Saturday, December 21, 2013

Greek Army, a second Military Intervention exercises against Albanian Paramilitaries

Exercise treatment groups for eminent attach by UCK and UCC 

Greek Special Forces re installed in Prespa

For the second time suddenly activated the Rapid Reaction Force of the northern borders sector to conduct pneumatic energy and development departments mountain commando in the Prespa Region near Borders with Albania. The scenario of the exercise "Pirpolites of 11/13" provided to identify and neutralize armed groups of UCK and the UCC within Greek territory.

In pursuit of "Pirpolites exercises 2013" is involved the staff of the Special Forces, especially mountain commando, which moved with four helicopters "Chinook", supported by two helicopters Apache.

Donation to the Albanian army by Turkey

Donation to the Albanian army send Turkey Defense Ministry. The assistance referred to the military vehicles, generators and other technical equipment for the Albanian army and police in total about 3 million euro..

To the deliver of the Turkish army equipment,attended at the ceremony, the Administration of the Land Albanian Forces in Zall-Herr, in which the Minister of Defence of Albania, Mimi Kdheli, thanked the ambassador and military attache of Turkey in Tirana .

During the ceremony, the Ambassador of Turkey, Hydayet Bayraktar, symbolically donated to the Minister of Defence of Albania, a vehicle for the movement personaly.
Impressively SYRIZA first party in Greece by polling Pulse

The Golden Dawn continues to 11.5%

And another poll confirms the opening of the big game of SYRIZA,, while a high percentage of The Golden Dawn to 11.5 % vote intention predisposes electoral influence the order of 20 %  ND

Specifically, the survey of Pulse on behalf of the " Journal of the authors ' intention to vote SYRIZA is cited by 22.5 % compared to 20 % of ND and follow the Golden Dawn with 11.5 %, white / abstain 11% undecided / no answer 9 %, PASOK and KKE 5.5 % , 5% other parties, the Independent Greeks 4.5 %, 3% Democratic Left, Ecologists Greens 1.5 % and 1% LAOS .

In winning performance, SYRIZA occupies 47%, ND 33%, the "other party" and 11% " do not know / no answer " 9% .

Both polls today ( the Palmos Analysis we presented earlier) the "psychological" show winning is obviously the SYRIZA, the world believes will be the next government .

Friday, December 20, 2013

Serbia "opposed to any changes to Dayton agreement"

BELGRADE -- Serbia, as a signatory of the Dayton Agreement, is interested in progress in both political entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina and cooperation in general interest.
But Serbia at the same time opposes any changes to the agreement, because it would undermine the country's stability, President Tomislav Nikolić and visiting member of the Bosnian Presidency Nebojša Radmanović stated in Belgrade on Friday.
It is necessary to first establish the best possible economic cooperation in the region, because it is obvious the Balkan countries can face the challenges of the global market much better when they stand together, the two officials agreed, according to a release from Nikolić's press service.

It in is the interest of all our people to work together and create a product that would be competitive on the global market, Nikolić and Radmanović noted.

Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are bound together by their shared past, present and future, the two pointed out.

"Things need to be built from a solid foundation and it would therefore be very dangerous to change the Dayton Agreement in a way that would reduce the rights of any political entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina," the two officials remarked.

Also in Belgrade on Friday, the president held a separate meeting with high international representative in Bosnia, Valentin Inzko.
Chatzimarkakis Angered Over Angela Merkel Comment


By Sotiria Nikolouli on December 20, 2013

German MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, who has Greek origins, was upset with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit in Brussels because of her statements that “a Solidarity Fund will lead to a European budget, to achieve convergence.”

MEP Chatzimarkakis noted that Merkel puts next autumn as a time limit for the fund creation in order to have enough time to prepare the German public, so “we will not have important evolutions and decisions up to the elections and this endangers multifaceted losses for Europe.”

Chatzimarkakis stressed that “in the coming months, there should be substantive policies that will contribute to the recovery of Greece, providing jobs.”

He concluded, “German government should not act like a Good Samaritan who helps and finances the whole of Europe because they took advantage of the bad financial situation and implemented an aggressive policy with interest rates, and as a result they had huge profits against countries of the South and now they are just trying to return some of them.”

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Chatzimarkakis Angered Over Angela Merkel Comment

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merkel-eklogiGerman MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, who has Greek origins, was upset with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit in Brussels because of her statements that “a Solidarity Fund will lead to a European budget, to achieve convergence.”
MEP Chatzimarkakis noted that Merkel puts next autumn as a time limit for the fund creation in order to have enough time to prepare the German public, so “we will not have important evolutions and decisions up to the elections and this endangers multifaceted losses for Europe.”
Chatzimarkakis stressed that “in the coming months, there should be substantive policies that will contribute to the recovery of Greece, providing jobs.”
He concluded, “German government should not act like a Good Samaritan who helps and finances the whole of Europe because they took advantage of the bad financial situation and implemented an aggressive policy with interest rates, and as a result they had huge profits against countries of the South and now they are just trying to return some of them.”
- See more at:
Cameron: Why we didn’t support the status for Albania?

Cameron: Why we didn’t support the status
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, explained their hesitation for Albania’s candidacy after the 2-day European summit.

After mentioning the meeting with Prime Minister Rama, Cameron explained that the European Union should take lessons from the recent enlargements and make better rules for the membership transitory rules.

“We are not supporting Albania’s candidate status now. As you remember, there are still some steps that néed to be taken before becoming a member.

I have met the Albanian Prime Minister, and he has made plenty of efforts for the reforms in is country. But I think that further steps are needed before the candidate status is more adequate.

These steps should be used with sincerity, to encourage the country for more measures against corruption, organized crime, for the necessary legal practices and the rule of law.

As I said, this is a chance for the European Union accession process to turn into a good policy and we need to make sure that this will happen in Albania.

We are in favor of the enlargement, but when we see the future, I don’t want to see the mass movements of people as we have seen. We should learn from history.

Enlargement has been a success. The transitory control was a success, but not when it was being used by the countries, and I think that we should go one step further for a stronger transitory control”, Cameron declared.

