Saturday, March 27, 2010

SP Assembly decides: The protests in all Albania

UPDATE-SP National Assembly has decided that the launch of protests of opposition throughout the country for transparency of elections and the general crisis along with people, and 30 April will collect all the protesters in Tirana

The head of the Assembly, Gramoz Ruci said at the end of works that opposition in the Assembly will be required only for transparency and for nothing else.
"Each session has space to seek redress for our cause. There is no normality of the activity of committees without solving the political crisis and transparency of elections" - said Ruchi.

"Socialists urge that international will continue to provide support and make their efforts to solve the crisis" - he said, reading points approved by the Assembly.
According to him, on April 18 will take place the Socialist Party congress.

Cham community and nationalist organizations, "Mjaft" Protest in Tirana

Tirana. By calling: "O how good Albanian Being" and slogans "Greece, the shame of Europe" at around 11:00 protesters are placed in front of the Greek Embassy.

The protest was organized by the Movement "Mjaft", the association Cameria and some other NGOs. "Greek state to distance itself from these acts that do not go to a state of EU members" they call Greek authorities.

Protesters before the Greek Embassy in Tirana, denounced the song of the Greek soldiers, having joined the two deputies of the ruling Justice and Unity Party, PDU, Dashamir Tahiri and Shpetim Idrizi.

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Tensions of Albanian nationalist against the Greek national parade

Albanian Media publishes video of the parade, urging the Albanian nationalists against Greeks

An artificial irritation that has as protagonist Greek national parade, where a group of Greek special forces sang nationalist songs against Albanians, has brought an increase in the perception of tensions anti Greek in Albania.

Although Greek authorities apologized for the incident, called the Albanian nationalist constantly becoming a serious threat for the Greek factor living in Albania.

The protagonist this time seems to be the adoption by the Albanian Parliament of the cemetery of the fallen Greek soldiers during the Second World War.

Politicians and press in Albania, specify the fallen Greek soldiers have been as "invaders Albanian land", which may bring tension touching Greek patriotic feeling, while tension can increase without end against to the Greek community in Albania.

However, it seems that the Albanian diplomacy and nationalist politics can find common points to bring in a new relationship conflict Albania and Greece, which can be used by the extreme violent segments on both sides.

Meanwhile Albanian media, except the argument of the cemetery says it is disappointed with the treatment that the Greek government makes Albanian emigrants, although few weeks ago the Greek Parliament adopted the law that grants citizenship to Albanian immigrants.

Athens has ratified tow important agreements with Albania to joint NATO, EU. But even the official relations between Athens and Tirana are seen as the "good level", the rights of the Greek Ethnic Community is until unsolved, particularly the issue of the rights property, education and cultural system, the local autonomy and the enlargement of minority zones, continues to be obstacel of the future relations of Greek Albanian relations.

Protest at front of the Greek Embassy urged by NGO

Meanwhile, a series of non-governmental organizations have urged protest in Tirana as a reaction against the "Greek army song" who issued calls during the National Day parade of Greece, in the presence the President Papoulias.

The protest will begin at 11:00 this morning before the Greek embassy in Tirana and "will denounce the racist and xenophobic terms of Greek soldiers". The incident raised and the response of Albanian government, notes the Albanian media.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Admiral Stavridis visited Visoki Decani Monastery Print

March 26, 2010

 In talks with the Commander of NATO forces in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan underlined the importance of the presence of international peacekeeping forces in Kosovo and noted that it is particularly important for the Serbian Orthodox Church that KFOR continue to secure the eight most important holy sites in the Serbian Province.

The Eparchy of Raska and Prizren communicated that during talks in the Visoki Decani Monastery, Stavridis assured Bishop Teodosije that NATO will not take any further steps concerning the protection of Serbian holy sites without a dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church and that the concerns of the Serbian Church pertaining to security issues will be seriously taken into account.

Also NATO supreme commander in Europe, met with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu.

France, Germany agree on plan to help Greece

21212France and Germany agreed on a standby aid plan for heavily indebted Greece on Thursday that would involve money from European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund, the French president’s office said.
French officials said President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had explained their agreement to EU President Herman Van Rompuy, and countries that use the euro would discuss it later on Thursday. A French official said the deal, agreed in Brussels shortly before an EU summit, opened the way for bilateral loans to be made available under a system mainly involving the euro zone but also using money from the Washington-based IMF.
“There is agreement on the idea of a European framework. This European framework will be made up of coordinated bilateral loans,” a French official said.
“This European framework would be complemented by IMF loans with clear mention of the fact that the financing would mainly be European.”
The money would be used only if there were “very serious difficulties and there was no other solution,” he said.
A German official said euro zone states would have to agree to activate the plan, giving Berlin a veto.
The borrowing rate would not be subsidised but would take into account the economic state of the country using the loans.
“This is the framework set out to help countries that could be under very strong market stress,” the French official said.
Greece has not asked for money to help service its debts but has said it favours a standby package being made available to reassure investors without Athens having to use the money.
Merkel and Sarkozy also said the Greek debt and deficit crisis showed the need to strengthen economic governance in the euro zone — meaning closer coordination of policy — to deal with any threats like those in Greece.
An EU official said any agreement would include increased budgetary surveillance of euro zone countries.
“The IMF is a key part of it,” the EU official said. “There are two parts. There is a part on bilateral loans and there is a part on … surveillance.”
Paris and Berlin called for Van Rompuy to draw up a report before the end of this year laying out all the options for strengthening preventive mechanisms and sanctions.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Albanian Parliament ratified the agreement on military Cemeteries

