Saturday, February 4, 2012

Attacked with stones and sticks the home of greek President Karolos Papoulias

Unknown men attacked with stones and sticks the home of the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, shortly after 8 pm on the street Asclepius, in Athens.
The first reports speak of damage to parked cars that were in place, while the number of people over 30. The police are conducting investigations to identify the perpetrators.  
Albanians, 178 USD annually on gambling

Albanians, 178 USD annually on gambling
While many industries are facing the consequences of the crisis, there is an economic branch that is thriving, the gambling industry.

The casinos and sports bet centers, spread in every Albanian neighborhood, are the best evidence of this booming industry. According to the Ministry of Finances, the formal gambling market during 2010 reached 184 million USD, and in the last two years it has increased with 12%.

The data show that every Albanian spends 6570 ALL each year, in average, but this is only in the legal market. Non-public evaluations from the Ministry of Finances show that the real gambling industry in Albania is 2.5 times bigger than what the official figures show, or approximately 500 million USD, almost 5% of the GDP.

These figures indicate that every Albanian spends in average 178 USD annually in gambling, at almost a same level with the EU average. But if compared with the per capita incomes, the Albanians gamble more than the richer EU citizens. The experts consider gambling a disease of poor countries, where desperate individuals are lured by the chances for a quick profit.

This brings higher social costs, which in many cases end tragically: ruined families and individuals who go to the extreme point of committing suicide. Gambling is a special service, and different to what happens with the other goods and services in the market, the demand cannot be affected by the fiscal policies. In the last two years, the gambling taxes were raised several times. In 2010, the government cashed 54 million USD from gambling taxes, ore 2.5 times more than in 2008. But this has not lowered the number of people who are part of this market, which is even growing.

PDIU (Cameria Community Party) wants to build the Memorial of Kllogeri cimiters, near Greek - Albanian Borders

Second Arrest Warrant Against Greek Fugitive Naum Disho

The case of activist Naum Disho has become the centre of attention once again. Greek national Disho has been proclaimed a fugitive for the second time, after he was sentenced by an Albanian court to a year of jail time for the desecration of the Boboshtice village graves.
Last Friday, men of the Albanian Special Forces entered the house of Greek national Disho bearing guns and wearing hoods looking for him.
The Greek national from the city of Korytsa is today the top fugitive wanted in Albania. The judicial confusion on the case led Disho into fleeing and now a second arrest warrant has been issued against him.
One year ago Albanian far rightists accused Disho of desecrating the graves of Albanian citizens while he was trying to reconstruct the village’s cemetery, which includes a commemorative tomb of the Greek fallen soldiers of WWII.
“This is clearly a political issue. They want us locked up in jail because we call out loud our Greek-Vlach identity and fight for our rights. The Albanians will not recognize the Greek minority in the region of Korytsa” told Greek daily Proto Thema Mr. Disho.
Disho called the Greek state to show interest in the issues concerning the Greek minority of Albania, which has been degraded by the Albanian government and is being diplomatically approached by Romania.

Annyway, there is no anny official declarate by the greek minority organization Omonia and the HRUP Party, even this fact, comproments the indiference politics inside the greek factor in Albania, while Athens, continues to abandone the national sentiments of the greeks who live in Albania.  

Tadić says his plan for Kosovo is “realistic”

SARAJEVO -- Serbia’s President Boris Tadić says that his job is to convince the great powers that his plan for Kosovo is realistic and that Kosovo partition is impossible.
Boris Tadić (Beta)
Boris Tadić (Beta)
“Anything that Albanians in Kosovo and Serbs in Belgrade agree can only be implemented if great powers agree to it,” he told Al Jazeera.
The Serbian president explained that his plan called for a solution “because the partition of Kosovo is impossible since the great powers do not want that”.

“The plan has been presented in more or less every capital in which policy is created. The answer is not positive but it’s not negative either, and we will see whether it will be positive,” he added.

