Saturday, March 6, 2010

European Enlargement Commissioner to visit Albania on March

European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule is to pay a visit to Albania on March 19, newspaper writes.

The newspaper notes the visit is considered to be essential within the efforts to solve the ongoing political crisis in the country.

Koha Jone daily says German MEP Doris Pak leveled serious criticism against opposition leader Edi Rama. In an interview on Tuesday she said that the boycott of the opposition Socialist Party in the parliament endangered Albania’s European future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Albania new electoral scandal: 70 thousand IDs fals!

Berisha government: Socialist Party wants to block the visa process

Socialist Party has declared that is ready to verify the numbers 70 thousand false identity, proving that last politic elections, are manipulated.

SP General Secretary Gramoz Ruci, has denounced in the Albanian parliament, at least 70 thousand numbers of false identities in 28 qersho 2009 elections, has been implicated more the falsification and manipulation of elections.

Government Berisha: SP wants to block the visas process with EU

Berisha government has been reluctant to call SP's denunciation, not only fraud and forgery, but an open attempt to block the liberalization of the visas proces with EU. Interior Minister Lulezim Basha, said that nothing is true and this is a big lie of Albanian opposition.

PM cites 'tough, necessary' austerity measures

Μinister George Papandreou left open the prospect of Greece seeking recourse to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if the country is not financially backed by the EU, speaking after a lengthy Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning during which additional measures to slash the double-digit budget deficit were approved.

Speaking during the Cabinet meeting, Papandreou told his ministers that the emphasis is now shifting to what the EU will now do.

Citizens seeking asylum in Sweden as well

After Belgium, Sweden is also warning that a large number of Serbian citizens have been seeking asylum in the country since the beginning of the year.

Swedish ambassador to Serbia Krister Bringeus told B92 that in February alone, 300 demands were received for asylum from Serbian citizens who enter the country with biometric passports, adding that all these people will be returned to Serbia.

“We noticed that in February, quickly after the visa liberalization, the number of those seeking asylum fro Serbia has increased. Last year, we had 580 such request, while we received 300 new demands in February alone,” Bringeus said.

He said that he is very concerned and believes that the people who are coming to Sweden and seeking asylum are being scammed by someone.

“They received the wrong information, probably from criminal groups, and maybe from someone else, because you cannot receive political asylum in Sweden for social and economic reasons, which is what they are seeking,” he said.

About 80 percent of those seeking asylum are Roma, and some are Albanian.

“These people will be deported from Sweden immediately and will be returned to Serbia, according to the readmission agreement,” Bringeus said.

Balkan Ministers Take on Border Safety Issue

Belgrade, Tirana | 05 March 2010 | Bojana Barlovac

Balkan interior ministers have gathered at a two-day regional conference in Tirana to discuss cooperation in handling border security and responses to transnational crime.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the all the countries in the region and several EU delegations, as well as Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said at the opening of the ministerial gathering that good cooperation between countries in the region is necessary to combat corruption and organised crime.

Addressing the conference participants, Dacic stressed that close collaboration between ministries, prosecutors’ offices and judicial organs in the region is crucial.

"I am certain that despite political differences we will be able to establish good cooperation to ensure regional security," Dacic said.

The conference, which is the 7th annual ministerial conference on cooperation in border safety in South Eastern Europe, is being held in Tirana on March 4 and 5, under the auspices of the Spanish EU presidency. Participants include ministers from the region and representatives of international organisations, including the European Commission, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, Conflict Prevention Centre, and others.

Albanian Interior Minister Lulzim Basha opened the conference by saying that "the goal is to have borders which everyone can cross, but those borders must be controlled and must not allow passage to international crime."

"The best example of interethnic cooperation in the region is actually our archenemy - organised crime," said Basha, adding that: "We should work together to address this joint challenge, despite the different positions that Tirana, Belgrade or other countries in the region have on political issues."

According to Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, the border issue is both a great responsibility and an obligation to international partners.

"Organised crime in Albania has been very widespread in the last few years and it has huge economic power," Berisha said.

He added that the Albanian government is completely committed to the fight against crime and that their efforts are producing results, noting that over 1000 members and leaders of organised crime groups have been arrested so far.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Albania opens six diplomatic missions

Albania’s cabinet has approved the opening of diplomatic missions in Belgium, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Diplomatic representations will also open in Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Norway, Estonia and Pakistan, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said in a statement (

Berisha proposed the abolition of visas for tourists visiting the Dalmatian and Montenegro coasts.

