Saturday, February 1, 2014

Greece: The "National Dawn" ready to follow the "Golden Dawn Party" 

The new name is ready for new elections

Finally is ready and approved the Statute of the Court of Cassation, there is the new patriotic party, which will succeed the People's Association - "Golden Dawn", if the regime outlawed the party, obeying the commands of foreign patrons. called today the leaders of the Golden Dawn in Rally in Athens.

This was announced shortly before the gathering of thousands of Greeks in great remembrance of patriotic organizations organized by the People's Association - Golden Dawn outside the Armed Forces Officers Club in the monument of Imia Commemorate Day (the only monument in Athens that was built by the then mayor D. Avramopoulos).

As announced by microphone o Elias Kasidiaris, " the Patriots will have what to vote in the next election if some decisions go to the coup of the prohibition of the Golden Dawn, as well as Greek patriots founded the National Dawn".
New Unite with Kosovo and Albania, consulate in Milan

New consulate in Milan
The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, said that his recent visit in Italy gave him a closer look to the work and staff of the Albanian Consulate in Milan, with the quality of service that this consulate offers to the Albanian citizens who work and study in Italy.

According to Consul Rezart Shkembi, the Consulate in Milano serves to 120 citizens a day in average. He declared that better premises would increase the service quality.

The Albanian Foreign Minister, Ditmir Bushati, declared that within a short time they give an end to a corruptive and abusive practice through which the consulate used to treat the Albanian citizens.

“It was a very good thing ending the so called ‘Call Center’ that took money from the Albanian citizens in a very corruptive way. Our objective is to have quicker, more transparent and cheaper services for all Albanian citizens”, Bushati declared.

Rama said that the Albanian Consul in Milan and the Foreign Minister will have full support from the government for guaranteeing qualitative service to the citizens.

The Prime Minister encouraged the implementation of a project for a newer and bigger consulate, in which they will serve to the Albanian and Kosovo citizens.

“The flux will be even bigger, since in the same space we will offer services to the staff of the Kosovo consul, for which we have agreed and it will be activated very soon. The Milan Consulate will be the consulate of Albanians from Albania and Kosovo”, Rama declared.
No agreement between Macedonia and Albania over Dam project   PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 February 2014 MINA Breaking News
Albania and Macedonia have not reached an agreement on concerns that the latter's plan to build a dam on Radika River, Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati has said.

A planned dam in Macedonia has raised concerns in neighboring Albania because it would ebb the water flow of a river into the Drin River that helps produce all of Albania's electricity.
"We are not dealing yet with an issue between states in the strict sense of international law," Bushati said during an interpellation session in the Parliament.

"Radika is not an issue between the two states but environmental, energy and economic issue," he added.
In somewhat strange case, Albania is using vast water resources from Macedonia to power its electric grid, while Macedonia is not utilizing the very resources it owns.

Should Macedonia tap into its own resources as planned, this will reduce Tirana's electric outlook.
The dams are part of a drive in Macedonia to wean it off the dependence on fossil fuels.
Greek Navy to support earthquake victims

PGY 'Prometheus' and A / C "Chios" in Kefalonia

In Kefalonia Port, sail the ship of General Support of the Greek Navy (PGY) "Prometheus," with a view to further strengthening of the residents who have been affected by successive earthquakes. Specifically, the approval given by the Minister of National Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos, at the request of the mayor Kefallonias Alexander Parisi.

WEA Human Rights Ambassador Speaks with Muslim President of Albania about the Situation of Christians in His Country

By World Evangelical Alliance On January 30, 2014

WEA WEA Human Rights Ambassador Speaks with Muslim President of Albania,.Bujar Faik Nishani

Schirrmacher thanked the president and the Albanian government that the relatively new Albanian Evangelical Alliance has been officially recognized by the state. Now is a good time for both church and state to recognize that the once closed churches can be good citizens. Because the Albanian Evangelical Alliance did not exist before 1989, it is not directly involved in the complex and partly discriminatory process of restituting church properties that were nationalized by a previous regime.

Nishani and Schirrmacher first met in June 2013, on the occasion of a visit of Nishani to Berlin. Nishani was elected president in 2012, before which he had been Interior Minister and Justice Minister in Albania.

In preparation for this meeting Schirrmacher met with church leaders of various confessions. This included two discussions with the head of the autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Archbishop Anastasios Yoannoulatos. In a further discussion after the meeting with the president, the Archbishop thanked the World Evangelical Alliance for its engagement on behalf of his church.

Archbishop Anastasios spent many years as a theology professor in Athens. Previously he developed Orthodox mission work in Africa and worked on an Orthodox theory of missions. In 1992 he accepted responsibility for the almost totally destroyed Orthodox Church in Albania, which he has redeveloped. From 1984 to 1991 he was chairman of the Commission for World Missions and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches. Since 2006 the Archbishop has also been one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches.