The transitory period is implemented during seven years that continue with the membership of a country in the European Union. It foresees the access of the workforce in an gradual way, according to the specializations, for the European market.

Berisha: Rama po krijon piramidën

Ex premier Berisha calls for large protests 
Berisha: The Government Rama - Meta, is going to the Greek faliment economic system

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Albanian opinion, another wave of anger with the West

Refusal of obtaining that status for the European Union, recalled, an indignation against European countries, as happened with the U.S. for chemical weapons

Tirana: A wave of anger has erupted in Albania, following the decision of the European Commission to postpone awarding candidate status for the country for 6 months.

In the epicenter were almost all political spectrum  for which, causes of defeat, not just the Albanian government and the political class including the opposition, but in particular some key countries in the European Union, are targeting as a negative factor to evaluate the achievements of Albania .

Countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Denmark and Greece, are mentioned in public opinion among the states that have been declare"enemy" for which according to the Albanian press, Albania called as Islamic country with high corruption.

A month ago, in Tirana, has been made a large demonstrations against the installation of chemical weapons that could be brought from Syria, but in essence, suddenly appeared a strong anti - American sentiment, by the Albanians amientalists..

Cameron Takes Hard Line On Albania And Serbia

David Cameron will warn his European counterparts that steps must be taken to prevent mass immigration from Albania and Serbia if the countries join the EU.
The Prime Minister will say that Britain will only support enlargement alongside much stricter rules on migration - that limit the free movement of labour.
One idea Mr Cameron is keen to explore is requiring countries to reach a certain income level before free movement is allowed, or allowing individual member states to impose a cap on the number of EU migrants entering the countries each year.
Although defence is top of the agenda at this week's European council meeting, the possible accession of Serbia and Albania is likely to be discussed tomorrow.
A Downing Street source said: "He's got 24 hours or so with European leaders and he will be talking about some of the issues on his mind and his priorities. This is about getting the debate going."
The issue is not on the agenda to be discussed in detail at the formal working sessions but the source added: "But if they do discuss countries joining the EU in the future then you can expect the PM to make clear his view and to put markers down."
It comes after the Prime Minister took action to limit the rights of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK from January, when transitional controls on immigration from the two countries are lifted.
One of the changes will mean that migrants can not claim benefits for three months and it will also be easier to deport people if they are found sleeping rough.
Mr Cameron was reacting to fears in Britain about mass immigration from Eastern Europe - particularly ahead of European elections in the spring in which UKIP are expected to perform strongly.
Under pressure from his own backbenches, the Prime Minister recently set out tough arguments on immigration in an article in the FT.
He wrote: "Bringing new countries in to give them peace and prosperity remains one of the EU's greatest strengths.
"It will be many years, perhaps a decade, before another country joins. It cannot be done on the same basis as it was in the past.
"We must put in place new arrangements that will slow full access to each other's labour markets until we can be sure it will not cause vast migrations."
The Prime Minister is hoping to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU ahead of a referendum on membership in 2017 if the Conservatives win the General Election.
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Tense the situation in Porto Panormo, Himara

A citizen from Himara, V Rapos, has sold 20 building permits, to the narcotic groups from Lazarati and Tepelena

The Historically Himariot Code, does not allow selling property, to persons who are not resident in Himara Region, but within family

Former socialist MP and former minister of education in Albania, is equipped with planning permission in July this year from Himara Municipality, while the law has prohibited building permits issued on Law 7501

Himara . The situation has deteriorated in recent days Puerto Panormo, a territory that includes the greatest beauties of the Himara Region, as well the Base of the Naval Force, where according to information, around 20 licenses, are in process of construction, which are building a quarter with the new owners (mercenaries) ,  all members of the Albanian Mafia Narkotic of Lazarati and Tepelenë, in Southern Albania.

Permits which are forbidden by the Albanian government, as they are contrary to the law approved, make responsible, the Himara Municipality, after information, establish that the former Socialist MP, former Minister of Education of Albania , E. Rukaj, is equipped with this permit, in July this year .

The only citizen of Himara in this the new Quartier, is former MP from Himara, Nikollaq Neranxi who is fighting for this scandal, all others are not resident from Himara .

The resident citizens owners, V. Rapos and K. Bolanos, from Himara, have benefited from the Albanian Court about 150 ha in Puerto Panormo, but Judges, Prosecutors, Politicians, Police Director, Lawyer, have benefited by sharing this large " cake " , to sell to customers that have been from Lazarati and Tepelena, as the famous places of cultivation of marijuana in Albania .

Greece and Albania willing to agree on maritime border

Signing a border demarcation agreement is in the interest of both countries and peoples, officials said.
By Erl Murati for Southeast European Times in Tirana -- 18/12/13
Albania Foreign Affairs Minister Ditmir Bushati (right) greets Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos in Tirana. [Albania Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
Albania and Greece are signalling their intention to demarcate their Ionian Sea maritime border in a way acceptable to both countries, following the rejection by Albania's Constitutional Court of the demarcation agreement signed in 2009 by the countries' foreign ministers.
Albania's Socialist-led government, which had opposed the agreement when it was an opposition party, said it wants to move Albania ahead on the path of EU integration, and is aware it must find a common language with Greece.
"We want to address all issues with courage based on the legislations of the respective countries, the established principles of international law and best practices. Our aim is the EU," Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati said.
Greek officials said they are willing to review the technical issues on the level of technical committees, and see two options ahead.
"The option of international law and European practice, and then there is the option of challenging international law and European practice. Albania says that it is a country ready to accede to the EU. We support Albania's European prospects. We want to provide know-how and assistance, but there are certain self-evident preconditions," said Evangelos Venizelos, foreign minister of Greece.
The process to find an acceptable solution was prompted by Venizelos' visit to Tirana in mid-October when he met Bushati, Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Bujar Nishani.
Greece President Karolos Papoulias soon followed suit and visited Tirana last month to discuss the issue with Nishani.
"Our side is ready to find a common solution with the Greeks in accordance with international rights and internal legislation of each of our countries," Nishani said after the meeting.
Experts said an agreement is in the interest of both countries and peoples and needs to be re-negotiated from scratch at any cost.

