Saturday, November 3, 2012

Serbs visit cemetery in southern Kosovska Mitrovica

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Around 300 Serbs from northern Kosovska Mitrovica visited an Orthodox Serbian cemetery in the southern part of the town on All Souls Day on Saturday.
The Serbs were escorted by the Kosovo police.
They say that All Souls Day is the only opportunity for them to visit graves of their loved ones.

90 percent of tombstones at the Serbian cemetery in southern Kosovska Mitrovica have been destroyed while not a single tombstone at the Albanian cemetery in the north part of the town is damaged. Serbs have not buried their dead at the cemetery since 1999.

Serbs also visited graves of their family members and friends in Priština, Obilić and Prizren in the organization of the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo.

Serbs were unable to visit cemeteries in Đakovica, Uroševac, Suva Reka and Mušutište “because the buses did not get an escort of Kosovo police and EULEX”, the Office for Kosovo has released.
Former political prisoners attempt protest

Former political prisoners attempt protest
The former political prisoners tried to organize a protest a few minutes after the arrival in Tirana of the US State Secretary, Hillary Clinton.

The protest aimed to attract the attention of the US high rank official regarding their problems.

A group of former political prisoners gathered in front of the Political Persecuted People's institution, but the police stopped them from going any further. When they tried to transfer their protest to the main boulevard, the police intervened and took all of them under custody.

All of them were taken by police officers in plain clothes.

They were taken in police vehicles and were separated in several police districts, where they will be held for several hours.
Berisha: Proud in front of the Albanians

Berisha: Proud in front of the Albanians
Less than eight months from the general elections, Prime Minister Sali Berisha is already trying to convince the Albanians for a third mandate.

Berisha is putting all his trust on the young people. 430 of them in the Sukth Municipality have joined the Democratic Party. Berisha considered their decision smart, and invited the others to join the political force that according to him, with the NATO membership, the visa free movement and the efforts to receive the candidate status, is turning to reality the motto of December 1992 “We want Albania same as the rest of Europe”.

“In this 100th year of independence, you are entering your houses, the house of freedom,  and you are joining the political force that promotes the human rights and freedoms in Albania. You are joining the political force that is changing Albania rapidly”, Berisha told the young members.

During the conversation with the new members of the Democratic Party, Berisha mentioned what he considered the strongest points in his eight years in government, starting from the national road infrastructure, the constant increase of wages and pensions; the development of agriculture and the increase of the domestic production, the construction of new schools and the increased number of students in schools; the economy that didn’t fall into a crisis but keeps a positive growth, as few countries in Europe, and the increase of foreign investments.

These achievements, according to Berisha, despite the errors that were made during the two mandates, show that the Democratic Party has kept its major promises for increasing the well being of its citizens.

“With all these achievements, we are knocking with our head high in the heart of every Albanian. We don’t want votes for what we have done, but for what we will do in the next four years. What we have done in these four years, are the passport to the trust towards us. These are passports of honesty and sincerity and kept promises. It is our duty to do four times more in the next four years. Albania will have a complete transformation in the next four years. This is your project, the project of all Albanians. I invite the Albanian youth to join our big project, the project that makes Albania a developed country; the project of your best dream; the project of European Albania”, Berisha declared.

Promising to the young members that the government will enable free internet in 1250 points throughout the country, Berisha invited them and the citizens to join with the project of the Democratic Party for a European Albania.

All right reserved SManalysis 

British and US marines, training together in the Himara Region

Friday, November 2, 2012

Albpetrol sale postponed

Albpetrol sale postponed
The Ministry of Economy was unable to sign within the legal deadline the agreement for the Albpetrol Company.

Top Channel learned that the winning company, Vetro Energy, asked the Ministry to postpone the negotiations with 30 days, and the government accepted. The final deadline set by the government for signing the agreement was 30 days after the winner was declared.

Within this deadline, the company should pay 20% of the price otherwise the government would start negotiating with the second company. The official decision for the winner was declared by the Council of Ministers on October 3rd, and according to this rule, the agreement should have been signed this Friday.

But this didn’t happen. The Company used a legal gap in the government decision. Article 3.2 of this regulation says that the deadline can be postponed with 30 days if both parties agree. The entire process for the sale of the Albpetrol Company is still covered by mystery, and the procedures are held in full confidentiality.

Since when the negotiations started, the Ministry of Economy did not publish any detail of the negotiations and neither the motivation. But non official sources say that the main cause is related with the guarantee payment. According to the government decision, 30 days after the winner will be declared, the winning company should pay 20% of the tender value, 170 million EUR on this case, and the money should come from one of best 50 banks in the world.

Confidential sources say that this matter is not closed yet and they are negotiating, which could leave room for suspicions or speculation on the success of the tender, on which the government has hung its hopes for the budget and public finance problems.

Self-immolated striker passes away

Self-immolated striker passes away
Today died in hospital Lirak Bejko, one of the two former political prisoners who set themselves on fire in protest against the government’s failure to compensate their years in prison.

Bejko attempted self-immolation near the tent where the political prisoners were holding a hunger strike, a few days after Gjergj Ndreca had tried the same thing. He was cured in serious conditions at the Tirana Hospital, after receiving burns in 50% of the body.

The Socialist Party paid for Bejko’s treatment in a specialized clinic in Italy. The news for his death was given by his colleagues.

USS Fort McHenry departs Durres, Albania, stationed in Himara

USS Fort McHenry departs Durres, Albania Courtesy Photo A sailor from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2 stands watch as the landing craft prepares to enter the well of the amphibious dock-landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) following a boarding team demonstration with Albanian military personnel. Fort McHenry, homeported out of Little Creek, Va., is on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Durell Hill/Released)
DURRES, Albania – The amphibious dock-landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) departed Durres following a five-day port visit, Nov. 1.