The Albanian Parliament decided to give the right of the Greek state to build in Albania for two cemeteries, the Greeks perished during the Second World War.

This is the ratification of the agreement between the two governments for research, exhumation, identification and burial of the fallen Greek soldiers in Albania during the Second World War.

Under this agreement there will be two cemeteries in Gjirokastra and Klisoura. The agreement provides that there will be experts in forensic examination of the bones. There will be a joint committee with equal number of members from both countries.

Part of the military will be even historians, who will jointly examine the resolution and detail the issues and need to know the historical facts. The skeletons will be photographed and all data will be stored in number and will be available to both sides.The ceremonies in memory of the fallen will be held by representatives of the Greek Republic and the Republic of Albania every year on 28 October.

Against this agreement where tow parliament member, represent of Cham Community,while the opposition socialist party, had abandoned the session parliamentary.

Statement by U.S. Ambassador John L. Withers, II (March 25, 2010)

We have been carefully following the discussions in parliament on the Albanian political situation. We regret that, to date, no solution to the current crisis has been reached.

We urge all parties to continue to work within the parliament to resolve their differences through dialogue and compromise. The tone of discussion must focus on finding common ground and not on achieving partisan advantage.

We share the concerns of our OSCE and EU colleagues that the March 18-19 plenary session was unhelpful. Unilateral actions by any party cannot resolve the current stalemate, nor advance this nation’s Euro-Atlantic agenda.

Anniversary of March 25, 1821 Revolution celebrated throughout Greece

Albania: Opposition to stage protest over early elections

Leader of the Albanian opposition Edi Rama said the opposition will stage protests in the whole country after the government did not vote the whole draft bills on investigation of the general elections, the Albanian press reported.

According to Rama the protests will continue until the government is not overthrown and early elections are not held.

“The refusal to make full investigation of the general elections held last year together with the opening of the ballot boxes is the main reason for the discontent of the opposition,” Rama noted.

Analyzers commented that after the unsuccessful attempt to overcome the political crisis in the Parliament, the tension in political plan is tangibly rising in the country.

Omonia against any politic manipulation of the Greek community interests by Albanian factors

Announcement of "Omonia" initiative to establish a new party within the Greek minority

Athens Press Agency

A Communication, which refers to the initiative for establishing a new party within the Greek minority in Albania, which saw the light of publicity in recent days, issued by the National Democratic Union Greek minority "Omonia".

The Communication states that "this effort has nothing to do with the Democratic Union of National Minority Greek, Omonia `` `` or in respect of the political line, no less institutional activity of administrative organs.

The "Omonia", stressing, "insists that the fragmentation of the electoral behavior of members of the National Greek community in the major political parties equally, an internal division does not serve the cause of improving the position of the municipality in the Albanian reality.

The communication, dated that day, also stresses that "acts of this kind of political disorientation of the National Greek minority, Omonia has denounced the `` at times, especially the last few months, just before, during and after the parliamentary elections last summer.

Omonia further indicates that "as far, is as essential factor is the political partnership and a common path to political, electoral and organizational level of the Union for Human Rights" and concludes: "We found no qualitative change that revised effective this experience. "

Eleftherotypia: EU divided in two camps on aid for Greece

The EU member states are divided in two on financial aid for Greece, Greek Eleftherotypia newspaper writes. Marathon negotiations are expected to be held at today’s EU Summit on the “rescue net” for Athens concerning the debt and crediting needed for its paying off.

On Wednesday, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso called on again to the countries from the Euro area to establish a rescue net for Greece in case and only if all funds to avid the crisis are depleted. French President Nikolas Sarkozy and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy support the reaching of agreement on practical support for Greece.

However, German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble announced that strict rules for budget discipline should be introduced before taking a decision to provide financial aid for EU member state like Greece.

