Friday, November 29, 2013

A Friendship Is Rekindled With Albania


A signpost of earlier days: An Albanian drives a tractor marked Sina Weibo A signpost of earlier days: An Albanian drives a tractor marked “People’s Republic of China.”
Educators, politicians and diplomats from China and Albania gathered last week to celebrate the opening of a new Confucius Institute at the University of Tirana, which welcomed the Chinese government-backed program whose mission is to promote Chinese language and culture abroad.
The event at the university in the Albanian capital made few headlines. Speakers offered the standard phrases that feature at such affairs, heralding the establishment of the institute as a “fresh impetus” in bilateral relations and an opportunity to deepen governmental and commercial ties. Even for the Confucius Institute’s administrators back in Beijing, the new branch — the first in the small Mediterranean country — may have been seen as just the latest step in what has been a decade-long, multimillion-dollar cultural diplomacy effort spanning 117 countries and regions.
But when considered against the backdrop of postwar history, the creation of a Chinese cultural exchange center in a country that now considers itself to be one of America’s staunchest allies takes on new import. Less than a half-century ago, in the 1960s and early 1970s, China and Albania were close allies at a time when neither country could lay claim to many friends. Based in a common ideology and, more important, a jointly held enmity toward the Soviet Union, the unlikely alliance ran so deep that “to criticize Albania,” as the historian Jonathan Spence once wrote, “was, in the eyes of informed observers, to criticize China.”

The two Communist countries had drifted closer in the years after Stalin’s death in 1953, as each grew increasingly apprehensive of Soviet intentions and Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign. By December 1960, China and Albania found themselves aligned not only ideologically against what they called the Soviet “revisionists,” but strategically as well. For Enver Hoxha, the headstrong Communist leader in Albania, an alliance with China represented an opportunity to shake off Soviet control and come under the wing of a new protector state. For Mao Zedong and the Chinese leadership, it was a chance to stake out a beachhead in Europe from which to challenge Moscow’s dominance in Eastern Europe.
To be sure, the alliance was by no means untroubled. In his memoirs, Hoxha complained of the difficulties he encountered trying to get the Chinese to reply to his letters and at least once, of what he called Prime Minister Zhou Enlai’s “dirty, feudal, fascist mentality.”
But to the rest of the world, starting from 1960, there was no questioning where loyalties lay.
“It was clear that Moscow, Tirana and Peiping were in agreement on at least one of Khrushchev’s formulations,” the C.I.A., using an earlier rendering for Beijing, noted in a since declassified intelligence document. This was “that ‘The U.S.S.R. has lost an Albania’ while ‘China has gained an Albania.’”
The informal alliance was accompanied by economic and cultural exchanges that far exceeded what Tirana’s new Confucius Institute could hope to achieve today.
Through the 1960s and ’70s, Albania benefited enormously from China’s financial largess, in the form of a $125 million loan agreement providing food, raw materials, technical assistance and equipment, and cash. Photographs from the era show uniformed Albanian youths poring over Mao’s “Quotations” while Albanian farmers can be seen driving tractors emblazoned with the Chinese characters for “People’s Republic of China.”
China’s generosity toward Albania sometimes came at the expense of its own citizens. In his memoirs, Wang Hongqi, a journalist for Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, who was stationed in Tirana for 22 years, cited one particularly egregious instance when emergency grain shipments from Canada destined for famine-devastated China were suddenly diverted to Albania.
According to Mr. Wang, many Chinese did not understand the reasons for their government’s magnanimity. “In private everyone said it was like swelling one’s face up by slapping it to look more imposing,” wrote Mr. Wang, using a Chinese idiom that means seeking to impress by feigning more than one’s abilities.
Nonetheless, the alliance flourished in the late 1960s during China’s Cultural Revolution. Chinese propaganda posters depicted cheerful Albanian and Chinese workers with slogans such as “Long live the eternal and unbreakable friendship in battle between the peoples of China and Albania!”
In cinemas, many of the foreign films shown were Albanian, whose themes typically fell into one of three categories: war, class struggle or socialist living.
For many Chinese, the posters and films were for a time their primary exposure to foreign faces. In her best-selling memoir “Wild Swans,” Jung Chang wrote of a young man whose large, “somewhat un-Chinese” nose earned him the nickname Al, for “Albanian.” “In those days,” Ms. Chang noted, “the only foreigners whose pictures we saw often were Albanians.”
Ties between the two countries began to deteriorate in the 1970s, particularly as China began to make overtures to restore relations with the United States. In 1978, 18 years after the partnership was formed, Deng Xiaoping ordered an end to all financial and technical assistance, effectively terminating the alliance.
As the global order shifted in the intervening years, the relationship between the two countries has been emphatically downgraded.
These days, Albania is a member of the NATO military alliance and has applied for membership in the European Union. Meanwhile, mainland China has acquired a United Nations Security Council seat, is a member of the World Trade Organization and a signatory to numerous international conventions. It is a stark contrast to the time when the Chinese Communists were the one party with whom the Albanians would march together, as an Albanian spokesman once said, “through any storm or tempest.”



Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo: An anti American slogan during the protest at front of Prime Minister building

Is the Albanian chemical protest, the first signs of an anti - American movement, in Albania?


 Reuters has announced several days ago that protests for chemical weapons, which would be installed in Albania, had been growing sentiment anti- USA, in which sudden, the situation could deteriorate worse than in January 2011.Slogans and protests, arrived unexpectedly in front of U.S. Embassy in Tirana. for the first time over 23 years, a precedent also by the overwhelming compression experts and U.S. diplomats .

