Saturday, February 6, 2010

Koco Danaj: "The Platform of the Natural Albania"

In the book, the territories of Northern Greece, are included as Albanian

"The Natural Albania platform" a new book published at last about the "Greater Albania" with author the journalist Koco Danaj, former adviser of PM Ilir Meta on 2001.

The book has 200 pages and is published in Albanian language in Serbian, Greek, Slalvo Macedonian and English. The platform, according to Danaj, "is based on the Constitution of the Republic of Albania that the Albanian Union considers as a legitimate aspiration of Albanian people".

"The platform is based on the Province Assembly in 1913 which declared Albania's independence and not natural "that is today Albania", Danaj said during book inauguration ceremony.

Natural Albania platform based on the fact that the environment and democratic governance, not taboo topics that have to do with the essence of the nations. Natural Albania platform analyzes and takes into account, changes in regional geopolitical, changes that in favor of the Albanian nation, arrangements of the past conflict and their repairs.

According to the author Koco Danaj, "The Natural Albania" would be created with other territories in Kosovo, FYROM, Montenegro and Northern Greece.
NATO to consider additional decrease of troops

6 February 2010 | 10:02 | Source: B92

ISTANBUL -- At a meeting of EU defense ministers in Istanbul, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen NATO forces in Kosovo will be decreased further.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Beta)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Beta)

According to NATO’s plans, the number of troops in Kosovo should be decreased to 4,000 by 2011.

During 2009, the number of troops in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission, KFOR, will be decreased to 10,000.

He said that in this way, NATO is trying to secure the needed help for the American military in Afghanistan, adding that NATO will be sending 30,000 peacekeepers there.

“We will continue to discuss further plans for KFOR, which is expected to start leaving Kosovo under NATO’s direction. There should be no doubt that KFOR will be able to maintain the level of security in the region even with a smaller number of troops,” Rasmussen said.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tirana decided to accept NATO and European Union troops

Albanian Parliament, voted with the late changes in the law "On the method and procedures of establishing and crossing the military forces of the territory of the Republic of Albania, as well as sending Albanian military force abroad.

These additions and changes, in which authorizes not only NATO but also European Union troops, to install in Albania territory authorized only by the government and not by Parliament, which was carried out following pressure binding Albania facing NATO and Security Quarter of European Union.

The Challenges the region and especially Albania, which is involved in two internal crises considered as very serious, that political and national identity, have disturbed safety of Europe and NATO, simultaneously.

Tirana had prevented that the foreign military troops (NATO) to pass with approval by Parliament, but the military structures of the alliances NATO and EU, should operate without bureaucratic obstacles in Albania, if the region and especially Albania, can be included by destabilizing security and order of the state.

Minister Pollo: "Albanian immigrants living outside the borders of Albania, there will be no a priority of this process"

Meanwhile, in a recent developments, Minister Pollo, who leads a team of government Berisha to " the counting Population", stated that "Albanian immigrants living outside the borders of Albania ans especially in Greece, there are no included on this process.

The decision was made after ethnic Albanian nationalists have considered the counting population in basic religion and nationality as anti Albanian national issue of the government of Berisha.

Ultimately, this process is thought to fail for which Albania is not ready to guarantee the identity of citizens due to the basis of declaration of personal.

The Albanian Political crises

Bussels appeals Tirana for security of communities on political debates

At the height of political crisis in the country, the EU Ambassador in Tirana Helmut Lohan, directs another important appeal for internal security of Albanian State, as a message to the European Council.

"I invite you to put strong measures and security inside the communities, to decide that security on all political debates or discussions that may have in local government areas", - said Lohan, during the conference for community security, develop in Tirana.

According to the ambassador, cooperation to solve common concerns helps in achieving practical solutions, creates a safe environment for businesses and the economy of the country and at the same time realize a good and harmonious development of relations within specific areas of residence.

Athens gives about 600 thousand citizenship

According to "Ta Nea" Newspaper the number of northern epirotes with double citizenship is about 500 thousand, when about 100 thousand are emigrants from other countries.

Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis, on the occasion of the tabling in Parliament of the bill on aliens' citizenship, outlined the main points contained in the bill.