Tadić said that there were many interesting solutions for Kosovo, such as Northern Ireland, South Tyrol, the Aland Islands, and that things that could be implemented in northern Kosovo should be taken from all those solutions.

“We cannot live in a frozen conflict because this frozen conflict will escalate sooner or later and people will lose lives again at some barricades or who knows where, just like we cannot live in the moment where there is a low intensity conflict and we need to find a solution instead,” the president stressed.

He said that “we need to look at the reality in order to find practical solutions” and that the citizens needed to understand that problems “could not be solved over night”.

Commenting on relations in the region, Tadić said that things had improved since the last trilateral meeting.

He added that withdrawal of mutual genocide lawsuits between Serbia and Croatia was only possible through an agreement.

The Serbian president pointed out that his presence at the celebration of the Republic of Srpska (RS) 20th anniversary was “logical, useful and normal” and in accordance with special and parallel ties between the RS and Serbia.

He added that establishment of special ties with the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not depend on Serbia because it was ready for it, and that the decision depended on the Federation.

"Germanophobia rules Europe once again"

BELGRADE -- Germany's strength is causing fear in Europe - something that has been "thought about and discussed" in that country lately, say media reports.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
The Spiegel magazine thus writes that a German suggestion to send an EU commissioner to Greece to act as controller of the Greek state budget was criticized as "impossible to do and humiliating".
The continent is once again worried about the German domination, while the Greek newspaper Ta Nea published a cartoon showing Chancellor Angela Merkel as a puppeteer in control of Greece, along with a caption reading, "Nein! Nein! Nein!"

German analysts and media commentators, meanwhile, assess that while their country has a right to insist on fiscal discipline in Europe, it must do so using "more careful rhetorics and refraining from making suggestions that are offensive for its EU partners".

The idea to introduce "commissioner for austerity" was impossible to implement and "callous", said they.

"Countries finding themselves in a crisis cannot be turned into protectorates. Such an EU commissioner cannot exist, unless they be given powers originating in laws of occupation," the Welt newspaper writes, and suggest that Greece should leave the eurozone and go its own way, utilizing the freedom that stem from the ability to change exchange rates of a national currency.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes that despite its power, "Germany is not the hegemon of Europe". Suddeutsche Zeitung also reached for "big words" in its vocabulary:

"Germany is now what it never wished to be after 1945: the dominant power at the center of Europe. Its attempts to achieve that with cannons and tanks in the 20th century ended in apocalypses of blood and fire, but that is precisely the reason why that Germany no longer exists."

No other country, the daily continued, succumbed to the challenge of nationalism in a manner more terrible than Germany, and asserted that the crimes Germany committed all over Europe still carried great weight "in its collective memory".

"True, it is shameful to exploit that fact today, even in Greece, whose political parties destroyed that country. But it must serve to teach the German government not to confuse firmness with arrogance of power when it comes to the euro crisis... Germany must persuade instead of issue orders. It is as dependent on Europe as Greece is," concluded the newspaper.

Meanwhile, economic indicators show that the German economy is in a much better shape than the rest of Europe, with unemployment at a record low of 6.7 percent - compared to eurozone's 14-year high of 10.4 percent.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tadić would meet with Thaci "only for constructive talks"

JAHORINA, PRIŠTINA -- Serbian President Boris Tadić says he is ready to meet with Hashim Thaci "only if the talks would contribute to the solving of issues in Kosovo and Metohija".
Boris Tadić (Tanjug)
Boris Tadić (Tanjug)
Such a meeting would not be acceptable "if it were to serve as promotion of Kosovo's statehood, symbolic verbal sparring or political folklore".
Tadić added that there was room for talks "if the other side is ready to discuss the four-point plan, or another plan." 

At a news conference after the trilateral meeting between Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia on Friday, Tadić said he was "not ready to hold talks with Thaci only for the sake of meeting him and providing the media with something to report on, but rather because it is necessary for the talks to be effective and bring certain improvements". 