Albania, seen as the only country in Europe but also in the world, which had about 90 % pro-American feeling, the data according to Gallop.

 Writer and publicist Fatos Lobonja, during a debate on TV Klan , denounced as irresponsible several treaties to U.S. Ambassador in Tirana Alex Arvizou , which according Lubonja, has put pressure on the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, for receipt of chemical weapons in Albanian territory. Lubonja even asked the U.S. ambassador in Tirana Alex Arvizou, called as "Persona Non Gratta", while Albanian politicians, irresponsible who make decisions without asking the people.


For One Visit, Bush Will Feel Pro-U.S. Glow

 Albanians angry with U.S. over Syrian chemical weapons

Fatos Lubonja: Arvizu te shpallet "persona non Grata"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Embarrassment for Beijing as South Korea, Japan join international defiance over China’s air defence zones

U.S. Navy FA-18 Hornets cram the flight deck of the USS George Washington during a joint military exercise with Japan in the Pacific Ocean near Japan's southernmost island of Okinawa Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013
AP Photo / Kyodo NewsU.S. Navy FA-18 Hornets cram the flight deck of the USS George Washington during a joint military exercise with Japan in the Pacific Ocean near Japan's southernmost island of Okinawa Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013
BEIJING (AP) — China said it sent warplanes into its newly declared maritime air defense zone Thursday, days after the U.S., South Korea and Japan all sent flights through the airspace in defiance of rules Beijing says it has imposed in the East China Sea.
China’s air force sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft on normal air patrols in the zone, the Xinhua agency reported, citing air force spokesman Shen Jinke.
The report did not specify exactly when the flights were sent or whether they had encountered foreign aircraft. The United States, Japan and South Korea have said they have sent flights through the zone without encountering any Chinese response since Beijing announced the creation of the zone last week.
Shen described Thursday’s flights as “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices.” He said China’s air force would remain on high alert and will take measures to protect the country’s airspace.
While China’s surprise announcement last week to create the zone initially raised some tensions in the region, analysts say Beijing’s motive is not to trigger an aerial confrontation but is a more long-term strategy to solidify claims to disputed territory by simply marking the area as its own.
China’s lack of efforts to stop the foreign flights – including two U.S. B-52s that flew through the zone on Tuesday – has been an embarrassment for Beijing. Even some Chinese state media outlets suggested Thursday that Beijing may have mishandled the episodes.
Ed Jones / AFP / Getty Images
Ed Jones / AFP / Getty ImagesVisitors walk before decommissioned aircraft at the Military Museum in Beijing on November 28, 2013. Japan and South Korea said they have defied China's newly declared air defence zone with military overflights
“Beijing needs to reform its information release mechanism to win the psychological battles waged by Washington and Tokyo,” the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid published by the Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily, said in an editorial.
Without prior notice, Beijing began demanding Saturday that passing aircraft identify themselves and accept Chinese instructions or face consequences in an East China Sea zone that overlaps a similar air defense identification zone overseen by Japan since 1969 and initially part of one set up by the U.S. military.
But when tested just days later by U.S. B-52 flights – with Washington saying it made no effort to comply with China’s rules, and would not do so in the future – Beijing merely noted, belatedly, that it had seen the flights and taken no further action.
South Korea’s military said Thursday its planes flew through the zone this week without informing China and with no apparent interference. Japan also said its planes have been continuing to fly through it after the Chinese announcement, while the Philippines, locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with Beijing over South China Sea islands, said it also was rejecting China’s declaration.
Analysts question China’s technical ability to enforce the zone due to a shortage of early warning radar aircraft and in-flight refueling capability. However, many believe that China has a long-term plan to win recognition for the zone with a gradual ratcheting-up of warnings and possibly also eventual enforcement action.
AFP PHOTO/HANDOUT/US AIR FORCE This May 26, 2010 US Air Force file photo shows a B-52 Stratofortress during testing of the X-51A WaveRider. Two US B-52 bombers flew over a disputed area of the East China Sea without notifying Beijing, despite China's bid to create an expanded "air defense zone," US officials said November 26, 2013. The unarmed aircraft took off from Guam on Monday and the flight was "long-planned" as part of a regular exercise in the area, a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“With regard to activity within the zone, nothing will happen – for a while,” said June Teufel Dreyer, a China expert at the University of Miami. “Then the zone will become gradually enforced more strictly. The Japanese will continue to protest, but not much more, to challenge it.”
That may wear down Japan and effectively change the status quo, she said.
The zone is seen primarily as China’s latest bid to bolster its claim over a string of uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea – known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Beijing has been ratcheting up its sovereignty claims since Tokyo’s privatization of the islands last year.
But the most immediate spark for the zone likely was Japan’s threat last month to shoot down drones that China says it will send to the islands for mapping expeditions, said Dennis Blasko, an Asia analyst at think tank CNA’s China Security Affairs Group and a former Army attache in Beijing.
The zone comes an awkward time. Although Beijing’s ties with Tokyo are at rock bottom, it was building good will and mutual trust with Washington following a pair of successful meetings between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, the zone feud now threatens to overshadow both the visit by Vice President Joe Biden to Beijing next week and one by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop expected before the end of the year.

Russia Floats Out ‘Stealth’ Submarine

Commenting on the floating out of the Novorossiisk, Russian naval expert Capt. 1st Rank (Ret.) Mikhail Nenashev said Russia needs at least 10 Varshavyanka-class submarines in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to protect the country’s interests in the region.
Commenting on the floating out of the Novorossiisk, Russian naval expert Capt. 1st Rank (Ret.) Mikhail Nenashev said Russia needs at least 10 Varshavyanka-class submarines in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to protect the country’s interests in the region.

