Saturday, November 10, 2012

Seventeen Turkish troops die in helicopter crash

DEBKAfile November 10, 2012, 
Turkish Kurdish PKK separatists are suspected of downing the Turkish Sikorsky with an anti-air missile Saturday over the Pervari area inside the Iraq-Syria-Turkish border triangle. Ankara said later that bad weather conditions caused the crash. DEBKAfile: Syrian ruler Bashar Assad is believed to have armed the Kurdish PKK with anti-air missiles in revenge for the delivery of American-made Stingers to Syrian rebels. Last Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “We have verified information that thee are more than 50 Stingers in Syrian now.”
Greece starts searching oil

Greece starts searching oil
As warned, the Greek government gave the first licence for oil research in their part of the sea. The Greek Ministry of Economy, Construction and Development in Greece announced that on 11 November 2012 will start the official oil researches in the Greek maritime territory in Northern Ion and Southern Crete.

The researches will continue for three months and the Greek government will start the tender with the areas of interest. We are talking about an area of 225.000 square km, twice the land territory of Greece.

According to this Ministry, the licence was won by the Norwegian Petrolium-Geo-Services company, which will enable the researches for oil through modern technology. The first ship is called “nordic Explorer”, and it will start searching the area on Monday, exactly at the area that Albania would be giving away to Greece with the maritime pact signed by the two governments, but that was rejected by the Albanian Constitutional Court.

Greece has never accepted this, and says that they will implement the researches on the territory for which they agreed with the Albanian government, after they will replace it with a new agreement that will be acceptable for both parties. A few weeks ago Top Channel discovered that the draft of a new agreement is underway and it leaves the first one unchanged, giving away to Greece an area of 250 square km, there where Greece has given the tender.

Sources form the Foreign Ministry said for Top Channel that the agreements with Albanian will depend on the result of the researches. Certainly that the Greek interest will fall if the gas and oil extraction in this area will have a high cost, the sources said. According to the Greek Ministry, the experts say that the Ionian Sea has large amounts of oil, that could be calculated to billions of barrels.

Greek Journalists To Join European-Wide Strike on Nov. 14

Newspaper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY) called on its members to take part in a European-wide labour mobilisations on November 14 with a nationwide three-hour work stoppage (12:00-15:00).

Journalists will also join a protest rally at 13:00 on November 14 organized in Athens by the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) and civil servants union federation ADEDY.

"Trade unions and society join forces to protest with the rest of Europe against the neo-liberal policies that have turned an entire continent into a continent of unemployment and poverty. The struggle with all European workers for dignified life continues on a national and European level," a POESY statement noted.
Berisha of Tirana, Insists on irredentist statements

Ο πρωθυπουργός της Αλβανίας, Σαλί Μπερίσα, βρισκόμενος στο Κάμεζ εγκαινίασε αρκετές εγκαταστάσεις και εργαστήρια του τμήματος  βιοτεχνολογίας και τροφίμων του Γεωπονικού Πανεπιστημίου. Με την ευκαιρία αυτή, μίλησε για την αλβανική εθνότητα, έχοντας επίγνωση των επιπτώσεων του εθνικιστικού πνεύματος από κόμματα στις επερχόμενες εκλογές.

The Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, Situated in Kamez inaugurated several facilities and laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology and Food Agricultural University. On this occasion, he spoke of the Albanian nation, aware of the impact of the nationalist spirit of parties in the upcoming elections.
"We remember that 100 years ago, those who fought for the Albanian nation, Albanian territories where Albanians pleiopsifousan, then sacrificed for national ideals and then there was no state institution. Albanians were faced with the hostility of neighbors, who believed that Albanians should not have their territory. However, succeeded with superhuman effort, led by Ismail Vlora to declare independence, "said Berisha.The Prime Minister in his speech said that "Albanian lands should be and the areas of the consciousness of every Albanian and the ideal of unity should be preserved as a sacred ideal of Albanians," but added that "the association or merger Albanians should happen within the European Union. "
"This is a critical requirement for the actions of the nation to build our future in freedom. The anniversary of 100 years is the highest price for the hundreds of thousands of our martyrs since the beginning of last century to 99 in 2001, in Kosovo and Skopje and we must do everything to unite, we must do everything join Europe, "Berisha said, according to the newspaper Shekulli.


Debate in the Parlamentary Greek Defence Commission

Pappas: What Veto for Albania in EU?

Christos Pappas: To Albania have given all and everything

Member of The Golden Down: in Athens has 600 thousand dangerous Islamic and 16 thousand guns Kalashnikov

Papas: Greece boundaries cardinal problems with clandestine

Friday, November 9, 2012

Petraeus stand-in has been through this before

By Pam Benson

Once again, Michael Morell is being called on to fill-in as acting director of the CIA. It was only last year during the two month gap from the time Leon Panetta left the CIA until Petraeus took over the helm that Deputy Director Morell oversaw the Agency.

The career intelligence officer joined the CIA in 1980. Much of his early career focused on Asian issues. Morell has had a steady climb up the career ladder. He served as then CIA Director George Tenet's executive assistant and presided over the daily intelligence briefing for President George W. Bush. After a three year overseas assignment in the mid 2000's, he returned to headquarters where he became the associate deputy director responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Agency.

After spending two years as the Director of Intelligence, overseeing the work of the analysts, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Director in May 2010.
In his statement on the resignation of Director Petraeus, President Barack Obama expressed the "utmost confidence" in Morell continuing the work of the CIA. "I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe."

