Saturday, June 18, 2016

Russian Patriarch Kirill Sends Message of Encouragement as Ecumenical Patriarch and Church Leaders Prepare to Hold Mass

By Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi -
Jun 18, 2016
Greek Reporter


Although the Russian Orthodox Church will not participate in the meetings for the Pan-Orthodox Council, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has sent a message of encouragement to the Orthodox leaders who have gathered in Crete.

Patriarch Kirill wrote that the disputes among Orthodox churches must not be allowed to “bring division and trouble into our ranks,” and urged respect for any decisions of Church leaders, regardless of whether they are in attendance for this week’s council.

On Sunday, the Ecumenical Patriarch and his fellow Church leaders will hold a mass at the Metropolitan Church of St. Minas at 8:00 a.m. and it will be attended by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos as well as representatives of the government.

Following the mass, there will be a reception and breakfast at the Archdiocese of Crete. The Orthodox Church leaders will also attend an official lunch hosted by Pavlopoulos at 2:00 p.m.

Τσάμηδες και αστάθεια στα Βαλκάνια

Σε ποιους πυλώνες πρέπει να στηρίζεται η ελληνική αντίδραση στις συνεχιζόμενες αλβανικές προκλήσεις
Οι Τσάμηδες είναι απόγονοι εξισλαμισμένων πληθυσμών της Θεσπρωτίας, οι οποίοι συνεργάστηκαν το 1941-44 με τους Γερμανούς και τους Ιταλούς κατακτητές και αποχώρησαν στην Αλβανία για να αποφύγουν τη σύλληψη και την προσαγωγή τους στα ελληνικά δικαστήρια. Το αίτημα της επιστροφής τους στην Ελλάδα καθώς και της αποδόσεως των περιουσιών τους, οι οποίες δημεύθηκαν, δεν τίθεται απλώς από κάποια σωματεία ή από εθνικιστικούς κύκλους. Πρόκειται για ενιαία γραμμή των δύο μεγάλων κομμάτων της γειτονικής χώρας.
Βεβαίως, η Τουρκία υποστηρίζει κάθε ανθελληνική εκδήλωση, αλλά η πολιτική του πρωθυπουργού Εντι Ράμα και του κυβερνώντος Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος είναι σαφής και προδιαγεγραμμένη προ πολλών ετών. Το Τσάμικο αποτελεί την αιχμή του δόρατος κατά της Ελλάδος και αποτελεί αντιπερισπασμό στο υπαρκτό πρόβλημα των Ελλήνων της Βορείου Ηπείρου. Οι Αλβανοί φωνασκούν για τα ανύπαρκτα δικαιώματα των Τσάμηδων για να μην ακούγονται οι φωνές των καταπιεσμένων Ελλήνων που ζουν στην αλβανική επικράτεια.
Ταυτοχρόνως, το ζήτημα των Τσάμηδων εντάσσεται στον γενικότερο σχεδιασμό της «Μεγάλης Αλβανίας», την οποία προσφάτως μετονόμασαν σε «Φυσική Αλβανία», όνομα που θεωρείται πιο εύηχο. Η θεωρία αυτή διδάσκεται στα σχολεία, προβάλλεται με χάρτες, υποστηρίζεται από την κυβέρνηση Ράμα και αποτυπώθηκε προ εικοσαετίας στο επίσημο Εθνικό Δόγμα της Ακαδημίας Επιστημών των Τιράνων. Η «Φυσική Αλβανία», δηλαδή η θεωρία ότι τα φυσικά σύνορα της Αλβανίας πρέπει να διευρυνθούν για να περιλάβουν όλους τους Αλβανούς των Βαλκανίων, χαρακτηρίζει αλβανικά εδάφη την ελληνική Ηπειρο έως την Πρέβεζα, περιοχές της δυτικής Μακεδονίας, όλες τις δυτικές επαρχίες των Σκοπίων, τμήμα της Σερβίας, το νότιο τμήμα του Μαυροβουνίου και, φυσικά, το Κόσοβο.
Είδαμε ότι το 2014, όταν Σέρβοι φίλαθλοι και ποδοσφαιριστές υποστήριξαν τη «Φυσική Αλβανία» με ιπτάμενο χάρτη σε γήπεδο του Βελιγραδίου, η κυβέρνηση του Εντι Ράμα τούς συνεχάρη. Ο άμεσος και πιο αδύναμος στόχος του αλβανικού εθνικισμού είναι το κράτος των Σκοπίων, όπου η πολυάριθμη αλβανική κοινότητα (30% του πληθυσμού) προς το παρόν μεν έχει ανακηρύξει τις δυτικές επαρχίες σε αυτόνομη Ιλλυρίδα με αλβανικές σημαίες στα δημαρχεία και με απαγόρευση εισόδου των Σλάβων Σκοπιανών αστυνομικών, ετοιμάζεται δε να αποσχισθεί από την ΠΓΔΜ και να ενωθεί με τους ομοεθνείς αλβανούς του Κοσόβου. Ηδη στον διεθνή Τύπο δημοσιεύονται σενάρια για πιθανή διάλυση των Σκοπίων (βλέπε New Statesman, 6/6/2016).
Η ελληνική αντίδραση στις συνεχιζόμενες αλβανικές προκλήσεις πρέπει να έχει δύο πυλώνες:
Α) Να ζητήσουμε αντικειμενική απογραφή της Ελληνικής Εθνικής Μειονότητας ως προϋπόθεση για την προσέγγιση μεταξύ Ευρ. Ενώσεως και Αλβανίας.
Β) Να υπενθυμίσουμε ότι βάσει του Πρωτοκόλλου της Κερκύρας του 1914 η Αλβανία αποδέχθηκε καθεστώς αυτονομίας στη Βόρειο Ηπειρο. Απαιτείται δυναμική πολιτική.
Κωνσταντίνος Χολέβας

