Saturday, December 5, 2009

The greeks of Vlora Region

James Petiffer refereeing on his book for the old Greek community of Vlora: The Greek Minority in Albania - In the Aftermath of Communism"

"The area studied was confined to the southern border fringes, and there is good reason to believe that this estimate was very low"."Under this definition, minority status was limited to those who lived in 99 villages in the southern border areas, thereby excluding important concentrations of Greek settlement in Vlora (perhaps 8000 people in 1994) and in adjoining areas along the coast, ancestral Greek towns such as Himara, and ethnic Greeks living elsewhere throughout the country".

Mixed villages outside this designated zone, even those with a clear majority of ethnic Greeks, were not considered minority areas and therefore were denied any Greek-language cultural or educational provisions.

In addition, many Greeks were forcibly removed from the minority zones to other parts of the country as a product of communist population policy, an important and constant element of which was to pre-empt ethnic sources of political dissent.

Greek place-names were changed to Albanian names, while use of the Greek language, prohibited everywhere outside the minority zones, was prohibited for many official purposes within them as well."

Petiffer, James (2001).

"The Greek Minority in Albania - In the Aftermath of Communism". Surrey, UK: Conflict Studies Research Centre.

Archives and Documents


Photo: The Greek Special Forces embarked on first attack reactions ship

The island Sasonos, which historically and geographically belongs to Ionion islands group, a front at the entrance to the Gulf of Vlore is a strategic point of maximum importance as it controls the Strait of Otranto. The rocky island of 4.5 square kilometers of land granted by the Treaty of London (1864) together with the Ionian Islands in Greece but the Greek government and the inert Sason ... appears to be a Turkish soil, as the Turks occupied the city of Vlore.

In 1912 the General Konstantinos Georgantas, commander of frigate "PINEIOS", raised in Sasona the Greek flag and 25 soldiers disembark in island. In 1914 a decision of of Venizelos government transferred Sasenos to Albania and removed the Greek flag. Then the island occupied by Italy and Germany, representing a submarine base in WWS.

.....With the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1946, Greece goes to annexation of the Dodecanese, but not in Northern Epirus, which was released by the Greek Army heavy toll. In 1951 manufactured naval base with underground facilities for nuclear submarines of the Soviet fleet.

On 3 December 1961 rupture of relations occurred USSR and Albania and interrupted diplomatic relations between them. Tirana quickly expel all Soviet advisers, mobilization of reservists to go and close the naval base, even all the military equipment of Soviet origin was there. Albania ceases to be a member of the Warsaw Pact. This development mobilizes the Greek side which recognizes the geostrategic importance of the island.

In 1962 The General Quarter of Marine in Athens organized the action plain to the island Sason code-named «ANTIPATREIA» together with CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Special Forces of the Greek Naval Army. the Greek intelligence services, making dozens of missions in the wider area between Sason Island and parts of Northern Epirus.

The objective of the operation is to recover the island Sasonos, to entrance in actions other points of special Greek forces to liberate Northern Epirus (Southern Albania), under the commander Lieutenant-LOK K. Kollias..... but the Plain where stopped for other secret reasons...

At critical point, the whole "leaking" so the cancellation of the operation. One of the paratroopers of the Special Forces, not embittered the shipment and was betrayed before completed suicide.

30 arrested in European wide operation against drug trafficking network by ethnic Albanians OC

The Hague - The Netherlands.

Yesterday 30 arrests were made in a European-wide operation coordinated by Eurojust at judicial level and Europol at police level. Operation Andromeda was directed against a criminal network operating in several European countries, involved in the trafficking of cocaine, hashish, ecstasy and heroin.

The suspects allegedly created and managed a transnational criminal organisation based mainly in Italy but with operational cells also in Antwerp, Belgium and Oslo, Norway. They used couriers and cars specifically designed for transporting drugs.

The cocaine route went from Peru to the Netherlands and then on to Belgium; from Belgium the drugs were transported mainly to the United Kingdom, Italy and other European countries.

The investigation initiated as an Italian investigation carried out by the Guardia di Finanza of Pisa under the direction of the Anti-Mafia District Directorate (DDA) of Florence, and concerned an organised-crime group of ethnic Albanian suspects.

The judicial investigations were coordinated by Eurojust with Europol providing key support from a very early stage of the investigations. Eurojust held several meetings involving Europol and the linked European authorities to enhance the investigative measures and to define a common strategy for tackling the network.

Europol analysts identified network contacts in 42 countries, and systematically uncovered links across the entire criminal network. Based on this analysis and national investigations, the national law enforcement authorities were already able to seize 49 kgs of cocaine, 10 kgs of heroin and 101 kgs of hashish, during previous phases in the investigation.

During the operation which culminated with the arrests yesterday, Europol deployed a mobile office to Pisa and established a Joint Operation Centre together with Eurojust to coordinate the action of the various law enforcement agencies

Shaban Murati: Albanian issue, still unresolved

The Director of the Albanian Diplomatic Academy said for expansion of the Albanian national issue to "Greater Albania"

Director of the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Shaban Murad stressed that the Albanian question in the Balkans is still unresolved.

