Saturday, June 2, 2012

Greece, conducted military exercises just in time with a deep economic crisis and the more important political elections in the country.

Albania, the only country in the world, blocking the right of maritime movement

17 coastal mayors, seeking repeal of the moratorium of speedboats. On behalf of local socialist mayor of Durres, Vangush Dako, considered a serious obstacle to tourism development was made ​​to parliament to approve the lifting of the moratorium.

Few days ago the parliamentary majority, defeated in the Security Committee draft opposition to repeal of the moratorium of speedboats. Under the socialist deputies he has become a serious obstacle to coastal tourism. But that request was rejected by Democrats, arguing that the moratorium is a successful initiatives for stopping the traffic.  

However the opposition as well as chairmen of coastal municipalities have considered absurd and unjust reasons and for three more years of this moratorium imposing negative consequences for tourism.

IM: Serbia must respond reciprocally

BANJA LUKA -- Serbia’s Interior Minister and Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) leader Ivica Dačić believes Serbia must firmly respond to attacks on Serbs in northern Kosovo.
Ivica Dačić (Beta)
Ivica Dačić (Beta)
“We must respond reciprocally. Such are relations in the international community. And those talking about it should pay attention to what kind of reciprocity it is. If someone thinks that they can attack Serbs in northern Kosovo without punishment, then Serbia has no state policy,” he told reporters in Banja Luka.
Dačić met with Republic of Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik in Banja Luka on Saturday.

He also said that Serbia had no clear policy when it came to Kosovo.

“It is very important for Serbia to have clear position on all issues, including the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and of course on other issues, on the RS. We should have clear positions, to know what those positions are and to defend them and be determined to implement them,” Dačić explained.

Stressing that Serbia had none of those positions, he said that “the situation is therefore going in the wrong direction every time”.

“I advocate urgent solving of the Kosovo and Metohija issue because it is a devastating sore spot in this part of the Balkans and because a just solution can put an end to the centuries-long conflicts,” Dačić noted.

He once again repeated that he was in favor of demarcation in Kosovo but that this was not the state policy.

“They do not agree with it in Serbia. I just do not know what they do agree with because they are not doing anything. It is not the state’s policy to support the northern Kosovo Serbs but it is the state’s policy to defend our sovereignty in Kosovo. How should we defend it then?,” Dačić said.

Northern Kosovo Serbs clashed with KFOR troops on Friday, after soldiers started removing barricades from roads in the north.

Greek KFOR: Situation in North Calm, Roads Open for Traffic

Greek KFOR troops set up two checkpoints on the road in Rudare and are now performing a routine traffic control. In addition to standard military SUVs, on one of the checkpoints could be seen a “badger” vehicle, designed to be able to overcome all kinds of obstacles on difficult roads, and a water cannon armored vehicle.

The removal of the roadblocks sparked a conflict between local citizens and KFOR soldiers in Rudare yesterday, but the situation has calmed down and no citizens are gathering there today, apart from the crowd created by Serbs from Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvecan heading to the cemetery in the village.
At least four Serbs were wounded in yesterday’s clash, three of whom were admitted to the hospital, while KFOR reported two of their soldiers receiving gunshot wounds.
The Serbs who wanted to prevent the roadblock removal gathered in Rudare yesterday morning after sirens went off in Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica. The clash with KFOR where stones were thrown and even gunfire used broke out soon afterwards.
The international military forces removed all the roadblocks from the Leposavić-Zvečan-Kosovska Mitrovica road, including the biggest one that the Serbs had set up in the village of Dudin Krš last summer. KFOR removed the roadblocks using heavy equipment, blocking the entire area during the operation. Their helicopters were flying over the area all day.
Fatos Nano asks Rama's support for President
Top Channel TV

Nano asks Rama's support
On the verge of the meeting between Rama and Berisha, the self-declared candidate for President, Fatos Nano, threatens with a new political movement if he will not be supported by the Socialist Party for President.

Fatos Nano has met several Socialist MPs this Saturday, and activists of the civil society. Nano explained that his offer for President aimed to reinforce the Socialist Party that he has led for 15 years.

“In these meetings we discussed about the long and unclear hesitation of the Socialist leader, Edi Rama, for supporting Fatos Nano as president”, the press release says.

They also discussed about the possibility that Nano might not run for President, due to the lack of support from Edi Rama. In that case, Nano announces that he is planning a new political party, and the movements will start in the next week.

Himara: Berisha puts flowers in place of tragedy

Visiting South of the country, Premier Berisha, is focused to put bouquets of flowers, in the place, where happened the tragic accident, on 14 May, near the Himara.

He has seen from near the place where the tragedy occurred, while he bowed with respect and reverence for the 13 young victims of the fatal accident.

The Himara Community

Press release

The Himara Community, called on Saturday 2 June, 2012, in Drymades, Himara Municipality, took the following decisions:

1. Request to the Himara Municipality, to full transparency, for the decisions of the Municipality Council and the administration, by September 1 of the year 2011, decisions and agreements with the Albanian government and the OSCE in connection with the people of Himara properties with respect to concessions and construction permit, to declare publicly in every village, in the interests of the right of public information, based on constitutional law. To make public, archive and decisions of construction permits, inherited from the previous administration of the Municipality. To call in September, the Conference PanHimariotes for properties.

