Friday, June 10, 2011
After 1912, Greek frigate "HS Spetsai" anchored in the port of Vlora
NATO Naval exercises, the Greek navy participates with frigate and a Mine-hunters ship
Greek frigate class "Meco Standard" "Spetsai" and a Coastal Minehunters ship (M64), are anchored in the port of Vlora, in a joint drill mission in the framework of NATO.
Interestingly, the Greek ships of NATO, had nearly 100 years had not violated in Albanian waters, as soon as Albania declared independence in the city of Vlora, while since then, a Greek frigates monitored by the Vlora bay, the ceremony of declaration of independence Albania.
A year ago, two Turkish frigates had entered in the port of Vlora, in a peaceful mission, for which the Greek press criticized Tirana for the diplomatic challenge with Athens.
Greek Navy, had been up at the end of WWI, its dominance in the Albanian coast, until 1914, taking control of the island of Sazan and the Vlora bay.
In 1961, the mission "Antipatrea" had a special duty, to receive the Sazan island to Greece, consisting of commando forces by the CIA and Greek commandos, but the secret mission, failed, for reasons still unclear.
Something Is Rotten in the State of Albania
June 9, 2011
|An Albanian opposition lawmaker talks to police as demonstrators try to enter the Central Election Commission to protest the delay in the release of results from the May 8 local elections.|
Albania has been in political crisis for the last two years, since the general elections of 2009. The local elections of May 8 did nothing to ease the situation. On the contrary, the aftermath of the local elections has brought the country to the brink of collapse.
The Socialist Party in opposition won in the most important cities, including some once hailed as Democratic Party bastions. The race for Tirana saw against each other the leader of the Socialist Party and the current mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, seeking his fourth consecutive mandate against the rising star of the right-wing Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha.
Basha, over the last five years—as minister of foreign affairs, minister of transportation and telecommunications, and minister of the interior—won himself a name as one of most successful politicians in the country while at the same time being the most accused man of corruption after Prime Minister Sali Berisha. On January 21, when the Republican Guard killed four innocent demonstrators in Tirana, Basha was the minister of the interior, responsible for the Republican Guard. Tirana's race finished in the narrowest electoral contest in Albania, with Rama winning by just 10 votes out of the more than 250,000 cast.......more se:
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
U.S. and Britain defend Bosnia's sovereigntySOURCE: b92
BANJA LUKA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said their countries are committed to a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Anyone challenging the unity and sovereignty of such a unified Bosnia with two entities and three constitutive peoples will not be tolerated, media in Banja Luka, the Serb Republic (RS) reported on Tuesday.
The post-war Bosnia is divided into two entities: the RS, and the Muslim-Croat Federation.
The Dayton Agreement is the foundation on which we should build the future of Bosnia and not a chain which should be broken, Clinton and Hague said.
They said that Bosnia needs an efficient government on all levels in order to meet the criteria for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and concluded that the country has been going backward for five years.
In the past months, the trend has gotten worse and it is time for a decisive response from the international community, particularly the EU, Clinton and Hague warned.
According to the statement, the arrest of Ratko Mladić finally gives genocide victims hope that justice will be done.
This helps the victims families to find peace. It is also a key opportunity to draw a line under the past and for the whole Western Balkan region to resolutely turn toward a better future, the U.S. and British foreign ministers said in the statement.
Clinton and Hague also stressed that the situation in Serbia and Croatia has changed dramatically from two decades ago.
These countries are already making firm steps toward EU membership. Croatia has already joined NATO and is expecting the conclusion of EU accession talks. Serbia is working on getting EU candidate status. But while its neighbors look to the future, the situation in Bosnia gives us cause for growing concern, Clinton and Hague said.
Albanian opposition leader asks internationals for help
"College is not revealing the decision, and it should have done it within three days. For this reason, we ask the international community to intervene urgently seeking an independent expertise, "said Rama.
Rama accused the College for not being impartial, but has acted under the direction of Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha.
Greek economic crisis, returns the immigrants back in Albania
The data of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Gjirokastra shows that at least only during the last 2 months are opened 40 small businesses only in Gjirokastra.
These businesses according to the specialists, must have fiscal incentives and subsidies, in order to develop and grow, rapidly. This help from the government will reduce the number of unemployed.
Boris Tadic: We never do not recognize Kosovo
But Serbian President emphasized that the current government of Serbia and he as president would not "accept Kosovo′s independence nor implicitly or explicitly. "
President of the EU, Herman Van Rompej, has welcomed the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.source,B92
Monday, June 6, 2011
Macedonia’s Ruling Party Declares Election Victory
Macedonia’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party has declared victory in Sunday's general elections, claiming they have won almost half of the seats in the parliament.
Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Ruling party supporters celebrating in Skopje Photo by: Ognen Teofilovski
"The VMRO DPMNE-led coalition has won these elections," Prime Minister and VMRO DPMNE party leader Nikola Gruevski told supporters late on Sunday.