Albanian issue is still unresolved even after Kosovo independence. This has highlighted the director of the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Shaban Murad has declared for indipendent TV Station "Ora-News" that the Albanian issue is broader than the issue of Kosovo, stressing that the main component is the issue of Macedonia's Albanian.

Regarding the judicial process in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, diplomat Murad has highlighted that this is a normal process that has crucial effects. Shaban Murad is one of the most career diplomats and known in journalism with his analysis of international diplomatic. He has performed service ambassador in Macedonia and finally in Sweden.
Inzko: Last offer for Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 December 2009 | 13:12 | Source: Tanjug
VIENNA -- International Community High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina Valentin Inzko said that the final offer for a new Bosnian constitution is now on the table.

Valentin Inzko (FoNet archive)
Valentin Inzko (FoNet archive)

“The final proposal of a new constitution is on the table currently, and I hope that it will be accepted,” Inzko said, stressing that he hopes that there will be new progress made in talks regarding constitutional reform in the country.

Inzko said, however, that he fears that the “readiness to compromise by politicians will decrease during the election year.”

Regarding the issue of visa liberalization for Bosnia-Herzegovina, he told Austrian daily The Courier that it will “surely happen in mid-2010.”

Friday, December 4, 2009

Declaration of Greek President Karolos Papoulias about Kosovo solution

Papoulias: International community should insist on pursuit of talks between Belgrade and Pristina

December 04, 2009

The international community should insist on continuation of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina because the UN mediator Maarti Ahtisaari's plan was made in haste, Greek President Carolos Papoulias said in Prague.

"Countries that don't recognize Kosovo are actually safeguarding their own national interests", he added

"Now we have a problem - as regards the development of the Balkan region, Kosovo will remain a flashpoint", the Greek president said.

Papoulias' comments come days before European Union consultations on the promotion of Turkey's EU accession course and a decision on whether to start accession talks with fYRoM.

"We are not going to make concessions for Turkey," Papoulias said, while also cautioning that "if fYRoM does not compromise (on the name issue) a repeat of Bucharest will occur," a reference to the neighbouring country's failed bid to join NATO due to the nagging dispute.

Albania and stability on Region


The government of Prime Minister Berisha, continues to promise the visas in Europe when the political climate, is creating conditions for a destabilization of the country.

Premier Berisha called the Albanian opposition and its leader as "the strongest mafia in the Balkans" by passing laws that threaten serious violation of human rights. Meanwhile, Albanian opposition requires the resignations of Prime Minister Berisha, the development of early elections, announcing protests in the whole country.

While the European dream of Albanians, going to failure as a message to be confronted with democratic values of Europe, starting from votes, property and freedoms of the politic and civil rights.

Holy Father rejoices with Archbishop of Albania in spiritual renewal

- Benedict XVI hosted His Beatitude Anastas, Archbishop of Albania at the Vatican this morning as rain poured down on St. Peter's square just outside. The Pope praised the Orthodox Church of Albania and the personal contributions of the prelate in keeping the faith alive there and maintaining fraternal relations with Roman Catholics.

In his address, the Pontiff called attention to the witness of the "wonderful and indelible traces in the first lines of history, literature and the arts" left by our Christian forefathers on the culture of Albania. The Gospel, he noted, arrived to the region in Apostolic times.

"Yet the most impressive witness is surely always found in life itself," said Pope Benedict of the fact that Christianity has survived in Albania despite the presence of "repressive and hostile atheistic regime" in the last century.

The Pope praised the "missionary activity" of Anastas "in the reconstruction of places of worship, the formation of clergy and the catechetical work now being done, a movement of renewal which (he) has rightly described as Ngjallja (Resurrection)."

The Pope also reflected on the ability of the Orthodox Church of Albania "to participate fruitfully in the international theological dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox" since the fall of the regime.

"Your commitment in this regard happily mirrors the fraternal relations between Catholics and Orthodox in your country and offers inspiration to the entire Albanian people, demonstrating how it is possible for fellow Christians to live in harmony."

Benedict XVI referred to new initiatives the Albanian Church has made to improve and maintain inter-faith relations. "These are timely efforts to promote mutual understanding and tangible cooperation, not only between Catholics and Orthodox, but also among Christians, Muslims and Bektashi."

"I rejoice with Your Beatitude and with all the Albanian people in this spiritual renewal."

more see video:


Kosovo and Serbia

A legal separation?

Kosovo’s independence from Serbia is scrutinised in the international court

SAY “Battle of Kosovo” and those who live in the Balkans will instantly recall Serbia’s defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1389. So it is clearly no accident that Serbia’s leaders have taken to talking about a new “diplomatic” battle of Kosovo. That fight moved to the UN’s International Court of Justice in The Hague on Tuesday December 1st, which has begun hearing submissions on whether Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in February 2008 was legal or not.

What the 15 judges have to say will be of keen interest from Catalonia to Tibet and indeed wherever the argument about a people’s right to self-determination appears to clash with a state’s right to preserve its territorial integrity.

