Friday, April 25, 2008

Balkan Security News

Not only albanian media hysteri against greek minority but also
Bulgaria Warns Macedonia over Hate Media

Bulgarian Members of the European Parliament have urged Macedonia to stop instilling hatred against its eastern neighbour.

"Bulgaria should support selflessly the Republic of Macedonia but must be clear that anti-Bulgarian campaigns aim to hinder progress in bilateral relations, and undermine Macedonia's progress towards EU membership," Nikolay Mladenov, a Bulgarian MEP with the European People's Party said.Mladenov was an author in a key European Parliament report on Macedonia's progress towards the bloc.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted in favour of the report which concluded that the country’s name dispute with Greece should not obstruct its European Union accession process.
But the report also urged Skopje to combat hate language against neighbouring states, such as Greece and Bulgaria."We see that certain circles in Macedonia make consistent efforts to worsen relations with Bulgaria.

We will support Macedonia's EU integration but this support will not be unconditional. Our position is in the interest of Macedonia as well," Evgeni Kirilov, an MEP with the Party of European Socialists claims.Following Greece's move to block Macedonia's invitation to join NATO because of the unresolved 'name' dispute earlier this month, some media lashed out at Athens, along with Sofia, as there was a perception Bulgaria had also tried to block Macedonia’s membership bid.

Relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria have been historically fraught with Sofia invading Macedonia in both World Wars and claiming it as part of its territory.

Thursday, April 24, 2008



Albania to get EUR 230 mln loan for Rreshen-Kalimash road project

Rreshen-Kalimash road is part of the road corridor linking Durres and Morine and Durres port with Kosova and the Southern Balkans.

The Parliament ratified an agreement between the Republic of Albania and Alpha Bank A.E and NBG S.A. on a loan of EUR 230 mln for the project on Rreshen-Kalimash road, ATA News Agency reports. Regarding the abovementioned agreement, Deputy Finance Minister Sherefedin Shehu said that after all banks' bids were examined, the Ministry of Finance decided that the joint bid made by Alpha Bank and the National Bank of Greece was the best one as regards the terms of crediting and required credit amount.

He added that the terms offered by the two banks are: a principal of EUR 230 mln, maturity period of 15 years, a 5-year period of principal payment, payment by ten annual installments and Euribor interest rates plus 1.25%. He also said that the interest rates offered by the two banks are approximately the same with those offered by international financial institutions such as EBRD, WB etc. Rreshen-Kalimash road is part of the road corridor linking Durres and Morine and Durres port with Kosova and the Southern Balkans.

Anyway the Politic Opposition Socialist Party has posited the Greek Albanian financial agreement, when the Deputy Pellumb Xhufi of LSI said that; “under this agreement there are Greek geopolitics influence to conquest politically and economically Albania for Greek national issues underlining “Northern Epirus”.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



Kostas Barkas, the “Minister privileged” of Berisha and the “Fascist Champagne” of Albanian press against Himara`s Hellenic people.

Photo: The Omonia`s Minister Kostas Barkas

While, against Himara Hellenic people and the Mayor Vassilis Bollanos continues to declare the “State of War” by Albanian nationalist opinion, the Minister of “Omonia” has increased his “private assets” buying apartment in Saranda.

Paradoxes inside Omonia`s Organization. The Albanian press, publics the assets of High Superior personalities of Albanian State including Government, politic parties, member of Albanian Parliament, ecct. In center of debate was the Labor Minister, who represent the HRUP Party, as delegated by “Omonia” to represent the Greek Minority inside Albanian Government coalition.

Why is a paradox?

Kostas Barkas former General Secretary of “Omonia” (The Greek Ethnic Organization in Albania) and actually since 2005, is Minister of Labor and Social Issues, as member of Sali Berisha Cabinet, has icreased the private assets between 2006 – 2007. According to Albanian press his private assets are declared officially to by an apartment in Saranda town helping with credit privileged as member of cabinet minister. According to press his apartment in Saranda the real value of the price is about 200 thousand euro. The corruption made by albanian strategy to corrupt peronages from Greek Minority is an istrument to shut since 1913 the aspiration of Northern Epirus population to unite with mother state, Greece.

Photo: The "Leon of Himara" Pyrros Dimas

Kostas Barkas was elected as Minister in August 2005, under “mysterious circumstances” because the candidate who was proposed as ideal post was former Omonia`s Deputet Thomas Mitsos. The actual minister of Berisha Government Kostas Barkas has been General Secretary of Omonia and his life past, during Dictature regime has been doubtfully. Sources of the Albanian media said that Kostas Barkas and former head of Omonia, Jani Jani have been collaborationist of Albanian Secret Service “Sigurimi”.

