Saturday, May 1, 2010

Macedonia Uncovers Additional Weapons Stash

Some of the seized weapons, Photo by FoNet
Some of the seized weapons, Photo by FoNet
Macedonian police on Thursday seized a large stash of personal firearms and explosives hidden in several bunkers in the mountainous terrain near the border with Kosovo. On Friday, the police reported that they had found an additional large cache of weapons, including sniper rifles, mortars, and missiles, in the same area, as their search continues.

Unofficially local media reported that several armed and uniformed men who were guarding the weapons on Thursday opened fire on the special police forces after which they fled to Kosovo. Local A1 TV reported at least one armed man was wounded by police.

The arsenal of arms found yesterday reportedly contained many weapons, including machine guns, manual missile launchers, anti-tank mines, explosives, and detonators.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said the police unit "Tigers" launched the operation on early Thursday following intelligence reports on stored weapons several kilometers northeast of Blace village near the Blace border crossing.

He informed that none of the police officers were injured during the action and that they are still on the ground searching for other bunkers that could possibly be hiding weapons.

A1 TV reported that the stash was hidden in a difficult to access densely forested mountain area and guarded by several armed men who were apparently camping there.

The television also reported that one man suffering from gunshot wounds yesterday asked for medical help in the Kosovo border village of Kacanik. Due to the seriousness of his wounds he was to be transported to Pristina but he fled after hearing the news.

According to unnamed police experts from the unit for illegal firearms trade, the seized arsenal in Macedonia does not date back to the 2001 Macedonia armed conflict. The number of weapons and their origin are still to be determined.

In 2001 this region was engulfed in the armed conflict between ethnic Albanian insurgents and Macedonian security forces. The six month conflict ended the same year with the signing of the Ohrid Peace Accord that envisaged greater rights for the ethnic Albanian community in the country. Among others it envisaged proportional employment of Albanians in the security forces and the administration.

The area around Blace was considered a hiding place for the armed insurgents.

Kosovo police also uncovered a weapons cache in Kosovo on Thursday, but the two busts have not been linked.

Albanian Ambassador in Greece, Minaroli: "the case, refers to a self-accident"

After comments by the albanian media in recent days in the case of abuse of an Albanian and burned in Greece, the Albanian ambassador in Athens, Vili Minaroli in the official version of events, declaring for "Vision plus TV", that it refers to a self-accidents, no implicated the Greek citizens.

The Albanian media had reported that 35-year-old was brutally abused by some Greek youths, noting that even the body of an Albanian was going to massacre. The event happened on the island of Crete.

more see;
Jeremić: Kosovo cannot participate as state

1 May 2010, Source: Večernje novosti

BELGRADE -- Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić told daily Večernje novosti that Kosovo cannot be represented as a state at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sarajevo.

Vuk Jeremić (FoNet archive)
Vuk Jeremić (FoNet archive)

He said that it would be good for “all voices of the region to be heard in Sarajevo,” and that is why Serbia is working on finding a way in which the UNSC Resolution 1244 and Serbia’s principal stance on not recognizing the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence would not be compromised.

“For this, the presence of UNMIK would be necessary, as well as the implementation of a clear asymmetry in the representation and participation of the state delegations of those who are not a state,” he said.

He said that Belgrade is practicing “policies in full continuity with the last government,” because Kosovo cannot be a topic of partisan disputes, adding that all parties “must breathe as one” when Kosovo is in question, because that is the only chance for success........

May 1, Berisha: "Long live the European Albania, the Albania of NATO"

About one hour, different singers performed in the festive concert held by the Democratic Party. The concert ended quietly, while Democratic MPs expressed that the celebration was not a challenge to protest the PS, but it was just a celebrating.

Few moments ago, Prime Minister Sali Berisha hailed the festive concert of his supporters for May 1. "Long live the European Albania, Albania of NATO" he said."Today we are here to enjoy than ever in our history as we celebrate as a haven to our European ideal.
I invite you to continue along our journey towards Europe's you deserve ", said PM Berisha.

According to Albanian opposition leader Edi Rama, only in Cuba of Fidel Castro and in Tirana of Sali Berisha, May 1, is celebrated as a "party day".