2. The Himara Community, decided unanimously holding scientific symposium,for  the hero of Himara, Spiro Spiromilo, on the occasion of 100 anniversary of Revolt of Himara.

3. Seeing opportunist and corrupt attitude of OSCE Mission in Tirana, in relation to the property registration project in the Himara Region, announced as the "person non grata"the  OSCE ambassador, in Tirana, Eughen Worlfarth.

4. The Himara Community, addresses publicly, to the U.S. ambassador in Tirana, Alexander Arvizu, as a special guest, to visit the Himara Region, under the observance of universal human rights, to demand that thousands of American citizens originally from Himara to have properties inherited from their grandparents, to investigate the looting of the properties of the people of Himara.

5. The Himara Community, addresses the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, on behalf of citizens with dual nationality by Himara (European and Albanian) to send a special Prosecutor to investigate Court decisions and the Albanian institutions, in connection with robbery assets of the Himara Region and Orthodox Church.

6. The Himara Community, addressed the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese and his Eminence Janullatos, to establish a Diocese in Himara, as Orthodox Christian Church in Himara Region, which, being of assets looted by the Mafia.

7. The Himara Community, formally gives the honorary title as the "World Cultural Ambassador of  Himara" to Dr. George Tenet and the "World Honor of Himara" to Olympic Champion Pirro Dimas, making invitation to visit this summer Himara.

Participant and the meeting for The Himara community, Photo: Prof. Priamo Bollano, Dr. Niko Nesturi (Chairman of Coast Line Association), Theodori Bollano (Chairman of the Council of the Himara Community), Stavri Marko (Executive Director of the Himara Community),  Petro Gjoni, Lefter Daflla, Jako Malo Harilla Duni, Marko Daflla, Petro Konomi.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bosnia leader slams Serbia's Nikolic on Srebrenica - AlertNet

Bosnia leader slams Serbia's Nikolic on Srebrenica - AlertNet

Source: reuters // Reuters

SARAJEVO, June 1 (Reuters) - The Muslim chairman of Bosnia's tripartite presidency criticised Serbia's new rightist president, Tomislav Nikolic, on Friday for playing down the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.
Both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that the Srebrenica massacre amounted to genocide.
But in an interview with Montenegrin state television posted on its website, Nikolic said: "There was no genocide in Srebrenica. In Srebrenica, grave war crimes were committed by some Serbs who should be found, prosecuted and punished ...
"It is very difficult to indict someone and prove before a court that an event qualifies as genocide."
Bakir Izetbegovic, who shares Bosnia's presidency with a Croat and a Serb, said such declarations were insulting to the survivors.
"The denial of genocide in Srebrenica ... will not pave the way for cooperation and reconciliation in the region, but on the contrary may cause fresh misunderstandings and tensions," he said in a statement.
Bosnian Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladic slaughtered around 8,000 Muslim men and boys after capturing the town of Srebrenica, declared a "safe haven" by the United Nations, towards the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 war.
Mladic and the Bosnian Serbs' wartime political leader, Radovan Karadzic, are on trial in The Hague accused among other things of genocide for the killings.
"By giving such statements, Nikolic has clearly demonstrated that he is still not ready to face the truth about the events that took place in our recent past," Izetbegovic said.
Nikolic's shock win over incumbent president Boris Tadic sent a chill through a region that still recalls his last spell in government - as deputy prime minister in a coalition with Serbia's late strongman Slobodan Milosevic when NATO bombed Serbia to drive its forces out of Kosovo during a 1998-99 war.
Nikolic has recast himself as a pro-European conservative since splitting in 2008 from his firebrand ultranationalist mentor Vojislav Seselj, who is also on trial for war crimes in The Hague, and has said he will pursue Serbia's drive for EU membership.
A spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said her office was trying to clarify Nikolic's statement.
"But would like to remind everyone that Srebrenica has been confirmed as genocide by both the ICTY and the ICJ. Srebrenica was the largest massacre in Europe since World War Two, a crime against all of humankind. We should never forget and it should never be allowed to happen again," she said.
Nikolic also said that he would not attend the annual commemoration of the Srebrenica massacre in July.
"Don't always ask the Serbian president if he is going to Srebrenica," he said in the interview. "My predecessor was there and paid tribute. Why should every president do the same?"
Tadic oversaw the arrest and extradition of Karadzic and Mladic. He pushed an apology for the massacre through parliament and travelled to Srebrenica as part of a drive to foster reconciliation. (Reporting By Maja Zuvela,; Petar Komnenic and Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
MF  of Albania, Statement against violence in northern Kosovo Print E-mail
Friday, 01 June 2012 16:04       

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has attentively followed, with deep concern, the latest developments in the north of Kosovo, and strongly condemns the repeated violence of parallel structures and Serbian criminal bands against KFOR peacekeeping forces in the village of Rudare.

MFA supports the determination of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo in exercising its sovereignty, restoring law and order to ensure freedom of movement throughout all the territory, in close cooperation with KFOR and EULEX.

Wishing a quick recovery to all the peacekeepers that were wounded in the action to ensure freedom of movement in northern Kosovo, we underline that bringing to justice the perpetrators of the violence, as well as dismantling parallel and criminal Serbian structures are imperative to restore law and order in this part of the country.