Sir Alex Ferguson has “lucky charm” from Epirus

Sir Alex Ferguson,  with Sotiris Hasiakos

Sir Alex Ferguson, with Sotiris Hasiakos

The most trusted man of Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, is Epirot Sotiris Hasiakos, the manager of an exclusive London club in Park Lane. The two men communicate frequently every day by telephone and share their interest in horses and horse racing. Recently, they became co-owners of two horses, to which they have given Greek names – Aetos and Pausanias – as Sir Alex wanted to please his close friend, Sotiris.

Hasiakos comes from the village of Katarraktis in Arta region, where his brother is mayor. He studied business at Manchester University and later took an executive position at a large leisure complex, where he met Ferguson.

Dule-Bolanos Meeting with high officials of the U.S. embassy in Tirana

The persecution of the Greek Minority, proprieties and political justice by Berisha, where in focus of debate

Photo: Paol Poletes, Acting Deputy Chief of US Mission Tirana

The whole problem of the political institutions of the Ethnic Greek Minority od "Omonia" and HURP, made known by Evangelos Doules and Vassilios Bolanos to the political secretary of the American Embassy in Tirana, Mr. Paul Politis.

The meeting of the Presidents of Omonia and HURP where part of the upcoming they visit, which is expected to perform in Washington next days.

In the meeting was a discussion, informed the American factor in Albania, the current state of the Ethnic Greek Minority in the level of respect for human and minority rights.

Both Doules and Bolanos, thanked the American Embassy for what they say and take note of the State Department in the annual report of 2009 for Albania, informed the American political secretary for the property wrights and continuous violations made against property of citizens of Greek origin, against Community and church property.

Particular reference was made during the debate on whether legal proceedings against the mayor Himara Mr. B. Bolanos, from the Atorney of Vlora District, the politic Trial of the Greeks in Himara, ecct. While in the attitude of the government Berisha highlighted the persecution suffered by the EU minority government from unwarranted dismissals of people and officials after the elections last June.

Finally Mst. Doules and Bolanos said the link to an absence of policy pursued by the Government with regard the cultural and historical values of our community and the general difficulties of access in the media.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Greek - Albanian Relations

Risopoulos: "Greece supports the liberalization of visas but considers that there is much to be done to complete this process".

The Greek community living in Albania, has abandoned obtaining identity cards, after the Albanian authorities have seen all citizens as Albanian nationality

Declaration of the Greek consul in Gjirokaster to Albanian journalists.

The statement was consul during the celebrations held to mark the anniversary of the independence of Greece in the city of Gjirokastra.

The consul John Rizopoulos in Albanian media said that Albania would be able to exploit the abolition of visas to European Union countries, where they met the required international conditions. He recalled that the same team had identified and the European Union visited Albania last week.

Due to the large volume of Albanian immigrants in Greece, the l iberalization of visas between the two countries is one of the main challenges of Albania.

But the biggest problem lies in the fact that the Greek community living in Albania, has abandoned obtaining identity cards, after the Albanian authorities have seen all citizens as albanian nationality, without previously stated that every citizen living in Albania.

This poses greater risk for failure process of identity cards and biometric passport, a technical condition that claims it has fulfilled Tirana.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MEGA party for the Greek National Minority!

The Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the Party "National Minority of Greeks for the Future" - MEGA held on Saturday March 20, 2010 in the tourist center "Foinikaion" Phoinike the Province to approve the Plan, the Statute, the name, office, emblem, flag and the Administrative Commission.

At this meeting, the presence of a notary, unanimously adopted the necessary legal documents, and signed by the members of the Initiative.According to the albanian press, the period from the first move was systematic work involving many intellectuals and other personalities of the National Greek minority, whose proposals were included in all papers.

The signatories of the Founding Act of the Party "National Minority of Greeks for the Future" is 27 people, all young people, intellectuals and businessmen who are successful in their careers while enjoying the appreciation of all the members of the minority.

The Initiative Committee emphasized that the Party has opened new doors for all the Greeks of Albania and their friends and sympathizers.

According to founders, the new political entity would be the natural continuation of the Organization "Omonia" and is now a higher organizational level political representation in the National Greek minority.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ÃÅÑÏÕËÁÍÏÓ Ð  ÓÕÍÅÍÔÅÕÎÇ ÔÕÐÏÕGreece has decided to be present with all its force in Russia’s tourist exhibitions and activerly promote its decision to facilitate as much as possible the issuing of multiple entry and long duration visas for Russian citizens, according to Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos (foto), who visited Moscow’s MITT-2010 tourist exhibition on Friday.

“More and more Russian tourists are deciding to combine their holidays with cultural events and visits to monuments and archaeological sites, a fact that serves our strategy and the combination of our ministry’s two directions, that must not only be achieved at leadership level, but in the entire pyramid of actions,” Geroulanos told Greek correspondents in Moscow, summing up his initial assessments on his contacts with tourist agencies.