He recalled that he had once conferred with Thaci during the talks held during the rule of (Vojislav Koštunica - so there is no 'personal obstacle' for such a meeting." 

"Moreover, such talks must not be used for the promotion of Kosovo's statehood, because the talks need to contribute to the solving of issues, and not serve as symbolic verbal sparring or political folklore," Tadić underlined.

Albanians, 178 USD annually on gambling 

Albanians, 178 USD annually on gambling
While many industries are facing the consequences of the crisis, there is an economic branch that is thriving, the gambling industry. 

The casinos and sports bet centers, spread in every Albanian neighborhood, are the best evidence of this booming industry. According to the Ministry of Finances, the formal gambling market during 2010 reached 184 million USD, and in the last two years it has increased with 12%.

The data show that every Albanian spends 6570 ALL each year, in average, but this is only in the legal market. Non-public evaluations from the Ministry of Finances show that the real gambling industry in Albania is 2.5 times bigger than what the official figures show, or approximately 500 million USD, almost 5% of the GDP.

These figures indicate that every Albanian spends in average 178 USD annually in gambling, at almost a same level with the EU average. But if compared with the per capita incomes, the Albanians gamble more than the richer EU citizens. The experts consider gambling a disease of poor countries, where desperate individuals are lured by the chances for a quick profit.

This brings higher social costs, which in many cases end tragically: ruined families and individuals who go to the extreme point of committing suicide. Gambling is a special service, and different to what happens with the other goods and services in the market, the demand cannot be affected by the fiscal policies. In the last two years, the gambling taxes were raised several times. In 2010, the government cashed 54 million USD from gambling taxes, ore 2.5 times more than in 2008. But this has not lowered the number of people who are part of this market, which is even growing. 
The Anniversary Celebration of the United Epirus

Sunday, at the National Stadium Piraeus

No Comment!

There are not only "Red & Black Alliance" in Tirana, and "Self-Determination" in Prishtina, seeking the aspiration of unification of all Albanian Nation, but also the tow PanEpiriotic Federations, the
next Sunday, will celebrate the "aspiration of the unification of Epirus", with the presence of the Greek President Carolos Papoulias

MP PDIU Dashamir Tahiri lobbies in Washington for the Cham issue

Deputeti i PDIU, Dashamir Tahiri lobon në Uashington për çështjen çame

MP of the ruling Justice and Unity Integration (PDIU), Dashamir Tahiri who for several days is in Washington on an official visit met with representatives of Congress and U.S. Senate.

Vlora MP has meetings with Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Frank Wolf and Steve King, promoting American decision-making institutions in Albania, as well as lobbying for the Cham issue for several days in Washington of the United States is on an official visit PDIU-MP Dashamir of Tahiri.

As informed by Uashingtonil INA, he met with the Foreign Committee member and President of N / Committee on Space and Aeronautics Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

U.S. Congressman once again expressed support for Albania and the Cham issue, which featured Tahiri PDIU efforts to resolve the Cham issue and found room for the sensitization of the international and the U.S. on this issue.

During meetings in the U.S. Congress is expected Tahiri MP, Congressman Frank Wolf and the members of the Legislative Committee and Congressman Louie Gohmert Congressman Steve King. Even in these MP Tahiri has lobbied for the Cham issue by making present suffering of this population and demands for recognition of their rights forcibly raped.

Albania Lifts Immunity of Three MPs

Parliament on Thursday lifted the immunity of three MPs who are being investigated over their alleged roles in a violent protest last January.
Besar Likmeta
Taulant Balla speaking in parliament
Parliament acted after the General Prosecutor, Ina Rama, last week asked it to strip three opposition MPs, Tom Doshi, Besnik Bare and Tualant Balla, of immunity in order to investigate their alleged roles during the January 21 riots.

Rama said there was reasonable evidence to suggest that the MPs might have committed the crime of “organizing and participating in an illegal protest and inciting violence”.