Europe far-right leaders rally against Islam, EU

Österreich Treffen Patriotischer Frühling in Wien

At meeting in Vienna, Europe's major far-right parties rant against EU, "radical Islam" and asylum seekers.

The leaders of Europe's biggest far-right parties have gathered in Austria's capital, Vienna, to join forces against the European Union, "radical Islam" and asylum seekers.
Hainz-Christian Strache, the leader of Austria's Freedom Party, warned refugees on Friday that Europe was ready to send them packing as he addressed a cheering crowd of about 2,000 people gathered at a convention centre.
"We will save you on the high seas," Strache said. "But we will send you back to the harbour where you started out."
He accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of causing "irreparable damage" to Europe by opening German borders to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers fleeing war in the Middle East.
"We are not against Europe as our opponents are always saying. We want another Europe, a better Europe, one of nations, values, culture and identity," Strache said. "The new fascism comes from the left and from radical Islam."
Marine Le Pen of France's National Front expressed hope that Britain's June 23 vote on whether to remain a member of the European Union would give their cause new momentum.
"I support the referendum in the United Kingdom because I want all the countries in the EU to have this choice," Le Pen said.
"But even if we don't get Brexit, it will present a huge new problem for the European Union which has pledged to give Britain special rights if it stays that other countries won't have. So this could be the beginning of Europe a la carte."
Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull, reporting from Vienna, said it was no coincidence that the gathering was taking place in Austria.
"This was a country that just a month ago came within an electoral whisper of being the first country since the Second World War to elect a far-right head of state," he said.
Held under the slogan "Patriotic Spring - Cooperation for Peace, Security and Prosperity in Europe", the gathering also included politicians from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Northern League of Italy among others.
Populist, anti-immigration parties are on the rise across Europe as high unemployment and austerity, the arrival of record numbers of refugees, and recent attacks in France and Belgium deepen voter disillusionment with traditional parties.
In neighbouring Germany, where far-right parties have struggled to gain traction in the post-war era, the AfD has won double-digit support in a string of state elections and seems poised to enter the German parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin next year.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Himara People against governments plain with out property issue


Silk Road: Xi Jinping Visits Belgrade to Discuss Billion Dollar Deals

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) walks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic during a welcoming ceremony at Belgrade's airport Nikola Tesla, Serbia June 17, 2016
© REUTERS/ Serbian Presidency Office
21:24 17.06.2016
Chinese President Xi Jinping's three-day visit to Serbia is a sign of Belgrade's importance to Beijing's Belt and Road trade and infrastructure project, Serbian politicians and observers told Sputnik.

On Friday Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Belgrade on a three-day visit to Serbia, after which he will visit Poland and Uzbekistan.
According to reports, Serbia and China will sign around 20 agreements during the President's visit. These include an agreement about the modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest train line, and China's proposed investment of 17 million euros in infrastructure and development projects involving Chinese firms.

