Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8, 1940, released by the Greek forces, against italian fashists, the city of Argirokaster

The Great Greek singer "Marinela" has dedicated a song years ago for this event

Greece, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: We have made ​​it clear; Cham issue does not exist

Following the publication of an article in the Greek media saying: "Avramopoulos opens the door to the Albanian Foreign Ministry, to put the Cham issue in the agenda of the Greek-Albanian relations," ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras made ​​such a statement.

"The claim that Greek Foreign Minister has opened the doors for the Cham issue is totally incorrect," said the spokesman.

He even points out that this position was made ​​known by the Albanian authorities Avramopoulos Minister.

  "Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos made ​​it clear from the beginning of the talks, that in Greece there is no such issue and anyone who believes that there is a problem, can be run in Greek courts," said Delavekouras and states that a statement so did earlier in the past.

Greece Sitting on 427B Euros of Gas


Struggling to get out from under a $430 billlion debt and crushing economic crisis, the answer to Greece’s financial problems says the answer might be under the sea around Crete where the German Deutsche Bank said there could be as much as $558.3 billion in natural gas reserves.
The economic news website reported that the German bank has compiled the information and that the reserves are hidden Mediterranen Basin south of the island where geologists said the amounts are as rich as the Levantine Basin between Cyprus and Israel.

The Greek government has commissioned preliminary seismology studies, geologists say. If natural resource reserves prove to exist, it could bolster revenues and cut down the debt, but it was cautioned that the amount is unknown until further studies.
The first step is seeing what kind of interest there is from companies willing to work the area. A year ago scientific research indicated that the sea area south of Crete holds a wealth of natural gas capable of solving the economic problems of Greece. That assessment came from professor emeritus Antonis Foskolos of the Department of Mineral Resources and Engineering of the Technical University of Crete, and emeritus researcher at the Geological Survey of Canada.

According to Foskolos, the exploitation of these deposits would create at least 100,000 jobs in the primary sector and 200,000 jobs in the secondary sector, while all revenue to be reaped by the Greek state in 25 years amounts to at least $437 billion, not counting profits from transporting gas to Europe, which could bring at least another $25 billion.

  Picture: FOCUS News Agency
Utrinski Vesnik: France, Greece, Bulgaria, probably Spain, to stop Macedonia’s EU bid
FOCUS News Agency
Skopje. France, Greece, Bulgaria, and probably Spain, will be the countries that will impose a veto on Macedonia’s European wishes, writes Macedonian Utrinski Vesnik daily.

According to the newspaper, Greece is firmly decided to impose a veto, while Bulgaria is about to reconsider its decision, since the motives of the Bulgarian veto are only partially known. Spain’s position, on the other hand, has not been set in support to Greece yet.

Utrinski Vesnik writes that France will back Greece, since Athens cannot secure a veto on Macedonia on its own.

The newspaper also reads that this time Cyprus is inclined to back Macedonia’s candidacy. Utrinski Vesnik cites Bulgarian MEP Kristian Vigenin, who said that according to him, no one trusts the Bulgarian veto, which Athens counted on very much.

  Picture: FOCUS News Agency
Anti-fascist group claims Greek far-right party bombing

FOCUS News Agency

Athens. A little-known anti-fascist group said on Saturday it was behind a bomb attack on an office of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party this week that ripped through a wall and smashed windows but caused no injuries, Reuters reported.
The dynamite-packed device was planted outside a branch of the party, whose popularity has surged during Greece's debt crisis.

The Anti-Fascist Front said in an Internet statement that it was behind Tuesday's pre-dawn attack near Athens. It said it was affiliated with the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), a group which has claimed several attacks across Europe, mostly in Italy.

"We decided to hit Golden Dawn's offices because we believe that you have to hit out at fascists first, before they hit you," the Front said.
The authenticity of its claim could not immediately be verified and a Greek police source said the group was not known to the security services.

Greek activists and politicians have called for the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn to be banned. Its members have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes and its emblem resembles a swastika, but the party denies it is neo-Nazi.

The Hellenic Air Force holds umpteenth missile storm exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, Ionian Islands

December 8, 2012

On Nov. 27 and 28, the Hellenic Air Force successfully conducted the last of a series of live firing exercises.
“Filoktitis 2/12″ exercise took place at Zakynthos firing range off the Greek island in the Ionian Sea, where all types of Hellenic Air Force’s jet fighters launched AIM-9 Sidewinder and Magic II air-to-air missiles against LUU-2C/B flares.

Both F-16 Block 50, F-16 Block 52+, F-16 Block 52+ Advanced, Mirage 2000, Mirage 2000-5Μk2, F-4E PI-2000 και and Α-7E aircraft fired live ordnance.

“Filoktitis” is an annual base exercise in order to verify the smooth operation of HAF weapon systems, as well as to provide all flying unit’s aircrew and technical personnel with valuable experience.

