Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Reporter at Large

Bring Up the Bodies

Kosovo’s leaders have been accused of grotesque war crimes. But can anyone prove it?


Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister, helped lead the Kosovo Liberation Army during the war. He says,
Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister, helped lead the Kosovo Liberation Army during the war. He says, “The K.L.A. was big, and you always have abusers in such organizations.” Photograph by Alex Majoli.
After the conflict in Kosovo ended, in June, 1999, a tribunal in The Hague set out to punish the perpetrators of atrocities. Louise Arbour, the lead prosecutor, described Kosovo—a former province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia—as “one vast crime scene.” Her investigators’ primary target was Slobodan Milosevic, the Serb who led Yugoslavia. Milosevic had claimed that Kosovo’s majority group, ethnic Albanians, treated ethnic Serbs like slaves, and armed forces under his control had waged a campaign of mass murder there, slaughtering more than ten thousand Kosovars. NATO, relying heavily on American forces, launched air strikes to stop Milosevic, and received crucial assistance from the Kosovo Liberation Army, the main rebel force in the region. K.L.A. scouts relayed Serbian tank coördinates to Green Berets, who passed on the information to American fighter jets. Three months after the air strikes began, Serbia surrendered. Milosevic was eventually arrested and sent to The Hague, where he died in prison, of a heart attack.
In Kosovo, meanwhile, the K.L.A. officially disbanded, but many of its members joined political parties. A party led by Hashim Thaci, the K.L.A.’s political chief, rose to power. In 2008, Thaci became the first Prime Minister of an independent Kosovo. Two years later, Vice-President Joe Biden hailed him as “the George Washington of Kosovo.”
Today, nearly two thousand people remain missing in Kosovo, a country that José Pablo Baraybar, a Peruvian who headed the U.N.’s Office on Missing Persons and Forensics, described to me as “one of the most exhumed places on earth.” DNA technology has helped investigators identify hundreds of bodies, many of them buried in mass graves. But, even in an era of sophisticated forensic science, definitive evidence can be elusive: in one case, the Serbs burned hundreds of corpses in a lead smelter.
Dozens of Serbs have been convicted of war crimes since the fighting stopped, but they were not the only ones responsible for violence. In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, rumors circulated that, in the summer of 1999, K.L.A. paramilitaries had trucked prisoners across the border to secret detention camps in Albania, where they were tortured and, sometimes, killed. But, in public, Kosovars embraced a “silence taboo,” in the words of Vehbi Kajtazi, a journalist in Pristina. The men who led the K.L.A. remained a fearsome presence in the country, posing a threat to anyone who spoke out, and ethnic Serbs were a powerless bloc, falling to less than two per cent of the population. Unlike Argentina, South Africa, and Sierra Leone, Kosovo failed to establish its own truth-and-reconciliation commission.
The task of accounting for the missing was left largely to outsiders. One of them was Michael Montgomery, an American radio journalist who had helped expose the massacre of forty-one Kosovar Albanians by Serbian forces in the village of Qyshk, on May 14, 1999. He began amassing troubling stories involving the K.L.A. Multiple sources told him that, in the days after Milosevic’s defeat, the K.L.A. had shipped accused traitors to camps in Albania. A former K.L.A. member recalled guarding seven prisoners in the back of a van, their mouths taped and their hands cuffed, as they crossed the border. A K.L.A. driver said that he had been given orders not to hurt anyone; once his captives were in Albania, they were taken to a house where doctors were present. The driver heard that the doctors sampled the prisoners’ blood and assessed their health. Several sources implied that this caretaking had a sinister purpose: the K.L.A. was harvesting the prisoners’ organs and selling them on the black market.
Montgomery was concerned that these stories might be propaganda planted by the Serbian government, so he tracked down additional sources. Three people recalled taking prisoners to a yellow house outside the Albanian town of Burrel. Another K.L.A. driver told Montgomery that there were only two places where he “brought people but never picked anyone up”: the yellow house and a cream-colored farmhouse near the airport in Tirana, Albania’s capital. The farmhouse, he noted, had a “very strong smell of medicine.” The driver added that he sometimes heard other drivers talking about “organs, kidneys, and trips from the house to the airport.” Since the late nineteen-nineties, Istanbul—a short flight from Tirana—has been a destination for transplant tourism.

more see:

Toponyms on passports
After the marathon discussions that lasted more than two months, the Greek government has finally decided to temporarily allow the Albanian children born in Greece to enter their country, although their Greek birthplace is written in Albanian on their passports.

The news was published by the Greek Ministry of Defense and was confirmed by our embassy in Athens.

According to the information that was made public, the movement of children will be allowed for Easter and will end on May 12th. After this deadline the old rule will still be on, until this problem will be resolved.

Greece has banned Albanian children born in Greece from entering crossing the border, saying that their biometric passports have names of Greek towns written in Albanian.

A work group was established for resolving this issue, but there has been no tangible result yet. The Greek side insists that the names of the Greek towns should be corrected and written in English, according to the international conventions.

We should not celebrate just yet, EU’s Ashton says

MOSCOW -- EU High Representative Catherine Ashton believes that one should not be happy about the Belgrade-Priština agreement in advance.
Catherine Ashton (Beta/AP)
Catherine Ashton (Beta/AP)
“We should not be so happy about it in advance. History is not over yet. Both states are still at the crossroads but two brave men have already chosen a path of peace,” she told Moscow-based daily Kommersant.
Ashton said she had in the past six months witnessed Serbia and Kosovo PMs Ivica Dačić and Hashim turn from politicians to peacekeepers, noting that they knew how to take chances and that they were not afraid of it.

“On October 19 Thaci and Dačić came into my office in the new headquarters of the European Committee for Foreign Affairs. Neither politician knew how news of their meeting would be accepted in their countries,” she stressed.

Ashton pointed out that the both prime ministers’ job was to “help dozens of thousands of Serbs who live in northern Kosovo”.

According to her, both of them were “ready for a constructive dialogue”.

“Now, Serbia and Kosovo are striving to join the EU. A process that will allow them to achieve their goal has started with the agreement which was reached last week,” the EU high representative said.