"This victory means that most citizens of Macedonia have recognised that the VMRO, even at a time of crisis and in the most difficult circumstances, knows how to deal with the country's problems," he added in a speech at the press centre in downtown Skopje.
While the opposition Social Democrats have conceded the race, they say that they are pleased because they expect their number of seats in the parliament to jump from 18 to more than 45.
"The battle goes on, see you at the next elections," said Gordan Georgiev, vice president of the Social Democrats.
The centre-right VMRO DPMNE has claimed victory in all six electoral districts over its bitter rivals, the Social Democrats, who are led by the former Macedonian president Branko Crvenkovski.
Their calculations show that they have secured 55 MP seats in the 123-seat parliament and that the Social Democrats will win 39. Before the poll, the ruling party held 63 seats in the 120-seat assembly and the main opposition held 18.
People went out to celebrate just as the party announced its victory Photo by Ognen Teofilovski
Meanwhile, the State Electoral Commission has come out with partial preliminary results from Sunday's poll. Of the 86 per cent of votes that have been counted, VMRO DPMNE has won 351,885 votes, while the Social Democrats have won 291,679.
The Social Democrats say that the results are much tighter than at the last snap poll, held in 2008, when the VMRO DPMNE won a landslide victory. That election gave the opposition only 18 MP seats in parliament.
The Social Democrats have said that according to their calculations, out of the 50 per cent of ballots counted so far, their party has won 284,402 votes and the ruling party 333,268 votes.
In the ethnic Albanian bloc, the junior ruling Democratic Union for Albanians, DUI, has declared an absolute victory. Ethnic Albanians make one quarter of the country’s 2.2 million residents.
According to the Electoral Commission's preliminary results, the DUI has won 57,766 votes after half of the votes were counted. The opposition Democratic Party of Albanians are currently second in this bloc with 27,966.
It is customary that the winning Albanian party be asked to join the government formed by the largest Macedonian party.
The preliminary vote count shows that the right wing opposition United for Macedonia, and the VMRO People’s Party have failed to cripple the VMRO DPMNE. These parties were hoping to snatch the traditional right wing VMRO DPMNE voters. According to the initial data, after 63 per cent of ballots were counted, the two parties have around 10,000 votes each. This means that they can hope for one seat in parliament.
In the run up to the elections, observers predicted that the VMRO DPMNE and DUI would win fewer MP seats in the early elections compared to the previous polls in 2008, and that this might make it more difficult for them to form the new government.
If the ruling party manages to stay in power nevertheless, observers say the strengthened opposition will prove to be more influential than during the previous mandate.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN ARAB NEWS
Jun 5, 2011 22:13
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is currently discussing a proposal to finance the construction of a new SR600 million parliament complex in Albania, a nation with a predominantly Muslim population in southeast Europe.
The Kingdom, in a gesture of solidarity and support for Albania, is willing to finance the parliament project, which will cover an area of 28,000 square meters in the capital city of Tirana, said a senior Albanian parliamentarian in Riyadh Sunday.
Dr. Sherefedin Shehu, chief of the economic & finance committee of the Albanian parliament, unveiled some details of the parliament project and gave an overview of Riyadh-Tirana relations in an interview on Sunday. Shehu, accompanied by three other Albanian parliamentarians, were speaking on the sidelines of a business meeting hosted by Waruz (Food and Rice Trading Company). Albanian Ambassador Admirim Banaj and Waruz Sales Manager Amir Qayyum were also present.
Referring to his talks with senior Saudi officials including Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, Shehu said "details of the plan to finance the parliament project would be announced during the visit of Albanian Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli Coba to Riyadh within a few months from now.”
Shehu also held talks with Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Anqari and Managing Director of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Yousef I. Al-Bassam.
Asked about new Saudi aid and loan facilities extended to Albania, he said his country’s Parliamentary Committee on Economy has approved the agreement between the Albanian government and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for financing construction of the SR1.4 billion Tirana-Elbasan Highway Project.
“The IDB is providing the core financing of SR862 million,” he added. “This project is also being supported by the SFD and a few other Gulf institutions,” said the Albanian parliamentarian.
“The total length of the Tirana-Elbasan Highway will be 28 kilometers, which will in fact shorten the driving distance between the two large cities of Albania by 30 km because of the tunnels to be carved out of the mountains,” said Shehu.
He pointed out that the old road linking Tirana with Elbasan was a curved narrow passage through slanted mountain surfaces. He said the Albania state budget is already overstretched because of the massive need of funds to support necessary plans and projects.
To this end, Shehu sought the support of the Kingdom to co-finance the SR2.2 billion “Rural Roads Project of Albania,” which will improve the quality of life in rural areas there.
He pointed out that the IDB and the OPEC Fund for Development together with a few international organizations including the World Bank have pledged support for this project.