“Serbia will fulfill conditions, won’t recognize Kosovo”

ATHENS -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić has said that Serbia will fulfill all EU conditions but that it would never recognize Kosovo’s independence.
Tomislav Nikolić in Athens on Friday (Tanjug)
Tomislav Nikolić in Athens on Friday (Tanjug)
The president started his visit to Greece on Friday morning with a meeting with his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.
Papoulias told reporters that geopolitical situation in the region was sensitive and that Greece and Serbia were therefore obligated to show solidarity when it comes to critical national issues as countries with historical friendly ties.

Nikolić said that protection of Serbia’s sovereignty was a national interest. Nikolić thanked Papoulias on his country’s support to preservation of Serbia’s territorial integrity and EU pathway and said that Athens could count on Belgrade’s help.

“Serbia will help Greece if it wants to solve some of its problems. We have friendship, reputation and trust so we can help people, that are in fact not fighting, reconcile,” the Serbian president said.

His Greek counterpart conveyed Athens’ official position regarding Cyprus and a name dispute with the neighboring Macedonia. He stressed that Greece supported Serbia’s EU integration and that its main policy was to preserve stability and peace in the Balkans.

“We support EU accession of all Western Balkan countries in order to achieve this common European goal and consolidate stability in Serbia,” Papoulias pointed out.

The two presidents noted that Greece and Serbia had no open issues but only friendship that “will never stop”. They said ahead of the meeting that nothing could ever separate the Serbian and Greek people because their ties had been built by their ancestors.

Nikolić and Papoulias also assessed that the two countries’ economic cooperation was also good and that a great number of Greek companies did business in Serbia.

After the meeting, delegations of the two countries held a meeting, which was attended by Nikolić, Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić, Culture Minister Bratislav Petković, president’s foreign policy advisor Marko Đurić and Serbia’s Ambassador to Greece Dragan Županjevac.

During his three-day visit, the Serbian president will meet with Greek parliament Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis, PM Antonis Samaras and representatives of top political parties.

In Athens, Nikolić laid a wreath to the Unknown Soldier Tomb with Greek Defense Minister Panos Panayotopulos and he will attend a session of the Serbo-Greek business council with Greek Development Minister Kostas Hatzidakis on Friday.

Nikolić will visit the crypt at Zeytinlik, the Serbian military cemetery near Thessaloniki, where he will lay wreaths, as well as the islands of Corfu and Vido, in commemoration of Armistice Day on Saturday.

The Serbian president and his Greek counterpart will attend a commemorative ceremony on the island of Vido, after which they will visit the Serbian Museum of Corfu, dedicated to Serbian Kingdom's soldiers who perished there during the First World War.

He will also visit Mount Athos and the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Hilandar.

No change on Kosovo

Greek Parliament Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis underlined during the talks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić on Friday that the Greek stance on Kosovo's independence will not change.

Greece is one of the five EU member-stated that have not recognized the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration, made in early 2008.

Meimarakis expressed Greece's clear support to Serbia's EU pathway, stressing that it is of crucial importance for the Balkan region to be stable and secure.

The Serbian president said that Serbia highly appreciates Greece's support in terms of its European integration process and territorial integrity.

Serbia will fulfill all EU membership conditions, which were fulfilled by other EU members as well, Nikolić said, stressing that Serbia highly values the support of all five EU members, Greece included, which do not recognize Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.
Grave concern seriously to the Greek police for amnesty of 2,094 prisoners who plans Albania 

Has caused a great concern within the Greek Police the news that on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Albanian state Berisha gave absolution to 2,094 criminal prisoners according to the "secret" circulating and reported in a publication that was posted on the Albanian press.  

Among them are many who have been convicted of manslaughter, trafficking and involvement in circuits and drug trafficking in human organs! The returning officers reminded the sense that a similar amnesty gave before about 22 years since the government Ramiz Alia resulting Greece is full of criminals who slaughtered, robbed and raped!

The same sources believe that most of those who "liberated" it will go through the "grapevine secured its borders" called border into Greece.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Poll: 59% would choose Kosovo over EU

BELGRADE -- If Serbians voted in a referendum that would ask them to "choose between Kosovo and the EU", about two thirds would choose to keep Kosovo within Serbia.
At the same time, 27 percent said they would rather see the country join the EU.
The B92/Strategic Marketing poll included 1,002 respondents.

Broken down by partisan affiliation, the data showed that as many as 78 percent of the ruling Serb Progressives (SNS) - the country's largest party - would choose Kosovo, while 14 percent would go for Serbia's EU membership.

77 percent of voters of the ruling Socialists care more about Kosovo than about the EU, which would be the choice of only nine percent of those who support the party led by PM Ivica Dačić.

This is followed by the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) with 65 and 24 percent respectively - despite the fact that this party is considered to be among the strongest opponents of EU integrations.

On the other hand, although the ruling coalition places those integrations high on the list of priorities, it appears that this enthusiasm is not shared by a majority of its voters.

As for those who support Serbia's EU membership over her claim on Kosovo, 74 percent of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) voters would choose the former, while only eight percent the latter option.

46 percent of those who choose to vote for the opposition Democratic Party (DS) would also vote in favor of Kosovo in a referendum, while 43 percent would favor the EU.