UN - Human Rights Slipping In Greece Because of Austerity

By on 27.4.13

UN independent expert Cephas Lumina says surge in unemployment and axed benefits has left a growing number of Greeks without health insurance and about 10 percent of the population living in 'extreme poverty'

A senior United Nations investigator has said Greece is falling behind on its human rights obligations and strongly criticised the "excessively rigid" demands of the country's bailout programme.

UN independent expert Cephas Lumina said that a surge in unemployment and axed benefits had left a growing number of Greeks without health insurance and about 10 percent of the population living in "extreme poverty".

He said some 470,000 immigrants without proper residence permits were among the most vulnerable to labour exploitation and other abuses.

He urged the troika – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund –  to include human rights considerations in the country's austerity programs.

Ex Foreign Minister Panariti: Destructions the election system, is an attack against Albania State

Balancing the membership and election of a president by consensus, would restore legitimacy CEC. Albania must act now or her future and is preparing an assassination

Edmond Panariti / Former foreign minister

-Still no perception of any reflective awareness of the majority, the fatality of a breach of the constitutional configuration of the Central Election Commission. Illegal Removal of one of the members of the CEC, in fact the whole deligjitimoi this committee, which is already off track and should not continue in its illegality. While counting back the electoral process has started, today we do not have a central administration of elections in Albania. This is compromising and more than that is too heavy, dangerous and offensive. What is happening is a shame for all of us and proves what extent can take the extreme polarization, the climate of mistrust between the parties and irresponsibility.

If someone intends to lead the country to elections farce institutions, the real goal is the destruction of the elections. If the goal is the destruction of elections, the real goal is the destruction of the system, installation of chaos, anarchy and instability. Albania and Albanians are still not free from nightmares of state collapse, anarchy and national drama after the 1996 elections. Deafness, blindness and irresponsibility of the time, paved the way for revolt, anarchy erupted across Albania and the burning of at least ten years to process, and hopes that her future.

Not to mention human dramas and tragedies of that folly which began as institutional rape. Any rational and accountable politicians of this country, should immediately realize that this is a situation of loss and losers. No time and unfortunately, as we are always in emergency time, we are in 'cajt-swimming'' and all this when we are less than two months away from the election. Must act quickly, responsibly and decisively restore legitimacy EER Central Election Commission. Balancing the membership and election of a president by consensus, the institution would restore legitimacy and Albanians to reassure him. Must act now, otherwise Albania and its future is preparing a grave assault.

Alket Riza, with 500 prisoners will be repatriated in Albania

GREECE-500 Albanian prisoners, among Alket Riza, sentenced to life in prison will be transferred to prisons in Albania next month

The goal by the Greek authorities, the transfer to prisons in Albania 2400 Albanian prisoners serving sentences in Greek prisons, in order to prevent the cooperation between Greek and Albanian prisoners and to discourage foreign criminals operating in Greece.

The Greek authorities informed that the cooperation between Albanian criminal groups with Greek increase in violent acts Hellenic state. Police officials cite as examples the case of fugitives from prison Trikalas Albanian and Albanian prisoners escape Alket Riza in cooperation with the Greek Vasilis Paleokostas.

According to Greek media has welcomed the decision by the Albanian authorities. Very soon we will begin meeting of officials of the two countries, to adjust the final acts of the bilateral agreement. If you find understanding, agreement to extend the state of Bulgaria and Romania.

The proposal was made by Justice Minister Kostas Karagounis.
Lubonja: Failure of CEC and politic elections in Albania, may have unforeseen consequences for the country

In Albania the pre elections syndrome, is predominated by "bandocratia"

Lost representation of the interests of citizens and the picture is like a gang war, not just opposing, but enemies to death, to achieve what I said earlier: to win at any price..

Fatos Lobonja, in an interview with DW talks about pre-election atmosphere, CEC activity and role in the international impact of political unrest in Albania


In your viewpoint as will now characterize the political atmosphere and take about eight weeks for the parliamentary elections?

My sense of what is happening in Albania is that we are in an atmosphere of political degradation in the pre-election period. But a few words to describe the situation, I would say that on the one hand and the population is on the other side as a theater of the absurd scene is a "ring" of a caste ugly I do not know that the throws and do not know what does. Determinative in this "ring" is the ability to buy, to sell, to threaten, to manipulate, to steal a word, to do everything, at any cost, just to reach the goal. Lost representation of the interests of citizens and the picture is like a gang war, not just opposing, but enemies to death, to achieve what I said earlier: to win at any price. So we are in a bandocratoria.

Competing in these elections have two large coalitions and two new parties to compete alone. How do you rate this political configuration in the wake of the June 23 elections?

To share the facade, it appears from the outside where the two major camps run by DP and SP, are in an ideological clash between the program and the Right and Left. But inside prevailing Breaking promise to fraud, no guarantee that the system will change. He lay system corruption, nepotism, unfair competition in the market, clientelism, uncertainty in order, trafficking, environmental destruction, etc.., Etc.. So, the prevailing propaganda to play with feelings of citizens, without solving anything from the problems they encounter in everyday life. At a time when the economic and social situation is very serious in my opinion. These competing formations seems to me that many people look with indifference, distrust and pessimism. Because you people do not really change results. There may be difference of numbers of forces, but not change the system. Two major coalitions are doing everything to maximize votes, at any cost to their interests, not the interests of citizens.

Election preparations are progressing, but so unusual however the Central Election Commission discusses and votes on decisions and procedures that only four members are proposed by the majority. How do you evaluate this?

More than to CEC climate problem is exacerbated and polarized political climate to distrust that exists. We just bandokracie behavior that does not accept anything in between, which does not accept and does not want any impartial arbiter of legitimacy. Not to accept an independent CEC. Legal formula for building CEC is made such that the strongest of control. The paradox is that the CEC members swear that they will be loyal to the constitution and electoral law, in fact they are treated as political puppets as party tools. So, in order to bandocratoria. What is happening with the CEC is the best indicator of how difficult it is in Albania to become a free and fair. With CEC AM broke the law by replacing a member and already functioning process is in collapse. Normal functioning of the CEC of the risk around as prelude to elections that could have unpredictable consequences. So this issue must be resolved to bring the process reliability.