All three have have denied wrongdoing during the protests but have agreed with the request to lift their immunity, arguing that the prosecutors should be free to investigate them.

The protests on January 21, 2011 turned into a riot when several hundred opposition marchers attacked a police barricade set up to protect the Prime Minister’s office with sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

Police responded with tear gas, water cannons and later with live ammunition fire, leaving four protestors dead and dozens wounded.

Prosecutors last Monday arrested the head of the Republican Guard, General Ndrea Prendi, accused of murder of one of the protestors and of concealing evidence.
General Prendi’s driver and the head of IT in Prime Minister Sali Berisha's office have also been arrested for concealing evidence.

Agim Llupo, a Republican Guard officer, has been in jail since last February, suspected of the murder of two protestors.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The European Parliament, raises the issue of Naum Dishio

"Challenges and illegal practices of the Albanian authorities against the Greek minority in Albania to put his question to the European Commission" declared MEP Giorgos Koumoutsakos.

The story, was denounces by the Greek MEP Georgeos Koumoutsakos, in European Parliament declared that " On Friday, January 27, 2012, a group of men of Albanian police, violating every concept of rule of law, without falling arrest Prosecutors violently invaded and covered persons in the residence of the President of the minority organization" Omonia". for the Region of Korca and Vice Politic Party "National Greek Minority in the Future (MEGA), Mr. Nahum Ntiso. Indeed caused serious damage within the house. " "These facts," adds Mr. Koumoutsakos, "then became a clearly unfounded accusations of alleged" desecration of graves "in Korca Bompostitsa-which is a deliberate distortion of facts, which have nothing to do with the fabricated charges against the Greek origin Albanian citizen, Nahum Ntiso. "
As noted by SW MEP, the case Ntiso is the latest episode in a series actions of the Albanian authorities against the Greek minority, such as those experienced during the recent inventory process Census. Notes indeed, that such practices by the Albanian authorities apply primarily to areas of the Albanian state refuses to recognize the existence of Greek National Minority (for example regions of Korca, Premetis, Leskoviki, Himara etc.).

On this basis, the European Commission asks it is aware of these facts and if it considers that Albania, which seeks to be a candidate for EU accession country, meets the criteria for full respect for human rights and to protect the rights of Minorities.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Balkans on new borders changing

Berlin, February 1, the area will soon be a new round of changes of borders in the Balkans, praises German Institute for International Affairs and Security (SWP), headquartered in Berlin.

Analysis of the institute announced that Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina are fragile society where again threatened by ethnic and political conflicts, informs news agency INA.

"As such conflicts in the region have so far completed the change of borders, there is no reason to eventual revision of boundaries does not occur without violence", writes in an analysis of the German Institute.

As Black said this forecast developments in the region is inspired and is in line with requirements for the division of Kosovo Serbs.

In the analysis noted that just in 2009, the U.S. ambassador in Tirana had rejected and ceased public commitment of Prime Minister Sali Berisha for Albanian unification, but now, as highlighted, the third force in Kosovo powerful "Selfdetermination" has placed this issue at the top of its applications. On the other hand, the Serbs in northern Kosovo refuse to be a minority in the new state, and thereby created a new crisis.

According to the analysis, the division of Kosovo would cause strengthening of the Macedonian Albanian separatism. "Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's nationalist and conservative working intensively on the ancient Macedonian state identity, which can cause increased gap between Albanians and Macedonians. With this concept to promote, Albanians will not be allowed to identify with this country", writes in the analysis of the German institute. Analysis of this institute also brought new developments and forecasts.

Albania’s ombudsman shelters homeless Roma in his office to highlight plight amid cold snap

TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s state ombudsman says he has moved dozens of homeless members of the Roma community into his Tirana office to highlight their plight as a cold snap hits the region.
Igli Totozani said Wednesday he has provided shelter to the 51 Roma, 25 of whom are children, to protect them from near-freezing temperatures. He said it was an “emergency solution,” warning that the children would otherwise die of exposure in the open.
The Roma, or Gypsies, were left without shelter after being twice evicted from private land on the fringes of Tirana where they had set up tents. Totozani said he hoped the Labor Ministry would soon resolve the situation. Most of Albania’s Roma live in tents or ramshackle homes in city outskirts, and lack access to adequate housing, education and employment.

