Friday, June 15, 2007

Former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, whose maternal ancestors came from a region in northwestern Greece called Epiros, will address a naFotional gathering of Greek-Americans from that area in Worcester, MA on June 16.
The occasion for the gathering is the 35tth biennial convention of the Panepirotic Federation, an association of 36 chapters of immigrants from Epiros and their offspring that was originally formed in Worcester in 1942. The convention will be held from June 13 to 17 at Worcester’s Crown Plaza Hotel.
Along with Michael Dukakis, a former governor of MA, distinguished public figures such as Representative James McGovern and Worcester Mayor Konstantina Lukes will attend the gala dinner dance on June 16 that will be the highlight of the convention.
Metropolitan Methodios, the spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in New England, will deliver the invocation and the benediction at the dinner, assisted by the Rev. Dean Paleologos, dean of St. Spyridon’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester.
Representing the younger generation of the Greek-American Epirote community, Albany television news reporter Demetra Ganias and author/journalist Eleni Gage will be co-emcees of the gala dinner dance.
More than 300 delegates from all over the U.S. will participate in the four-day convention, including six former presidents of the Federation and dozens of chapter presidents. Among the most notable delegates will be Al and Dorothy Wilson, who will travel all the way from Los Angeles to attend, even though they are 87 and 85 years old respectively. The Wilsons are the parents of actress and producer Rita Wilson, the wife of actor Tom Hanks. He named his estate in Idaho “Sotira” after his mother-in-law’s village in Epiros. (Other notable Greek Americans from Epiros are former CIA director George Tenet, author Nicholas Gage and the late actor and director John Cassavetes.)
The convention will also attract a number of public figures from Greece, including several deputies in the Greek Parliament, as well as Nikos Gontas, the mayor of the provincial capital of Epiros, Ioannina.
The convention will begin with registration on June 13, continue with working sessions over the next three days, and culminate with the election of new officers on Saturday, June 16 and the gala dinner dance that evening. The working sessions will open with a report from the current president of the federation, Michael Servos, a businessman from Clearwater, FL, who will outline the organization’s efforts over the past two years to support the Epiros region, half of which lies in Greece and half in Albania.
Epiros is an ancient area whose recorded history goes back to Homer. Aristotle wrote in his treatise “Meterology” that the Greek language and culture began in the region. The mother of Alexander the Great, Olympias, was a princess of Epiros, and the last military leader to defeat the Romans in battle was King Pyrrhus of Epiros.
Until the 20th Century, the whole of Epiros was considered one region, but when European powers created the new country of Albania in 1913, they assigned the northern half of the area to the new nation. Overnight the ethnic Greeks of the area found themselves a minority in a new country that regarded them with suspicion and often persecuted them.
One of the main goals of the Panepirotic Federation in America has been to try to secure basic human rights for the ethnic Greeks of Northern Epiros and at the same time to promote economic development in the southern part of Epiros that is in Greece. Over the years, the Federation has provided hundreds of scholarships to students in both parts of the region and has helped support schools, churches, and cultural organizations in both areas.
Last year, at a conference in the capital of Epiros, Ioannina, the Federation was instrumental in creating a World Council of Epirotes Abroad to bring together Epirote organizations from all five continents and strengthen their efforts to promote economic development and cultural enrichment of their ancestral

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Photo: "Shekulli"

Nickolas Gage: "In Albania live abou 600 thousand ethnic greeks"

The declarate of the Head of Pan Epiriotic of World Organisation, is made in Occasion of 35 Pan Epiriotic Convention which is making in Boston, USA.

"The albanian Governament does not make the General Counting Population because has afraid about individual declarate in which every albanian citizen must claim his identity. According to Albanian Authorities, the greeks in albania, are 1.17% of total popullation, while the Greek Organisations said for about 25% (togather with vllahes greek Community)

The Greek Governament according to statistics of Prime Minister Venizelos on Peace Concerence in Paris 1919, has declared for about 150 thousand, while seeing acctualy the raise of albanian statistic population makes between 550 to 600 thousand greek who live in Albania and Greece (emigrant). The greek governament it self has the statistics based also to his decision last year for given the greek citizenship to albanian emigrants, who like greek heritage togather with greek omogenes, a total numebr of 700 thousand who live in Greece and Albania (Northern Epirus)

According to CIA factbook in 1989, the ethnik greeks of albania are between 3% (albanian statistics) to 12% (greek organisations) a total population about 3.2 million from census statistics of state dictature. Annwyaw a large orthodoxes in albania (30% albanian population) must declare their old epiriotean origin.