EP president: Enlargement not EU's top priority

BELGRADE -- Enlargement of the EU cannot be a top priority of Brussels at a time when the economic crisis is shaking the very foundations of the EU, says Martin Schulz.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
The German politician, who serves as president of the European Parliament (EP), told the Belgrade-based weekly NIN that the enlargement process will, however, continue.
"The EU is not closing its doors to new members from the Western Balkans, and Croatia joining is proof of that," Schultz was quoted as saying.

He pointed out that "there will be no new requirements for Serbia's membership in the EU."

"The criteria for membership is already hard enough to meet even without any new requirements," said he.

He also stated that what is happening in relations between Belgrade and Priština was "of historical significance":

"I follow closely and fully support the talks between prime ministers Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci. Serbian leaders have demonstrated skills of statesmanship, courage and vision."

According to him, "the European Parliament would like relations between Belgrade and Priština to normalize as soon as possible."

Schultz also said that in the future he saw "both Serbia and Kosovo" in the European Union.

Asked what the EU might look by a time Serbia became a member, Schultz said he was "convinced that the EU will overcome the current difficulties."

"The EU will have to integrate further, it may create a fiscal union and will move towards a political union. It is a necessity in a global world. Even Germany counts as small compared to the U.S. or China, but the whole EU is not small. Together, our GDP and population are higher than in the U.S.," said Schultz.

The EP president added that the main challenge will be to reconcile the processes with what he said were "current nationalistic tendencies in some member-states":

"But I am confident that the EU will continue to exist as a zone of shared values, prosperity and stability, with Serbia as a member."

Μεταφορά των αλβανών κακοποιών στην Αστυνομική Δ/νση Καστοριάς

Three Albanian prisoners captured by the Greek forces in Katoria
Albania. today 101 years of independence
Top Channel TV

101 years of independence
Albania celebrates today the 101st year of independence. Albanian leaders such as President Bujar Nishani; Prime Minister Edi Rama; Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta; Mayor of Vlore, Shpetim Gjika; Prefect of Vlore, Besnik Dervishi; Parliament Members from Vlore and politicians from Kosovo, together with hundreds of citizens, participated in the celebration of the 101st anniversary of independence in the city where it was declared.

After the hymn, the Albanian Prime Minister paid homage and place wreaths on the tomb of Ismail Qemali, who declared Albania’s independence 101 years ago.

Different from other times, this ceremony did not continue with the speeches of the highest leaders. Prime Minister Rama considered this as the day for all citizens and government to reflect and push forward the project for a free and democratic Albania.

The same message was given by Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta, who considered this one of the most beautiful days in the history of the Albanian people.

“All of us who are here, together with the Parliament Speaker and co-leader of the Alliance for European Albania, think that this is a day for reiterating our full commitment to push the Albanian state forward in progress, and increase cooperation with all Albanians through the region, and to have a better future with the Albanians wherever they are”, Rama declared.

“It is a pleasure to continue our efforts for modernizing our state and fulfill the aspiration for an European Albania”, Meta declared.
The Greek side blocks on the border Vjolca  Braho, a member of the High Represent of PJIU

KAPSHTICA - Greek border crossing point Kapstica today blocked the passage of the Director of SII Vjolca Braho. Braho is also a member of the Presidency of PJIU. According to latest information the Greek prevents Braho inserted into Greek territory .

She explains that the passport disposal traveled to many other countries without a problem and not just in Greece is allowed to enter. According Brahos this is not the first case where members PJIU barred from entering the Hellenic state are Cham origin .

The motives of this prohibition are not yet know.

 The journalist Arthur Zhei  and the Chairman of PIJU Shpetim  Idrzi, lecture for Cameria in Skopie

Parallely to blocking Viollca Braho in Kapshtitsa  in Albanian media presented a meeting of representatives of journalist Arthur Zhei and chairman oPJIU Shpetim Idrizi, holding a lecture before students in Skopje for the Camera Issue
UAV technology, the Greek air forces, captured the Albanian prisoners


Besides satellite structure upon making Greece from the Olympic Games in 2004, UAV aircraft without pilot high quality thermal detection cameras, have discovered exactly their location

Unfortunately, when Greece urged Albania to block border after escaping from prison Trikallas, the Albanian prisoners, Tirana was held indifferent.

Greek press sources, show that the action of the last successful Greek border police, to catch the Albanian prisoners,escaped from Albania, inside 24 hours.

High technology, of the Greek army, which made ​​use secret UAV aircraft, highlighted every movement of persons crossing the border, who then was easily caught in the forested mountainous terrain of Kastoria.


John Kerry wishes the albanian people for 101 anniversary Independence Day

On the Occasion of Albania's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 27, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the people of Albania as you celebrate your Independence Day on November 28.
Since the establishment of a democratic republic, Albania has made substantial strides forward by holding successful multiparty elections. Albania is a force for stability in the Western Balkans, and we are particularly grateful for Albania’s contributions to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and for its willingness to accept former Camp Ashraf residents for permanent resettlement.
This year’s peaceful transition of power and legislative advances underscore Albania’s democratic credentials. The United States supports the people of Albania as they continue to seek the advancement of rule of law and economic reforms, and we welcome the European Commission’s recommendation that Albania receive European Union candidate status.
As you celebrate with family and friends, the United States stands with you as a steadfast partner and Ally. We look forward to a future of continued friendship and collaboration.