Note: The Hellenic Air Force exercises, held just in the 100th, Anniversary Day of Independence of Albania, on the space of the Greek islands in the Ionian Sea, when some days after Foreign Greek Minister Avramopouls, declared to NATO partners that " in Albania and Macedonia, the nationalism is making popular and very dangerous for Greece".
10 days after the celebrations in Albania, Macedonia continues suffering 

FOCUS News Agency

Skopje. Ten days after the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Independence of Albania, Macedonia continues to suffer because of statements Kosovo and Albanian leaders to unite the Albanians. Today will be held meeting of the Prime Minister and leader of VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski with the leader of the Party Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) Ali Ahmeti, which is a coalition partner in the Macedonian government. The meeting is “unexpected”, Skopje media write today. According to some publications – it is agreed three days before the EU summit in Brussels when is expected Macedonia to get a date for EU talks. Gruevski and Ahmeti will also discuss topical issues in the ruling coalition. After the meeting is not expected the two leaders to give a press conference.

Unresolved name dispute with Greece is increasingly shifting from the comments of "strained Greek-Albanian relations" because of the statements of Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha in Skopje. The publication in Vecer Skopje newspaper for example, is entitled "Greece with a clear message to Tirana and Skopje." A few days before the EU summit which will be decided whether Macedonia will get a date for negotiations on EU membership, Greek politicians and media are returned to the now famous rhetoric of nationalism in neighboring countries, writes Macedonian newspaper Vecer. Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos sent a clear message to Skopje at the NATO summit.

“Increasing nationalism and populism in certain neighboring countries is a source of huge concern. I clearly showed to all countries that such a behavior is unacceptable. The applicant members, no matter if we talk about NATO or the EU must respect the principles and values of Europe. No concessions would be made and all criteria and conditions should be met”, Avramopoulos said.

Greek soldiers leave Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence of Greece completed the withdrawal of its units in Afghanistan. A special battalion left Kabul with all its equipment, said the ministry statement.
The mission of the Greek contingent in Afghanistan began February 17, 2002 has ended. The Ministry of Defence said the withdrawal by the reduction of the military budget and savings. His statement said that in 2011 the maintenance of the military mission in Kabul has cost 6.8 million euros in 2010, 7.7 million
In Afghanistan remain seven trainers officers of the HAF training Afghan pilots in the C-27A aircraft. They will leave upon completion of their mission.
You can read more about the Hellenic Contribution to the Reconstruction of Afghanistan here

The Kurdish Dimension of the “Arab Spring”: American and Turkish Perspectives

 by Liountri Christianna
            The uprisings in the Arab world and particularly the one in Syria, has re-opened an issue that was well-repressed in International Politics: the Kurdish one. The Kurds [1] comprise the largest nation deprived of its own country, while the Kurdish minorities in Syria, Turkey and Iraq lack fundamental political rights and freedoms. The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in December 2011 alongside the events recorded in Syria and Iraq after the Arab Spring have raised well-founded concerns to the Turkish leadership regarding secessionist movements aiming at the foundation of a new Kurdish state.
The fact that Iraqi Kurdistan -the southeastern part of the Iraqi federation– is financially flourishing, thus raising within country inequality [2], along with the territorial proximity of Kurdish parts of Syria and Iran, have led the Turkish government to the implementation of a different strategy in terms of both domestic and foreign policy towards the Kurdish issue. On the one hand, the action of the internationally recognized as a terrorist organization, PKK and the denial of the Turkish state to recognize the Kurds as a minority in Turkey, impedes Turkey’s potential to enter the EU.[3] On the other hand, the economic welfare and autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan makes it an alluring destination for the Kurds of Turkey, who cross the borders on a  daily basis. Meanwhile, a possible fall of the Assad regime – which Turkey hastily condemned the moment after the risings in Syria started, will most likely result to the recognition of a constitutional status of autonomy to the Kurdish minority of Syria. [4]
Within this framework, the Turkish government has decided to alter its strategy: it refuses dialogue with the PKK but she now considers the Party of Peace and Democracy, which represents the Kurds and occupies 34 seats in the Turkish Parliament, as her co-speaker on the issue. [5] Furthermore, the Turkish government carefully deals with the new Constitution, the first civilian one to be created following a popular mandate after the referendum of 2010, which will  attribute much greater role to democratic procedures and political institutions so that the much needed conditions of negotiation be created. Without a doubt, as a sine quo non is considered the condemnation of PKK from PPD. As far as it concerns the Kurdish issue, the Constitution bares a twofold interpretation: firstly, the way that it will treat the Kurdish minority will be a model for the proper management of minorities for the other Arab countries that are on the process of reforming their constitutions; secondly, it will facilitate the country’s accession to the EU.[6]  

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For Greece, Oligarchs Are Obstacle to Recovery