Obama's Return a Test of Evolving Foreign Policy

Phrases to describe some of the looming foreign policy challenges for President Barack Obama didn't even exist when he took the oath of office the first time: the Arab Spring, the Fordo Facility housing Iran's underground uranium enrichment labs, the stealth power of new viruses bearing names such as Stuxnet and Flame in the shadow world of cyber-sabotage.
But that also doesn't mean the list of earlier conflicts, stalemates and crises — inherited by Obama in his first term and, in some cases, reaching back decades — is any shorter for the White House.
The global financial downturn hangs on stubbornly in a 21st century matrix that binds, to varying degrees, all major economies into a shared economic destiny. The U.S. combat role in Afghanistan is winding down as the Iraq mission before it, but U.S. policymakers face perhaps even more complex diplomacy and deal-making ahead in Kabul. Meanwhile, other flashpoints linked to al-Qaida and Islamist extremists such as Mali and Nigeria could rise on the U.S. agenda. And, as always, showdowns that span generations — including Cuba and the Israel-Palestinian impasse — hold a spot on Washington's radar.
Afghanistan Obama and the World.JPEG
FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 file... View Full Caption
In an increasingly interconnected and politically complex world, Obama's next term may test America's evolving — and perhaps more nuanced — roles as a superpower confident in its military strength yet trying to reclaim its "soft power" status of nimble diplomacy and building coalitions.
"We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world," Obama said in his victory speech Tuesday, "a nation that is defended by the strongest military on Earth ... but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being."
The only real foreign policy sure bet is that America's current top diplomat will change. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced plans to retire but could stay a few weeks into the new year. Her successor — like many for decades — will take on a portfolio heavily weighted toward the Middle East.

NATO-SNMCMG-2 Visited Patras.

The German mine hunter M-1064 FGS Grömitz (left) and Turkish mine hunter M-267 TCG Ayvalık in Patras. Photo:
Standing NATO Maritime Mine Counter Group 2 ended her visit to in Patras, Greece on 30th October 2012.
It seems that the Public Relations Officer responsible for SNMCMG-2 has gone AWOL. The latest news on the official website is from July 2012. But wait. It get’s better.
The photo of TCG Ayvalık on the Force Composition page shows an entirely different class of Turkish mine hunters. TCG Ayvalık is Aydın class based on German Navy Type 332. The photo of the  Force Composition page shows a Edincik class mine hunter which were bought from France and are known as Circé class there. The crème de la cream is if you click on TCG Ayvalık‘s photo it directs you to the Spanish Navy website.

KM District chief: Brussels agreement unacceptable

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Radenko Nedeljković has said that he "hopes that the agreement on integrated management of the administrative line will not be implemented".
A scene from northern Kosovo (Beta, file)
A scene from northern Kosovo (Beta, file)
The head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District noted that the implementation of the agreement would mean indirect recognition of Kosovo, stressing that the Serb community cannot survive in an independent Kosovo.
Nedeljković said that he expects serious behavior from the citizens, adding that they should not react to provocations, while passive resistance, determination and unity will help them reach the goal - survival and stay in this territory and within Serbia.

The district chief added that "the talks, agreements and everything that is happening have brought about confusion, fear and uncertainty among citizens".

Nedeljković said that EULEX units on the administrative crossings in north Kosovo have taken Priština's - i.e., Kosovo Albanian's - side, and that they implement unilateral decisions by the Kosovo institutions and act in line with secret lists composed by the Kosovo intelligence service.

“On a number of occasions we have said that the agreements that were reached are unacceptable for us, harmful for Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija. On a number of occasions as well, we said that we do not want to accept participation in the implementation of such agreements,” Nedeljković said.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić stated after Wednesday's talks with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci that it was agreed to introduce integrated control by December 10 at two out of six administrative crossings.

Reacting to this on Thursday, Assistant Director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Mirko Krlić said that "negotiations with representatives of Kosovo Albanians are unavoidable" and that he expected the Serb side in the process "to know it very well where the red lines are", and to adhere to that.

"The government is determined to achieve a maximum at this moment and defend its Kosovo and Metohija. How much of all that will be possible to achieve you know is not in our hands, but that does not mean that we will give up on our intentions," he told reporters in Kosovska Mitrovica.

Serbs from northern Kosovo, however, are openly opposed to the implementation of the agreement, known as the IBM. Former State Secrertary for Kosovo Oliver Ivanović says that this agreement should not even be discussed until the negotiations about the north of the province have been completed.

Speaking for Kosovska Mitrovica-based Kontakt Plus Radio, Ivanović stated that those negotiations would be rendered completely pointless and redundant if the IBM were to be implemented at Jarinje and Brnjak in December.

According to him, a unique opportunity has appeared to put the issue of northern Kosovo on the agenda and solve it "in the right manner and for a longer period of time", but he warned that by implementing the agreement "our position would become very bad".

"The (ethnic) Albanians would lose any interest to discuss some modality for solving the question of northern Kosovo if integrated management were to be implemented at these two crossings in the north of the province," according to Ivanović.

Serbs are a majority population in the area north of the Ibar River. They reject the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of independence made in February 2008.
Ambassador "US position to Albania doesn't change"

Ambassador "US position to Albania doesn't change"
While the US citizens are voting for the man that will lead the most powerful country in the next four years, the US Ambassador to Tirana, Alexander Arvizu, accepted Top Channel’s invitation to the newsroom to comment the changes that Washington’s policy towards Albania and the region could have with a possible rotation.