Albania's love affair with America
President Bush was met with cheers,
hugs, and a kiss when he greeted Albanians
Sunday during a visit to the country.

PETER Lucas June 14, 2007

THE THING to remember about the extraordinary reception the Albanian people awarded President Bush on Sunday was that the outpouring of love was not so much for Bush -- although he is popular in the tiny Balkan nation -- but for the country he represents.
Any president of the United States would have received the same overwhelmingly enthusiastic welcome. Unlike the jaded residents of the rest of old Europe, the Albanian people, who are new to democracy, believe that the United States is a great democracy that believes in spreading freedom and democracy around the world. Albanians believe they are living proof of this.
Albania's love affair with the United States did not begin overnight. It started when President Woodrow Wilson, after World War I, stood up to the victorious nations of Europe and insisted that Albania, made up of one of the oldest peoples of Europe, was a true nation and that its borders had to be preserved and protected.
Back then the so-called victorious Great Powers -- Britain, France, and Italy -- wanted to divide Albania up among its neighbors, as a sort of reward for fighting and defeating the German/Austrian coalition.
Serbia was slated for a piece here, Greece a chunk there, and Italy a section of the coast. But for Wilson standing up for Albania, the tiny, poor and defenseless country would have disappeared. So it is no small wonder than many an Albanian boy born after 1919 was named Wilson.
Albania did disappear for awhile when Italy invaded it in 1939 and occupied the country. After Italy was defeated by the Allies and dropped out of World War II in 1943, the Germans took its place. The Communist Partisans, with some help from the United Kingdom and the United States, forced the Germans out of the country. There was nothing to cheer about, though, when Enver Hoxha and the communists took over Albania.
Hoxha ruled the country with an iron fist, like a small version of Stalin, stamping out freedom, religion, and hope.
When Hoxha died in 1985, communism followed suit a few years later. Once again Albania looked to the United States for hope and guidance. When Secretary of State James Baker paid a visit to the fledging democracy in 1991, the crowds were as large and as enthusiastic as the crowds that greeted Bush on Sunday. Joyous men sought to lift Baker's limousine and carry it into downtown Tirana like a trophy.
Then came Slobodan Milosevic and his ethnic cleansing of Kosovo in 1999. As hundreds of thousands of Kosovars streamed across the border for safety in Albania, President Clinton dragged a reluctant Europe into following him and his NATO bombing of Serbia that forced Milosevic's downfall. Once again the Albanian people learned that their security lay not with the states of Europe but with the United States.
When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Albania in 1999, she was treated like a rock star. The same treatment was given to Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2003 when he went to Tirana to witness the signing of the Adriatic Charter, a document that is leading Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia into NATO membership
Albania showed its gratitude when it answered Bush's call to join the coalition of the willing and follow the United States into Iraq. Albania practically elbowed its way to the front of the line.
Although its contribution in manpower was small -- 120 soldiers -- its spirit was large. Fatos Tarifa, Albania's former ambassador to the United States at the time, was widely quoted when he said: "If you believe in freedom, you believe in fighting for it. If you believe in fighting for it, you believe in the United States."
That sums up the feeling Albanians have for the United States better than anything else. Sometimes Albanians are more American than Americans.
Bush, the first American president to visit Albania, thrilled the country at his Sunday joint press conference with Albania's prime minister, Sali Berisha, when he said, "Mirëdita." That's Albanian for "Have a good day." And so they did.
Peter Lucas, a former Boston political reporter, is author of "The OSS in World War II Albania."