While in port, the ship hosted government and military officials from the United States and Albania, and also conducted joint training and operations with personnel from Albania’s boarding team.

“We have been able to conduct tours of scenic countryside, host senior military and civilian authorities aboard, participate in theater security cooperation events with the Albanian Coast Guard, Navy, border patrol and customs organizations, and our Marines participated in training exercises in Zall-Herr with the Albanian commandos,” said Cmdr. Eric Kellum, executive officer of Fort McHenry.

During the visit, the ship conducted a simulated boarding utilizing USS Fort McHenry’s small boat, and one of the embarked landing craft.

“It was a great learning experience to share with another country what we do as a boarding team,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Louis Peters. “Being able to share our training and knowledge with the Albanians was very exciting for our team.”

USS Fort McHenry also built ties with foreign nations through tours conducted onboard the ship. Officials from the U.S. Embassy and Albanian came aboard and learned a little about the ship’s mission and capabilities, and those of the embarked Security Cooperation Task Force.

“It has been truly an honor and privilege to visit Albania. To be here a month before their 100th year celebration of their Independence, makes the experience all the more exciting,” said Cmdr. Kellum. “Albania has an incredibly rich culture and extremely warm and friendly people.”

Fort McHenry, homeported out of Little Creek, Va., is on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of responsibility.

The last destination of the US Navy is actually in the Himara Gulf, training with helicopters US Marine forces.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

“EU will lose Turkey if it doesn’t join by 2023”

BERLIN -- The European Union will lose Turkey if it doesn't grant it membership by 2023, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Beta, file)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Beta, file)
“They probably won't string us along that long. But if they do string us along until then the European Union will lose out, and at the very least they will lose Turkey," he said at a panel discussion in Berlin when asked if Turkey would be an EU member by 2023, Reuters has reported.
“The predominantly Muslim but secular country of some 74 million people would strengthen the European Union. Some six million Turks already live within the European Union, about 3 million of them in Germany,” Erdogan said.

Turkey will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation as a republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in 2023, Reuters reports.

It was the first time Erdogan has given an indication of how long Ankara might continue down the path towards EU entry, and his comments came at a time of growing alienation between Turkey and a political entity it feels has cold-shouldered it.

Turkey's bid to join the EU was officially launched in 2005 and the country has only managed to fulfill one out of 35 necessary chapters so far. The European Commission (EC) says Turkey does not yet meet required standards on human rights and freedom of speech.

Turkey’s EU integration process virtually ground to a halt in recent years due to opposition from core EU members and the failure to find a solution to the dispute over the divided island of Cyprus. Turkish troops invaded the northern part of Cyprus in 1974.

Israeli air force launches joint exercises with Greece

Mirage IIICJ in Israeli Air Force museum (13 v...
Mirage IIICJ in Israeli Air Force museum (13 victory markings) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Israeli air force launched joint maneuvers with its Greek counterpart for the first time, Hebrew media reported. Yediot Ahronot said in a report that the military exercises were held in both countries but did not disclose the timing, noting that the maneuvers were launched after deterioration of relations with Turkey.

The newspaper quoted Israeli sources as saying that the drills were a clear message to Turkey, which decided to halt its annual military exercises with Israel following the Israeli navy attack on the Freedom Flotilla that killed a number of Turkish nationals a couple of years ago. They pointed out that the maneuvers were also held at a time of Turkish threats to Greece not to approach the natural gas offshore fields.

The Israeli government had opted to forging closer ties with Athens in a bid to find an alternate strategic ally to Ankara. (source)

Kosovo platform "will not disappoint anyone"

BELGRADE -- Serbia's top state officials have met once again at the Presidency in Belgrade to discuss their platform for the Kosovo negotiations.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
Marko Đurić, adviser to President Tomislav Nikolić, told reporters that the document is expected to be harmonized during next week.
He spoke after the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, and added that after it had been harmonized, Nikolić intended to discuss the platform with all MP groups in the country's parliament.

"Absolute unity of the state leadership has been affirmed when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija," said Đurić.

He added that "a principle will be affirmed" according to which Serbia will "endeavor to preserve its state and national interests, but also to make maximum effort to get a date for the start of EU negotiations as soon as possible".

According to Đurić, these two points do not stand in contrast to one another, while the platform, he noted, "will not disappoint anyone".

Asked "which of the existing solutions worldwide will Belgrade refer to when it comes to solving the Kosovo issue", Đurić noted that the platform was still marked as "state secret", but added that "there are many solutions in European and world practice that can be referred to".

The meeting today was attended by Nikolić, PM Ivica Dačić. his deputies Aleksandar Vučić and Suzana Grubješić, FM Ivan Mrkić, and Kosovo Office chief Aleksandar Vulin.

Aleksandar Vučić announced earlier in the day that President Nikolić would host a meeting of the Council for National Security, which would discuss the platform, while the document should be expected "in the coming days and weeks".

Kosovo is my personal matter, Clinton says

PRIŠTINA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Priština Wednesday that Kosovo’s independence was indisputable.
Hillary Clinton and Hashim Thaci (Tanjug/AP)
Hillary Clinton and Hashim Thaci (Tanjug/AP)
However, she added that normalization of relations with Serbia would be crucial for Kosovo’s progress.
“It will take political will, even courage, but if they make progress on the pathway, Kosovo and Serbia will get help in their efforts to resolve other urgent issues, such as strengthening of the economy and creating opportunities for their people,” Clinton said.

She and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met with Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga and PM Hashim Thaci on Wednesday.

After the meeting with Thaci, Clinton said that the U.S. would not allow anyone to question Kosovo’s independence.

“We are opposed to every talk on the change of borders or reopening of the issue of Kosovo’s independence. This cannot be discussed,” the U.S. official noted.