Aleksandar Jankovic, the Serbian government's Director of the Department for Asia, Australia and the Pacific, told Sputnik that Serbia and China are important strategic partners.

"Economic cooperation has been developing strongly in recent years, not just in commodities (worth $1.3 billion), but cooperation is increasing on specific projects like the Kostolac thermal power plant, which is worth more than $1 billion. There are also multimillion dollar projects to build transport infrastructure in Serbia," Jankovic explained.

"Of course, Serbia is by far not the only country on the 'Silk Road'; more than 60 countries are involved in this project. However, Serbia was one of the first to get involved. During Prime Minister Alexander Vucic' visit to China in November 2015, Serbia and China signed a memorandum of understanding about the joint promotion of the 'New Silk Road,' which includes two strategic initiatives, an economic belt and a sea route. Serbia's geographic location makes it a key point on the route, which links three continents."

Serbian journalist Borislav Korkodelovic told Sputnik that China's partnership with Serbia has ramifications for the EU and US, who may be anxious about China's increasing influence in Eastern Europe.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the cooperation between Belgrade and Beijing begins to disturb the EU at some point. The new 'Silk Road' is a serious challenge for China, as the Chinese cannot control many points of the route, and they know that," Korkodelovic said.

"You also can't say that the US is feeling comfortable watching the unbelievable rise of China. In a sense, the new 'Silk Road' isn't possible without the US, but whether it is ready to be a part of the process is a big question."

"The Cold War ended in the East, but not in the West, where China and Russia are still perceived as 'Red' countries – and US policy is taking aim at both countries," Korkodelovic concluded.

Καμιά παρέμβαση στο κέντρο της Χιμάρας αν δεν ξεκαθαρίσει πρώτα το περιουσιακό


Δελτίο τύπου
Την Πέμπτη 16 Ιουνίου 2016 στην Χιμάρα, με πρόσκληση της δημοτικής αρχής, η εταιρεία που έχει κερδίσει τον αντίστοιχο διαγωνισμό παρουσίασε την δεύτερη φάση ανάπλασης του κέντρου της Χιμάρας. Δυστυχώς οι νεαροί που επιχείρησαν να παρουσιάσουν το νέο σχέδιο ήταν προκλητικοί απέναντι στους δημότες και εμφανίστηκαν ανειδίκευτοι και χωρίς γνώσεις για την παράδοση και την ιστορία της περιοχής.
Τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2015 το παράρτημα της Ομονοίας και του ΚΈΑΔ Χιμάρας με επιστολή τους είχαν ενημερώσει τον πρωθυπουργό κ. 'Εντι Ράμα για τις καταστροφικές συνέπειες της μελέτης και της εφαρμογής του πρώτου μέρους της επένδυσης. Συγκεκριμένα, το έργο αυτό δεν προσέφερε τίποτα στην κοινότητα μας παρά μόνο να καταστρέψει 7 επιχειρήσεις που ανήκαν στις οικογένειες των: Χρήστο Μπενο , Μιχάλη Γκουμα , Μαρίκα Μπενο, Έντμοντ Μπενο, Γιώργο Γκιοκα , Μιχάλη Γκιτσαλη , Φώτο Γκιτσαλη με αποτέλεσμα οι οικογένειες αυτές να εκτοπιστούν από την Χιμάρα. Η απαράδεκτη επέκταση της διαμόρφωσης πάνω στην παραλία, καταλαμβάνοντας μεγάλο τμήμα της στερώντας το από τους πολίτες, καθώς και η εκτεταμένη τσιμεντοποίηση του κέντρου, έβγαλε εκτός αγοράς άλλες σαράντα επιχειρήσεις.
Σήμερα, κατά την διάρκεια της παρουσίασης της δεύτερης φάσης του έργου, μας ειδοποίησαν ότι θα ξεριζωθούν άλλες 12 οικογένειες από τις ιδιοκτησίες τους, στις οποίες κατοικούν χωρίς παύση τα τελευταία 250 χρόνια. Πρόκειται για τους: Αντρέα Οικονόμου, Γιάννη Οικονόμου, Ηλία Νεράτζη, Παξινό Νεράτζη, Περικλή Νεράτζη, Αλκιβιάδη Νεράτζη, Μανόλη Ζώτο, Αντώνη Μήλιο, Αλεξάνδρα Μήλιο, Ζαχαρία Κατσελάνο και Σωκράτη Μήλιο.
Στο σχέδιο προβλέπεται επίσης ανέγερση κτηρίων στον χώρο του προαύλιου του δημοτικού σχολείου, ουσιαστικά αφανίζοντάς τον, ενώ αφαιρούνται επιπλέον και οι κοινόχρηστοι χώροι στο κέντρο υγείας και στο νηπιαγωγείο, με σκοπό να ανοίξει δρόμος προς το κέντρο ο οποίος έκλεισε κατά την υλοποίηση του πρώτου μέρους του σχεδίου.
Θέλουμε να καταγγείλουμε ότι πίσω από τις επενδύσεις που σχεδιάζουν και εφαρμόζουν "ανειδίκευτοι επιστήμονες" κρύβονται σκοπιμότητες που έχουν να κάνουν με την δημογραφική αλλοίωση της περιοχής. Κάνουμε έκκληση στην κυβέρνηση και στον πρωθυπουργό να ανακαλέσει άμεσα τα σχέδια αυτά, να σταματήσει κάθε προσπάθεια πολεοδομικής καταστροφής της περιοχής μας και να αναλάβει τις απαιτούμενες πρωτοβουλίες με σκοπό να απογράψει στο υποθηκοφυλακείο τις περιουσίες των νόμιμων ιδιόκτητων, πριν γίνει οποιοδήποτε μελέτη και επένδυση στο ιστορικό κέντρο της Χιμάρας.
Συγχρόνως, ζητάμε από τους διεθνείς οργανισμούς που στηρίζουν την Αλβανία στην προσέγγιση της στους ευροατλαντικούς θεσμούς να ασκήσουν την δέουσα πίεση έτσι ώστε η Αλβανική κυβέρνηση να σεβαστεί τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, τις πολιτιστικές και πολιτισμικές αξίες καθώς και το περιβάλλον της ιδιαίτερης μας πατρίδας μας, της Χιμάρας.
Γραφείου τύπου
ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ παράρτημα Χιμάρας
ΚΕΑΔ παράρτημα Χιμάρας