OMONIA: Starting the preparatory process of the Census of the Greeks, in Albania
In order to plan to take preparatory measures for the announced Inventory of Greek in Northern Epirus, met yesterday, Monday, January 30, 2012, the Census Committee, chaired by the President of OMONIAS Vassilis Bolanos. The meeting was attended and the Chairman of CyNet and MP Mr. Evangelos Doyle.

There was a first estimate for the acceptance is the decision of the General Council of OMONIAS to undertake such an initiative, particularly within the Northern Epirus and more generally in the political world, after a visit to Athens was by President Bolanos.

The process begins in June and will end in September 2012

Karadzic Call Greek President to Give Evidence at War Crimes Tribunal

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic asked the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal on Thursday to order the Greek president to give evidence for his war crimes trial.
“Radovan Karadzic… moves for the issuance of a subpoena to Greek President Carolos Papoulias compelling him to submit to an interview conducted by Mr Karadzic’s legal advisor Peter Robinson,” he said in a document submitted to The Hague-based court.
Karadzic, 66, who faces genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity charges before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), proposed a one-hour interview at Papoulias’s Athens office on April 2.
As Greek foreign minister between 1993 and 1996, Papoulias “played a prominent role in the Bosnian peace negotiations” and could testify to the various meetings and conversations they had, Karadzic said.
“Because of the religious and historical ties between Greece and the Serbs, President Papoulias was one of the few international interlocutors whom the Bosnian Serbs trusted and with whom they could speak confidentially and candidly,” Karadzic said.
Karadzic, who was arrested in Belgrade in 2008, said evidence by the Greek president would include establishing his innocence for the shelling of Sarajevo’s Markale market on February 5, 1994 in which 67 people died.
He added that he had sent several letters to the Greek government, which declined to his request to have Papoulias interviewed.
Once the most powerful leader among Bosnian Serbs, Karadzic, 66, faces 11 counts for his role in the Bosnia conflict which left some 100,000 people dead and 2.2 million homeless.
He wanted in particular for masterminding the killings at the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica, the only episode in the 1990s Balkans wars to have been ruled genocide by the ICTY.
His trial opened in October 2009, but has been hit by several delays since.
Karadzic has pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted he could face life behind bars.

Talks in Belgrade focus on Serbia’s EU prospects

Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas held talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic while in Belgrade on Tuesday, with the focus mainly on Serbia’s European accession prospects.
Dimas was in Belgrade to attend an informal ministerial meeting of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).
The talks were mainly concerned with next month’s planned European Union summit, which will examine Serbia’s application to become an EU candidate country.
Dimas reiterated Greece’s support for Serbia’s accession bid; stressing that Europe would be incomplete without Serbia. A major stumbling block for Serbia’s EU integration is the unsolved Kosovo question.
Jeremic briefed the Greek minister on developments in dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, especially the effort underway for a solution concerning Kosovo’s representation in regional organisations.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, a move not recognised by Belgrade as well as a handful of EU member states including Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Romania.
Under the current Serbian government led by Boris Tadic, Serbia has made progress in a number of areas. In June 2011 Serbian security forces arrested and swiftly extradited Ratko Mladic who was wanted by The Hague for war crimes during the Bosnian war.
At the time of Mladic’s extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), it was widely seen as a breakthrough for Serbia’s EU ambitions following the arrest and extradition of suspected war criminal Radovan Karadžić in July 2008. Chief ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz commented after Mladic’s arrest that Belgrade ‘had fulfilled one of its main international obligations’ which certainly added weight to Serbia’s EU aspirations. However the unanswered question of Kosovo remains a significant obstacle for Serbia’s EU aspiration.
The Serbian foreign minister underlined that his country will not accept any solution that overlooks UNSCR 1244 and stressed that Belgrade will only agree to Kosovo’s representation in regional organisations within this framework.
Dimas had earlier paid a visit to Serb Patriarch Irineos and briefed him on the effort to overcome the economic crisis in Greece, expressing hope that the country would soon return to growth.
Responding to the Patriarch’s questions about the progress of talks on the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom), Dimas noted that the government in Skopje was displaying intransigency, chiefly in order to strengthen its position domestically and stay in power.
The minister stressed that Greece desires a solution to the name dispute arising through mutual consensus on the name issue, in the framework of UN processes, and to restore good neighbour relations.
Dimas also visited Belgrade’s Nebojsa Tower, now a museum that was partly refurbished with the assistance of Greek funds and includes a gallery dedicated to Greek independence struggle hero Rigas Ferraios, who was killed in the tower by Ottoman soldiers.