Police on Greek border arrest last 3 from group of 7 convicts who broke out of Albanian prison

THESSALONIKI, Greece - Greek authorities say they have arrested the last three of a group of convicted murderers who broke out of an Albanian prison last week, during an overnight operation in the rugged mountains that separate the two countries.
A police statement says the three escapees were stopped by a border patrol late Wednesday. One man was taken into custody on the spot, while the other two fled and were captured separately early Thursday.
Seven inmates, all serving long sentences for murder, escaped from Drenove jail in southeastern Albania on Saturday. Four were arrested within 24 hours in Albania.

Related archive

Τους θεωρούν ήρωες στην Αλβανία!

While Albanian criminals waiting to cross the border

They Considers heroes in Albania!


Nationalist frenzy in favor of murderers escaped-patriots in a publication of the Albanian website

Read the attitude that keeps towards serial killers reporter Nikoleta Kovaçi:
"My uncle and nephew out by police in Greece after searching, this is not unusual, is a function that does not hide his hatred towards Albanians and seek to demonize the Greek mind.
The Greek Police are trying to tarnish the image of Albanian immigrants and to justify the increase in racist violence in the neighboring country.

Yesterday afternoon was the last "goodbye" in the village of Lac Shullaz,   Emir (Edison) Lika (Sinani).
On the Albanian side, there is still a solemn voice that can speak for the execution of the Albanians and the Greek police, the media, showing the murder of uncle and nephew as an unusual business success for catching escapees from prisons of Trikala. .

Yesterday all villagers Shullaz participated in the funeral. The uncle and nephew, 40-year old and the other 26 antistoicha.Ektel estikan by police on the evening of 2 July.
From their site, the information coming is that the nephew went to Greece a few days before he was killed. Had reportedly vowed to help his friends escape from Greek prison, while the period was international search against he remained in his village! "
Of course neither reason the lady was murdered for Katerina, and the dead cop father three more children. For it was "naive" breadwinner, who were not allowed to do whatever they want in Greece.

Department news

Albanian police took no action

Apparently the Albanian Police not only found in alarm at the border to capture Packages and Hearts, but until this moment has not taken the slightest measure and has not set up any roadblock to apprehend two killers bandits.

However, as mentioned executives of the Greek National Minority in Albania, not only at the border but more in the villages of northern Epirus, there is nowhere visible police

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

War Fears Rise After China Missile Tests Over Oregon

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) is reporting today that the Vityaz early-warning radar system deployed along the entire Russian border has confirmed the Republic of China Navy (ROCN) launching from their Type 092 Xia-class nuclear ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) of two atomic JL-2 missiles off the Northeast American coastline near the State of Oregon on Wednesday 30 October and Wednesday 20 November.
According to this report, these two latest sub-launched nuclear ballistic tests by China off the west coast of the United States were preceded by a similar test conducted on Monday 10 November 2010 when a Chinese Navy Jin class ballistic missile nuclear submarine, deployed secretly from its underground home base on the south coast of Hainan island, launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from international waters off the southern California coast in full view of Los Angeles.
As the Pentagon and their US mainstream media sycophants covered up the 10 November 2010 China missile launch, this MoD report continues, they have likewise labeled the 30 October missile launch as a fireball-meteor and the 20 November one as ‘maybe’ another fireball-meteor or contrail.
Important to note, Russian intelligence analysts in this report say, was that China cryptically warned the US about its planned 30 October launch test when on Sunday 27 October the world was given a rare glimpse into China's nuclear-powered submarine fleet, with State-owned media carrying extensive coverage of the previously mysterious strategic deterrence force.
The unprecedented revealing of the underwater fleet was a demonstration of China's confidence in its sea-based nuclear strike capability and serves as a deterrent to any attempted provocation amid the changing geopolitical situation, said military observers.
Starting on Sunday 27 October, China Central Television carried serial coverage two days in a row on the submarine force of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's Beihai fleet in its flagship news program Xinwen Lianbo.
The People's Daily, the PLA Daily and the China Youth Daily on Monday all carried front-page stories, features and commentaries on the submarine force, applauding its achievements since the launch of China's first nuclear-powered submarine in December 1970.
To the most chilling warning to the Obama regime from China regarding these missile tests the Washington Times News Service further reports:
“Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly macabre.
“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego,” the Global Times said.
“The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans,” the Global Times reported.
China also has developed land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles — notably the DF-31A, which has a range of 7,000 to 7,500 miles.
“If we launch our DF 31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore and Norfolk, whose population accounts for about one-eighth of America’s total residents.”
All the state-run press reports stressed the point that the PLA’s missile submarines are now on routine strategic patrol, “which means that China for the first time has acquired the strategic deterrence and second strike capability against the United States.”
Though the American people themselves have been kept in near total ignorance of the coming war between them and China, the same cannot be said of the rest of the world, including Doug Saunders of The Globe and Mail, Canada's leading newspaper, who reported in its 15 July edition that the United States and China have been preparing for an all-out war and which we, in part, quote from The Nation News Service:
“Both the Pentagon and the People's Liberation Army are building up their military strategies. It appears that a global war is in the making.
Saunders wrote that the Pentagon is proceeding with war preparations without oversight from the White House or Congress. This gives the impression that the Pentagon is operating as an independent state within the state. The Pentagon is relying on the AirSea Battle strategy, in which the US Army and Air Force will stand ready to support 320,000 military personnel in a simultaneous land and air attack against China in the event of a spillover war in the South China Sea or surrounding areas.
President Obama has spoken of a pivot to Asia, followed by the US Defence Department's plan to move most of the US naval capability to the Asia Pacific to counter the rise of China. We can feel that the US military, in spite of the turmoil in Syria, Egypt and the Middle East, is re-asserting its influence in the Asia-Pacific. The US and China are now engaging in a full-scale currency war. A physical war could be the inevitable course. A rise of China threatens the US dollar as the world's reserve currency and the US supremacy.
On China's side, we can assume that the Chinese leadership has ordered a full preparation for a war with the United States. China has secretly built up its military capability, with modern weapons and sophisticated technology. China said it is ready to develop an anti-AirSea Battle strategy. China's President has urged the military to prepare for the war and to fight to win.”
To how soon open warfare between China and the US will break out this report doesn’t say.  However, it does note that China’s “bombshell move” against the US Dollar this week makes its likelihood much sooner than later.
In further reporting on China’s move against the US Dollar the dissident American website states:
“China just dropped an absolute bombshell, but it was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States.  The central bank of China has decided that it is “no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves”.  During the third quarter of 2013, China’s foreign-exchange reserves were valued at approximately $3.66 trillion. 
For years, China has been systematically propping up the value of the U.S. dollar and keeping the value of the yuan artificially low.  This has resulted in a massive flood of super cheap products from across the Pacific that U.S. consumers have been eagerly gobbling up.
And now China has apparently decided that there is not much gutting of our economy left to do and that it is time to let the dollar collapse.”