“For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal,” Clinton stressed.

She said that she had conveyed to Kosovo leadership a message about the necessity to continue dialogue with Belgrade and reach concrete results in the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Clinton also stated that agreements reached so far in the Belgrade-Priština talks needed to be implemented.

The U.S. secretary of state said that the U.S. had always supported the people of Kosovo and they would stay partners on Kosovo's further path of development.

“I am here today with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton because the U.S. fully supports aspirations of the people of Kosovo to become part of the EU and Euro-Atlantic integration,” she explained.

Clinton added that Thaci had taken the political risk by meeting Serbia’s PM Ivica Dačić in Brussels.

“Kosovo’s future is in Europe. We will be with you on that road, we will be with you while you discuss normalization of relations with Serbia,” she stressed.

Ashton said that the EU pathway was not easy but that Kosovo would in the end be a country where law and order are respected and economic prosperity is ensured.

Speaking about the dialogue and normalization of relations, Ashton said she felt that this was not an easy process for the people of Kosovo because of their history.

“New meetings will take place very soon, the aim is to improve things, and this process should move forward. You should know that not only the EU will be engaged in this. We will closely cooperate with the U.S. in this process,” she said.

Thaci said that citizens of Kosovo would forever be grateful to the U.S. and the Western European countries for everything they had done for Kosovo but stressed that “despite the enormous progress, Kosovo is still not Kosovo of our dreams”.

“We are working for European and Euro-Atlantic Kosovo. We are aware that we still have a lot to do in law and order, against corruption, we should work for wellbeing of the citizens and for greater participation of minority representatives in Kosovo’s social and political life,” Thaci noted.

As for northern Kosovo, he pointed out that, “although a lot has been done for this part of the country, even more should be done”.

“We will work on attractive projects for the north. The presence of Serbian structures causes us great difficulties,” the Kosovo PM pointed out.

“Kosovo’s institutions will fulfill all the criteria in order to integrate in the EU and NATO. The EU integration has no alternative,” he added.

“The state of Kosovo is being consolidated, independence, sovereignty, internal organization cannot be questioned. The dialogue is of crucial importance for the two states’ relations,” Thaci concluded.

According to announcements, Clinton and Ashton will also meet with leaders of political parties in Kosovo.

Clinton and Ashton arrived in Priština on Tuesday night, after their short visit to Belgrade. They were welcomed by Jahjaga and EU Special Envoy in Kosovo Samuel Žbogar at Priština airport.

Priština-based Albanian language daily Koha Ditore’s Editor Agron Bajrami told B92 Radio earlier on Wednesday that he expected that messages similar to those heard in Belgrade would be heard in Kosovo.

“Since we are at the beginning of the dialogue on the political level, I think general messages that have already been heard in Belgrade can be expected, that Kosovo’s integrity will not be a topic of the talks, that Kosovo’s independence is a done deal as far as the U.S. is concerned and that it cannot be negotiated but they will have to negotiate other things that should lead to better relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The north is among those things,” he said and added that he believed that the north of the province would be discussed in the end of the negotiating process.

On the other hand, certain Kosovo Albanian analysts believe that the visit is aimed at exerting pressure on Priština to give up on the north and grant this part a special status. They have warned that the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština would be meaningless if Kosovo was not accepted in the UN and if it was not recognized by all EU member states in the end.

Priština-based Albanian language daily Zeri has quoted analyst Behgjet Shala as saying that “Priština is not in a position to request anything”.

“This visit has only one goal, to ask Kosovo to give up on the north and for the northern part to get a special status,” Shala said.

Pravda Newspaper

USA prepares world to Third World War

USA prepares world to Third World War. 48289.jpeg
A member of the Russian State Duma Yevgeny Fyodorov shared his vision of the current situation in the world with Pravda.Ru. He believes that the United States is preparing the grounds for starting World War III. Their plan is to combine all local conflicts together. The United States, when speaking about the fight against terrorism, in fact relies on extremism and terrorism.
Currently, the world is slipping into a complete destabilization that will inevitably end in a World War. This is precisely why many powers now are testing the ground. This is similar to the situation when the Soviet Union, fighting in Afghanistan, dealt not with the Mujahideen but with the Americans, Bin Laden and the American Stinger missiles.

This was an element of the global opposition and, in fact, a World War between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. The Soviet Union lost the war, was eliminated and enslaved.

The next part of the script is launching a global fire, unleashing a world war, uniting local conflicts into a single system of instability. For this we need to dramatically increase funding for terrorism.

We now see that the United States has dramatically increased the funding of terrorism around the world. The Americans will now act indiscriminately, that is, without consideration of whether they are giving to allies or not allies, friends or not friends.
Take, for example, the situation in Greece. Is Greece an enemy of America? But the Americans lowered its ratings and launched a European crisis.

Is Egypt an enemy of America? No. But the funding was provided, the "Orange Revolution" was organized, and now there are talks about a death sentence for the president of Egypt, who, in principle, was amicable towards the Americans. He was replaced by a more extremist oriented President, and not by accident.
That is, to implement the American idea, they will need a full rise of extremism in the world. The United States will continue with this plan. The growth and rise of extremism is part of the course towards World War III that the Americans need.

Clinton, Ashton meet with Kosovo officials

PRIŠTINA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met with Hashim Thaci on Wednesday.
Hillary Clinton, Atifete Jahjaga and Catherine Ashton (Tanjug/AP)
Hillary Clinton, Atifete Jahjaga and Catherine Ashton (Tanjug/AP)
Before their meeting with the Kosovo PM, Clinton and Ashton met with Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga.
According to announcements, they will also meet with leaders of political parties in Kosovo.

