Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ukraine as it happened: Yanukovych ousted, Tymoshenko freed

22/02 12:23 CET
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The Ukrainian parliament ousted this Saturday president Yanukovych after more than three months of violent protests that killed 82 people in several cities of the country. Ukrainian lawmakers also voted to free his arch-rival, jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, greeted by thousands of people at Kyiv’s Independence Square.
The newly-installed interior minister declared that the police were now behind the protesters they had fought for days, giving central Kiev the look of a war zone, while central authority crumbled in western Ukraine.
Yanukovych, who enraged much of the population by turning away from the European Union to build closer ties with Russia three months ago, made sweeping concessions in a deal brokered by European diplomats on Friday after days of violence.
But the deal, which called for early elections by the end of the year, was not enough to satisfy demonstrators, who want him out immediately after bloodshed that saw his police snipers
shooting from rooftops.
Yanukovych’s broad concessions on Friday brought an end to 48 hours of violence that had turned the centre of Kiev into an inferno of blazing barricades. Without enough loyal police to
restore order, the authorities resorted to placing snipers on rooftops who shot demonstrators in the head and neck.
Former DP Minister: Albanian Economy towards recession

Former DP Minister: Economy towards recession
The former Democratic Party Minister of Finances, Ridvan Bode, foresees a grim economic situation for this year.

Regardless of the prediction of a 18% income growth in 2014, he says that the revenues programmed for January are 2% less than one year ago, which shows that the income progress will be far from the objectives.

According to Bode, if you add to this the decreased level of savings with three times, compared to one year ago, the former Minister of Finances warns that the government will be responsible for the economic recession.

“Not only no new loans were given for financing the enlargement of businesses and opening new jobs, but the loans that the government ahd from the banking system has increased with 4.4, which means that the possibilities for financing the business enlargement and the economic growth have now been exhausted. It is clear that the economy is getting weaker and the government is putting the country to a quick economic ruin, and a recession for 2014”, Bode declared.

The Socialist Party Parliament Member, Ervin Bushati, declared: “The former Minister, the man who plunged the Albanian economy in debts, has the courage to talk about economic recessions. Only the undeclared debt that Bode left to businesses was 720 million USD”, declared Ervin Bushati.

“They plunged the country in debts and we are paying for them”, Bushati declared.

“In the four months of the Socialist government, taxes for 97% of the Albanian citizens have reduced; the small business tax was removed and tax for profit decreased from 10% to 7.5%”, the Socialist Party declared, countering Bode’s declarations.

“Other figures show that the reality is different from what Bode has shown, with customs gathering 17% more revenues, Taxes 3.1 billion ALL more, compared to the same period of one year ago”.

“The new government’s budget injects 1.1 billion ALL during 2014, not only by paying the 350 million USD debt inherited by the new government, by also by investing in the Albanian economy. We are determined to recover the economy and return the trust of local and foreign investors”, Bushati declared.

Christos Papas: The Greek Government has abandoned the issue of Northern Epirus

Christos Papas: The Creek Government has abandoned te Northern Epirus. The issue was claim to a letter to the Greek ministers of Defense, Foreign, Education, Labor and Culture by the Golden Dawn MP Christos Papas, who expressed concern about the fact that in his opinion, the Greek government is the forgeting the question of Northern Epirus in general and national issue.

Referring to the meetings of foreign ministers Venizelos and Bushati in Tirana, Papas says that not only is the forgotten issue of Northern Epirus, but was officially announced that Greece supports unconditional integration of Albania into the European Union.

Papas asks a series of questions to the Greek government ministers;

He wants to know if the government has included in its foreign policy issue of Northern Epirus and will put it on the agenda of talks with Albanian authorities ?

Can Northern Epiriotes to allow them to commemorate their holidays in Southern Albania, including the Autonomy of Northern Epirus?

Papas also asked about the fate of the maritime agreement signed with Albania in 2009 and what it will do to build military cemetery in Korca, Gjirokastra and Përmet of Greek soldiers fallen in battle, or not intended to be repealed law of war between Greece and Albania?

Golden Dawn deputy was "cautions ministers to exploit" recent diplomatic weapon as a member state of the European Union, in order to obtain guarantees for the respect of human rights in Albania for the Himara and Northern Epirus".

The number " two " of the Golden Dawn party also requires that counties to Gjirokastra, Saranda, Korca recognized as Greek minority areas and to ensure the rights of Greeks in Albania to use the term of Northern Epirus .
In Albania, the Mafia not only to kill, but also to burn

Albanian drug mafia, one of the more violent in the world

Two young, killed and burned, in a car because of breaking the monopolies of drug

Durres, makina e djegur

Friday, February 21, 2014

Venizelos visit in Tirana, nothing new for the Human Rights, properties and the Greek community issues. Albania - Greece, "navigate in dim waters"

Tirana: Toponyms, Bushati, We agreed in principle

Toponyms, Bushati: We agreed in principle
The Greek Foreign Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, declared that the technical problems between Albania and Greece will be resolved soon, based on the international laws.

Venizellos concluded in Tirana his regional tour, and declared that he has informed his Albanian counterpart about the current results of the Greek Presidency, and underlined that the integration of Western Balkan is a priority of ths Presidency.