"The new agreement should be reached with the consent of both sides and prior to being signed and approved by parliament, the secretariat on the UN conventions on the sea should be consulted," Qazim Tepshi, former Albanian ambassador to Greece, told SETimes.
But some experts also cautioned the agreement should not be rushed despite the obvious benefits of improving bi-lateral relations and regional stability.
"The agreement requires time and multi-faceted expertise, and even international understanding. In order for this issue to benefit all sides, i.e., other countries of the Ionian and Mediterranean area, consultation with Italy, Turkey and the US is also necessary," Lisen Bashkurti, director of the Diplomatic Academy in Tirana, told SETimes.
What should Albania and Greece do to demarcate the maritime border to the satisfaction of both sides? Share your opinion in the comments space.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mberrin ne Shqiperi helikopteri COUGAR 3. Tema TV. 18 dhjetor 2013

Albania takes from France the third "Sougar" Hepicopter for the Army

Shteti ligjor në Ballkan

Fight political corruption in Albania
  The fight against corruption must begin with the confiscation of all property and assets that politicians have amassed
illegal in Albania


Balkan experts in Washington say that the fight against corruption must begin with the confiscation of all property and assets that politicians have amassed illegal, which they can not justify as set through regular income.

"Voice of America" attended a discussion held at the Foundation "Heritage" on law enforcement in Eastern Europe and talked to some experts. Among the participants in the discussion was the former Attorney General of the United States, Edwin Meese.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

U.S. Embassy Tirana Logo.US Embassy Tirana calls for sevurity meassures in Albania

Holiday Season Safety

December 16, 2013
As we enter the holiday season, the U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that crime tends to spike during this time of the year in many parts of the world.  Crimes such as robberies, thefts, and burglaries often increase dramatically as many people carry cash or gifts while shopping.  Also, larger than normal crowds in shopping areas are prime targets for pick-pockets.  If possible, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, do not leave gifts in unattended vehicles, and properly secure your residence at all times.
Although not as prevalent as in years passed, U.S. citizens should be aware that celebratory gunfire may occur in more rural areas of Albania, particularly at midnight on December 31, to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.  Unfortunately, serious injuries and deaths can occur as a result of stray bullets.  U.S. citizens should exercise caution if planning to travel outside of Tirana on New Year’s Eve.  It is also recommended that fireworks be viewed from a safe distance (preferably from an indoor venue).
Lastly, the holidays bring a marked increase in the number of automobile accidents involving alcohol. Use caution when driving late at night and respect local driving laws and regulations.  News reports indicate that the Albanian State Police (ASP) will be strongly enforcing the prohibition against driving under the influence this holiday season and may set-up sobriety checkpoints.
U.S. citizens should monitor the local news and Albanian government announcements regarding similar issues.  We encourage U.S. citizens to practice good personal security measures.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Albania enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Albania.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”
Contact the U.S. embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler app, available through the iTunes store and the Google Play store, for travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Tirana is located at Rruga Elbasanit, Nr. 103 in Tirana, Albania, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 13:15 to 15:15.  You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting our American Citizens Services website.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy in Tirana is +355-(0)4-224-7285.

EU calls for joint efforts to increase control on combatants returning from Syria

Balkan states are strengthening security measures and adopting new sanctions to control the movement of their citizens fighting in Syria.
By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 13/12/13
photoAuthorities and experts in the region are concerned about the increased number of Balkan volunteers fighting on the side of the rebels in Syria. [AFP]
The European Union is growing increasingly concerned about Islamic extremists from the region who joined the fighting in Syria and are now returning home, bringing a more radicalised and dangerous element into Europe.
"The phenomenon is particularly worrying," French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told The Associated Press.
The office of the EU Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove delivered a note to the EU ministers last week, asking for "better use of airline passenger information available to security officials to keep track of when and how rebels move to Syria" and a series of other measures including a "crackdown legally on recruitment networks," co-operation with third countries including Turkey and monitoring of internet activities.
The EU ministers have agreed on the need for "a more integrated approach on information exchange, as well as the detection and pursuit of jihadist movements" and appealed for a "rapid adoption of a new European strategy to fight radicalism."
The union sees the situation as a major security threat.
"They are not some romantic freedom fighters," Britain's counter-terrorism chief Helen Ball said.
About 2,000 fighters from Europe are believed to be fighting in Syria with the rebel forces, an increase since the spring, when estimates placed the number at 600 to 800. About 500 fighters from Balkan countries, "highlighting the contribution from small nations like Bosnia and Kosovo," are believed to be involved, according to the EU official quoted by the AP.
The official noted that there were "80 to 100" fighters from Kosovo. Speaking to SETimes, Kosovo police confirmed that some Kosovo citizens are involved in the fighting in Syria, but officials said this number is "small."
On December 4th, Kosovo media reported that police at Pristina's airport detained a Kosovo Albanian fighter returning from Syria, who arrived from Turkey. Kosovo police have not confirmed or denied the detention. Specialists are analysing possible risks to the security of the country, closely co-operating with the prosecutor's office for the further steps.
"There is information for some returns," Kosovo police said in a statement for SETimes. "The fact that some people from Kosovo have been involved in the fighting in Syria represents concern that danger might increase because these volunteers can bring back to Kosovo as well these elements or this spirit."
However, Kosovo police assessed that the state does not presently face a high-level danger of terrorism, although "Kosovo is not immune [to it], as any other state."
Kosovo legislation has no sanctions for citizens who are involved in armed conflicts outside the country, however, as Seb Bytyci, executive director of the Balkan Policy Institute in Pristina noted, some states have considered arresting those who have gone to fight in Syria.
"Something like that can be done … or a new law can be drafted," Bytyci told SETimes.
On December 5th, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) approved amendments to its criminal code that prohibit the departure of BiH citizens to foreign battlefields. The amendment proposed by Minister of Security Fahrudin Radoncic, foresees prison sentences for all those who organise, recruit, promote or directly participate in armed conflicts outside BiH.
According to BiH's Secret Service Agency, about 350 BiH citizens are currently fighting in Syria.
According to the amendment, those who recruit fighters and organise their movement from BiH to foreign battlefields will receive the highest punishment -- 10 years in prison, while the fighters themselves can get a minimum three years in prison after they come back to the country.
"I fully support this amendment," Mehmed Bradaric, a member of BiH's Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Security told SETimes. "Those people represent danger for their families first of all and then danger for the entire society. There are law enforcements in BiH which will bring those people to justice. We shouldn't deal with this from next month, like in all other things, but right now, today."
Authorities in the neighbouring Serbia are also proposing legal measures to sanction their citizens fighting in Syria. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic advocated the idea of criminalising both the fighter recruiting process, as well as organisation of their departure to Syria.
"Five-year prison sentences should be sanctioned for the organisers and three-year sentences to those who go," Ljajic told SETimes.
"We have to anticipate the returns [of fighters from Syria], the ways to handle this, the prevention measures and especially the exchange of information on the travels," Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet told the