NATO following with concern developments in Albania

Pangallos expected to visit Tirana in the next days

Secrete Service Chief of NATO
, is cut a few days in Tirana, the developments in the crisis and control of Albanian extremists, in the focus

After the visit to NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Tirana, another team of security that NATO is from several days in Albania. According to sources, after the public offer was made by the Prime Minister Sali Berisha to NATO Chief for the deployment of missile defense to nuclear Albania, NATO security team Michael Turner Evanof, is looking with concern the political crisis that has included Albania, especially the escalation of opposition protests.

But according to NATO sources concern has been the initiatives of the Albanian extremists to threaten the Greek minority in southern Albania. Events in Himare last Saturday did not pass unnoticed by NATO security team and Tirana have asked to perform duties as initiatives by NATO members to curb Albanian extremists, who run the risk to be involved in ethnic riots, in Albania.

Meanwhile, according to the latest sources, the Greek Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos is expected to visit Tirana, where he will meet with Prime Minister Berisha. Anxieties latest political crisis in the country, the EU prespective of the country, also require serious attention of the Greek Minority and Greek albanian border security, are purported to be the focus of talks Pangalos Berisha.

Albanian opposition Socialists start hunger strike

TIRANA, Albania — Twenty-two opposition Socialist lawmakers and 180 supporters have launched a hunger strike to press the government to allow a partial recount of an election they claim was tainted by vote-rigging.

Tens of thousands of Socialist supporters, led by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama, held a protest earlier pressing for a recount.

The government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who narrowly won the June 28 general election controlling 75 of parliament's 140 seats, has called that demand illegal.

The governing Democrats plan to hold a public concert at noon Saturday for the May 1 holiday to celebrate what they describe as successful reforms aimed at Albania's EU membership.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tens of thousands of Albanians protest in Tirana

Associated Press
2010-05-01 01:01 AM

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters thronged the main square of the Albanian capital Friday, vowing to stay there until the government allows a partial recount of June election ballots following allegations of vote-rigging.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha's conservatives narrowly won the June 28 general elections, but the opposition Socialists have been boycotting parliament for months, demanding the recount of ballots in several districts. The government has called that demand illegal.

Berisha's Democrats and allies control 75 of parliament's 140 seats.

Socialist Party spokeswoman Armela Imeraj said the rally, which also protested economic hardship blamed on the government, would continue for days.

"The rally is a non-stop one until the government decides to reform or to recount the election votes," she said.

The international community has pressed new NATO-member Albania to resolve the deadlock, which could hamper its efforts to joint the European Union.

"Does Berisha see this? We are many. We just want a fair electoral game," said protester Ilir Tiko, one of the protesters in Tirana's vast Skenderbeg Square.

Another demonstrator, Sanie Behari, said she came out onto the streets to protest poverty.

"Do they understand we can't live with such high prices?" she said of the government. "Sure, they can with their salaries. We just want a better life."

Minister: Phone services restored in Kosovo
30 April 2010 | 13:41 | Source: Beta
BELGRADE -- Telecommunications Minister Jasna Matić stated that mobile and landline phone services of Serbian providers had been restored in most of Kosovo.

Matić pointed out that the Telecommunications and Information Society Ministry had asked UNMIK not to allow illegal actions of Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština, which were incurring great damage to the citizens, and Telekom Srbija and Telenor operators.

“According to UN Security Council’s Resolution 1244 the telecommunications authority has been put under the jurisdiction of UNMIK. They have so far regulated this field and we wrote to them so they would keep doing it,” she said.

Matić noted that the situation in Kosovo was “relatively undefined” and that Priština was was using “every opportunity to strengthen its authority”.

“It’s indisputable that Kosovo is a part of Serbia's territory, that Resolution 1244 is the only document which has legal weight, and Serbia will insist on it like we have done until now,” the minister said.

Authorities in Priština last weekend disabled transmitters claiming that they did not have a license to operate in Kosovo, leaving some 100,000 Serbs in central and southern parts of the province without mobile phone service.

Landline phone service has been disabled in some areas south of the Ibar River.

