Saturday, December 22, 2012

  Picture: Нова Македония
Nova Makedonija: Macedonia has neighbourly claims to Bulgaria, too
22 December 2012  FOCUS News Agency
Home / Southeast Europe and Balkans
Skopje. Macedonia has some claims at Bulgaria concerning the good neighbourly relations between the two countries, too, writes Macedonian Nova Makedonija newspaper in a material which says that according to some information, Macedonia had already made some demands towards Bulgaria for what is valid for Skopje, to be valid for Sofia, too.

“Historians are against the commissions,” the article reads further.
“Bulgaria should change the theses in its textbooks, which say that the Macedonian nation does not have historical continuity, otherwise it will not become member of the EU – this could have been Macedonia’s claim to Sofia, if the positions of the two countries were the other way round,” the article says.
“However, the situation is different. The government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is explicit that Macedonia is not a good neighbour and the country will not allow latter’s progress until this issue is solved. In addition, Bulgaria wants revision of the Macedonian textbooks and the joint celebration of the holidays,” Nova Makedonija comments further.
“Macedonian historians are firm in their position that there should not be any negotiations over historical facts.”

  Picture: AFP
Albania donates EUR 100,000 for North Mitrovica reconstruction
22 December 2012  FOCUS News Agency
Home / Southeast Europe and Balkans
Tirana. At a decision of the City Council of Tiranata Albania donates EUR 100,000 for the reconstruction of North Mitrovica, KS Reporter informed.

The money will back the programme of Kosovo’s government for providing conditions for the people expelled to the Northern parts of the country to return.

The mayor of Mitrovica explained that the Kosovo government started this humanitarian project, since 14 years after the war many people are still living in common shelters, while only 150 houses were reconstructed so far.

Avramopoulos To Erdogan: Greek Islands Not For Sale - A Nation’s Values Have No Price

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos made the following statement in reference to statements made by Turkish Prime Minister T. Erdogan regarding Greece:

“Malicious statements that propagate false stereotypes and inaccurate information do not befit leaders – and neighbours, at that – who say they want to build relations of friendship and trust.

Economic crises are like pandemics: they know no borders, and you never know when they might knock on the door. That’s why we need to watch our words.

As for the sale of islands, I’m afraid that Mr. Erdogan’s advisers don’t have, or, rather, are fabricating information. No Greek island is for sale, because a nation’s values have no price. And historical nations like Greece always find their way. No one should forget that.”

The "Golden Down" ask the Greek Foreing Ministry for Census inAlbania

Christos Pappas: Deterioration of the results of the census of 2011 in Albania
To Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos

Topic: "Deterioration of the results of the census of 2011 in Albania"

It is known that the Albanian rulers of the occupied northern part of the Epirus, do everything possible to extinguish the Greek presence from the Albanian state.

According to the results of the 2011 census announced a few days ago by the competent authority of the Albanian state in albania live only 24,361 Greeks. Moreover, Orthodox Christians constitute only 6.75% of the population.

From the first moment, both of northern actors, and the Orthodox Church of Albania complained that the process of inventory to record the ethnicity and religion does not meet the minimum objective method followed by other European countries.

In support of this, Albanian citizen who worked as an enumerator in the census, gave an interview to the newspaper "Gazeta Shqiptare" in Tirana and denounced widespread irregularities and tampering with regard to the recording of ethnic and religious group they belong to the Albanian citizens.

To the Minister:

What is the Greek government's position on the results of the census in Albania? Would accept to use these numbers before international organizations?

Which political and diplomatic means will react to manipulations of Albanians seeking to hide the Greek and Orthodox Christian presence in this country? Will ask for further and effective investigation into allegations of falsification of the results?

Will be the new approach of the Albanian side, following previous provocative actions of political leadership, object representations to international organizations involving both countries (UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, etc.) to be terminated officially irredentist mood formally expressed by albania over time?