EU interior ministers are looking to co-operate closer with Syria's neighbour Turkey to assist "in improving controls at borders and airports" and to do more "to help in preventing radicalisation of individuals, especially in refugee camps."

The Turkish daily Radikal has reported that hundreds of Turkish youths have fought in Syria, both for extremist opposition factions including al-Qaeda and the regime. They are typically young men, many of them from the provinces of Adiyaman, Bingol, Batman, and Diyarbakir.
Human Rights Watch has called upon Turkey to step up patrols to prevent cross-border movement by armed groups.

"Given that most foreign fighters in these [extremist] groups reportedly gain access to Syria via Turkey, from which they also smuggle their weapons, obtain money and other supplies, and retreat to for medical treatment, Turkey should increase border patrols, restrict entry of fighters and arm flows to groups credibly found to be implicated in systematic human rights violations," the monitoring group said in a recent report.
Turkish officials, who have opposed the Syrian regime, have strongly objected to any suggestion that they have co-operated with extremist groups entering Syria. Turkey hosts more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, including more than 200,000 located in refugee camps.
"We have constantly asserted this -- myself, our distinguished prime minister, and our responsible institutions. Turkey has no relationship with any radical group in Syria, especially al-Nusra," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said recently. "This is dirty propaganda advanced by those who want to overshadow Turkey's humanitarian policies."

Analysts in the region agree that EU member countries have legitimate concerns about the many volunteers from Europe and the Balkan countries who fight on the side of the rebels.
"The so-called rebels are closely connected, that is, in coalition with many terroristic groups, primarily Al-Qaeda," Vladimir Pivovarov, professor at Skopje FON University told SETimes. "Their motives to leave to Syria are different. However, even if they are not members of some terroristic group, there they will easily be co-opted in the same. This means the easiest opportunity for the terroristic organisations to enforce the network on European ground."

Abit Hoxha, Kosovo senior security researcher of the Centre for Security Studies, agreed.
"I believe the EU concern is right as the people involved in any conflict are a challenge for the system in situations after the end of the conflict," Hoxha told SETimes.
Hoxha said social, economic and education assistance and the establishment of better partnerships with religious communities could help to control the export of violence from Syria to the EU.
Experts said that all countries in the region should sanction such inclusion in foreign military clashes, pursuant to the criminal laws where participation in foreign militaries and military actions is prohibited.

"Preventively, the intelligence services should establish close co-operation and exchange of intelligence information in order to prevent the future candidates from leaving to Syria, and for the ones who have left, they should undertake operational control measures for the same, because the same are already a problem in their own yard," Pivovarov said.
Bytyci said it would be helpful to run a public awareness campaign to inform people about the Syria conflict and the role of the foreign fighters.
Correspondents Drazen Remikovic in Sarajevo, Bojana Milovanovic in Belgrade and Marina Stojanovska in Skopje contributed to this report.
What are the most effective measures the region should take to prevent the flow of local citizens to Syria and to control the activity of fighters who return to their home countries? Share your thoughts in comments section.
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TAP agreement signed

TAP agreement signed
The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama,  signed today in Baku, Azerbaijan, the final agreement for the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project.

According to the Azeri news agency, “Trend”, the Albanian Prime Minister considered TAP an opportunity to develop the markets in Albania and to spread the gas network in the entire region.

“TAP is a huge project that will take extraordinary proportions when it will give new opportunities for our joint projects between Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro for promoting IAP, which will spread gas in new markets. For Albania, TAP is not just a series of opportunities, but it also brings a series of obligations. Our government will present the necessary humana nd material capacities, and also the legal base for guaranteeing success with this project. We will see TAP not only as a different chance for developing the success of this project, but also as a different opportunity for developing the markets in Albania. We want to be promotors of the gas network for several countries in the region which don’t have the necessary infrastructure for these markets”, Rama declared.

After signing this agreement, the TAP shareholders announced the start of a new phase, the construction of the pipeline on terrain. SOCAR, Statoil, BP, Fluxys, Total, EON and Axpo approved the decision that gives way to the implementation of the project, starting from 2014.

The management director of TAP, Kjetil Tungland, declared that now they are aiming to build a pipe system within the deadlines and budget limits. He says that TAP and Shah Deniz will guarantee diversity and safety in Europe’s gas supply, and that it will reinforce the strategic significance of these countries.