Greece: Golden Dawn calls rally to demand jailed leader’s release | euronews, world news

Greece: Golden Dawn calls rally to demand jailed leader’s release |

 euronews, world news

Supporters of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party have staged a protest in Athens as three more of its MPs faced court in a government crackdown.

There is more to come on Saturday when the party is set to hold a huge rally in Athens to demand the release from jail of its leader.

Amid tight security around the court on Monday, the trio answered charges of being part of a criminal organisation.

Six other Golden Dawn MPs face similar charges. Three of them, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos are in pre-trial custody.

With its swastika-like emblem, Golden Dawn has tapped into public anger at politicians and pledged to rid Greece of immigrants.

It rejects the neo-Nazi label and denies any involvement in September’s killing of a left-wing rapper in Athens. A party sympathiser has allegedly confessed to stabbing him to death.

Support for Golden Dawn initially fell but appears to have risen again. It remains Greece’s third most popular party.

Copyright © 2013 euronews

Entertv: Νότης Σφακιανάκης: «Η Χρυση Αυγη δεν εχει βλαψει την Ελλαδα, οι...

The famous Greek singer Notis Sfakianakis continues to spark the Greek opinion about his support to the Golden Dawn Parti

Λαζόπουλος για Σφακιανακη

The statements made by popular singer Notis Sfakianakis last week, who spoke in defence of the Golden Dawn party, have caused quite a stir in the Greek entertainment world and have been the center of quite a few debates (mostly nasty) on some of ANT1's more popular shows.

For instance, on George Papadakis' morning news show on Wednesday, comedian and entertainer Lakis Lazopoulos became slightly sarcastic with Sfakianakis (and more or less made a mockery out of him) by saying that it shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone what Sfakianakis says and/or does because his "mind cannot produce anything else" (meaning that he the singer is uncultured and/or illiterate).

The popular presenter, who was there to promote his production "Sorry I 'm Greek", and who has repeatedly (and publicly) stood in defence of the SYRIZA party, said that people have to understand what the Golden Dawn party is about, and what it represents, and it is not what Sfakianakis described.


Albania cuts benchmark rate to record low 3.25 pct

Nov 27

(Reuters) - Albania's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a fresh record low of 3.25 percent on Wednesday, trying to stimulate the Balkan country's sluggish economy.
The rate previously stood at 3.5 percent.
"Reducing the base interest rate reflects our projections for low inflation in the coming period as a result of slow economic growth, and at the same time falling pressures on inflation from other economies," Governor Ardian Fullani told reporters.

"The cut reinforces monetary stimulus in the economy and creates more suitable measures for achieving the inflation goal for the medium term," he said after the bank's monthly meeting. (Reporting by Benet Koleka; Editing by Matt Robinson)
"Western embassies worried about PM's statements"

BELGRADE -- "Embassies in Belgrade of the most powerful Western nations are very concerned about the statements of Prime Minister Ivica Dačić," writes the daily Danas.

The reason, the newspaper is reporting on Tuesday, is his recent interview, when he said that the West was "bringing Serbia closer to Russia."

Western diplomats interpreted this as a possible "pro-Russian turn" of the prime minister.

The daily said it was quoting "well-informed sources from the top of the Serbian government," who received "worried reactions from several embassies and requests for clarification of Dačić's messages made in his interview for the AP."

The article continues to say that the embassies are now carefully analyzing Dačić's statements, "and fear that President Tomislav Nikolić, who is generally regarded as a Russian man, is gaining an ally in advocating for more than close relations between Belgrade and Moscow."

"Those (in the West) who criticize Serbia for its closeness to Russia and for our partnership with Russia, should ask themselves why they haven't offered such relations to Serbia?I keep telling the West: Serbia needs a strategic partner in the West too... But, they are not interested at all," Dačić said in the interview.

Professor of Political Sciences Predrag Simić was asked to comment on this and told the newspaper that after Dačić's statements, he "expected the Western countries react to the shift in relations between Belgrade and Moscow." According to him, Ivica Dačić was seeking to strengthen his position in terms of, "the West should not overdo with their demands, so we don't go East."