The frivolity of Europe
By Petros Papaconstantinou
The 1999 war in Kosovo was a national tragedy for Serbia and a political tragedy for Europe. Once again – the first time being the Bosnian civil war – European leaders proved themselves incapable of handling a crisis in their own backyard. Instead, they delegated authority to the US and undermined the power of the UN. Worse still, they enabled the creation of an unviable NATO protectorate in the western Balkans. Eight years on, Europeans are pouring oil on the flames by eyeing the independence of the divided province – again without a UN mandate. It’s hard to grasp the frivolity with which prominent European leaders are handling an historic decision such as a forced change of borders, the first since WW2. The breakup of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia – all federal, multiethnic states – was the result of internal instability and the new status did not affect the ethnic makeup of the various territories. In Serbia’s case however, the international community is seeking to mutilate a European state after having first humiliated its leader. Undoubtedly, Bush has something to gain from Albanian nationalism. But it’s difficult to see what’s in it for Europe. Advocates of the UN plan invoke the ethnic Albanians’ right to self-determination. Kosovo, they say, is a special case and won’t set a precedent. But what about the Serbs living in Bosnia or northern Kosovo? What about the pro-Russian, de facto independent regions of South Ossetia, Abkhasia, Trans-Dniester, Crimea or the Baltic republics? What about the Hungarian minorities in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia? Or even the Basques in Spain and the Flemish population in Belgium? And what about the Turkish minority in southern Bulgaria near Thrace?
Self-determination was once acknowledged as an inalienable right of peoples living under the rule of powerful colonial empires – and not an all-weather solution.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Markos Stavros*
(Journalist, Member of the World Security Network Southeast Europe Office)