Friday, January 31, 2014

 News from Greece

Remembering The Rocks of Imia, 18 Years Later

imiaIt was an incident that almost brought Greece and Turkey to war in a dispute over who owned the two uninhabited rocky islets of Imia, and cost the lives of three crew members of a Greek Navy helicopter who died during a mission, but Greece hasn’t forgotten.
The  crisis of Jan. 31, 1996 had international leaders scrambling to urge the two sides not to come to blows over what was derided as a pile of rocks, but which Greece said were “Greek rocks,” and refused to back down as Turkey raised the issue of national sovereignty, reminding Greeks of the unlawful 1974 invasion of Cyprus by the Turks.
On Dec. 29, 1995, Turkey said the islets were Turkish territory, registered in the prefecture of Bodrum. That dispute arose when the Turkish cargo ship Figen Akat ran ashore on the islets and had to be salvaged.
It turned out that maps of the area were showing conflicting attributions of the islets to either Greece and Turkey. This  resulted in a conflict between the Turkish captain and the Greek authorities over who was responsible for the salvage operation.
The official response of Greece came on Jan. 9, 1996.
The then-Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, sent a reply to Turkey claiming an indisputable Greek sovereignty over the islets. This was followed by the mayor of the Greek island Kalymnos and a priest hoisting a Greek flag  on the islets on Jan. 26, escalating the tension.
It wasn’t the Turkish military or officials, but Turkish TV journalists, abandoning any sense of objectivity, who flew to the islet in a helicopter and raised a Turkish flag a few days later. Within 24 hours, on Jan.30, Greek forces changed the flag again.
The crisis heightened as Greek, Turkish and NATO forces sailed to the islets. On Jan. 31, at dawn, the Greek Navy  helicopter flying over Imia said that that Turkish troops had landed on the islets.
The helicopter crashed under mysterious circumstances, which was blamed on bad weather but which critics insist was a mutual cover-up to hide that it was shot down by Turkish fire, as the two countries were accused of concealing what really happened to prevent war.
The crew members, Christodoulos Karathanasis, Panagiotis Vlahakos, and Ektoras Gialopsos, are revered as heroes by many Greeks, particularly the neo-Nazi ultra-patriotic Golden Dawn party.
After intense pressure from the U.S., Greek and Turkish government removed their military forces from Imia. The territorial issue has remained unresolved since then. Imia and other islets in the Aegean are considered as “grey zones” of undetermined sovereignty by Turkey.


Tenet: CIA played role in IMIA



 Effectively is says that the CIA played an instrumental role in stopping the War over Imia. 


":n January 30, Prime Minister Simitis was handed, but “seemed uninterested” in, a personal letter from CIA Director George Tenet. It had been passed on to NIS Director Leonidas Vasikiopoulos from the Athens CIA station chief. The letter stated Tenet’s view that “it would be disastrous for Greece, Turkey and NATO if war broke out due to escalation of the [Imia] incident” 



Albania Continues the polemics between Government and Secret Service 
"Rama must remove Secret Service from apathy"

Rama must remove Secret Service from apathy
The former Head of the Secret Service, Fatos Klosi, says that the Prime Minister should be more demanding towards this institution, for the apathy in which it is now.

“I don’t know how much has the Secret Service contributed. The Prime Minister said that they have not contributed at all, and that might be true. I can’t say of this is intentional, or they are really in apathy to the point that they are not understanding what is happening. It might be, but they are obliged to give information, by law. They command this service, and the Prime Minister should be more demanding towards this service”, Mr.Klosi declared.

Klosi says that when we are dealing with a serious national safety issue, the Secret Service cannot answer by saying that they have not been able to find the information.

“You cannot justify yourself by saying that there are no data. This answer should not come from the Secret Service. If he has given the tasks and has received no result, they he should have changed the priorities and should have been involved himself. There are many ways to make people work in these situations for an efficient service”, declared the former head of the Secret Service.

Klosi also added that the opposition’s declarations encourage insecurity.

“If we feel that in the past two months everything has changed, then I will make a connection with the two first ones, the growth of this phenomenon and the propaganda, the establishing of a Parliamentary group required by the Democratic Party, and now the Secret Service doesn’t give anything. The three of them go to the same line”, Klodi declared.

False alarm for explosives at Tirana Municipality

False alarm for explosives at Tirana Municipality
Another anonymous phone call has given the alarm for an explosive between the Et’hem Beu Mosque and the Tirana Municipality.

The phone call registered at 10:58 has alarmed the police, which surrounded the area.

The police first checked the road that connects both buildings. Then the police started checking all the vehicles.

There was a high number of police officers on sight, who checked every vehicle around.

One of the measures that was taken was removing all cell phone reception in the city center, due to any possible explosion.

After more than one hour, the police removed the tapes and opened a case for a false alarm.

The phone call had been made from a public phone booth.

Police is looking for possible cameras around the area.

This is the third false alarm in the Albanian capital for the past months.

Former false alarms were given for some schools. One of them was made through a cell phone, which was immediately identified.

Greece Creditors, France, Germany Held Secret Meeting Monday

Creditors Are Worried Over State of Greece's Bailout Program

Updated Jan. 31, 2014 10:57 a.m. ET
BRUSSELS—Top officials peeled away from colleagues after a euro-zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels Monday evening for a secret meeting to discuss mounting concerns over Greece's bailout.
Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras, who was briefing the press in a building across the street at the time, wasn't invited.
High-level officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, senior euro-zone officials and the German and French finance ministers were present, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to talk to the press.
They were trying to figure out how to tackle two issues threatening to unsettle the fragile economic recovery in Greece and the broader euro zone.
They discussed how to press the Greek government to forge ahead with unpopular structural reforms; and second, how to scramble together extra cash to cover a shortfall in the country's financing for the second half of the year, estimated at €5 billion-€6 billion ($6.81 billion-$8.17 billion).
The meeting was inconclusive, the people familiar with the situation said. Talks with the Greek authorities continue remotely—though representatives of the three institutions, known as the troika, have put on hold their plans to travel to Athens.
Concerns are growing because Greece faces a large maturity of government bonds in May of €11 billion. The IMF hasn't disbursed any aid to Greece since July and is €3.8 billion behind in scheduled aid payments. The IMF insists on having a clear view of the country's finances 12 months ahead, and this condition hasn't been met.
Photo of the Day

Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Day of the Three Hierarchs at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. Headed the Mass Archbishop Anastasios, Archbishop of America, Demetrios and Metropolitan of Korca, John Pelushi

Thursday, January 30, 2014

US Intelligence Community's Assessment of Threats in Europe

By Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (photo: ODNI)
The following excerpt is from the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, delivered by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, January 29, 2014.

Key Partnerships

Ongoing US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, European Parliament (EP) elections, the withdrawal of Allied forces from Afghanistan, and new leadership in the EU and NATO will create new dynamics in the transatlantic partnership in 2014.

  • Europeans likely recognize the need to isolate the TTIP negotiations from the other issue areas. The TTIP has high potential for generating economic growth for both the United States and Europe and for reinforcing the transatlantic link. However, data privacy will probably become a political issue in the runup to the May 2014 EP elections; some opponents of TTIP might use the unauthorized disclosures of NSA information as political cover for their opposition to the TTIP.

  • The NATO Summit in September 2014 will be an opportunity to reinforce NATO's purpose, as well as announce a new Secretary General.

Imbalances in the euro zone and slow economic growth in Europe are changing the political economy in Europe, potentially spurring support for nationalist and populist political parties.

  • Radical nationalist and populist political parties are gaining ground in several western and central European countries and will probably do well in the May 2014 EP elections. In November 2013, two far-right parties—the Dutch Freedom Party and France's Front National—announced that they would cooperate in the EP elections and hope to form a new Euroskeptic bloc, probably linking up with similar parties in Central Europe. Public fears over immigration and Islam, alienation from EU policies, and perceptions that centrist parties are unable to deal with high unemployment and income inequalities will increase the resonance of the rhetoric of far-right and far-left radical parties.


Turkey's foreign and security policy will be shaped by domestic events, especially the ongoing corruption scandal. Furthermore, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Erdogan, will be in election mode for municipal and presidential elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections in early 2015. The corruption allegations initiated in December 2013, allegedly by elements within the AKP associated with Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, represent the greatest challenge to Erdogan. Ankara will continue to pursue foreign policy objectives that maximize economic advantage for Turkey while proceeding with caution on issues that could alienate Turkey's nationalist voters. Erdogan's pursuit of a peace deal with the Turkish-Kurdish terrorist group Kurdistan People's Congress (KGK, formerly PKK) also risks antagonizing Turkish nationalists and neighboring governments. Erdogan is pursuing a multifaceted strategy of promoting domestic reforms and engaging the Kurds to end the armed KGK insurgency in Turkey. The protracted Syrian conflict is generating an increased extremist presence in Turkey, the primary transit country for foreign militants seeking to join the fight in Syria. It is also raising the potential for unsanctioned or opportunistic attacks by supporters of the Bashir al-Asad regime.

The Western Balkans

Despite many positive developments in the Western Balkans in 2013, the region in 2014 will continue to be characterized by deep ethnic and political divisions. The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and ethnic cleavages in Macedonia are particularly volatile.

  • In Bosnia-Herzegovina, different interpretations of the political framework, based on the 1995 Dayton Accords, as well as efforts by Bosniak, Croat, and Serb leaders to maintain control over their political and ethnic fiefdoms will continue to undermine BiH's central state institutions. Elections in 2014 will not likely bridge these differences, diminishing hopes for BiH's Euro-Atlantic integration that its neighbors have achieved.

  • The Macedonian Government continues to push programs geared to promote ethnic Macedonian nationalism at the expense of the country's Euro-Atlantic integration. The longer that Macedonia's EU and NATO membership paths remain stalled over the country's constitutional name dispute with Greece and poor bilateral relations with Bulgaria, the greater the risk that ethnic tensions will increase.

"Letter sent to Ashton over arrest of Ivanović"

BELGRADE -- First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić addressed a news conference in Belgrade on Thursday to announce future priorities of his party, the SNS.
Vučić first told reporters that he wished to inform the public that he had sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton concerning the arrest of Oliver Ivanović.
"Serbia asks of her to get involved in solving this problem, given the fact that she is to be credited for achieving the Brussels agreement, and has contributed to creating greater confidence between Serbia and the EU."

"This arrest was carried out by representatives of the EU in Kosovo, EULEX, and we seek a clear explanation, because we have a couple of questions that are difficult to find answers to, such as why Oliver Ivanović was charged with something that happened 13 years ago, and how come he - if he had committed the crime - moved freely throughout Kosovo, talked to everyone, unlike us, and then suddenly on the eve of (repeat local) elections he is arrested," Vučić said, and added:

"We think it's important for peace and stability but also for the sake of trust that he be released, and if the indictment has grounds it is certain that the man who is a well known public figure in Kosovo will not run away. It is difficult for us now to now talk with the Serbs in Kosovo, who will lose trust in those who should they guarantee their safety."