“A unique visa regime is needed for all these countries, so that tourists will not need a visa at the border, but they can tour all the countries during the summer,” he added.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Turkish submarine visit to Albania

The Turkish submarine TCG Dolunay (S-352) Type 209/1200 anchored yesterday in the port of Durres after the end of NATO exercise NOBLE MANTA 2010. This is the first submarine berthed after the '90s, a port of Albania. The submarine of the Turkish Navy two-day visit in strengthening relations between the two fleets of the countryes.

In 1994 was signed in Ankara defense agreement that "if an armed attack by a third country, both parties will make every effort to halt all the consequences that will create and take advantage of the opportunities provided by international organizations.

In 2000 inaugurated in the presence of Chief of Turkish General Staff Iuseyin Kivrikoglu the great naval base was completed with expenditure of $ 10 million and technical assistance from Turkey and a large number of potential docking ships, the training center and yard, thus completing the strategic approach Albania.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eleftherotypia: Olli Rehn calls on citizens, parties in Greece to support the cabinet

EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn asked Greece to adopt new measures as fast as possible, Greek Eleftherotypia newspaper writes.

Rehn said the Greek government did not ask the European Commission to grant it straight economic aid and noted the taken actions are the right ones but it is necessary more measures to be adopted to order the public finances and restore Euro area’s trust in Greece.

“You will either take control over your debt or the debt will take control over your finances,” Rehn noted and emphasized the moment is very important for the future of the country.

Olli Rehn calls on citizens and parties in Greece to support the Cabinet’s decisions and wish them “courage.”

Albania Press Review - March 2

Tirana | 02 March 2010 |
Albanian newspapers
Albanian newspapers

A US state department report states that Albania remains a transit country for drugs coming into Western Europe from Central Asia.


A new anti-mafia law has tripled requests from prosecutors for sequestering properties suspected of having been created through criminal activity.


Albania’s Supreme Court suspends the case against Minister of Environment Fatmir Mediu over his role in the deadly blast at an army depot on March 15, 2008, which killed 26 and wounded over 300 people in the village of Gerdec.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Serbian newspaper "Danas": Dayton to Kosovo partition

The Serbian daily "Danas", in an article for Kosovo, writes that during the recent visit of Foreign Minister of Serbia, Vuk Jeremic, in the United States, different addresses in Washington are analyzing the messages that Jeremic has brought from Belgrade.

In this context, the paper writes that the Serbian Foreign Minister, so hard, has insisted that "Serbia will never recognize a unilateral declaration of independence", but behind closed doors, as made out, he has spoken commitment willingness on a compromise and "for each result, which really would be in the interest of peace in the Balkans".

This formulation of camouflage for partition of Kosovo as the final solution - which is still publicly deny both parties - American sources, based on exchange of northern Kosovo and Presevo Valley, through extraterritorial status for the Serbian cult objects.

This variant, writes the daily "Danas", was controversial even at a reception on the occasion of second anniversary of the statehood of Kosovo and the reactions of the first in Washington since 2010 is cited as a possible term limits for a form of the Dayton conference for Kosovo.

Greek Shipyards & Submarines – Solution Reached?

The Greek government announced that the Skaramanga Shipyards (Pireas) have been sold to the Abu Dhabi Mar Group (ADM). The new structure will see ADM hold 75.1% of shares with Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) retaining a 24.9% stake. It is hoped this development will safeguard the future of the shipyards and (most of) its employees.

There has been much speculation about what guarantees the Greek Government has given ADM with regards to future orders for the Hellenic Navy.

Hopefully this decision will lead the way to have the Type 214 submarine issue solved as well. DefenceNet reports that the most likely outcome will be for only 3 of the 4 existing subs to be accepted, with the first built (Papanikolis) being put up for sale by TKMS. One additional sub could be built to make up for this. Also, a further two subs are likely to be built to offset for the upgrading of two older subs which has been judged to be technically and economically not justifiable. These two subs were originally to be Type 209 subs with Air Independent Propulsion but, according to DefenceNet, it is looking more likely these will be Type 214 subs instead.

DefenceNet also reports that 4 to 5 Corvettes are likely to be ordered. This requirement by the Navy seems to have been pushed to the top of the list as an incentive to ADM. Also, it seems that 400 employees are likely to be let go in the future but in a staggered fashion so as to avoid unrest.