When asked about the way through which the US Embassy staff to Albania voted for their candidate in America, Arvizu explained that he voted with a “voting ballot in absence”, a traditional procedure used in America for citizens who are abroad during the election. He also explained that many Americans had the possibility to vote even earlier, and this is a novelty that has been used recently to increase the participation of people who don’t have time to vote.

As for the safety of the voting procedure through mail and e-mail, Arvizu declared that in absence, the voter must have the signature of a relative on the ballot that will be sent to him, which on his case is the wife. As for the e-mail voting, Arvizu says that it is a rare procedure and almost unusual. This time it was allowed only for the survivors of the Sandy hurricane, who were unable to vote.

When asked what will change in the relations of America with Europe, since polls have shown that Europeans prefer Obama, and his consideration might have been considered less aggressive and less active than that of the Bush administration, Arvizu declared that he had to disagree for the “less aggressive in foreign policy” part.

Ambasadori Arvizu – I have to disagree for the “Less active” part. I think we have been very active in Europe even during this administration. I think that people do not see very clearly what we consider a security and priority issue for Asia. This is a very practical step in this situation, but we have been very clear about the fact that the focus in Asia will not be a burden for Europe, which remains a foundation stone for our policy. I doubt that there will be any significant change in the policy with Europe, despite of who might win these elections.

Top Channel – Most of the Albanians see the elections from a sportive fan point of view, based only on personal or political sympathies. If Romney will win the elections, will there be changes in the policy of Washington change for Albania, or the new administration will continue the Obama’s path?

Ambasadori Arvizu – I believe that any administration led by Washington, will not change the basic politics for Albania, as Secretary Clinton made clear last week in Tirana. The USA considers Albania a friend country and firm ally. Despite the difficult history in these last 100 years, the cooperation with Albania will continue in the future.

Top Channel – What should the Albanians learn from the US elections, based on your experience for the May 2011 elections, and since we are expecting the elections of 2013?

Ambasadori Arvizu – As for the elections of 2011, which brought an almost equal result, it’s a situation that would present challenges everywhere in the world, even in the US. We have mechanisms that in such cases allow a new voting in some centres, which costs money and energy, but the main thins is that everything must be transparent and the rules of the game should be very clear beforehand.

Theodorakis Sets Out To Educate On Greek Natural Reserves, By Heading New Political Party

Mikis Theodorakis, one of the most popular Gre...
Mikis Theodorakis, one of the most popular Greek songwriters. (credit: Wikipedia)
Mikis Theodorakis has come to the realization that he is still young enough to be politically active. In his ripe 90s, this global composer -known the world over for the sounds of Zorba the Greek - has decided to educate the Greek people about the economic wealth of this country. For this reason, he publicly detached himself from the far-left SYRIZA party which he says is too radical, and is reorganizing his SPITHA party into a more patriotic leftist political force. On Wednesday night, and while the Greek parliament convened in order to vote on the new austerity measures, in another part of Athens intellectuals from all walks of life met to discuss Greece's natural wealth which under Crete alone is suspected of being more than 1.4 trillion Euros. The event, or lecture, was organized by the Movement of Independent Citizens spark or SPITHA and titled "The National Wealth and Our Policy Management". The event was held at the "Micheal Kakogiannis" Foundation and the keynote speaker was Mr. Mikis Theodorakis, while other prominent speakers included:

George Kassimatis - Constitutional law professor at the University of Athens
Professor of Emeritus Antonis Foskolos - from the Department of Mineral Resources and Engineering of the Technical University of Crete and energy counselor to the Canadian government as well as the only Greek scientist to be part of explorations near the North Pole

Dr. Elias Konofagos - Executive Vice President of the Athens-based company Flow Energy, which informally advises the Greek government on energy strategies.

Dr. Nikos Lygeros - A Greek geopolitical analyst, poet, artist, humanist, and a Greek man with highest IQ in the world (ranked at 189 on the Stanford Binet scale)

Dr. Theodoros Tsiftsis - Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Technological Educational Institute of Lamia, Greece. He is a scholar of Physics and M.Sc. degree holder of Electrical Engineering from the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, he received a M.Sc. degree in Decision Sciences from the Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece, in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece, in 2006.

Is this the real Mikis Theodorakis, or the Orpheus, who made history? Noone knows, but on Thursday morning -and specifically on George Papadakis' news talk show on ANT1-, Mikis Theodorakis made it clear that he was going to head this new political force and called out to all Hellenes to support this effort, get educated on Greece's natural reserves and forget rallying their personal causes and finally start advocating for Greece.

