Thursday, May 27, 2010

Albania, Bosnia One Step Closer to Visa-Free Travel

| 27 May 2010 |
EC building
EC building
The European Commission announced today its adoption of a proposal to lift the visa regime for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the two countries must still fulfill remaining benchmarks before their citizens can travel without a visa in the Schengen zone.

The decision was announced by European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom.

“Today's proposal is the result of intensive and hard work for the authorities and the people of these countries in meeting the conditions,” Malmstrom said.

European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele mirrored Malmstrom's remarks: "This proposal for visa free travel is of the utmost importance for the citizens of the countries concerned, since it will bring them closer to the EU. The visa-free regime will contribute to making the European perspective more tangible...................


Greek-Israeli Military Manoeuvres

The combined Greek-Israeli Air Forces Exercise “Minos 2010” started today. During the exercise, which will last until the beginning of June, Israeli F-15 and F-16 aircraft will be stationed at the 115th Combat Wing in Souda, Crete. The exercises will take place in the Ionian Sea, mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea.

The exercise will include aerial refuelling drills of Greek fighters from Israeli tankers. The Search and Rescue portion of the exercise has been postponed to a later date. This exercise will not feature any Israeli aircraft taking off from Israeli bases and attacking ground targets in mainland Greece. This was the case during the “Glorious Spartan” exercise in 2008, which lots of attention in the international press as it was seen as a rehearsal for an Israeli attack on Iran’ nuclear sites.


End of the road for Kosovo organ claims?

The "Yellow House" in Albania where organs were alleged  to have been removed Blood was found on the floor of the "yellow house"

For years rumours have circulated about Serbs abducted and killed for their organs in the months following the Kosovo war.

Three parallel international investigations, by war crimes investigators from Serbia, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, have failed to uncover any evidence that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trafficked the organs of captives, according to sources close to each investigation.

Dozens of predominantly Serb captives were allegedly taken to a "yellow house" near Burrel in central Albania from June 1999 to May 2000, where their organs were systematically removed and sold, according to accounts presented by Carla del Ponte, former war crimes prosecutor at The Hague Tribunal in her 2008 autobiography. ......................

EU sends mediators to try and resolve political crisis in Albania

TIRANA, Albania — The European Union and the European Parliament have sent a delegation of mediators to try and resolve Albania's political crisis.

A four-member team started two-day meetings Wednesday with Prime Minister Sali Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama, following inconclusive talks with the two officials last week in Strasbourg, France.

Rama's Socialists claim parliamentary elections last June were rigged to ensure Berisha's re-election. Berisha governing Democrats have rejected calls for a re-count despite an opposition boycott of parliament and frequent protests.

After the Strasbourg talks failed, the EU's High Representative Catherine Ashton said she was "seriously concerned" about Albania's political stalemate.

Ex-USAID administrator Natsios on ancient, modern Greek crisis

(ANA-MPA) -- Former USAID top administrator Andrew Natsios on Wednesday emphasised, during a press briefing in Athens, that a "culture of accountability" is absolutely necessary for curbing corruption, a day ahead of a timely lecture on parallels between ancient and modern-day Greek crises.

Natsios, one of the most distinguished Greek-Americans in the upper echelons of US public service over the past decade, arrived in the Greek capital to deliver the lecture, entitled "What Classical Greece teaches Modern Greece -- Lessons on History & Crisis", hosted by the Deree College.

"The US developed this culture over decades and decades ... you must first build the institutions first, however, you must make the reforms quickly. In a big crisis, like the one Greece is facing now, you can take major reforms. However, we're talking about a 'narrow window', because special interest groups will then start combating changes," Natsios, a current professor of diplomacy at Georgetown, emphasised.

"... less pain now, more problems in the future; more pain now, more prosperity in the future," he warned.