Under a secret plan, the Albanian government is preparing the land prices on Southern Albanian Coast Line (Northern Epirus) supported from abusive laws, in accordance with the Agency of Compensation of the Proprieties and the Project of “Integrated Coastal Development Study”, but in reality, it is preparing a national strategic plain to open a “free way” for the Albanian and Kosovo mafia to buy land and to change identity from the Byzantine period architecture, churches and monasteries of Northern Epirus to an Albanian paradox strategy of tourism.
What has in mind the Albanian government to do with Southern Coast Line (Northern Epirus)?
Which strategy is using under the slogan “Development of Albanian Tourism” across to Gross Roads, seeing the massacre of Action Nationalist Plain to change the Saranda Region from Byzantine Identity to Albanian anarchy including the support of thousands Albanian people to move in southern and to build abusive houses?
What is happening actually?
In Southern Albania, after communist collapse of 1991 and particularly after Civil War in 1997, the Albanian strategy has realized its goals to change from the Greek population to Albanian in terms of majority percentage, favoring thousand of people from other regions to build houses and hotels in Region of Saranda. The chaotic situation resulting from the anarchic housing development, continue until now “living together across to Buthrynto`s International Park”, (about 2000 houses are waiting to be legalized) under the “Law of Legalization” voted from Berisha Government.
The strategy from Government to build the “Mediterranean Club” in Kakomea Beach, making as a greater propaganda for Albanian Tourist strategy, the “Albanian mafia” is paying again to rise its interest to the Berisha`s Klan, although, when he was the political opposition, he had been against Nano`s Government (Left Coalition) that accused him as linked with the mafia to sell the lands to “Riviera Company”. But now the “history continues without finish” even the villagers of Kakomea Beach (Greek Community), continues to resist against any pressing to take and robbery their lands under the strategy of Tourism.
Why Berisha Government is supporting a “Kosovo Team” as businessmen to have priority and license to built “Tourist Villages” on Ionian Coast Line?
One month ago, in Jali (a Himara beautiful beach) the police structures destructed houses and proprieties of villagers of Jali (Greek Community). The Albanian press called as a strategy to build tourist village by a Kosovo American Businessman. The Municipality of Himara has protected the villagers declaring to have against any decision of Albanian authorities to destruct houses at the beginning of tourist season. While one day after, the Chairman of HRUP Evangjelos Doules and Mayor of Himara Municipality Vassilis Bollanos accused Berisha at the Albanian parliament as linked with Kosovo mafia against the interests of the Greek region population.
In fact, according to a variety of well-informed sources; Albanians and Kosovo mafia klans around the world - linked with a branch very strong inside Albanian government - who are supporting institutionally to finance groups known as “Cartel” to buy lands and proprieties of Northern Epiriotes from Diviaka coasts line to Butryntos Park in Saranda Region. The strategy is being supported from abusive laws contested from coastline population particularly Himara Region (The law 7501). According to information, there are about 500 million Euro in disposition of the mafia group to buy lands and to change the historically structure of monasteries and Byzantine churches. The plan has been in action months ago, when in a village known as Drimades (Himara Region), mafia has constructed some hotels in collaboration with persons under judicial restrain from authorities. Falsifying propriety documents and officially known from abusive Tribunal Decision, the Albanian mafia has bought about 70% of Ionian Cast Line.
On 2003, The Human Rights report of U.S. State Department had observed decisions of the Albanian Tribunal of Vlora and Saranda to monitor anonymous persons (most probably, members of the Albanian authorities service) as the owners. They soon after sold them, whilst the real owners (Greek Community), protested every day against Albanian authority and mafia.
Some days ago, the Mayor of Lukovo informed us for a raise of the interest by Kosovo anonymous prospective buyers to “invest under very good prices” lands from Ionian Coast Line. But one month ago, the Mayor had protested to Prime Minister Berisha for about 500 abusive houses are constructing during the Ionian Coast Line from other people but not from Lukovo Region, as the Albanian press reported. In Fieri Region, a strong Klan from Kosovo old origin is buying Adriatic Coast Line in order to construct ranch near Apollonia Park. But the strategic Nationalism of Tourism in Albania, as Minister Ylli Pango claimed calls for construction of tens of Tourist Villages particularly during Ionian Coast Line.
Does the “Commercial Bank of Albania” (Turkish Bank) buy lands in Albania?
The only Bank of the country (in total 18 banks), which claims its interest to buy lands and proprieties, is the “Commercial Bank of Albania” old state bank privatized from Turkish Consortium Banks. But similar history of buying lands is developing in Northern Cyprus and Thrace Region in Greece. The question is: Albanian state, Albanian and Kosovo mafia…. and Turkish Bank are working together to buy lands and properties of Northern Epirotes to change also the structure and Byzantine identity? Is this Bank (before was Albanian state propriety) as principal financiers of Albanians come in Saranda Region to change the architecture of Byzantine and Epiriotic historically structure to cement constructions?
During last summer period the Ionian Coast Line owners have met tourist from Kosovo, Albanians mafias who even not known well southern part of Albania, often proposed with lot of money to buy lands!!! “We do not sell our lands, why you come to us to offer so much money often, in Europe there are beautiful beaches and you should buy there?” said the owners...
The Himara Community one month ago had protested for a plan of government under the strategy of “Development of Albanian Tourism across to Gross Roads” a project of government with the World Bank for Albanian Coast Line. The Albanian media informs that the son in law of Prime Minister Berisha, Jamarber Maltzi, is the director of the project, contested from Himara Community, when the daughter of prime minister is advocate of “Mediterranean Club” and has lot of influence together with Foreign Minister Lulezim Basha, strong link with Kosovo. Another person who works near prime minister is Shaban Memia, as Director of “Agency of Legalization” known as linked with Kosovo. Greek community has the rights to protect the annexation of their proprieties from the Albanian state to construct the tourist village considering as Albanian mafia. What happened with the strategy to help Northern Epirote people to rise the investments in their lands, when the Greek Banks gave about 250 million euro to construct the “Patriotic Road” Tirana Pristina, helping the Berisha`s Government?
“The Hellenic strategic aim of Hellas in Albania must be the cultural, linguistic and the full help to Northern Epirotes from banks and investments, economical re-Hellenization of its southern territories, that is of the Hellenic national place of North Epirus”, said often the Greek political representatives. But reality shows quite a different perspective. The aid of the Hellenic State to Albania has been changed, creating another priority; to raise investments not in Northern Epirus but in Tirana and Durresi, where the Albanian population is being transferred, leaving the land of Northern Epirus on the hands of the Albanian mafia, not investments, not Greek schools and most certainly not a single helping hand from the Hellenic banks.
Last June, in Ioannina the Chairman of Pan Epirotic Federation of America Mihailis Servos, calls Athens, the Greek Banks and Hellenic Investment Companies to give all the support for the Northern Epiriotes, who must stand in their lands and proprieties, but until now there has been not any progress. From a political point of view, Athens is giving all of its support to the Albanian Government to along the EU and NATO structures and in particular as the first foreign investor in Albania with about 800 million euro invested capital.
The strategic interest of Albania is to make all the efforts to conclude the final status of unification of “Greater Albania”. Now the Kosovo people could enter in Albanian boarders without passport (even the half of population have taken Albanian passports), but needed a highway that the finances have been found by the “Greek Banks benefactors”, a paradox hard to notice...