For weeks there was a close associate of international engagement in the Albanian political scene irritated. Diplomats accredited in Tirana, officials in Brussels, Washington, governments and institutions strive to be active in public statements or messages on other channels. How do you see their role in this situation?

In a country like Albania, the international community has limitations. Look, the international community unfortunately in our country is still viewed as the sole arbitrator, the only legitimizing the game to make political parties. This is a sign of lack of democracy in the country. If you turn to the case of the CEC, when it came to replacing the user should have the procedure illegal citizen reaction. But in fact nothing happened. Everything expected from the statements of any foreign ambassador, the statements of the institutions and other Western officials. Actually these are not very effective, because the government can not change, can not change their party presidents, can not sit in parliament and discuss the pass laws, to give election results, etc, etc.. This is a limitation of internationals in their impact. Albanian politicians seem to know better the "impotence" of international and in many cases act as "fluid drank here". However international use of their premises, make a balanced assessment, rebuke, interfere with care when things get stuck or watch setback, and do their best pressure. However it is essential that the Albanians should be key players in solving their problems. This is achieved with a functioning democracy, the institutions are independent, the separation of powers guaranteed. But actually we are still far from meeting these standards.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Alert for a terrorist attack in May, in Greece

Albanian prisoners, UCK and Islamic groups, are targeted

The Greek authorities and agencies are on orange alert, after the rise of international terrorism, but also a result of information, viewing very large the probability of terrorist threats undermining our country during May, on the eve of the season.

According to information from the newspaper "Parapolitika ' an attention of Counter terrorism, focuses on the prison environment, where, through mass escape can occur cores extremists attempting sabotage within the Greek territory.

The scenario of a group escaping convicts, especially foreigners, would become subject to international media and will create uncertainty for those preparing to visit Greece is under consideration with priority.

Government agencies have requested international assistance from foreign agencies, in terms of information exchange in order to avoid any design evolved before such action on Greek soil.

Suspicions of Greek security services, based on the mobilization of European and U.S. agencies after hitting in Boston have focused on Albanian and tourko Islamist extremist groups as to whether to have developed a network with prisoners in Greek prisons. Critical parameter whether in operation offshoots mujaheddin and members of the UCK in the southern Balkans.

The focus of continuous monitoring prisoners are ethnic Albanians, but also Muslim who may have created a communication system with extremist groups Albanian and Turkish origin outside prison or communities of illegal immigrants.

Scenario to consider is the group of convicts escape common-law Greek origin. This is based on some information that controlled, whereby the escape attempt from prison Trikala, involving Vlastos, was the dress rehearsal next similar moves.

N. Kosovo Serbs want to decide on referendum question

ZVEČAN -- Representatives of northern Kosovo Serbs have stated that they should decide on the wording of a referendum question about the Brussels agreement.
(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)
“We do not want a referendum in 15 days because it is a big issue, not only for us. I believe that Serbian government is aware that this is an extremely big and responsible issue and that we cannot gamble with it,” Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Ristić has said.
He noted that representatives of northern Kosovo municipalities had traveled to Belgrade at every invitation of the government and that they would also come next Tuesday. However, he pointed out that they were not coming to Belgrade to “make it clear” whether the referendum would be held in 15 days.

Ristić is against First Deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić’s idea that the referendum should be held in the next 15 days because he believes that “such referendum would be dictated and the answer to the question would be known in advance”.

At a joint press conference in Zvečan on Friday, mayors of four northern Kosovo towns said that they still stood by the initiative that the people in Serbia needed to voice their opinion about such an important issue.

“The formulation of the question is something that is yet to be done,” Ristić added,

He claims that the question at the referendum could not be “Are you in favor of acceptance or rejection of the Brussels agreement?”

“There cannot be bargains and trades when it comes to the referendum and you cannot say the government will fall if the referendum is such that the Brussels agreements stop being valid,” the Zubin Potok mayor pointed out and added that northern Kosovo Serbs did not want the referendum so they could choose a new government.

“We are requesting the referendum because we believe that what is written in the Serbian Constitution – that Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of Serbia, should be confirmed,” he explained.

Protest to be held on May 10 in Belgrade

The representatives of northern Kosovo Serbs also announced that they would on May 10 in Belgrade organize a protest against the Brussels agreement dubbed “We are staying in Serbia”.

“The protest’s slogan, which is nonpartisan, will be “We are staying in Serbia” and all parties and associations will be invited to join the rally without party symbols and only with state symbols,” Ristić pointed out.

He added that the protest would be organized by the northern Kosovo municipalities and added that the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) representatives would join the rally.

Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina president arrested

SARAJEVO -- Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (FBiH) President Živko Budimir was arrested on Friday for accepting bribes in exchange for granting pardons.
Živko Budimir (YouTube print screen)
Živko Budimir (YouTube print screen)
The FBiH is the Bosniak (Muslim)-Croat entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
RTV FBiH reported earlier today that Budimir was arrested in his office by members of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA).

Organized Crime Prosecutor Oleg Čavka has confirmed that an investigation is underway but has not given more details about the case.

“I can only confirm that we are conducting investigative activities in cases of corruption,” he told Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Anadolu has reported that the investigators are searching his office.

Budimir’s advisor Laura Bošnjak has stated that Budimir’s office is being searched and denied allegations that he accepted bribes.

The Prosecution sent a release to media earlier on Friday, noting that SIPA members “are performing certain investigative activities” in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency headquarters in Sarajevo and the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina government headquarters in Mostar.

The investigation is aimed at revealing criminal cases of corruption done by the top officials of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Prosecution said in the release.

The public will be informed about the results of the search at a later time, it is added in the release.

According to, the “investigative activities” refer to operations with codenames “Memory”, “Patriot” and “Justice”.

Several dozens of persons suspected of accepting and giving bribes, abuse of office, illegal trade in narcotics and organized crime are under the investigation.

The SIPA members are searching numerous locations across Bosnia-Herzegovina.