The minister stressed that the bill only concerns legal immigrants in Greece, meaning those legalised over the past 20 years with the last procedure being that of 2005-2007, when 150,000 economic immigrants were legalised, that is those who had come to Greece by January 1, 2005.

Children born in Greece from parents that both the mother and father are staying in Greece legally for at least five years take Greek citizenship automatically.

The children of legal immigrants who have not been born in Greece but who have attended successfully lessons at a Greek school for six years can also receive Greek citizenship.

For the first time, the right to vote in first stage local elections is enacted for expatriates and immigrants staying in the country legally, provided that they have final residence permits. Immigrants will be able to be elected up to the post of municipal councillor on condition that they can speak the Greek language adequately.

The Interior ministry assesses that the number of those being able to register in election catalogues amounts to 266,250 people, that corresponds to 0.65 percent of voters.

According to "Ta Nea" Newspaper the number of northern epirotes with double citizenship is about 500 thousand, when about 100 thousand are emigrants from other countries.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Albania President to Launch Crisis Talks

Tirana | 04 February 2010 |
Bamir Topi
Bamir Topi

Albania's President Bamir Topi welcomed on Thursday statements from the majority and opposition leaders that they are open to dialogue, with the president as a mediator, in order to solve the country's ongoing political crisis.

“Following the recent political developments in the country, the president welcomes the will and readiness for dialogue expressed by Prime Minister Sali Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama,” Topi's office said in a statement.

“In this new political context the president will initiate contacts with the prime minister and the opposition leader, in concurrence with the international community, to determine the framework of the talks at the mediation table,” the statement added.

Following a diplomatic effort from US and EU ambassadors in Tirana on Wednesday, both Berisha and Rama accepted the recommendation of the Council of Europe to hold talks under the mediation of the president of the republic. The efforts aim to solve the political stalemate that has gripped the country since the end of the June parliamentary elections.

Led by Rama, the Socialist opposition has boycotted parliament since the new session began in September, claiming that the government’s alleged fraud was to blame for their electoral loss.

The Socialists have conditioned their return to parliament on a recount of the electoral ballots in two districts.

Although declaring his openness to a parliamentary investigation of the election, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has stubbornly rejected the possibility of a recount. He argues that the opposition has exhausted all legal options and that he cannot override the judicial process.

The boycott has poisoned the political climate in the country and brought to a halt the functioning of the assembly, which requires more than a simple majority to pass EU accession related reforms.

Droutsas meets H. Clinton
Washington, 03.02.2010

Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met in Washington on Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying afterwards that he had expounded on Greece’s positions on major national issues as well as Greece’s will to help, through initiatives in its broader region and primarily in the Balkans but the Middle East as well.

In statements to the press after his meetings with Clinton and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, Droutsas said:

“I met with the U.S. State Department’s leadership, with Secretary Clinton and Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg. It was a good opportunity for us to deepen our relations with the US again, to exchange views on all the issues of mutual interest, international developments, for us to also highlight the fact that Greece can play a role in these international developments, particularly in our direct neighbourhood.

We have a role to play in the Balkns, we have a role to play and to offer in the region of the Middle East and the Arab world. This is the image that we want to present to the international community again. An image of Greece with a presence, a voice, a real role in international developments.

“It was also an excellent opportunity for me to reiterate Greece’s positions on the issues of particular Greek interest. On the issue of Cyprus we are again experiencing an important phase, in our relations with Turkey our effort for a new approach and cooperation with Turkey is known, on the issue of the name of FYROM Greece’s will and desire for a solution is known, as well as the Greek national red line on this issue is.

It is important that the US also knows our positions on all these issues as well, for us to repeat them so that they will also know our approach, always in the framework of cooperatiopn between our two countries, cooperation on an equal basis between two allies and partners.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Greek American candidate for US Senate

Obama calls Quinn, Giannoulias with congratulations

February 3, 2010

CHICAGO — President Barack Obama is offering his congratulations to two Illinois Democrats.

The president called Gov. Pat Quinn and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias on Wednesday to congratulate them on the primary election.

Quinn is ahead in the race for the nomination for governor. He has claimed victory although rival Dan Hynes has not conceded.

Giannoulias won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. He’ll be running for the same seat that Obama held before being elected president.

The Republican nominee for governor hasn’t been settled yet. In the Senate race, Republicans nominated Rep. Mark Kirk.