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Thaci won't be arrested as long as he's Kosovo president"

(Tanjug/AP, file)
The head of the Interpol office in Bosnia-Herzegovina says that Hashim Thaci will not be arrested "as long as he is Kosovo's president."


The reason for this, Branko Pavlovic told the N1 broadcaster, is that "Interpol in Lyon (HQ) decided not to deal with the issue."

In an interview that will be broadcaster on Wednesday evening, Pavlovic also said that the arrest warrant for Thaci was issued ten years ago "but is now not active because he has immunity."

He added that this, however, does not mean that the country that issued the arrest warrant - i.e., Serbia - has given up on it.

"It has been decided that the warrant and all information related to the case not be processed while the person is in office that gives them immunity. That does not mean that the state which issued the warrant had canceled it. Interpol is excluding itself in terms of the activities related to that person," the Interpol official said.

He explained that Interpol "will not be involved until the person in question is in office."

The issue of the warrant for Thaci's arrest came up when he was visiting Sarajevo in May.

Erdogan's Letter to Putin Means 'Ankara Ready to Open New Page' With Moscow

President Vladimir Putin meets with President of Turkey Recep Erdogan

© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin
21:42 15.06.2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Russia's national holiday, sending him a letter in which he expressed hope for the improvement of ties between both countries. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Turkish politicians from various parties commented on the issue.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after a Turkish F-16 fighter downed a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015. Following the incident, Russia imposed restrictive measures against Turkey, including sanctions in trade, tourism and investments.
"I repeatedly said that we need to separate relations in the spheres of commerce and politics and that we need to appreciate and support the proximity which exists between our nations and economic cooperation," former Turkish Minister of Economy Mustafa Elitaş told Sputnik.

According to the politician, Erdogan's letter signifies Turkey's readiness to open new page in bilateral relations. He expressed his hope that the countries will be able to return to a strategic partnership they had before the incident.

"The Russian side has already made steps toward reconciliation and there was a meeting with the head of the Turkish foreign ministry. The crisis in the relations can be resolved through such bilateral steps that demonstrate the good will of the parties. I hope that our relations will improve. They must improve," the politician stated.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia wants to resume relations with Turkey but expects concrete steps from Ankara, including an apology and compensation for the downed Russian plane. According to the Russian President, Ankara's claims are not enough for the normalization of ties between the two countries.

"Normalization of Turkish-Russian relations is in the national interests of both countries, and crucial to ensuring stability in Syria, the Caucasus, the Black Sea region," deputy from the oppositional Republican People's Party Utku Çakırözer told Sputnik.