K. Albanian authorities "to end supervised independence"

PRIŠTINA -- The assembly in Priština on Tuesday adopted a resolution "on ending the supervised independence of Kosovo", reports said.
Radical ethnic Albanian Self-Determination Movement, which is represented in the assembly, opposed the resolution, referring to it as "an attempt by the Kosovo government to hide painful compromises made on Kosovo and the conditions it would face".
Premier Hashim Thaci told the assembly that by passing this resolution, "united as always when unity was needed, lawmakers would open the door to the ending of supervised independence".

The resolution was also supported by the opposition, with the exception of Albin Kurti's Self-Determination.

While expressing their disagreement with the draft resolution, the Self-Determination representatives proposed their own version, but it was not put to a vote because the draft from the Democratic Party of Kosovo had majority support.

In eight points, the resolution welcomes the recommendations of the International Steering Group for Kosovo - made up of country's that support Priština's UDI - of Jan. 24, on the ending of supervised independence in this year.

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo four years ago unilaterally declared independence, basing the proclamation on former UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari's plan for "supervised independence".

The plan, however, was never adopted by the UN Security Council, while both it and the unilateral declaration were rejected by Serbia.

NATO “thwarted” organ trade investigation

BELGRADE -- Former Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has stated that NATO thwarted the investigation into the human organ trafficking in Kosovo.
Carla Del Ponte
Carla Del Ponte
She added that the real truth could be revealed only in an UN-led probe.
“The international community had to react after the report by (Council of Europe Special Rapporteur) Dick Marty, but the real truth about these allegations could only be revealed in an UN-led probe,” Del Ponte told Belgrade-based weekly Nedeljnik.

She added that there was a lack of political will to resolve this case because the situation in Kosovo was still very fragile.

When asked whether she felt responsible for the destruction of evidence from Yellow house late in 2005, Del Ponte said that this was a big mistake and that it was done without previous consultations with her.

“I was really shocked when I learned from the media that the evidence was destroyed. However, I do not feel responsible as I was not authorized to lead the investigation,” the former prosecutor was quoted as saying.

Del Ponte said that she knows who ordered the destruction of evidence as she was in constant contact with her successor Serge Brammertz, but that this information should be now searched in the office of the Hague Tribunal chief prosecutor.

When asked about the fact that she had an insight into the UNMIK confidential report on crimes in the Yellow house back in 2004 but the investigation was suspended, Del Ponte said that the prosecution was not able to continue the probe due to numerous obstacles.