For this reason, this professor believes, "an aggravation of relations between Belgrade and the West can be expected in the coming period."

"Things came to a head when it comes to relations between Russia and the West, especially now because of the situation in Ukraine, where it was decided that the country wants to stop the process of European integration. The West is very concerned that Russia has shown itself to be powerful by winning in Ukraine, Syria, Armenia, Moldova," said Simić.

Foreign policy journalist Seška Stanojlović told the newspaper that the situation "somehow comes down to the self-defense of Prime Minister Ivica Dačić," because, according to her, many believe that he is a Russian man. His statements are also seen as "a signal to the West ahead of the first intergovernmental conference with the EU, which is expected by January, to make sure it is not delayed."

"On the other hand, the fact is that there are internal divisions in the government and that is certainly a cause for concern of the Western countries, especially in view of the latest case with Ukraine, which has withdrawn from the EU accession process," Stanojlović was quoted as saying.
"Priština told Kosovo will not join UN"

PRIŠTINA -- Kosovo will not become a member of the United Nations, the Priština-based Albanian language daily Tribuna is quoting unnamed diplomatic sources as saying.


According to the report published on Wednesday, Priština was told this "in clear terms."

The authorities there have been told to give up on that goal "in this phase of the dialogue with Belgrade," the daily said, and added that this was interpreted as "a painful compromise" for Priština.

According to the newspaper, Kosovo's inability to join the UN "is reminiscent of the status of Taiwan" - which declared independence, but is "internationally" still a part of China.
Serbia's NATO membership - "red line for Russia"


BELGRADE -- Russian Ambassador in Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin has said that his country would find Serbia's possible future membership in NATO "unacceptable."


Aleksandr Chepurin (Tanjug, file)
Speaking at the Belgrade Academy for Diplomacy and Security, he noted that it would represent "utter stupidity if somebody from Serbia were to crawl over and beg (to join), after the bombing that incurred Serbia damages worth USD 120 billion."

"That's the read line that in no way suits Russia. NATO was created against the Soviet Union, which is long gone, and it is absolutely unclear what NATO stands against now - or do you really want to go to war in Iraq, Libya, or Syria? There's no other advantage there - or would you like to fraternize with Turkey, which is a NATO member, " the ambassador asked.

He then said that Austria, Sweden and Ireland are all EU members although they stayed away from NATO, and that membership in the EU does not mean a country must also join the military alliance.

"However, there are madmen who are trying to make use of that thesis," he remarked.

Chepurin also spoke about Russia's "second red line" when it came to Serbia - that "nobody should pressure Serbia during the negotiations to 'tie itself to something'," and that any form of integration "must not interfere with the long tradition of cultural, economic, and political Russo-Serbian ties - because that is primarily in the interest of Serbia."

He stated that Russia accepts that EU membership is the main geopolitical goal of a sovereign Serbia, but that this should not damage its ties with Russia - "nor should it additionally complicate its ties with the Eurasian Union, which will be created in 2015, and which considers development of relations with Serbia as very important."

"It is unacceptable for us that any form of integration should disrupt our relations, for example, our visa-free regime. When Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was in Belgrade recently, he received confirmation in all meetings that Serbia will not join NATO," he said.

Responding to a question posed by former mayor of the Montenegrin town of Cetinje, Aleksandar Aleksić, who asked whether Montenegro's accession to the western military alliance "could be stopped," he remarked that there were "monkeys in politics, like everywhere else."

"Have you seen the media poll about the popularity of foreign politicians in Serbia? If you have not, I will not tell you who is at the number one spot. And the second to last is the one you were probably referring to. It's like fashion. At first somebody is doing it intentionally, and then many who are chasing after that person, hoping for a banana, show up," Chepurin was quoted as saying by Tanjug.

He also stated that NATO represents an atavism from the last century, and stressed that in his previous answer he "did not mean anyone specifically, but gave a general appraisal," while Serbia's membership in NATO would represent a folly.

During his lecture to the students, the Russian diplomat on several occasions noted that "everyone has an imagination that is shattered when it meets the reality," and mentioned Ukraine as an example of a country that "met the reality when it was supposed to sign the free trade agreement with the EU."

"There was an impression that each year tens of billions of euros would be arriving to Ukraine from the EU, while in fact it was about one billion over seven years. The damage from severing the free trade with Russia would have been a hundred times greater," he said.

Such things usually happen to countries that find themselves in a difficult position, when the appeal of "the western centrism" is great, the diplomat noted, adding that the situation was similar in Russia during the 1990s.

Chepurin stressed that his country was offering Serbia "absolute support" when it came to Kosovo, but that he "did not wish to comment too strongly on some internal issues in Serbia."

"There are several possibilities within international law for the thing to be resolved in a way in which Serbian is interested to resolve it. An impression is being created here that everything had fallen through, but this question requires effort and persistence. You must have faith that you are capable of solving that issue. The truth is on your side, and much depends on you," said the Russian ambassador.

At the end of his lecture, Chepurin noted that the privatization of NIS - Serbia's oil monopoly now owned by Gazprom - was "successful," and that if the country had "five such companies" it would not be facing economic difficulties.

Commenting on the start of construction works on the South Stream stretch in Serbia, he said that the pipeline should bring the country not only gas transit fees, but also income from storage, launching of gas heating plants, and other forms of industrial production.