Clinton and Ashton arrived in Priština on Tuesday night, after their short visit to Belgrade. They were welcomed by Jahjaga and EU Special Envoy in Kosovo Samuel Žbogar at Priština airport.

Clinton, Ashton and Thaci are expected to hold a joint press conference after the meeting.

Priština-based Albanian language daily Koha Ditore’s Editor Agron Bajrami told B92 Radio that he expected that messages similar to those heard in Belgrade would be heard in Kosovo.

“Since we are at the beginning of the dialogue on the political level, I think general messages that have already been heard in Belgrade can be expected, that Kosovo’s integrity will not be a topic of the talks, that Kosovo’s independence is a done deal as far as the U.S. is concerned and that it cannot be negotiated but they will have to negotiate other things that should lead to better relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The north is among those things,” he said and added that he believed that the north of the province would be discussed in the end of the negotiating process.

On the other hand, certain Kosovo Albanian analysts believe that the visit is aimed at exerting pressure on Priština to give up on the north and grant this part a special status. They have warned that the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština would be meaningless if Kosovo was not accepted in the UN and if it was not recognized by all EU member states in the end.

Priština-based Albanian language daily Zeri has quoted analyst Behgjet Shala as saying that “Priština is not in a position to request anything”.

“This visit has only one goal, to ask Kosovo to give up on the north and for the northern part to get a special status,” Shala said.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Austerity and Political Balkanization: The Rise of Separatist Agitation in Europe

European Union
European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Chris Marsden
Global Research

Recent months have seen one example after another of gains for parties advocating the creation of new, small states in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Scotland and elsewhere in Europe.

The growth in support for such tendencies has been fuelled by the savage cuts and austerity measures being imposed by central governments on the instructions of the troika—the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund—at the behest of the banks and global speculators. But the exploitation of legitimate social grievances does not mean that the political beneficiaries represent the interests of the broad masses who are being exploited.

All of the parties championing separatism speak for bourgeois and upper-middle class layers that have concluded the relative wealth of their regions will allow them a more privileged existence—provided they too seek membership in the European Union and faithfully do the bidding of the banks and corporations in waging attacks on the working class.

The most prominent separatist movements have all emerged within their respective countries’ more prosperous regions. All call for an end to the subsidisation of poorer regions through central taxation and advocate local control of valuable assets. None of this is altered by fairly transparent efforts to project a left face in the case of some of the larger nationalist organisations and a plethora of pseudo-left tendencies that trail in their wake.

In Spain, the two most powerful movements are centered in the Basque and Catalan regions. The first is one of Spain’s richest regions in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, and the second is the richest region overall.

Last month, 1.5 million Catalans marched in Barcelona to call for a separate state under the banner of “a new nation in Europe”. The regional government has dutifully implemented every demand for austerity made for the past two years, but still finds itself with a record debt of 44 billion euros and a credit rating reduced to junk status.

The leader of the dominant Convergència i Unió (Convergence and Union), Artur Mas, is advancing a referendum on independence by calling the distribution of burdens within Spain “unfair and disloyal”. He openly speaks for the more well-off, comparing the “fatigue” in Catalonia with the complaints of Germany, France and other major states that they are subsidising southern Europe’s poorer states, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain.

The role played by Berlin and Paris in imposing crushing austerity on these countries is glossed over, because Mas wants entry into the EU. It is proof that an “independent” Catalonia will carry out precisely the same attacks on workers as it has already done as an “autonomous region.”

In Belgium, the same message comes from the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), headed by Bart De Wever, which won decisively in local elections earlier this month by complaining of the Dutch-speaking north subsidising the poorer south of the country. De Wever, who became mayor of Antwerp, has declared, “The Flemish have had enough of being treated like cows only good for their milk.” He described Belgium as “a transfer union” dependent upon “checkbook federalism”. Like his Catalan counterpart, he pursues a pro-EU agenda.

In Italy, the Lega Nord (Northern League) is an openly right-wing formation, opposing subsidies to the less prosperous south under the slogan “Roma ladrona” (Rome Big Thief). But Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s demands for cuts in regional spending have also sparked protests calling for a Venetian republic. In South Tyrol, separatists are demanding that 90 percent of tax revenue collected in the wealthy province be returned to the region.

The Scottish National Party (SNP), run by Alex Salmond, a former oil adviser to the Royal Bank of Scotland, has secured agreement for an independence referendum in 2014. The SNP has long posed as a defender of limited welfare measures against central government cuts by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and the preceding Labour Party government. But its real agenda is to establish a low corporate tax location for the European market that will serve the interests of the financial elite and its hangers-on.

Edinburgh is the second largest financial centre in the UK after the City of London and the fourth largest in Europe, measured by equity assets. It sustained a growth rate of over 30 percent between 2000 and 2005. It ranks ahead of Qatar, Oslo, Glasgow, Dublin, Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Milan, Madrid and Moscow in the Global Financial Centres Index.

The SNP claims Scotland ranks fifth within the EU in GDP per capita, if account is taken of Scotland’s economic share of the UK’s national air space, territorial waters and oil and gas reserves in the North Sea continental shelf, which it says should be controlled by Edinburgh. Scotland has been wealthier than the rest of the UK every single year since 1980, it insists.

The various pseudo-left groups seek to dress up these movements as progressive because their “objective role” is to break apart imperialist nations and this will somehow, at some ill-defined future point, open the way to a socialist development. They are carrying out a political fraud, designed to conceal their orientation to the bourgeoisie and a desire to share in the spoils of this new round of “nation-building”.

All these movements advance a perspective that is antithetical to the fundamental interests of the working class. The growth of separatist movements throughout Europe is a retrograde development that cuts across the critical struggle to unite the working class in opposition to the social counterrevolution being carried out under the auspices of the European Union.

