Friday, January 23, 2009

Karatzaferis`s accuse addressed to George Papandreou

During the parliamentary session on January 23, the President of LAOS Party George Karatzaferis, accused the leader of PASOK Georges Papandreou as responsible of blocking the Northern Epirus issue.

"As also listened to Mr. Papandreou mentioned, and actually moved, because the makes rare occasions, the grandfather of the George Papandreou. You know, I greatly appreciate the history and work of George Papandreou. It should not think George Papandreou today. To appreciate him for his work of this I believe the name. Rigth we want long way to appreciate for his work. But there is a difference. I know the grandfather George Papandreou agree at least 90-95%. I am not sure that the PASOK today agrees. First, the first had some specific positions with partners Left. I do not know whether to apply today you. Second was for specific positions Northern Epirus you do not have never" Karatzaferis said.

PASOK and ND where tow politic parties group that voted the SAA agreement with Albania.

Albania to allow headscarf ID photos

Authorities in Albania have decided to allow Muslim women to wear headscarves while being photographed for ID cards. Albania began issuing new identity cards this month, but Muslim community leaders to complained that the government's passport agency was not allowing headscarf photos.

Interior Ministry spokesman Fatmir Konja said Friday that such photos will be accepted as long at the headscarves do not obscure a person's facial features. Albania is mostly Muslim with large Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic minorities. Practicing religion was banned until Communism fell in 1990.

Albania has begun issuing new IDs and biometric passports and hopes to adopt international standards for identity documents.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


By Special Correspondent

In times of dire economic straits, thinking and talking defense and security is an unpopular subject given the economic outlays and the implied sense of risk involved. Greece is in such straits and voters are in foul mood. Hit by the world economic slump, and paying the price of years of mismanagement and corruption, Greece is on the receiving end of a huge double whammy: the cash box is empty, save the last usurious-interest foreign loan, and prospects of a genuine rebound, in the middle of an unprecedented global crunch, are extremely slim.

Nevertheless, Greece needs to, and must, think defense and security urgently. Here’s why.
On the outside:

Turkey grows more menacing by the day. Turkish warplanes fly as if Aegean skies are theirs to enjoy and keep. Turkish sea-air exercises bracket Greek islands, large and small, and simulate various pre-invasion tactics. Turkish warships make “honest” navigation “mistakes” and appear near the shores of Athens --unmolested. Turkish ground forces along the eastern frontier remain at battle strength.

The rest of the Balkans is in slow boil. Kosovar Albanians, emboldened by Kosovo’s “independence” by Caesarian section courtesy of the US, haven’t given up the dream of a “greater Albania.” FYR Macedonia, for all of Skopje’s macho-man antics in connection to the lingering name dispute with Athens, has little to celebrate over its “multicultural” synthesis comprising a strong Albanian minority permanently unhappy with the posture of the Slav majority. A splendid, little war is not entirely impossible right at Greece’s northern doorstep as it nearly happened in 2001, when irregular “Macedonian” Albanians nearly tore the Slav-dominated Skopje government to pieces.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Albania’s New Identity Documents to Ease EU Visa Regime

21 January 2009 | The Albanian government has started issuing new and improved identity cards and passports, seen as a key requirement for the liberalization of the visa regime with the EU and the implementation of European election standards.

The new biometric passports, which will cost 60 euro each, were hailed by Prime Minister Sali Berisha as “first-class documents” that would enable Albanians to “travel more freely abroad,” the Southeast European Times reported recently.

Issuing reliable, high-security personal identification documents and stepping up of the fight against organized crime are the two main conditions Albania has to fulfill before the EU could ease its visa requirements for the country’s citizens, as reported last October. see more..

Monday, January 19, 2009

The resignation of Vice/Chairman of UHRP Thomas Mitsos going to establish a new party

Following the elections in 28 June, Mr Mitsos proposed change of statutes UHRP and converted into the National Ethnic Party that is only the Greek National minority. Mr Mitsos aims at a party acting in Gjirokaster, Saranda, Delvina and Himara and the creation of an Annex resident in Greece where are more 70% of northern epiriotean.