Athens, 20/12/2012The Inquirer MPCHRISTOS PAPPAS


Albania ranked "must-visit" destination for 2013

Source: Ivan Radford

Albania, which this year celebrates its centenary of independence, has been named as a must-visit destination of 2013 with adventure holiday company 'G Adventures' adding the Balkan nation to next year's brochure for the first time and top travel bloggers ranking the country one of the Top 13 destinations for travel in 2013.'
Attracting over 4 million visitors last year and with arrivals up by 277,000 in the first nine months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, the outlook for Albania's tourism market is positive with the little known Balkan nation emerging as a fashionable destination to explore in 2013.
Indeed Aldo Bumci, Minister of Tourism in Albania, is committed to developing this lucrative sector (which accounted for 11% of GDP in 2011) and is currently drawing up a national strategy for coordinating tourism activities over the next 10 years which aims to ensure the sustainable long-term development of tourism in the country.
Visitors to Albania in 2013 will also be able to benefit from recent foreign direct investment into the country. World Bank financing has helped repair and construct over 1,700 km of rural roads and 1,300 km of national roads which has considerably improved accessibility across the land as well as bringing about brought positive changes in access to health, postal and banking services for the local population.
As has been witnessed in many other European countries, in tandem with tourism growth comes development of the real estate market and Albania is no exception. Those operating within this emerging marketplace such as Ravin Maharajah, Partner of Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa on the Adriatic coast, have seen an explosion of interest for new, western style quality properties in prime locations not least accelerated by the depreciation of the Euro which many developers sell properties. 
Ravin Maharajah comments: "The weakening of the Euro and general caution about investing within the Euro-zone has actually been advantageous for us. We have experienced an increase in UK and indeed Western European buyers wanting to take advantage of the amazing value properties at Lalzit Bay. Indeed Albania now being ranked by Forbes as one of the 'Best Countries of Business' has boosted buyer confidence further."

Kosovo Serbs: Platform protects our interests

BELGRADE -- Kosovo Serbs have supported the Serbian president government and the president and said that a draft platform for Kosovo protects their interests and rights.
“Kosovo and Metohija Serbs have given their principled support to the Serbian president and government in institutionalization of protection of rights of Serbs and Serbia and further Belgrade-Priština negotiations,” reads a release of Kosovo Serb representatives.
They met with President Tomislav Nikolić on Friday and received the draft platform for Kosovo.

They noted after the meeting that the document “offers a solution for key issues and does not contain a possibility of partition of Kosovo”.

The Kosovo Serb representatives expressed their gratitude, adding that nobody had consulted them regarding their own fate until now.

According to them, Nikolić said that a condition of the survival of the Serbian people in Kosovo was their unity and joint stance on principles presented in the platform.

“Until now, Belgrade has been resolving the problems of (ethnic) Albanians in the southern province, while problems were created for Serbs,” Nikolić noted.

It is added in the release that the president had voiced a wish that Serbs in Kosovo would live together and fight for their survival together, without divisions.

He called on representatives of the Serbs in Kosovo to arrive at joint conclusions about the platform and make possible suggestions, warning that there is not much time.

Kosovo Polje Mayor Stevica Lazić stated that Serbs were mostly satisfied with the platform because it covers what they expected it to cover and what guarantees their survival in Kosovo.

He said that their talks with the president primarily covered the problems they are facing, and added that more details would be released after analyses and discussions in their municipalities.

Dečani municipal coordinator Snežana Paunović told reporters that Serbs in Kosovo had faith in the draft platform but that they would voice their opinions in their local institutions.

“I am not brave enough to comment something I only just saw two hours ago,” she noted after the meeting.

Zvečan Mayor Dragiša Milović said that the state platform was a good base for the talks with the Priština authorities and announced that a joint session of Serb municipalities from northern Kosovo would be held soon.

Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor Krstimir Pantić told B92 that Nikolić had received “an absolute support” from the Kosovo Serb representatives regarding the platform.

“The most important thing for us is that the platform respects (UN Security Council) Resolution 1244 and that it respects the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. The most important thing for us is that autonomy of the Serb municipalities does not represent autonomy within the so-called Republic of Kosovo but within the Republic of Serbia and autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija,” he stressed.

Pantić added that Kosovo Serbs were therefore grateful to the president.