"South Stream will give ten times more than Serbia will get from any donations in the (EU) integration process, and Serbia will control those funds in line with its own wishes. That should be taken into account. Serbia will become the energy hub of the region, and that is an economic, but also a political decision," Chepurin concluded.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

EP: Positive evaluation for Albania

EP: Positive evaluation for Albania
The Foreign Committee at the European Parliament discussed the draft-resolution for Albania, compiled by the new Croatian rapporteur, Nikola Vuljanic, who was congratulated by his colleagues, since the report for Albania for the first time was presented in time, same as with other countries of the region.

Vuljanic explained that this step had two goals, first was helping the country, based on the Commission’s progress-report and by offering an additional reason to the Council to give Albania the candidate status. The other reason was the regional stabilization and reinforcement of the Union’s policy, which means that the achievements need to be respected and rewarded in the integration path.

“There is no doubt that there are achievements. The political maturity was shown with the refusal of the Syrian chemical weapons. Regardless of the persistence from the United States of America, the government listened to the people”, Vuljanic declared.

According to the rapporteur for Serbia, Jelko Kacin, “what was missing for years was a pro-active reporter about Albania, since Albania cannot bring a report for as long that we don’t have an active for delivering something, and this needs to be emphasized. Although it came much later, after all, it was a huge contribution for mobilizing and proving the efforts of Albania”, Kacin declared.

While the Council is suggested to avoid “unnecessary delays” for the candidate status in December, Tirana was asked for political dialogue and stable reforms for guaranteeing the independence of institutions, the judiciary, the administration and the media, together with the fight against corruption, crimes and traffics. The draft-resolution for Albania summarizes the political developments, the difficult economic situation, the human rights concerns, the minorities and the property issue. Regardless of the rapporteur’s insistence, the voting of the Resolution for Albania will be voted by the Foreign Committee on December 5th and will be approved in a plenary session ten days before the European Union’s Council takes the decision.

Foreign owners of newspaper accuse Montenegrin PM

PODGORICA -- The foreign owners of the Podgorica-based daily Vijesti have accused Montenegrin PM Milo Đukanović of "jeopardizing” their investment in Montenegro.
They are U.S.-based Media Development Investment Fund and Austria-based Stiria media group.
The two companies said in a letter that Đukanović, by using “provocative vocabulary(...) encourages hostility towards the daily and other independent media," and that in this way “jeopardizes their investment in Montenegro as well.”

The letter was carried by Vijesti.

MDIF and Stiria own 55 percent of shares in the Daily Press company, the publisher of Vijesti, whereas the two companies’ share in TV Vijesti is 25 percent.

“With due respect, we appeal to you to restrain from provocative vocabulary when you speak about Vijesti and other independent media as well as to take adequate steps to relieve - not to encourage - the hostile environment they are faced with,” the letter reads.

The letter also recalls the recent Đukanović’s statement given in an interview when he referred to one of the founders of Vijesti, Miodrag Pervić, as “the leader of the Montenegrin media mafia.”

The prime minister also spoke about the media founded by Pervić as "media monsters” and their co-owners as “anti-war profiteers.”

תרגיל Blue Flag (חלק שני)

Joint Military exercises Israel Greece, November 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Work on South Stream pipeline leg through Serbia begins

ŠAJKAŠ -- The formal start of the work on the South Stream pipeline section in Serbia began by welding the first two pipes together in Šajkaš, near Novi Sad, on Sunday.
The full extent of the work will begin in February 2014.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić gave the signal from Belgrade through a video link to start the welding.

South Stream Serbia Technical Director Pavel Persidski said in Šajkaš earlier that everything was ready for the start of the construction.

One of the two pipes welded had a Serbian flag on it and the other and the other a Russian. Two men welded the pipes together, one from Serbia and the other from Russia.

Srbijagas Executive Director for Investments Jovica Budimir reported to the Serbian government through a video link about the completion of the first work on the pipeline in Serbia.

South Stream is one of the biggest investments in Serbia, worth more than EUR 1.9 billion.

A joint venture, South Stream Serbia, will construct the pipeline section in Serbia. Srbijagas owns 49 percent of that company, while Gazprom owns 51 percent.

The construction will take two years. The pipeline is scheduled to become operational in 2016.

Gas to be supplied by end of 2016

Gazprom deputy director Aleksandr Siromyatin said in Belgrade on Sunday that the South Stream pipeline will start supplying gas to consumers by the end of 2016.

After a ceremony marking the start of the construction of the South Stream section through Serbia, Siromyatin told reporters the work on the Black Sea section started in 2012, and that the part going to the Bulgarian border will be finished in the second quarter of 2014, so the gas would reach Bulgaria by the end of 2015.

The selection process for the contractors and project work is still ongoing in Hungary, while the evaluation of the pipeline's environmental impact is being conducted in Slovenia, he said.

It means that the pipeline should supply gas to all of its consumers by the end of 2016, he remarked.

The profitability of building a pipeline section to Kosovo and Macedonia has not been confirmed yet, but the issue will be reviewed once the it is determined the project would be profitable, he said.

I don't know why I am Muslim - Ramush Haradinaj - Unë nuk e di pse jam M...

Another Kosovo Albanian leader after former President Ibrahim Rugova, who declared for the Albanian Kosovo religion, that he is not to the Muslim faith but Christianism.
In Albania the first Serbian school opens

Image sZsi9XwLEo6qOXt0BWteBZh4FacjEXNeDY6mKWt0BVh09ad8DoAbAn819nwyUnQeUnguUngmUngn7lwP7c7vFZMyM.jpg

Hamil village municipality in the Fier Region is the first school opened in Serbian. About 100 children will Bosnian Serb perched on the banks of this school.