Greece could begin again

Default and exit from the eurozone?
Greece is heading for an exit from the euro, and the rest of the eurozone periphery may follow, precipitating a huge change in the EU. After the crisis, Greece could slowly recover
by Costas Lapavitsas
Greece is approaching the climax of its crisis, and its choices will influence the course of Europe for years. Although Greece represents only 2% of the European Union’s GDP, the impact of those choices will be wide.
The Greek crisis is fundamentally the result of its membership of the eurozone. Greece is paying the price for a belief in the ancient fallacy that possessing “hard” money puts a weak economy on a par with the strong. In reality, “hard” money is more likely to destroy a weak economy, a lesson about to be re-learned in Portugal, Ireland and Spain. Greece is heading for an exit from the euro and the rest of the eurozone periphery is likely to follow, with severe implications for the monetary union. Coping with an exit will require the reintroduction of economic controls, a major retreat from the neoliberal, pro-market approach to economic policy.
The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is often presented as a political step in the integration of Europe, a demonstration of solidarity among Europeans. The reality is quite different. The euro is an international reserve currency that can compete against the dollar and serve, first and foremost, the interests of big banks and enterprises in Europe. It is a peculiar form of money, created from nothing by a hierarchical alliance of independent states.
There are two fundamental problems with the construction of the euro, reflecting its peculiar make-up and leading to its failure. The first is the contradiction between monetary and fiscal policy. The monetary space of the EMU is homogeneous, and the European Central Bank (ECB) allows banks to borrow against the same interest rate benchmarks. But the fiscal space of the EMU is heterogeneous, and each state ultimately exercises sovereignty in collecting taxes and spending. The union has attempted to deal with the problem by imposing fiscal discipline via the Stability and Growth Pact, or the much harsher Fiscal Compact. But national sovereignty over fiscal matters has not been abolished.
The second problem is a much less noticed but equally severe contradiction: the monetary space of the EMU is homogeneous but its banking space is heterogeneous. There is no such thing as a “European” bank, only French, German, Spanish and other banks. Even though banks can obtain liquidity from the ECB in the “European” space, they are obliged to turn to their own state when their solvency is in doubt. Banks operate with transnational money, but they are ultimately national.
At the root of both problems lies the absence of a unitary or federal European state. Europe remains a continent of nations overlaid with an economic structure that pretends nations do not matter. Yet nation states have remained integral to the EMU. This reality is fundamental to the eurozone crisis and makes its resolution very hard.

more see:

President Nikolić reacts to violence in Kosovo

BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić said late on Friday that it was "important to end clashes in Kosovo and Metohija and calm down the people living there".
Tomislav Nikolić (Tanjug, file)
Tomislav Nikolić (Tanjug, file)
The Council for National Security met on Friday in an urgent session to discuss the situation in the province in the wake of violence which erupted when KFOR troops moved in to remove barricades in northern, Serb areas.
Nikolić said that “everybody received tasks to deal with within their respective jurisdiction":

“Everyone is talking with services they are cooperating with in this field, the Army with KFOR, and our government should have serious talks about this with EULEX and the UNMIK administration."

He further told state broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) that "continuation of talks with Priština was the only way to finally see what has been agreed on (previously) and what the interim institutions in Priština have been doing beyond the scope of the agreements".

“Since we had the announcements about a massive removal of (Serbian license) plates from cars owned by citizens in the north of Kosovo today... we cannot sit still, nor can we be silent while witnessing what is taking place in Kosovo and Metohija,” Nikolić said.

The Serbian president said that all council members attended today's meeting and "all had a desire to tackle the task seriously".

KKRRT approved project plans for development of Himara

The Civil Society of Himara, has opposed this project which favorites the Albanian Mafia

National Council of Territory Adjustment of Albania, approved at today's meeting Himara plan. According to the Prime Minister, who also directed the collection of KKRRTSH, Himara authorities have carefully crafted plan, which according to him shows that where there can be constructed in the Municipality of Himara, which according to him has great potential for tourism development .

"The plan sets out where there should be built. Local authorities, which have become more careful government support for developing a plan. Encourage municipalities to follow this example that the development of tourism to recognize other dimensions. Important to know the criteria specified in the plan ", - said Berisha.

Meanwhile, the Civil Society of Himara, has rejected the plan, which favors concessions of Albanian Mafia linked to prominent politicians in Tirana. "No Turning to Himara`s people properties including those of the Orthodox Church, can not be speaking for developments plans, voices, which are against the adoption of this plan.
Albanian Riviera: The Secret Mediterranean Paradise
What has clear water, beaches, and seafood to rival Italy or France's rivieras, but doesn't attract nearly as many tourists or command the same sky-high prices? It's the Albanian Riviera, and it has a lot to offer bargain-hungry travelers.
Drive the recently renovated coastal road for amazing views, and stop in the many cute seaside villages along the way. End or begin the drive at Llogara National Park, where you can see golden eagles, black pines, and even castles.
You'll have a wealth of beaches to choose from along the coast, but if you're really in search of the sun, Borsh has has the warmest climate.
Where Is it? Albania's coast. Fly to Croatia's international Dubrovnik Airport (check prices) and rent a car to cover the last 300 miles on land.
Where to Stay? At one of the more modern hotels, Rapo's Resort.
What Else Should I Know? High season, in July and August, is slightly-less budget-friendly but still a better bet than most other rivieras!
Who's it for? Budget travelers, beach-goers, the crowd-averse.