“We will work together for a good use of the tractate in force for good neighboring”, Venizellos declared.

The Albanian Foreign Minister, Ditmir Bushati, declared that they have agreed in principle for the issue of birthplace names in the passports of Albanian immigrants who live in Greece. Bushati also expressed his evaluation for the positive messages that Venizellos has given in the meeting as regards the European future of Albania.

“We have found a common language that respects the territorial integrity. We have discussed issues that needs to be addressed to”, Bushati declared.

Venizellos: Albania’s European Union  agenda acceleration, a priority for Greece

Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta held a meeting today with the Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evangelos Venizellos, based on the Greek Presidency of the European Union Council.

Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta valued the commitment of Greece in function of the European perspective of Albania, and underlined that Albania trusts the role of Greece in the European Union Council for advancing with the fulfilling of the European Commission priorities.

Meta expressed his commitment for advancing with the important reforms required by the Albanian citizens, by reconfirming that the Albanian Parliament will play its role the constructive and productive political dialogue between parties.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece, Venziellos, reconfirmed the maximal commitment of Greece during the European Union Council Presidency, noting that the acceleration of Albania’s European agenda will be a main priority in the months to come.

Venizellos noted that the fulfillment of the European Union priorities by the Albanian government will bring an important encouragement for the country’s progress, and underlined that Greece considers Albania’s European Union integration progress as key for the entire region.

Serbia, Macedonia "to cooperate more closely"

BELGRADE -- Foreign Ministers of Serbia and Macedonia Ivan Mrkić and Nikola Poposki agreed on Friday in Belgrade that the two countries "share the same EU prospects."
Poposki and Mrkić are seen in Belgrade (Tanjug)
Poposki and Mrkić are seen in Belgrade (Tanjug)
They announced closer cooperation in the future.
"Our relations are exceptionally good and we are determined to strengthen them, and the best proof of this are the two governments' plans for future joint activities," Mrkić told a joint press conference.

Mrkić noted that Belgrade and Skopje organized the first joint sitting of the two governments last year, while a new meeting is planned to take place in the second half of 2014.

An agreement was made with the Macedonian side to prepare a joint consultation program, said Mrkić.

The topics discussed in the meeting included the situation in the region and the relations with the European Union, considering that both countries are vying for a full EU membership, said Mrkić.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Poposki stressed that Macedonia and Serbia have excellent relations and a shared vision in many areas.

Continued progress of countries in the region in the EU integration process is also in the interest of Macedonia, said Poposki.

Macedonia and Serbia share a common European future, which is why we are working on this goal together, he said.

"We plan to hold joint meetings and consultations this year with regard to the EU integration ", Poposki announced.

Macedonia's foreign minister pointed that the two countries have a strong bilateral trade, reaching USD 800 million at an annual level.

"We hope that it will be possible to enhance cooperation in the field of railway and road infrastructure and in the energy sector," said Poposki.

The two ministers also signed an agreement on mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

Earlier today the Macedonian minister had separate meetings with Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.

Relations between Serbia and Macedonia have improved significantly, with political dialogue and economic cooperation intensifying, Dačić and Poposki said on Friday.

Linking the roads and railroads of the two countries is extremely important, as well as the power supply networks, Dačić stated.

Police cooperation in battling illegal migration, trafficking and narcotics smuggling is already showing results, he noted.

The two also discussed improving trade cooperation by eliminating customs barriers, taking more advantage of CEFTA mechanisms and working together on other markets, the government office for media relations has said.
Mega TV polling about the Golden Dawn, decision of the General Prosecutor: "The Golden Dawn is The spiryt od the Greek People"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Venizelos received by protests in Skopje: Recognize the name “Macedonia”

By Naser Pajaziti  /   20/02/2014  /   No Comments  


Skopje, February 20, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The visit of the Greek deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Evangelos Venizellos was accompanied today (22.02) with protests held by several associations in Skopje, led by the World Macedonian Congress.

The protests were held in front of the government building as a sign of discontent against the visit of the head of the Greek diplomacy, Evangelos Venizelos.

The protest has not been massive and it only saw the participation of tens of protesters holding banners against Venizelos and Athens in their hands.

Todor Petrov, representative of the World Macedonian Congress, the political party of which is in coalition with the party of prime minister Nikola Gruevski, has demanded to Venizelos, as representative of the EU in the first half of the year, to recognize the name of the country and identity of Macedonians.

“In spite of hour history full of problems, Greeks and Macedonians must reconcile and reach a long term agreement of peace and good neighboring relations between the two countries”, said Todor Petrov. /ibna/
- See more at:
Vlore, drug tunnel discovered

Vlore, drug tunnel discovered
The Border Police and the Delta Force Unit, in cooperation with the Italian authorities, have finalized an operation for finding a very fast vessel.

After a very detailed search that took several hours, the authorities found it hidden in a 15 meter long tunnel.

The Delta Force, border police and Guardia di Finanza forces arrived on the scene and opened the tunnel which had been covered with pines.

The main gate has was closed with very strong iron bars, and it took several hours to the police to open it. Inside they found a “Fiat” tractor, in very good conditions.