Kosovo has a population of over 2m people. The overwhelming majority are ethnic Albanians. Unlike the six republics of the old Yugoslavia which became states, Kosovo was a province of Serbia but it had many of the attributes of a republic, including an assembly, a government and a seat on Yugoslavia’s rotating presidency.

After the Kosovo war, which culminated in NATO’s 11-week bombing of Serbia in 1999, the Serbian administration in Kosovo was replaced by a UN body, which in turn gradually gave way to Kosovo’s own elected institutions. Serbia argues that Kosovo’s assembly did not have the right to declare independence and that the UN’s representative in Kosovo was legally bound to nullify the declaration. The Kosovars answer that this was a constitutional issue and not an international legal matter and besides they had as much right to declare independence as the other parts of Yugoslavia.

To date 63 countries have recognised Kosovo, including America and 22 of the 27 EU states. But China, Russia and many other important countries have not—including Spain, which will hold the EU’s presidency from January. As well as Serbia and Kosovo, 29 countries will give their views in court. After that the judges will deliver a non-binding advisory opinion at some point in the next 12 months.

International law on self-determination and secession is unclear. Most Western countries recognise Kosovo but not Abkhazia or South Ossetia which have broken away from Georgia. However Russia and Venezuela, who will both argue for Serbia at the ICJ, have recognised the two breakaway regions. If the judges could steel themselves to offer clarity on the issue that would be widely welcomed.

In fact their opinion on Kosovo’s status is likely to be ambiguous. But, if it is a draw, argues Remzi Lani, a commentator from Albania, then that will constitute “a defeat for Serbia”, because slowly but surely, countries will continue to recognise Kosovo. However, opposition from Russia and China means Kosovo will never be allowed to join the UN or any other body where they have the power to prevent it.

Even if the court finds in favour of Serbia it is unlikely to make much difference as it is inconceivable that Serbia could ever rule Kosovo again. But that may not be the point at issue here. What Serbia may offer Kosovo in the future is an exchange of the Serb-inhabited north of Kosovo for an Albanian-inhabited bulge into Serbia called the Presevo Valley.

It is noteworthy that the opening of the ICJ case is not the main news in either Kosovo or Serbia. Serbia is celebrating a decision confirmed on Monday to abolish visas for the EU’s Schengen countries for Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins. A cartoon in one paper shows Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic, cheerfully carting off a man-sized carrot, a gift from the EU, on his shoulders.

Kosovars have nothing to celebrate. Their news is full of the story of the arrest by the EU’s police mission in the country of a man who claims to have taken part in some 17 murders, attempted murders or beatings on behalf of a murky intelligence service which was previously linked with the PDK, the party of Hashim Thaci, the prime minister. The victims were apparently members of another party, now in coalition with Mr Thaci. The PDK Tdeny the accusations, saying they are politically motivated smears. Mr Thaci says that whoever is responsible must be brought to justice. Although nothing to do with the case before the ICJ such allegations, true or not, do not help Kosovo’s cause.

Serbia Snubs Albanians Seeking Visa-Free Travel

Bujanovac | 04 December 2009 | By Jeton Ismaili
Serbia's biometric passports
Serbia's biometric passports
EU decision to lift visa restrictions on Serbian citizens is prompting Kosovo Albanians to claim they live in South Serbia, so they can access the benefits – but very few succeed.

Leon Osmani, aged 30, was born in South Serbia but has been living with his family in the Kosovo capital of Pristina for the last 25 years.

Ever since he heard the news that Brussels proposed to lift the requirement for Serbian citizens to obtain visas for the Schengen zone, he has been trying to change address.

He filed a request with the police in Serbia to change his official residence to his grandfather’s home in the mainly Albanian town of Bujanovac in Southern Serbia.

“They accepted my documentation as valid but my request was denied, oddly enough,” Osmani complains. The official explanation was that the data submitted in his request was incorrect.

Osmani is not the only Albanian in Kosovo trying to claim residence in Serbia as a result of the EU decision.
The reason is that the EU decision on November 30 to lift the Schengen visa regime on certain countries in the Western Balkans is highly selective.

It applies to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro but not to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo or Albania. Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008. Its independence has been recognised by 22 EU states and 63 countries worldwide, but is contested by Serbia.

more see:

Vangelos Doules: We need to make develop early elections to close the political crisis in the country

The Leadrer of HRUP Vangelos Doules, has advanced his propose yesterday during a meeting with chairmen of opposition parties that the political crisis in Albania can avoid holding early elections as the only solution for the stability of the country.

Doules proposal has escalated the opposition protests for which organizers said that from today they ask Berisha to leave from the country continuing daily protests over all Albanian territory.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Albanian Parliament approved the Law "Antimafia" considered by the opposition as anti democratic and anti human rights

The Opposition: Sali Berisha wants to return the dictator regime, sequestering
property of justice under the strategy to fight the organized crime

Albanian Parliament has also passed some anti democratic laws adopted by the government of coalition composed by Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta. The Law is categorically opposed by all the country's democratic institutions including the Associations of Jurists.

It is unknown what stage will go further political crisis in the country but adoption violates these laws are fundamental principles of human rights in Albania.