Stavros Markos*

Member of World Security Network Foundation Athens & South Eastern Europe Office. Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS), Athens, Greece.(Albanian politics, NGO & Minorities studies). Journalist, analyst on organized crime in the Balkans & NGO Director. Markos Stavros, born in 1965 in Vlore, Albania, is an award-winning investigative journalist in Tirana. He has worked with BBC Radio, Albanian Television TVS, France Television TF1, TF2, TV5, Italian Television RAI, Athens Media Sesk and more, specializing in Balkan organized crime. He is directing NGO activities around minority issues and has served in the directory of TV Stations and newspapers

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comments of albanian press about the scandal:
"Lost or find the watch" of US President Bush,
during his visit in Albania?
In the end of his visit in Albania, the US President Bush met albanian people in Fushe Kruja 15 km in north of Tirana. During the meeting a live with people, before he flaiyed on "First One" to Sofie, Bush lost the watch hand. Many albanian TV and newspapers comments that if the watch of President Bush has been lost or robery from people.
Anyway acording to US embassy in Tirana and Albanian Authority the watch of President Bush has been lost and finded during the friend meeting with albanian people from bodyguards of escort of the President.

Photo: The moment when The President Bush has "lost" his beautiful watch during the meeting with the people of Fushe Kruja

"The New York Times"
June 11, 2007, 1:12 pm

Can Bush Lead a Tourism Wave to Albania?

By Mike Nizza

Tags: ,
President Bush got a wildly enthusiastic reception on Sunday in the Albanian town of Fusche Kruje, including the traditional head rub, above. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/Associated Press)
Reports about President Bush’s trip to Albania sounded more inviting than most tourism commercials (please see “So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?”).
As throngs of people packed streets to catch a glimpse of him, “wearing Uncle Sam top hats in the sweltering heat,” according to The Times, the prime minister welcomed him as “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.”
And there’s even more good news for American tourists looking for a good time in Europe: It’s also quite cheap.
At the end of 2006, The Times named the country its “Budget Destination of the Year,” touting its 15-euro dinners, 30-euro hotel rooms and afforadable prices for “untold treasures for the intrepid.”
The capital of Tirana “is a fantastic starting point,” Matt Gross wrote. “But it’s the southern part of this Balkan country that holds the most intriguing sights and bargains.”
Still, Albania claims only 0.1 per cent of tourism in Europe, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail, with the “tourism wave was still a while off.”
Why? The poor nation is still far behind in terms of infrastructure. Roads are shoddy, electricity is shifty and hotels are in short supply. More details from the Globe and Mail:
Albania still lacks the structures for mass tourism, but it is building wherever it can, with scant regard for water supply or sewage.
Along the winding roads from Sarande to Butrint, visitors can see bulldozers carving square sites out of rocky hillsides.
In one Sarande spot, the smell of sewage wafts into a bar with the sea breeze.
“The blame falls squarely on the state for not keeping ahead of individuals’ desire to build,” Sarande writer Agim Mato said. But luckily, he said, the tourism wave was still a while off.
“Albania’s tourism is for the daring,” he added.
Daring souls will go whenever their wanderlust strikes them, but for everyone else, Lonely

FYROM tops list in US, Greece talks Burns to meet with PM today
Comment by "Kathimerini"

A decision on whether to allow the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to join NATO has not been taken yet, US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns insisted ahead of a meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday.

Burns is due to hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today. Greece’s name dispute with FYROM is likely to dominate the agenda, which will also include discussions on Kosovo, Cyprus, Turkey and terrorism.
Greek diplomatic sources said Bakoyannis made it clear to Burns yesterday that Athens believes FYROM, as well as Albania, have not yet fulfilled the criteria for membership in the strategic alliance.
Burns did not make a statement after the meeting but said before he left Washington that a decision on FYROM’s bid will be made next April or May.
“I am going to Greece to hear the government’s opinion,” said Burns. “I will listen carefully.”
Washington has backed Croatia’s bid to join NATO but has yet to provide an official view on the candidacies of FYROM and Albania.
A poll by GPO yesterday suggested that 82.3 percent of Greeks think the government should or “probably” should veto FYROM’s membership of NATO.
Seven in 10 respondents object to the use of “Macedonia” in any name that the neighboring country uses, according to the poll that was published in the Proto Thema newspaper.
Nine in 10 of those questioned also thought that President Karolos Papoulias should convene a meeting of party leaders so that a consensus between the parties is achieved as to the policy that Greece follows with regard to the name issue.
In an interview in Sunday’s Kathimerini, outgoing US Ambassador to Greece Charles Ries stressed that Washington understands Greece’s position on FYROM.
“It is an issue that has existed since 1991,” he said. “We understand and have had many discussions with Greece about it. We understand Greek sensitivities.”
Meanwhile, Ries said that he was also hopeful that the members of Revolutionary Struggle – the group that claimed a missile attack on the US Embassy in January – would soon be caught.