Štrpce Mayor Zvonko Mihajlović said that they did not have much time to study the platform but that they had insisted at the meeting that conditions were fulfilled for the return of Serbs, strengthening of the Serbian institutions, suspension of privatization done by Kosovo interim organs and sale of privately-owned Serb property.
Albania in the hands of Turkey
Turkish top diplomat: Will support the Albanians at any cost

During an official visit in Skopje, at the meeting with the president of the Islamic Religious Community in Macedonia, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Davutoglou stated that close relations with the Albanians come because Turks consider them as part of the joint body.

"All you'll see as a body, when we hear the good news we rejoice and feel relaxed, if you harmed then feel concern. We are going to have support at any cost ", quoted the head of Turkish diplomacy.

He also praised the head of ICM's contribution to the preservation of Islamic cultural heritage.

"I thank you for contributing to the preservation of Islamic cultural heritage," he stressed.

December 22, 1940, the Greek Army releases Himara
After the release of Saranda on December 6, 1940, at the Greek-Italian war of Loukovou on 7 and Pikerasi (Pikerni) in 8 of the same month, the 3rd Division of the Greek Army moved north and 13 December had reached west and northwest of Borsi, the highly fortified line elevation 613 - e Kiparoi with - Kuci , who defended by the Italian division Siena.

On 15 December the first attacks of the 12th Infantry Regiment (SP) in the hills of Kiparou failed.
The hill was occupied finally 613 through a snowstorm and Fatal combat won on December 17, causing the enemy to abandon the north. On December 19 were captured, with heavy losses, the 6th SP the strategic the (north of Porto Panormos) and  (north of Pyliouri).

After the opening of the valley and the northwest of Himara on 21 December, the Italians were forced to evacuate the town of Himara in the evening and a little farther Pyliouri releases. Number of prisoners (among them two Colonels) and abundant material devolved into Greek hands although the Italians had plunder and destroy fleeing that could.
At night Saturday, Dec. 22, 1940, Greek troops entered the castle Greek of Epirus, Himara and the unconquered went to Scutaria where the Italians will raise strong resistance.
The Greek Army entered in Himara guided by  many local Greeks himariotes Thanassis Coustas, Anthony Kokkavesis, Savvas Priftis Polymeris Koliaki, P. Bolanos, N. Beleris, G. Dimogiannis S. Lykokas, G. Briggs, C. Dimas, D. Zotos, N. Duke, Gr Priftis P. Gore etc.
On Sunday morning, after the first thanksgiving in the old monastery of Aghios Kosmas, army and people sang "Christ is Risen" in Saints and though it was Christmas Eve. A large dance embraced locals and liberators.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Message From The Greek President Of The Republic

Karolos Papoulias, President of Greece
K.Papoulias, President of Greece (credit: Wikipedia)
"In times of difficulty, the bonds that unite us all must become more solid and stronger for unanimity to prevail in the face of the dangers threatening the country as well as the international community," Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias said in his Christmas message to the Hellenes across the world. Papoulias noted that despite difficulties, Greece will remain standing, in defiance of the economic crisis that has put the people's endurance to the test, adding that at these days "our thoughts are with our compatriots in need".
mul bime
Gjirokastra Municipality Mayor, opposes Albanian Census

The mayor of Gjirokastra Flamur Bime, says Census is funny, it were completed by the militants of the Democratic Party of Sali Berisha

The head of Gjirokstaer Municipality, is the first official of the Socialist Party, was declared against Census in Albania,

Flamur Bime declares: "I along with my family are not recorded, because it was ridiculous. It census that took place in 2011 was completely ridiculous. Figures published by INSTAT are completely inaccurate and far from reality in the country. There are many families in Gjirokastër which are not interviewed by part-time employees who were used in the process. Even at that period ran census have done with INSTAT representatives about how powerful war is realized, from the director of INSTAT, but our suggestions fell on deaf ears. "

According to interviewer the team were the odd party militants of Sali Berisha.

