Friday, December 26, 2008


Tow big parties in Albania have changed the law in their favor voting, while the Greek minority threatens to abandon next politic elections of 2009

"The Greek minority may abandon the politic elections of 2009 threatening to the statements of the Mayor and Chairman of Himara and "Omonoia" Vasilis Bolanos, if Tirana does not change the electoral law passed recently in the Albanian parliament next days".

Mr. Bolanos noted that the law have caused disappointment to the Greeks of Albania, the latest developments with regard to the electoral law and especially in those articles which directly affect the transparency of the electoral process and affects the credibility of the elections.

The President of "Omonoia" expressed the concern at "the real objectives of the new electoral law, which does not pave new roads to the democratization in the country". The new electoral law submitted, said Mr. Bolanos, further conditions of equality, transparency and credibility of the electoral process, since the committees will be involved only the two major parties.

Mr. Bolanos urged that "it is reasonable outside the Greek Community and historically significant numbers living in certain areas, to refrain from electoral management where there is majority". It also noted that «the Greek minority in all post-elections has been target of the manipulation of the verdict of the electorate».

Alongside Mr Bolanos said the electoral code missed the opportunity "to finally open the way for the participation in elections of all those citizens who are in emigration particularly the coting process of Northern Epiriotes who live in Greeece.

Former KLA members arrested in Preševo
26 December 2008

The Interior Ministry (MUP) has begun an operation to arrest former KLA members in Preševo on charges of war crimes committed against civilians in Gnjilane. Interior Minister Ivica Dačić and the War Crimes Prosecution confirmed for B92 that the operation began early this morning and is related to crimes against Serb and non-Albanian civilians in Gnjilane in 1999.
According to B92’s sources, 11 people have been arrested thus far and 17 locations have been searched. Dačić is at the scene and says that the operation is progressing smoothly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Albania Seeks New Loan for Kosovo Highway
Tirana 24 December 2008

The Rreshen-Kalimash HighwayAlbania will seek a new €250 million commercial loan to finance the construction of a highway connecting its Adriatic coastline with newly independent Kosovo, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday . The170-kilometre highway, which will link the port of Durres with Albanian-majority Kosovo, is the country’s biggest public works project in decades. Albania has spent €328 million already this year on the road, some 89 percent of its capital expenditure budget.

“The Albanian Government represented by the Ministry of Finance is requesting an offer for financing of various capital expenditure needs for the year 2009,” the ministry said in a statement. “Proceeds... will be used in accordance with the priorities defined in the National Strategy for Development and Integration.”Albania had originally sought to finance the road with revenues from the privatization of public companies, but negotiations for the sale of Albanian Power utility, valued at around €102 million, have stalled.

Almost 200 million of the cost has been raised as syndicated commercial loans at high interest rates, attracting criticism from international financial bodies concerned about the country's monetary stability.There is no clear estimate of the total cost of the road, which opponents have slammed as a white elephant that will fail to return on the huge investment. Experts think Albania will need to invest another €250 million to complete the project, due to be finalised in the summer of 2009.

The project has already been tainted by a corruption scandal involving former Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha, who is charged with abuse of power and breaking tender rules relating to the project. The charges filed against Basha indicate that one particular 60-kilometer section of the highway will cost Albania over €1 billion.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Statement from the U.S. Embassy (December 23, 2008)

The U.S. Embassy closely followed last night’s vote in the Albanian Parliament that passed the Lustration Law by a simple majority. We are deeply concerned.

This law has raised serious legal, governmental, and constitutional questions among Albania's international partners, including the United States.

We call on the Government of Albania to take immediate steps in consultation with national and international experts to ensure that this law would meet international standards.

Monday, December 22, 2008



"Red Alarm" for the Greek FM and other security authorities including foreign intelligences in Albania.

Strong meassures takeen by the Foreign Greek Ministry moves to the extreme elements in Southern Albania, on the «targeting» to the Chairman of «Omonoias» (The Greek Ethnic Minority of Albania) Vassilis Bollanos, reported sources from Greek Security authorities underliandenig informations by Albanian Masmedia in which member of albanian parliament are preparing to hold an extremist meeting in Himara, the Municipality when Vassilis Bolanos is Mayor of the Region.
"Greece is preocuped to monitor what is happening in Albania, in connection with the Party of the Greek national minority and its chairman, Vassilis Bolano", said for a partner of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who wished to remain anonymous. In recent days, President of «Omonoias» accepts direct threats to his life, according to secure information, planned to rally against Himara people in the presence of parliamentarians and Albanians ... «charging» Albanian extremist citizens, which will be transferred to Himara by bus from Tepeleni.

The interest in this case, is that serious Albanian politicians are concerned about the actions against the Greek minority. The concern relates, in fact, in the same continued even after 'obstacles, the process for future integration of Albania into the EU In this climate, known Albanian politician in a recent in private conversation with Western diplomats in Tirana, expressed his concern for the activity of extreme nationalist circles in Himara Region, not excluding even the possibility of provocation by some violence.