Pride of French shipbuilding arrived in Athens

03 December 2009 / 05:12:34

The French aircraft carrier Charles-De-Gaulle will spend four days on Greek territory. The carrier will participate in training together with the Greek navy.

The choice for the French aircraft carrier to visit Greece is not by chance. During his visit to Greece last year, French President Nicola Sarkozi announced his ambitions for France and Greece to make a strategic cooperation. Back then he offered to lay the grounds for the so called “new union”. During the upcoming months an agreement between the two countries will be signed, which will cover the entire spectrum of defense and military partnership, on a bilateral and international level.

Charles-De-Gaulle is the only European aircraft carrier. It allows the execution of Air Force operations on a broad front for a long time anywhere in the world. It has traveled to Afghanistan, where its airplanes have participated in many successful military operations. The flight deck of the ship is 260 meters long and it is enough for a E-2C Hawk to take off and land on it. The carrier weights 40 000 tons and its top speed is 27 knots. It was designed to provide the combat activity of a group of 40 aircrafts, including French jets “Rafale" (Rafale F3). Charles-De-Gaulle can also participate in operations against land targets, attacks on maritime and air forces on land and water. It is accompanied with 4 Air Force frigates, one submarine and a refuel tank.

This is the carrier’s first time to leave France after it stayed there for several months, in order for technicians to renovate it. After the technical improvements Charles-De-Gaulle can now compete with some of the best aircraft carriers in the world.

Kosovo - partitioning what from what?

Though partition is far from the best way to resolve the Kosovo question, it is a political option for Kosovo as part of a final status resolution and has been used by one side already.

By Gerard Gallucci

Keywords: Serbia, Kosovo, EULEX, Ahtisaari, partition

Talk about partitioning Kosovo remains taboo. Almost everyone officially rejects the idea - the Albanians, the Serbs (in both Serbia and Kosovo), and the EU and U.S. However, only the Albanians probably really mean it and only if it applies to carving out pieces of “their” Kosovo and not so much as it might apply to the partitioning of Kosovo from Serbia. The Western Europeans and U.S. stand against partition arguing that Kosovo is a unique case and maintaining that Kosovo is and can be a flourishing multi-ethnic democracy. (Some EU members, and perhaps some in EU Brussels, may actually prefer partition as the neatest way to get rid of the lingering Kosovo status issue and get out of the morass into which their EULEX mission has fallen. Perhaps prematurely, EU envoy Wolfgang Ischinger even put partition on the negotiating table in August 2007.) The U.S. supports the official EU position because this keeps it off the Kosovo hook and because it has its own reasons – think Caucasus and Russia – to reject ethnic partition. The Serbs in southern Kosovo might support partition if somehow they could remain attached to Serbia. As this is unlikely, they do not. Kosovo Serbs north of the Ibar would probably welcome partition – remaining in Serbia – but, as it is not yet Serbian state policy, cannot say so. Belgrade may accept partition at some point but cannot say so while still making a case against losing Kosovo. Russia stands ready to pick up the pieces however it goes.

So, partition is the elephant in the room. Everyone pretends it is not there as they try to look busy finding other ways to finish determining Kosovo’s final status. The arguments against partition appear serious. 1) It could lead to renewed pressure for partitioning along ethnic lines including elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. 2) It would seem to abandon the principle and possibility of truly multi-ethnic democracy, which everyone agrees is better than mono-ethnic mini-states. 3) Kosovo enjoyed autonomy as a province (though not a republic) under Tito until later simply revoked by Milošević. It is worth considering these arguments one by one.

The issue of Kosovo’s partition establishing a precedent or somehow encouraging further such actions elsewhere begs the central question of Kosovo’s very partition from Serbia. Serbia was and remains a sovereign state and member of the United Nations. Dismembering it, arbitrarily changing its state borders through military occupation, sets a huge precedent with implications in many places around the globe. To argue that a state loses the right over some part of its territory or population because of the way a particular government treats its people raises the issue of who decides, when and by what standard. Answers to these questions would be pertinent to many other situations, such as the treatment of native people by Australia, Brazil and the United States as well as the cases of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Congo, Macedonia, Georgia, Iraq, and Spain, to name a few. The plain fact is that with Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence – recognized by leading members of the international community – partition is already a fact.

One cannot argue credibly that Kosovo’s partition from Serbia is not along ethnic lines. To do so, one would have to make the case that Kosovo is in fact a flourishing multi-ethnic society or can become one. But Kosovo is essentially a mono-ethnic Albanian state. According to the CIA Factbook, 88 percent of its 1.8 million people are Albanians. Seven percent are Serbs and five percent others. Take out the 40-60,000 Serbs living in the north and the Albanian majority is over 90 percent. The Pristina institutions are Albanian institutions and non-Albanians’ role will be – if they are lucky – to have some say in how they are governed in their own communities and to play the occasional window-dressing role. Keeping Kosovo whole to support the case for multi-ethnic democracy is hypocrisy masquerading as high policy.