Russian envoy warns about "Greater Albania" project

BELGRADE -- Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Konuzin says his country is concerned about the existence of a project to establish a so-called Greater Albania.
Aleksandr Konuzin (Tanjug, file)
Aleksandr Konuzin (Tanjug, file)
"It's a very dangerous project for the entire Southeastern Europe region, and it would represent a precedent," the top Russian diplomat in Serbia said late on Thursday, adding that his country will "strongly oppose attempts to form a Greater Albania"
Taking part in a panel discussion in Belgrade dedicated to the Russo-Serbian relations, Konuzin noted that Russia supported all reconciliation efforts of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, noting that Serbia has been conducting a balanced policy in that respect.

The ambassador stressed that Russia was also a firm supporter of the positions held by Serbs in the Serb Republic (RS), in Bosnia, and noted that Russia was one of the signatories of the Dayton Peace Accords "which it was not satisfied with, but which must be respected".

"The goal of the so-called Butmir Process is to form a centralized state out of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have nothing against that, but only if all peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs included, agree to it," Konuzin said, underlining that "international law must be respected".

Speaking about the relations between Serbia and Russia, the diplomat noted that they reached a high level, and that regardless of the composition of a future government in Belgrade, that cannot change.

He ruled out the possibility that a government could take over in Serbia that would have a negative influence on the ties between the two countries.

Konuzin also revealed that Russia supported Serbia as a militarily neutral country, "and statements from Belgrade on that subject".

As for Kosovo - Russia will support any Serbian policy toward the province, he stated.

Commenting on the February referendum in northern Kosovo - when local Serbs near unanimously rejected the ethnic Albanian authorities in Priština - the ambassador quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's statement that "the position of the Serbs who live in Kosovo must not be ignored".

Focusing on economic issues, Konuzin noted that trade between Serbia and Russia reached USD 3.5bn last year, and that effort should be made to make that trade "even more intensive - until it returns to the pre-economic crisis level of over USD 4bn".

"I expect that works on the Serbian part of the South Stream pipeline will begin late next year, and we're also considering building a new heating plant in Pančevo, and possibly in Belgrade and Niš and well," he noted.

He further stressed that Russia was very interested in the development of infrastructure in Serbia, especially in the energy sector, but also in building a modern railroad system, adding that this also applied to all other former Yugoslav republics.

"The money is there, we have the funds - help yourselves! But, projects are needed for that," said Konuzin, and added that he was puzzled that it took "so much time" for Serbia to come up with its projects.

The ambassador explained that the money to fund most Serbian projects would be transferred in the fall, and that he on Monday handed over a harmonized draft agreement on this subject to the Serbian government.

"If Serbia has an interest in building nuclear power plants here, we will help you with that as well," the diplomat said, adding that the same applied to new hydro power plants in Serbia.

Finally, Konuzin touched on the nature of the relations between the two nations, saying that Russia was close to many other countries with which it shared its culture, religion and script - but that it nurtured "closest, even intimate ties" only with Serbia.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Himara Community will hold its next meeting in Dhermi
The Himara Community, will hold on Saturday in Dhermi, the next meeting with its members to discuss the situation in Himara Region.

In the meeting, will be invited also representatives from the diaspora, USA and Europe.

Spiegel Report: 50 Finance and Politics Experts Support Greece’s European Perspective

 4  3
0 ShareThis7 A group of 50 finance and politics experts, such as economists, former Prime Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, are sending a strong message to the international political representatives for supporting Greece and not letting it fall into collapse and decadence, according to a Spiegel article.
The article points out that – despite the prevailing opinion of the European North that see Greece outside the Eurozone and maybe the EU as well – a group of 50 famous Europeans are rejecting that probability and call European leaders to prevent that dramatic development. Their message, which was published online, was also signed by former German Finance Minister Hans Eichel, former Italian Prime Minister Juliano Amato and German economist Peter Bofinger.
According to the article, an increasing number of people are expressing the opinion that a possible “Grexit” from the common currency would not notably harm the Eurozone.
“We, on the contrary, believe that Greece’s possible Euro exit would bring a political and financial disaster,” claim the European economists and politicians, adding that the rescue mechanisms do not provide secure protection.
“A possible Euro exit of Greece could cause the collapse of the whole Eurozone, thus leading to a deepening recession and resulting in a new international financial crisis,” note the group of 50, asking from European leaders to give Greece more time along with the chance to return to growth within the Eurozone. They also repeat what is already known, that austerity measures are ineffective and that a financial compromising solution should be found offering Greece space to pay off its loans to the IMF and the European partners.
Most of the ones writing the Spiegel article are members of “The European Council on Foreign Relations” think tank (ECFR), which George Soros is a member of despite his not co-signing the article.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fractious Albanian parliament fails to elect president


TIRANA | Wed May 30, 2012 7:22am EDT
TIRANA (Reuters) - Albania's parliament failed to elect a president at the first time of asking on Wednesday, dogged by factional rivalry over the largely ceremonial post.
The president is supposed to be a figure of national unity elected by consensus in parliament, but the opposition has accused the ruling Democratic Party of trying to push through the appointment of Zhezair Zaganjori without consulting it.

On Wednesday morning, the Democrat-led bloc in parliament proposed the former Constitutional Court judge and ambassador to replace outgoing President Bamir Topi for the next five years, as Topi's fixed term expires.
The opposition Socialist Party made clear he was unacceptable. The first-round session expired without a vote, meaning the process moved straight to a second round.
In the first three rounds a winner must achieve a three-fifths majority. If that fails, the bar drops to a simple majority of 71 votes in rounds four and five.