“NATO and UNMIK did not allow us to see important files, while Albania did not let us enter its territory and inspect graves,” she noted.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Greek Military Intelligence and the Crescent

January 30, 2012

"Indeed, on January 30, Prime Minister Simitis was handed, but “seemed uninterested” in, a personal letter from CIA Director George Tenet. It had been passed on to NIS Director Leonidas Vasikiopoulos from the Athens CIA station chief. The letter stated Tenet’s view that “it would be disastrous for Greece, Turkey and NATO if war broke out due to escalation of the [Imia] incident” (p. 159)."
University of Plymouth Press (2010), 224 pp.
Reviewed by Chris Deliso
This comparative analytical work discusses two memorable showdowns between Greece and Turkey, events that exemplified both countries’ balance of power and political and military strategic capacities and goals in the late 20th-century. These affairs – the first, a war of words accompanied by military buildups in 1987 and the second, the much more serious Imia crisis of January 1996 – occurred in an environment in which some of the same conditions that applied then apply still now.
Analysts will thus find a wealth of useful insight in Greek Military Intelligence and the Crescent, which will help in assessing the Greek-Turkish relationship today. The book is, of course, also an engrossing read for the armchair historian or intelligence buff. The vivid recounting of the decision-making processes of Greek leaders, civilian and military intelligence, and the armed forces (particularly the Navy) is peppered with new commentary from former high-level officials who were active during the period in question, adding to the book’s appeal.
The author, Greek historian Panagiotis Dimitrakis, starts his study with an introduction discussing themes like ‘key concepts in military intelligence,’ ‘leadership and intelligence’ and ‘intelligence and crisis management.’ This is a rather theoretical approach, but unquestionably it elucidates topics that are crucial to the narrative of both the 1987 and 1996 events, and thus informs the rest of the text.
The introduction also gives a broad overview of the following six chapters which constitute the bulk of Greek Military Intelligence and the Crescent. Readers are thus made aware from the beginning of the overarching structure of the narrative, which fleshes out the concepts discussed in the introduction. Thus the book is of value both in the specific context of Greece and Turkey in the late 20th century, and in the general context of military intelligence and diplomacy at work. Conclusions can thus be applied or at least compared to other similar situations from elsewhere in the world. Indeed, the forward to Greek Military Intelligence and the Crescent is written by Sir Lawrence Freedman, Britain’s Official Historian of the Falklands War.
Historical Context: the Importance of Cyprus, the Continental Shelf and Diplomatic Projections
Dimitrakis illustrates from early on the importance Greek military planners gave to specific formative events and to political/diplomatic issues that posed the risk, in their view, of a violent confrontation. The former was of course the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, creating a military occupation that still shows no signs of ending today. The latter refers to diplomatically disputed issues in the eastern Aegean, chiefly concerning the validity of territorial waters as compared to the extent of islands and coastline, as well as the continental shelf. Both Greece and Turkey have made claims for what they believe to be their rightful property based on differing interpretations of the international laws, agreements and principles relating to this issue....

Cold, snow and gusty winds thoughout Greece and the region

Extreme weather conditions prevailed on Tuesday in Northern Greece with temperatures plunging below zero. Snowfall and frost was reported in most parts of the country as well as gusty northerly winds reaching a velocity of 8 on the Beaufort scale. Snow chains are necessary in all mountainous areas throughout the country. Due to gale-force winds all vessels remained docked in ports and all itineraries for the Cyclades, Dodecanese and the islands of the northeastern Aegean and Crete have been cancelled. In Athens, the thermometer on Tuesday morning showed 0C while in the northern Athens suburbs, snowfall and temperatures reaching -4C were recorded.
Edi Rama: We must help Preshevo
After Athens, Rama comes back again to diaspora

Rama: We must help Presheva
The visit in Presheva, the vote in favor of the immunity removal for the three Socialist MPs, the investigations of January 21st were the matters for which the opposition leader, Edi Rama, spoke in front of the Socialist Parliamentary Group. 

After thanking the Presheva citizens for the fraternal welcome, Edi Rama mentioned the lack of a maternity hospital and schools in this area populated by Albanians, by proposing a Parliamentary legal initiative.

“There is no time to lose. We must put the things in motion for initiating an first aid, which is very achievable, with the citizens of the Presheva Valley. All new Albanian mothers are obliged to travel far for bringing their children to life. No school has been built in the last 20 years for the education of their children. Let as formulate as soon as possible a parliamentary legal initiative and give funds to their local administration”, Rama declared.