"Both countries are important geopolitical players. The conflict between them, on the one hand, leads to delays in the resolution of the Syrian crisis, on the other, negatively affects their own national interests," the politician stated.

Dear Mr. President: Erdogan Sends Letter to Putin, Hopes for Improved Ties With Russia
Member of the Nationalist Movement Party MuharremVarlı also supported this point of view saying that Turkey should maintain good relations with its neighbors.
"These are countries which we can develop trade and maintain economic cooperation with, we need them as partners. So I hope that these letters will be well received by the Russian side and will activate diplomatic contacts between the two countries," the politician concluded.

Earlier, Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim also wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in which he expressed hope that, "in the near future, cooperation and relations between the two countries will reach a level that is essential for the common interests of our peoples."

Top US general defends Donald Trump

Image result for general michael flynn

General Michael Flynn discusses his role as an informal adviser to the presumptive US Republican presidential nominee.

19 May 2016

In a special web extra, General Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under President Barack Obama, discusses his informal role as an adviser to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

When asked if he supports Trump's proposal to kill the families of suspected terrorists, Flynn tells Mehdi Hasan: "I would have to see the circumstances of that situation."

"These are very difficult political decisions," he adds.

Flynn also refuses to condemn Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US.

"What I support ... is that we must understand where these individuals are coming from," Flynn says. He adds that he supports the "vetting of individuals and the proper screening of individuals who are coming from certain parts of the world like Syria".

The former DIA chief says, however, that he is advising Trump to be more precise with his language.

"There must be more precision in the use of the language that he uses as the potential leader of the free world," he says. "Those are the ... pieces of advice that I'm trying to get into him."

UpFront returns on Friday, May 27 at 19:30 GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Obama slams Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric

US president responds to criticism of his administration for not using phrase 'radical Islam' as political taking point.

Obama spoke after his meeting with the US national security council [Al Jazeera]
US President Barack Obama has called the debate surrounding "radical Islam" a political distraction, stressing that calls for tougher talk on terrorism and a strict ban on Muslim immigration would make Muslim Americans feel betrayed by their government.

Obama told reporters after meeting with the US national security council on Tuesday that Orlando shooting that left 49 people dead, or any attack organised by groups like the ISIL, also known as ISIS, was not possible to prevent by using the label.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respond to Orlando shooting
"The killer was an angry, disturbed, unstable, young man who became radicalised," he said, adding that Islam had nothing to do with the attack.

"What exactly would using that label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? ... The answer is: none of the above," he said.

"Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction."

He said US intelligence and military staff know well who the enemy is and they work countless hours to protect "all Americans including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows".

War against ISIL

Obama said the idea that the administration is confused about the enemy "would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists who we've taken off the battlefield".

While parrying his political foes, Obama also sought to show Americans that the war against the ISIL in Syria, Iraq and Libya, while slow, was being won.

He said the number of foreign fighters joining the armed groups was plummeting.

"ISIL lost nearly half of the populated territory it had in Iraq and it will lose more. ISIL continues to lose ground in Syria as well," Obama said.

"In short, our coalition continues to be on offense. ISIL is on defense."

Obama's remarks were his first reaction to Donald Trump's speech on Monday after Sunday's mass shooting, and perhaps his strongest yet on the threat he sees the Republican candidate poses to the US politics and security.

Obama said Trump's plan to bar foreign Muslims from entering the US ignored America's history of targeting ethnic and religious groups amid period of anxiety and would undermine American values.

"If we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalise people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect." Obama said. "And then the terrorists would have won and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen."

Obama said that treating Muslim-Americans differently would not make the US safer.

"Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? are we going to start discriminating them because of their faith?"

"We're starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we're fighting, where this can lead us."

The US president said it would make the country less safe by fueling the notion among followers of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that the West hates Muslims.

"They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billion plus people, that they speak for Islam. That's their propaganda, that's how they recruit," he said.

"And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists work for them."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

USS Truman Carrier Strike Group Conducts 18 Sorties From Mediterranean Sea

 A general view shows the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at an undisclosed position in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Monday June 14, 2010.

© AP Photo/ Fabrizio Bensch/Pool
21:55 14.06.2016

The US Navy Carrier Strike Group 8, led by the flagship aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, conducted 18 sorties and expended 14 ordinance on Monday in support of US Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) against Daesh terrorist group, US European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In total, the strike group has conducted 148 combat sorties and expended 125 ordinance while operating from the US 6th Fleet, the statement said.