A 9 meter boat, with two 600 horse power motors was found inside, together with several equipments and utensils, such as a generator and compressor used for the inflatable boat.

These boats were used for trafficking and were hidden less than 100 meters from the sea. The Police is working for finding the people who have opened this tunnel, and those who possessed this fast boat.
Awkward meetings between Venizelos and Macedonian officials underway
Thursday, 20 February 2014
As any presidency of EU so far, he visits current candidates in the region and MFA considers it as good opportunity to exchange views on expectations for progress in the six -month presidency.

- For us, this Presidency has special dimension related to the fact that it is our neighbor and the fact that for five years we have opposition to start negotiations for EU membership, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki.

At the meeting also was discussed the name issue, in relation to which Poposki do not expect move given the situation in Greece now.

Yes, of course. Fro us it is a question that we have to discuss openly because we know that it is the key obstacle that has been placed on the road to EU and NATO membership. I do not believe that currently there is political climate for substantial commitment from the other side to move forward. In any case, we will be committed to what is within the scope of our control and to all reforms that we make for better Macedonia. Will remain open to dialogue at any time, any place and format, answered Minister Poposki when asked whether at the meeting with Venizelos there was a discussion on the name issue.

Asked by a Yunanistani journalist, if at the NATO Summit in September a solution is not reached and taking into account the judgment of the International Court of Justice, whether Macedonia will again raise the issue before the Court in the Hague or another international organization, Poposki said we must keep in mind probation period and indicated that at this moment he would not go into speculation.

For the fact that Venizelos only in Skopje would not hold a joint press conference with Macedonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poposki stated that it “is probably because he did not like the background,” and that it is the question “of taste”, speaking of the panel on which is written Macedonia.

After meeting with Poposki, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister met with Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi and is  planned to meet with President Gjorgje Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and leaders of DUI Ali Ahmeti and SDSM Zoran Zaev.

Venizelos is anticipated at the end of the visit to Macedonia to hold a press conference at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje .

FM Venizelos calls for immediate stop to violence in Ukraine

ANA-MPA -- Government vice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday expressed concern about the escalation of violence in the Ukraine, in statements from Skopje. He underlined that the violence must stop immediately, with the help of the international community.

"Unfortunately, a ray of hope created earlier this morning with the ceasfire in the Ukraine has dissipated. The violence has escalated and the dead are increasing. It is an obligation of all factors in the Ukraine to stop the violence. To reach an understanding and ensure the democratic function of their country, its internal stability and integrity. In this way, they will find their place in the European continent, in which they - in any case - belong historically and geographically, but must also belong institutionally and culturally. The role of the EU is crucial, as is the role of the United States and Russia. The international community has an obligation to mobilise and help the country by exercising every legal and permissible pressure so that it stands on its feet, remains stable and does not descend into civil war," Venizelos said

Venizelos meets his fYRoM counterpart
Venizelos on Thursday met with former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (fYRoM) Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki to discuss the enlargement policy of the European Union (EU) under the Greek presidency and the status of fYRoM.

Venizelos is paying a visit to Skopje as part of a tour to the capitals of the Western Balkans, in his capacity as President of the Council of Ministers of the EU.

Regarding the issue of the name, Poposki stated that "the political climate in Greece ahead of the European parliament elections and the municipal elections does not favour the intensification of negotiations for a solution" and called on Greece to respect the verdict of the Hague tribunal in 2011 and and allow the integration of fYRoM into NATO and the EU.

Venizelos also met with fYRoM's President Gjorge Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi, the leader of the largest opposition party Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) Zoran Zaev, the leader of the coalition Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) party Ali Ahmeti. In the afternoon he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Venizelos will also meet with the ambassadors of the EU member states in Skopje. A press conference will follow.

He will return to Pristina and then travel by plane to Tirana in the last stop of his tour.

Μore on subscrider' s page | application
Ο Αντιπρόεδρος της Κυβέρνησης και υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Ευάγγελος Βενιζέλος (Α) ανταλλάσει χειραψία με τον υπουργό Εξωτερικών της ΠΓΔΜ Νίκολα Πόποσκι (Δ), Πέμπτη 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2014. Ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών περιοδεύει τις χώρες των Δυτικών Βαλκανίων υπό την ιδιότητα του προεδρεύοντος του Συμβουλίου Υπουργών της Ε.Ε. ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/ ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ / GEORGI LICOVSKI

PM: Voting should also be organized in Kosovo

BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said that the government insists that the Serbian parliamentary elections should also be organized in Kosovo and Metohija.
This should happen "with the assistance of the international missions," the outgoing prime minister told EU's representative in Belgrade Michael Davenport as they met on Thursday.
Dačić also stated that Serbs in northern Kosovska Mitrovica should go to the polls in the March 23 repeat mayoral elections so that the community of Serb municipalities could be formed as soon as possible.

He underlined that regardless of the election campaign which is still under way, the Serbian government is undertaking all activities necessary for the EU accession process.

Dačić said that "the continuation of the dialogue with Priština and the implementation of the Brussels agreement are immensely important," the government said in a statement.