PASOK Loses Another MP, Androulakis Quits

Former PASOK veteran Mimis Androulakis

After ejecting six of his Members of Parliament for not supporting a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan, PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos has lost another one after veteran deputy Mimis Androulakis quit the party, adding to its turmoil.
Venizelos was a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ austerity plan but now has seen his base in Parliament fall from 33 to only 27 members as the party has fallen to as low as 5.5 percent in polls.
PASOK got 44 percent of the vote in 2009 when it won the Prime Minister’s office, but Venizelos is scrambling to prevent defections and challenges to his brief tenure as leader.
Curiously, Androulakis – who was a frequent critic of the government  – voted in favor of more austerity during a dramatic midnight vote on Nov. 7 after saying he would oppose it. He has waffled on his position a number of times. The package passed by a narrow three-vote majority. Androulakis said he now would vote against the 2013 budget on Nov. 11.
“My opposition to the budget is fundamental,” Androulakis told radio station Vima FM without explaining why he voted for it nor why he’s changed his mind again. He will join other ousted members from New Democracy and PASOK in becoming an independent MP.
Another PASOK veteran and former minister, Andreas Loverdos, who is seen as a challenger to Venizelos but voted for austerity, called for an urgent meeting of the party’s parliamentary committee to discuss what he called the “deep crisis” it is facing as it falls in the polls.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EUREKA - Swiss Banks Ready To Enter Talks To Tax Offshore Greek Assets

Schweizerische Nationalbank Swiss National Bank
Swiss National Bank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Switzerland is ready to enter into formal negotiations with Greece over a deal to tax the assets wealthy Greeks have stashed in secret Swiss bank accounts. The Swiss government said on Wednesday it had adopted a mandate for negotiations after consulting parliamentary committees. The two governments have been holding initial discussions on the matter for several months already. "Bern and Athens are striving towards the swift conclusion of an agreement, similar to the agreements with Germany, Britain and Austria," the government said in a statement, Reuters informs.

A Greek journalist made headlines last month by publishing the names of more than 2,000 of his compatriots who held Swiss bank accounts. The "Lagarde List" - so named for Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund - touched a nerve in near-bankrupt Greece, where rampant tax evasion is undermining a struggle to cut public spending and raise revenue. Lagarde handed information on tax dodgers to authorities in several European Union states in 2010 when she was French finance minister.

Any agreement with Switzerland could help fill some of the gaping holes in Greece΄s budget by imposing a punitive levy on existing account balances and a withholding tax on future gains. The Swiss government has sought such tax deals as an alternative to the automatic exchange of bank information, in a bid to defend the secrecy it sees as crucial to its $2 trillion offshore wealth management industry.

News of the alleged tax cheats on the "Lagarde List" enraged many who are already furious over consecutive Greek governments΄ failure to crack down on the rich while years of recession have wiped out a fifth of economic output and hammered middle-class living standards.

According to an EU report published last year, Greece has about 60 billion euros in unpaid taxes, an amount equal to roughly a quarter of its economy and over a sixth of its debt. But how much money Athens stands to recoup via a withholding tax deal is not clear.

Greeks held an estimated 24 billion Swiss francs ($25.43 billion)in undeclared assets in Switzerland, according to a 2009 study by Helvea. That amount is likely to have risen as the economic situation in Greece has worsened. The Swiss have already signed withholding tax deals with Britain, Austria and Germany, and are in talks with Italy. However, the fate of the German deal now rests with the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, where Chancellor Angela Merkel΄s government lacks a majority. The opposition Social Democrats have threatened to block the agreement, saying it is too lenient on tax evaders. (

November 7, 2012

Kassidiaris Slams Greek MPs - Exposes Their Real Earnings By Handing In Check

Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kassidiaris certainly gave an explosive speech in Parliament on Wednesday ahead of the austerity vote. We were so impressed by what he said that we decided to feature it on HellasFrappe. He basically slammed Greek MPs for lying through their teeth about how much money they earn in the Greek Parliament and to do this he handed in a copy of his monthly earnings, which he says proves that Greek MPs make more than 7,000+ a month, and not the 5,000 that they claim to make. (this includes their participation in parliamentary committees) Kassidiaris, who is a young, fresh and very charismatic public speaker, called Greek MPs arrogant, and greedy and said that before they even begin slashing wages and pensions from Greek citizens they should first cut back on their own earnings. He also criticized the government's decision to decrease the wages of military personnel who he said risk their lives everyday in respect to the Greek flag, especially rookies. He added that Greek MPs should not be receiving more than these young men, because their commitment and prestigious position to Greece cannot in any way be compared. (we totally agree) Earlier in parliamentary committee meeting about illegal immigration, (video below) Kassidiaris also submitted a copy of his brothers earnings, who is a young rookie soldier in the Hellenic Army.

From what we know, new soldiers will now be making almost 50 percent less than they were before the damn Troika came to town. Indicative is the information below
  • For Lieutenant from 1.95 to 1.70 that will transform the basic salary of 1,754 euros to 1,480 euros
  • For Brigadier, from 1.680 to 1.500
  • For the police II from 1.130 to 1.060
  • For Sergeant from 930 Euros to 900 Euros
 + Reduction in benefits
  • For Lt. -special employment- from 310 Euros to 220 Euros and Lt. of high responsibility from 355 Euros to 280 Euros.
  • + Reduction in administrative allowances from 71 to 57 Euros
  • + 10 percent reduction in the rate of the allowance is formed according to years of service.
  • + the abolishment of Christmas and Easter bonuses (or as we say in the West the 4%) to all who are still eligible.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

World Bank warns about debt levels, slump in Western Balkans

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - The Western Balkans is facing a double-dip recession this year led by a 2.5 percent contraction in Serbia, and recovery in 2013 will be "very slow", the World Bank warned on Tuesday.

Its regional coordinator also said that debt in some countries was too high.
"I would say that debt in Montenegro, Serbia and Albania is at very dangerous levels, particularly in Albania at 60 percent (of GDP) but it's increasing very rapidly in Serbia and Montenegro," Jane Armitage, World Bank coordinator for the Western Balkans, told Reuters in an interview.