Albania buying 5 Eurocopters for 78 mln euros

TIRANA, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Albania will buy five helicopters from Eurocopter for 78.6 million euros over four years to upgrade its fleet to the standards of NATO, which it joined in April last year.

Parliament is set to approve the contract late on Thursday after the Defence Ministry asked that it speed up the approval to replace its Soviet and Chinese-made helicopter fleet that dates back to the 1960s.

"The approval of this contract by parliament is absolutely indispensable because the helicopter fleet is an important asset at the national level," the government asked parliament in a report seen by Reuters. "For the armed forces, this will be probably for a long time the project of the biggest financial value."

Eurocopter, a unit of EADS (EAD.PA), will supply Albania with five AS 532 AL Cougar helicopters -- one of the military versions of the Super PUMA helicopters -- for use in its military, search and rescue operations and the transport of VIPs.

Albania has allocated two percent of its GDP to the armed forces for a decade now as it aimed to become a member of NATO with new equipment to conform to its participation in NATO operations.

Albania's fleet consists of Soviet and Chinese single-engine helicopters produced in 1965-1970 that have limited operational and technical qualities, cannot fly at night and cannot operate with NATO forces.

As soon as the ruling Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha came to power in 2005, it grounded the air force's fleet of airplanes, including the cigar-shaped MIG 19 and MIG 21 fighter jets, and sent them to scrapyards and museums.

Albania's future air fleet is largely to consist of helicopters because they are suitable to its mountainous terrain.

PACE will send Presidential Committee to visit Albania on February 22

At the close of its debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Albania, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE asked its Presidential Committee, accompanied by the Monitoring Committee's co-rapporteurs for Albania, Jaakko Laakso (Finland, UEL) and David Wilshire (United Kingdom, EDG), to visit Albania un February 22, to help restore political dialogue there, the Council of Europe announced.

The Assembly deplores "the political crisis which has seriously damaged Albanian politics following the parliamentary elections of June 2009, with the Socialist Party-led opposition boycotting the parliament and contesting the political legitimacy of the Democratic Party-led government".

To end this political deadlock, the Assembly called on the Albanian government to set up, without further delay, a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the elections.

The Assembly regrets that the absence of parliamentary dialogue is blocking the reform process, since the governing majority does not have the three-fifths majority required to pass major constitutional reforms; it urges the opposition to return to parliament and fully participate in its work.

Papoulias re-elected President of the Republic

Parliament on Wednesday re-elected the uncontested incumbent President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to a second term in Greece's highest office, with an overwhelming majority of 266 votes in the 300-member House among the 298 MPs in attendance, while 32 MPs simply declared their presence.

Papoulias was re-elected with the votes of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), main opposition New Democracy (ND) and smaller opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) parties' MPs in a roll-call vote during a special session of the unicameral parliament.

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) MPs did not vote for the incumbent, but simply declared themselves present when called.

PASOK, ND, LAOS had all three nominated Papoulias for re-election in separate letters submitted to parliament president Philipos Petsalnikos.

Census in Albania, the issue of migrants remains a problem!

Pollo: About 800 thousand immigrants will have difficulties from Greece to come to declare census

During an interview in "ALSAT TV" Minister responsible for Population count Genc Pollo, said that "would be difficulties for migrants who make up about 800 thousand in Greece, to come in the spring of next year's for self declaration census."

Pollo comments were made after attempts by Albanian nationalists, to prevent the registration of the population on ethnic and religious grounds.

"There is no risk for those immigrants who have changed religion and nationality and living in Greece. They do not come to vote and not to plead" Pollo noted.

Meanwhile referring to Albania, the biggest newspaper in Europe, "Le Monde Diplomatic", in an article last year, writes that the identity of the population in Albania and it borders, are still in question as long as Albania has remained at low levels of creative democratic states in the region".

Le Monde  diplomatique
Independence for Kosovo: The domino effect

What borders for Albania?

by Jean-Arnault Dérens

In 1878 at the Congress of Berlin the German chancellor Bismarck declared that Albania was no more than “a geographical expression”. In the same year, however, influential delegates from the Albanian regions of the Ottoman empire gathered to found the League of Prizren, establishing the first modern claims to national status. Austria-Hungary defended the Albanian claims in the years that followed, in a standoff with Serbia and Greece who had entered alliances with Great Britain, France and Russia.