All Golden Dawn MPs could lose Greece immunity

Greek Golden Dawn protesters (1 Feb) Supporters of Golden Dawn protested earlier this month against the criminal charges facing party members

Related Stories

Greek investigating judges have asked for nine more MPs in the far-right Golden Dawn party to have their parliamentary immunity lifted to allow criminal charges to be laid.
If parliament backs the request, all 18 of the party's MPs would be accused of running a criminal organisation.
Nine are already facing charges and party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos is one of six in jail pending trial.
Their arrests followed the killing of an anti-fascist musician.
The Golden Dawn MPs reacted angrily to news of the judges' request, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
The judges also said additional charges should be laid against six of those already facing prosecution, including the party leader. Greek news agency ANA-MPA said the charges involved possession of firearms and ammunition with the aim to supply a criminal organisation.
A crackdown on the far-right party's activities began after musician Pavlos Fyssas, 34, was murdered last September. A party supporter was charged with voluntary manslaughter.
State funding for the party was withdrawn the following month.
Golden Dawn, seen by many as neo-Nazis, won 7% of the vote in the 2012 Greek elections and took up 18 seats in parliament.
The party denies being a neo-Nazi movement although its logo resembles the swastika.

Albania Opposition Holds Anti-Government Protest

More than 5,000 Albanian opposition supporters have marched peacefully through the capital Tirana, accusing the government of failing to fight poverty and unemployment.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha called Thursday's march the start of a protest campaign.
He also criticized the government over the European Union's recent rejection of Albania's bid for candidate member status in the bloc.
Prime Minister Edi Rama's Socialist party swept to power in June, 2013, pledging to push for EU integration and create new jobs. Unemployment was at 12.8 percent in last year's third quarter, according to the statistical authority, although Rama has claimed it is significantly higher.
The EU has postponed until this spring its decision about Albania's bid for member status, asking for tangible results in fighting corruption and organized crime, and consolidating the rule of law.

Shooting to people in Kiev / Стральба па пратэстоўцах у Кіеве. (20.02.20...

The video of the day: Shooting the protesters by snipers in Kiev, Ukraina

Yesterday, the President traveled to Toluca, Mexico for this year's North American Leaders' Summit, along with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper. President Obama spoke about the importance of our strong relationship with our fellow North American nations and how that relationship improves job creation and security.
Instagram from @WhiteHouse: Air Force One, wheels up to Mexico.

"Greece has no plans to recognize Kosovo"

PRIŠTINA -- Greece "still has no plans to recognize Kosovo," and the Greek deputy prime minister confirmed this, Albanian language media in Priština are reporting.
Venizelos is seen in Belgrade on Tuesday (Beta)
Venizelos is seen in Belgrade on Tuesday (Beta)
Evangelos Venizelos reportedly made the statement after his meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci on Wednesday.
Kohavision TV said on Wednesday that Venizelos "directly confirmed it" after his meeting with Thaci.

Thaci, on the other hand, said that Kosovo would soon open an office in Athens "with the goal of cooperation with that country," the Koha Ditore daily is reporting.

The newspaper also writes that Venizelos said that Greece "supports Kosovo's EU integration," and "avoided answering direct questions about when Greece will recognize Kosovo," Beta reported.

Greece is one of EU's five countries that have not recognized the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo, made six years ago.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

US Embassy Tirana warns US citizens for the opposition protest

U.S. Embassy Tirana Logo.

Democratic Party Protest

February 19, 2014
The Albanian Democratic Party (DP) is calling for protests against the government on Thursday, February 20, at 1:00 pm in Skenderbeg Square.  The protestors will gather in Skenderbeg Square and will march down Blvd. Deshmoret e Kombit towards Mother Teresa Square.
The Embassy remiands U.S. citizens that even demonstrations and large events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational.  Avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Large public gatherings can affect all major incoming arteries to the city in which they occur.   Demonstrations in one city have the potential to lead to additional public rallies or demonstrations in other locations around the city and country.
Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
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 “Traveler's Checklist.”
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 to have 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 13:00 to 15:45.  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)-4224-7285.

Radicals launch campaign in Kosovska Mitrovica

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- The Serb Radical Party (SRS) and movements Obraz and Našii started their campaign for parliamentary elections with a rally in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.
Nemanja Šarović, SRS deputy president, underlined that this coalition is the only one that started its election campaign in Kosovo and Metohija.
“Today everybody is turning their eyes from you, today when it is uncertain whether the parliamentary elections will be held here or not and how they will develop, we want to show that for the SRS, Obraz and Nasi there is nothing more important than Kosovo and Metohija,” Šarović said.

He underlined that Kosovo cannot be separated from Serbia, and Serbia cannot exist without Kosovo.

“We can promise you that no matter what we will never betray you or give up,” he told people who were carrying the flags of Serbia, Russia and SRS party flags.

Aside for Šarović, the rally was also addressed by Ivan Ivanović of the Naši movement and Mladen Obradović from Obraz, and candidates for members of the Serbian parliament Zvonko Mihajlović and Vladan Tomović.

After the rally, the crowd walked to the main bridge on the Ibar River which separates the northern, Serb, from the southern, ethnic Albanian part of the city.