The government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, head of the Democratic Party, holds a majority, but forcing through a president in the fourth or fifth rounds opens the door to opposition complaints of being railroaded.
"I urge all political parties to pursue a spirit of acceptance, and then the solution will come in the second or third round," said parliament speaker Jozefina Topalli.
Topalli asked party leaders to agree on a date for the next vote. The process could take several days.
Since emerging in 1991 from decades of isolation and communist dictatorship, politics in the impoverished Balkan country has been marked by bitter confrontation between the two main blocs, the Socialists and the Democrats.

The rivalry has slowed reform and kept Albania firmly behind Balkan neighbors Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia in the queue to join the European Union.
The EU is pressing Albania to show more democratic maturity before it makes the country of 2.8 million people an official candidate for membership, having twice turned it down in the past two years.
After opposition protests erupted into violence last year, the EU urged Albania to overhaul its electoral system before voting for a president, but parties have yet to agree how.
Though largely a ceremonial figure, the president has the power to hold up legislation and appoints the prosecutor general and the head of the Albanian secret service.
(Editing by Matt Robinson and Andrew Roche)

George Goro: Himara ready for tourist season

Goro George, head of the Municipality of Himara, in an interview shows his expectations as "the master of the country" for this year resort. What has changed in Himara, the illegal demolition of up to a big city staff to "train" eu care, the service in Himara and surrounding areas to be at the right height for tourists, this season.

Mr. Goro, have spent several days from the event that shook the whole public opinion, which left 13 people dead. Can you tell us how they found you just received notification?
I actually started some meetings in Tirana and told me what had happened the way. Connecting with employees of municipalities and municipal police and led them immediately to the scene. I was in constant contact with police structures in order to inform What happened minute by minute and immediately put in touch with the Ministry of Health and the Interior to take all measures. Starting from the tragic consequences of that unfortunate accident, I returned immediately to Himara passing almost all night in the hospital of Himare, because as we know, the only hospital center Himara. But the willingness of doctors, in particular the people of Himara caused this tragic accident to save many lives, so minimizonim magnitude of this tragedy.

In fact, this is the point where you need to focus a bit. It has to do with commitment and solidarity maximum Himara, who take notice, headed with whatever they could to the scene of an accident ...
I want to thank all my fellow citizens who had the courage and the courage to go to give first aid at the scene. If it would not be their major contribution, emphasize once again, the extent of the tragedy could have been larger. Himara citizens have long since shown that they are organizers and hosts. And this event showed best how are solidarity, not only in disaster. They have come down from all sides and with whatever they could to go to the bus accident. Here's a few days later, even though the accident had happened, Himara women returned to the scene. I wept with their weeping victims of this tragic accident, if they were their sons and daughters, making utmost respect. And for our community it means a lot. However, I noticed that all have welcomed this kind of reaction himarjot people.

more in Albanian:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lazopoulos in Brussels: ‘Papandreou is ‘Forrest Gump’ of Greece’

Lakis Lazopoulos spoke to British station Channel 4 with John Snow in a direct link from Brussels on the occasion of his European tour with the play “Sorry, I’m Greek.”
The famous Greek actor explained to the journalist what the double meaning of the play’s title is and listened to John Snow say Greece has practically turned into Europe’s “toilet.”
It is rather noteworthy that after hearing Lazopoulos’s statements and his calling former Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou “Forrest Gump,” the British journalist unexpectedly stumbled upon Papandreou on a Brussels street. Snow found Lazopoulos’ comparison rather amusing.

KFOR retreats from barricade after brief standoff

ZVEČAN -- More than 1,000 Serbs gathered on Tuesday to defend a barricade in the village of Rudare, near to the town of Zvečan, in northern Kosovo.
The citizens quickly reacted after sirens sounded alert in northern towns when a convoy of vehicles belonging to NATO troops in the province, KFOR, moved from the town of Leposavić toward the concrete barricade, located on a small bridge in Dudin Krš.
The citizens blocked two vehicles carrying American soldiers.

Their commander spoke with Zvečan Mayor Dragiša Milović, demanding that the barricade be removed, but the mayor informed him that this could only happen if municipal councilors approved it - considering that they were the ones who decided to put up the road blocks.

Milović then suggested that the citizens would stand back and unblock KFOR's vehicles if the troops then returned to Leposavić.

This proposal was accepted and the standoff was resolved.

Milović also revealed that KFOR suggested that the barricade at Dudin Krš should be removed, while the traffic on this road - leading from Zvečan toward the southern, ethnic Albanian part of Kosovska Mitrovica - should in the future be controlled by "a joint team if Serbs and KFOR".

Before the local Serbs were alerted and started gathering near the barricade, KFOR helicopters were seen "intensively flying over the area", said reports.

The barricades - most of which has been removed late last year - were put up on local roads last summer after the Kosovo Albanian authorities in July attempted to take over two administrative line crossings in the north.

The checkpoints are located between northern Kosovo and central Serbia. Serbs are the majority population north of the Ibar River, and reject both the authority of the government in Priština, and the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of independence made in February 2008.