Ismail Qemal proclaimed a first, and ephemeral, Albanian republic at Vlora in 1912. But a year later the London Peace Conference created the Kingdom of Albania over only half of the regions with Albanian populations. The treaty also split Kosovo (predominantly Albanian) between Serbia and Montenegro. The Albanians have never accepted the prejudice to their people, and today its nationalists are intent on “rectifying” the “historical injustice”.

It is true that there was little guarantee of a future for the state of Albania at the time. It almost disappeared in the first world war, and there was no real settlement on its borders until the treaty of 1926, which was based on doubtful logic. The town of Gjakovë/Gjakova, for example, became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, despite the small size of its Serbian population. Similarly, territory that had always been part of the important municipality of Debar/Dibra was shared between the kingdom and Albania; today the city is part of the Republic of Macedonia, although its traditional hinterland lies in Albania (around the town of Peshkopi).

There are two issues intertwined here. The delicate balance between Albania’s neighbours (Montenegro, Serbia and Greece) and their powerful protectors had an influence on the definition of Albanian territoriality, as did Italy’s historical claims over the Albanian coastline. Also there are the problematic notions of an “Albanian region” or “Albanian cultural area”. Albanians have always lived in the midst of other national communities in these areas. Can we say that this or that town is part of the Albanian world because 50%, 60% or 80% of its inhabitants are Albanian? What percentage do we take and, more particularly, what scale of settlement do we include?

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US Intel: Balkans threaten European stability

The top U.S. intelligence official warned Tuesday that persistent ethnic tensions in Bosnia pose the biggest challenge to maintaining stability in Europe.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in written testimony to lawmakers that animosities among the Balkan nation's Croat, Muslim and Serb factions are on the rise, and a hardening of their divergent agendas could threaten the stability of the fragile state.

Bosnia remains divided into ethnic ministates _ a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation _ that were established in 1995 under the Dayton agreement that ended a bitter 3 1/2-year civil war. It is under the leadership of a multiethnic government whose leaders clash regularly over what the country should look like.

Blair said Bosnian Serbs has been reversing some of the changes included in the accord as part of efforts to seek more autonomy for their ministate. This, Blair said "is contributing to growing interethnic tensions." At the same time the Bosnian Muslims and Croats want to abolish the country's division so it can progress toward EU membership, Blair said.

"While neither widespread violence nor a formal breakup of the state appears imminent, ethnic agendas still dominate the political process, and reforms have stalled because of wrangling among the three main ethnic groups," Blair said.

Kosovo, whose Serb minority and ethnic Albanian majority remain at a tense standoff over the still-divided northern sector, also requires continuing US and European attention to maintain stability, Blair said.

Giannoulias Leads the Democratic Pack for February 2nd Primary

Chicago, IL.- Illinois Democrats will choose their Senate nominee on Tuesday, and State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias holds the lead in all the polls, going into the final weekend. One-out-of four likely primary voters remain undecided. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Democratic Primary voters finds Giannoulias with 31%of the vote, followed by Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman with 23%. Cheryle Jackson, president of the Chicago Urban League and a former top aide to disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich, is next at 13%.

Illinois Democrats will choose their Senate nominee on Tuesday, and State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias holds the lead in all the polls, going into the final weekend. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Democratic Primary voters finds Giannoulias with 31%of the vote, followed by Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman with 23%.

Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure whom they’ll vote for.

Roland Burris, who Blagojevich appointed to fill out the remainder of President Obama’s Senate term, is not running for a full term.

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows him gaining traction in a general election matchup against Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

The survey shows Giannoulias holding an eight-point lead over Kirk, 42 to 34 percent. The two candidates were tied at 35 percent in the last PPP survey last April.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Nationalists"; Registration on ethnic grounds, violates the Constitution

Former President of Albania, Rexhep Meidani at the top of "Patriotic movement"

"Registration of the population which is expected to start in 2011, is seen by extremists politicians and historians, as a tool that can be used politically by Greece. The guests at table organized by the G99 Party on registration on ethnic and religious grounds, former Albanian President Rexhep Mejdani and historian Pellumb Xhufi have analyzed questionnaires on which this registration will be conducted.