Τα Βαλκάνια στο άρμα των ΗΠΑ
"Ethnos", Balkan Analysis, 6/10/2007


Στη Σόφια ο Μπους θα σηματοδοτήσει με την παρουσία του την υπαγωγή στην αμερικανική επιρροή των δύο πρώην σοσιαλιστικών χωρών της Μαύρης Θάλασσας - της Βουλγαρίας και της Ρουμανίας. Η εγκατάσταση εκεί συστήματος αμερικανικών στρατιωτικών βάσεων υπογραμμίζει την έναρξη της νέας εποχής.
Ο Μπους θα επισκεπτόταν και τη Ρουμανία, οι ηγέτες της οποίας μιλούν δημοσίως για «στρατηγικό τρίγωνο Ουάσιγκτον - Λονδίνου - Βουκουρεστίου», αν η κατάσταση στο Βουκουρέστι δεν ήταν πολιτικά ρευστή λόγω της σφοδρής σύγκρουσης του προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας Τραϊάν Μπασέσκου και του πρωθυπουργού Καλίν Ποπέσκου Ταριτσεάνου, που κατέληξε σε απόπειρα κοινοβουλευτικής καθαίρεσης του πρώτου και θριαμβευτική επικράτησή του σε δημοψήφισμα.
ΕπικυριαρχίαΗ ουσία είναι ότι για πρώτη φορά στην ιστορία, τα Βαλκάνια περνούν κάτω από τον ολοκληρωτικό έλεγχο των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών.
Επί αιώνες, στην περιοχή αυτή κυριαρχούσε η επιρροή της Ρωσίας, σε αντιπαράθεση με εκείνη της Τουρκίας. Κατά το μεγαλύτερο μέρος του 20ού αιώνα, με τη συγκρότηση της Γιουγκοσλαβίας μετά τον Πρώτο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο και ιδίως μετά τη συγκρότηση του «σοσιαλιστικού στρατοπέδου», η πολιτική κυριαρχία της Μόσχας στα Βαλκάνια ήταν συντριπτική με μοναδικό προγεφύρωμα επιρροής της Δύσης την Ελλάδα και τη «γωνίτσα» της Ευρωπαϊκής Τουρκίας. Η κατάρρευση του «υπαρκτού σοσιαλισμού» και η διάλυση της Γιουγκοσλαβίας άλλαξαν τα πάντα στα Βαλκάνια.
Οι Αμερικανοί προσωρινά ενίσχυσαν τη Σερβία (περίπου στο διάστημα 1992 - 1995), προκειμένου να αποτελέσει ανάχωμα στην επέκταση της γερμανικής επιρροής προς Νότο. Τότε ήταν που η Ουάσιγκτον αναγόρευσε ξαφνικά τον «χασάπη» Μιλόσεβιτς σε «υπεύθυνο πολιτικό ηγέτη» και έκαναν τη συμφωνία του Ντέιτον για τη Βοσνία.
Στη συνέχεια, πραγματοποιώντας τη στρατιωτική επέμβαση στη Βοσνία, και μετατρέποντάς τη σε αμερικανονατοϊκό προτεκτοράτο, και στη συνέχεια την επίθεση για την απόσπαση του Κοσόβου από το Βελιγράδι, οι Αμερικανοί συνέτριψαν τη Σερβία και σηματοδότησαν την έναρξη ταχείας αμερικανοποίησης των Βαλκανίων.
Με την περιθωριοποίηση της Σερβίας και την ένταξη στο ΝΑΤΟ και την ΕΕ της Βουλγαρίας, η οποία ήταν ανέκαθεν η πιο ρωσόφιλη χώρα των Βαλκανίων (σε βαθμό που επί Σοβιετικής Ενωσης είχε συζητηθεί ακόμη και το ενδεχόμενο ένταξής της στην ΕΣΣΔ!), η ρωσική επιρροή στα Βαλκάνια σχεδόν εκμηδενίστηκε.
Μοναδικό απομεινάρι ρωσικής επιρροής απέμεινε η Σερβία, με καταλύτη το πρόβλημα του Κοσόβου. Και στο Βελιγράδι όμως η κυβέρνηση που συγκροτήθηκε είναι πολύ πιο επιρρεπής στην αμερικανική παρά στη ρωσική επιρροή.