Kostas Barkas is the most responsible together with former Head of Omonia, Jani Jani who “kept in silent” last 5 years the demographic changes in Saint Saranda Region between Albanians came by other regions particularly from the north, to the Greek ethnics, as old inhabitants of the region. Saranda Region was composed by Greeks with about 75% of population since 1989, when actually, the region has been changed a lot of abusive houses by communities came by the bord regions of Albania.
The responsibility became more interesting when Jani Jani on the end of Dictator Regime of Enver Hotza claimed as interpret of a book about “Chameria” from Albanian to Greek language. In This fase "Omonia" headed by Jani and Barkas never did not make counting population inside the Greek Organisation, to confront with albanian abusive estimated for the Greek Minority who lives historicly in southern albanian territor known as Nothern Epirus.

Photo: The "Great Values" of Hellenism in Himara Region.

While, against Himara Hellenic people and the Mayor Vassilis Bollanos continues to declare the “State of War” by Albanian nationalist opinion, the Minister of “Omonia” is raising his “private assets” buying apartment in Saranda.

Anyway the Albanian national strategy continues to separate the real Greeks between “dangerous Greek nationalists” and some “Official Greeks” privileged by Albanian nationalist system”. Unfortunually, Athens has been always supporter of “Albanian demagogy” as friendship between Greeks and Albanians to collaborate with segments very instrumentalized of Albanian strategy.
The privileges became “one important institution” to shut any democratic aspect and values of the Greek Ethnic Minority. The fascist Champagne against Hellenic people of Himara, wants to frighten the people proudly of Himara Region and the Mayor Vassilis Bollanos.
Now, when the albanian campagne wants to sabotage the General Counting Popullation in Albania, against Greek Ethnic Minority ussing the extremist press of the country, the attack against people of Himara must became a "strong horn", to be united....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Albania changes the Constitution of the State

Photo: "Albania in Bunker"

No other official minorities’ language, only Albanian. The Greeks of Albania are seeing the future inside the State as the last efforts to eliminate politically both majority and politic opposite.

“Attack against the Albanian Constitution!” This is a message by decides of Parliamentary member of Albania, who after special section of parliament under the reforms to change the Albanian constitution, changed the electoral system of Albania.

Tow important politic parties Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha and the opposition Socialist Party of Mayor of Tirana Edi Rama, “has been united politically” to change electoral system of Albania. The leader of LSI Ilir Meta, member of Albanian opposition voted against together with decides other parliamentary member.

The Albanian constitution was approved with referendum in 1998 after Albania passed the collapse situation of “Civil War” after Pyramid Schemes provoked the anarchy of the country. The euro Atlantic alliances continue to claim Albania as a State which does not make free elections and encourages Tirana to make reforms to the electoral system including the reformation of the Constitution.

The new electoral system goes Albania to a “mysterious politically system” controlled both Berisha and opposite leader Edi Rama, but it’s very interesting to understand that why inside electoral system where not was approved other official languages than Albanian, the Greek official language?

No other official minorities’ language, only Albanian. The Greeks of Albania are seeing the future inside the State as the last efforts to eliminate politically both majority and politic opposite.

Albanian is the only State of Southern West Region which does know the massive existence of ethnic groups and their official languages by Constitution. The Greek Ethnic Minority has expressed it replace since 2001 when Albania made the General Counting Population without the requests of “Omonia” the Greek organization to include the individual declaration according to ONU standards.

Bu the paradoxes of Albania continue as “Prototype Exemplar State” when Tirana urges for the rights of the Kosovo Independence, the rights of Preshevo Region in Southern Serbia, for the rights of Albanian in FYROM who has made to declare three times since 1991 the General Counting Population, when in Kosovo the new constitution knows three official languages ecct?

How is this possible? Is Albania different state than other states of Southern West Balkan Region? Where are the democratic Standards of Albania much more when it became member “De Jure” of NATO alliance?

Monday, April 21, 2008


Many of foreign security experts represent in Albania are seeing the "albanian nationalist campagne" against people of Himara by Albanian press as serious menaces to the greek albanian relations in future.

An Albanian teenagers group burned the Greek flag last Sunday in center of Saint Saranda, in southern Albania. The Albanian ethnic group protested against the Himara incident one week ago, when Greek inhabitants attacked the Police Himara`s Department.

“We wanted to sensible our Albanian compatriots burning the Greek flag as a show protest in center of Saint Saranda town. We are very preoccupied for the offends of our Albanian flag in Himara who called Athens to sent Greek polices to safe the Hellenic people of Himara’ and ‘Himara is Greece” they said.