ATHENS — A dynamic entrepreneur, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis seemed to represent a promising new era for Greece. He dazzled the country’s traditionally insular business world by spinning together a multibillion-dollar empire just a few years after inheriting a small family firm at 18. Seeking acceptance in elite circles, he gave lavishly to charities and cultivated ties to the leading political parties.
Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press
Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, who took control of Proton Bank in 2009, paid $65 million to avoid prosecution. Nonetheless, he and 26 others were charged with fraud and other counts in March.
But as Greece’s economy soured in recent years, his fortunes sagged and he began embezzling money from a bank he controlled, prosecutors say. With charges looming, it looked as if his rapid rise would be followed by an equally precipitous fall. Thanks to a law passed quietly by the Greek Parliament, however, he avoided prosecution, at least for a time, simply by paying the money back.
Now 40, Mr. Lavrentiadis is back in the spotlight as one of the names on the so-called Lagarde list of more than 2,000 Greeks said to have accounts in a Geneva branch of the bank HSBC and who are suspected of tax evasion. Given to Greek officials two years ago by Christine Lagarde, then the French finance minister and now head of the International Monetary Fund, the list was expected to cast a damning light on the shady practices of the rich.
Instead, it was swept under the rug, and now two former finance ministers and Greece’s top tax officials are under investigation for having failed to act.
Greece’s economic troubles are often attributed to a public sector packed full of redundant workers, a lavish pension system and uncompetitive industries hampered by overpaid workers with lifetime employment guarantees. Often overlooked, however, is the role played by a handful of wealthy families, politicians and the news media — often owned by the magnates — that make up the Greek power structure.
In a country crushed by years of austerity and 25 percent unemployment, average Greeks are growing increasingly resentful of an oligarchy that, critics say, presides over an opaque, closed economy that is at the root of many of the country’s problems and operates with virtual impunity. Several dozen powerful families control critical sectors, including banking, shipping and construction, and can usually count on the political class to look out for their interests, sometimes by passing legislation tailored to their specific needs.
The result, analysts say, is a lack of competition that undermines the economy by allowing the magnates to run cartels and enrich themselves through crony capitalism. “That makes it rational for them to form a close, incestuous relationship with politicians and the media, which is then highly vulnerable to corruption,” said Kevin Featherstone, a professor of European Politics at the London School of Economics.
This week the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Greece as the most corrupt nation in Europe, behind former Eastern Bloc states like Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Under the pressure of the financial crisis, Greece is being pressed by Germany and its international lenders to make fundamental changes to its economic system in exchange for the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy.
But it remains an open question whether Greece’s leaders will be able to engineer such a transformation. In the past year, despite numerous promises to increase transparency, the country actually dropped 14 places from the previous corruption survey.
Mr. Lavrentiadis is still facing a host of accusations stemming from hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made by his Proton bank to dormant companies — sometimes, investigators say, ordering an employee to withdraw the money in bags of cash. But with Greece scrambling to complete a critical bank recapitalization and restructuring, his case is emblematic of a larger battle between Greece’s famously weak institutions and fledgling regulatory structures against these entrenched interests.
Many say that the system has to change in order for Greece to emerge from the crisis. “Keeping the status quo will simply prolong the disaster in Greece,” Mr. Featherstone said. While the case of Mr. Lavrentiadis suggests that the status quo is at least under scrutiny, he added, “It’s not under sufficient attack.”
In a nearly two-hour interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis denied accusations of wrongdoing and said that he held “a few accounts” at HSBC in Geneva that totaled only about $65,000, all of it legitimate, taxed income. He also sidestepped questions about his political ties and declined to comment on any details of the continuing investigation into Proton Bank.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Deputy PM urges continued deployment of NATO in Kosovo

WASHINGTON, BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić has requested that the NATO-led KFOR troops should not withdraw from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, according to reports.
Aleksandar Vučić (Beta, file)
Aleksandar Vučić (Beta, file)
Serbia's first deputy prime minister and defense minister made the request as he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon on Friday.
The reason for this, Vučić said, was the distrust of the Serb population toward the interim Kosovo institutions, i.e. the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština.

Panetta underscored that he will advocate for U.S. troops within KFOR to remain in Kosovo at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in February next year, the Defense Ministry said in a statement issued in Belgrade.

Vučić and Panetta agreed that bilateral military cooperation is at a high level, especially in the field of military education.

Panetta pledged support for the Serbian Defense Ministry and Armed Forces, while Vučić thanked the American colleague for financial and technical support for the Serbian Armed Forces, and realization of humanitarian assistance projects.

Serbia's deputy prime minister also conferred with David Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in Washington on Friday.

The meeting addressed bilateral cooperation, and improvement in the cooperation of intelligence services of the U.S. and Serbia, the release said.

US Millitary and Royal Navy marines, will be present in Albania during 2013


Increasing nationalist tensions in balkan region next few years, necessarily requires the presence of NATO troops, USA and the United Kingdom.

Imami: The Ministry of Defence of Albania, has allocated a special fund of the government's annual budget for 2013, for the Joint millitary operacions with the American and British troops.

According to sources, U.S. troops will be deployed in various operations, the port of Durres and Vlora, and British troops, will be installed permanently in Himara Region.