Μόνο προσφάτως επιχειρεί ο Πούτιν να αναστηλώσει κάπως τη ρωσική επιρροή στα Βαλκάνια, χρησιμοποιώντας και την πλήρη ενεργειακή εξάρτηση των χωρών της περιοχής από τη Μόσχα, ενισχύοντας την επαναδραστηριοποίηση των φιλορωσικών πολιτικών δυνάμεων και στηρίζοντας αποφασιστικά τη Σερβία στο θέμα του Κοσόβου.
Το αλβανικό ζήτημαΜε τη χρησιμοποίηση του Κοσόβου ως προσχήματος για τη στρατιωτική επέμβαση των ΗΠΑ και του ΝΑΤΟ στα Βαλκάνια, το αλβανικό πρόβλημα προσέλαβε νέες διαστάσεις.
Αναμφισβήτητα υφίσταται ζήτημα αλβανικής εθνικής ολοκλήρωσης. Σχεδόν οι μισοί Αλβανοί ζουν αυτή τη στιγμή εκτός των συνόρων της Αλβανίας, σε γειτονικές περιοχές άλλων χωρών - στο Κόσοβο της Σερβίας και στο Τέτοβο της πΓΔΜ. Είτε μας αρέσει είτε όχι, λογικό είναι αυτοί οι αλβανικοί πληθυσμοί να επιθυμούν την ενσωμάτωσή τους στην Αλβανία, όταν το επιτρέψουν οι συνθήκες.
Η Αλβανία δεν μπορεί παρά να είναι μια δύναμη που επιδιώκει επαναχάραξη των συνόρων, ώστε να συμπεριληφθούν στα όρια του αλβανικού κράτους όλοι οι αλβανικοί πληθυσμοί. Το χειρότερο όμως είναι ότι η πλήρης στήριξη της Ουάσιγκτον στον αλβανικό αλυτρωτισμό στο Κόσοβο και κυρίως η χρήση στρατιωτικής βίας εκ μέρους των ΗΠΑ για την επίτευξη της ανεξαρτητοποίησης του Κοσόβου ως μοχλού ενίσχυσης της αμερικανικής επικυριαρχίας στα Βαλκάνια, δημιουργούν ένα εξαιρετικά επικίνδυνο πλαίσιο.
Τόσο η Αλβανία και οι Αλβανοί του Κοσόβου από τη μια μεριά όσο και οι Σλαβομακεδόνες της πΓΔΜ από την άλλη, αλλά έμμεσα και οι Αλβανοί του θνησιγενούς κράτους των Σκοπίων, ενθαρρύνονται από την αμερικανική πολιτική να προσφεύγουν στη βία και να χρησιμοποιούν επιθετικές μεθόδους για την επίτευξη στόχων εθνικής ολοκλήρωσης.
Ετσι όμως δημιουργείται μια εκτεταμένη ζώνη αστάθειας στα βόρεια σύνορα της χώρας, με μόνιμες εστίες έντασης. Ο περαιτέρω ακρωτηριασμός της Σερβίας ή ένας μελλοντικός διαμελισμός της πΓΔΜ κάθε άλλο παρά καθησυχαστικές εξελίξεις αποτελούν, αποδεικνύοντας ταυτόχρονα ότι η αμερικανική επικυριαρχία στα Βαλκάνια κατά κανέναν τρόπο δεν συμβάλλει στην ειρήνευσή τους - εντελώς το αντίθετο.
Θριαμβευτική αναμένεται η επίσκεψη του προέδρου των ΗΠΑ, Τζορτζ Μπους, σήμερα στην Αλβανία και αύριο στη Βουλγαρία. Στα Τίρανα θα συναντηθεί όχι μόνο με τους ηγέτες της Αλβανίας, αλλά και εκείνους της Κροατίας και της ΠΓΔΜ. Με τον έναν ή τον άλλον τρόπο, ο Μπους θα γνωστοποιήσει και δημοσίως την απόφαση της Ουάσιγκτον να εντάξει σύντομα και τις τρεις αυτές χώρες στο υπό αδιαμφισβήτητη αμερικανική ηγεμονία ΝΑΤΟ. Τόσο σύντομα που πιθανότατα η επισημοποίηση της απόφασης αυτής να γίνει κατά τη σύνοδο κορυφής του ΝΑΤΟ στο Βουκουρέστι, τον Απρίλιο του 2008.