Other information said for “Panorama” newspaper that the group has explored anti Albanian slogans, written near the Building of a School in center of Saranda Town. According to press, the slogans “Fuck you Albanian” and “Out Albanians from Saranda” where the indicators of the revolt.

Anyway the Police Saranda Department “has not any information” about the incident until the Albanian nationalist burned the Greek flag in center of the town Saranda.

Many of foreign security experts represent in Albania are seeing the raise of "albanian nationalist campagne" against the hellenic people represent of Himara Region by Albanian press, as serious menaces in future relations bweteen Greece and Albania, to be filled with hate to the greek leader of ethnic minority in albania Vassilis Bollanos. Some other important surces of "Omonia" said for the critic situation which must send messages to Athens to protect the Greek ethnic minority in Albania.
Saint Saranda a front of Corfu, the greek island, is the center of the "Greek Ethnic Minority residence of Albania" the town of which is populated last 10 years by thousand of Albanian came from other regions of Albania, constructing abusive houses particularly around of villigges of the region, has been inhabited historicly by greeks.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


After Munitions Explosion, Albanians Ask Why Danger Was Placed

Published: April 19, 2008

GERDEC, Albania — Accidents happen. But when a factory has inexperienced villagers prying apart thousands of artillery shells a day with metal rods and their bare hands, it is hard to call the deadly catastrophe that follows simply an accident.

Homes were destroyed last month and 26 people were killed when an ammunition factory near Albania's capital exploded. The disaster brought political fallout. Munitions littered the site of the factory that was destroyed, where workers once dismantled old ammunition cartridges.

The explosion of a plant in Albania last month carved out three yawning craters, the deepest over 100 feet, and killed 26 people. Witnesses likened it and the powerful shock wave that followed to the detonation of a nuclear bomb. “It felt like you were flying,” said Razije Telhai, 48, who said she had been thrown 60 feet by the force of the blast.

Albanians are now asking how the country, which was invited this month to join the NATO alliance, could have allowed such a dangerous plant to operate right off a major highway, a short drive from the capital’s main airport, which was damaged by the shock wave.
Outside the site on Friday, former workers began the first of what they said would be daily demonstrations demanding further compensation for lost wages, injuries and suffering. So far they have received about $1,300 each.

Victims’ families complain that the government did not do enough to keep their loved ones safe. “We have no protection; there is no justice,” said Gezim Cani, 23, who rushed home after the explosion from a construction job in Italy, fearing for his father’s life, only to learn that his mother had been working at the factory as well. She had not told him so he would not worry. Both were killed.

In the wake of the tragedy, the defense minister has resigned and Prime Minister Sali Berisha has come under significant pressure from victims’ groups and the political opposition.
It has also raised a host of questions among Albanians about their government and the entrenched corruption in this Southern Balkan nation, a problem long documented but perhaps never so vividly or so horribly illustrated.

The blast also highlighted a more general, if little noticed, problem, the frequency of deadly explosions of conventional munitions stockpiles. According to the Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research group, there have been more than a dozen explosions at ammunition depots worldwide in each of the last seven years.

The group documented 153 such explosions between 1995 and 2007, and said in a January report that more unreported ones were “very likely.” The known explosions killed at least 2,575 people, though a blast in Nigeria in 2002 accounted for more than half of the fatalities.
What happened in Albania in March was not a simple mishap at a government storage facility. Workers hired by private contractors were dismantling the ammunition so its components, like brass and gunpowder, could be sold, an increasingly lucrative enterprise in a period of sky-high commodity prices.

Highly militarized under its longtime Stalinist dictator, Enver Hoxha, who died in 1985, the country is saddled with enormous stockpiles of cold war munitions. The United States government, now a staunch supporter of Albania — which has returned the favor by sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan — has helped underwrite the destruction of the arsenal.
Last July, with more than $50 million in American assistance, Albania finished destroying 16 tons of chemical weapons. The State Department said it was the first to do so among the signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which went into effect in 1997 and obliged member countries to destroy stockpiles.

The United States spent $2 million more destroying small-caliber weapons and ammunition in Albania through 2007. But Albania’s Ministry of Defense said last week that even after months of work here at Gerdec, there were still 100,000 tons of ammunition, of which only around 10 percent was needed for the armed forces. The rest is slated to be decommissioned.
Before the Gerdec factory was established, there were already two state factories devoted to destroying ammunition. But their work was frustratingly slow.

“We wanted to demolish as soon as possible this stock,” said Gazmend Oketa, formerly a deputy prime minister and now defense minister, in an interview in his cavernous office, a blue NATO flag hanging behind his desk. “Working with these two factories, which capabilities are quite limited, was going to take us a very long period.” To speed the process, the Albanian government awarded contracts to a South Carolina-based company, Southern Ammunition Co., which worked with a local company known as Albademil.