He then said he wanted to inform the public about the next moves of the government, which will regardless of who will take over the responsibility after the election, prepare "a few important things that should be done immediately."

"This is about reforms, a plan, based on which everything will be known exactly about investment projects, and all of this will be public and transparent. Furthermore, with education reforms we are introducing evaluation of teachers and schools. Reform of investment capital will bring a law to improve investments. We have a strong creative industry that we need to put to use," said Vučić.

He added that other issues included "a package of economic reforms, laws on labor, bankruptcy reform state-owned enterprises... which must be adopted by June 30, and as soon as tomorrow we will start creating working groups and a genuine social dialogue with employers and unions."

"No pressure"

Aleksandar Vučić also told the news conference that he made a decision to propose early parliamentary election "without any pressures from the international factors."

"No one can talk to me, to Serbia, in such a way, not even Russians, Americans, Germans or anyone else for that matter," Vučić said.

He confirmed that he talked about the elections with officials of the international community, but insisted that "no pressure was exerted."

“The government is making the best decisions in the interest of its people, and not of some other countries, although we respect our international partners and cherish friendly relations with them,” Vučić added.

Greek Government Reveals Plan for Greek Police Force Overhaul

Police Find Weapons in Golden Dawn related investigation
The Greek Ministry of Public Order and Protection submitted a new draft law unveiling in this way the Greek government’s  plans to overhaul the Greek Police( ELAS) in a bid to improve patrols and cut spending.
During an Athens press briefing, Minister Nikos Dendias presented the bill, which includes decoupling the ministry from police, turning the latter into a political organization under a general directorate. Police headquarters will be abolished under its current form and will be replaced by a directorate overlooking three main and autonomous sectors: public order, security (set up along the FBI model) and foreigners/border protection sector in Greece.
The bill, which was tabled in Parliament Wednesday, foresees the scrapping of about 6,700 permanent posts, which are currently vacant, as well as the merging of ELAS’s surplus administrative departments. The move is expected to cut their number almost in half, from 120 to 68. With the exception of the Attica and Thessaloniki prefectures, the remaining 52 police directorates will be substituted by the 12 regional directorates.
Changes will also take place in the Fire Brigade structure, which will act as the operational branch of the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.
The whole project, according to the data presented, will result in a 43 percent reduction in the police structure (including mergers of units and services), 30 percent reduction in the Fire Brigade and 36 percent in the General Secretariat.

Albania parliamentary panel ratifies UN arms trade treaty

TIRANA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Albania's parliamentary law committee ratified the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on Tuesday, according to state news agency ATA.

The multilateral treaty was designed to regulate the international trade in conventional arms, establish common international standards for import, export and transfer of conventional arms and boost transparency in the arms trade, Albanian Ministry of Defence representative Herald Jonuzaj told the committee.

The ATT is the first global treaty to establish international standards for import, export and transfer of conventional arms, and it obligates member states to monitor arms exports and ensure weapons do not cross existing arms embargoes or end up being used in human-rights abuses.

The treaty, adopted by the UN General Assembly on April 2, 2013, has so far been signed by 116 countries, including the United States, and ratified by nine, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.
Polemics about new ambassador of Albania in Saudi Arabia

Names of new ambassadors, Blushi and Dade against

Names of new ambassadors
The Socialist Parliament Member, Ben Blushi, did not agree with the appointing of Ermir Gjinishi as ambassador of Albania in Saudi Arabia. Gjinishi, until some time ago, was the second person in charge at the Muslim Community.

Blushi underlined the fact that his declaration in favor of keeping scarves in schools is a rejection of the secular law.

“He has held several stances that have been against the secularity of the Albanian state. My question is if the Foreign Ministry agrees that these people come with these views as employees of our state, and will they damage the mission that they have undertaken? I refuse to say what I think about it”, Blushi declared.

“All my debates have been before 2009, and have been oriented towards the spaces that the secular state creates in exerting the human rights”, Gjinishi declared.

Gjinishi’s candidacy has received attention from the Foreign Commission, in a hearing session with the candidates proposed by the Foreign Ministry for ambassadors. Maybe also due to the specific, since for the first time, a leader of this level from the Muslim Community has been appointed as a diplomatic representative of Albania.

The opposition, represented only by Aldo Bumci for most of the meeting, showed no reserves for the names that were appointed, but declared that career diplomats are being left aside.

Besides Gjinushi, the Foreign Ministry has proposed Pellumb Qazimi as our Ambassador in Slovenia, and Ilir Bocka in Belgrade.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Clapper : Deep Ethnic Division in the Balkans during the 2014 's

Director of National Intelligence of the United States, James Clapper said that despite positive developments in the Western Balkans in 2013, this year the region will continue to be characterized by deep ethnic divisions and political .

Clapper spoke today before the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence issues. He said that the situation in Bosnia - Herzegovina and Macedonia is in risk, because of ethnic divisions is particularly volatile.

Government of Macedonia, Clapper said, continues to promote programs aimed at encouraging ethnic Macedonian nationalism at the expense of Euro- Atlantic integration of the country.

The longer the country's road to EU and NATO remains blocked because of the dispute with Greece on the name issue and poor bilateral relations with Bulgaria, the greater is the risk that ethnic tensions grow.

