “ethnically Albanian territories” in the Balkans into (a “Greater”) Albania – a single national state of all Albanians, i.e., within the ethnic borders demanded by the League in the years of its existence from 1878 to 1881. Essentially similar national-state concepts were also included in the political programs of the Albanian Peja (Pejë) League, from 1899, the Greater Albanian Kosovo Committee, from 1920, and the Second Prizren League, from 1943.

This included preservation of the traditional, common law and local community as the organizational basis of the national movement followed by the demand for unification of all territories populated by the Albanians became Albanian primary national interest from 1878 onward.

Clearly, the process of creation of Albanian nationality was not yet completed at the end of the 19th century. The Albanian nation was not considered a political reality in Europe by many politicians at that time. The Albanian people were among the last ones in Europe to build up their own national identity and national community. When during the sessions of the Congress of Berlin in 1878 the question of Albania and the Albanians was put on the agenda, the German Chancellor (Kanzzelar) Otto von Bismarck decisively rejected discussing it with the explanation that there was no Albanian nationality. For him, the Albanians were the Turks.

At the same time, the Serbs (either from Serbia or from Montenegro) and the Greeks considered themselves as a nation (i.e., ethnic groups which had their own state organizations), and as such were understood by Europe, while the Albanians were understood as the Balkan ethnic group (i.e., the group of people who did not have its own state). Consequently, the ethnic group of Albanians could live only as an ethnic minority included into some of the Balkan national state(s) and could not expect more than the right to autonomy within it (them). At the turn of the 20th century many politicians in Serbia, Montenegro and Greece shared the opinion that the ethnic group of the Albanians was culturally and politically incapable of a modern national development and above all unable and insufficiently competent to establish and rule their own national state.

The backwardness of the development of Albanian society at the beginning of the 20th century was evidenced by the fact that the initiation of a process of modernization shook the Albanian tribal society, but failed to replace it with a modern industrial, parliamentary and civil society. The Albanian national movement was seen as an archaic social movement that could not reach a level of national cohesion in modern terms.

This movement produced among the Serbs, Montenegrins and Greeks a feeling of jeopardization of the political and territorial integrity of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. For them, the theory of the Illyrian-Albanian continuity was in essence a nationalistic ideological construction which became a driving politically-ideological force for Albanian politicians to create, from the Albanian point of view, their ethnic borders according to Albanian acquired rights.

Geopolitically, this project, from 1878 to the present, demands not only the territories which ethnically and historically belong to the Albanians, but goes beyond them and encompasses the entire Illyrian-Albanian ethnic population, dispersed in different areas over the neighboring Balkan regions: Kosovo and Metohija, southern parts of Central Serbia, Çameria (Greek Epirus and Greek Western Macedonia), the western portion of the Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM) and the Eastern Montenegro.
However, contrary to the theory of the backwardness of Albanian social development, the Albanian political and intellectual leadership from the turn of the 20th century has argued that the Albanians met all conditions required by contemporary political science to be recognized as a nation: 1) they have their separate ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity; 2) the Albanian settlements in the Balkans are compact; 3) the Albanians have a very precisely defined national program; and 4) they possess the abilities to build up a community and their own independent state which would be self-governed.

The Albanian political and intellectual leadership often stressed that the Albanian people with their own national idea would never be successfully integrated either into Serbian, Montenegrin or Greek societies and states. That is, in addition to numerous and diverse causes, also due to the fact that the Albanians do not belong to the Slavic or Greek linguistic and cultural groups. There is also significant divergence of national development of the Serbs, Montenegrins, Greeks, on the one hand, and the Albanians, on the other. These nations had a different kind of national movements and distinctly different political elite and national ideology. However, the Albanian national ideology of the Illyrian-Albanian ethnogenesis was created and still exists as a pure myth in the form of a quasi-scientific political propaganda for the sake of the creation of a “Greater” Albania.

Finally, the Albanians surely were among the very few Balkan peoples who managed to find an internal balance between three faiths and to build up the national identity associated with each one as Islam is followed by 70% of Albanian population (primarily from Albania proper, Kosovo and Metohija, the Western Macedonia and the Eastern Montenegro), Eastern Orthodoxy is professed by 20% of the Albanians (chiefly from the Southern Albania and the Greek Northern Epirus) and Roman Catholicism is adhered by 10% of the Albanians (mainly from the Northern Albania proper and Kosovo and Metohija).[10] In one word, the Illyrian theory of the Albanian ethnogenesis played a crucial role in forming a common Albanian identity regardless on confessional division of the Albanians.

The 19th century movement of the Albanian national awakening started half a century later in contrast to a similar process of other Balkan nations and an entire century after similar movements in Central Europe. The cause of this delay was a general national-cultural underdevelopment of the Albanian people who lived under the Ottoman Empire for centuries without cultural and ideological connections to Western Europe where the ideology and movement of nationalism emerged and spread throughout the European continent. Subsequently, the ideas of national identification, national statehood and the concept of historical-ethnic territorial boundaries was realized by Albania’s neighbors (the Greeks, Serbs and Montenegrins) well in advance of the Albanian people.

When Albanian intellectuals during and after the Great Eastern Crisis 1875–1878 theoretically shaped the thought and concept of the Albanian national idea related to the question of fixing Albanian national territories and creating an Albanian national state, they faced, and had to struggle with, Serbian, Montenegrin and Greek national aspirations towards the realization of their own national statehood. This ideological, political and military fight was focused primarily on the question upon certain “national” soils on the Balkans which would be included either into a united Serbia, united Montenegro, united Greece or united Albania: Kosovo and Metohija, Northern Epirus, Western Macedonia, Skadar (Skutari) region in the Northwest Albania and the territories around the city of Ulcinj and the Bojana river in the Eastern Montenegro.

The national program of the First League of Prizren set up the following two ultimate national goals of the Albanians: 1) the national liberation of all Albanians, of whom a majority lived within the Ottoman Empire and a minority in the independent states of Serbia and Montenegro; and 2) the creation of a national state of the Albanians in which the entire Albanian historical and ethnic territories would be incorporated into Greater Albania.

This second requirement led the Albanians in subsequent decades into open conflict with the neighboring Christian states: Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. The national awakening of the Albanian people in the years of 1878–1912 resulted in the establishment of an ideology of nationhood and statehood that was, to a greater or lesser extent, challenged and opposed by all of Albania’s neighbors today – the Serbs, Greeks, Montenegrins and the Macedonian Slavs.