Rexhep Meidani, said that personal statements without leaving trails of large documents of abuse. "An ethnic community plead without relevant documents associated with ethnic origin, is problematic and not realistic," he said.

Pellumb Xhufi, former ambassador of Albania in Italy, as always at the top of lists of anti Greek rhetoric, said arguing that registration on open religions and ethnicity, violates the Constitution but also international laws.

As for former Director of INSTAT Milva Ikonomi, understate its extremist views, that means the cost of registration, questions and doubts of self declaration, as "the Greeks of Albania are came from Greece and not represent a compact ethnicity in Albania".

In conclusion the involvement of former President Meidani inside the group of "patriots" constitutes an escalation to stop international law of self declaration and one of the criteria of the European Union led to Albania.

Tow days ago, Foreign Minister Ilir Meta, emphasized once again that some extremist groups, attempt to poison the relations between Greece and Albania. "I cannot shut my eyes and cannot be quiet when extreme elements, I emphasize, in Albanian politics, who thankfully are in minority and isolated from our society, constantly attempt to poison the relationship between our countries and our peoples. Their position does not serve anyone, it serves only those groups who desire to turn our relationship backwards", declared Meta

Three country agreement for protection of Prespes wetland

Greece, Albania and FYROM will sign a formal agreement for protection of the unique Prespes Lakes wetland on Tuesday, on the 10th anniversary of the declaration of the Balkans' first transboundary eco-agreement,which also coincides with World Wetlands Day, when the prime ministers of the three countries pledged in a February 2, 2000 Joint Communique their commitment to cooperate to protect the Prespes ecosystem.

At the initiative of Greek prime minister George Papandreou, an informal summit of the three countries' premiers took place on November 27, 2009 at the Ramsar-protected Prespa National Park (Pyli Information Center and exhibitions facility), to discuss cooperation prospects in the protection and sustainable development of the Prespa National Park region, which straddles the borders of all three countries.

In a follow-up to that informal meeting between Papandreou, Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha and FYROM prime minister Nikola Gruevski, the environment ministers of the three countries -- Tina Birbili of Greece, Fatmir Mediu of Albania and Nexhati Jakupi of FYROM -- will sign the agreement, with European Commissioner for the environment Stavros Dimas representing the EU, while Ramsar Convention senior advisor for Europe Tobias Salathe is expected to make a brief statement.

Monday, February 1, 2010

NATO backs peace, security, integrations in Kosovo

1 February 2010 | 17:04 | Source: Beta
BRUSSELS -- NATO will support all steps that strengthen peace and security in Kosovo, the alliance’s secretary general has been quoted as saying today.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Beta, file)

These steps, according to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, include integration of all communities into the Kosovo society, Beta news agency is reporting from Brussels.

The news agency specified that this was Rassmusen’s answer to a reporter’s question on whether NATO supported the International Civilian Office (ICO) in Priština in its plan to spread the authority of the Priština (Kosovo Albanian) government to the Serb, northern parts of the province.

Rasmussen also confirmed that on Friday in Brussels, he met with ICO and EULEX chiefs Pieter Feith and Yves de Kermabon to discuss this issue.

NATO officials at the alliance’s headquarters told Beta that “Atlantic partners have not yet discussed Feith’s plan in the NATO Council”.

Meanwhile, EU officials have said that they did not produce the plan.

Rasmussen was also quoted as saying that KFOR will consider a further scaling down of its troops from the present 10,200, if the security situation in Kosovo permits for such a move.
Serbs in north call for boycott of Priština

1 February 2010 | 16:48 | Source: Beta

The temporary administration of the Kosovska Mitrovica municipality has called on a boycott of the Kosovo Albanian government’s institutions.

Kosovska Mitrovica (FoNet, file)

In a news conference held today, the administration’s representatives also condemned the plan drafted by Priština and the International Civil Office (ICO) Chief Pieter Feith for the integration of northern Kosovo into the Kosovo system outside the rules set by UN Resolution 1244, in an effort to close all of Serbia’s institutions in the north.

Local officials of the self-administration and education system were called on not to accept wages from Priština and to boycott all the institutions of the Kosovo government.

Citizens were warned not to take Kosovo personal documents, because they would in this way be recognizing the unilateral independence proclamation.