The imediate was responded the secretary general of the UHRP Leonard Solis, who urged to M. Mitsou to establish his own small party. Mr. Solis sais that; ''throughout the KEAD is panalbanian party and the conversion of the party in the Greek national minority is a wrong idea against the albanian costotution. We are here to solve the problems and not to create artificial tension ...''
The Greek minority in Albania and its rights: Theory and practice

by Fanis Malkidis*
On 15 January ratified by the Parliament (with the votes of party New Democracy and PASOK), the Stabilization and Association Agreement Albania-EU. The issue of integration of Albania in the EU, which is directly linked to the respect and the existence of the Greek minority in Albania, which for years despite contrary comments prosecuted, launched in 2003.

The meeting of the Ministerial Troika of the EU in Albania (Tirana, 13.1.2003), confirmed the EU commitment to the European perspective of Albania calling on both to take the responsibility to fulfill all the conditions of conditionality of the Stabilization and Association Process, which includes the full respect and protection of the rights of the Greek national minority. This confirmed the «Agenda for the Western Balkans: moving towards European Integration» which was adopted during the EU Summit in Thessaloniki (19-20.6.2003).

In June 2006, Albania, with the consent of Greece had signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU agreement which includes issues of minorities, the elimination of discrimination against them. To join an EU candidate country must meet all the requirements set, namely Albania minority state with serious problems obliged to adapt its legislation and administrative or other practices of the acquis communautaire, ensuring the identity of these groups. ¨ We believe that this has not happened so far. Since 2003 the EU has urged Albania to take responsibility to fulfill all terms of the agreement between conditionality which include full respect and protection of the rights of the ethnic Greek minority, stressing that progress in the negotiations and the approach of Albania the EU will depend solely on its ability to meet its commitments.

Greece was brought to the Agreement between Albania and the EU parliament for ratification. There, from government side stated that the agreement marks the start of the accession process in Albania, thus the neighboring country is committed to radical cuts in the economy, justice, law and human rights. It also reported that «as a Greek state, standing next to minority practice, the concern is ongoing. Distributed free text books for the Greek language. The property, firmly and consistently highlight the minority side and we are in direct contact with representatives of the minority to a fair resolution of cases involving their properties ».

On the side of PASOK, by the rapporteur said that «the agreement with the Albanian put over their heads a council that will monitor the protection of minorities, we deny it;». The fact is that despite the theoretical approaches and the occasional free content, substance and effect positions in Greece and Albania, protection and enforcement of the Greek minority in Albania does not exist. The minority continues to be prosecuted, while on the other hand is quite a lot from the Albanian side, even with non-akompso and diplomatic way, the issue of Tsamis and Albanian immigrants in Greece. Major problems such as education of members of the Greek minority, religious freedom, return to the beneficiaries of private, community and church property, the non-implementation by the Albanian side of the commitments on human and minority rights, terrorism, and still worse .

In the nationalist climate in Albania is developing a series of actions by the Albanian government turned against the Greek minority to definitive removal of the Greek population. Today, apart from theory, the main objective should be the respect and full enjoyment of rights of the Greek minority. If this happens, we can proceed further cooperation and bilateral relations, otherwise should the policy of Greece towards Albania to be reviewed and epanacharachthei, with the interests of the Greek minority and not others.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Posters call for dismissal of ethnic Greek mayor in southern Albania

Posters calling for dismissal of ethnic Greek Vasil Bollano, mayor of the southern town of Himara, appeared in Tepeleni town. The posters urged residents to oppose Bollano's attempts to "detach" the Himara region from Albania.

Bollano has urged Greece not to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Albania unless Tirana grants full property rights to the ethnic Greek minority living in the Himara region. Many Albanians perceive it as a first step towards seeking autonomy for the region.

The Tribunal of Tepelena is going to denied tow Albanian boys as organisators of illegitimate national meeting in Tepelena last month against the president of Omonia Bollano and Prefect of Gjirokaster Ksera.