VERY Pregnant Kim Kardashian In Greece With Family

By on 26.4.13

Mom-to-be Kim Kardashian jetted out of the New York City and landed in Greece with her family on Thursday. has the photos. The 32-year-old and her baby were joined by Kris Jenner, Khloe, Kourtney and Scott, Mason and Penelope Disick, as they arrived in the European country via a commercial flight. Kardashian is seen in the photos wearing a long black dress.

Photos Credit -

Republika: Macedonia opposition leader Crvenkovski resigns

  Picture: AFP

26 April 2013 | 09:05 | FOCUS News Agency

Skopje. Leader of the oppositional Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Branko Crvenkovski, has handed in his resignation, Macedonian online news edition Republika reported.
Crvenkovski filed his resignation last night. The move came in the frames of the sitting of the central leadership of the SDSM.

He said he would not run for a new mandate at the congress of the party, which will be held on June 2.
“You do not support my decisions and that is why I hand in my resignation,” Crvenkovski said at last night’s meeting.

Poll of  "The Peoples Association" in Greece: The Golden Dawn is going 13%

Poll of the VPRC (The Peoples Association") made on his behalf ("left" deviation) radio station "In the Red" Gives People-League Golden Dawn reaching 13% by reduction on undecided and SYRIZA 2.5% prior to the Southwest.

It's really impressive Percentage gathered by the Peoples Association, since even with reduced voter votes reaches approximately 50% of the voting power of the Southwest.

In this we should include that the People's Association take to the polls rate between 20 and 40% more than what the polls and give it happened in the last two elections, as voters shun to declare what they will vote thinking about wave of persecution has been unleashed against the party.

Striking is that the People's Association to the question "Which party can better address corruption" comes in second place! That neither the voters of Southwest believe that it can cope with corruption and see the People's Association as the only bulwark against the rot in the country.

Third comes the party of the "hard" the right to the questions "Which party has the best suggestions for the site", taking third place among the respondents as to the question "which party best suited to your expectations - expectations,"

SYRIZA seems that slowly but surely "loads" the batteries again after the decline recorded since last December and comprises 29.5% of respondents to the New Republic n 'follows with 27%.
Also elevated rates of KKE represent 7%, which is equal to that of PASOK.
The Independent Greeks account for 6% of respondents, the Democratic Left 4.5%, while there is also a 6% who answered "other party."
Regarding the lower / upper limits electoral influence of political parties, the rates are as follows:
ND: 25.5 to 28.5%
SYRIZA: 28-31%
PASOK: 6.2 to 7.8%
KKE: 6.2 to 7.8%

Nr, 2 of NATO, is elected the Greek Represent

The Assistant of General Secretary of NATO Rasmussen, is Thrasyvoulos Stamatopoulos

Ενας Ελληνας στις κορυφαίες θέσεις του ΝΑΤΟ

In the position of Assistant Secretary General of NATO, in charge of Political Affairs and Security Policy of the North Atlantic Alliance was chosen by the Ambassador of Greece in Sofia, Thrasyvoulos Stamatopoulos.

This is a distinguished by the Greek diplomat, who has served as Permanent Representative of Greece to NATO.
Specifically, Mr. Stamatopoulos has studied political science and economics at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, and majored in international relations in graduate studies in London, USA and Canada.
During his career, he has held responsible positions in diplomatic delegations of Greece to the U.S., Egypt and Brussels, while he served as Director of Political Affairs of the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace.

"The Human Rights, alias in Albania"

In historic first, LGBT activists meet with Albania’s Prime Minister


From left: Xheni Karaj, Prime Minister Dr. Sali Berisha, and Kristi Pinderi.
From left: Xheni Karaj, Prime Minister Dr. Sali Berisha, and Kristi Pinderi.

Photo credit: Courtesy/
From left: Xheni Karaj, Prime Minister Dr. Sali Berisha, and Kristi Pinderi.
TIRANA, Albania — The Albanian Prime Minister, in a historic first for this tiny Balkan nation, met Monday with two LGBT activists to express his full support for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.

Dr. Sali Berisha, who is seeking a third term as Prime Minister, told Xheni Karaj from the Aleanca Kunder Diskriminimit LGBT (Alliance Against LGBT Discrimination) and Kristi Pinderi, Executive Director of United for the rights of LGBT in Albania, that he appreciated the hard work their organizations had performed to advance LGBT rights in the country.

Berisha himself announced in July 2009 that he would support the recognition of same-gender civil marriages.

Albania decriminalized homosexuality in 1995, and LGBT persons in Albania are protected under a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation passed in February 2010 by the Albanian Parliament.

The law banned discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in all areas, including employment, the provision of goods and services, education, health care, and housing.

Albania is one of few European countries to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The law also exceeds European Union minimum standards, which require that employers refrain from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Even with those protections codified in law, Albania is still considered the most homophobic European country; 53 percent of respondents in a March 2013 European Social Survey of 1200 Albanians said they are opposed to homosexuality.

Some prominent Albanian officials have previously expressed their opposition to LGBT rights such as when in 2010, the Albanian Deputy Commissioner for Labour, Social Affairs and Health, Tritan Shehu, declared that “homosexuality should be treated by medical staff as hormonal disorder, as well as psychological.”

More recently, Vice-Minister of Defense Ekrem Spahiu said in December of 2012, “What remains to be done is to beat them up with a stick. If you don’t understand this, I can explain it: to beat them with a rubber stick.”

Berisha criticized Spahiu in today’s meeting with Karaj and Pinderi saying, “This kind of declaration is unacceptable not only for a vice minister but for everyone.”

“Every politician in this country should have a public stance on LGBT issues and should face them without fear or complexes,” Berisha said.

"de facto"

Human Rights "de facto" in Albania

Albania, a country that, by international powers is recognized since 100 years ago for autonomy, has not held free elections and does not recognize the right of ownership, as the two main principles of establishing a democratic state, paradoxically, unexpected happening away human dimensions.

The issue is for an extraordinary interest, the fact that in Albania, at any cost required pressure on policy makers, who have "as priority" the lesbian rights organizations.

This paradox is perhaps the luxury of thought, when Albania, not ever know, the right to vote, in speech of mother language and the feels of the right of property, rights of ethnic minorities, a rather strange as well the coveted by the big powers, who have taken some time politically and administratively both "fascism and socialism" , systematically, for which, the universal right here, that they are born with the right of humanity, are not implemented at all, and why thousands of people, killed, to be Greek or against absolute power and dictatorship.