The perspective of these movements is a recipe for the Balkanisation of Europe and its transformation into a madhouse of competing mini-states. These capitalist enclaves would all implement policies dictated to them by the troika and the banks and corporations, resulting in the ever more horrific immiseration of the broad mass of working people.

Left unchallenged, they will pit workers against one another in a race to the bottom in terms of jobs, wages and conditions. Worse still, as is proved by the experience of Yugoslavia, bourgeois nationalism and separatism fuel fratricidal conflict ending in war.

Trotsky once described the state system of Europe as akin to the cages within an impoverished provincial zoo. It is not the task of the working class to build still smaller cages, but to liberate the continent from all such archaic national divisions and build a harmonious and planned economy, based upon production for need and not profit.

This means waging an irreconcilable struggle against the EU and all its constituent governments—independently of all factions of the bourgeoisie and their petty-bourgeois accomplices—for the creation of workers’ governments and the United Socialist States of Europe.

Serbian officials meet with Clinton and Ashton

BELGRADE -- U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton and EU foreign and security policy chief Catherine Ashton are meeting with President Tomislav Nikolić.
They are also on Tuesday in Belgrade conferring with Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.
The meeting is being held behind closed doors, but the participants will address reporters afterwards.

More photos

Ahead of the visit, Ashton's spokesperson Maja Kocijacić said that the visit "represents an expression of joint support for integrations, and especially for the Belgrade-Priština dialogue".

In Belgrade, former head of the government office for EU integration Milica Delević said the visit was meant to encourage the new government to approach the dialogue and the process of integrations with a great degree of seriousness.

Meanwhile, the Serbian police - some 4,000 of them - are being deployed along the route from the airport to the Palace of Serbia.

Security measure were raised to the highest level, while the citizens have been warned to expect traffic jams.

An unknown number of U.S. FBI service are also providing security, it has been reported..

On Monday evening in Belgrade, right-wing organizations held a peaceful protest against the visit of Hillary Clinton, while the Serb Radicals (SRS) announced another protest in front of the Serbian Presidency for Tuesday.

Clinton and Ashton arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Monday evening, it has been reported.

Greeks Hold Protest At ANT1 Against Turkish Drama Series

About seven associations from Asia Minor, Costantinopole, Cyprus and of course Greece gathered together on Sunday night in order to protest outside of the offices of ANT1 Television in Maroussi against the channel's decision to broadcast the Turkish Syleman the Magnificent drama series.

Greek television stations have indeed over broadcasted these Turkish nightly soap operas, because in most cases they are free or cost next to nothing. What they have not measured is how this will affect Greek society as a whole.

We therefore would like to send them a message. Instead of featuring news stories about some radicals, as you call them, or extremists, protesting outside of a television station, you should ask yourselves why would Turkey give Greece free nightly soap operas to broadcast?

Secondly, so long as the northern portion of Cyprus is occupied there is no way in hell that societies from both these countries can come together.

And finally, when Turkey stops provoking our national sentiment, gets its Consulate out of Komotini, and stops illegally trafficking people from third world nations into our country, maybe then we will be ready as Greeks to sit down and talk about coming closer.

For now... HellasFrappe is in FULL SUPPORT with these protesters, and as a blog we  will continue to support and publish their future actions as well!smanalysis

Notis Sfakianakis Slams Tatiana - Shows Support For Golden Dawn (VIDEO)

Popular Singer Notis Sfakianakis was recently invited to gossip queen Tatiana Stefanidou's afternoon talk show "Mila" on STAR channel. Sfakianakis, known to be very outspoken about Greek political issues, actually stunned her when he flat out supported many actions of the Golden Dawn party and said that half a million people voted for this party, "and all of you -meaning the mainstream media- have to respect it!" Indeed, Tatiana wasn't waiting for that answer, and she attempted to sway him to say something else, but he came back stronger. He said he was against illegal immigration and only in favor of legal migration and that in no time the Greek race will become a minority in this country. We agree with him. Golden Dawn might indeed be a far-right party, and some may not politically align themselves to their ideology but this does not in any way mean that they do not deserve the same respect that other extreme parties such as SYRIZA or the Greek Communist have.

We say - Evge Noti, not because of your ideologies, but because you have the MANHOOD to express them! Bravo!
Drymades 2010
Drymades 2012


Dhermi, (Drymades, Himara Region) between natural beauty and destruction

Look at those videos, before in 2010, everything natural and in 2012 the differences, the big changes how are divided Mafia plots, see whose investments are shown, with the camera of a sportsman parachute, in Long Beach "Perivolo" in Dhrymades, the Himara Region.

Look at how this summer 2012, the Concessions of Mafia provided by The Himara Counsil Municipality and the Government of Albania, have become a reality. The Sand Beach Drymades, is transformed in the sidewalks and kiosks.

See how they are transformed Dhermi, in a few years, in an administrative center, disrupting also balance the religious and ethnic composition of himariotes.
smPanariti: Must stop Greek Nazi marches
TIRANA-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edmond Panariti announced two days ago that the official Tirana will not allow entry into the territory of Albania Greek extremist formations. Referring to Greek Neo-Nazi rally "Golden Dawn", Kelcyre Bularat, held on the occasion of 28 October, Greece's National Day in honor of fallen soldiers during World War II, Panariti said that "such reminders can be made well in Greece and need not be such inroads within Albanian territory and much more by not contacting the authorities of the neighboring country, which is a dishonor. "
Meanwhile Panariti considered the normal reactions of the Red and Black Alliance, Vetëvendosje PJIU. He expressed these views in ABC News television studio in front of the journalist, Sonila Meco. "The Albanian newspaper" published today complete reaction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Bishop of Gjirokastra: "Himara was, is and will be Greece Land"

Bishop of Gjirokastra, Dhimitrios, spoke for Himara independence and his leader Spyros Spyromilos, during ceremony in Himara.