Macedonia Officials Dispute ‘Mass Poisoning’ of Albanians

After a mystery incident that caused ethnic jitters, police in the town of Gostivar insisted that dozens of Albanian high-school students had not been poisoned, but the local mayor disagreed.
Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Mayor of Gostivar, Nevzat Bejta | Photo by:
Police on Tuesday officially confirmed that their forensic examination failed to identify any traces of toxins in the 60 students and professors from the local Economy High School who last week complained that they had been the victims of a mass poisoning, in a case that sparked fears of a targeted attack.
Police also said they would investigate the possibility that the entire incident had been faked.
But the mayor of the ethnically-mixed western town of Gostivar, Nevzat Bejta, insisted that the poisoning was real.
“I personally felt the symptoms of the poisoning in the school. If there was no poisoning, why did so many students and professors ask for medical help? I went there myself and felt the symptoms, a burning in the eyes and the throat,” Bejta, an ethnic Albanian, told media.

The mayor, who is member of the junior ruling Democratic Union for Integration party said he suspected a targeted attack because, he said, similar cases in the past have never occurred in the east of the country where there are no ethnic Albanians.

“This should be cleared up once and for all. We cannot allow someone to play with the feelings of the parents and with the lives of our children,” he said.

After complaining about symptoms of poisoning last Friday, 12 of the 60 people were hospitalised at the Skopje toxicology clinic but left soon afterwards.

The incident quickly picked up an ethnic tone after news spread that it happened during the high school’s second shift, when only ethnic Albanian students were present.

It happened just two months before presidential elections in April and among growing speculation about possible parallel early general elections.

Mirjana Maleska, a political science professor at the South East European University in Tetovo, told website that the case must be viewed with caution because it is very hard to prove that some sort of gas was fired into the classrooms, as has been speculated.

But she said that cases of mysterious mass poisonings of ethnic Albanians are not unknown in the region and that they “have been used in the past to create mass hysteria in critical pre-election periods”.

In one similarly mysterious case in 2002 in the town of Kumanovo, some 200 young Albanians, most of them high school students, complained of poisoning symptoms that caused many of them to be hospitalised.

However the authorities failed to determine any cause for the mysterious outbreak which fed suspicions that their sudden illness might have been faked.

Nikola Tupancevski, a law professor at Skopje state university, said that if the Gostivar incident was faked, “it was surely done in a political context” and that “legally speaking, false reporting is a criminal act”.
In 2001, the country went through a brief armed conflict between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian insurgents, which ended with the signing of a peace deal that granted greater rights for the Albanians, who make up a quarter of Macedonia’s 2.1 million population.
As long as human rights and civil liberties are violated in Himara Region primarily property, Greece to put veto on the status Candidate for Albania in EU

Himara Associations: Athens to block the status of Albania, if Tirana, does not solve the property issue

Two associations based in Himara, "The Himara Community" and "Sea Coastal Association" have asked in a statement distributed to the media this afternoon that Greece "should block the candidate status for Albania" if Tirana, will not solve the problems of Human Rights and particularly the issue of the properties in Himara Region.

The statement takes into consideration the visit Tirana following day of E.Venizelos the Greek Deputy Prime Minister also heads the Presidency of the European :

 The Himara Community and the "Sea Coastal Association", take the opportunity to denounce, with concrete actions to the Albanian Governments, in all these 23 years of political puralizmit, for failing to deliberate the property ...

Greece, as the actually chair of the EU, but also as strategic intimate partners, has the responsibility to help the Albanian people, for the road to Europe .. The Human Rights and the issue of properties in the Region of Himara, has passed all limits of tolerance - is among other statement.

The statement further says that "parliamentary elections brought a new government, which had vowed to return the properties of Himara, with a special law for the coast, but instead of her, by the Communist Law 7501, was extended for three years to other"
The statement gets warning after harsh tones , asking, "within 6 months of the Greek presidency, the Albanian government to fulfill its constitutional obligations, for the return of all land and property assets to the Himara people and all the Coastal Ionian Region "as and requires the assistance of international organizations to "any attempt to block the new administrative division, without the desire of the community."


Gazeta Dita:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Abuses with legalization of informal buildings

Abuses with legalization of informal buildings
Many officials who used to work at the Agency of Legalisation Urbanisation and Integration of Informal Zone/Building, the Property Registration, The Culture Institution, in cooperation with notaries, have legalized thousands of buildings in completely illegal methods.

Some people have used their power and money to legalize buildings in areas that are protected by law.

“We have established an internal structure that is making polls in the urban planning sectors, to see damages that we cannot transmit to the other generations. If cases like this will be verified, we will file for criminal prosecution, because it is a legal obligation of the task force established by the Prime Minister”, declared the head of the Agency of Legalisation Urbanisation and Integration of Informal Zone/Building, Artan Lame.

Only in 2013, 7800 objects have been legalized in areas that have been protected near archeological parks, or important areas of this city.

The head of Agency of Legalisation Urbanisation and Integration of Informal Zone/Building declared that objects that do not exist have also been legalized. Only close to the Tirana University and the Artificial Lake, eight objects have been legalized in total.

“By reviewing only these eight files, we have verified 164 violations in the Tirana Park area. There are eight legalizations for objects that don’t even exist. Most of the objects were built without a permission, and his is something that I am declaring officially”, Lame declared.

While hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for the Agency of Legalisation Urbanisation and Integration of Informal Zone/Building to legalize the buildings they have built in informal areas, courts will receive cases that have been completely against the law.
USS Taylor Runs Aground While Mooring in Turkey
By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S.6th Fleet Public Affairs
Feb 18, 2014 - 2:34:56 PM
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Blackanthem Military News

Official U.S. Navy file photo.
SAMSUN, Turkey - The Mayport-based frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) is being inspected for damage after running aground Feb. 12.

The incident occurred as Taylor was preparing to moor in Samsun, Turkey. Taylor was able to moor without further incident.

There were no reported injuries, and the incident is currently under investigation. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Taylor is currently supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Black Sea to establish and enhance cooperation, mutual training and interoperability with regional partner nations and allies.

Taylor is currently on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

"Hundreds of Albanians taking part in war in Syria"

PRIŠTINA -- A Priština-based Albanian language daily writes that there is suspicion that hundreds of Albanians from Kosovo are taking part in the hostilities in Syria.
A scene from Syria (Beta/AP, file)
A scene from Syria (Beta/AP, file)
So far, six Albanians have been killed in that Middle Eastern country, said Koha Ditore.
"That is obviously the reason why the Kosovo government has prepared a draft law that prohibits joining of armed conflicts outside of Kosovo. The adoption of the law is seen by the government as a highest priority," the daily wrote.

According to the article, which cites a police document, the residents of Kosovo who leave for Syria do so "for financial reasons and are organized." However, those organizing the trips are not mentioned.

The law is expected to punish those leaving to join wars and those who are advocating this activity.

Ten days ago two men from the town of Uroševac were on their way to Syria when they were arrested at the airport in Priština.

Alban Kelmendi and Armir Bytyqi were detained by the order of an EULEX judge on suspicion that they organized and participated in a terrorist group.

The police said that the pair wished to join Al Qaeda, specifically the terrorist organization's branch in Syria, Al Nusra, the newspaper writes.

Greece's Venizelos meets with Serbian officials

BELGRADE -- Serbia will do everything so that elections do not interfere in EU integrations, PM Ivica Dačić has said after meeting with Greek FM Evangelos Venizelos.
"Serbia will do everything so that elections do not interfere with the process of EU integrations, in order to achieve the goal and become a member of the EU in 2020," Dačić said in Belgrade on Monday.
"We will do everything, even though elections are underway, so that Serbia does not lag behind in the process of European integration, which means that elections will not interfere with what Serbia should do on the way towards the EU, that is, reforms and implementation of agreements with Priština," Dačić was quoted as saying.

Venizelos, who is also the chairman of the EU Council of Ministers, said that the commencement of negotiations and the entry of Serbia into the EU will be crucial for the stability of the Western Balkans, expressing satisfaction that the negotiations formally began on January 21, during the Greek presidency of the EU.

Venizelos first met with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić on Tuesday morning, He will also confer with First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, and Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced.

The main topics are be Serbia's further advancement along the path toward the EU, situation in the region and bilateral relations, the release notes.

Venizelos pointed out earlier that he was coming to Belgrade to convey a message of support and encouragement to Serbia's further European prospects and the reform process in the country.

"At the same time, as deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Greece, I come to reaffirm the strong ties of friendship and cooperation that have brought our countries closer together for many years," Venizelos said in an interview to Tanjug ahead of the visit.

Venizelos is coming to Serbia as part of his tour of the Western Balkans.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that after the talks with Serbian officials on Tuesday, Venizelos will go to Podgorica.

According to the schedule, the Greek foreign minister will be in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, and then visit Priština the same day, and Skopje and Tirana on Thursday.

"Member in 2020"

Evangelos Venizelos and Ivica Dačić expressed hope Tuesday that Serbia will soon meet the criteria to become a member of the European Union (EU) in 2020, and Venizelos pledged that Greece will during its EU presidency do everything to help Serbia open as many negotiating chapters as possible.

“We will do everything possible to have as many chapters in the (accession) negotiations (between the EU and Serbia) opened during the Greek EU presidency, so that the negotiations can progress as fast as possible and that Serbia can join the EU by 2020,” Venizelos said at a joint press conference after meeting with Dačić in Belgrade.

Venizelos, who also serves as Greek foreign minister, pointed out that accession negotiations are not dealing only with political but also technical issues and Greece is ready to offer Serbia all the technical assistance along the way.

Even after the expiry of its EU Council of Ministers presidency mandate, Athens will do everything possible to keep the pace of Serbia’s negotiations at a high-level, Venizelos said.

“The start of the negotiations and the very accession of Serbia to the EU will be vital for stability in the Western Balkans,” he added, expressing satisfaction about seeing that everyone in Serbia is aware that the elections need not affect the accession negotiations process.

“Despite the election campaign being underway, we will do all to make sure Serbia is not lagging behind in the European integration process, and this means that the elections should not leave any bad trace in the accession process and in the reforms Serbia needs to carry out and, of course, in the dialogue with Priština,” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said.

Dačić said that Serbia wants to meet all the technical criteria by 2018 so it can become an EU member in 2020.