Albanian nationalists in USA protest against Anastas Janullatos honors by Fordham University of New York

Alb Roots

Montenegro hopes to get NATO invitation this year

PODGORICA -- "Despite different announcements" the Montenegrin government still expects the country to be invited to join NATO during the alliance's summit in September.
A view of Podgorica (file)
A view of Podgorica (file)
The government said it would engage in "increased political activity to win greater public support for NATO membership," Beta reported.
Leaders of political parties in the ruling coalition are said to have agreed that this was "one of the political priorities in the coming months."

The party leaders met on Tuesday and agreed to also step up "party line" activities to create an environment that would lead to greater public support for membership in NATO.

That support is now at about 40 percent, "which is not yet sufficiently credible for NATO itself."

The opposition, meanwhile, insists that Montenegro will not receive an invitation to join the Western military alliance at the summit to be held in Wales.

NATO has not yet specified whether the issue of its enlargement will be on the agenda of the summit

Photo of the Day

foto e Kisha Orthodhokse e Shqipërisë

 The awards ceremony of Archbishop Anastasios in "Fordham University", "Honoris Causa" title in Human Letters, New York

The Albanian killer Julian Sinanaj, one of the wanted in Greece, protagonist of some actions of Leftist Terrorist Organization in Greece, is arrested in Tirana, Albania today. The Greek Interpol, is working with Albanian partners, to explode an activity with dangerous criminal and terrorist actions both in Albania and Greece.
New York Times calls Turkey a 'danger' to NATO and US

January 29 2014

In an article that heavily criticizes Turkish PM Erdogan for setting up an authoritarian state, the New York Times urged the US to send a strong message to Turkey, describing them as a danger to NATO and the US.
[linked image]

The Editorial Board of the US-based New York Times has come out with a number of tough criticisms against the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Referring to controversial reforms and reshuffles made to the Turkish judiciary and police force in light of a series of anti-graft operations ordered by prosecutors against bureaucrats and businessmen close to Turkeys ruling AK Party, the New York times accused Prime Minister Erdogan of creating a political disaster.

While praising Turkey for its strides towards democratization of state systems, which has largely been achieved during Erdogans 11 year reign as Turkish premier, the New York Times said that Erdogan had transformed Turkey into an authoritarian state.

The Editorial Board, who published the condemnation of Erdogan on Monday, called his tactics against the Turkish opposition ruthless and described the crackdown against Gezi Park rioters last June as an attempt to crush dissent.

Quoting Germanys foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in saying that Europeans should demand that Turkey returns to the rule of law, the New York Times stated that Erdogans policies threatened to derail Turkeys membership talks with the European Union and destabilize NATO.

Furthermore, the New York Times also claimed that Turkey posed a danger to NATO and the United States, urging US president Barack Obamas administration to send a strong message to Erdogan.

Erdogan, who has won three back-to-back democratic elections to remain Turkeys Prime Minister since 2003, threatened to expel the US ambassador to Turkey after implying that the US had a hand in the December 17 police raids which also saw the arrest of the general manager of Turkeys state-owned Halkbank on charges of breaching international sanctions on Iran.

The arrest came after US-based pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC pressured US congressmen to write letters to the US treasury and foreign ministry, calling for action on Halkbank.

The Turkish leader then pointed the finger at former ally Fethullah Gulen, who runs Turkeys most influential lobby the Hizmet Movement from his home in Pennsylvania, USA.

Gulen, who the New York Times described as a moderate Islamic scholar, has a number of followers in influential positions in the Turkish judiciary and police force who have been accused of carrying out the operations and setting up a parallel state to undermine the legitimate government in a post-modern coup attempt ahead of local elections in March.

Greece bailout: MEPs land in Athens to investigate effect of troika's loans

Inquiry comes amid mounting criticism of the wreckage austerity has left since Greece accepted emergency loans
Greek demonstrators burn an EU flag
Greek demonstrators burn an EU flag in Athens in 2010 to protest at imposed austerity measures. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images
An inquiry into whether international creditors have inflicted more harm than good on Greece – the most problematic of the four countries bailed out since the onset of Europe's debt crisis – intensified on Wednesday with the arrival in Athens of MEPs conducting the investigation.
In a reversal of roles, the seven-strong team of MEPs began an on-the-ground examination of the tough cost-cutting policies that Athens' "troika" of lenders – the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetry Fund – has prescribed as a cure for the nation's financial woes.
The two-day visit comes amid mounting criticism of the wreckage austerity has left in its wake since Greece, locked out of capital markets, was forced to resort to emergency loans to avert default.
Ottmar Karas, the conservative Austrian European Parliament vice-president leading the inquiry, admitted mistakes had been made. "The troika … prevented the bankruptcy of several countries. Without it, the situation today would be much worse," he told the Greek daily Kathimerini ahead of the fact-finding mission.
"But that does not mean that every single decision and the decision procedures have been perfect … nobody, no country, no institution was prepared for such a situation."
The adjustment programme enforced on Greece as the price of more than €240bn in aid has been blamed for record levels of unemployment, the loss of more than a quarter of GDP, prolonged recession and a sharp increase in the country's already monumental debt load, even though it has also achieved the biggest fiscal consolidation in modern times.
A homeless man begs for money in Athens A homeless man begs for money in Athens. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/EPA According to figures released by the European Parliament, Greek public debt jumped from 148 % of national output in 2010, when Athens signed up to the international rescue, to more than 176% of GDP at the end of 2013. Under the twice-bailed out nation's latest loan agreement, it will need to fall to around 120% by 2020 to become anywhere near sustainable – a target widely seen as high nigh impossible.
But likening the crisis to a storm, Karas insisted that Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus had ultimately been saved. "We had to repair the boat during the storm," he said. "The storm is not yet over. But we have saved the boat – that is what everybody has to acknowledge. But now we have to ask what can be done in a better way, in similar situations in the future."
The delegation, which has visited Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus, will be meeting officials from the Greek government and anti-austerity opposition for a report it is expected to publish in April.
The team has already indicated that the troika may become a thing of the past as it looks at ways of reorganising the body.
The IMF has increasingly been at loggerheads with other lenders over rescue policies, not least those imposed on Greece where it insists that debt relief must now be made a priority if the crisis-plagued country is ever to recover economically.
Germany – the biggest provider of assistance so far, bankrolling around 27% of the emergency loans to date – has fiercely rejected the proposal, arguing that fiscal progress will be only be improved when Athens forges ahead with long overdue structural reforms and the sale of state assets. Creditors promised to discuss the possibility of a debt write-down when Greece achieved a primary budget surplus which it is on course to do.
Karas conceded that as part of the soul-searching the creation of a European Monetary Fund – carved out of the emergency European stability mechanism – was among the options now being considered. "The help of the IMF was indispensable. At the beginning of the crisis, the EU did not have the expertise the IMF had," he said, referring to the Washington-based organisation's long history of overseeing financial assistance programmes for ailing states.
"But it is also true that the share of IMF money in the [European] programmes [has] decreased from a third at the beginning to less than 10% now."