"The Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman have shown their unwavering dedication during our sustained combat operations while deployed in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet Areas of Operation," said commanding officer Capt. Ryan Scholl. "These professionals have enabled us to precisely deliver more ordnance than any other aircraft carrier in US history in support of OIR objectives."

'Demonstration of Force': Why US Simultaneously Deploys Six Aircraft Carrier Groups
The strike group launched its first sorties on June 3 from the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Carrier Air Wing Seven, currently deployed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, is primarily responsible for conducting combat actions in support of OIR, the statement explained.

The Harry S. Truman Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the US 6th Fleet area of operations, according to the Navy.

Albanian Chams Try to Create a Minority Issue in Greece

By Philip Chrysopoulos -
Jun 14, 2016

cameriaThe recent provocative act of Albanian Chams raising a banner during a Euro 2016 football game accusing Greece of “genocide of 100,000 Chams” brought back an issue that has actually closed about 20 years ago.

During the recent visit of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to Tirana for bilateral talks on Greece-Albania issues, a group of Albanian Chams protested outside the country’s foreign ministry claiming the return of expelled Cham minorities back to western Greece and making territorial demands.

The Chams are not a recognized minority by both global and peripheral international organizations, such as the United Nations and the OSCE. The decisions of the Cham representatives in general do not have any legal dimension or commitment in international politics.

Nevertheless, the Chams also demand cultural rights for Albanians living in Greece, such as the opening of an Albanian-language school in the town of Filiates.

History and origin of Chams
Cham Albanians, or Chams, (Tsamides in Greek) are a sub-group of Albanians who originally resided in the region of Epirus in Greece, an area known among Albanians as Chameria. The Chams have their particular cultural identity, which is a mix of Albanian and Greek influences as well as many specifically Cham characteristics.

Chameria is the name applied by the Albanians to the region formerly inhabited by the Chams, along the Ionian coast from Konispol to the north to the Acheron valley south. This area corresponds to a few villages in the southern part of the Saranda district in Albania (the municipalities of Konispol, Xarrë and Markat) and to the regional units of Thesprotia and Preveza in Epirus, Greece.

During the Balkan Wars (1912–1913), Epirus was annexed by Greece. Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire, asking for sovereignty over the whole region of Epirus. Six Cham delegates from Chameria and Ioannina sign the declaration. The Treaty of London gives the majority of Chameria to the Kingdom of Greece, with only a few villages going to Albania.

During the Greek-Turkish population exchange in 1922, a few thousands of Cham Albanians leave Chameria and 16,000 Greek refugees are settled in the region until 1926, when later they were moved on to other parts of Greece. At the time, Albanians were officially recognized as a minority, and are promised compensation for their land and Albanian-language schools.

However, in 1927, the new Greek government passes a law that deprived minorities, including Chams, from citizenship, rescinding the earlier concessions.

In 1939, following the Italian annexation of Albania in March, Albanian conscripts in the Greek Army are disarmed and put to construction work, while others are sent to internal exile on the Aegean Islands.

βοσνιακα-ςς-600x330In April 1941, the German Army conquers Greece, and the Axis occupies the country until 1944. Several hundred Muslim Chams actively collaborated with the occupation forces. Another part joined the Resistance in both Albania and in Greece.

After the German withdrawal of German occupation forces, the majority of the Muslim Chams fled or were expelled into Albania by the forces of the right-wing National Republican Greek League.

In 1946, the Chams are organized as refugees in Albania, and petition unsuccessfully for return to their homeland. In 1952 the Communist government gives them compulsory Albanian citizenship.

In 1991, after the fall of Communism, the National Political Association “Çamëria,” a pressure group advocating the return of the Chams to Greece, is established.

In 1994 the Albanian State passes a law declaring June 27 The Day of Greek Chauvinist Genocide Against the Albanians of Chameria. Ten years later the Chams form the Party for Justice and Integration to represent their interests in Albanian politics. In 2011, Chams create the PDIU, as two Cham political parties were merged.

On the other hand, the Greek government considers the Cham issue as a closed chapter. The Greek official position says the Chams would not be allowed to return to Greece because they have collaborated with the Italian-German invaders during World War II and are considered war criminals and punishable by Greek law. In addition, if they were to return then, they would probably be persecuted by locals because of their collaboration with the Nazis.