Albania has developed two Civil War (1940 - 1944, 1997 - 1998) for which in total 10,000 people were killed,

In Albania, counted about 8700 murder due to the property for 23 consecutive years

Albania, the number of murders is the largest in Europe for Vendeta "Kanun", about 4,000 people for 22 years.

In Albania, there are about 2,000 children, who risk of "Canon", and they do not go to school, but are isolated, mainly in north of country.

Albania has the highest number of prisoners in Europe, only in Italy and Greece, there are 9000 prisoners.

Concerns about political stability in Albania

Grow murders in Albania, of vengeance and ignorance

About two murders in the day, added in Albania, in a time when political stability is bursting, due to the political crisis that has included Albania, in the eve of election politics in June 23.

Eastern mentality, but also "Vendeta of Kanun" especially in north of Albania, gave the sign of alarm for use in large measure by the youth of firearms, mostly handguns and Kalashnikovs.

No conclusion can be set to a criminal situation, but also political responsibilities, while Washington and Bruxelles, see as priority political stability in Albania, in the eve of parliamentary elections, which could also seriously jeopardize failure, while almost public order, is dominated by the arrogance of power, and absolutely can not speak for freedom and universal human rights.

However, NATO is in negotiations, and the possibilities for intervention with troops, in case that may fail parliamentary elections in Albania, a sign which found no understanding of Albanian politics,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The current rally protesting in center of Athens by Northern Epirots and Pontiacs for pensions OGA

 Parliament member of Golden Dawn Party, together with Northern Epiriotes

John Kerry Coming To Athens To Talk (Geo)Politics

By  on 25.4.13

US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit Greece in mid-May in an effort to renew ties between the two countries as well as discuss Greece's role in helping keep stability in a region critical to American interests, particularly the ongoing unrest in Syria.

The trip was arranged when the US Secretary of State met with Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos earlier this week on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Brussels. At their 40-minute meeting they discussed the economic crisis in Greece and other pending issues.

Greek government officials are seeking to renew Washington's trust in Athens's ability to play a stabilizing geopolitical role in the region.

Kurdish rebels to withdraw from Turkey
IRAQ -- Kurdish rebels will on May 8 begin their withdrawal from Turkey and will head for northern Iraq.


This has been announced by their commander Murat Karayilan.

Karayilan held a news conference in the Iraqi mountains and said that the withdrawal of thousands of guerrillas will be gradual, in groups, and will be completed in the shortest possible time.

He warned that the withdrawal will be immediately terminated if the rebels come under attacked as they left Turkey, and that they will in this case "exercise their right to strike back."

The decision to withdraw from Turkey to the bases in northern Iraq was made a month after the rebels declared a cease-fire, called for by their imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, who negotiated with Turkish officials on ending the conflict.

Ocalan (64) on that occasion called on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) "to leave Turkey as part of peace efforts."

Karayilan (59), who took command of the PKK after the capture of Ocalan in 1999, said that the PKK - described as a terrorist organizations - would lay down their arms when Ocalan and other Kurdish rebels are released from prison.

Turkey has demanded that the rebels withdraw from its territory unarmed.

Their withdrawal is an important milestone in ending nearly three decades of separatist rebellion during which tens of thousands died. The aim of the rebellion was the secession of southeastern Turkey, where Kurds have declared their own state.

A people whose origins are close to Iranians, the Kurds - numbering 38 million worldwide - also inhabit northern Iraq, where they have partial autonomy, as well as parts of Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Russia and Lebanon.

Referendum on Kosovo deal - "but with one condition"
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić addressed a news conference to say that the authorities are prepared to call a referendum on the Kosovo agreement recently reached in Brussels.


The first deputy prime minister and leader of the ruling SNS party made the statement after his meeting in Belgrade on Thursday with representatives of Serbs from Kosovo, who said they would not implement the deal.

Vučić, however, said that a referendum would be called "with the condition that everyone would be under obligation to accept the answer of the majority".

"We cannot do much without unity. If there is the need, the popular will is going to be reexamined, but only with one goal and with one condition - that we come out of it united, that is to say, for everyone to be obligated to, in the end, support the answer of the majority," he was quoted as saying.

According to Vučić, the calling of the plebiscit "no longer depends on us, but on those who will provide the answer to the condition, and decide whether Serbia will be united after the referendum".

"That means that in case the agreement is accepted, Serbs from Kosovo must accept to take part in its implementation. This is not about hiding behind anything, we are clearly stating what we want, We have a clear position of the government, a majority support in parliament. I believe that 80 percent of people are not happy about the agreement, but they understand that the government did the only possible. I believe a majority would say yes in the referendum, not only to the agreement, but also to the future of the country," Vučić said, and reintrated that in case the citizens reject the deal, that would mean "his resignation and fall of the government".

"In case Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija on Tuesday say that this is their demand and respond to this condition, the referendum will be held in 15 days," he said, and added:

"Several days after the initialing of the Brussels agreement there is a fierce campaign against it in a part of the public, a campaign that is understandable from the point of view of Kosovo Serbs, but which contains untruths, and I would dare say also lies."

When prompted by a reporter, he mentioned the opposition of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the deal, to say he was "disappointed" with the Holy Synod's statement on the issue, and to reject "all objections" to article 14 of the agreement, saying that those who thought the country's current leadership was fighting for their political offices "were wrong":

"We are fighting for the people and Serbia's chances. We are ashamed of nothing and we are not afraid. The problem is that some people are used to using the hardest possible words, insults and threats to shake someone's resolve. We were tormented for nights, thinking and fighting for each word of the agreement, in order to reach something better. If somebody thinks they can do better, go ahead. But they will have to have a majority of the citizens of Serbia behind them first."

"We have been taking care of the interests of our people, guarantees for security, Serbia was not dismantling I don't know which kind of institutions," the deputy PM was heard saying, and adding:

"There are solutions that are not great, but there are solutions that are certainly better than the current factual state of affairs. The key is not in understanding of the agreement, but in the fact that Serbia came out with a formed position for the first time since the 1990s, speaking about the future for the first time, and not history, and for the first time the international community is speaking as if they owe us something. That's a historic turnabout."