A1 Report - Kapet në Rinas, porositesi per atentatet e Dervishit e Berberit

municionet e gjetura

Albanian police arrests bomb makers, who is accused for series of car explosion

Albanian police hold 4 over fatal bus attack

The Associated Press

Albanian police have arrested four villagers accused of staging a botched armed robbery on a bus in the country's mountainous south that killed one passenger and injured another.
A police statement Wednesday said the suspects, aged between 20 and 32, were under the influence of marijuana during Monday's attack which they had planned a day earlier.
The bus, heading from Athens, Greece, to the Albanian capital of Tirana with 21 passengers on board, was attacked on a highway near the city of Tepelene.
A 25-year-old passenger died in the hospital from gunshot wounds and a 19-year-old woman was treated for cuts from broken glass.
Police said that the suspects, who came from a nearby village, could be jailed for life.

Read more here:

Kosovo, FYROM and NATO

An unstable state attempts to secure a future through NATO and by appropriating the history of others
Kosovo, FYROM and NATO
The statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje.
29 Jan 2014
The FYROM's government's antiquisation project of the country and its NATO membership through the back door aim to establish two goals.
Firstly, a connection of the Slavs to the ancient Macedonians in order to obtain legitimacy from the existence of the ancient kingdom and consequently claim on the ancient territories and secondly, to secure the FYROM's stability in order for the country to avoid eradication.
Serbia's recognition of Kosovo as an independent state would open the gates for the FYROM triggering a territorial rearrangement between the FYROM and Kosovo. The activation of the 1992 referendum for 'Ilirida' under the UN Charter articles 1.2 and 55 by the FYROM Albanians could do just that - bypassing normal procedures that mean the controlling power would have to recognise the results of the referendum on self-determination as 'jus cogens'. Under the present conditions FYROM PM Nicholas Gruevski would be legally incapable of stopping the Albanians from seceding and joining their northern brothers, taking almost one third of the country including parts or perhaps the whole city of Skopje with them.
Gruevski knows it and expects it. He knows that NATO is the only rock of stability in the country while the FYROM retains its sovereignty. With NATO stabilising his country, Gruevski could continue searching for his 'ancient roots' in Mavro Orbin's Kraljevstvo Slovena (The Realm of the Slavs) who, as Dr Nadezhna Dragova put it "like Pribojevic, Orbini unifies the Illyric and Slav mythic identities and interprets history from a pan-Slavic mythological position using the same discretionary research 'methodology' of the same false basis of autochthonism as Pribojević had done before and identified the Illyrians". Consequently, the FYROM with its ethnocentric government would not have to negotiate anything with Greece. Therefore, Gruevski's cry for the upcoming danger of disintegration of the FYROM is real, but the instability in his country and in the Balkans is neither Greece's responsibility nor it is Greece's fault, but due to Gruevski's anachronistic, irrational, and outlandish governance.
Nonetheless, FYROM politicians expect that Greece will abide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision. But abide by what? The ICJ has not issued a remedy. It just issued an opinion that Greece violated the Agreement. Great! So what? The ICJ decision for the FYROM is an empty victory. The ICJ had also found the FYROM in violation of the Interim Agreement for displaying the symbol of the 'Sun of Vergina'. In addition, the Court found itself incompetent to order any remedy (compare to the US case Marbury v. Madison) resulting in the FYROM not receiving what it was after, i.e. an automatic membership to NATO. Even if the ICJ had ordered NATO to accept the FYROM as a member, Turkey would have objected to such a move because it would have affected Cyprus' membership to NATO (if Cyprus had applied for membership), but it would also have allowed Cyprus and Malta to join the EU/NATO strategic cooperation.
The EU is, as I put it, a 'non-political' confederation with highly integrated economies, but with only coordinated foreign and defence policies which fall under the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Despite the fact that the economic crisis in Eurozone affects mostly the countries in the eurozone, the issue of terrorism is threatening the national securities of each and every European country. European destabilisation invites Islamic fundamentalists who could illegally enter an EU country and then easily move to any other country, with the easiest border to the EU being the Turkish-Greek border. According to the agreement that Turkey signed with the EU on March 6th, 1995 Customs Union Agreement, Turkey has failed in its obligation to catch and return the illegal immigrants to their home country. The UK, France, Italy, and Germany would be among those that would suffer first and most because they have heavy Islamic minorities. Leaders of EU countries are not willing to expose their countries to turmoil and destabilisation in order to facilitate the stabilisation of the FYROM, a country that suffers from bad ethnocentric governance.
On the military side, pressuring Greece to accept something that goes against its national interests and therefore its national security would juxtapose the NATO criterion of 'Creation of interior and easily defensive borders within the alliance' and Greece's own stability. NATO cannot pressure Greece to purposely destabilise itself so that the Alliance stabilises the FYROM. But, one must consider that the nature of the Deputy Prime Minister of the FYROM Mrs Teuta Arifi's visit to Greece in January 2012 had a lot to do with Kosovo's possible recognition by Serbia and Greece and its possible consequences of that recognition as the disintegration of the FYROM.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Photo of the Day