Published by Shekulli Newspaper:

Albanian Autocephalous Orthodox Church cleric, Bishop of Gjirokastra, Dhimirios, called from Himara, as Greece land, where led a ceremony in memory of Greek soldiers, fallen in the Greek-Italian war. Metropolitan Dhimitrios said, "Himara is Greek land, has been and will remain so." 

 During his speech after the mass at the Orthodox Church in Himara, Dhimitrios, also said: "This mass is held in memory of the Greek national holiday on October 28 which is related to the 100th anniversary of Himara liberation from the Turkish yoke".  

"This orthodox ceremony held in memory of the leader of freedom, Spiro Spiromilo. Young people need to learn the history of their heroes, not to forget the past site. Common tie us heroes that are homes and Orthodox religion. And this land, Himara, had sustained relationship with Constantinople was Byzantium eye here. Should tell your parents and learn, pass this message from generation to generation, that we came not from any location and have been placed on this earth, but we have been here for centuries before we were here at the time of the Roman Empire and Greece Ancient. We were here at the time of the Balkan wars, when major territorial changes occurred. Were Greeks who came from Greece and liberated this land. But though came in Himara that had any relatives? No. Were related by blood, were Greeks, and came to fight for the liberation of all Greeks. "

Monday, October 29, 2012

Clinton arrives in Bosnia at start of her Balkans tour

SARAJEVO — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Bosnia Monday to kick off a five-nation Balkans tour during which she will push for greater integration of the volatile region into the EU and NATO.
Clinton, who will on Tuesday be joined by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, was expected to call on Bosnia to speed up reforms in the country still deeply divided along ethnic lines 17 years after the 1992-1995 war there.
"I think the message from Secretary Clinton and High Representative Ashton will be that... we would like to see (Bosnia) becoming a member of European Union/NATO, but we really need the necessary reforms," a State Department spokesman, asking to remain anonymous, said ahead of the trip.
Clinton and Ashton are due to meet with Bosnia's three-man presidency and top international officials.
Following the US-brokered 1995 Dayton peace deal, Bosnia consists of two semi-independent entities -- the Serbs's Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Each of the two halves, which are linked by weak central institutions, has its own government.
The ethnic rift in Bosnia is deeper than ever with Serbs rejecting any boosting of central institutions, sought by Muslims and the international community, and regularly warning that their entity could break away and should negotiate separately on EU entry.
Sarajevo lags behind its neighbours in their EU path. Bosnia is the only Balkans country that has yet to apply for EU membership, which it will probably do by the end of this year.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said Clinton's visit was a "strong message showing that the US is standing by Bosnia and wants its success as a state and as a society.
"We count on getting support for accession to the EU and NATO but also a clear call to all political actors in Bosnia that the process of reforms has no alternative and that it has be accelerated," Lagumdzija told AFP.
Clinton, who arrived here from Algeria -- where she held talks to press for a possible military intervention in neighbouring Mali, large swathes of which have been overrun by Islamists -- will travel from Sarajevo to Belgrade and Pristina on Tuesday.
There, Clinton and Ashton will "reiterate US-EU resolve for Serbia and Kosovo to build on previous agreements and advance their dialogue, as well as to encourage concrete steps that will allow those countries to progress on their respective paths to EU membership," the State Department said.
Serbia rejects Kosovo's unilateral 2008 proclamation of independence, which is recognised by some 90 states including 22 of the EU's 27 members and the United States.
Talks between Belgrade and Pristina, launched in March 2011 under EU auspices, were suspended before May's elections in Serbia, won by nationalists.
Serbia is an EU candidate, and Kosovo hopes to formalise ties, but the bloc has made clear to both that they must re-start talks and show concrete results.
Clinton will end her tour in Croatia and Albania, which joined the NATO transatlantic military alliance in 2009.
Clinton last visited Bosnia, as well as Serbia and Kosovo -- which emerged from the 1990s break-up of the former Yugoslavia -- in 2010.
Of the six former Yugoslav republics, only Slovenia is an EU member, having joined in 2004. Croatia is set to become the 27-nation's bloc newest member next July.

"Pravda Newspaper"