Natsios, who amongst others oversaw the successful construction of Boston's "Big Dig" tunnel and served as US special envoy to Sudan in 2006 and 2007 during the Darfur crisis, also referred to a contradiction in various international indexes vis-?-vis Greece, with the UN's Human Development index putting the country in a prominent 18th place out of 192 countries worldwide, whereas the World Bank grades the east Mediterranean nation at a sub-par 60th place for starting new businesses.

Speaking directly on the subject of his lecture on Thursday, Natsios said what passed for lending institutions in 5th century BC Athens disliked loaning other city-states in the ancient world, judging them as poor risks. Conversely, lending institutions in ancient Greece were robust compared with their city-states' finances, something he said mirrors the current situation in Greece.

Asked about the negative publicity plaguing the country in the wake of the ongoing debt crisis, Natsios said that for Greek-Americans, at least, the perception is negative but temporary.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Omonoia`s declaration about the bomb attack against the President, Vassilis Bollanos

The attack with a large quantity of explosives in the house of the General President of the Omonia in Himare is brutal violence against the Greek minority and brutality against human dignity. The actions are reprehensible, not only by members of the Greek minority, but every citizen who is possessed by the principles of freedom, justice and democracy.

The huge amount of explosive material placed near the home of Mr. Bolanos was likely to cause tragedy. Only by a miracle we had not casualties but only material damage. The responsibility for the terror against the Greek minority have on background, some government agencies.

It can not be left as indifferent for that ,the prosecutors systematically from two years, are growing climate in the Greek national minority and especially to Mr Bolanos.We are also very concerned for the passivity and irresponsibility in which the Albanian Police, addressed with falls information for the issue.We inform that they cause offense such attacks and we call on relevant institutions to live up to that circumstances require.

The Press and Communication Office
The Ethnic Greek Minority Organization "Omonia"
Saranda, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

US ambassador sees government, not political crisis in Albania


TIRANA, Albania -- US Ambassador to Tirana John Withers said that Albania is in a government crisis, not a political one. Albania faces "problems that affect the welfare of the people, and disagreements have stopped the functioning of the system to help the citizens", Withers said at an open discussion on media and the judiciary in Tirana. He welcomed the EU's initiative to break the stalemate, stressing that the interests of the people must come first.

Meanwhile, the respective parties are holding firm. Prime Minister Sali Berisha, of the Democratic Party, reiterated on Monday that the government will continue to respect the law, making the reopening of ballot boxes used during the June 2009 general elections impossible. Opposition Socialist Party (SP) leader Edi Rama said his party will not accept any other solution than transparency of those elections, which the SP says were manipulated. Experts from Brussels are expected in Tirana this week, alongside Venice Commission representatives, to study ways to resolve the stalemate.

Albanian - Turkish cooperation for a naval base, an new geopolitical menace against Greece

According to the latest news, the albanian parliament, has passed a law for the entering in Albanian territorial waters, the Turkish military naval force in total 1125 soldgers.

The aims, is to develop cooperation between the Turkish and Albanian fleets.

Then event, was launched with a bilateral exercise in which the Turkish submarine, Dolunay (209/1200) was involved last year on an exercise in Durresi Port Sea.

After the vote and the law by the Albanian parliament, essentially formalized a strategic and formal approach dates at least from the mid 90s.

Turkish forces, where estabilished in albanian territory constructing toy naval bases, submarines base in Pasha Liman near Vlora Bay and Air Naval Base in Kucova.

Anyway this is the new escalation menace for Greece in Northern Ionian Sea by Turkish naval forces with the help of the Albanian parliament.

But diplomatic sources said that, Turkey is not still a "friendly state to guaranty" the Albanian sovereignty, after the request of the European Union, Tirana has decided to carry Italy es its future advocate for Albania.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Albania, Security News

A bomb exploded at home of Vassilios Bolanos

Powerful explosive targeted the house of the Mayor of Himara and the President of OMONIA.

At around 12.00 to last midnight, an unknown explosive, had placed on the door of the house of Vasillios Bolanos, Mayor of Himara Municipality and the General President of the Greek Minority of Albania.

The blast damaged the house of the mayor, in parked cars and the surrounding houses. Miracle characterized that no casualties because the fragments of the explosion shot at long distance.