Kosovo’s history can support almost any conclusion one wishes to draw. One hundred years ago Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire so perhaps it should now be part of Turkey? Tito practiced ethnic gerrymandering – manipulating boundaries and legalities – on a grand scale to keep the truly multi-ethnic Yugoslavia balanced and more or less stable. The only thing perhaps we can learn from him is that in the end, ethnic loyalties prevail. Western Europe lost the opportunity to preserve multi-ethnicity in the Balkans when it rushed into the recognition of Yugoslavia’s break-up rather than finding a way to help it to a soft landing. In any case, Kosovo cannot now argue the sanctity of its borders based upon precedent from Yugoslavia having itself thrown over the boundaries of the successor state, Serbia.

None of this is to argue that partition is the best way to resolve the Kosovo question. But it may at some point have to be part of the final package. The Ahtisaari Plan remains the best option for southern Kosovo, where non-Albanians remain with little choice but to accept the reality that surrounds them. But the north? Why should people there born in one country be forced to accept now living in another? Some will say, what about the Albanians living in Serbia or Macedonia. Indeed. Irredentism is a danger. But it should not be allowed to become the basis of geopolitical blackmail.

In the end, partition is a political option for Kosovo as part of a final status resolution and has been used by one side already.

Gerard M. Gallucci is a retired US diplomat. He served as UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica, Kosovo from July 2005 until October 2008. The views expressed in this piece are his own and do not represent the position of any organization.


For the European Commission, Macedonia is ready for EU accession negotiations, but must resolve the name dispute with Greece.
Between Skopje and Athens some positive signs, like the meeting between Papandreou and Gruevski, but the next European Council is expected a smoke black

A few days after the European Council meeting, scheduled for 10-11 December, Macedonia appears to be relapsing in the "syndrome of the Bucharest NATO summit of 2008". The agenda is in fact a decision to initiate negotiations for EU accession of Macedonia is not difficult to imagine that the political atmosphere in Skopje and surrounding area is rapidly heating up.

more see:

Albania PM Names 'Balkans' Most Dangerous Mafia'

Tirana | 03 December 2009 | Besar Likmeta
Sali Berisha
Sali Berisha
In a late evening press conference on Wednesday Prime Minister Sali Berisha presented a series of documents on what he called “the most dangerous mafia clan in the Balkans”, referring to the Albanian opposition.

In what is the latest chapter in the on-going battle between Berisha's government and Albania’s Socialist opposition, the prime minister named a number of Socialist deputies and Tirana so-called oligarchs, which according to him, in the last few years have stolen 500,000 square meters of public space in the capital worth 780 million euro.

“I want to underline that a communist and mafia group wants to impose a legitimate government... This group of communists does not lead the Socialist party, but the most dangerous mafia clans in the Balkans, that has turned Tirana in a laundry machine of dirty money, the economic crime that is the cupola of the Albanian mafia,” said Berisha.

This was the prime minister's response to the Socialists' request for a partial re-count of the 28 June parliamentary elections.

The statement comes at the end of a ten day ultimatum set by the opposition Socialist leader and Tirana mayor Edi Rama, calling on Berisha to accept a partial recount or face massive protests seeking his removal from office.

The Socialist Party has waged a campaign accusing Berisha of electoral fraud and corruption in the parliamentary elections. Rama claims that his party never lost the election, which he says was stolen by the government.

His party and supporters have held a series of rallies across the country seeking a recount. Tens of thousands of Socialist Party supporters rallied in Tirana on 20 November and another major rally is planned for early December.


Greek citizenship, civil rights and illegal immigration

There are more 250.000 emigrant children who will naturalize as Greek citizen including the Albanian families emigrant in Greece, a strategy of leadership party to win local elections in 2010

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Can NATO really get 5,000 troops?

Wed, 12/02/2009 - 12:44pm

Referring to the United States's NATO partners, President Obama last night asked, "that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we're confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead." A conference will be held in London in January to discuss international contributions to the effort.

NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen promised 5,000 troops, but it's a little unclear where he's going to get them:

Reacting to Obama's call for more help, a Polish official said the government will likely send 600 combat-ready reinforcements, mainly for patrolling and training, to beef up its existing 2,000-strong contingent.

Albania pledged to increase its 250-member unit by 85 troops, army trainers and medical workers, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said.

Spain's El Pais daily said the defense ministry was considering adding 200 soldiers to its 1,000 contingent. Italy declared it would do its part and Finland confirmed that it had been asked to consider sending more troops and would do so next week. [...]

Britain announced before Obama's speech it is sending 500 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing its numbers there to 10,000.

France and Germany are holding off on any troop decision until an international conference in January, though French President Nicolas Sarkozy has previously pledged that he "won't send an additional soldier."

The other big question is the Netherlands, whose parliament voted for a non-binding resolution in favor of withdrawal when the Dutch mission ends next August. If the Dutch government follows through and pulls out its 2,160 troops, that would more than negate the 1,385 troops already pledged by Britain, Spain, Poland and Albania. Canada has already passed a withdrawal plan for 2011 as well and seems unlikely to add more troops.

Even in a best-case scenario in which the Dutch keep current troop levels and the countries mentioned are able to follow through through on their commitments, NATO will still need get more than 3,500 troops from the Italians, the Australians, the deeply ambivalent Germans and a hodge-podge of smaller nations, none of whom currently have more than 1,000 troops in the country.

