Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Vice Admiral (ret) G. Demestichas H.N. Honourable Chief of Hellenic Fleet

Just by glancing at the Balkans’ and the South-Eastern (SE) Mediterranean’ map, one can see the uniqueness of this particular area. It consists of continental countries and islands; it connects three (3) continents while being the cradle of civilizations. Moreover, this area was also the field of intense competition among its people of the coastal states, world’s superpowers as well as strong economic interests. In this area, great religions and many national movements were developed. .........................

Today’s situation in Albania and the “Western Balkans” area, which is comprised of the artificial states that arose from the disintegration of the Former Yugoslavia, remains unstable. This situation, is in contrast to the Eastern Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria) since their recent accession in NATO and the forthcoming accession in the EU, creates the prerequisites for stability and peace.
This instability in the Western Balkans, which was intensified by the recent facts regarding Kosovo and FYROM and the observed exaltation of the minorities subjects was due, to a large scale, to the unredeemed policy that creates problems in the viable coexistence in Kosovo, FYROM, Serbia and Montenegro, with relevant extensions also in Greece. For all of the above-mentioned reasons, Western Balkans are considered as an active area of possible crises. Despite the end of the armed conflicts in the area of Western Balkans, the danger of resurgence has not disappeared since the tension focus still exists; hence, no serious problem has essentially been resolved. Moreover, the fact that all these countries support their European orientation and they are seeking for their accession in NATO and the EU, does not improve the situation because the course towards the aforementioned goals is long and unsure (of course with the exception of Slovenia that is the only nationally homogenous country with the fewer economic and political problems and a member of the EU). The multicultural societies are possible to operate effectively, as long as they do not offend predominant rights of neighbour states, or else they become the centre of future turmoil. The particularities of the Balkans must be taken into serious consideration for upcoming planning in order to settle down the “past passions” as well as not to create claims for the next generations.

Specifically, the course of the Western Balkan countries towards NATO seems to be controlled by the USA, which in their strategic aspirations’ framework, for the reassurance of willing, certain and completely controlled satellite-countries in the Balkans, find the “appropriate prerequisites” in the Western Balkans, under the present situation.

"In Western Balkans, Albania remains the “big question” since, in spite of its course towards the EU, a fact that is suspending itself, the vision for a “Greater Albania” concept is not prevented. According to the Plan of the Albanian Academy for “the solution of the national problem”, the following objectives are published:

Kosovo’s independence
Autonomy of the Western FYROM area
Special regime for Montenegro
Recognition of the Albanian minority (which actually does not exist) and Minority Rights in Greece. The unacceptable behaviour during the scheduled visit in Albania of the Greek President of Democracy, in early November 2005, demonstrates the actual intention of the county or the spirit that has been promoted among its people. At this point, we would like to mention that the terms have been inverted. Any change in the borderlines is not desirable. Nevertheless, in the case of such a change in the Balkans, Greece, and only Greece against Albania, factually claims Northern Epirus, as it was agreed by all Western Forces that were fighting in the Word War II against Nazism. .............."

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