Asked whether a possible referendum would "slow down the implementation of the agreement," Vučić answered that he thought "the solving of the situation can only speed up the implementation," and noted:

"The way this is going, it's obvious it will be anguish, and more anguish. If we're supposed to go for showdowns, blackmail - we have no intention of doing that, those are our people."

U.S. prods Albania to end election commission "charade"

By Benet Koleka
TIRANA (Reuters) - The United States has brought its influence to bear in Albania to try to end a stalemate over reconstituting the country's electoral commission to assure free and fair voting in June.
Albania, a member of NATO, has yet to hold an election deemed free and fair by international monitors in more than two decades since its transition to democracy from the Stalinist rule of late dictator Enver Hoxha.
Albania's government and opposition announced election coalitions to meet a Wednesday deadline, but said nothing about the dysfunctional Central Election Commission, prompting Washington to vent its displeasure publicly.
"In order to have a good election, you need a functioning CEC, not a CEC based on a charade. It needs to be the result of political consensus, an agreement," U.S. Ambassador Alexander Arvizu told reporters in the town of Korce on Wednesday.
With three opposition-nominated members having quit the CEC to protest at the sacking of a fellow commissioner, the four remaining state-appointed members cannot validate the polls.
Polarization between the two mainstream political parties, concerns about lapses in Albanian democracy and the slow pace of reform have stalled the country's quest to join the EU. Albania remains prone to violence and instability.
Both the United States and EU had strongly advised the Tirana government against firing a CEC commissioner named by a coalition partner who later defected to the opposition.
Arvizu warned time was running out, making it more important "for the sides to come together and reconstitute the CEC", echoing EU calls to create confidence in the integrity of elections in Albania.
"The pieces are all in place. No charade, just get down to serious business, a functioning CEC....There's probably more than one solution, but a solution is possible. We expect it to happen," Arvizu said.
There was no immediate reaction from political parties.
The Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha is in coalition with 24 other parties on a platform of easing high unemployment and advancing the poor Balkan state towards the EU.
The Socialist Party led by Edi Rama, which seeks to oust the Democrats from office after two four-year terms, is allied with 39 other parties in a coalition for a "European Albania".
Creating large coalitions is necessary under Albania's regional proportional system to maximize the power of each vote.
Albania was a Stalinist dictatorship from World War Two until 1990. But it enjoyed enviable rates of economic growth from the turn of the century until the crisis broke in Europe's single currency bloc, cutting into remittances from some 1 million Albanian migrants in Italy and Greece.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

The fifth meeting of the SA Council took place in Luxembourg

EU and Albania visa deal on track


The visa deal between EU and Albania is on track , something  that increases the possibility for Albania to achieve the EU membership.

The Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) took place on 23 April in Luxembourg. The SA council issued a joint statement stressing that the Balkan country “had made good progress towards meeting the political criteria for membership.”

Regarding the EU and Albania visa deal, “the SA Council noted that the EU remains committed to the short-term visa free travel regime for Albania,” welcoming “the renewed commitment of the Albanian authorities to ensure respect of the conditions attached to visa liberalisation.” However, the EU body asked from the authorities in Albania to address the issue of “unfounded asylum applications lodged by Albanian nationals.” In addition the SA Council asked from the national authorities to focus now in all the mechanisms needed in order to successfully implement “the first post visa liberalisation monitoring report.”

In regard with the EU membership, the SA Council noted that the 2012 presidential elections didn’t meet all the expectations for inclusiveness. Therefore, the SA Council underlined once again the importance of conducting the June parliamentary elections in line with the international standards.

In addition, the EU body welcomed all the political reforms in Albania stressing the importance for a parliamentary consensus in reforms needed for granting Albania the candidate status. According to the statement the most significant reforms are notably finalising the revision of the parliamentary Rules of Procedure, adopting the Civil Service Law and passing amendments to the High Court Law. The prudent separation of powers and the need for an accountable and independent public administration were once again emphasised by the SA Council.

Overall the relations between EU and Albania are improving being on the road to membership.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I find publication in Milliyet daily absolutely scandalous: Bulgaria PM 

24 April 2013 | 13:57 | FOCUS News Agency

Home / Bulgaria
Sofia. “I find the map published in Turkish Milliyet daily newspaper absolutely scandalous,” said Bulgarian interim Prime Minister Marin Raykov, asked to comment on the map of New Turkey published in the Turkish media, on which part of Bulgaria is included in the Turkish territory, FOCUS News Agency reporter informed.
“The map is so scandalous that it even does not deserve a commentary by a prime minister but only his contempt,” Raykov remarked.
The interim Bulgarian prime minister commented further that he would not react on the publications in the Turkish media.
“In addition there is no such practice for the ambassadors to assume responsibility over the actions of the journalists,” Raykov said when asked if there was a need to hand a verbal note to the Turkish Ambassador.
“A state cannot react on something written in a newspaper. It is not the first time for journalists of one or another media to make such highly inappropriate moves. This happens not only in the Turkish press but also in many other media. The only thing I can do is to pass over the issue with a deep contempt,” Raykov remarked.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Has The Economic Crisis Left The Greek Military Outgunned?

By Hellas Frappe on 23.4.13

Struggling with a crushing economic crisis that has cut government spending across the board, Greece’s military is seeing itself unable to keep pace with rival countries such as Turkey in armaments, (nonetheless Greek troops are still well prepared for any confrontation, mainly because of expert training).

The cuts have meant that Greek pilots have not been able to be as effective in preventing Turkish fighters from violating Greek air space, and the Navy is limited in trying to follow Turkish vessels that come into Greek territorial waters. Turkey’s expanding military is the second largest in NATO.
    “The military isn’t just bleeding — it’s boiling,” Hellenic Navy officer Yannis Katsaroulis said in an interview with Germany’s Deutsche Well. Officials acknowledged that the Greek military, with a $7.5 billion budget in 2012, could not maintain its assets amid deep budget cuts.
They said the Hellenic Air Force could no longer fly many of its F-16 multi-role fighters because of a lack of spare parts and maintenance. The Hellenic Navy has also been forced to restrict operations amid a fuel shortage.