It doesn't seem too likely.


William Tenet is the brother of the Former Director of CIA George Tenet, their parents where from Himara Region

AHEPA honored and distinguished expatriates and philhellenes at the first regional dinner in New York, in the presence of more than 350 people.

Among others awarded Senator Robert Menentez and membe of US Congress, Carolyn Maloney, the cardiologist William Tenet, the businessman, Dimitri Kaloeidis,the General Mark Gatanas and the Police Department commander, Dimitris Roumeliotis.

The event was attended, inter-alia, from the former head of the CIA, George Tenet, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Vassilis Kaskarelis, the Consul General of Greece and Cyprus, Andreas Panayiotou, the representative of Archbishop Demetrios, Fr Sebastian
, while the program was presented by former Provincial Governor James Gounaris.

Greetings to the winners thanked the AHEPA, while stressing the dynamic and the efforts of the organization for the promotion of Greek issues and support the community and the Greeks worldwide.

The next regional events AHEPA will be held in Portland, Oregon, on March 6 and in Chicago on April 24 and left to set another event.

Berisha met with US mediator Daniel Fried and Ambassador, John Withers

Tirana - At the height of political crisis in the country, U.S. mediator Daniel Fried and the US Ambassador in Tirana, John Withers have held today a meeting with Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

The Meeting held on 31 villa in the capital Tirana, was without media presence. Not yet known what specifically discussed between Berisha, Fried and Withers, but in general learn that is discussing about the politic critic situation in the country.

The meeting takes place today when expire of Socialist Party for the opening of ballot boxes, as the main condition for entering opposition in the Assembly.

According to Berisha, Albania will sent a military company to Afghanistan, supporting the decision of NATO to raise the troops for stability of the country.

The new "isolation for Albania"

Skopje considers establishing visa for Albania and Kosovo

Visa Application for Albanian citizens and Kosovo is expected to be one of considering alternatives to government authorities in Skopje, while the plan is being reviewed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This is taught by senior government sources for the newspaper "24 hours", where this issue was reportedly carried away from the eyes of the Albanian partner in government such as BDI.

The plan is projected to come into force early next year, and as justification as why it is taken will be used that allegedly FYROM has already spent in the area of "white Schengen", while Albania and Kosovo continue to be in the area " Schengen Black ".

Registration of population, Godo: Albania; not on ethnic grounds

Sabri Godo :
Greece would also alleged Albanian territories as Northern Epirus

TIRANA-census on linguistic grounds, the religious and ethnic affiliation constitutes a serious danger and threat to the country. Strong reaction from one of the drafters of the Albanian Constitution, Sabri Godo politician, who in this way of the project responds to Pri
me Minister Berisha, who promised a few weeks ago in the Parlamentar Assembly.

At November 15 session of this year, responding to interest of leader's HRUP Vangjel Dule on this issue, Berisha said that as will be pledged to conduct census on the basis linguistic, ethnic and religious even the requests from the international recommendations are reverse.

According to albanian newspaper "Gazeta Shqiptare", Sabri Godo politician sees this project as very dangerous, that would lead to artificially increase the citizens with Greek nationality in our country. According to Godo, then Greece would also alleged Albanian territories, such as Northern Epirus.

Godo has reminded the Albanian government to take care with the Greek cemetery, which can not continue indefinitely noted the Albanian newspaper.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Protests in Athens; Where is my vote?

The Albanian immigrants and supporters of Albanian opposite, petition to OSCE Foreign Ministers

In Athens was held protests from emigrant associations and supporters of SP under the motto "I want to see my vote'. The protesters were determined with billboards facing the OSCE headquarters where it held the meeting of Foreign Ministers.

Organizers of the protest, are immigrants working in the Greek state, who have submitted the 45 Foreign Ministers of the following petition:

Albania would not comply with fraud irregularities last elections as it gives the wrong message to our democratic aspirations.

During 20 years of transition Albanian governments have consistently failed to meet standards for the development of democratic and free elections. The current government again failed to meet these standards in parliamentary elections on 28 June 2009.

Serbia and Kosovo present arguments in Hague

THE HAGUE -- The debate on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral proclamation of independence began today before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.


Missile weapons from Albania to the terrorists of Hezbollah

The Albanian government buys dangerous weapons in large amounts and then sells them to Hezbollah terrorists. A scary story of traffic, which left the money that is not known that by buying the missiles out, buying them in Ukraine, their entry in almost smuggled into Albania and the sale of one of the most wanted names from our allies, Hezbollah leader.


Monday, November 30, 2009


A. Samaras: we will be together and face PASOK

November 30, 2009, 22:02

"As required by the institutions of government, we met and talked in general, initially on the problems that exist and particularly the area of the economy," said newly elected President of New Democracy, Mr Deputy Samaras, speaking after he met with Prime Minister Papandreou.

Mr. Samaras described the meeting "fruitful and positive. Asked if he would "put back" to the problems, Mr. Samaras said the prime minister did not "asked for this for something specific, adding that" we will see where. In addition, the Chairman of ND stressed that "other issues we will be together, others face. He explained that "because together we will serve the same community and have the same objectives, namely the prosperity of the Greek people". "Faced why we serve a different ideology and why it is appropriate and indeed the role of opposition," added Mr. Samaras.