International Community Concern over Macedonia

Skopje | 28 April 2010 |
The Skopje Missions of the EU, NATO, OSCE and the U.S. are concerned about the latest political developments in Macedonia, and urge the country's leaders to commit to reinforced political dialogue.

In a joint press release issued by the missions on Tuesday afternoon they expressed concern that Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and the full implementation of the Ohrid Peace Accord that ended the 2001 conflict in the country might be jeopardized.

"We have taken note with concern of recent statements by political leaders and other individuals that point in the opposite direction: talk of separatism, conflict, and abandonment of the Ohrid Framework Agreement,” the release reads.

"We firmly oppose any violence or threats of violence, as this will only harm political and economic progress, and which are in sharp contradiction with the values that our institutions represent."....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slovenia and Italy want Albania and Bosnia to enter the “white list” of Schengen as quickly as possible

The Foreign Ministers of Slovenia and Italy - Samuel Žbogar and Franco Frattini, have sent an official letter to the Spanish Presidency of EU, urging the speeding up of the procedure for visa liberalisation for the citizens of Albanian and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radio Free Europe announced.

The message was published in the Albanian media today, quoting the Slovenian Foreign Ministry. The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of another 10 EU member states.

The present situation on the Balkans is a historic success: Anders Fogh Rasmussen

“The present situation on the Balkans is a historic success,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today following his meeting with Albanian Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilir Meta in Tirana, Macedonian TV channel "Sitel" reported.

“The situation on the Balkans is a historic success and my will is to see all countries from the region NATO members as soon as possible,” Rasmussen said. He noted that there was a significant progress in Kosovo, from a security point of view.

NATO’s Secretary General has expressed his gratitude to the Albanian authorities for their participation in the peacekeeping missions of the Alliance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Albanian opposition to protest on April 30th for transparency on elections

April 28, 2010 (MMD Newswire) -- On Friday, April 30th the Socialist Party led Albanian opposition is going to protest in the capital, Tirana, demanding full and thorough transparency of the parliamentary elections that took place on June 28th. The opposition is determined to persist in its protests until its constitutional right to an investigation into the elections is fulfilled.

The protest of the opposition does not aim to change the results of the election, but to achieve full transparency on said elections, as an indispensable precondition for free and fair elections in the future. In this action the opposition is supported not only by half the Albanian electorate who voted for them in the elections, but also by the thousands of Albanians who are suffering the dire economic conditions that have prevailed in the country since the elections; conditions which are a direct consequence of the abuse of public funds and finances by Prime Minister Sali Berisha for electoral purposes.

Albania protest elections

The difference between the Socialist led opposition and the governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha, in the elections of June 28th amounted to a mere 1.5% of ballots cast; the narrowest difference ever in any elections in Albania. At the same time, international reports, such as by OSCE-ODHIR, underline the fact that "vote counting in a full one third of the voting centers was bad or very bad." Further evidence has surfaced in recent months of massive vote stuffing, of individuals having voted with multiple fake identity cards and of voting instead of emigrants who were not in Albania at the time of the elections.

To date the opposition has been denied its constitutional right to a full a thorough parliamentary investigation into the elections including the opening of the ballot boxes and the examination of electoral materials contained therein. Although the demand of the opposition for an investigation into the elections has been supported by many international actors including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, European Socialists and the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Europe Subcommittee Chairman Bill Delahunt, the government has so far been intransigent in its refusal.

In the first major, three day protest on November 20th 2009, upwards of 100,000 people poured out onto the streets in the name of democracy and free and fair elections; on April 30th and beyond, the scale and the duration of the protest will dwarf any protests Albania has experienced during its 20 year long transition.

The Albanian opposition cannot compromise on its demand for transparency. Its determination is born of the belief that free and fair elections constitute a cornerstone of democracy.

* For any information, footage and images of our protests or any other type of assistance that you may require please contact:

Endri Fuga

Press & Communication Officer
Socialist Party of Albania
Tirana, Albania
00-355-672-102-020 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00-355-672-102-020 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Maklen Misha

Press & Communication Officer,
00-355-672-042-891 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00-355-672-042-891 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Etjen Xhafaj

Press & Communication Officer
00-355-686-014-477 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00-355-686-014-477

Monday, April 26, 2010

Albania: Counterfeit euro distribution network dismantled

Albanian police busted a group for distribution of counterfeit euro, Macedonian newspaper "Vecer" announced. Two of the detainees are albanian Macedonian citizens - Djeladin Demiri and Kemal Rejepi.