The news was made official by the Albanian Defence Minister Arben Imami, who speaking in Albanian Parliament on the military budget for 2013, has justified the increase of financial expenses for the fact that "during 2013, the Albanian territory, will be installed for joint drill, troops of USA and the United Kingdom.

The official news, constitutes the core of future projects in the Balkan region, where Albania is playing a key role, especially in the installation of NATO troops in its territory, which should be considered more important for the region.

About 1 month ago, British troops were installed along the coastal Albanian virgin Jon, mainly in Himara, and Orikum marine base near the city of Vlora.

According to American sources, military base Porto Palermo and some other beatches as Dhraleo and Jala,  will be the training permanent of the British and US troops.

Secrets and Lies: Victims of Albanian Communism Denied Closure

Former political prisoners want truth and compensation – but their quest has become entangled in the country’s murky politics.
Aleksandra Bogdani
Tirana, Bucharest and Madrid
Fatos Lubonja revisits the site of the Spac prison camp -- his home until the downfall of communism. (Photo: Barbara Haussmann)
A free man after 17 years in a prison camp, Fatos Lubonja tried to retrace his past.
He wanted to discover how, at the age of 23, he had ended up on communist Albania’s vast register of incarcerated citizenry, a political prisoner reduced to a name and a number.
His search for the truth led him from the secret police archives to the local phone directory, where he found another name and a number that held the promise of an answer.
“You know what I am looking for,” Lubonja said, after dialling the number. “I want to meet you.”
At first, the man at the other end of the line seemed hesitant. He was the former secret police agent who had prepared the file that helped convict Lubonja. His name was Lambi Kote, and he knew Lubonja better than Lubonja knew him.
The two eventually met in 2010 in the dimly lit basement of a Tirana bar – the former prisoner in his early sixties, and the man who had helped jail him, by then in his seventies.
Among the communist dictatorships of eastern Europe, Albania’s was the poorest and quirkiest. As well as suppressing dissent, the paranoid leader, Enver Hoxha, banned almost all contact with other countries. Few foreigners ever visited Albania, and hardly any Albanians were allowed abroad.

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BOOK REVIEW - HF Gives BIG THUMBS UP To Frangoulis Frangos' "What Turkey, What Turks"

What Turkey, What Turks
  Retired Hellenic Army General Staff Frangoulis Frangos' book "What Turkey, What Turks" is radical vision of Greek-Turkish relations and attempts to expose the real face of the Turkish state. According to him, his contact with various minorities in Turkey have led him to believe that these inhabitants of Asia Minor are actually looking for a light in the lantern and Orthodoxy so as to reconstitute their own NEW Byzantium. All these people, who he notes are not Turks, have every right to identify themselves, ethnically and religiously, something which is a no-no in Turkey.

He says that he first went to Turkey in November 1991. As a young lieutenant colonel who had just arrived in Ankara as the new Military Attache of the Greek Embassy, Fragoulis was not very pleased because he did not really like being stationed there.

Years later, for reasons he lists in his book, he set out to see if there were still traces of Greeks in Asia Minor and he was pleasantly surprised to find out that there is. He said that this quest made him dedicate almost three years of his life and in the summer of 1998, he once again returned to Ankara as Defence Attaché, but this time he came back with an even deeper knowledge of the modern Turkish State.

He said that along with all the research he conducted, he also began to question the emerging neo-Ottomanism, which he notes "dominates those who continue to deny friendships, values and proximity."

In order to document his findings, he massed together information that truly crushes the overall perception we have of Asia Minor and Turkey, beginning with the events that occured about a millennium ago, to the transformation of local Christians to "Turks" and " Muslims' (culminating in the recent revelations about the origin of many top officials and politicians in Turkey, as Erdogan, Kemal himself, even Mehmed II the Conqueror).

Frangos wrote in the preamble that he chose photos of Fatih, Mustafa Kemal and Erdogan as book’s cover because these three men are not Turks. In fact he claims that Ottoman sultan Fatih is Greek as he was buried in a Byzantine church. “Six months before his death he allowed to take picture of him. The back side of the portrait contains a Greek note,” Frangos explains.

On Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the retired General says that he was not born in Thessaloniki but in Malatia and the woman considered his mother in reality is his aunt. (This we believe because there have been reports -even in the Turkish press- that claim that Mustafa Kemal was born in Kurdish and Armenian-populated Malatia and was said to be either Kurd and/or Armenian).

We saved the best for last, Frangoulis notes that incumbent Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s grandparents were from Greek populated Trapezounda who actually fought against Turks. And in many interviews he has said that despite having no academic education and knowing only one foreign language, Erdogan has to be given credit for saving Turkey from heavy debt, while he describes him as a good leader.

But he is not that nice towards present Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and actually describes him as arrogant for his attitude toward territorial disputes between our two countries. (Us Too... Applause!)

Moreover, he also says that based on his research he is convinced that only 40% of Turkish population are Turks and it is these very people who want to restore the Ottoman Empire.

He says that Turkey was "eastern and heavily affected by Islam."