Asked to comment on the fact that the two were fellow students and roommates, Mr. Samaras said that "being friends with someone does not mean you can be a political opponent. And believe me, where we need to be political opponents, as LD will be very tough, "noted.

Greek National Issues in center of Greek leaderships meeting

As announced today, the Prime Minister George Papandreou will meet this afternoon at 7.30 with the newly elected president of ND Antoni Samaras. This followed a telephone conversation between the two politicians, where Papandreou congratulated A. Samara on his victory.

Kosovo Intelligent Secret Service SHIK under
accuses by
former official:

"We have been authorized to kill about 17 persons in Kosovo by SHIK" is a declaration of ex security agent Naim Blaca to Kosovo politicians.

Former official says he "killed for Thaci party"

30 November 2009 10:50 Source: Beta
PRIŠTINA -- Former Kosovo Information Service member Naim Blaca claims that he participated in serious crimes "against political opponents".

Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s party stood behind the crimes, that included murder, Blaca said.

He told reporters in front of the Kosovo assembly in Priština that there were 17 cases, among them murders, attempted murders and threats, in which he participated as a member of the agency.

Blaca would not publically identify any of the victims he killed personally, stating that this was a question for the EULEX prosecution, to which he gave a statement a month ago.

He added that he is prepared to take responsibility for what he did while he was working closely with Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK).

“I thought that everything I was doing was in the best interest of the homeland, but it wasn’t,” said he.

Blaca stated that the people who ordered the crimes included commander of the former so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Azem Sula, DPK MP Xhavit Haliti, Deputy Interior Minister Fatmir Xhelili and other senior officials of Thaci’s party.

He also said that the “targets were political opponents of the party, mostly senior officials of the Democratic League of Kosovo (DSK).”

DSK official Gani Geci accused the DPK on Thursday during an assembly session of having committed serious crimes, and claimed that he had evidence.

Thaci’s party denied the claims of both Blaca and Geci.

“This is an effort of these parties to gain political points,” DPK spokesman Blerand Stavileci said.

Meanwhile, Kosovo police, KPS, announced that they were waiting for the prosecution to make the first move regarding Blaca’s claims.

“The investigation in the case is being led by the EULEX prosecution and we are waiting for orders to act,” police spokesman Baki Kelani said.

EULEX spokesman Christophe Lamfalussy said on Sunday that the EULEX prosecution began its investigation a month ago.

Blaca joined the KLA in 1998 and then worked for the Kosovo Information Service until 2003 in the towns of Lipljane, Štimlje, Uroševac and Vitina.

Albania's Political Crises Turns Personal

Tirana | 30 November 2009 | Besar Likmeta
Sali Berisha
Sali Berisha

Prime Minister Sali Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama hurled harsh insults at each other throughout Albania's independence holiday weekend, accusing each other of homosexuality, domestic violence, insanity and fascism.

In a sign that the political fallout of the 28 June parliamentary elections is turning increasingly sour, the country's two political top dogs exchanged a series of bitterly personal jibes.

Speaking in parliament on Thursday Berisha lashed out at Rama, in what he said was a response to months of accusations towards his family.

“Who is the man who accuses his wife of having a child with his father, who is that father that denies his child support,” Berisha said.

Berisha went on to accuse the Socialilst leader of domestic violence, homosexuality, forcing his former wife to frequent nude beaches and insanity.

“I have a lot of respect for your mother, but if I ever see her I would suggest that is her duty to tell Albanians that she cured her son for ten years for schizophrenia,” he added.

Reacting to the Prime Minister's insults the Socialist leader accused Berisha loosing his mind at a critical moment for the country's democracy. “Sali Berisha cannot cover his electoral massacre by slandering my mother and my son,” said Rama in a statement.

The insults follow months of accusations, during which Rama has accused Berisha of electoral fraud and corruption in the 28 June parliamentary elections. The Socialist party boss and Tirana mayor claims that his party never lost the election, which was stolen by the government.

His party and supporters have held a series of rallies across the country seeking a partial recount. Tens of thousands of Socialist Party supporters rallied in Tirana on 20 November and another major rally is planned for early December.

Berisha's has rejected any possibility of a recount, arguing he cannot circumvent the courts that have ruled against it.

Since the new parliament was reinstated in September, Rama and 64 elected deputies have boycotted its sessions, halting the passage of legislation that requires more than a simple majority.

The boycott has poisoned the political climate in Albania and both European and American diplomats have called for a political solution in order not to hamper the country's reform process, vital for its EU integration.

However, both Berisha and Rama have refused to bulge from their hunkered position, keeping parliamentary life in suspense.

The Socialist and the Democrats, the two main political powerhouses in Albania since the end of the Stalinist regime of former dictator Enver Hoxha in 1991, have a long history of political animosity, usually following disputed electoral processes.

Albania has yet to hold elections which fully respect internationally recognised standards- however the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe that monitored the polls said the process showed a marked progress compared with the previous polls, especially in terms of voters registration.

