Saturday, February 7, 2009

EU envoy urges Albania to solve property title claims

TIRANA: Albania must solve the huge problem of unclear and disputed property titles in order to attract foreign investors and meet European Union criteria for eventual membership, an EU envoy said yesterday.

Helmuth Lohan, the EU’s ambassador to Tirana, said economic progress in Albania had suffered because of fuzzy ownership titles affecting almost all families and eroding citizens’ confidence in democracy and the courts.

“Clear property titles and legal security are essential prerequisites for the prosperous development of the country, the attraction of foreign direct investment, social peace as well as for the country’s European integration process,” Lohan said.

Successive conservative and leftist governments since Albania toppled Communism have tried with little success to return property to rightful owners who were expropriated after World War Two by the late Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha.
Rural land has been distributed

Friday, February 6, 2009

Scandal, a document of the National Hellenic Policy in the hand of the Albanian journalist!

Photo: The Journalist Mentor Nazarko

The document which contains an internal study of Institute "ELIAMEP" and the Greek Foreign Ministry about the future of Northern Epirus, is known by journalist Mentor Nazarko been declared. The statement was made on "Opinion", of KLAN TV, during a debate concerning the Greek Albanian relations.

It is very surprising that an Albanian journalist known for anti Hellenic positions had the opportunity to have read a top secret material which contains a study of Greek diplomacy and the prestigious institute "ELIAMEP" during the years 2000 - 2001 in Albania.

A group of journalists and experts financed by the Greek Foreign Ministry, under the accompaniment of the former Greek ambassador Alexandros Mallias conducted closely investigation team to study relationship that will be deployed consistently between Albania and Greece regarding the Greek minority in Albania and the future of autonomy Northern Epirus.

Document which is called "Top Secret" seen by the Albanian journalist, is classified for national strategy and Greek diplomacy but no for the public opinion. The journalist Nazarko is very known as author of a book about "Chameria" Issue.


Question: Gordon, could you give us an idea of what the agenda is for the secretary and the Albanian leader? Are they going to talk about that purge of former communist people in their government?

MR. DUGUID: Well, they're going to talk about bilateral issues. Issues of human rights will come up, whether it's the lustration law or not. I don't know if that will be raised in particular. I think the main thrust of the conversation will be about preparations for ascension into NATO membership. As you know, Albania is one of the two countries that's been granted NATO membership. The United States has agreed to that. We have signed our portion of the
agreement. Other allies have as well. They'll be talking NATO issues
for the most part, as well as other bilateral issues.

Question: Can I just ask one more on Albania and the meeting today?


Question: Will there be any discussion about potential, Albania potentially accepting more detainees from Guantanamo?

MR. DUGUID: Well, the discussions on Guantanamo detainees are something that we're doing with individual nations and with the EU as a group. I don't have any information for you on that particular topic in this meeting.

This coming Monday, 9 February, Ms. Bakoyannis will visit Tirana, continuing her tour of the Western Balkans as the Chairperson of the OSCE. She will meet with Albanian President Mr. Topi, Prime Minister Ms.
Berisha and Foreign Minister Mr. Basha. She will also have the opportunity to meet with the Speaker of the Albanian Parliament, Ms. Topalli, and representatives of political parties.

The main subject of the Minister’s talks will be progress in the programmes the OSCE is implementing in Albania in cooperation with the Albanian government, as well as judicial reform, property registration and protection of property rights, police cooperation, good governance and cross-border cooperation.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Resolution for the recognition of independent Kosovo by the EU
Recognition of the independence of Kosovo from all Member States of the European Union today supported the plenary of the European Parliament.

Specifically in the resolution of the Kosovo Parliament approved an amendment submitted by the Danish Liberal MEP Giochanes Lempech.

Under the amendment, Parliament «Encourages the Member States of the European Union that have not yet done so to recognize the independence of Kosovo» ".

This amendment was adopted by a small majority 281 votes in favor, 229 against and 55 abstentions. All Greek MEPs voted against the amendment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Greek parliament voted for Albania and Croatia to NATO

With the votes of PASOK and ND, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Greek Parliament ratifying today the accession of Albania and Croatia to NATO.
Opponents of membership, where LAOS and Communist Party.

NATO in Fear of Possible Slovenian Referendum

NATO fears that Slovenia will not manage to ratify the protocols for accession of Croatia and Albania to the alliance by the April NATO summit or US President Barack Obama's first visit to Europe, especially if there is a referendum.