Currently happening in Ukraine.
Orthodox priests standing between Ukrainian protesters and Ukrainian police forces, praying for peace.
His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters and will present the Annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture today at Fordham University! Please keep him and everyone in attendance in your prayers! 

+Here is a picture of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios in New York with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on his right.
His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters and will present the Annual Orthodoxy in America Lecture today at Fordham University! Please keep him and everyone in attendance in your prayers! +Here is a picture of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios in New York with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on his right.
Terrorism, polemics between Interior Minister and ASS

Minister Tahiri: Secret Service not cooperating

Tahiri: Secret Service not cooperating
The Minister of Interior Affairs, Saimir Tahiri, accused the Secret Service of becoming an obstacle and not giving information to the State Police. Tahiri declared that the recent explosive crimes are damaging the national security.

“The inactivity, lack of information and failure to give information damages the national security regarding these terror acts. I have zero information from the Secret Service about what is happening today. This is unacceptable and damages the national security of the Albanian state. I expect that in fights against such terrorist acts, regardless of the unjustified increase, almost artificial, I expect cooperation”, Tahiri declared.

As regards the recent explosions, the Democratic Party Parliament Member, Astrit Patozi, declared that the situation is critical.

“Have you ever thought to resign, or that they can discharge you due to this dramatic situation that has been created in our country? You are the one who is directly responsible for this war atmosphere that is spread throughout the country. You have something special, compared to the Prime Minister and everyone else. You relation with dynamite. Because you are there every time that the dynamite was placed by the government, and not when it was placed by the crime”, Patozi declared.

According to the Minister of Interior, everything is artificial and it only aims destabilization. According to him, the police will come out with the names of the authors who are committing terrorist acts.

“These are terrorist acts and will be treated as such by the state police. It is absolutely true that we have a new crime wave that we didn’t have yesterday. There is an unjustified increase regarding this situation”, Tahiri declared.

The Commission of Security was discussing the murder of the Collaku brothers. The opposition accused the Minister of not doing his duty for this murder, but Tahiri declared that it is up to the Prosecution to continue these investigations, and that the opposition is abusing politically.

The entire debate was characterized by tension between the Parliament Members.

Reuters, 27/01
By Benet Koleka
TIRANA (Reuters) – Albania will decide in February who is to build a new football stadium in the capital Tirana, a precondition for the Balkan country to continue hosting international games.
FIFA and UEFA have allowed the Albanian football authorities to keep playing international matches in the old stadium in Tirana, on condition they come up with plans to build a new one.
After a four-year consultancy and bidding process, Albania will choose between France’s Bouygues Batiment International and Italy’s Serenissima Costruzioni to design, finance, build and operate the new stadium.
“By the end of February we shall decide who will be our preferred bidder and we shall continue the negotiations for the contract signature,” Ardian Cani, the project leader for the new stadium, told Reuters on Monday.
The companies were asked to deliver a football-only stadium with 22,000 seats. The average construction cost before value added tax ranges from 45 to 48 million euros ($65.69 million), a major investment for one of Europe’s poorest countries.
The football federation and UEFA will contribute 10 million euros and the government will add another 10 million. The builder will supply the bulk of the funding.
Football is the most popular sport in Albania and the national team is also supported by ethnic Albanians from the former Serbian province of Kosovo, who make up a majority of its population.
(Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and David Evans)

Greek minister "cuts sounding of provocative anthem"

ATHENS -- Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos did not allow the sounding of the Macedonian anthem during the visit of his counterpart Talat Xhaferi.
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This was the first time that a Macedonian defense minister visited the Greek Defense Ministry.
Macedonian news agency MIA is quoting Greek media as saying that Avramopoulos "cut the

Macedonian anthem for being provocative, since it mentions the term 'Macedonia' on six occasions."

Greece and its neighbor to the north have been locked in a decades-long dispute over the latter's official name.

According to the media in Athens, "the name issue was one of the main topics on the meeting agenda, with Avramopoulos reiterating Greece's stance, saying a mutually acceptable solution would help solve the chronic problem between the two countries, contributing to harmonization of bilateral relations and enhancement of the region's stability, which is in the interest of Macedonia and Europe."