Dačić and Venizelos agreed that Serbia and Greece have good and close relations, and the Serbian prime minister said that Greece “is perhaps Serbia’s biggest friend in the EU, ” expressing gratitude to Athens for always understanding and supporting Belgrade’s efforts.

Having invested about EUR 2 billion in Serbia, Greece is the third biggest direct investor in the country, the two officials said and called for further improvement of business cooperation and search for joint interests that would strengthen the entire region.

Venizelos said that it was agreed the two governments hold a joint meeting in the second half of 2014.

Venizelos is in Serbia as part of a Western Balkans tour during which he will also visit Podgorica, Sarajevo, Priština, Skopje and Tirana.

Greece, which is supporting the Western Balkan’s bid to become a part of the EU, took over the six-month rotating EU presidency on January 1.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Anniversary of declaration of Kosovo's independence

BELGRADE -- Monday marks the sixth anniversary since Kosovo's Albanians unilaterally declared independence, on February 17, 2008.
The authorities in Priština began their four-day celebration on Friday, and announced that leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Holland, were among those who congratulated them on the anniversary.
According to the data of Kosovo's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the procalamation has been recognized by 106 countries - the Kingdom of Lesotho being the latest.

These include all former Yugoslav republics except Bosnia-Herzegovina, and 23 out of EU's 28 member-states.

A day after the proclamation was made, the first two countries to recognize Kosovo were Afghanistan and the United States. France, Albania, Turkey, Britain, Australia, and Senegal followed.

Serbia rejected the unilateral proclamation as illegal under its Constitution.

Reacting to the anniversary on Monday, the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo said that Serbia "will never recognize the independence of its province."

Authorities in Belgrade, those in power currently and those who will come in the future, will always consider Kosovo and Metohija a part of the Republic of Serbia, said the statement, and added:

"Six years ago, on February 17, 2008, for the first time on the soil of the modern, 21st century Europe, the so-called independent state of Kosovo was proclaimed by force, without the consent of the United Nations Security Council. Built on the deprivation of Serbs of their rights, on ethnically motivated murders whose perpetrators to this day remain nameless, on desecration of holy Serb Orthodox places, andon historical revisionism... that creation is not, and never will be a state."

The statement notes a number incidents that took place in Kosovo since the end of the 1999 war, including the killings of farmers in Staro Gacko, of children in Goraždevac, the terrorist attack on a Niš Express bus in Livadice, and the March 17, 2004, violence against Serbs. The office stressed that "there have been no guilty persons for those crimes, no evidence, not even any suspects."

Serb-owned property is still being taken away or destroyed, the office said, while privatizations "overnight turn the property of the state of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija into the property of the self-proclaimed state."

"The state of Serbia and the government of the Republic of Serbia have in the past few months done everything they could to create conditions for peaceful and safe life of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija. However, until equal criteria have been established for all residents of Kosmet (Kosovo and Metohija), until all criminals, regardless of nation and religion, are found and brought to justice, mutual trust and reconciliation cannot be built," the statement concluded.
Adem Demaci: I have Croatian passports,I'm Croatian citizen, but I am Albanian, because I feel such

Demaci: Albania and Kosovo to declare the referendum

During an interview in Top Channel, the Albanian nationalists in Kosovo, Adem Demaci, declared that Albania and Kosovo are now two sister countries, which have a European perspective, but is expected to officially join through a referendum.

However, Demaci showed that holds a Croatian passport, for which he thinks is a Croatian citizen but that he feels Albanian.

I've Croatian passport, but I am Albanian. Kosovo is my house, ends Demaci in an interview for Top Channel.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adem Demaci: After Kosovo, now turn to resolve the Cam issue

INA | 06/22/2010 | Breaking News

Legendary leader of the resistance in Kosovo, Adem Demaci, said that already has come to turn the Cam issue to be resolved as quickly and efficiently by the Greek side.

"No one better than the Kosovo Albanians can not understand your pain," stated Demaci, in his speech on the occasion of marking the Week Cham Culture in Tirana .

According to him, there should also put the blame on the Greek people today for what became a part of their predecessors.

"But, at any cost, by means of time today, you need to seek our rights, by means which are supported by our major European allies and across the Atlantic", stated Demaci.

After slow start, Albania and Kosovo look to potential as partners

TIRANA/PRISTINA Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:37am EST
Members of the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) march during a celebration marking the sixth anniversary of Kosovo's declared independance from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2014. REUTERS-Hazir Reka

1 of 3. Members of the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) march during a celebration marking the sixth anniversary of Kosovo's declared independance from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Hazir Reka