Rama tasked the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission of Integration, Ditmir Bushati, for preparing a package of propositions and a joint strategy for the Albanians in the region.

Ethnic tensions in Macedonia

Ethnic tensions in Macedonia
The ethnic and religious tensions in Struge risk going out of control. In Llabunishta, Struge, unidentified people have burned an orthodox church, but the fire scorched only its objects. 

The quick reaction of the residents put the flames away. Police says that they are working for this event that created tensions in this region of mixed ethnic population.

The former Prime Minister, Vllado Buckovski, declared that these events could cause bigger incidents.

“The burning of churches makes me fear that it is taking religious dimension, not only inter-ethnic ones. This is very dangerous and the government should prevent it, with all institutions, because we could have even bigger problems”, declared the former Prime Minister, Vllado Buckovski.

The analyst Kim Mehmeti estimates that Macedonia is the one to lose most, with these incidents.

“If the clashes continue between the people who seek gas chambers for the Albanians and those who burn the Macedonian flag, the real victim will be the country of Macedonia. If Macedonia will continue this way, they will disintegrate”, Mehmeti declared.

As regards the incidents in Struge, the European Union Office in Skopje asked the Macedonian Authorities to bring the authors of the recent incidents to justice.

The relations between the Albanians and the Macedonians deteriorated after a carnival that was held at the Vevçani commune, near Struge, in which the Macedonians offended the Albanians and Quran.

Thousands of Struge Albanians protested last week against the Vevcan carnival and burned the Macedonian flag. 

Islamic Radicals in Struga creating problems

MINA AgencyPDFPrintE-mail
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
A cell of wahabis and islamic fundamentalists is at the core of a protest which led to burning of a Macedonian flag which was then replaced by a Saudi(?) flag.
The reason for this protest as the city's mayor said is the Vevcani Carnival which had offended muslims in the area.

The mayor himself, Ramiz Merko is seen by many as a radical muslim with police sources pointing to him as the organizer of this weekend protest.
It all started when an intoxicated ethnic Albanian went to a bookstore and purchased a Macedonian flag and then burned it in front of the county headquarters. Money well spent.
What happened after was certainly not spontaneous. Dozen cars showed up packed with people to protest the arrest of the intoxicated Albanian, but at the same time started protesting the Vevcani Carnival?

Many of the protesters had lengthy beards, shouted slogans "Death to Christians", something you would see in Saudi Arabia. To complete the shocking image, one of the protesters pulled out a green flag and posted it on the county flag pole.
It took police 45 minutes to realize the flag was Saudi, a flag our MINA correspondent says can not be purchased in Macedonia, because stores simply don't carry it.
The mayor, Ramiz Merko defended the islamic radicals who shouted "Death to Christians" by demanding apology from the Vevcani mayor for insulting their feelings.
According to Merko, Christians don't have feelings, it's only muslims who have them.
The wahabi sect in Macedonia is getting increasingly dangerous.  The CIA and Interpol have both warned Macedonian police to keep a close eye on the increasing number of wahabis.
The wahabis have spread in huge numbers to Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro. Bosnia for instance, although considered a muslim country, has arrested the head of their wahabi sect just a week ago. According to the Bosnian Government, the wahabis were very dangerous for Bosnia!

Europe has also taken notice. Holland, France, Belgium... have all banned muslim burqas despite having large muslim populations. 
In Macedonia, it's been confirmed on numerous occasions by police, media, banks... that the Saudis are paying wahabi radicals in the country 300 euros per month to force their women to wear burqas and spread their radical views to locals. 

Perhaps it's high time Macedonia takes the CIA and Interpol warnings seriously, arrest mayor Ramiz Merko as he has been at the forefront of encouraging islamic radicals for a decade.  //Gorazd Velkovski