The first contract between the state arms export agency and Southern Ammunition was for dismantling of small-arms ammunition, mostly 7.62 millimeter cartridges. Another contract was signed in December, for much larger ammunition, including 152-millimeter howitzer shells.

In an e-mail message, the president of Southern Ammunition, Patrick Henry, acknowledged that the company had signed the contracts. But he said that its involvement at the site ended in December, and that it was “not involved in any aspect of the large-caliber demil.”
He said both contracts were “immediately transferred to Albademil.” He acknowledged that company employees had been questioned by the F.B.I., but said that Southern Ammunition was not under investigation, which the United States Embassy in Tirana, Albania’s capital, confirmed.
Villagers who lived near the factory said they were well aware of the dangers, and feared an explosion. But Albania, a nation of 3.6 million, is one of the poorest in Europe. Despite their concerns, many local people felt the jobs were too good to pass up.

Hekuran and Zelie Kaca, parents of a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, began working at the factory in February. Hekuran Kaca said he and his wife worked on a four-person crew responsible for muscling open aged Soviet and Chinese shells manually, about 900 a day, and scooping out the gunpowder. For this they each received the equivalent of $26 a day, if they reached their target.

Around midday on March 15, a typical workday thus far, the factory director told Mr. Kaca he could not take his lunch break until he had moved bags of gunpowder taken from the shells to nearby storage containers. As he took the first load, a fire sprang up in the excess gunpowder on the ground, cutting him off from his wife. “Zelie, it’s a fire, get out quickly,” he recalled yelling to her, before running from the explosion he knew was coming. Mr. Kaca hoped that his wife had made it out the main entrance, which he could not reach through the flames.

The fire poured a column of smoke high into the sky, sending villagers scrambling for the woods or nearby underground bunkers. Without that warning, several said, the death toll would have been much higher. Last week, approaching the factory site on the road from Tirana, the first evidence of the explosion was the metal skeleton of a billboard, sitting high on a hilltop, stripped clean down to its frame. The blast blew out windows on cars and houses for miles around. Closer to where the factory stood are houses with most of the tiles blown off their roofs, like so many brittle fall leaves.

The site of the explosion is an expanse of roiled mud, spiked with the jutting noses of countless howitzer shells and dotted with chunks of concrete and bricks. The youngest victim, Flavio Deliu, was 4 years old, one of the five members of the Deliu family who were killed. The Delius’ house stood across the road from the plant; now it is just an eerie concrete frame in a field littered with artillery shells. The latest victim was a 19-year-old woman who died of her injuries this month.

Three men have been arrested, two from Albademil and the other the head of the state arms export agency. Arben Prifti, the lawyer for the Albademil defendants, said through a translator that Albademil was not involved in dismantling the ammunition. “The activities of Albademil just have to do with scrap, just after they did the dismantling,” he said in an interview at his office in Tirana. Mr. Prifti said that Southern Ammunition was responsible for everything from training and security to breaking down the ammunition.

In his e-mail message, Mr. Henry said, “Since our formation in 1974 we have only worked with small-caliber” ammunition. Albania’s prosecutor general, Ina Rama, said through a translator in an interview that the group of investigators looking into the explosion at Gerdec was also examining accusations of potentially illegal munitions trading.
The New York Times reported last month that decades-old Albanian cartridges of the same types as those slated for destruction at Gerdec had been sold to the Afghan Army and police forces instead, after repackaging hid the cartridges’ origins.

A subcontractor involved in preparing the munitions for Afghanistan said he suspected that money was being diverted to Albanian officials. The president of the company that bought the ammunition, Efraim E. Diveroli of AEY Inc., mentioned Prime Minister Berisha and his son in a recorded conversation. There has been no public evidence that AEY’s activities were related to the explosion.

The opposition Socialist Party continues to call for Mr. Berisha to step down.
“This is necessary in order to open the way for the attorney’s office to investigate,” said Valentina Leskaj, chairwoman of the party’s parliamentary group. Mr. Berisha has denied any involvement in the ammunition deals or the Gerdec factory. Through a spokeswoman, the prime minister said last week that he was ready to face a vote of confidence on the floor of Parliament, which even opposition politicians say he would win. All of which leaves the survivors angry and frustrated. “Nobody is taking responsibility for what happened,” Mr. Kaca said.

With no news about his wife’s fate, after searching morgues and hospitals, he finally returned to the site. Two days after the explosion, he sneaked back to the closed-off site. He found four bodies at the spot where he used to work, all burned beyond recognition. DNA evidence confirmed a week later that his wife had been killed. “In the end, we are the ones who pay for it,” Mr. Kaca said. “We are the ones who suffer.”