The Hellenic Army has been unable to receive 400 US-origin Abrams main battle tanks because it couldn’t afford to transport them from the United States. Military personnel have seen a 37 percent cut in their salaries.

Katsaroulis said Greek military officers warned Defense Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos of growing unrest. They said the budget cuts, which reached nearly 30 percent since 2010, were pushing many of the officers to vote for right-wing parties and with many officers leaving.
    “We recently met with the defense minister to voice our anger about the cuts and one of us, a brigadier, piped up and said that we are all dead set on voting for (the far right-wing) Golden Dawn in the next elections,” he said. Katsaroulis added: “Don’t be surprised if tanks roll out onto the street and a military rebellion occurs. Everything is possible at this point.”
Other officers agreed. They said Greece, which spends more on defense than another other European Union member, could no longer compete with Turkey, which routinely enters air space and waters claimed by Athens. “

Just the other day, a Turkish battleship strayed twice in Greek waters, and what did we do?” Yiorgos Glitsis, a retired submarine officer, recalled. “We chased it halfway through the Aegean with a ship half its size, like a dinghy.”

Albanian opposition leader ahead of elections investigated

Prosecutors have launched an investigation after the Democratic Party has accused the opposition Socialist leader Edi Rama, of abusing his office when he was mayor of Tirana

By Besar Likmeta, BIRN


Albi Serjani , spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, told Balkan Insight on Monday that a criminal complaint was registered ten days ago, based on a complaint to the municipality of Tirana.

Registration will issue says prosecutors will interview witnesses and hire experts to assess whether a crime has occurred and the socialist leader may be called to testify.

Serjani said investigators are looking into allegations of abuse of power, but there is still no suspects identified.

On January 13, Tirana Municipality filed a criminal complaint in connection with a four-storey building, which belongs to the family and friends of Linda Basha, the wife of Rama, on charges of taking an illegal building permits in 2006, when Socialist leader was mayor.

According to the Municipality of Tirana, the land where construction is planned to set up a green space and permission has violated the law.

The Democratic Party has called this permit as a 'wedding gift' from his wife Rama, Rama though not connected crown until October 2010.

Both the Rama and his wife have denied any infringement and characterized the charges as politically motivated.

Rama, leader of the Socialist Party, served as mayor of Tirana for three terms from 2000 to 2011. He lost the election in May 2011, which was described as controversial.

An anti-corruption task force of Tirana prosecutor's office has launched a preliminary verification of the claim in January and now has registered criminal proceedings.

The case comes two months before parliamentary elections June 23 and has the chance to increase political tensions, which are already too high.

It charges that the situation is even more during that time had to realize the verification process prior to the lawsuit.

According to an order of the Attorney General, after a preliminary verification criminal conviction should not last more than 30 days.

In this case it took more than three months to record criminal proceedings, prompting the investigation in the initial stages of the campaign.

Moore: Failure of CEC endangers the elections


April 23, 2013

DES Director, Jonathan Moore, said from Washington that the CEC malfunction endangers the elections in Albania.

"Elections are important for democracy and progress. I hope that the elections to achieve democratic standards, as they are a test for democracy. Do not functioning CEC threatens the elections. When I was in Albania, the CEC had 5 members, but now there are only three. CEC should function properly, " Moore said at the conference entitled "Parliamentary elections in June - a test for democracy in Albania", which was broadcast live in Tema TV.

Meanwhile, Rob Benjamin of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs said that the CEC is not a political party.

"We are monitoring the electoral process, political parties will be those who will win elections, but at the same time they must apply the law, should nominate members to the CEC and transparent process. The problem was created recently. CEC is not a political party, but an institution that administers elections. If you do not agree and decided that Parliament should decide the CEC, it is not a good way, " said Benjamin.

He continued by saying that there is no law to explain the DP application for amendment of the CEC.

"Last week a political party has decided to move to another coalition and thus CEC had changed. There is nothing in law to explain this requirement. If you have a politicized process, there are two problems: the problem of reliability and whether the CEC will not work cheap, is a difficult process. We are very critical of the political parties and they must do all this process have integrity " , said Benjamin.

Avramopoulos To Meet With J.Kerry At NATO Meeting In Brussels

By Hellas Frappe on 23.4.13

Greek Foreign Minister Avramopoulos is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State J. Kerry on the sidelines of the NATO Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Brussels today. The Greek state news agency announced that Avramopoulos is going to meet with John Kerry at 11:15 to discuss bilateral cooperation issues as well as developments in the region of Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Avramopoulos is in Brussels for the opening of the Spring Session of the NATO foreign ministers, which is expected to include briefing on the latest developments in Syria, the Middle East and North Africa and the prospects for further developing partnerships with the countries of the Mediterranean Dialogue.

While in Brussels he will further take part in the NATO-Russia Council metering and attend a working lunch for the NATO foreign ministers

Serbia, Bosnia need stronger ties, leaders agree

BELGRADE -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić welcomed in Belgrade on Tuesday members of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Nebojša Radmanović and Bakir Izetbegović.


They agreed that the two countries should in the future share even stronger ties, adding that "the events from the 20th century must never be allowed to happen again."

During a joint news conference, Izetbegović said that Serbia and Bosnia have the reasons and interests to work on the improvement of mutual relations.

The Serbian president said that the talks held so far are based on the further cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia, adding that he expects the two countries to share even stronger connections in the future.

As a guarantee of the Dayton Treaty, Serbia wishes Bosnia peace, stability and the best possible development in terms of economy and all other areas, Nikolić said and added that Serbia wants to help Bosnia on this path. Serbia is always there for Bosnia and it will provide assistance if need be, but we would like to see the two entities resolve their problems and cooperate on their own, Nikolić said.

Recalling that the third member of the Bosnian Presidency, Croat representative Željko Komšić, did not want to visit Serbia, Nikolić expressed the hope that this problem would be resolved soon and that communication would be resumed, and added that not a single meeting between Serbia and Bosnia would be cancelled from now on.

The three officials said that there should be no more disagreements and lack of understanding between them.