"Under the law, these persons must establish me as mayor, but not asked at all, since they were appointed to that position politically. Were all DP militants, who met all 3 monthly salary. To violate the beginning law for the population, since the list falls, INSTAT named, were completely different. "

"Platform of Serbia, dangerous for Kosovo"

Platform of Serbia, a part of which was published by the Serbian media, requiring a kind...Photo 1/1
Written by M-Magazine Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Platform of Serbia, a part of which was published by the Serbian media, requiring a kind of autonomous status for Serb-inhabited northern municipalities, according to the model of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia, in Kosovo is seeing as dangerous for Kosovo. 

Representatives of opposition parties and political analysts say that such a platform is frivolous and its implementation, according to them, is damaging and would jeopardize everything that has been built so far in relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

A member of the LDK, Sadri Ferati, calling the platform of Serbia on Kosovo as frivolous, says that with this platform, Serbia is showing that it is not interested in improvement of relations with Kosovo.
"This is a tactical move in order to require something which cannot be done, in order to increase pressure on Pristina to achieve something else then. This is not a serious approach at all, nor a willingness to normalize relations to talk and discuss with Pristina the rights of Serbian citizens in that area," Ferati told the " Tribuna Shqiptare”.

Creating autonomy in the northern Kosovo, where Serb community is in the majority, according to the deputy Ferati, would raise the desire of all majority communities living in the Balkan states, to seek independence in the country where they live.

"This would introduce a precedent that certainly would have had an impact on other areas. Because there are not only Serbs of the northern part the majority, but we have also Albanians in Presevo Valley, Sanxhak, Vojvodina, Tetovo, Skopje, Ulcinj that are inhabited by the majority of the minority communities. What would happen if 30 or 40 thousand residents of minority communities begin to behave as it is behaving Serbian citizens in the north, the crisis in the Balkans would be inevitable, " Ferati said. / telegrafi /

President, K. Serbs discuss platform behind closed doors

BELGRADE -- Kosovo Serb representatives conferred on a draft platform on Kosovo with President Tomislav Nikolić behind closed doors on Friday.
The talks were scheduled to begin at 14:00 CET.
Dečani Municipal Coordinator Snežana Paunović told reporters that Kosovo Serbs believed in the draft platform and trusted the Serbian government.

However, she stressed that Kosovo Serbs would voice their opinions in their local institutions.

According to her, they will have another meeting with Nikolić after the local institutions have held debates on the platform.

Representatives of all 28 Kosovo municipalities and Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo Aleksandar Vulin attended the meeting.

Beta news agency reported earlier today that a delegation of around 30 members would come to the meeting.

The Serbian president presented the draft platform for Kosovo to leaders of opposition parties on Thursday.

In the document, the Serbian authorities demand a high level of territorial and political autonomy for the Serb municipalities, "modeled after Catalonia", and they also want autonomy to be guaranteed by the province’s highest legal bills and that the international community officials, who are taking part in the negotiations, stand behind it.

Kosovo Serbs on platform

Mayors of some Kosovo towns said on Thursday that they expected the platform “to treat state and interests of Kosovo Serbs in the right way”.

Peć Mayor Miloš Dimitrijević said that it was in Serbs best interest to stay in Kosovo and that he therefore expected the platform to adequately view the position of Serbs in the entire province.

“I believe it is written in such manner,” he told Tanjug, while Obilić Mayor Goran Dančetović said he hoped the platform would guarantee that Serbs would remain in Kosovo.

He told Tanjug that he had received an invitation to a meeting with the president and that he expected to see how the document would treat the Serbs south of the Ibar River and Serbian institutions in that part of the province.

“Survival of the Serbian community living in the province largely depends of the survival of the Serbian institutions in Kosovo and Metohija,” Dančetović underscored.

Štrpce Mayor Zvonko Mihajlović believes that Kosovo Serbs should have been involved in the work on the platform from the beginning.