Frangoulis Frangos was born in Komotini and entered the Hellenic Army Academy in 1970, graduating in 1974 first of his class and being named a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He is a graduate of the Supreme War School and of the NATO Defence College. He also pursued studies in Law at the University of Athens, continuing with post-graduate courses in European and International Law at the Panteion University. Frangos also received a doctorate in Geopolitics from the Ionian University.

He served in Special Forces units early in his career, qualifying as a paratrooper, as well as in staff and command positions of larger formations, as well as Greece's Army attache and Defence attache in the Greek embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Frangos commanded the 32nd Marines Brigade in 2002–2003, before being assigned to head the Hellenic National Defence General Staff's Planning Directorate. In 2004 he was promoted to Major General and assumed command of the Inter-service Military Intelligence Directorate.

In 2006 he assumed command of the 16th Mechanized Infantry Division. A year later he was promoted to Lt. General and assumed command of the II Army Corps, and in 2008 he was placed as commander of the First Army in Larissa.

On August 6, 2009, by decision of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence, he was appointed Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, a position he held until a surprise major reshuffle in the Greek military leadership on November 1, 2011 (under the George Papandreou government).

Following this, Frangos retired with the rank of full General and a few months later, or specifically on May 17, 2012 he was named as Minister for National Defence in the caretaker cabinet of Panagiotis Pikrammenos, which led the country until the June 17, general elections.

He speaks English, Russian and Turkish.

Serbia and Cyprus reiterate mutual support

BELGRADE, NICOSIA -- PM Ivica Dačić met on Friday in Nicosia with Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, to praise the ties between the two countries as "traditionally good".
Dačić, who is on an official visit to the Republic of Cyprus, said that this country and Serbia have many common details from history, many examples of brotherly relations, but they also share common problems, such as the violation of their territorial integrity.
The Serbian prime minister expressed his gratitude to Cyprus for its support in tackling the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, and stressed that this country can count on full support of Serbia regarding the Cypriot problem, a statement posted on the government website said on Friday.

He underlined the importance of strengthening bilateral relations and noted that today it was agreed that the two countries hold annual summits, which would be organized alternately in Serbia and Cyprus.

It was also concluded that economic cooperation should be enhanced since there are common interests, and underlined that he would personally engage in strengthening relations between Cyprus and Serbia.

According to the statement, Dačić noted that Serbia has never been closer to membership in the EU and that therefore these days are very important for our country, and expressed gratitude to Christofias for the support of Cyprus during its EU presidency.

The PM also expressed his expectation that Serbia will get a positive opinion and the possibility to start negotiations with the EU in March.

Christofias welcomed Serbia’s constant efforts on expanding cooperation with his country and confirmed that Cyprus continues to strongly support European perspective of Serbia, "just like the EU itself".

He underlined that Cyprus wishes Serbia to start EU membership negotiations as soon as possible and that he believes that the stability and development of Balkan countries as a unique space will get support within the EU.

The president welcomed dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, and pointed out that Cyprus "does not recognize and will not recognize the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo".

He stressed that this is the principled stance of Cyprus based on international law, and added that the solution must be the result of joint consultation which will result in agreement.

According to him, that agreement must respect the territorial integrity of Serbia and be approved by the United Nations Security Council.

Christofias expressed a deep gratitude of the Cypriot people for a strong principled stance of Serbia regarding the Cypriot problem.

"The constant help and support of friendly countries such as Serbia strengthens our efforts to address this problem," the Cypriot president concluded.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Greek Parliament, Foreign Commission debate

Question of Deputies of the Golden Dawn, MP, Christo Pappas in plenary on the territorial integrity of the Greek State.

Answer by the Deputy Foreign Minister K. Tsiaras to the Golden Dawn in the wake of anti-Greek statements of Prime Minister Berisha

Greece has to react "here and now" against Turkey - Albania ...

by Nikitas Kaklamanis, MP A 'Athens of ND
On November 28, the current Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, the man who the inhabitants of the neighboring country had a poor away badly from the highest office in 1996, because it was the main culprit for the financial scandal with the famous "pyramid", "opened "and again the chapter of" Great Albania ".
Directly and in the most provocative manner on November 28 a day, which the Albanians celebrated the 100th anniversary of the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire, Berisha said: "the independence of all Albanian territories from Preveza in Presevo and Skopje to Potgoritsa. "
The immediate reaction of the Greek government was to cancel his planned trip to Tirana, Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.
The challenge-Berisha was not accidental at this time, when Greece passed the most difficult moments in modern history.
In the neighboring country, there is a significant chunk of the population that still believes in "Greater Albania." Berisha and hurries to meet expectation in electoral benefits, since on June 23, 2013 are scheduled parliamentary elections.
Election was also the concentration of 4,000 Albanian immigrants in Athens last week, where he spoke the president of the Albanian Socialist Party, Edi Rama.
But the question is, not what Berisha and Rama but what to do in Greece, so the Albanian fantasies "type Preveza" stay ... fantasies.
Will the interim response of the Greek Foreign Ministry it was the proper reaction to "rocket"-but Berisha should be better organized, gain permanent form and become more efficient.
At the moment, Greece is mired in economic crisis, both in Albania and from Turkey (see Thrace) seek to exploit any geopolitical developments shaped and increase their requirements towards our country.
This is the bitter truth and we can prevent the worst before it's too late.
Necessary, therefore, to remind neighbors (;), that even today, Greece has the strength to react. At all levels. Both bilaterally, and internationally.