Nikolić said that he heard out the remarks concerning his interpretation and comments on the previous events and relations.

“I sincerely wish all the best to Bosnia and as the Serbian president, I will continue caring for Republika Srpska (Serb Republic entity),” Nikolić said and noted that the clashes stopped 18 years ago and wounds should now heal so that scars would not be visible. He added that Serbia is willing to cooperate so as to ensure that "sins are forgiven."

"Komšić did not come, but I did - it is better to discuss and say certain things face to face," Izetbegović said.

"I am satisfied with my conversation with Tomislav Nikolić," he added.

Radmanović said that this visit, which takes place in a complex moment for both Serbia and the region, is important for Serbia-Bosnia bilateral relations, but also for the stability of the region as a whole.

Noting that he is visiting Belgrade on Serbian Army Day, Radmanović voiced hope that the VS will act in the interest of peace, and make sure that what happened in the 20th century does not repeat.

He pointed out that Bosnia carefully follows what is happening between Belgrade, the EU and Pristina, and reiterated that Bosnia has not recognised Kosovo's independence.

Stressing that the two countries have a long border, that the mutual trade exceeds a billion euros and that there is a chance for it to increase even more, Radmanović, who is the Serb representative, said that this also is a task for the presidents and that, regardless of the fact that the third member (Komšić) is not in Belgrade, "the Bosnian Presidency is here in its full capacity today," and presents a joint view on future actions.

Izetbegović, the Bosniak (Muslim) member of the presidency voiced hope that the two countries will normalise relations soon, adding, however, that there have been some controversial moments, crises and problems which led to cancellation of visits.

"We therefore need to face the past and what happened in Srebrenica and Sarajevo in order to be able to head towards the future.There is only one state in Bosnia. There are no two Serb states in the Balkans. This is the fact and it will remain so,” Izetbegović concluded.
Prepared by: ARTA TOZAJ

EU: Albanian Elections are the key word

Top Channel TV

After the fifth Council of Stabilization and Association between Albania and the European Union in Luxembourg, the key word of the press release was the June 23rd elections, from which depends the European integration of our country, not only for the candidate status, but also for the membership negotiations.

“The European Union considers the elections as essential and in full accordance with the international and European standards. It will be a test for the smooth functionality of the Democratic institutions of our country, and for the European integration progress. As you know, we have expressed our concern regarding the consequences of the last Parliament voting. Dialogue must prevail over the clashes”, declared Lucinda Creighton, Minsiter of the European Matters.

Top Channel: Was the replacement of the Central Election Commission member by the Parliament’s votes in full accordance with the European standards that are required for the elections?

Stefan Fyle: I can clearly say that what you were referring to is not in the spirit of consensus that brought the interested parties to an agreement for the Electoral Code in 2012. We used this meeting to appeal all parties to urgently refresh this consensus on behalf of Albania and it’s citizens. Allow me to say that according to the Albanian Electoral Code, the election administration institutions must do their job in a professional and impartial way, and to work calmly, independently and in a non-partisan way. The independence of the Central Election Commission must be guaranteed.

Ministry of Integration, Majlinda Bregu: On behalf of our government I guaranteed that the June 23rd elections will be free, fair and in full accordance with the international standards. I think that this has a major importance for Albania, not only for the Albanian political forces, but also for the European integration, keeping in mand the Commission’s appeal that the elections’ result should be accepted, regardless of who wins.

When asked about the consequences in case Albania will not organize free and honest elections, Commissioner Fule declared: “I think that it is up to the member countries to decide, since the entire enlargement process is held and controlled by the member countries. I think that everything that is not according to the European standards would complicate Albania’s integration path, far from the European Union candidate status and the membership negotiations. This is very clear”.

The fifth Council for the Stabilization-Association concluded with a joint declaration that included some European Union stances, published one day ago by Top Channel, regarding the main challenges that our country faces in the European Union integration path.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

PJIU decided to enter the pre-election coalition with the Democratic Party. 

Idris negotiating the agreement


Tirana-PJIU decided to enter the pre-election coalition with the Democratic Party. The decision was taken today by the majority of PJIU which authorized the rescue party chairman Shpetim Idrisi to start negotiations for the June 23 elections.

"Presidency decided to start preparations for the 23 June parliamentary elections, claiming determination of increased parliamentary representation PJIU future composition of Parliament. This will contribute to the sound growth and positive pressure on national issues and in particular to the Cham issue, as well as to strengthen the party for four years showed that developments in key moments of the national cause, failed to intervene decisively stopping abuses strengthening the position of our nation, " said the announcement of PJIU today.

During the PJIU balance work, was assessed for the adoption of Resolution Cham issue, according to the party "for 9 years lain hidden in the Assembly and only drawers forgive positive pressure exerted by members of PJIU, Cham Albanians and the Albanians supporting the national cause, took legal effect.

Shekulli newspaper:

"Ashton promised Serbia will get EU talks date”


BELGRADE -- PM Ivica Dačić says he has received assurances from EU's Catherine Ashton that Serbia will get a date for the start of the EU accession talks.

,Catherine Ashton and Ivica Dačić (EU)
Catherine Ashton and Ivica Dačić (EU)

Catherine Ashton and Ivica Dačić (EU)
“I asked EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton if Serbia will get a date. Her answer was yes. Ashton said ‘a date goes without saying’,” he told daily Blic.

However, the prime minister said that the date was not a reward for an agreement that was reached by Belgrade and Priština in Brussels.

“Nobody accepted conditions that are not a sufficient guarantee. And when we rejected the agreement, the date was not a priority, it is not now that the agreement is initialed but now it contains what the Serbian side requested,” he explained.

Dačić reiterated that Serbia had not recognized Kosovo by reaching an agreement with Priština.

“Negotiations on Kosovo continue. We have several successful things behind us – we have for the first time received guarantees that some future Kosovo army cannot set a foot in northern Kosovo, that the police and judiciary will consist of Serbs and that the Serbian side will propose three candidates for a regional police commander. The international community was on our side for the first time and this should be a new era in Serbia’s relations with the West,” he was quoted as saying.

Dačić and Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci initialed the 15-point agreement in Brussels on Friday.