Azerbaijan announced the selection of TAP project by June 2014. The 870 km long system will be connected with the TANAP pipeline close to the Greek-Turkish border, in Kipoi, and will go through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Southern Italy. The Minister of Energy says that the first phase of construction in the Albanian side will start with the roads, in June 2014. Latest News from Greece

Two Brown Bears Shot Dead Near Greek-Albanian Borders

Photograph of the two bears, released by Arcturos
Photograph of the two bears, released by Arcturos
On Tuesday, animal rights activists found a female brown bear and her cub shot, in a wooded area in Kastoria near the Greek-Albanian border.
Arcturos the northern Greece-based bear conservation group, was informed by police after the discovery of the dead female bear and her cub bore gunshot wounds. The authorities believe that the 150-kilogram female bear was shot several times in the snout on a nearby road, and that her body was then dragged into the woods. The 40-kilo cub also had gunshot wounds to its body.
According to Arcturos, the two bears were shot in an isolated area that has no residences or livestock farms nearby. The two bears were found dead in each other’s embrace. It is thought that the mother bear, who suffered the most serious injuries, was shot and killed first and that the cub, injured by gunfire, after wandering, returned near its mother waiting for her to wake up and then died next to her.
“This is the first time in Arcturos’s 21 years of operation that we have seen such a heinous case of murder of a mother and baby bear,” the animal conservation group stated. “Other than its environmental dimension, this case also surpasses all moral boundaries.”
The population of brown bears in Greece is estimated at 350-400.  The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is  protected under Greek law as an endangered species. Its killing can lead to imprisonment.
Greece And Israel Reaffirm Strategic Cooperation

By Hellas Frappe on 17.12.13

The expressed will of Greece and Israel to cooperate for stability, peace and economic growth in the sensitive region of the eastern Mediterranean, in the context of the strategic relations shared by the two countries, was reaffirmed in talks Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos had yesterday during his two-day official visit to Israel.

According to AMNA, Avramopoulos underlined that “this strategic cooperation does not constitute a threat to anyone,” while his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya΄alon noted that “the strategic relationship that has been consolidated between the two countries is not aimed against anyone. It only serves stability in the region of the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean”.

The talks focused on sectors of research and technology, the utilization of manpower and training in the context of the armed forces.

Avramopoulos invited his Israeli counterpart to carry out an official visit to Athens, AMNA reported.

The defence minister was also received by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem.

Avramopoulos΄ visit completes the Greek-Israeli Interministerial Cooperation Council, which was held on October 8 without the participation of the two defence ministers because the Israeli minister was on a visit abroad.

Avramopoulos was accompanied by Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Mikhail Kostarakos.


Albania, EU: Status postponed to June

Status postponed to June
Albania was unable to receive the candidate status in today’s meeting at the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union.

Five European Union countries, Germany, France, Great Britain, Netherlands and Denmark proposed June 2014. In these moments, the Ministers are reformulating the official decision, but we have learned that there will be no additional conditions.

Top Channel has realized a direct connection with our correspondent in Brussels, Arta Tozaj.

Ilir Paço, “Top-Channel” – The official part of the meeting has ended. What happened during these hours? What do the arguments of the five skeptic countries mean? What has been asked from the Commission? Other conditions, or just more time?

Arta Tozaj, Top Channel’s correspondent in Brussels: “There is no candidate status, and no additional conditions. The European Union has postponed the decision during the Greek presidency, which will lead the European Union from January to June of the next year. The Ministers of the Eu reached a compromise to postpone the reviewing of the status, and the debate continued for reformulating the technical language in the recommendation of December. Despite of the support from the majority, five countries have not agreed to give the status this week, as warned by Top Channel.

Ilir Paço – What was the position that made these countries to look for another time for the status?

Arta Tozaj, Bruksel – They looked for more time to value the results and the stability of the reforms. The country has a new government, and based on the positive work done so far, more time is needed to see this commitment realizing the reforms and the conditions. A new evaluation is expected from the Commission to the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Ilir Paço – What was the reaction of the European Commission, since Mr.Fule has been one of the supporters of the status?

Arta Tozaj, Bruksel – The Commissioner was the first one who said on Twitter that Albania has a clear perspective in June, but we have to keep in mind that besides the Commission, there’s also the Parliament, and regardless of the resolutions and recommendations, they’re not the ones to decide, but the Council of Europe, which is assisted by these two institutions. It is important tu underline that the formulation doesn’t make the process automatic, regardless of the optimism shown by the Commissioner for Enlargement. The status will be valued in June, after they will review the results. They will decide if Albania has made enough by March, and according the recommendations, the member countries will make a review by the end of the Greek persidency.

Rama reacts

The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama,  commented that this is a compromise of the European Union between the achievements of Albania and the internal stalemate.
Greek Ex-Transport Minister Arrested Over Road Tax

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December 17 2013

ATHENS, Greece

A former transport minister was arrested in debt-crippled Greece on Tuesday accused of driving his uninsured luxury car with fake license plates in an apparent effort to dodge paying road tax.

Greek police said Michalis Liapis, who belongs to one of Greece's most prominent political families, was stopped in his jeep after allegedly ignoring a road stop sign east of Athens.

The arrest would have been unimaginable a few years ago, and reflects a shift in authorities' attitude toward public figures amid rising resentment for the political class seen as responsible for the country's financial woes.

Police said the 62-year-old had handed his license plates over to tax authorities to avoid an estimated 1,320 euros ($1,814) in road tax for 2013, and was illegally using copies of the originals.

Speaking after his arrest, the retired conservative politician said he had made a mistake.

"I erred, and must pay the consequences," Liapis said. "I only took the car out to charge the battery."

As incomes have tumbled and taxes repeatedly hiked amid Greece's acute financial crisis, thousands of Greeks have handed back their car number plates to avoid road tax, on condition that they keep the vehicles in private parking and do not drive them on public roads.

Liapis was led in handcuffs before a prosecutor later Tuesday, and police requested that he should be charged with forgery, giving false statements to tax authorities and driving an uninsured vehicle.

Liapis served as transport minister between 2004-2007 in the conservative New Democracy government leading campaigns to improve Greeks' driving habits and later as culture minister. He retired from politics in 2009. His late uncle, Constantine Karamanlis was a former Greek president and prime minister who founded New Democracy in 1974.

According to his wealth declaration for 2011, Liapis and his wife owned 28 pieces of real estate, including a villa with a swimming pool on the resort island of Mykonos. His declared income for that year was 109,000 euros ($150,000).