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(Reuters) - Shortly after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia six years ago, neighboring Albania said it would bequeath its Adriatic port of Shengjin to its landlocked ethnic kin.
The port, nestled on a scenic bay, is "the closest to Kosovo," about 125 km (77 miles) away, a poster in the office of Shengjin manager Gjovalin Tusha helpfully points out.
Albania's gesture meant much to majority-Albanian Kosovo as it sought to forge a path independent of Serbia and the Western aid and remittances that had propped it up since a 1998-99 war.
Tirana proposed that Pristina take over the running and enlargement of the port as, in effect, its own outlet to the sea. Little came of it and the trickle of Kosovo-bound goods through the shallow wharf has failed to match the lofty talk.
"In 2013, merchandise processing for Kosovo businesses was at a minimum, about 4,500 tons, or a ship and a half out of 126 to 130 ships," Tusha told Reuters in Shengjin.
Now a new drive is under way, spurred by a change of government in Albania and the recession in Europe, which has seen a damaging fall in the amount of money sent home by Albanian migrant workers - a mainstay of both economies.
At stake is Kosovo's economic viability and possibly its stability, with one of the youngest populations in Europe and a labor market woefully unable to support it.
In January, the two governments met in Prizren, an old trading town in Kosovo closely associated with ethnic solidarity as Albanian leaders once pledged there, in late Ottoman times, to protect Albanian lands from covetous Balkan neighbors.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama hailed the "first page in a new chapter with Kosovo", listing energy security, farming, customs and tourism as areas of potential cooperation.
Kosovo and Albania "should live in a joint market," Behgjet Pacolli, Kosovo's deputy prime minister and a Swiss-made millionaire, told Reuters. But ties of blood and language have yet to be matched by legislation and initiatives, he conceded.
"People are trying to connect... But if you look at the law, at the paperwork, nothing has changed. This is just a wish-list," he said.
The challenges are huge for the two small, impoverished countries that dream of eventual European Union membership.
For decades, Albania was cut off from ethnic kin elsewhere in the Balkans by its Stalinist ruler Enver Hoxha. Its borders flew open with the chaotic arrival of democracy in the early 1990s, but war in Yugoslavia again stymied cooperation.
Kosovo is one of seven states to emerge from ex-Yugoslavia. Each of those states now faces similar incentives to integrate economically and pool resources, though progress has been slow.
Despite the proximity, less than a third of Kosovo's sea-borne imports arrive via Albania. Most come through Montenegro's port of Bar and from Thessaloniki in Greece to the south.
Kosovo accounts for just 1 percent of Albanian imports and 8 percent of exports. Just 3 percent of Kosovo's imports come from Albania and 11 percent of its exports go the other way.
A costly new four-lane highway, dubbed "The Nation's Road", now links Tirana and Pristina, but there are none of the truck queues usually seen at other Balkan border crossings.
"This road is working at just 10 percent of its full capacity," said Pacolli, one of the most vocal advocates of greater integration. "Something has to change in our economic cooperation to make that road serve the country's economy."
Energy production may show a way forward.
After four years of procrastination by the previous Albanian government, the neighbors inked a deal in December to build a 400-kV transmission line linking their electricity grids.
The 75.4 million euro ($103 million) project, financed by a grant from Germany and a loan from the German KfW development bank, will allow the two countries to exchange electricity to maximize the use of Albania's hydro-generated power in winter and Kosovo's coal-fired electricity in drier weather.
Both suffer power shortages due to insufficient output, out-dated grids and theft. The new line should be completed in just over two years.
Just an exchange of electricity at times of peak consumption "is immensely helpful in integrating both economies much more than we have seen so far," Jan-Peter Olters, the World Bank's representative in Kosovo, told Reuters.
The tourism industry is looking at marketing the two countries together, given easier access to the mountains of northern Albania via Kosovo.
However, trade rows over import duties on potatoes in 2009 and 2011 have highlighted how short-term business needs can sometimes trump long-term strategic cooperation.
When a Chinese delegation visited Shengjin last month, checking out locations to build a port worth some 2.2 billion euros, hackers traced to Kosovo attacked the port website, branding their kin in Albania "traitors".
"They (Albanians and Kosovars) need to look on each other as complementary, not as competitors or just collaborators," said Ardian Civici, a professor of economics in Albania.
"Right now, the economic cooperation of Albania and Kosovo should renounce political ... displays and break down the kind of barriers that today may seem unbreakable."

Bush carrier group headed for Mediterranean, Middle East

More than 6,000 sailors departed Norfolk, Va., Saturday with the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group heading for the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East.
This is only the second deployment for the Navy’s newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named after the 41st U.S. President — the last of the Nimitz series. Four ships and eight aircraft squadrons will accompany the Bush to the U.S. 6th Fleet and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility as part of the carrier strike group, according to a Navy release.
The departure was delayed for four hours after tiny marine life clogged the vessel’s condensers, local media reports said.
Navy officials say the deployment should last about nine months.
Rear Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of carrier strike group 2, said in a blog post on the Navy’s official blog site, Navy Live, the deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide a crisis response capability, and increase theater security cooperation.
Aquilino wrote the Strike group is “capable of executing many missions that span the spectrum from major combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” adding the group is ready to “meet emergent operational requirements around the world.”
Sailors have spent the last year conducting “intensive training and certification exercises” for this deployment, according to the release.
Currently, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is in the final months of a scheduled nine-month deployment in the Middle East region. It recently completed five weeks of combined carrier operations with a French Navy Task Force that included the FS Charles de Gaulle. The group entered the 5th Fleet area of responsibility in August to relieve the USS Nimitz in the region.
Earlier this month, more than 4,000 sailors and Marines with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group departed on an eight-month scheduled deployment also as part of a regular rotation of forces in the 6th Fleet and 5th Fleet AOR.