The SFD, he said, had also committed to co-finance this road project. The two sides are also working on proposals to recruit workers from Albania such as nurses and skilled workers, said the Albanian parliamentarian. Riyadh and Tirana are also looking to boost cooperation in the education sector.
Serbian president on Kosovo, Mladić arrestSource: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- I am not expecting that European Union officials are going to try to convince me to recognize Kosovo independence, Serbian President Boris Tadić told Euronews.
“Those who try something like that will fail. But, at the same time, I don’t expect that Serbia can start a new conflict within the European Union. That is why we tabled a resolution with the 27 European Union countries in a joint assembly with the United Nations last summer [in which] we opened dialogue with Priština,” the president pointed out.
According to him, there are many solutions for Kosovo but the two sides need to agree on them.
“There are many solutions, but those solutions have to be agreed. We need the other side to be more flexible, ready for dialogue, brave, innovative. If we are strict and rigid, we cannot find a solution for problems that [have existed] in the Balkans for more than 100 years,” he stressed.
“I am not very happy about being involved in all the problems that exist in the Balkans and I am not guilty of the problems that [have existed] for more than 100 years, but I am expecting and asking everyone to take into consideration and respect the legitimate Serbian interests,” Tadić said.
Commenting on Euronews reporter’s remark that it would not be easy, the Serbian president said:
“But what is easy? Is it easy to find a Ratko Mladić? To capture Slobodan Milošević? Radovan Karadžić? Two former presidents of Serbia? Presidents of Republic of Srpska — all generals? It’s not easy to take [those] kind[s] of risks. I am always ready to take risks if we [can] have a rational and promising future, if we can find a solution for problems that are creating an unsustainable atmosphere in the region — if we can find a really rational strategy and at the end of the day bring all the people who are living in the Balkans into the European Union.”
“Mladić arrest was not too late”
Commenting on Ratko Mladić’s arrest, Tadić rejected speculations that it was “is too little, too late”.
“My answer is very simple. I can explain easily what happened. [For] 16 years, we didn’t have the same governments in power. [During those] 16 years, we had a democratic revolution in Serbia. Sixteen years ago, it was the government of Slobodan Milošević. Until 5 October, 2000, Ratko Mladić had been walking [around] freely. He had been protected by the people from the state. This is crystal clear,” he stressed.
“For Serbia it [would have been] much better to fulfill that obligation earlier, many years ago. Every day [of] our investigation was extremely painful for Serbia. The moral price we paid in the international community was extremely high. [And] we [have] lost many investors in the past few years,” the Serbian president added.
When asked how the government had decided to extradite Mladić bearing in mind that only 34 percent of Serbs supported arresting Mladić, Tadić said:
“If you are calculating with opinion polls, with the common approach of your people, being president or [another] politician, you [don’t deserve] to be president.”
He added that such serious accusations regarding Srebrenica meant that Mladić “has to be in the Hague Tribunal, to be treated with a fair process, but he has to give some answers”.
“At the same time, [by] finishing that process, [by] capturing all the indictees, we are creating a better atmosphere in terms of reconciliation between us [Balkan states],” Tadić concluded.
Two Greek policemen wounded in clash with drug traffickers in the Albanian-Greek border
Two police officers from the Drug Enforcement Ioannina were slightly injured during the pursuit of Albanian drug traffickers in the region inaccessible to the Greek-Albanian border and taken to the hospital of Ioannina. But failed to arrest the traffickers and to confiscate 60 kilos of cannabis sativa.
They whole operation lasted more than 12 hours and began when the police found a suspicious car in the border area and put under surveillance. Following a dirt road, the pursued car, abandoned by their occupants, who tried to escape by running towards the nearby forest area.
There was arrested and a second, which he subsequently discovered was the head, tried to escape from the steep area, but police eventually managed to drive the person. The prosecutor in Ioannina continues the work, while the DEA is continuing its investigations to identify other partners of prisoners.
Basha regained the lead of the tight race by 81 ballots after the Central Election Commission decided to re-count votes cast in the wrong ballots, overturning the victory by just 10 votes of incumbent mayor Edi Rama, candidate of the opposition Socialist Party.
Supporters of Basha and the ruling Democratic Party celebrated outside the headquarters of the party in central Tirana and a smiling Basha told them he was happy about the victory but would wait for the final certification of the result by the election authorities.
"I am very happy tonight because all this battle was about listening to the voice of every citizen," Basha told the crowd. " This is the biggest victory."
The counting of votes on live television and the ensuing battle over every vote in the race for the Tirana mayorship has gripped the small Balkan nation and caused tension at the Central Election Commission when it was counting the miscast votes after opposition supporters gathered outside.
The debate has divided further the two main parties, the ruling Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha and the opposition Socialist Party of Edi Rama.
The Socialists have boycotted parliament in protest and could escalate their protest. The Socialists said the decision of the judges lacked a clear reasoning and they might appeal.