The bank's forecast for Serbia, the region's biggest economy, was the most pessimistic yet, as the country struggles to stimulate growth while cutting back on its spiraling budget deficit.

"This prolonged uncertainty in the euro zone means that we are facing the dreaded double-dip recession," Armitage said. "For this year at this point, we would predict the Western Balkans is in recession."

Albania and the former republics of Yugoslavia have seen exports fall and foreign direct investment dry up due to the debt crisis in the euro zone, the Balkan region's main source of trade and investment.

Remittances from citizens overseas are down, and the harsh winter and long, hot summer hit the agricultural sector and hydro-electric production, Armitage said.

Only Kosovo, a new country and small economy of 1.7 million people, is likely to continue growing thanks to a low level of integration with the European market, low debt rate and heavy investment in infrastructure, Armitage told Reuters.

But elsewhere the situation was poor.

"It will be very slow growth next year," she said of the region. "Deficits are everywhere increasing so the countries are facing really tough times.

"They need to continue on the path of fiscal consolidation and start to bring their debt levels down but at the same time growth is so low and there is such need for infrastructure investment."

Serbia's central bank said last month that national output would likely shrink by 1.5 percent. Unemployment has hit a staggering 25 percent.

The Socialist-led government is targeting growth next year of 2 percent, while also pledging to cut the budget deficit from a projected 6.2 percent in 2012 to 3.6 percent in 2013.

It needs to rein in the deficit to secure a new credit deal with the International Monetary Fund, which is sending a mission to Serbia on November 13.

Armitage stressed that Serbia must clinch a deal with the IMF before the World Bank gives the green light to a $400 million budget support loan. She lamented the slow pace of reform as a condition of World Bank support.

Bosnia, Armitage said, needs to undertake long-delayed structural reforms before the bank makes operational $200 million in loans.

Avramopoulos Receives Russian Deputy FM

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov at the weekend in Athens and reiterated the historical friendship which ties and binds both nations. According to reports, they discussed the enhancement of bilateral cooperation between both countries -in all sectors- combined with upgraded political contacts at the highest possible level.

Also up for discussion was progress of consultations towards on the signing of a new Greek Russian Action Plan for 2013-2015, and future cooperation in the sectors of energy and tourism between the two countries.

Avramopoulos stressed that Greece is one of the staunchest supporters of EU-Russian relations, and reiterated our country's support for a Schengen visa waiver for Russian tourists visiting the EU. On his part, Titov confirmed that Russian FM Sergey Lavrov is going to be visiting Greece at the start of 2013, following an official invitation by his Greek counterpart.

"Palestinians and Bosniaks see Erdogan as their leader"

SARAJEVO -- Bakir Izetbegović has said that he will never meet with (Serbian) Presidnt Nikolić, "if he keeps sending the message that no genocide took place in Srebrenica".
Bakir Izetbegoivić (Tanjug, file)
Bakir Izetbegoivić (Tanjug, file)
The chair of the Bosnian Presidency and representative of the country's Bosniaks (Muslims) in that body explained that he had canceled a meeting with Nikolić last month because the Serbian leader had stated that Bosnia-Herzegovina was "slowly dying out", and that "genocide was not perpetrated in Srebrenica".
Turkey's Anatolia agency is reporting that Izetbegović at the same time expressed his regret at "not having a chance to talk with leaders such as Boris Tadić".

Speaking for the Sarajevo-based Federal TV, he described Turks as "a calming factor in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

Asked to explain his statement that Turkish PM Recep Erdogan was "also a Bosniak leader", he once again stated that "many Muslims see Erdogan as their leader, including Palestinians and Bosniaks":

"Muslims are the Ummet, that has global problems, and they seek global leaders. One of those global leaders who can connect Muslim and secular values is without a doubt Erdogan. Muslims most certainly feel him as a man who articulates their interests, says the words the take pride in, stands behind their feelings. Many Muslims in the world think that way. For example, Palestinians, and even Bosniaks."

Izetbegović noted that his father Alija "could not have left Bosnia to Erdogan in a testament", but that he "did leave the care for Bosnia to him in a testament":

"My father also left the Americans the care for Bosnia in a testament, that is to say, for wars to not happen again in Bosnia-Herzegovina."

Izetbegović went on to say that as Serbs in Bosnia cooperate with Serbia and Croats with Croatia, "hairs are being split only when it comes to us (Bosniaks)", and continued:

"We all have some nations who stand behind us. Turks stand behind Bosnia-Herzegovina and behind Bosniaks, but in an intelligent manner. They will not support us in conflict, but they will support us in reconciliation, a renewal of the economy and inter-personal relations, in the integration processes toward the EU and NATO."

He described Turks as "now the world's no. 16 power" that can bring in capital, investments, and reconciliation, while at the same time - "asking for nothing in return".

Once they realize that, Izetbegović was confident, Serbs in the Serb Republic (RS) will change its position regarding Turks and Turkey.

Izetbegović denied that he had insisted that Bosniak parties in neighboring Montenegro should join that country's new government, and confirmed that he had met with their representatives, "because if Belgrade is gathering all Serbs, I'm free to visit Bosniaks in Montenegro".

He announced that the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) "will use all democratic means" to block the recently announced deal between the parties led by Milorad Dodik (SNSD) and Zlatko Lagumdžija (SDP), and spoke against Dodik's initiative to demilitarize Bosnia, "under the circumstances when two neighboring countries are armed".