Albania: Denmark, EU candidate status to be postponed

France also 'skeptical,' Italy in favor of Tirana entry


ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 17 - The decision to grant EU candidate status to Albania will be postponed, according to Danish Minister for European Affairs Nick Haekkerup, who made the statement upon entering the EU General Affairs Council meeting. Haekkerup told journalists, "The Danish position is that Albania has made much progress, but we need to see long-term results before granting candidate status." 

The Danish minister said his position is close to that of The Netherlands, another of the "skeptical" countries whose group also includes France, Germany, and Great Britain. Supporting Tirana's candidacy are Italy, together with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia and Ireland, who joined in writing a letter to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, stating that they are "strongly" convinced that Tirana has satisfied "all of the conditions requested by the EU." 

Without the unanimous vote of all 28 nations, required for any decisions regarding EU enlargement, General Affairs Council members could recognize that Tirana has made "much progress" in work towards EU accession, as evidenced by the latest report from the European Commission regarding EU enlargement. At the same time, EU sources say that it's also possible there could be "a clear indication that a decision will be made in the first semester of 2014." (ANSAmed).

Five wounded in attack near Macedonian town

SKOPJE -- Five persons have been wounded in the shooting that occurred in a restaurant in the area of Tetovo, in western Macedonia.
Belgrade-based daily Blic is reporting that the police in Macedonia said three unknown attackers entered the establishment in the village of Zerovjane, "started shooting at the guests, and then escaped."
The victims were treated for their injuries in hospitals in Gostivar and Skopje.

The police said they had investigated the scene and were looking for the perpetrators.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Albania to raise corporate tax to 15 pct as it battles rising debt


Mon Dec 16, 2013
* Albania could announce IMF loan deal as soon as Tues
* 2014 budget sees deficit at 6.6 pct, growth at 2.1 pct
* Budget to start paying 350 mln dollars in arrears to business
By Benet Koleka
TIRANA, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Albania announced on Monday that it would raise taxes from January, scrapping a flat 10 percent corporate and income tax rate, and plans to end tax exemptions for foreign oil workers, as its new government wrestles rising debt.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said last week that the Balkan country needs a new loan arrangement with the International Monetary Fund as his three-month-old government tries to contain a hole in its finances.
IMF officials are now in Albania wrapping up a fortnight of talks and a government official said a deal on a loan of probably around US$400 million could be announced as soon as Tuesday. Albania was last under an IMF programme in 2009.
Living up to its election promise to tax more heavily those who earned more, the government unveiled plans to raise profit tax for bigger businesses to 15 percent from 10 percent and cut taxes for small businesses.
Finance Minister Shkelqim Cani, outlining the new measures in a draft of the 2014 budget, said the government also plans to introduce two rates of personal income tax of 13 and 23 percent, and would end tax exemptions for foreign personnel at oil and gas companies on VAT, excise and personal income tax.
However, he said the government was still discussing the issue of exemptions for oil workers with the IMF and an oil company official said oil companies planned to talk to the government.
Several oil companies, including a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Canada's Petromanas The corporate and income tax increases would come into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, the start of the fiscal year. Some business leaders have warned the government that tax rises would blunt the Balkan state's competitive edge versus neighbours like Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Cani said that this year's budget deficit would be 6.2 percent of gross domestic product, much higher than a targeted 3.5 percent of GDP, and would rise to 6.6 percent of GDP next year.
The economy would grow just 1.3 percent this year but growth should accelerate to 2.1 percent in 2014, he said.
Cani had described the state of Albania's finances as "critical and grave" when Rama's Socialist Party took over power three months ago after beating the Democratic Party of Sali Berisha by a landslide in elections in June.
On Monday he said fixing public finances would take time.
"Overcoming this situation is not a short-term duty. Re-establishing macroeconomic balances require a medium-term programme and we should all contribute," Cani said.
According to the draft budget, public debt would be 936 billion leks ($9.15 billion), or 69.1 percent of the gross domestic product, this year and would rise to 74.8 percent of GDP next year, he said.
The government's aim was to reduce the budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product in the medium term and the public debt to 60 percent at most, Cani said.
The government had consulted the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on the 2014 budget and received their support, Cani said.
The World Bank has said it plans to give Albania between US$100 million and US$200 million as part of next year's budget.
Cani, a former central bank governor, said the 2014 budget aimed to establish economic stability and while public debt would climb to 74.8 percent of GDP, that would be a peak.
"This will be the stabilisation borderline from which the debt will come down in all the following years," Cani added.
The 2014 budget would start paying 350 million dollars of arrears to businesses for public works and unpaid value-added tax reimbursements, known as the previous government's "hidden debt" amounting to 5 percent of GDP, Cani said. Latest News from Greece

Greek PM’s Plane Forced to Land


The Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras along with his associates, were expected to fly to Baku, Azerbaijan, this evening. However his plane showed mechanical problems and was forced to land at the Elefsina airport.
After engineers performed a check on the aircraft, a test flight was conducted in order to determine whether the aircraft was safe to travel to Baku.
The test flight showed that the aircraft was not safe for flight, and there was no other way for the Greek delegation to make the journey. As a consequence, the Prime Minister’s trip to Azerbaijan was cancelled.
The purpose of the Prime Ministers trip to Baku, was to participate in the event for the signing of the TAP Gas Pipeline commencement.
During his visit, the privatization agreement of DESFA (National Natural Gas System Operator) would be signed by HRADF President, Konstantinos Maniatopoulos and Socar President, Rovnag Abdullayev, while in the presence of Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev and the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras.
Budget, on December 28th, in Parliament

Budget, on December 28th, in Parliament
Among several debates, the Parliament passed today the discussion agenda for the draft-budget 2014,     according to a proposition of the Head of the Commission of Economy, Erjon Brace.

According to this agenda, the financial draft-laws will have two days for discussion, respectively in principle for every article.

The session for passing the budget of 2014 is only three days before the New Year.

The opposition declared that it should be postponed to January, but the Majority refused.

“This is unprecedented. It has never happened that the budget comes in Parliament by the end of December. The laws for increasing taxes have not been seen in this parliament for the past 14 years”, declared the former Minister of Finance, Ridvan Bode.