 Our country is a member of the European Union, NATO member, each member of an international organization. Albania and Turkey are not contrary. And to do-if you really want-they first learn to respect the world standard, based on peace processes rather than nationalist, causing violent explosions.
In 1997 I had progressed including in two steps, which then gave rise to many to be "baptized" as "Le Pen of Greece."
In Congress of POLAN, I refuse to rename Northern Epirus in southern Albania and also denied the doctrine that "Greece is not claiming anything." Referring to uncontrolled immigration is not asked to be taken, as in all EU countries, arguing that in a regime of rising unemployment, prioritize tasks should have the Greeks unemployed.
As an MEP I warned openly about the wave of immigration coming from Albania and demanded to know if the commission has information involving officials of his regime of Berisha scandal 'pyramids' and what measures will be taken to the problem economic refugees.
Unfortunately, fifteen years later, confirmed in full. One in four Greeks are unemployed and illegal immigration has become one of the biggest problems of our country.
If, then, our European partners did not support Greece must do now toward aggressive policies developed by Ankara and Tirana. Should of course seek the Greek government and the concrete actions and initiatives, so that any Albanian or Turkish demands to stay on paper or even disappear from the new geostrategic map, which is currently under design.
Why can cancel a trip to show anger or anger statements, raises questions of territorial integrity but actions are short-term and not long-term, as required in foreign policy. I think that in this direction we should move immediately, before it happened a "national contingency 'or to Preveza, either Thrace.

Avramopoulos Meets with Russian Counterpart Lavrov

Dimitris Avramopoulos

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is attending a NATO Ministerial in Brussels, met this morning with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
During the meeting, the two Ministers reaffirmed the mutual will for the two countries’ relations to return to a course of substantial expansion and deepening that reflects the historical ties of friendship linking the two peoples. They agreed that these ties are an ideal foundation for the dynamic development of cooperation between Greece and Russia through specific and substantial steps aimed at further upgrading Greek-Russian relations in the immediate future.

In this context, Avramopoulos renewed President Papoulias’s invitation to Russian President Putin to visit Greece, while Lavrov accepted the invitation to visit Athens in the near future, for the purpose of laying the foundations for new momentum in bilateral relations, and signing a number of bilateral agreements that will strengthen the Greek-Russian contractual framework. More specifically, Lavrov’s visit is to see the signing of the Joint Action Program 2013-2015, the Executive Program for Cultural and Scientific Cooperation 2013-2015, the Memorandum of Consultations between the two Foreign Ministries, and the Joint Communiqué on strengthening Cooperation on Freedom of Movement issues.

In addition to bilateral cooperation on vital issues such as economy, investments, energy, tourism, and easing of the visa regime, the two Ministers discussed regional developments. They also exchanged views on the level of Russia’s cooperation with the EU and NATO, reaffirming that Greece is one of the most ardent supporters of the mutually beneficial development of Russia’s relations with the two organizations.

"Greece Tomorrow": The Balkan War of Sali Berisha

Subject to change borders in the name of a Greater Albania poses, implicitly, with new inflammatory statements by the Prime Minister of Albania Sali Berisha.
The declarations (of Vlora, where in homage to the first government led by Ismail Kemal, who proclaimed the country's independence in 1912, convened a meeting of the Cabinet) are a direct threat to Macedonia and the Balkans for indirect threat against Greece. The Albanian nationalism and irredentism appear to be components of the policy Berisha but overall the Albanian political elite. Mr. Berisha is trying to appear as the captain for the rights of the Albanian nation.
1. The Sali Berisha announced yesterday Platform National Union of Albanians. Argued, indeed, that this platform "will provide a final solution to the Albanian question in the Balkans."
2. Announced that the government will prepare a law on granting citizenship to all Albanians, wherever they live. "The nation is one and every Albanian, wherever he lives, deserves to have Albanian citizenship," said Mr Berisha.
3. He claimed that the Albanians living in 5 countries. "Nobody can deny that the Albanians suffered the greatest injustices of the era and were divided into five countries. Those who put their countries decades before we "fell" on the nation with the most sinister plans. "
Seeking to justify what he said incendiary, noted that the nationality law might be "misunderstood." On behalf of the Albanian Government, therefore, seek the consultation of neighbors and the international community. "We are a nation that we want peace and stability. We spent 100 years under occupation and dictatorships. Now we want peace and stability based on higher human principles, "he said.
The statements Berisha opened new nightmarish scenarios and possibilities for the Balkans. pose a Greater Albania and integration into an entity all Albanians, who were divided into 5 countries because of historical changes in previous years. We speak, therefore, that apart from Albania and Kosovo issue is a threat for Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.
Announcing the recognition citizenship to all citizens of Albanian neighbors, fires in Skopje, where differences Albanians, Slavs are always in tension with the Albanians of Tetovo to assert autonomy.
Causing double trouble in Greece, firstly because irredentist statements continues to destroy the Greek-Albanian relations and secondly because, threatening Skopje, created new pressures circle the name issue. Especially for Skopje, the issue of citizenship is a bomb in its foundations. Already thousands of Macedonian Slavic origin have received Bulgarian passports will now run and Albanians get Albanian.
Mostly, though, Sali Berisha opened the bag of Aeolus for new adventures in the Balkans tortured. The question is whether the European Union will put the brakes on crazy ideas Mr. Berisha.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Berisha proposal, swamp with requests for citizenship embassy in Pristina
The proposal of the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, to amend the law on citizenship, which would enable Albanians abroad to get Albanian citizenship, automatically has sparked many reactions in Pristina.