However, the politicization by both the parties of the ballot counting process, which was delayed for days, the use by the government of public employees and resources during the campaign and political pressure on the media by both camps, remained a serious concern to be addressed, the election monitoring body said.

Albania, Security and stability process with EU

Albanian newspapers and their blogger, continue to raise nationalist sentiments against Greeks and their leaders convicted of murder


A top article of "Gazeta Shqiptare" today, has warned against ethnic Greeks living in Albania and especially the targets are directed to the President and Omonia and Mayor of Himara Region Vasillios Bollanos. While not comments on the most important the fact why President of the Greeks of Albania Vassilios Bollanos met with Deputy U.S. President Joe Biden during his visit in USA last month including the fact that before departure to USA, the American Embassy in Tirana gave to Bollanos VIP viza to enter in USA, at the same time that the paradox "convicted by the Albanian courts" has ignored the Albanian institutions including courts, the credibility of which has fallen sharply.

“Gazeta Shqiptare” comments as a negative message for Albania was a speech by Bollanos in Boston before representatives of the Federation for Northern Epirus as a flagrante violation of the Constitution of Albania at a time that Tirana must accomplish the criteria established by the EU for political and civil rights for Epiriotes who live in Southern Albania.

Is to remember that the top leaders of the Albanian state, Arben Imami the current Minister of Defense of Albania, Neritan Ceka, former interior minister, Prec Zogaj former Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Commission, Gramos Pashko former Government Minister of Sali Berisha and Fatos Nano and many other exponents of the Albanian politics, are invited to Washington during the years 1994-1996 to hold lectures about Northern Epirus and the rights of the Greek population in Southern Albania.

But most interesting is that the Albanian newspaper and their blogger comments continue to threat the Greeks of Albania and their leaders as the enemy of the albanian people and for this reason they must be physically eliminated. It is a show case for intelligent institutions that monitor the stability of Albania such are Europol and NATO.
The Albanian extremist groups that threaten the Albanian citizen with oldest Greek nationality from the pages of newspapers and their blogger could bring dangerous consequences for that the terrorist elements continue to target the Hellenic population in Southern Albania.

It is important to be noted that in the province of Himara were killed at least years three Albanian citizens with Greek origin from criminal and terrorist groups, as a sign of "ethnic hate", for which neither the courts of the Albanian state, still have not explained the circumstances and to penalize the authors.
Samaras new ND leader, pledges unity

Antonis Samaras is the new leader of main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, after winning an absolute majority from the first round of the election on Sunday, it was announced in the early hours of Monday.
Samaras, who was culture minister in the preceding ND government, is New Democracy's seventh president, succeeding former prime minister Costas Karamanlis, who announced his resignation from the party helm after ND's crushing defeat in the October 4 general elections, that brought the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) to power.

Samaras' victory was announced shortly after 4:00 a.m. by election supervisory committee chairman Dimitris Sioufas, as the tally of 72.68 percent of the election stations set up throughout the country, representing nearly 550,000 voters, showed 50.18 percent of the vote in favor of Samaras, against 38.76 percent for former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and 10.06 percent for the third candidate, Thessaloniki prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis.
Samaras' prevalence with an absolute majority was irreversible, while Sioufas said that his percentage was expected to increase when all the votes are tallied. A total of 1,039 voting stations were set up throughout the country, while 64 voting stations were set up in other European countries.

Voting began at 7:00 a.m. Sunday and were due to close at 7:00 in the evening, but a glitch in the on-line system for several hours, due to a software problem, and an unexpectedly large turnout of voters obliged the supervisory committee to extend the closing time to 9:30 p.m.
This is the first time that the ND president was elected by the party's grass roots, after voting was extended to all registered party members through an amendment of the New Democracy Charter.

In early morning statements after his victory was clinched, Samaras said that it was an honor for him to take on the responsibility of leading the party in new struggles for the progress of the Greek people, and chiefly for the young generation's right to hope, and for the party's return to new victories.

"The people have spoken. The party's rank-and-file, the voters, have spoken. Their mandate is resounding and undisputable," Samaras said. "A month and a half ago, in difficult times, I spoke to you of hope, and you received the message of hope and turned it into a big, unprecedented, peaceful and democratic revolution. I asked you to turn the streams into a river, and you created a veritable sea that swept away everything that was holding us back, that was taking us back and hurting us.

The participation in the election process, despite all the problems that are natural in such an unprecedented overture to the grass roots, exceeded all expectations. A new era begins now for our democracy, and also for New Democracy. Today, we are all winners. There are no losers. We were not opponents all this time. I said this during the difficult hours of the campaign race, and a say it again today. There are no opponents from here on," he added.

Samaras noted that he will speak with fellow candidate Bakoyannis on Monday, adding that he truly thanked her for her congratulatory phone call, and with Psomiadis, whom he wished a speedy recovery, as the third candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia late Sunday, as well as with Karamanlis "with whom we will be together in all the big battles ahead".

The new ND leader pledged to safeguard the party's unity, noting that he did not care who they voted for and that everything said up to then has been forgotten. "We will be all together. Nothing separates us now, but we are united by the major challenges of the future," he added.