Greek ultras left Party Alex Tsipras, visits the Greek "Pentagon"

Head of Greece's radical left SYRIZA party Alexis Tsipras (L) is welcomed by General Mikhail Kostarakos, chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, during his visit at the Defence Ministry in Athens May 29, 2012. Greece's conservatives have regained an opinion poll lead that would allow the formation of a pro-bailout government committed to keeping the country in the euro zone, a batch of new surveys showed on Saturday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Appeal court in Vienna for the OSCE Mission in Tirana

Spanish company "Terracce" winning bid for the registration of properties in the Ionian Coast (Himara & Lukovo) has not taken money promised

Meanwhile, Albanian company "Lorenzo & CO." also throws in trial OSCE in Tirana

Registration of properties and assets in the Himara and Lukovo Region, fails completely, albeit giving only 40% of the amount of 360 thousand euros, a fund provided by the European Union and managed by the OSCE Mission in Tirana.

The Spanish company, "Terracce" winning the tender in Vienna, in 2009, has sued in the court of Vienna, the OSCE Mission in Tirana, as this firm winner, with sub contractor in Albania "Lorenzo Company" has taken only 40% the amount.

In this time, the company acted "Lorenzo" in Tirana, OSCE indicted in the court of Tirana blockage of funds, the registration process.

But chaos with this process goes beyond the OSCE, has asked the European Union, opening the fund of 1.5 million euros, to be paid to another Albanian company, which has taken the responsibility to perform the registration of assets in Himara Region.

Sources from the EU office in Tirana, for SManalysis confirm that "no funds will open as long as the OSCE should commit itself to a fair estate registration in Himara Region".

Finally, the OSCE mission in Albania, posing risks to the failure of the registration process, to the fact that in this process, may have high levels of corruption.

Greece, Switzerland and Czech Republic, have been the donor of the project, while the failure of property registration process in Himara Region, fails for the fourth time in 20 years, this time by the OSCE (Mission for Cooperation and security in Europe).

"Serbia could now recognize Abkhazia and S. Ossetia"

TBILISI -- The Serbian parliament may consider recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia after Tomislav Nikolić's presidential election victory, a Georgia-based website says.
Nikolić and Putin meet in Moscow (Tanjug/RIA Novosti)
Nikolić and Putin meet in Moscow (Tanjug/RIA Novosti)
The site - "Democracy and Freedom Watch (DFWatch) - published by an NGO, claims that Georgia for this reason "responded to the election of a nationalist as Serbia's president with a call for cooperation".
Belgrade-based Beta news agency is quoting the article, which states that Georgian Deputy FM Nino Kalandadze expressed her hope that the issue would be solved "through bilateral talks".

According to this, Nikolić's position on "the rebel Georgian republics" is different that that held by his predecessor, Boris Tadić:

"While pro-European Boris Tadić warned against the precedent which was set when Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008, Nikolić in an interview with Voice of Russia on Saturday dismissed any similarities between Kosovo’s claim for independence and that of Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

The article further states that Nikolić said that "Kosovo should be under the control of Belgrade, while the two separatist states deserve independence".

The website claims that his statement "coincided with an announcement by Vladimir Putin that Russia will grant Serbia a loan of USD 800 million for infrastructure projects".

"During his visit to Moscow and a meeting with the president of Russia he also expressed that uncompromising position on Kosovo will not be changed even if it hinders EU integration," said the Georgian website.

It then noted that "Nikolić was vice-premier in the government of Slobodan Miloševicć and has been one of the leaders of a radical nationalist party head of the which Vojislav Šešelj, who was put on trial in the Hague (Tribunal)", but that now, "he is the leader of his own party and support a more moderate nationalist stance".

The Georgian Deputy FM Kalandadze, meanwhile, is reported to have appealed to the Georgian and Serbian people’s "close relations", citing their "Orthodox (Christian) religion, similar history and cultural relations".

"Georgia like Serbians have chosen a European way, both seeking EU membership. It’s clear to everyone that the EU clearly recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity and Georgia’s borders within international law frames. Accordingly, it is in Serbia’s national interest to follow international standards".

Macedonia Puritans Dress Up Skopje Statue

Municipal authorities in the Macedonian capital Skopje have quickly made arrangements to have a recently erected bronze statue of naked Prometheus covered up, following complaints from unidentified "women's organizations".
Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Prometheus statue after intervention
The complaints - and the speedy official response - have sparked debate, and some have acccused the authorities of hypocrisy.

After just a few days of complaints, the municipal authorities arranged for a bronze loin cloth to be welded to the statue, restoring Prometheus' modesty. The statue had been erected earlier in May, opposite the Parliament building.

Centar Municipality in a statement last week said the changes were made “after several women’s organizations filed complaints” and were “offended” by the statue's nudity. The municipality stressed that the sculptor, Tome Adzievski, had given permission for the statiue to be partially covered.

However, on Friday the municipality declined to name the organisations concerned and Mayor Vladimir Todorovic was not avaliable for comment.

Savka Todorova, head of the country's largest women's association, the Union of Women’s Organizations of Macedonia, SOZM, said her organisation had not made any request to the authorities regarding the statue.

Todorova said “the naked man is not a problem”. Instead, she criticised what she said was wider tendency of “not taking women seriously through sculpture and [usually] representing them as 'decoration' and without authority.”

The sculpture is part of a monument complex dedicated to “fallen Macedonian heroes” that is being erected opposite Parliament. Prometheus, who in Greek mythology stole fire from the gods, is depicted as a symbol of self-sacrifice.  Behind and above the statue of Prometheus are four horses and a goddess symbolizing victory.