“They understand the problems the best and this way Kosovo Serbs have a fait accompli and I am afraid that the platform would remain a ‘dead letter’ like previous resolutions and declarations,” he noted.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bulgaria Seeks Permanent US Military Presence - Report

Bulgaria Seeks Permanent US Military Presence - Report
23:43 19/12/2012
Tags: Pentagon, Anu Anguelov, United States, Bulgaria
MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) - Bulgaria has asked the United States to deploy a permanent military force in the country to boost regional security and increase military cooperation, local media reported.
Earlier this month Bulgarian Defense Minister Anu Anguelov discussed with Pentagon officials establishment of a US military base in Novo Selo, according to the daily Dneven Trud. If the deal goes ahead it could double US troop numbers in the country.
US troops have been present in Bulgaria for over six years under a Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in 2006. Americans are allowed to train their troops at four Bulgarian bases, which remain under Sofia's command, the Sofia News Agency said.
The treaty also permits the US to use the bases "for missions in third countries without a specific authorization from Bulgarian authorities."
Only 2,500 US troops are present in Bulgaria at the moment. They include armor, mechanized infantry and airborne or light infantry.

Άνθρακας το βίντεο με τον χρυσαετό που αρπάζει παιδάκι

Diplomatic defeatism
by Mihalis Ignatius

The ordeal suffered by Greek diplomacy from Tirana and Ankara last week caused sadness and concern. Unfortunately, the economic crisis seems to have changed his way of thinking and national issues. The reaction of the Foreign and Defense ministries in two events contested Greece and its people were not appropriate. It was good though the decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to cancel his visit to Albania, but he was wrong not to address the challenge of Sali Berisha hard way.

And left to dangle the threat against the territorial integrity of the country and half words ... under diplomatic courtesy, caused apparently by defeatism. Mr Berisha should be remembered that the country's economy was supported by Greece, which even now - in the midst of an unprecedented crisis - allowing the outflow million in Albania, while very well could impose "capping" the export of currency . Even now one has to deal with this major issue, not because Mr. Berisha should "hurt", but because it requires judgment. Albanian leader is a strange case. He worked faithfully for the bloodthirsty regime of Enver Hoxha and began distancing himself only when Alia abolished the privileges enjoyed. Strengthened - and economically - by Constantine Mitsotakis, but has never hidden his irredentism, even when the 90s in the Southwest and sent executives to help him in the election. The attitude of the Greek Foreign Ministry was inferior to the circumstances ...
Turkey demanded the punishment of those responsible for the War Museum was given a room because the presentation of the book written by the military leader of the PKK and published in Greek by Savvas Kalenteridis. The Foreign Ministry was quick to apologize and the Minister of National Defence, the officers stopped the Museum. This servile attitude that causes democratic and national feelings of citizens. At the same time, causes feelings of fear, because when Greece is back in a matter relating to a book on the PKK, what would you do if Turkey raised the issue of the Aegean or in Thrace The EU and NATO, which Greece is a member, as "a terrorist" rebels of the PKK. Their own right. But why should we accept to impose on us their positions when we have the same opinion on the subject? Neither the Secretaries of State and Defense can question that the rebels are fighting for the right to have a homeland. Besides, anyone who has studied the documents to WikiLeaks Kurdistan knows that America speaks with them, though - otherwise - considers them "terrorists."
In diplomatic corridors of Washington describe as bold the end of a conversation between the Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of Israel. When first asked Mr. Netanyahu to accept East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, said: "Why do not you accept and Diyarbakir as the capital of North Kurdistan?" What would the Greek answer that? Attitude towards the Berisha and Davutoglu's certainly predisposes ...
Μιχάλης Ιγνατίου (Επίκαιρα)

Durrës, alarm fals për bombë në pallatin e Kulturës, do nënshkruhej rezoluta çame

Durres, false bomb alert at the Palace of Culture, where will be signed the Cham resolution

Alarm is given for planting a bomb in the Palace of Culture in the coastal city of Durres

Learned that the alarm has reached the Police Department by a call to the number 129, today around 17:00 pm, as he was expected to launch an activity PJIU Camera for sealing Association Cham resolution.

Once the alarm is given, the police have evacuated all the people who were inside the building, and did not allow the participants in this activity to enter the Palace of Culture, not perform the necessary control.

Control lasted about 30 minutes, after Durrës police special team has indicated that the building was not placing any bomb, and that it was a false alarm. Police are investigating to identify the person who committed the call, giving false bomb alarm.