Many Kosovar citizens have flocked to the doors of the Albanian embassy in Pristina, not just to apply, but with the desire to be provided immediately Albanian passport.
"Albania passport can travel to foreign countries and as they have children out, so we came here. We must have the nationality of Kosovo to Albania. Do we have the right that we are here? According to Berisha, "says Hasan Gashi, a citizen interested in the Albanian citizenship.
Consul phone of Albanian in Pristina, Lorena Gjana, don`t stopp by citizens who seek explanations about citizenship.
Things initially explained to the public visiting the Unification Movement officials who, according to her simply continued the symbolism of November 28.
Forms submitted are not official because they come from an institution that does not exist, such as the Municipality of Prishtina (explanation: in Kosovo, the city called the Municipality of Prishtina), therefore these can not be accepted by the embassy of Albania and further processed.
"These applications are invalid, because the Albanian citizenship must be a specific folder for everyone. It is just a list of names, which are communicated embassy that are interested in obtaining citizenship, but by the embassy and the Albanian authorities considered invalid applications, when not accompanied by the relevant documents, "said Albanian consul.
According to officials, the interest of Kosovar Albanian passport is great, but to understand terms the application does not proceed further.
This year, by Albanian consulates are completed only five applications, through the embassy or directly from the Ministry of Interior of Albania.
"Mainly nationals who have committed marriage Albanian nationals and the conditions for obtaining citizenship so are easier. Those who have obtained a passport, have previously met all the conditions for obtaining citizenship, "said Things.
By the time will change citizenship law, foreign nationals, as considered Kosovo citizens, could not be fitted with Albanian passports unless they meet a number of conditions, among them being resident in Albania 3 5 years, depending on the case.
In Macedonia, meanwhile, President of DPA Menduh Thaci welcomed Berisha initiative to equip all Albanians, wherever they live, with the Albanian citizenship.
"It is a good initiative and right," commented Thaçi. "It is the right of Prime Minister, which will convince all and has achieved this result, that every Albanian regardless of where they live, in Veles or Tuz, to feel part of the nation. This is a very fair policy in my opinion. "
Other Albanian opposition party, the DRC estimates that Berisha's initiatives is delayed. "It is a late decision, considering the fact that Albanians deserve this because they have given a great contribution to the creation of the Albanian state and its development. Albanian citizenship will be an additional security for the Albanians, because Albania is a member of NATO and the decision will be a contribution to the Albanians united united Europe ", commented Izet Zeqiri deputy RDK .
By Ali Ahmeti's party, on Wednesday have not commented on the statement of Prime Minister Berisha to equip all Albanians Albanian citizenship.


USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier arrives off Syrian shore

DEBKAfile Special Report December 5, 2012, 
The USS Eisenhower in a lightning storm
The USS Eisenhower Strike Group transited the Suez Canal from the Persian Gulf Saturday, Dec. 1, sailing up to the Syrian coast Tuesday in a heavy storm, with 8 fighter bomber squadrons of Air Wing Seven on its decks and 8,000 sailors, airmen and Marines.
The USS Eisenhower group joins the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group which carries 2,500 Marines.
Facing Syria now are 10,000 US fighting men, 70 fighter-bombers and at least 17 warships, including the three Iwo Jima amphibious craft, a guided missile cruiser and 10 destroyers and frigates.
Four of these vessels are armed with Aegis missile interceptors.
This mighty US armada brings immense pressure to bear on the beleaguered Assad regime after it survied an almost two-year buffeting by an armed uprising. Its presence indicates that the United States now stands ready for direct military intervention in the Syrian conflict when the weather permits.
Left behind in the Persian Gulf is just one US aircraft carrier, the USS Stennis and its strike group.
Welcoming NATO’s decision Tuesday, Dec. 4, to deploy Patriot missile batteries in Turkey, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday: “The protection from NATO will be three dimensional; one is the short-range Patriots, the second is the middle-range Terminal High Altitude Air Defense [THAD] system and the last is the AEGIS system, which counters missiles that can reach outside the atmosphere.”
debkafile’s military sources: While the Patriot is land-based and will be deployed on the Turkish-Syrian border, the THAD and the Aegis have just reached the Syrian coast aboard the USS Eisenhower strike group.
 “With this integrated system,” said Davutoglu, Turkey will have maximum protection.”
He added: “The Syrian regime has 700 missiles,” and their location, storage method and holders are no secret to Ankara. This was the first time Ankara had made threats to destroy Syrian missiles, including any carrying chemical warheads.