As for his alleged involvement in criminal activities, Izetbegović said that he would withdraw from the Presidency and leave politics if accusations of his illegal activities and "public or secret business ties" were to be proved.
Greek police leaves 60 passengers in the rain in Kakavijë. Cause: The driver has debates anti Greek rhetoric with a himariot citizen

Greek police has trapped 60 passengers in Kakavijë Albanian, due to an arbitrary decision to the bus driver. Bus plates KPN8473, directed by Edlir Xheblati, was stopped at customs and not allowed to pass, as a citizen of Himara, passenger bus, police reported that the driver and some passengers have made anti Greek propaganda on the bus, reported Tema Newspaper.

Some passengers called Tema and explained on that debates have dedicated bus driver entry ban on Greek soil and put red visa in the passport as undesirable in Greece.

Passengers are trapped in rain Kakavijë and has no hope of moving up in the morning, when the next bus from Greece to receive.

Greek police does not explain and has been evicted on Albanian soil bus driver. Albanian police and the Foreign Ministry promptly have not responded yet.

New Combat Aircraft Plan by Serbia's Military Industry

Serbia, within Yugoslavia, designed 4 combat and training jets of its own design "Jastreb","Galeb", "Orao" (in co-production with Romania" and "Super Galeb". Yugoslavia's "Novi Avion" project for supersonic IV generation aircraft which would replace obsolete MiG-21 was cancelled in 1990.

Now Serbia is on way of development of LIFT with co-operation of UAE and other financiers and co-producers. LIFT is a hybrid between advanced training supersonic jet (MACH 1.5) and light attack and defensive fighter.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Russia, Italy to Hold IONIEX-2012 Exercise in Nov 5-10

Russia, Italy to Hold IONIEX-2012 Exercise in Nov 5-10 01.11.2012
Text: Southern Military District Press Service
Photo: Southern Military District Press Service
The IONIEX-2012 Russian-Italian joint naval exercise will take place in Taranto, Italy in Nov 5-10. Black Sea Fleet (BSF) destroyer Smetlivy and seagoing tug MB-304 will represent Russia. Italian Navy will delegate frigates Aviere and Zeffiro.

Currently, seagoing tug MB-304 is heading for Taranto. Destroyer Smetlivy is replenishing supplies in Maltese port La Valletta and then will set a course for the exercise site.

In Nov 5-7, the ships will practice joint actions in the port; sea phase of the exercise will be held in Nov 8-10 in the Ionian Sea.

Greece presents crucial cuts package to parliament

Posters advertise a 48-hour strike in Greece Unions are calling workers out on a 48-hour strike
Greece's government is putting a new austerity package to parliament, amid the threat of bankruptcy if it fails.
MPs will vote on the package - worth 13.5bn euros (£11bn) in deficit cuts, including tax rises, spending cuts and structural reforms - later this week.
One of the parties in the governing coalition opposes the measures.
International lenders say Greece must pass the measures to receive any more bailout cash. Greek unions are warning of protest strikes all week.
They began on Monday, when some transport systems were shut, and journalists were among others who did not turn up for work.
The main unions have called a 48-hour general strike, starting on Tuesday, and for demonstrations at parliament.
'Final cuts' Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has tried to reassure the public, who have endured repeated rounds of austerity and a five-year recession.
"These will be the last cuts in wages and pensions," he said on Sunday.

Key dates ahead

  • 6-7 Nov general strike
  • 7 Nov vote on austerity package
  • 11 Nov vote on budget
  • 12 Nov eurozone finance ministers to discuss releasing new cash for Greece
  • 16 Nov deadline for Greece to repay 5bn euros in debt
"We promised to avert the country's exit from the euro and this is what we are doing. We have given absolute priority to this because if we do not achieve this everything else will be meaningless."
He is hoping to have enough votes to get the deal through parliament, despite the smallest member of the three-party coalition, the Democratic Left, saying it will not vote in support.
The second party, the socialist Pasok, is also facing a rebellion by some of its MPs.
The austerity package will be followed through parliament by the 2013 budget.
Greece's international lenders have said approval of both is necessary if it is to receive the next tranche of bailout aid, worth 31.5bn euros. Without the money, Greece would be unable to meet its obligations and would go bankrupt.

Royal Navy Task Force heads for the Mediterranean, 

France Mediterranean  and Southern Albania, Himara Region

Royal Navy Task Forces Heads For The Med 
 A Royal Navy-led task force made up of warships, airpower and Royal Marine Commandos has now left UK waters and is heading for the Mediterranean for Exercise Cougar 12. The Response Force Task Group (RFTG), which is led by the Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark, is a rapid reaction force that can be deployed to deal with unexpected world events.
Cougar 12 is an ideal opportunity for the Lead Commando Group to practice its core role - early entry operations at short notice and in unfamiliar environments.

On the exercise are four warships, one amphibious support ship, a giant transport ship, three commando units and helicopters and personnel from eight Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Army Air Corps squadrons. 

Having taken part in amphibious exercises around the UK’s coastline for the last week, the 3,000 personnel have now left homeland waters to start training with French and Albanian maritime and land forces during exercises Corsican Lion, and Albanian Lion, Himara Region.

Corsican Lion will be the first major naval exercise that will test the maritime element of the recently formed Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF). Royal Navy units will be joined by the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and the French amphibious assault ship, Mistral.  
The Lead Commando Group (LCG), made up of Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade, will work with French troops from the 9th Marine Brigade to exercise the land force element in an amphibious environment.
By combining carrier strike and amphibious operations the UK and France will maintain the flexibility to conduct military strike and intervention operations with the capability to project power into hostile land from the sea.