Ο άξονας Αθήνας - Κρεμλίνου στο νέο σκηνικόΗ «αμερικανοποίηση» των Βαλκανίων, η απόπειρα αναστήλωσης της ρωσικής επιρροής στην περιοχή και οι συνέπειες της διάλυσης της Γιουγκοσλαβίας υπαγορεύουν την ανάγκη αναπροσαρμογών στην ελληνική εξωτερική πολιτική.
Πρώτα πρώτα οφείλουμε να αντιληφθούμε ότι από πολιτική σκοπιά τα Βαλκάνια σχεδόν... δεν υφίστανται πλέον! Η Σλοβενία, η Κροατία και η μισή Βοσνία επιδιώκουν να ενταχθούν στην άμεση γερμανική επιρροή, θεωρώντας εαυτές ως κεντροευρωπαϊκές χώρες. Το ίδιο επιθυμεί και η Ρουμανία, η οποία δεν θέλει να χαρακτηρίζεται βαλκανική χώρα και υπό το πρίσμα ενός φαιδρού μεγαλοϊδεατισμού νομίζει ότι μπορεί να αποτελέσει ισότιμο εταίρο της... Ουάσιγκτον και του Λονδίνου.
Σοβαρότατη, αρνητική, για την Ελλάδα, εξέλιξη αποτελεί και η δραματική υποβάθμιση του πολιτικού ρόλου της Σερβίας.
Περίκλειστο χωρίς πρόσβαση στη θάλασσα, ταπεινωμένο στρατιωτικά και ηθικά, με εξωνημένη πολιτική ηγεσία, το σερβικό κράτος αποτελεί πλέον σκιά του εαυτού του.
Μια ρεαλιστική βαλκανική πολιτική της Αθήνας δεν μπορεί να συνεχίσει να δίνει το ίδιο βάρος στη Σερβία. Προς το παρόν πάντως, η Αθήνα, το Βελιγράδι και το Βουκουρέστι (η Ρουμανία έχει 1.700.000 Ούγγρους στην Τρανσυλβανία) δρουν κατά ανάλογο τρόπο στο θέμα του Κοσόβου. Ευνόητο είναι πως η συμμαχία αυτή δεν μπορεί παρά να διαρκέσει μόνο όσο διαρκεί η αντίσταση του Βελιγραδίου στο ζήτημα του Κοσόβου καθώς καμιά χώρα δεν μπορεί να εμφανιστεί... «σερβικότερη» της Σερβίας.
Πολύ μονιμότερα χαρακτηριστικά όμως πρέπει να έχει η προσπάθεια της Αθήνας να αξιοποιεί τις δυνατότητες που προσφέρει η προσπάθεια της Ρωσίας να επανέλθει πολιτικά στα Βαλκάνια.
Η Μόσχα αποτελεί τον μοναδικό ισχυρό παράγοντα, του οποίου τα συμφέροντα εξυπηρετούνται από την ανάσχεση της επέκτασης της επιρροής της Τουρκίας στα Βαλκάνια. Αντιθέτως, τόσο οι ΗΠΑ όσο και η ΕΕ δεν έχουν κρύψει ποτέ τη στρατηγική προτίμησή τους προς την Τουρκία σε σχέση με τη χώρα μας.
Πέρα από την απευθείας ζημιά που κάνει αυτή η στάση των ΗΠΑ, του ΝΑΤΟ και της ΕΕ σε καίρια ζητήματα των ελληνοτουρκικών σχέσεων, έχει επιπλέον «παράπλευρη απώλεια» ότι όσο περισσότερο ενισχύονται οι δεσμοί των βαλκανικών χωρών με τις ΗΠΑ τόσο περισσότερο αναπροσαρμόζουν την πολιτική τους σε πιο φιλοτουρκική βάση.
Ετσι, ακόμη και η τόσο φιλική προς την Ελλάδα Βουλγαρία έχει καταντήσει να συμπεριλαμβάνει σχεδόν μονίμως την τουρκική μειονότητα ως κυβερνητικό εταίρο, υπό το κράτος ασφυκτικών αμερικανικών πιέσεων.
Αν συνυπολογίσει κανείς την αυξημένη τουρκική επιρροή στην Αλβανία, την πΓΔΜ και τη μη σερβική Βοσνία, γίνεται ευκολότερα κατανοητό πόσο αναγκαίο είναι για την Αθήνα να αξιοποιήσει κάθε δυνατότητα που γεννά η βαλκανική πολιτική της Μόσχας.