The two ministers also discussed military cooperation, and signed a one-year agreement on cooperation between the two countries' general staffs.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Terrorism risk, experts of the National Security of USA soon in Albania


Task Force experts from the CIA, FBI and Anti-terror, arriving in Tirana for a second time after the NATO attacks against the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo  in 1999

TIRANA - A U.S. delegation comes in Tirana on 27 and 28 January to meet with President Nishani, Prime Rama, and other officials to discuss cooperation against terrorism.

The delegation includes several agencies, including representatives from the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, and the U.S. National Center for Counter - Terrorism, CIA.

"Albania is one of the few countries in the region being visited by the delegation. Your place in the framework of close cooperation and consultation to proceed with Albania, our NATO ally, over a range of common security challenges facing our countries, "reads the announcement of the U.S. embassy.

But SManalysis resources to speak for an escalation of the Task Force of USA in Albania and Kosovo, the possibility of terrorism and an escalation of the ethnic violence on the region.

Continues the tension between religious harmony in Albania  
Albanian Nationalism Rally in New York, against Archbishop of Orthodox Church of Albania, His eminence Anastas Janullatos 


Greece: Aftermath of strong earthquake on Kefalonia island

27/01 09:31 CET
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Engineers began checking on Monday buildings on the island of Kefalonia (Cephalonia), which was rocked by a 5.9-Richter earthquake on Sunday afternoon.
Experts from ministries, regional authorities and public organizations travelled to the Ionian island to inspect the damage done by the quake and the numerous aftershocks that followed.
The earthquake caused residents to run out of their homes, with many preferring not to return overnight. Employees at the island’s airport also refused to return to the building to complete check-in for a flight to Athens. Passengers’ documents were eventually checked outdoors.
A passenger ferry with the capacity to host 700 passengers docked at the island, while another vessels that can carry 1,300 people is due to reach Cephalonia on Monday to help provide shelter for residents.
The extent of the damage was not immediately clear but Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis, who visited the island on Sunday, said it was not serious.
“We had some minor injures, with initial information indicating that seven people were wounded, mostly from falling masonry,” he said. “The buildings withstood the earthquake and no serious damage has been reported.”
Michelakis added that rockfalls had damaged roads on the island, which suffered extensive damage during an earthquake in 1953.
He added that public buildings would be the first to be checked. Schools on the island will not reopen until engineers have deemed them safe.
See more pictures here
The great 1953 Ionian Earthquake
The Great 1953 Ionian Earthquake struck the southern Ionian Islands in Greece on August 12, 1953. In mid-August there were over 113 recorded earthquakes in the region between Kefalonia and Zakynthos, and the most destructive was the August 12 earthquake. The event measured 7.2 on the surface wave magnitude scale, and it raised up the whole island of Kefalonia by 60 cm, and caused widespread damage throughout the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos.
The quake struck at 09:24 (UTC) or 11:24 (local time) and the Royal Navy vessels HMS Gambia and HMS Bermuda were among the first on the scene. In addition, four Israeli warships received calls for help coming from the Island of Kefalonia and the ships headed to the island. The sailors provided emergency medical aid, food, and water. This was the first time Israel provided aid to a disaster-stricken area.

The earthquake is generally known as the great Kefalonia Earthquake, but damage was very heavy in the capital of Zakynthos. Only two buildings survived the earthquake there and the rest of the island’s capital had to be rebuilt. Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia, suffered substantial damage and the whole of Kefalonian buildings were flattened except for Fiskardo’s in the far north.

As well as causing major destruction on the two islands, the economic impact of the earthquake was far greater, and damage was estimated to have totaled billions of Drachmas. Many people fled the island after the earthquake: some people temporarily moved to the capital, however the majority immigrated out of Greece entirely to countries such as Canada, USA or the UK, leaving both the islands and their economy in ruins.

Earthquakes still regularly shake the islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia, including several 2006 earthquakes at Zakynthos and others in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Xhaferi on meeting with Avramopoulos

January 27, 2014 

Minister of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia Talat Xhaferi today in Athens met with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopoulos, with who, among other, signed Protocol for cooperation between the two ministries for 2014.

- This meeting is of special importance to relations between our two ministries. This meeting today shows that our institutions have the capacity to overcome any problems that get in the way of our communication, said Xhaferi after the meeting.
He stressed that the signing of the Protocol for Cooperation for 2014, a program for cooperation for this year, is another indication that the relevant ministries and armies can find strength to overcome all the problems in the relationship that states have.
- I am convinced that the basis for talks to find solution to the problem that stand between us in relation to the name dispute is subject, which in the future should be intensified among the relevant institutions. In that context I can state that talks we had between the two delegations, it was immediately concluded that this problem is not an obstacle for us to deepen and expand all elements of cooperation between the two ministries, said Macedonian Minister of Defense.
He assured that all these messages will reach, primarily to citizens and institutions, and “in this context, clearly and unambiguously, citizens of both countries and the institutions adequately understand without any reservations regarding the comments about this issue.”
Xhaferi once again expressed support for the efforts of UN representative in communication with the appropriate representatives of both governments.
- We hope soon to find suitable solution which, in particular, would open us the way towards full membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions and side by side, as a full member with all countries, we will continue to deepen and strengthen our relationship, said the Minister of defense of Republic of Macedonia, Talat Xhaferi.