Incident on highway involving president's motorcade

BELGRADE -- The Serbian president's cabinet has confirmed that an incident happened on a highway that involved an officer of the MUP and the president's motorcade.
Tomislav Nikolić (Beta, file)
Tomislav Nikolić (Beta, file)
The incident happened on Friday, on the Belgrade-Niš highway, while Tomislav Nikolić was traveling toward Kragujevac, Belgrade-based tabloid Kurir is reporting, citing "security structures".
The daily also published on its website that "a high ranking officer of the Interior Ministry (MUP) used his official car to run into the motorcade that was accompanying President Tomislav Nikolić, cutting in front of them several times."

Another Belgrade-based tabloid, Blic, identifies the officer in question as chief of the traffci police, Dragiša Simić, but says the car was "occupied by his driver" at the time. According to this report, the driver said that he did not attempt to overtake the motorcade, and that he was not signaled to slow down or keep his distance.

Nikolić addressed the incident to say that he had full confidence in the members of the MUP assigned to his security detail, the presidential press service said.

Nikolić is also confident that all aspects of the incident will be thoroughly investigated, the statement added, without giving any details concerning the incident.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Today in history, November 5, 2012, 100 years of anniversary of the revolt of Himara, by the Turkish invasion

Book in Albanian version of the Himara Revolt
Priamo Bollsno, Kostandin & Eleonora Gjoka

Book in English version the Himara Revolt

Himara Revolt of 1912

High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The Himara revolt was a Greek uprising during the First Balkan War that took place in the region of Himara (Himar?, today southern Albania), on November 18 1912. It successfully overthrew the Ottoman forces of the region, thus securing the coastal area between Sarand? and Vlor? for the Hellenic Army. After the successful uprising Spyromilios suggested to the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos that the coastal city of Vlor? should come under Greek control but he responded negatively in fear that this might trigger Italian milit


Himara revolt of 1912

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Himara revolt
Part of the First Balkan War
Himarra 1912 .jpg
Spyromilios in the entrance of the Himarë castle
Date November 18 [O.S. November 5] 1912
Location Himarë
Result Greek victory
Greece Greece  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Spyros Spyromilios
The Himara revolt (Greek: Εξέγερση της Χειμάρρας), was a Greek uprising during the First Balkan War that took place in the region of Himara (Himarë, today southern Albania), on November 18 [O.S. November 5] 1912. It successfully overthrew the Ottoman forces of the region, thus securing the coastal area between Sarandë and Vlorë for the Hellenic Army.



During the First Balkan War, the Epirus front was of secondary importance for Greece after the Macedonian front. A small unit that consisted of local Epirote volunteers was stationed in the nearby island of Corfu under the command of Major Spyros Spyromilios,[1] who was a native of Himarë.[2] This unit was later reinforced by 200 Cretan volunteers sent by General Konstantinos Sapountzakis, commander of the Greek army in Epirus front.[1]


On November 18, 1912, the local population rose in revolt, while Spyromilios and his group landed in the region and quickly secured the coastal area between Sarandë and Vlorë without facing significant resistance.[3] After the successful uprising Spyromilios suggested to the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos that the coastal city of Vlorë should come under Greek control but he responded negatively in fear that this might trigger Italian military intervention.[3] After the Albanian Declaration of Independence in Vlorë, on November 28, Himarë was constantly attacked by Albanian units without success and the area remained under Greek control until the end of the Balkan Wars.[1]

Anniversary of the Revolt of Himara just with establish of the British & US troops in Himara Region

Photo: British marines in Porto Panormo, Himara Region, November 4, 2012

The photo is published to remember the anniversary of British troops to fights against fascists of Axis in Albania during the summer of 1944 in Himara Region.

Chams and the Independence

Top Channel TV

Chams and the Independence
On the verge of the 100th anniversary of independence, the Institution of Studies for Chameria has held a scientific conference regarding the efforts and the contribution of the Cham people for Albania’s independence.

The well known historian, Professor Pellumb Xhufi, valued the contribution of the Cham community and brought new documents about them.

“Many people are talking about the role of Chameria and its patriots in Albania’s independence. There are documents that illustrate the history of a land about which we don’t know much even today. In fact, the documents that I displayed show that the Chams, despite the religious differences during from the 15th to the 18th century, have lived together in perfect harmony, have married among each other convinced that they belong to the same nation, and this is very clear”, Xhufi declared.

The Historian Beqir Meta mentioned the efforts of the Greek State to hamper the education of the Cham people.

“In fact, the Greek government has always tried to discourage the Cham population from developing their own identity, national awareness and education. The Cham population and the Albanian states have always confronted them for the Cham’s rights and freedoms, and Greece has always denied them through two arguments: the first argument was that surpassingly this population was not clear about its identity, and the second argument is that this area had no schools even in the period of the ottoman occupation. The Greek government tried to stop the Albanian government from sending the case to legal channels and they reached their goal by promising a mutual agreement with the Albanians. After the Albanian government implemented its obligations, the Greek government failed to implement them once again”, Meta declared.

In this conference they referred to historians such as Bashkim Kucuku, Ledia Dushku and Hajredin Isufi, who have studied the history of the Cham people for years.