“Don’t pretend you don’t know the economic situation. We didn’t bring it, but we found that among you. You let incomplete investments, you left the disabled without money. I can go on forever. This situation and the high political responsibility of the new government has the duty to find a solution now. And this is more important than the date”, declared the Parliamentary Group leader of the Socialist Party, Gramoz Ruci.

“We left you the money for the disabled, but you used them. You are now leaving the administration without the New Year’s bonus. This has never happened”, Sali Berisha declared.

But the head of the Socialist Party Parliamentary Group reminded 2009, when without any objective reason, according to him, the government passed the budget on December 26th.

Dutch parliament vetoes Albania’s EU candidate status

The Dutch parliament has voted against a government proposal to grant Albania the status of EU candidate, preventing EU leaders from rubberstamping the proposal during a summit in Brussels on 19-20 December, EurActiv reported.
Photo from:
Photo from:
The Dutch parliament adopted on December 12 a decision which obliges the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to reject the European Commission proposal to give Albania EU candidate status.
The development is likely to inflict a heavy blow to the accession hopes of the Western Balkan nation, which according to the Commission has delivered on EU requirements and so should be granted the status of candidate country.
A spokesperson from the Dutch parliament told EurActiv that Rutte’s liberal VVD party (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) had voted against opening the door to Albania, while its coalition partner PvdA (Labour Party), affiliated to the Party of European Socialists, reportedly voted in favour.
Albania has a socialist prime minister, Edi Rama, who took office last September.
EU leaders take decisions on all matters concerning EU enlargement by unanimity. This means that Albania will have lost the chance of becoming a candidate country during the 19-20 December summit, as was expected.
Until recently, the Netherlands has also been an obstacle for Serbia to obtain candidate status.
Saranda: Rama calls for tourism development in Ionian Coastal

But coming the wave of demolition

In Saranda weas yesterday the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, accompanied, apart from government ministers and Members of Vlora and local officials in the region.

The focus of this visit was to do with strategy and planning for tourism and territorial regulation in coastal areas of the Ionian Sea. One of the main points of discussion were the demolition of illegal structures in the coastal region of Vlora and Saranda. Also present were representatives of the Albanian Development Fund who were the organizers of the meeting.

Albanian media said that investments in the tourism sector will touch the amount of 1.2 billion. Priority will be investments in infrastructure and cultural monuments....

Ukraine protests: McCain warns US could act over Russia deal

Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA
Fans of Okean Elzy musical group, one of the most popular Ukrainian rock bands, react during a Pro-European Union rally in the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday night.
KIEV, Ukraine - The United States could take “concrete action” against Ukraine if its government cracks down on dissent, Senator John McCain warned Sunday as he addressed thousands of protesters camped on Kiev's bitterly cold main square.
McCain, a leading Republican voice on U.S. foreign policy, told NBC News that sanctions against Ukraine "would deserve serious consideration" by Congress if Ukraine signed a customs and trade union with Russia instead of entering a trade deal with Europe.
"What would provoke more concrete action is if there is any brutal repression of the demonstrators," McCain added.
Demonstrators have been camping since November 21 in Independence Square, angry at President Viktor Yanukovych's last minute refusal to sign an agreement bringing Ukraine closer to the European Union.
Gleb Garanich / REUTERS
U.S. Senator John McCain (C) waves to pro-European intergration protesters during a mass rally at Independence Square in Kiev December 15, 2013.
"The [Ukraine] government knows that if they suppress these protesters they will have a real revolution on their hands," said McCain, who added that he was "guardedly optimistic they [the government] will not try to repress the people.McCain said the Ukrainian foreign minister and the national security advisor intend to travel to Brussels Monday to continue negotiations with the EU, despite reports those talks had been suspended.Earlier, McCain addressed the crowd. "Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better,” he said."We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe," McCain earlier told the crowd."Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better,” he said.The protest site – now known as the "Maidan", meaning "Square", or the "Euro-maidan" - has grown in strength and turned into an all-out movement against the president and his administration.
Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters
Volunteers distribute free tea at a pro-European integration protesters' camp at Independence Square in Kiev, Saturday.
On Saturday, buses brought rival pro-government demonstrators from around the country into the square. The crowds were kept separate by riot police.
Among the anti-government campaigners at the site this weekend was Oleg Vasilyevich, a 66-year-old pensioner from Kiev who has been coming to the square for 20 days and who has been dancing  to music on the main protest stage in order to stay warm.
"I have lived in the Soviet Union all my life and I know what lies are...I know about the lies of Yanukovych," he said, adding that the only solution to the crisis would be the resignation of the government.
Tanya Myalma, a shop owner, drove to the capital with seven other from her home in western Ukraine.
She said friends in her town helped her pack food to bring to the protest.
"Our people of this generation do not know what it is like to be beaten. Now they have found out,” she said. “I hope my being here can help, even if it’s just a little bit."
The European Union said on Sunday it was putting on hold work with Ukraine on a trade and cooperation agreement, saying the arguments being made by the Kiev government had "no grounds in reality", Reuters reported.
EU enlargement chief Stefan Fuele said on Twitter that he had told Ukraine's first deputy prime minister Serhiy Arbuzov last week that further discussion on the trade agreement was conditional on a clear commitment by Kiev to sign it, but he had not heard back from the Ukraine government.
As a result, work on the agreement was "on hold", he said.
Many political parties are represented at Euro-maidan, and the opposition is not united. But on Friday they sat down for talks with Yanukovych.
The main message from the protest stage has been one of non- violence, but a series of brutal crackdowns by authorities led Secretary of State John Kerry to express his “disgust”.
Photo of the Day 

Greek village Asimochori, inhabited only by Albanians

Birthing the deficit and economic crisis gin Greece, brings also thehighlight as the number One: All people who inhabite in villages in the Epirus, are going for jobs in Europe or USA, saving their Houses ny emigfants mostly Albanians. A typical example is the fact that there is Greek village Asimochori, where the locals have left, and the village, to be inhabited only by foreigners, Albanian

No agreement in new round of Kosovo dialogue

BRUSSELS -- Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić stated that the round of the Kosovo talks held on Friday in Brussels failed to produce an agreement on the judiciary.
The reason for this outcome was Priština "remaining firm in its unacceptable request for Albanian municipalities to be included in the jurisdiction of the Kosovska Mitrovica Court," he said.
Dačić underscored that Serbia fulfilled all that was required in the judiciary sector, and added that Belgrade remains open for further talks.