Russia can make Greece prospering state in one year

Russia can make Greece prospering state in one year. 48379.jpeg
Two years ago, Greece missed the chance to extricate from the crisis with Russia's help. Nowadays, Russian investments in the country grow and give air to breathe to economies of several regions of Greece, such as the north-east. Russian investors are especially attracted by cheap real estate, tourism and the property that they can buy from the state.
"Greece should only give Russia the green light, and the Russian money will come," said Ivan Savvidi, a businessman and the president of the Association of Greek Public Organizations of Russia said. "If Greece asks Russian business, I can tell you that by October next year, Greece will become a prosperous country," the BBC quoted Savvidi, a former deputy of the Russian State Duma.
"Russia has never turned its back on Greece in a thousand years, and, of course, it will not now," the official said.
According to Savvidi, the Greek government has once missed a historic opportunity to get out of the crisis with Russia's help. "Two years ago, when George Papandreou (former Prime Minister) met with Vladimir Putin, the Russian side was ready to help, but Athens did not raise the issue," Savvidi said.
Why wasn't Greece ready? Prominent German politician of the CDU, Armin Laschet, tried to answer this question. According to him, Greece's exit from the euro zone "may lead to instability in NATO member states. Russia is ready to help Greece with its billions should the scenario continues to develop," Laschet told Reuters. "There is much more at stake here than just a question of whether Greece meets the criteria of EU's bailout plan."
However, despite the absence of political will on the part of Greece, Russian investments in the economy of the crisis-stricken nation grow. First, it is tourism that Savvidi called "the oil pipe of Greece." Eleftherios Meletlidis, a hotelier in the area of Mount Athos, told the BBC that the number of tourists in the region had increased tenfold since 2002. "The Russian market is huge. The Russians practice  Orthodoxy, they love Greece. The proximity to Mount Athos is the key, as the Russians are very religious, at a much greater extent than the Greeks."
According to Russia-Greece Chamber of Commerce, tourists from Russia - 1.7 million people last year - leave a lot of money in the country - about $ 2 billion. About 7 percent of Russians come with a wish to buy real estate. For example, last year there were 31,000 such transactions registered. "The Russians have a strong interest in acquiring land, businesses and real estate," said Grigoris Tassios, the chairman of the Association of Halkidiki Hotels in the north of the country.
According to him, Russian entrepreneurs have acquired eight hotels in four years. "But the Russians are tough negotiators. They know that the market is depressed and therefore request a 30 percent discount on everything that catches their interest," he added.
It should be noted that the Greek real estate market is not in the first priority of the Russians - it takes only the 15th position. The second Greek-Russian forum on real estate, which was held in Athens on October23-24, unveiled the following numbers. Russians prefer to buy property in Italy (35 percent), Bulgaria (15 percent), the U.S. (12 percent), Czech Republic (9 percent), Spain (8 percent), Turkey (3 percent), Greek portal wrote.
The President of the federation of Russian brokerage firms, Anna Lupashko, reported that in Greece, Russian customers look for real estate ranging from 100 to 200 thousand euros for personal recreation. She described an average Russian investor. This is a businessman aged 30-45, married, with children, concluding his or her deal for the first time. He or she wants to spend around 150,000 dollars (56 percent). As many as 13.6 percent buy homes within 500,000 dollars in the countries such as the UK, Italy and France). They buy mostly new apartments (55 percent), and are not interested in real estate property under construction.
The Russians also look for a mild climate (71 percent), friendly attitude of people (44 percent) and investment opportunities (40 percent). All of this they can find in Greece. In addition to tourism and real estate, the Russian business is ready to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the country. To implement the recommendations of the IMF, ECB and EU, the Greek government widely privatizes state property in order to replenish its liquidity. A Russian investor has bought a controlling stake in the state-controlled Dodoni dairies and a port complex in Thessaloniki. Gazprom is interested in buying DEPA gas company; Russian Railways monopoly is interested in unprofitable Greek railways.
Despite Greece's membership in the EU and NATO, the country's friendship with Russia has many years of fine traditions. Count Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Greek diplomat and foreign minister of the Tsarist Russia, was elected in 1827 the first President of Greece (after the country became independence from the Ottoman Empire).
During the Greek National Liberation Revolution in 1821 - 1829 years, the "Russian party" that was representing the Peloponnesian Greeks was primarily responsible for the armed struggle against the Turks on land. Russia's influence has not been lost in the areas where Russia was fighting against the Ottoman Empire. This influence grows through investments from both private and state Russian businesses and can be much bigger if the Greek government has the political will for it.
Lyuba Lulko
The Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the incidents in Kleisoyra by Albanian nationalists

Athina reagon për episodet gjatë festimeve në KëlcyrëThe Greek foreign ministry condemned today the incidents that caused by the team of the Albanian nationalists against representatives of the Greek Embassy in the celebrations for the anniversary of the October 28 Kleisoyra.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the attitudes and actions that were intended to tarnish the celebration of National Day and undermine bilateral relations which develop positively for the benefit of both countries," he said in a statement.

"Greece and Albania take steps to start a new era in their relationship based on mutual respect and common European future," said the foreign ministry, adding that those responsible for these actions should get the message that this central selection of the two governments "not reversible."

Note: The latest incident with the Greek National Day of October 28, in Permeti, passed with a statement by the Greek government, seeking to criticize Albanian extremists and simultaneously show that "Albania and Greece, are friendship bridge".This is a new incident is so dangerous consequences, as the failure of President Carolos Papoulias visits in Ag. Saranda in 2005, again by Albanian nationalists, wanting to remove responsibility repsektive by the two governments, for which, the Greek Community, is moreendangered as never in these 20 years .. in this strong anti Greek rhetoric can not erase both the government of Sali Berisha and others politic parties, including the Opposition, which creates  unanimusly institutional conditions for that, the Albanian nationalists have support overall and everywhere.