Specifically, from the explosion broke the front door of the house of Mr. Bollanos and broke all the windows, a parked car was badly damaged and finally broke the windows of neighboring houses.

It is not the first time that Mr Bollanos, is target of attacks. In previous elections, explosive device was placed in his car Himara mayor and chairman of the minority organization "Omonia".

Fortunately did not have any information for victims, during attack explosive.

Annyway, the president of the greeks in Northern Epirus in Albania and the Mayor of a municipality in which the Albanians do not recognize the Greek origin sush as Himara Region, Mr. Bollanos has often became target of the albanian nationalists, claiming self-evident rights of the Greeks of Northern Epirus.

Alfred Moisiu: "My Dad Spiro, an excellent Greek interpreter, who was convicted for desertion at the Greek Italian war in 1940"

Moisiu: "There were Seven Battalions with "Albanian soldiers" involved in the Italian Fascist Divisions, during the Italian invasion to Greece.

Former President of Albania Alfred Misiu, tells for the Italian - Greek war, according his father testimony, Spiro Moisiu.

Asked by the known Greek Albanian relation, journalist Mentor Nazarko on the television show "Antinomi" in TV KOHA, the former President of Albania, Alfred Moses, tells of his family's past, and especially his father Spiro, a former antifascist General of Albanian army, escaped by the Greek Italian front of the war of October 1940, together with many other Albanian army, carried the day against the fascist invasion of Greece.

Alfred Mosisiu thanked for decoration that former Defense Minister of Greece, Spyros Spirotoploulos, gave to his father, Spiro Moisiu, as the anti-fascist sentiments among the Greek Italian war, in 2005.

Former president tells for the great patriotic spirit of the Greek solders: One day before the day that the invasion of Greece by Italian fascist, the Italian soldiers, captured a Greek lieutenant on the border. My father as Greek interpreter, asked him to translate from Greek to Italian. The Greek Lieutenant said to Spyros that: " An Albanian, can fight against ten Greeks, but a greek can fight against 100 fascist Italians". But my father Spiro, not translated into Italian, as he will be killed with this statement. "

During is interview, the former Albanian president Alfred Moisiu, tells publicly for the first time that, one high Albanian state represent speaks for really history between the Albanian Greek relation during the Italian Invasion to Greece. "There were Seven Battalions with "Albanian soldiers" involved in the Italian Fascist Divisions, during the Italian invasion to Greece".

Anyway, the Albanian historians systematically has declared for about four Albanian battalions that where involved into the Italian fascist divisions against Greece on 28 October 1940.

Greece holds still the "Law of War with Albania" as a historical fact that Albania's involvement in the route to global fascist invasion of Greek territory by the Italian_ Albanian army in October 28, 1940.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

EULEX won’t recognize K. Mitrovica elections

23 May 2010 | 15:17 | Source:b92
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- EULEX officials will not recognize the results of elections that will be held for selecting municipal administrators in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

EULEX spokesperson Kristina Herodes said that the EU mission does not recognize the so-called parallel structures and that this is why the elections will not be recognized.

She said that EULEX will, however, continue to cooperation with the leaders of the community.

UNMIK spokesperson Russel Geekie told the Tanjug news agency that the UN mission learned about the elections from the media but that UNMIK has not been officially informed.

“We were not informed by Belgrade or anyone else officially. Since UNMIK is status neutral, it would not be appropriate for us to have any opinion regarding this either way,” he said.

There are 20,366 registered voters in northern Kosovska Mitrovica who will be voting at 26 polling stations on May 30.

Most of the main Serbian political parties will be participating in the election with their officials: DS, DSS, SNS, G17, SPS, PUPS, JS and the Movement for Kosovska Mitrovica, as well as several other local groups.

A SRS-DSS coalition was in power after the last elections held in May 2008, but the coalition did not last and Belgrade dissolved the Kosovska Mitrovica assembly on December 24, 2009, introducing a temporary administration.