Albania wants to rebuild its military aviation - assistance of the "usual suspect"

The Albanian government is trying to rebuild its military aviation, used aircraft to the west, which very likely be supplied by Turkey.

Today, Albania is based on Greek and Italian fighter jets to patrol alternately in the airspace, as the fleet of fighting, from 2005 onwards, it is practically out of service.

The Albanian air force, based on old Soviet fighter and later a Chinese copies, which are now completely discredited and rot within the infinite "Bunker" which had built Enver Hoxha .

However, according to "fox2", 12 Albanian pilots are trained each year in aviation academies in Turkey, which expects to sell used equipment, aircraft or F4 and F16, also in view of the obligations of Albania to NATO.

Albania High Court Drops Charges Against Minister

Tirana | 01 March 2010 |
Fatmir Mediu
Fatmir Mediu
Albania’s Supreme Court dismissed on Monday two civil lawsuits against Environment Minister Fatmir Mediu. The lawsuits concerned his role in a deadly blast at a munitions demolition depot on March 15, 2008, which killed 26 people and wounded over 300.

The charges, which relate to Mediu’s role as defence minister in the previous government headed by Prime Minister Sali Berisha, were brought by two of the victims wounded by the blast, which ripped through the makeshift depot in the village of Gerdec, only ten kilometres outside Tirana.

The two young victims accused the minister of being responsible for the wounds they suffered due to the explosion and sought a civil trial. Their case rested largely on the arguments made against Mediu in the criminal case, namely accusations of abuse of power for his decision to grant the demolition contract to a company whose workers were allegedly unqualified and which allegedly performed the demolition in an unsafe manner.

The court dismissed the civil lawsuits, ruling that there was not sufficient evidence that Mediu was guilty of the crimes he was accused of committing.

On September 15, 2009, the Supreme Court suspended the criminal case against Mediu just hours after he was sworn in as minister in the new government.

The judicial panel accepted his lawyers' request that the case be suspended. Mediu's defence team argued that their client again enjoyed parliamentary immunity after having secured a seat in parliament in the June 28, 2009 parliamentary elections as leader of the Republican Party....

more se:

Greece: New migrant bill submitted

7The Interior Ministry yesterday tabled in Parliament the revised version of a draft law that foresees the granting of citizenship to tens of thousands of immigrants who have been living in Greece legally for five years and to their children.

A key change to the original bill is that the children of immigrants will only be eligible for citizenship if they were born in Greece and both their parents are legal residents or have refugee status. The original draft legislation, which the conservative opposition had criticized as too lax, had stipulated that the child need have only one legal parent.

The children of migrants who were not born in Greece will be eligible for citizenship on completing six years at a Greek school. The revised bill also lowers the fee for applying for citizenship to 700 euros from 1,500 euros and puts greater emphasis on the role of regional committees, rather than the Interior Ministry, in processing applications

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ta Nea: Olli Rehn to table extra measures in Greece

Athens. EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn will pay a visit to Greece to present new, extra measures on decreasing the budget deficit, Greek Ta Nea newspaper writes.

The extra measures, insisted by the European Commission and the European Central Bank, will probably include decrease in salaries in the state sector by 7% (which means the so-called 14th salary, which includes allowances for Easter and summer holiday, will not be given) and decreasing of the allowances by over 10%, as it was announced.

There is possibility the freezing of the salaries in the state sector to remain over the next two years. The extra measures will probably include rising of the value added tax (VAT) by 2% - to 21% as well as rising the excise on fuels, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.

The measures will be outlined at the meeting between Olli Rehn and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and will be probably announced on Thursday.

The newspaper reads further Greece will not take the extra measures if it does not get guarantees from Brussels for the type of the help it will receive as well as for the conditions under which it will be given.
Martin Schulz to hold talks with Greek PM

Leader of the Party of European Socialist Martin Schulz is paying a visit to Greece, Greek Naftemporiki online edition reported.

Schulz agenda envisages meeting with Greek Minister of Finance Giorgos Papakonstantinou and Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Albanian PM meets Palestinian

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki in Tirana, Albanian media news agency reports.

Regarding the solution to the Middle East crisis and Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Berisha said the functioning of the two states should be sought.

He added everything possible should be done to establish the state Palestine, at that in a peaceful way through dialog.

Berisha expressed support for Palestinians and establishment of their country in the Middle East.