Together with them were arrested Avni Hayrulahu Kosovo citizen, leader of the group and of Petri Marku from Tirana, whose cafeteria was used as a warehouse for counterfeit euros.

Counterfeit bank notes had to be put into circulation in Albania. In the cafeteria the police discovered 75,000 counterfeit euro, printed in Bulgaria and moved through FYROM to Albania.
Thousands of K. Serbs stage protest

26 April 2010 Source: FoNet, Tanjug

GRAČANICA -- The Kosovo Serb protest in Gračanica against the violent disabling of Serbian mobile phone networks in parts of the province has ended.

The protest in Gračanica today (Beta)
The protest in Gračanica today (Beta)

Local officials called on the international community to react and to stop the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština from prohibiting Serbs from using the phone services of Serbian operators.

The protests ended without incidents, and more were announced, with similar gatherings expected to be held every day until the Belgrade-based mobile phone networks have been reactivated.

Some 3,000 Serbs from central and other parts of Kosovo participated in the protest march in Gračanica.

There were ambulances ahead of the crowd of people, symbolizing the fact that communication with such emergency services is not possible without working phones.

KFOR and Kosovo police, KPS, secured Gračanica during the rally, which stopped the traffic through the enclave.

The Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština targeted Belgrade-based operators over the weekend.

April 25, 2010 Greater Boston Parade

It is developed as each year, the biggest parades of Boston, the anniversary of the Greek national holiday of the year 1921 Participants at the celebration, was the Pan Epiriotic Federation of USA.

EC says Albania not ready for visa liberalisation


TIRANA, Albania -- The European Commission (EC) says Albania has completed just one of four sections of its EU visa liberalisation questionnaire, local media reported on Sunday (April 25th). Government and local integration officials had assured the public that Tirana has met all technical criteria in the process.

The section praised by Brussels deals with securing documents. The other three sections -- deemed incomplete -- involve repatriation policies, fighting crime and corruption and dealing with the finances of criminal gangs.

Albania began working on visa liberalisation in 2008 and expects to complete the process by the end of this year.

Armed in Himara, come the members of the Front for Albanian National Union

In today's press release, DEEEM Omonia, denounces the rise of irredentist voices in Albania at the expense of Greece and Hellenism of Northern Epirus.



While the Greek national minority and its political representative, the DEEEM "Omonia" at the forefront of the effort to integrate the country into the European Union and the Greek National Minority aims to calm and peaceful coexistence with the majority of extremist nationalist groups, continue to rise and affect its national.

Just yesterday, the only feasibility cause residents, called the Front for Albanian National Unification met in private in Himara, although in principle this was planned in the city of Fier.

Indeed, during the meeting, as noted by the press, participants from Albania, Kosovo and Skopje criticized Greece and EU for Minority.

However, the fact that Albanian media have emphasized today that in Himara, where not recorded any incident and the police had taken all necessary measures, amply demonstrates that this event aimed to challenge and disrupt the city and that probably the threads to move from state structures.

The gesture was preceded by some hothead campaign nationalists, who wrote provocative slogans on roads crossing the area of minority refers to a nonexistent issue, something that history has already been closed.Also unknown are the days defiantly tore it up the Greek flag at the Military Cemetery of Vouliarati, and the offices of Omonia in Saranda.

The DEEEM "Omonia" harshly condemns these challenges and acts it out in the Ethnic Greek Minority and asking the authorities to take necessary measures to fully respect all rights.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Albania and Kosovo

Tirana, Pristina to be joined by railroad connection

Tirana. Albania and Kosovo reached agreement to realize new project in the field of transport, albanian media news agency reports.

The project envisages a railroad connection between the cities of Tirana and Pristina.
The two countries are already realizing a joint motorway, which is already built up in the Albanian part, while the construction in Kosovo is yet to start.