Everybody expects a new, fresh wind from the new US president, but the question looms if the wind will be stopped or slowed by a "no" from a member state to the accession of two new countries, Jelusic said after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. De Hoop Scheffer was concerned by the latest developments regarding Slovenia's ratification of Croatia's and Albania's NATO accession protocols, in particular last week's delay of the vote on the ratification in the National Assembly.

It is not sure whether Slovenia, so far a credible member of the international community, would be able to ratify the protocols before the NATO summit following all the steps of the democratic procedure. The organisation would like to mark its 60th anniversary with a fresh round of enlargement, so the secretary-general hopes the ratification will be completed on time, added Appathurai. Croatia and Albania have passed all accession procedures so far and Slovenia consented to all the steps, Jelusic pointed out and warned that Slovenia could lose its international credibility and good name, which could take years to repair.

The minister hopes Slovenia will not need to be pressured by the international community, whose hopes are high. However, the protocols still have to be ratified in eight other NATO members. Slovenia must follow reason and not just emotions, she said and added that a number of political steps can be expected next week to enable a new session of the National Assembly and the speedy ratification of the protocols.

If Slovenia retains its credibility by participating in NATO, EU and UN future operations, the problematic project of the eight-wheeled armoured vehicles might be met with understanding even though it is not in accordance with the country's plans for 2012-2013.


Albanians Push For Kosovo In Islamic

Tirana's Ethem Beu MosqueAlbania's Muslim community has started a petition drive to appeal to all 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, OIC, to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Only 9 out off 57 IOC member states have recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17 last year, and has been recognised by 54 countries, including the United States and most European Union member states.

The organizers of the petition are seeking 100,000 signatures from Albanian citizens in order to draw the OIC's attention after what they call a “failure of diplomatic efforts.”

Monday, February 2, 2009

World Bank Suspends Controversial Albania Project

Demolished house in Jale. The World Bank has announced the suspension of a loan from the International Development Association for a project that while meaning to safeguard Albania’s coast was found to have been used to demolish parts of a village and leave many families homeless.

“On January 9, the World Bank has suspended temporarily the disbursement of the IDA loan for the project for Coastal Zones Integrated Management and Clean-Up, because of a row between the government and the project, in which the later aimed to concentrate in planning and land use, while the government wanted apply its politics to control illegal construction,” the bank said in a statement.

An internal report IDA report, obtained by Balkan Insight, shows that a World Bank project on coastal zones management in southern Albania aided the demolishment of informal settlements in the village of Jale, in disregard to the Bank's policies of forced displacement.

Breaking News Albania

World Bank stops the financing project of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Clean-up Project of Albania, Ionian Coast Albania.

The information bused on the ulterior scandal of the project that demolished a touristic village in Himara Region in collaboration with Albanian Authorities.

In the center of the scandal is the special equip of World Bank in Albania and the son in law of PM Sali Berisha Jamarber Maltezi as chairman of World Bank Group of Albanian government delegated. 17 tourist buildings are destructed after the Albanian authority enter in April, 2007 in Jali

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Greek FM: Position on Kosovo unchanged

ATHENS -- Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis says that her country's stance on the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo's independence remains unchanged.
A file photo of Bakoyannis and Vuk Jeremić
Greece is one of five EU countries that have refused to recognize the Kosovo Albanian declaration. Bakoyannis also told Tanjug news agency in an interview that Belgrade's recent call on Greece and other countries to send its view of the problem to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be considered "in the spirit of friendship and cooperation". The UN General Assembly last fall approved Serbia's request for the ICJ to rule on the legality of the declaration.

"Our position is unchanged," the minister continued. "Greece formulates its foreign policy based on international law, taking into account its national interests, the region's stability and European values." Bakoyannis, who will arrive here on Monday in the capacity of the OSCE chair, also said that Greece strongly supports Serbia's EU integration and that it will take an active part in European Union's decision on sending a mission that should verify Belgrade's cooperation with the Hague Tribunal.

“Greece strongly supports Serbia's European perspective. Belgrade's request that the EU sends its mission will be considered and it will be decided in the European Union. Greece will take an active part in that discussion, confident that Serbia's EU integration will contribute to the peace and stability in the region and in the European Union as a whole,” she said.