Athens «Red Alarme» for the defense the greek minority.

The memorandum of «Omonia» Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Greek Parliament, which sought to ratify the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Albania and the European Union, where the neighborhood country must respect the rights of the Greek minority, based from international treaties and conventions. «Albania if it wants to integrate into the EU should understand the obligation it has towards minorities and specifically against the Greek national minority », said the chairman of «Omonoias », reiterating its full support to the European perspective of the country.

Albanian newspapers accuse the president of «Omonoias» for ... «separatist» and enemy of Albania. Feature is the front page of «Gazeta Shqiptare» to «see» request for autonomy in Northern Epirus, as requests Bolanos recognition of Northern Epirus», the title of the publication.

In addition some popular Albanian face book created exclusively to urging to kill Bollano, the chairman of the «Omonoias» and mayor of Himara seeking the head of Bolanou «on the table» The «head on the table» of the President of «Omonoias», requested member of the Albanian parliament, MPs of all parties, following the statements of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who described «extremists» the "Omonia".

Some Members asked directly to be prosecuted Vassilis Bolanou and dismissed from the post of mayor Himara. Others, undertones to be accused under process penal as enemy of Albania.

"For Bolanos is obligation to anyone Albanian who wants, to target hem. If the state does not take action against Bollanos, who has no link with the history and our state, citizens should be put into place", said Spartak Ngjela MP.

MP of Vlora Bujar Leskaj from the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, called «dirt» the chairman of «Omonoias», which seeks to disrupt the «friendly» relations between Greece and Albania. «My personal view is that is a dirt, remnant of the past, the Greek extremist nationalist circles, who finds no ground in Albania, in this climate of very good friendly relations», he said.

For its part, Members of the Christian Democratic Party, Frrok Gjini, once characterized Himara as a «symbol of Albanian resistance» made known to be held protest demonstration in front of the town hall of Himara against Chairman Vassilis Bollanos.

The President of the «KEAD» Vangjelis Doules turned against the Albanian media, which, as noted, «misinforms the public» in the way they presented and continue to present its defense of «Omonoias» to the Greek parliament. «The pressures and threats of Vassilis Bolanou, is expected to peak as we approach the municipal elections said Doule.

The Greek FM and security authorities including the foreign intelligences NATO and Europol that are installed in Albania are observing any escalation against the Greek minority taking in consideration the "Red Alarm" of ethnic confrontation in Southern Albania

The "" contacted the Ambassador of Albania in Athens, Mr. Vili Minaroli, who calls the albanian authorities imediately to take in high consideration the threats to his life against the president of "Omonia" Mr. Bolanos, claiming that enjoys the protection of the Albanian state.

Replying to a question whether the violation of human rights in his country Albania, might be an obstacle towards accession of Albania into the European Union or other international organizations, Mr. Vili said he sees not an obstacle, indeed, recalled that the Greek Government and Tirana are goof relations in this process.
See: Albanian media TV appeals to "condemn Bollano"...
Albanian`s Berisha passes law on former secret police "SIGURIMI"

The US, British Embassies and OSCE, EU Missions called Berisha to stop the voting.

TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Monday passed a law removing from public posts people linked with the feared former Communist secret police, despite criticism from opposition parties and concerns within the international community. Lawmakers voted 74-2 for the law, while one abstained. The remaining 63 deputies in the 140-seat Parliament boycotted the vote. Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Albania needed "to cleanse itself from the communist calamity."

The law applies to all former members and associates of the Sigurimi secret police, from November 1944 when Albania was liberated from Nazi occupiers until the collapse of Communism in December 1990. The opposition Socialists and other smaller parties boycotted, saying they feared the law would be exploited by Berisha's Democrats to hit at political opponents.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe urged a postponement of the debate.
"The law has serious constitutional and political implications, and postponing the vote to allow for wider consultation and public debate would be welcome," the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said in a statement.

The United States and Britain also urged postponement. For more than four decades, Albania was a xenophobic Communist dictatorship in which the secret services wielded vast power.
Vlachs in Albania demand their language to be official

Photo: Greek Orthodoxe Churche in Voskopolis, Albania

The Vlachs in Albania have demanded from the state authorities to introduce Vlach-language classes in schools and to make it the second official language in the municipalities where they are present.
Thanas Poci, the head of the Associations of the Vlach minority in Albania, said this at the annual assembly of the Associations that was held in Tirana."The right of education in mother tongue has to be respected and the authorities have to allow introduction of the Vlach as the second official language in the municipalities where there are inhabitants of Vlach nationality," Poci said.

Prior to this demand, the Greek minorities in Albania requested conducting a new census. Albanian PM Berisha said recently that his government is fully committed to observing of the minority rights. Some time ago, Berisha pledged to allow the respondents to declare their ethnic belonging at the next census.

Over 60% of 200.000 vllachs of Albania live in Greece Poci said. During the meeting was assisted the Charmain of UHRP Vangjelos Doules.
Epirotic Newsletter

Attached you will find the "December Panepirotic Messenger"