Meanwhile today inaugurated the beginning of construction of highway works Morin-Merdar Vërmicë-Prizren which is described as a major project by the authorities in Kosovo and Albania.

At the festive ceremony on the occasion of the commencement of the works are expected to attend: Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, the Albanian counterpart Sali Berisha,

Greece: Gruevski opposes to name ‘Northern Republic of Macedonia’

The prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski opposes the possible suggestion ‘Northern Republic of Macedonia’ to solve the Greek-Macedonian name dispute, Greek "Express" daily writes on its website.

In an interview with the private Skopje-based television channel Sitel, which will be aired on Sunday, but parts of it have already leaked into the media, Gruevski says:

“If ‘Northern Republic of Macedonia’ is suggested for general use, provided that this name proposal is officially presented to the mediator Matthew Nimitz, I will put it to a referendum. If you are interested in my personal opinion – I will vote against.”
Albania, latest security and developments news

United Front of Greater Albania, an illegal rally in Himare

NATO security services in Albania, are alarmed by this development undesirable, jeopardizing the fragile geopolitical stability in Albania

Had come as tourists from Albania, Kosovo, FYROM, Montenegro and completed by developing a nationalist congress, provoking heavy feelings in the community of Hellenes in Himara.

While another Congress, just of "Omonia" is being held in Saranda, a group of "tourists", come in Himara from various regions of Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and FYROM, organized in one of the hotels of the town, an Albanian Nationalist Congress.

The group was identified as the United Front of Greater Albania. The News is distributed by "Gazeta Shqiptare" and "News 24", which had filmed the development within the Hotel.

At the same time, hundreds citizens of Himara, were collected at the hotel, where was held The Congress of Albanian Nationalists and asked them to leave Himara as soon as possible, because the consequences could be unpredictable.

The Police Department caught the "surprise" tried to block the entrances of the hotel, so when "tourists guests" can be raise on the bus and depart for leaving Himara.

According to "News 24", the Albanian nationalists in Congress, were thrown psllogans as "will all die for Albania", "Himara is Albania", "Greater Albania by the Tivar in Preveza" ecct

Meanwhile the "Albanian Newspaper" thought that this leader of the nationalist group, has Gafur Adili, character sought by the secret services of NATO, isolated for years because it represents great risk for ethnic clashes in the region.

Sources from Tirana said that NATO security services in Albania, are alarmed by this development undesirable, jeopardizing the fragile geopolitical stability in Albania.

"Omonia"`s conference to reshape the Statute

HURP Chairman Evangelos Doules and Omonia President Vasilios Bollanos, will visit State Departament to Washington next days and will meet with the represents of the Greek American Lobby, including senators, congressmans ecct.

Photo" US President Joe Biden with President of "Omonia" Vasasilios Bollanos seen in Washington

The Conference of "Omonia" for the redevelopment of the Association, held in Saranda, sent a message of unity to all Northern Epirus, to participate actively in the processes of the organization.

The Conference was represented by PASOK Secretary for Integration Maria Dimitrakopoulos, which inter alia stated that "Governments and G. Papandreou, following a pragmatic policy, which aims to strengthen the Greek-Albanian relations, without prejudice to the rights of Northern Epirus."

The representative ND Stathis Konstantinidis, MP Florina said that "the interest of the current leader Antonis Samaras SW for the Greek minority in Northern Epirus is old and enduring. The integration of Albania into the European Union passes through the respect of human rights in Northern Epirus" The President of "Omonia" Vassilios Bolanos admitted that mistakes were made, but argued that they in no way justify the separatist tendencies that occur within the organization.

"We have a duty to keep alive the" Omonia "and make sure the European course of Albania," said President of HURPt Evangelos Doules.

The Meeting decided to extend the Political Council of "Omonia" from 45 members now amount to 61. Also tabled a proposal to participate in the Political Council of 15 representatives on Northern clubs and entities, operating in Greece.

Meanwhile, HURP Chairman Evangelos Doules and Omonia President Vasilios Bollanos, will visit State Departament to Washington next days and will meet with the represents of the Greek American Lobby, including senators, congressmans ecct.