IDRIZI: these methods can not stop Cham Resolution

After the false alarm bomb in the town of Durres reacted head PJIU Idrizi Rescue, which has been termed "an attempt to prevent their activity." Using these methods, he could not prevent signature Cham resolution.

"The event is a serious act, luckily it was a false alarm. The fact that people are not left shows that they not be prevented from such serious acts. PJIU primary Cham popular support for the resolution, "said Idris.

Details of state platform for Kosovo emerge in media

BELGRADE -- Belgrade will seek "autonomy for all Serbian municipalities in Kosovo", reads a draft state platform for Kosovo that Beta news agency has seen.
In the document, the Serbian authorities demand a high level of territorial and political autonomy for the Serb municipalities, "modeled after Catalonia", and they also want autonomy to be guaranteed by the province’s highest legal bills and that the international community officials, who are taking part in the negotiations, stand behind it.
The municipalities of Gračanica, Štrpce - south of the Ibar River - and others should also be a part of the autonomous area, aside from the northern Kosovo municipalities. The platform also requests that smaller enclaves, such as villages, be given a status of municipalities and a special status.

The Serbian authorities stressed in the document that a starting point for the negotiations with Priština is that “pursuant to the international law, and further to its Constitution and the will of the people, the Republic of Serbia does not and will never recognize Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence”.

The main principle of the negotiations will be that “nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon,” reads the platform.

The autonomous Serbian municipalities should, according to the draft, have an exclusive competence in the field of education, healthcare, judiciary, internal affairs, sport, culture, media, environment protection, urban planning, agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, telecommunications, trade, economic and fiscal policies, finance etc.

It is also demanded in the platform that the Autonomous Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo be guaranteed a possibility to have direct cooperation with the Belgrade authorities, including additional financing from the Serbian state budget.

The Autonomous Serbian Community will independently decide on the choice and use of symbols, reads the document. Other elements of the internal organization, the election of authorities will be decided through a political dialogue, it is written in the document.

Belgrade also demands that special ties between the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and the Priština authorities be established, as well as international guarantees for issues of church assets and activities in Kosovo.

A political solution adopted in the negotiations envisages guarantees in the province’s highest legal bills for the return of displaced Serbs.

U.S. analyst Daniel Serwer published an article on his website on Wednesday dubbed "Fantasyland", noting that “anyone who thought that Serbia was softening its position on Kosovo and would yield to sweet reason has to be disappointed”. He added that the platform represents a “giant step backwards in Serbia’s position”.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić on Thursday started a series of meetings with leaders of opposition parties, to whom he will present the platform for Kosovo.

The Hellenic American Council

 ACTION ALERT: Stop the tranfer of Navy vessels to Turkey!

The H.R. 6649: Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012 was introduced last week, and we need your help to stop it.

The act has been put on the House calendar and may be voted on as soon as tomorrow. H.R. 6649 transfers U.S. naval vessels to Turkey. This bill is another example of the U.S. giving preferential treatment to Turkey on the issue of defense deals, despite Turkey's increased belligerence towards Cyprus and Israel and its continued territorial disputes with Greece.

If this bill passes, Turkey will add two U.S.-made guided missile frigates to its arsenal: the USS HALYBURTON (FFG–40) and the USS THACH (FFG–43). Until Turkey commits to a policy of peace in the region and ceases its provocative behavior which is leading to instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the U.S. should stop giving preferential treatment to Turkey. H.R. 6649 should not pass. Write to your representative the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and demand that they vote against this ill-advised bill. 

AP, Greek government begin host agreement talks

TAP is competing with Nabucco West for transporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe 
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline would go through Greece and Albania and under the Adriatic to Italy. | TAP
On 19 December, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Greek government formally initiated the process to conclude the Host Government Agreement that will govern the group's investment.

"The Host Government Agreement is a key step towards securing selection in 2013 of the Greek Route," TAP's Country Manager for Greece Rikard Scoufias said. "We are very pleased with our co-operation with the Greek government, and this is yet another significant step towards realising the TAP project, which is destined to bring thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities as well as strengthen Greece's strategic role in Europe," he added.
Greece is trying to lure foreign investments to spur growth. At €1.5 billion, TAP is expected to be the single largest current Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Greece.