"Radical Islamist" extradited to Macedonia

SKOPJE -- The Kosovo police (KPS) on Wednesday extradited Shukri Alia, described as "one of the greatest ideologists of radical Islam in the region", to Macedonia.
A view of Skopje (Tanjug, file)
A view of Skopje (Tanjug, file)
Alia has been sentenced to three years in prison by a Macedonian court for harassing Muslim priests when he in 2005 tried to force a change of leadership of the Islamic Community of Macedonia.
Alia was also previously arrested in the town of Debar "along with a large quantity of explosives", while the police treat him as a suspect in the murder of a taxi driver near the village of Vizbegovo.

The Macedonian police (MUP) also said that they were not ruling out the influence of this Kosovo-born ethnic Albanian on the persons arrested for killing five people near Skopje on Good Friday.

Spokesman Ivo Kotevski said that Alia, who is a Macedonian citizen, appeared to have "initiated unrest" in the wake of the suspects' arrests.

The reason the police are investigating his involvement, Kotevski said, was because "operative information place him as one of the main ideologists and mentors of radical Islam followers in Macedonia".

Avramopoulos`s speach during NATO meeting

Greece threatens Albania blocking the integration process after Berisha's statements

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, has expressed his concern at the NATO ministerial meeting about rising tide of nationalism in Albania and premature declarations of the government.

In a press release the Greek Foreign Ministry said that "the growth of nationalism and populism in some of our neighboring countries is a source of great concern."

"I made it clear in every direction that such behavior is unacceptable," Avramopoulos said.

Expressing Greek reaction to these statements, Avaramopulos threatened to compliance with European Union standards for countries aiming Brussels.

"Candidate countries (such as Albania) - if we are talking about NATO or the EU - must respect the principles and values ​​of Europe. The level of demand will not decrease and all terms and conditions will be met, "concluded Avramopoulos.

Berisha has increased nationalist rhetoric, fearful of a possible wave election pro Red and Black Alliance in Albania. He but spoke of the Ottoman borders to Preveza, called to enact 10 million citizens of Albania Albanian, seriously put into question the free movement of Albanians and relations with the European Union.

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NATO Ambassador's Suicide Stuns Serbia

Prime Minister expresses sorrow over the shock death of the ambassador to NATO, Branislav Milinkovic, who was reported to have killed himself in Brussels on Tuesday.
Bojana Barlovac
Serbia's Prime Minister on Wednesday expressed his sorrow about the death of the country's NATO ambassador who committed suicide in Brussels on Tuesday.
Media reports said that he killed himself at the airport in Brussels by jumping from a parking garage platform in front of Zoran Vujic, Serbia's Deputy Foreign Minister.
According to Associated Press, Milinkovic was meeting Serbian officials arriving for talks at NATO. After the delegation arrived, as they walked over to their cars in the diplomatic garage Milinkovic suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over it and jumped, one of the diplomats recalled.
The incident happened at around 18:00 (17:00 GMT). Emergency services were called to the scene, but were not able to revive Milinkovic. Serbian journalists said Milinkovic had appeared normal during the day, talking and chatting with them as they covered a NATO foreign ministers meeting.
Prime Minister Ivica Dacic expressed condolences to the family and friends of the late ambassador. "Belgian police are investigating the case, but apparently it was a suicide," Dacic told reporters on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened" by the news.

"Ambassador Branislav Milinkovic was a highly respected representative of his country and will be missed at NATO headquarters," Rasmussen said.
Jelena Milic, director of the Belgrade Centre for Euro-Atlantic Studies, CEAS, told Balkan Insight that Milinkovic's death was a loss for Serbia.
"Milinkovic was extremely versed in multilateral diplomacy and committed to Serbia's active participation in those organizations where he represented Serbia," Milic said.
The Foreign Ministry recalled a respected diplomat and lawyer who had served in Vienna and Brussels.
"He remains in the memory of his colleagues as a skilled diplomat, a versatile scholar and a noble man," the Ministry said.
Milinkovic's wife was informed of the news in Dublin and immediately went to Brussels. The couple have a six-year-old son.
Milinkovic, a lawyer by training, was appointed Ambassador to NATO in 2009. Earlier, he was a special envoy to NATO. Before that, he was a Permanent Representative to the OSCE and the United Nations.
He is the author of numerous publications on international relations, human rights and security. He was the editor of magazines "International Politics" and "European Legislation".
Serbia is not a member of NATO but joined NATO's Partnership for Peace, PfP, in 2006.