According to the statement, any possible calling of elections organized by the unrecognized Kosovo institutions would go against the Constitution and Resolution 1244.

The temporary northern municipal administration also called on all politicians and Serb and non-Albanian citizens to boycott the Kosovo government.

The Serbian institutions were urged to fight a more determined fight and fully support the preservation and strengthening of the Serbian institutions, as well as to form a “clear, unequivocal stance towards those that violate the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.”


Every time we hear of a "new beginning" in Greek-Turkish relations, we shudder.

Right now, we're again faced with a "new beginning," propelled by an invitation of the Turkish prime minister to his Greek opposite for direct talks between Greece and Turkey.

Indeed, PM Tayyip Erdogan has quickly announced he plans to visit Greece "soon" -- with his Greek "hosts" exchanging furtive glances over this unfolding "peace attack" that they cannot parry without being accused by our perennial "allies" of "refusing dialogue."

A meeting in London between the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and the number two of the Greek foreign ministry, Dimitris Droutsas, added to this "new beginning" dynamic: both men, the news said, agreed there is much to work on and that Greece and Turkey have a "common future" that must not be squandered. Droutsas also accepted an invitation to visit Ankara with a smile. Davutoglu was quoted saying that “We both believe Turkish-Greek relations should enter a new era. The pattern in ties should change in a positive direction."

The "new beginning" though, when and if it comes, will unfold against a familiar not-too-positive background: mass Turkish air force armed violations of Greek air space over the Aegean and constant Turkish challenges of Greek sovereignty in the Archipelago; intense clandestine Turkish activity in Greek Thrace aiming to "energize" the "Turkishness" of the Muslim population there; Turkish maneuvering within NATO to promote Turkey's expansionist visions in the Aegean against tepid allied opposition; a maximalist Turkish position on Cyprus, with the aim of maintaining the occupation of half of the island and pushing, eventually, toward annexing the puppet "Turkish Cypriot republic" that popped up from under Turkish army bayonets in 1983; news in the Turkish press suggesting that the army generals, involved in the Ergenekon conspiracy, were planning an attack on Greece in order to undermine Erdogan's Islamist government; and Turkey pushing hundreds of thousands of wretched Asian and African illegal immigrants onto the Greek Aegean islands in a not-too-thinly veiled attempt to destabilize Greek society and create longer term "melting pot" deadlocks to a country that seems unable to do anything drastic to protect itself from this scourge.

What a way to launch a "new beginning" indeed!

Looking a little deeper into the "common future" Davutoglu and Dhroutsas discovered in London, the picture is even more disappointing. Turkey has not moved not even an iota away from its standard positions of demanding "equitable" sharing of the Aegean and "arrangements" in Thrace that could lead to the "Kosovo-ization" of the region. With the European option growing more distant by the day for Turkey, Ankara has perceptibly shifted toward "greater and grander things" -- like a neo-Ottoman vision of a Turkish "sphere of influence" extending in every possible direction. With its internal contradictions unresolved and burgeoning, and the confrontation between "moderate" Islamists and the army heating up, Turkey is as unpredictable as ever.

Greece, meantime, grows weaker by the day.

Unhinged by its enormous debts and deficits, with a domestic front plagued by uncertainty, confusion, and resentment over the rapid approach of the end of the epoch of fat cows with borrowed cash, and its politicians at the bottom of the credibility scale in every poll, "strong" Greece treads on the thinnest of social, economic, political, diplomatic, and security ice.

It is no wonder then that the Greek response to Erdogan's "peace attack" has been rather lukewarm, despite the "hopeful" language employed in public. The pull for "dialogue" though is irresistible, especially now that Greece is making the desperate rounds in the hope of securing promises of a bailout by its European "partners." Our "friends" have been unequivocal in their demands over the years for a "settlement" of the nagging Greek-Turkish "dispute" (i.e. Turkey's unilateral push for overthrowing the status quo in the Aegean) and this appears like an excellent opportunity to "persuade" Greece to settle.

Needless to say, "new" beginnings under such circumstances can be extremely perilous.