TAP is competing with Nabucco West to deliver gas from Azerbaijan into Europe and, if selected, will put Greece firmly on the European energy map as the EU realises its fourth major gas import corridor. The final selection of the gas transportation route is expected early in 2013 by the BP-operated Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan. TAP is the only option that will go through Greece.


Poll: 91% of himariotes believe that the British marines, are more preferred than Albanians

A survey conducted by SManalysis, shows himariotes, to welcome the installation of British troops, in comparison with those permanent Albanian. 

According to Portal, the survey aimed to show how it can be expected, the Marines of the Royal Navy, in view historical and geopolitical, but also new developments in the region.

About two months ago, the British marines of Naval Tasck Force, focused on the coast of Himara, installed, with hundreds of troops and heavy vehicles, mainly in Porto Palermo. The position of the British troops, was made ​​without informing the people of Himara, but at the same time, there was no response from local authorities.

British soldiers, preferred shops and markets of Himara, in adapting the culture of the local population, which consists in the majority of the ethnic Greek community, a rough example of Cyprus,

It is to be noted that during World War II, on May of 1944, British forces landed in the same place, fighting against fascist nazi army, but also the resistance organized by the communist dictator Enver Hoxha's partisan forces.

Hospitality of the British troops from the people of Himara, brought gratitude from the British army, evacuated dozens of boys and girls from Himara, following the withdrawal of British troops from Albania than after to be trasportet under the Royal Navy, to Italy,
to be involved then as a small company composed 22 himariotes, to the International Brigade, "Rimini" for the liberation of the northern Italian city.

But one of the reasons the strongest hospitality for the British troops, is the fact that so consistently these 100 years, the Himara Region, has suffered the persecution of any Albanian government, which finally shows a serious attempt to be kidnapped properties and to colonize the only province that has remained independent throughout its history, by three thousand years.


Greek American and Jewish American Community Leaders Come Closer


AHI President Nick Larigakis (far left) gathers with participants of the roundtable discussions at the conclusion of the event.
AHI President Nick Larigakis (far left) gathers with participants of the roundtable discussions at the conclusion of the event.

American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis participated at a meeting between Greek American and Jewish American community leaders held at the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations in New York City on December 12, 2012.

“I would like to thank the organizers of this very important initiative to foster dialogue between our two communities,” said President Larigakis, who shared his experiences with the group based upon his travels within the Greek American community, as well as to Greece, Cyprus and Israel. “I believe the meeting was quite productive and informative. On behalf of AHI, I look forward to participating at future meetings aimed to build upon this dialogue and the ideas raised by the leaders of both communities.”

Also participating at the meeting from the Greek American community were representatives from AHEPA, led by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nicholas Karacostas, and PSEKA President Philip Christopher. In addition, several representatives from the diplomatic corps addressed the participants, including: Ambassador Aryeh Mekel, ambassador of Israel to Greece, who welcomed the group by telephone from Athens; Ambassador Pavlos Anastasiades, ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S.; Consul General of Greece in New York Georgios Iliopoulos, and Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Albania, there is an anti-Orthodox agenda

"Bangladesh has an anti-Orthodox agenda"
Independent Member Parliament Dritan Prifti, declares for the Census result, against orthodoxy

Dritan Prifti back into the political debate by pressing charges against the Orthodox population census discrimination. Being a member of a Orthodox zone of Myzeqe, he says for the censu, it has warped the number of Orthodox and this is evidence that the census are introduced hand manipulation. Asked on this conclusion, Prifti said that Bangladesh has an anti-Orthodox agenda.

"I had no doubt that the population will hit Orthodox population census in Albania. Drastic reduction in the number of Orthodoxies is unrealistic. Ordering confuse registration with Albanian Orthodox Greek minority. They should not foist their hands on the record as to reduce the number of Greek minority, not artificially reduce the number of Orthodox Albanians.  

Just provinces of Myzeqeja has more than the Albanian Orthodox registration issued for the entire country. This offends me as Albanian Orthodox registration. This indicates that someone in Bangladesh has an anti-Orthodox agenda. This provocation blasting religious harmony in Albania, for which we are proud of for decades. Someone must be responsible for this alarming manipulation make sunny day, with destabilizing and divisive agenda, "said Dritan Priftit in a statement to the paper topic.