“Our environment is small and frustrated and this (speedy cover-up) reflects hypocrisy    and self-censorship,” said Skopje-based art professor Vladimir Velickovski, adding that “in private everything is allowed while in public everything is disputed.”

The sculpture and monument are part of the government-funded “Skopje 2014” project aimed at beautifying the shabby centre of the Macedonian capital.

While the centre-right government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has staunchly defended the expensive overhaul, which mainly draws inspiration from the styles of ancient antiquity, opposition parties have criticised the cost of the project at a time of economic uncertainty.

The Prometheus incident has prompted many to speculate about the possibility of a cover-up in the case of a giant sculpture of a woman brest-feeding a child, which is yet to be erected in Karposh Square, just a few hundred metres from the Prometheus sculpture.

See related gallery: Skopje 2014: The new face of Macedonia, updated
Durres, 13 technical inspectors arrested
28/05/2012 18:50

Durres, 13 technical inspectors arrested
A police operation organized by the Task Force at the Durres Prosecution brought the arrest of 13 Vehicle Technical Inspection employees, who face charges of passive corruption in private sectors.

The inspectors of the concessionary company “SGS Automative Albania” were arrested by the RENEA Forces and the Durres Police, based on evidence secured by a task force structure investigation.

Despite the arrest of other four employees at the Durres Technical Inspection Center on January 2010, the corruptive acts have still continued.

Everyone in Durres knows that if you want to have you car passed through the technical inspection, you need to place the money in the glove compartment.

The defendants have illegally taken money from the citizens, and among them there are even directors of the Technical Inspection Headquarter in Durres.

Archbishop Ieronymos Returns from Russia With ‘Presents’

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0 ShareThis9 Two generous deals are the ‘presents’ that Archbishop Ieronymos and metropolitan bishops, who accompanied him to Russia, carried back home.
Russians and Greeks made an agreement to cooperate closely in order to promote religious tourism in both countries. Moreover, they decided to develop programmes in order to support vulnerable groups of both societies.
Despite the fact that the Archbishop has not officially returned, these agreements have already been communicated to the public. The Patriarchate of Moscow and the Greek Orthodox Church have rekindled their relations through these agreements.
As for religious tourism, the Russian Church agreed to encourage Russians to visit the religious destinations of Greece. With this agreement, the Greek Church aspires to attract Russian tourists to Greece and help solve the financial problems that the Church has to deal with.
The second agreement between the Russian and Greek Churches has to do with charity. The Russian Orthodox Church decided to support programmes for impoverished and unemployed people in Greece. Furthermore, the Russians will also support the Archdiocese’s daily kitchen soups financially.
In return, the Russians asked that Greek officials allow them to establish a representation office of the Russian Church in Athens.

Nikolić and Tadić meet at presidency in Belgrade

BELGRADE -- Former Serbian President Boris Tadić and Tomislav Nikolić, the country's newly-elected leader, met on Monday at the presidential building in Belgrade.
They were set to "discuss the transfer of duties", Tanjug news agency reported earlier in the day.
Nikolić arrived to the presidency on foot, walking through a nearby park, accompanied by SNS party leader Aleksandar Vučić.

Boris Tadić arrived in his official car, and entered the building through one of its side entrances.

Nikolić walked in through the main entrance.

Tadić and Nikolić addressed the public on Monday to say that they agreed that all institutions in Serbia should be formed as soon as possible so they could start solving the country's problems.

They stressed what they said was their joint goal - a better life for the people, solutions to economic and other issues, EU integration, a consensus on Kosovo and battle against corruption and crime.

Tadić, who held a joint news conference with Nikolić after their meeting, said the two had agreed institutions should be formed as soon as possible in order to avoid an institutional vacuum.

The meeting was not just about the transfer of authority, but also about how institutions should function in the future, Tadić underscored.

"We talked about how important it is to avoid an institutional vacuum, transfer the authority as smoothly as possible and form institutions on all levels, local, national and presidential," Tadić explained.

It takes time to conduct the technical negotiations on forming the government and get parties to back that government, Tadić emphasized, adding that synergy on all levels was necessary, regardless of which parties formed the government.

According to Tadić, the meeting with Nikolić was another good discussion between them two recently, and definitely not the last one.

The country's political stability can be viewed with a lot more optimism now, because there will be no more conflicts about what should be done between those who run the country, Nikolić remarked.

"President Tadić and I discussed about Serbia's future," Nikolić said, adding that they discussed future cooperation regardless of who forms the government.

Nikolić said the change of presidents had been the first democratic transfer of power, as Tadić was not replaced by a leader of another political party, since he had resigned as the SNS president.

Nikolić pledged to give the mandate to form the government to anybody as soon as they managed to secure the parliamentary majority.

He said that Serbia needed economic prosperity and that the fight against crime should be successful.

Nikolić said that Tadića and he had agreed to commit fully to the talks in order to reach a consensus on the Kosovo-Metohija issue, since, he said, it was not only a matter concerning only the head of state or the prime minister, but rather "all the citizens who placed their trust in us."

He thanked Tadić for being open to cooperation and for showing awareness about the clock ticking out and about the need for government to be formed as soon as possible.

Nikolić said that he, for his part, and the government for their part, would involve all their friends from across the world to help ensure economic progress and success in the fight against crime in the country and make citizens have no fear about those to be elected into power in the future being bad.