Earlier, Geroulanos met with his Russian counterpart, Aleksandr Avdeyev, who showed special interest in the European Europeana digitalisation programmes, in which Greece leads in experiences, planning the extension of relevant cooperation with Microsoft as well.
Gereoulanos said that the Russian side also found interesting the carrying out of the merger between the culture and tourism ministries, as well as the possibility of developing cooperation between the two countries in the sector of sport and the hosting of Russian teams during the period of their preparation.

The Culture and Tourism minister also visited the famous Puskin Visual Arts Museum and met with its director Irina Antonova who, among other things, remembered with emotion her cooperation and meetings with late actress Melina Merkouri and expressed the desire to host some exhibition or even some excellent examples of classical sculpture art.

Berlusconi 'absolutely in favour' of giving aid to Greece

Italy has long been considered one of the weak links in the euro zone but Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told Reuters at an election rally in Bologna on Sunday that he was "absolutely in favour" of the EU providing aid to Greece.

He later hardened his stance, saying the European Union had "no reason to exist" if its members were not ready to help a crisis-hit eurozone country.

Italy's debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to hit 117% this year, compared to 120% forecast for Greece, though Rome has kept a lid on its budget deficit and has weathered the financial crisis better than others in Europe.

Uncertainty over European support for Greece pushed the euro as low as $1.3502 on Friday, its weakest level in more than two weeks. The spread between Greek and benchmark German bond yields ended the week at 325 basis points, the highest level in nearly three weeks.

Albania, Security News

USS John L. Hall frigate (FFG32) in Vlora Bay

In a long political crisis in Albania, which was increased after the opposition decided to topple the government Berisha through massive popular protests, in the Bay of Vlora, for the first arrived the U.S. Perry Class frigate FFG32 .

We have no data on that NATO frigate that belongs to the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, to be case relates to the beginning of mass protests against the Berisha government. But However, reliable sources indicate that an escalation of the protests could lead to a situation of uncertain stability in Albania.

US Frigate Class Perry

2750 tons (std), 3605 tons (full) Dimensions: 453' (oa) x 45' x 14' 9" 24="" 6=

Armament: 1 OTO Melara 3"/62 cal. Mk 75, 1 Vulcan Phalanx CIS, 4-.50 cal. MGs,1 Mk 13 Mod 4 launcher,

4 SSM McDonnell-Douglas Harpoon missiles, 36 GDC-Pomona Standard SM-1MR missiles,
6-324mm Mk 32 (2 triple) tubes / Mk 46 torpedoes, 2 hangars / 2 SH-60B Seahawk LAMPS MkIII helos

Machinery:2 GE LM 2500 gas turbine engines; 41,000 shp; 1 shaft, cp propeller, 325 hp retractable propeller pods
Speed: 29 Knots Crew: 13/206 (includes 19 air detachment)
Radars: AN/SPS-55 (surface), AN/SPS-49 (air)
Sonars: AN/SQS-56, AN/SQR-19 TACTAS (towed array)

"Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Me. on 5 January 1981
Launched 24 July 1981, Commissioned 26 June 1982

EU says political deadlock could hurt Albania bid

A senior European Union official is warning Albania that the country's political crisis could hurt its EU membership bid.

Albanian opposition Socialists say they will resume street protests unless parliament investigates allegations of fraud in general elections last June, and orders a partial re-count if required.

Conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha has ruled out a re-count.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele urged Albanian political leaders Friday to resolve the stalemate swiftly. Albania has applied for the EU candidate status. It joined NATO last year.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FYROM Press: Absence of Boris Tadic and Herman Van Rompuy casts gloom on conference in Slovenia

The summit in Brdo near Kranj, which was to show that the Balkan nations would finally overcome their conflicts, has confirmed the opposite, Skopian Utrinski Vesnik daily writes, summing up the assessment of most news agencies after the Balkan conference in Slovenia.

The newspaper focuses on the absence of Serbian President Boris Tadic and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, which, the daily writes, diminished the importance of the forum, the first informal EU summit on the Western Balkans.

The newspaper tells about the main moments in the conference, such as the statement of the European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule and major issues on the agenda.
Regarding the FYROM participation in the conference, Utrinski Vesnik notes Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski does not rule out the possibility for FYROM to hold a similar forum in the future.

Albania: Opposition to stage protest over early elections

Leader of the Albanian opposition Edi Rama said Saturday night the opposition will stage protests in the whole country after the government did not vote the whole draft bills on investigation of the general elections, Albanian press reported.

According to Rama the protests will continue until the government is not overthrown and early elections are not held. “The refusal to make full investigation of the general elections held last year together with the opening of the ballot boxes is the main reason for the discontent of the opposition,” Rama noted.

Analyzers commented that after the unsuccessful attempt to overcome the political crisis in the Parliament, the tension in political plan is tangibly rising in the country.