Stuart Stevens' Shady Past Clients, Revealed

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
“I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world,” said Mitt Romney at the now-infamous private fundraiser in Boca Raton where he attacked the “47 percent.” While those comments seized the country’s attention, these strange remarks largely escaped notice: “These guys in the U.S.—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world, in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel,” he said. “They do these races, and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign.”
“I’d tell them to you,” Romney joked, “but I’d have to shoot you.”
For Romney to brag behind closed doors that his consultants are using tactics honed in foreign elections is peculiar, to say the least. The well-traveled consultants he praised were almost certainly his chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, and Stevens’ longtime sidekick, Russ Schriefer. And before taking charge of Romney’s presidential campaign as its “Karl Rove equivalent,” Stevens helped lift at least two foreign strongmen into power, guiding them to victory in elections rife with irregularities and violence.
Stevens, whom The New Republic profiled in August, says he relishes politics “for the smell of napalm in the morning,” and, by his own admission, his political work is driven by something like a sublimated aggression—it provides “an outlet for my violent tendencies.” An article last month in Politico that portrayed Stevens as the target of vicious sniping within the campaign mentioned in passing that he worked in Albania and the Congo. But it didn’t name the leaders whose campaigns he ran: Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Congolese President Joseph Kabila, authoritarian figures who have alarmed human rights groups and, at times, the U.S. State Department.
The depth of Stevens’ involvement in the campaigns of Berisha and Kabila is evident from the LinkedIn profile of Joel Frushone, a former deputy at Stevens’ consulting firm, the Stevens & Schriefer Group. His resume says the firm managed almost every aspect of their election bids, from “high level multimedia campaigns” to “fundraising,” “policy development,” “in-depth opposition research,” and “political strategy, media plans and tactics”—virtually the same services Stevens provides Romney.
Frushone offered only a brief comment. “I know the intimate details of what we did there,” he said, “and it was all above board.”
According to an insider from the 2005 Albanian campaign, Stevens was recommended to Berisha by a Bosnian businessman and fixer, Damir Fazlic whom the U.S. State Department has described as “shady.” (State Department cables say Fazlic worked closely with Berisha on the campaign and received legal protection from his government. He has been followed in the Eastern European press by rumors of mafia ties. He did not reply to requests for comment.) Stevens was joined in Albania by a consort from Washington’s BGR Group, and the Americans had their work cut out for them: Berisha’s image needed serious rehab. His previous reign over Albania had ended in a surreal, almost apocalyptic catastrophe.
As an apparatchik in the country’s former Stalinist dictatorship, Berisha rode a democratic uprising to the presidency in the early 1990s and imposed a right-wing, one-party regime. While secret police kept order, monumental pyramid schemes grew to consume much of the GDP. When they crashed in 1997, Albania plunged into violent anarchy. Girding for civil war, Berisha surrounded himself with a paramilitary gang as his party handed out guns at campaign offices. In late 1997, he resigned under intense international and American pressure. The violence killed an estimated 2,000 people.
When Stevens was hired to resell Berisha’s leadership to the Albanian populace in 2005, Berisha’s image at home and abroad was that of a washed-up despot. Audaciously, Stevens and the BGR specialists set about crafting a platform based almost entirely on a pledge to reduce corruption. Thus, one of Eastern Europe’s most unsavory ex-rulers was resurrected as a crusading reformer.

more see:

Lagarde List Leaked: Greek Politicians, Big Names

Lagarde List Leaked

A closely-kept secret by the Greek government – the names of 1,991 people who made $1.95 billion in deposits in the Geneva, Switzerland HSBC bank branch – has been released by a Greek investigative journalist and immediately went viral on the Internet, listing several politicians, an advisor to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, well-known businessmen, journalists, doctors, lawyers and engineers, actors and civil servants – some of them working at the Finance Ministry.
The list contains also the names of three former ministers, of whom one died sometime ago. Also the names of owners of enterprises that have gone bankrupt. But also students studying abroad, pensioners and housewives.
Former Minister George Voulgarakis is on the list
The names were said to come from an original list given by former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde – now the head of the International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s Troika of international lenders – to former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou who said he lost them.
That prompted his successor, Evangelos Venizelos, now the current head of the PASOK Socialists, to produce a copy he said he had on a memory stick and set off an investigation by Greek prosecutors as to whether any of those listed had evaded taxes. It’s not unlawful for Greeks to have accounts in another country as long as they are declared and taxes are paid on them.
Greek authorities did not confirm that the list printed on Oct. 27 in Hot Doc, a weekly magazine published by investigative journalist Costas Vaxevanis, were those on the Lagarde list, given to Greece in 2010 as part of a longer list on a CD that came from stolen records from the bank, the reason Venizelos said he never acted on it, although Lagarde said other countries who found names of their citizens have used it to prosecute tax cheats.
Neither Papaconstantinou nor Venizelos indicated there were any politicians on the list and the government wanted the names kept secret as Samaras is proceeding with a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan while tax evaders who owe the country $70 billion have largely escaped Greece’s crushing economic crisis. The plan includes more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions affecting workers, pensioners and the poor while Greece’s politicians, rich elite and tax heats have been relatively unaffected.
The embarrassing release came only a day after Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Nikos Pantelis asked for Parliament to be briefed regarding any politicians on list. Former minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, from Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives, whose name is on the list, said it was “disinformation” and “mudslinging” and declared via his Twitter account, “Neither my wife nor I have any offshore companies or foreign bank accounts.”
Not only Greeks but also name of foreign nationals are on the list – apparently having transferred money to HSBC from Greek banks. Hot Doc stressed that people on the list should not be considered tax evaders unless it is proved they did not pay taxes on the deposits.
But it said: “It is apparent that a large portion of deposits are not justified with the income of depositors. Proof is that most accounts were closed after the bank briefed on the data leaking.” Vaxevanis wrote that he had received the list content on a USB memory stick “by somebody” who wrote to HOT DOC that s/he “believed that the list has been misused for political and economic purposes for two years.”
The HSBC data were stolen by former bank employee Herve Falciani in 2007.  While countries like France, UK and Germany pursued tax evaders, Greece kept moving it from one place to another until Papaconstantinou said it was lost, and he blamed his aides and it became apparent that no politician wanted to get involved.
There was no immediate reaction from the government, which is rushing to finalize the new austerity plan and ram it through Parliament before a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Nov. 14 so that a pending $38.8 billion loan installment can be released.
The Hot Doc website stated:  “Our controls led to the conclusion that this is the list of Greek depositors to HSBC until 2007 when the leak started. So this list was identical to the Lagarde-List. But we cannot check if this is the (original) list received by Papaconstantinou or a list being formed later after the removal of some names in an potential attempt to hide evidence.”
Until now, one journalist said that he had no bank account abroad and a well-known lawyer declared that his family had transferred money abroad in the late 1980’ss to cover surgery expenses for a family member. Another journalist said he had no money abroad at that time, while a former New Democracy minister and his wife dismissed any connection to the list. While the Hot Doc list did not show how much money was deposited by each individual, that information was reportedly on the original list.