At the school's opening ceremony was attended by Serbian Ambassador in Tirana Mirjolub Zaric.

"It should be appreciated that the opening of school in the village Hamil. School not only keeps staring and vibrant language for self Serb community in the area, but is a meaning and value in the relationship between the two nations as well as Albanian and Serb state, "said Ambassador Zaric.

As president of the Serbian association "Jedinstvo" Eqerem Duleviç, expressed regret for non-attendance at the ceremony of the Ombudsman representatives and local leaders.

In the district of Fier lives a community of nearly 2,000 Bosnian Serbs noted Tema newspaper.

Greece: 3 more Golden Dawn lawmakers in court

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Cheered by 150 supporters, a further three lawmakers from Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party have appeared in court charged with participating in a criminal organization.
All three were granted deferral of Monday’s hearing until Dec. 7, to prepare their defense. They deny wrongdoing, arguing that the charges are politically motivated due to the extreme right-wing party’s rising popularity.
In total, nine of Golden Dawn’s 18 lawmakers face similar charges, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos and two lawmakers who have been remanded in prison pending trial. The charges followed the August murder of an anti-fascist musician, with which a party supporter has been charged.
Golden Dawn rose from the fringes to win 7 percent in 2012’s elections. It is currently Greece’s third most popular, polling about 10 percent.
Albanians and Greeks, a difficult relationship


James Pettifer: The Northern Epirus begins from Shkumbini Walley

Pettifer: "About 200 thousand Greek- living in Albania and form the majority of the population in many southern areas"

A recent comment on the "Day" Newspaper, British publicist James Pettifer, who often analyzes, Albanian Greek relations which expresses that in Albania, of Shkumbini River to the south, live about 200 thousand Greek speakers.

The article of the "Dita" Newspaper, one of the most read newspapers in Albania today, examines the fact of not knowing of the last Census in Albania, for which Greece, does not officially recognize.

"At the core of many problems is the fact that Greece has historically claimed large areas of Albanian territory, and went so far as SHKUMBINI valley in central Albania. What today is called Northern Epirus southern Albania ( Northern Epirus ) by many Greeks and Greece in 1914 was granted the renewal, when the great powers were trying to come right after the Second Balkan War. About 200 thousand Greek- living in Albania and form the majority of the population in many southern areas, mainly in the river valley Dropulli.
 While the decision of 1914 surveys were revoked by the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris in 1921, when Powers felt that the only way to end the anarchy in Albania was to establish a state based in Tirana, many Greeks, not all of the extreme right, burned after the return of these territories, and their involvement in Greece. This project is the first with an understandable horror of all Albanian government in Tirana - communist and post-communist" noted Pettifer.

In addition the article continues to claim the data of the albanian part about the greek minority size in Albania.

"The issue of numbers and origin of the Greeks in Albania is itself highly questionable. Albanians claim that the Greeks were brought as contract workers from Turkish Beys in times of Ottoman rule . The Greeks claim that there was always a Greek colony in the region since the initial movements of prehistoric tribes . Professor Sederholm - of Finland , in charge of the investigation of the League of Nations on the issue in the years 1921-23 , estimated the total number of Greek speakers was only 35 to 40 thousand people , but his definition for the Greek could have been more close. At the time of the invasion of Albania from Italy in April 1939, a minority Albanians Greeks knew of only about 20 thousand people , but by the time it finally arrived Greeks had their own schools , completely self-contained representation in local councils and members in the Parliament - until those rights were removed by King Zog after 1934",  noted the newspaper "Dita.

Original article in Albanian:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Daughters of Epirus Honor Chris P. Tomaras with Philanthropy Award

C Tomaras daughters of penelope

Daughters of Epirus Honor Chris P. Tomaras with Philanthropy Award

Hellenes from across the globe converged in Chicago last weekend for the 38th Biennial National Convention of the Panepirotic Federation of America, which occurred between Friday November 8 through Sunday November 10, 2013.

The 3-day convention took place at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare and included a weekend full of activities such as elections, open business sessions, official reports from the President and Treasurer of the Federation, along with a very special gala dinner on Saturday, November 9th, where Chris P. Tomaras was honored by the Daughters of Epirus with the organization's first ever Philanthropy Award. "I am deeply honored by this award as it reflects my deep sentiments of concern and recognition of the struggle of the Hellenes in Northern Epirus and I commend the Daughters and the Federation for their continuous efforts in defense of our brothers and sisters' rights there," said Tomaras.

Chris P. Tomaras Receives Philanthropy Award from Maria Vassiliades, President of the Daughters of Epirus.

Also honored by the Daughters of Epirus with the Lifetime Service Award was Chris Kirkos, a former president of the Federation. The Federation also recognized its former president Vasilios Mikelis, along with Helen Alexander for their service in the Greek American Community. The evening's special honoree was three-time Olympic gold medalist and first ever member of the Greek Parliament born in Northern Epirus, Pyrros Dimas. Entertainment was provided by renowned clarinetist George Bezanes from New York City, who contributed to the joyous atmosphere of the traditional Epirotiko glendi.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors was Mr. Nicholas Gage who will be supported in his tenure by 10 more regular and 3 alternate members.

The Panepirotic Federation was founded in 1942 by the Greeks of Worcester and the surrounding region. Among the Federation's core beliefs is the improvement of the economic situation and quality of life of people living in Epirus, as well as the Greek minority living in Southern Albania and the protection of their basic human rights.

The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is proud to be associated with the Panepirotic Federation of America and supports all its efforts relating to the Greek Minority in Albania and any other worthwhile cause it may pursuit.