"There are no more bad guys in Serbia, as the country will from now only be led by those who are better than their predecessors," Nikolić said, adding that he hopes he will take his oath by the end of the week.

Boris Tadić - who was a week ago defeated in the presidential runoff - on Sunday accepted his party's nomination to become Serbia's next prime minister.

Also on Monday, top officials of Tadić's Democratic Party (DS) and the Socialist Party of Serbia-the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia-United Serbia (SPS-PUPS-JS) coalition are set to meet to discuss forming a government together.

SPS leader Ivica Dačić did not give the time and place of the meeting with Tadić, which is to focus on the formation of a parliamentary majority, but underlined that the public "will be notified in a timely manner".

Sunday, May 27, 2012

UK May Limit Greek Migrants, Evacuate Britons if Unrest Spreads

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0 ShareThis22
British Home Secretary Theresa May says INNA - Immigrants Need Not Apply
Amid fears that a forced Greek exit from the Eurozone could cause the country’s economic collapse and chaos, the British government is studying plans to limit immigration and evacuate its citizens from Greece if uncontrolled riots break out, reports said. The Guardian newspaper said that British Home Secretary Theresa May is looking at ways to restrict immigrants who want to leave Europe’s most troubled economies, especially Greece, where critical June 17 elections could decide if parties opposed to austerity measures demanded by international lenders will prevail and try to renegotiate or renege on the terms of two bailouts totaling $325 billion.
The Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) putting up the monies has warned any attempts by a new government in Greece to tinker with reforms, including pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions could lead to the money pipeline being turned off. That has sparked anxiety that Greece could drop the euro and collapse into anarchy and lead to mass migration, with a domino effect spreading to other countries.
In what was said to be a clear warning to Greeks who may wish to flee a crumbling Greek economy that may drop out of the Eurozone, the British minister suggested that “work was ongoing” to restrict immigration should there be a financial collapse in the euro area, although there has been no increase in migration from the Eurozone just yet, but that, it was ‘‘difficult to say how it is going to develop in coming weeks.” When asked whether the government was considering curbing immigration, May answered: “It is right that we do some contingency planning on this; work is ongoing.”
The Daily Telegraph added that London could contain the number of Greeks or other Eurozone citizens moving to Britain to work by forcing them to submit visa applications. Home Office data showed that the number of Greeks applying to obtain a British passport in 2011 rose by 30 percent compared with 2010, climbing from 250 to 325. For those who believe they can enter the United Kingdom unlawfully and stay, she had another warning. “The aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration,” she declared. Work is under way to deny illegal immigrants access to work, housing and services, even bank accounts. “What we don’t want is a situation where people think that they can come here and overstay because they’re able to access everything they need,” she said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also told Greeks either to accept more austerity or lose their lifeline loans and go back to the ancient drachma the country abandoned 12 years ago to enter the Eurozone. Media reports said Britain, like the European Union, is drawing up contingency plans to deal with Greece leaving the Eurozone, including preparations to evacuate Britons if civil disobedience spreads into wider unrest, and for banks to take steps to protect Britain against euro liabilities.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he believes that Greece will probably remain in the Eurozone but that the Troika’s demands were too harsh and too rapid for the country to assimilate without unrest. Greeks have been protesting, striking and rioting for two years, to no avail. He said the reforms could take decades to complete and that the Greeks are being pushed too hard. “Anything can happen, but I think the most probable outcome is the one which is most positive for Greece and for all of us,” Monti said on an Italian television talk show, when asked if he believed Greece would stay in the currency bloc. “Greece has lost its sovereignty; it’s under the instructions of the IMF, the ECB, the European Commission. Having the others tell you, ‘here is the money but I’m deciding,’ must be a terrible, terrible humiliation.”
(Sources: Kathimerini, Athens News, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph)

Nikolić’s victory "was discussed at NATO summit"

BELGRADE, ZAGREB -- The election of Serbia’s new president was one of the topics of the NATO Summit in Chicago, Croatia’s FM Vesna Pusić told Zagreb-based daily Jutarnji list.
Vesna Pusić (Beta, file)
Vesna Pusić (Beta, file)
Besides the situation in Afghanistan and relations between the partner states, participants of the summit discussed “the election of radical nationalist Tomislav Nikolić“, the Croatian daily has reported.
The participants decided that the fact that Nikolić was elected could lead to serious changes in the Serbian political scene and to a completely new situation in the region, Jutarnji list writes.

“I warned that a new situation was created in the region when Nikolić was elected, that it is unknown what consequences the change of the authorities in Serbia will be,” Pusić said.

When asked whether the elections in Serbia could affect relations between Serbia and Croatia, she said:

“Bearing in mind that this is a relatively small area which has been connected in various ways throughout history, it is clear that events in one country affect all other countries in the region. It is now hard to predict how the situation will develop but I can claim with certainty that the changes of the authorities in Serbia will have a bigger effect on its neighbors than on Serbia itself. Serbia will, or it has at least announced that it will continue the EU accession. The question is what kind of attitude the new authorities will have toward Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. The first statements made by Serbia’s newly elected President Tomislav Nikolić were completely unacceptable to Croatia”.

The Croatian foreign minister added that “if Serbia and Croatia want what is best for their citizens, they need to be able to cooperate as two neighboring countries”.