In his response to the Erdogan letter, the Greek prime minister has re-introduced the idea of Greece and Turkey resorting to the International Court of Justice on the question of the continental shelf. This appears to be the only "novel" element in the Greek understanding of the upcoming (?) "dialogue" -- an element that Turkey has repeatedly rejected, fearing a judicial ruling that could scuttle its schemes in the Aegean. Beyond that, there is nothing on the horizon that would indicate the "new beginning" has hopes of striking genuinely unexplored ground.

With Turkish strategic priorities undergoing a major reassessment, and with Greece under the thickening pall of its own insurmountable economic crisis, this is the poorest time for "new beginnings." Hopefully, our "leaders" will see that arriving at the table of negotiations carrying a beggar's bag isn't exactly the right opening move -- and pull back before it is too late.

Albania: The nationalist offensive, "No population census, this is treason!"

Tirana, is included to the double battles, that of political and identity crises

These are part of some key items Albanian newspapers, which already consider the war's main Albanian extremists and nationalists, should focus on census block, after victory in the Constitutional Court as they consider against maritime agreement between Greece and Albania.

But the situation very difficult global security in the country, according to sources that the European Security and NATO operating in the territory of Albania, the country is faced with two threats simultaneously, that of political crisis and that of identity crisis.

Reliable sources say that the euphoria of Albanian extremists, have seriously damaging the relationship with NATO and EU, the Council of Europe, is expected to appoint a foreign mediator to resolve the political crisis in the country.

The Greek community feels endangered, which simultaneously is faced with two threats, the pressures of Albanian extremists to stop the individual declaration for religion and nationality, and the second for the strategy that the government has approved laws to take the land and properties of this community.

Until now, there is no a reaction from Athens for that what will follow to stay near the Greek community security in Albania (North Epirus) while the country is faced with seriously deep political crisis in the country.

Greater risk also comes from penal processes that are taking place in the Albanian courts to the Leader of the Greek Community in Albania Vassilios Bollanos, for which the court decisions contain hate to stress again, be expected to give emphasis on patriotic and convicted as "traitor".

Meanwhile, the decision of the Constitutional Court with the result 9-0, set deeply in doubt Albanian justice, by way of arguing and acting for analyzing the political situation in Albania.

Albania Press Review - February 1

Tirana | 01 February 2010 |
Albanian newspapers
Albanian newspapers


Council of Europe envoys will push aggressively for dialogue between Albania’s government and the opposition in order to solve the country’s political stalemate.


Albania’s Constitutional Court will annul a controversial lustration law, the daily reports, citing sources inside the court.


The daily reports on envoys sent from the Council of Europe on a mission to Tirana to help the Albanian President, Bamir Topi, mediate between parties and help solve Albania’s political crisis.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meta also emphasized once again that some extremist groups, attempt to poison the relations between the two countries and the two peoples

Albania - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ilir Meta speaks on the Constitutional Court’s decision on the continental shelf agreement between Albania and Greece

During a conversation with journalists, Mr. Meta said that the governing majority will respect the decision and authority of the Constitutional Court and that the Government will offer its arguments, when the reasons for such a decision come out, in full transparency to the public opinion.

Mr. Meta also emphasized that despite some extremist groups that attempt to poison the relations between the two countries and the two peoples, Greece remains one

of the principal supporters of Albania’s European integration and the visa liberalization process for Albanian citizens. Mr. Meta added that the clarification of sea borders with Greece and with Montenegro, is a priority for the Albanian Government.....

However, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I cannot shut my eyes and cannot be quiet when extreme elements, I emphasize, in Albanian politics, who thankfully are in minority and isolated from our society, constantly attempt to poison the relationship between our countries and our peoples. Their position does not serve anyone, it serves only those groups who desire to turn our relationship backwards, in the past...

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for Papandreou about the Greek minority

Another request of Joannis Korantis LAOS MP for properties of the Greek minority in Albania

Joannis Korantis LAOS MP, has asked again Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, to respond about a major problem that is experiencing Ethnic Greek Minority in southern Albania (North Epirus).

According to the letter addressed to the Greek Parliament, he expects to be explained why the Greek government does not interfere energetically to stop the looting of properties of Greek Communities, which are threatened by new laws that has approved the government of Sali Berisha?

Response is expected to be made public by George Papandreou Greek on following days.

Greece recently targeted Albania as a cause of serious condition, created in the relationship between two countries, especially after the cancellation of the agreement the maritime borders by Albanian Constitutional Court.