Priština departed from the agreement insisting that Albanian municipalities should be included in the jurisdiction of the Kosovska Mitrovica Court, he said.

"This would entail the assimilation of four Serb municipalities in the north (of Kosovo) in Albanian municipalities in the south, which is not in keeping with the Brussels agreement," Dačić told reporters.

He underscored that there are "some things Belgrade cannot accept," and added that he still hopes the report which High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton should file to EU foreign ministers on December 17 would be positive.

If the report is objective, it will be obvious that Serbia has done absolutely everything to meet the conditions for getting the date (to launch EU accession talks), Dačić said.

He noted that expert working groups would continue the talks on judiciary during the weekend, adding that a solution could be found in the meantime.

Dačić stated that he will not meet with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci before January, but he expressed the expectation that the dialogue would continue concerning other topics, such as collection of customs duties and property issues.

Thaci also confirmed that no agreement had been reached.

The 20th round of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue was held in Brussels on Friday and it will affect the progress of both sides on their parallel EU paths.

High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton will prepare the report on the progress in the dialogue and present it to EU foreign ministers at the sessions on December 16-17.

The report will determine the negotiating framework and the date to launch Serbia's EU accession talks.

Mayors of Epirus : " To return again the Greek Army with borders Albania FYROM"

The war against drugs in the Greek-Albanian borders
The drug squad police in Epirus are faced daily with organized crime and drug trafficking from Albania to Greece. The area is a natural bridge of smuggling in the 240 km borders, while the terrain supports illegal activities. The police confiscated 12 tons of hashish in 2012, while the amount of confiscated drugs reaches seven tons from the beginning of the year.

The return of the Greek Army in border with Albania and perhaps with Skopje, the municipalities seeking friendship of Pogoniou, Konitsas, Filates and Nestorius, in order to address the invasion " illegal " and the trafficking of weapons and drugs have turned the area into normality.

The decision was taken during a joint meeting held in the Miunicipalirt of Pogoniou, near Kalpaki, Ioannina.

The mayor of Konitsas, Panagiotis Gargalas, told ANA- MPA that " should finally the state, beyond the promises be activated on the merits ." "For the common problem of border municipalities asking for a meeting with the Prime Minister and relevant ministers," he added .

Also , application of mayors is to become a special study to guard the border with electronic monitoring systems , which will join the new ESPA .

The four mayors restore the standing request to strengthen the weakened military outposts and border guards to return to the border and the border village .

The Greek Army has left the Epirus Region, due to the continuous reduction of office and supposedly replaced by border guards but they are too few in number, disorganized, untrained and unsuitable weapons specifically for night operations ...

Greek Army , unfortunately there is not enough to cover the northern border ...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Montenegrins against NATO membership

38 per cent for, 45 per cent against NATO integration, Center for Democracy and Human Rights reports

World Bulletin December 11, 2013

Montenegro’s membership in NATO is supported by 38 per cent of the population, 6 per cent more than in March of this year, while 45 per cent of citizens are against and 17 per cent of respondents have no opinion on the matter, according to the latest research by the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR).
CDHR Chief methodologist Milos Besic recalled that in March the number of citizens who are against NATO integration was over 50 per cent.
“But, we definitely have a larger number of opponents than supporters for NATO integration even with the smaller number of undecided voters,” said Besic.
The survey showed that 54.6 per cent of respondents believe that the integration of Montenegro into NATO is an important issue, as Besic explained, and it shows the growing interest of the citizens in this topic.
About 57 per cent of citizens believe that Montenegro’s integration into NATO will contribute to the development of relations with the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), while 52.6 per cent of respondents believe that it will contribute to peace and stability in Montenegro.
Citizens believe that NATO integration will make a negative impact on relations between Montenegro, Serbia and Russia.

 Catalans want independence referendum in 2014: poll

MADRID Sun Dec 15, 2013 
A black ribbon is seen on a Spanish flag at a balcony in Barcelona December 13, 2013. REUTERS-Albert Gea

1 of 2. A black ribbon is seen on a Spanish flag at a balcony in Barcelona December 13, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - The majority of Catalans want the right to decide on independence in a referendum and believe Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should authorize such a vote, a poll showed on Sunday.
Last week separatist parties in Spain's Catalonia region set November 9, 2014 as the date for a proposed independence referendum, a vote the Spanish government opposes and says goes against the constitution.
But 74 percent of Catalans believe they should be given a say over their relationship with Spain, showed a GESOP poll, based on interviews with 800 people and published in Catalan newspaper El Periodico.

Calls for independence in Catalonia, a wealthy industrial region of northeastern Spain which accounts for a fifth of the country's economic output, have grown during Spain's prolonged economic recession and cuts in public spending.The 2014 referendum would ask two questions: "Do you want Catalonia to be a state?" and "Do you want that state to be independent?"
A separate Sigma Dos poll published in Spain's right-leaning El Mundo newspaper on Sunday showed that 43 percent of Catalans would vote "yes" to Catalonia becoming a state and of that amount, 82 percent would want the state to be independent.
But extrapolating from these numbers, based on interviews with 1,000 people, El Mundo said only 35 percent of Catalans would vote for full independence from Spain.
The result was similar to another GESOP poll in El Periodico on Saturday which showed support for separatism under 50 percent.
Both polls were carried out between December 12 - when separatist parties announced the referendum date - and December 13.
The Catalan government has been talking about a possible independence vote since late last year, stirring a heated political debate and making headlines on the front pages of the country's newspapers.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Ralph Boulton)

The effect domino Map

Photos of the Day


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Ahmet Davutoglu in Athens, reminded about the vision of Rigas Velestinli in the office from Venizelos



Edi Rama in Tirana with Rigas Velestinli maps in PM Building