Putin Intervenes To Send More Natural Gas to Greece "No Question Of Cost Or Credit"
Vladimir Putin - World Economic Forum Annual M...
 (credit: World Economic Forum)
"Greece can consume as much natural gas as it needs from Russia. There is no question of cost or credit. It is unlimited. Whatever quantities are required we will give them." And with this statement Russian President V.Putin instructed Gazprom to allow natural gas to flow into Greece freely and abundantly despite the difficulties in repayment from the Greek side. Putin understands the difficulties currently faced by all consumers due to outrageously high fuel prices, which has in return skyrocketed the demand for natural gas. The Greek government requested additional quantities of natural gas around three weeks ago, and several days ago Russia responded affirmatively and decisively with a personal intervention by Mr. Putin.

Gazprom Representative Sergey Kupriyanov announced that Russian natural gas flows to Greece increased more than the specified daily limit as of December 12. Kupriyanov underlined that this was a result of a request by Greek authorities who are documenting increased consumer demands for natural gas because of the cold weather that is currently prevailing in the country. In such a development, some 2 million cubic meters of additional natural gas will flow into Greece 24/7, and easily meet the sudden high demand.

The representative noted that Russia and especially Gazprom "is always ready to satisfy its global customers and has in the past repeatedly increased and administered large quantities of natural gas above the limits specified in the contracts when there is a need to."

Original article in Greek - defencenet

$1.3bn Spirited Out of Albania, Report Says

Global Financial Integrity, GFI, says corrupt elite took more than $1.3 billion (€983 million) out of Albania from 2005-2010.
Besar Likmeta
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha
The Washington-based anti-corruption advocacy group says that money equivalent to a third of Albania’s annual budget flowed illicitly out of the country over five years through a combination of corruption, tax evasion, and other illegal activities.
Clark Gascoigne, a spokesperson for the watchdog told Balkan Insight, that it believes 60 per cent of this money came from tax evasion, 35 per cent from criminal activity and 5 per cent from corruption.
GIF, which uses official World Bank and IMF data, says that in 2008 alone, $405 million (€306 million) were transferred illicitly out of Albania, while an annual average of $131 million (€99 million) moved into offshore tax havens.
“It’s an enormous amount of money for a country like Albania too lose, and if this money had stayed inside the country, it could have been used in infrastructure, education and to pull people out of poverty,” Gascoigne said.
“On top of that, these outflows fuel the underground economy, crime and corruption, exasperating income inequality by making the rich richer and the poor poorer,” he added.
The data published by GFI coincide with the ascendance to power in 2005 of the government of Sali Berisha, who promised "zero tolerance" of corruption.
However, his centre-right government has been marred by corruption scandals reaching the highest echelons of power.
The 2012 Transparency International corruption perception index describes Albania as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe.
The Berlin-based watchdog organisation ranked Albania in 113th position out of 176 countries in 2012, down from 95th place in 2011.

DSS MP’s car set on fire in Kosovska Mitrovica

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) MP Marko Jakšić’s car was set on fire last night in Kosovska Mitrovica.
Marko Jakšić
Marko Jakšić
The car was torched at a parking lot in front of Jakšić’s apartment building.
The incident took place a little after 3:00 CET but nobody was injured.

Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo has strongly condemned the incident.

“We have repeated who knows how many times that unpunished violence creates new violence and we therefore demand that the perpetrator of the incident is quickly found and punished,” the Office for Kosovo said in a release.

Jakšić told Tanjug that his Hyundai was set on fire early this morning and that it was completely destroyed despite the firemen’s efforts to put out the fire quickly.

He believes that the motive is his political activity and the fact that he advocates that Kosovo remains a part of Serbia. The DSS official also believes that perpetrators are ethnic Albanians from southern Kosovska Mitrovica.

Kosovo police came to the scene and an investigation is currently underway.

A Kosovo police vehicle was also set on fire last night in the northern part of the town.