In 1992 Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis proposed to Albanian Chams a trade-off in relation to their properties, only for the cases where their owners had verifiably not been convicted or participated in crimes against their fellow Greek citizens. Mitsotakis also proposed that the Albanian government likewise compensate ethnic Greeks who had lost properties due to alleged persecution during the communist regime in Albania. This proposal however, was rejected by the Albanian side.

Monday, June 13, 2016

German Politician Calls to Abolish Visas for Russians

 Foreign passport of the citizen of the Russian Federation

© Sputnik/ Vitaliy Ankov
21:00 13.06.2016
The process of visa liberalization should concern not only Turkish citizens, but also Russians, the head of the annual Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger said.

According to him, the possibility of visa-free travel to EU countries would give Russian citizens better opportunities to participate in scientific exchanges and educational programs.

"We need to increase the number of educational programs for Russian citizens by three, four times… We need to remove visa restrictions not only for Turks but also for the citizens of Russia," Ischinger said speaking at a media forum organized by Deutsche Welle.

According to the politician, the EU has a lot of educational programs, but they won't be fully implemented as long as "there is no common European media space."

"This will attract more people to sharing information and knowledge," Ischinger said.

Earlier, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a visa-free regime for citizens of Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia and Kosovo. However, the EU countries failed to reach a common agreement on this issue so far.
In March, Brussels also agreed on a deal with Ankara under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis in return for a visa-free regime for Turkish nationals.

The European Union has 72 requirements for Turkey, most of them already fulfilled by Ankara, but Turkey is yet to meet the requirements on the revision of Turkey's national anti-terrorism laws, freedom of the press, measures on combating corruption and judicial cooperation with all EU member countries.

Trump calls for Obama's resignation after the President refuses to blame 'radical Islam' for Orlando massacre: GOP presidential candidate insists 'we can't afford to be politically correct anymore'

Trump took to Twitter writing: 'Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?' 

Daily Mail

  • Donald Trump also said Hillary Clinton should 'get out of this race for Presidency' following the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub
  • He criticized Clinton and President Barack Obama for not linking the Orlando nightclub terror attack to 'Radical Islam' 
  • Trump's comments come after 50 people were killed in a shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida  
  • Hillary Clinton wrote a message in English, which was also translated to Spanish, which called the shooting 'horrific' and 'devastating' 
  • Trump also used the word 'horrific,' asking 'when will we get tough, smart & vigilant?' 
  • He later tweeted that he appreciated supporters sending him 'congrats' for being right on radical Islamic terrorism 
  • 'I don't want congrats,' he pushed back. 'I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!' 
  • See more Orlando shooting news at
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for President Barack Obama to step down from his position after not linking the Orlando nightclub terror attack to 'Radical Islam'.
In a statement released following Obama's speech, he also said that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should 'get out of this race for Presidency'.
Trump's comments come after 50 people were killed in a shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning, marking the most deadly mass shooting in US history.
He said in his statement: 'Last night, our nation was attacked by a radical Islamic terrorist. It was the worst terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11, and the second of its kind in six months. My deepest sympathy and support goes out to the victims, the wounded, and their families.
'In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words "Radical Islam". For that reason alone, he should step down.
Scroll down for video 
The presumptive nominees for both parties, Hillary Clinton (pictured) and Donald Trump initially reacted to this morning's shooting using Twitter
The presumptive nominees for both parties, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (pictured) initially reacted to this morning's shooting using Twitter
The presumptive nominees for both parties, Hillary Clinton (left) and Donald Trump (right) initially reacted to this morning's shooting using Twitter 
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the massacre at an Orlando nightclub that claimed 50 lives during a news conference at the White House
Omar Mateen, 29, had called 911 before he staged his attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS
Mateen killed at least 50 people in the attack
Omar Mateen, 29, pictured above, had called 911 before he staged his attack which killed at least 50 people, and pledged allegiance to ISIS
Obama: Florida attack is 'act of terror and hate'
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'If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words 'Radical Islam' she should get out of this race for the Presidency.
'If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse.
'I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore.'
Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie in Florida, pledged allegiance to ISIS before opening fire at the Pulse gay club early on Sunday. He was eventually killed when police shot him dead inside the club three hours later.
Mateen was born in New York from parents who were from Afghanistan, though Trump still touted his controversial plans for a ban of all non-American Muslims coming into the United States.
He added: 'We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism - which has no place in an open and tolerant society.
'Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone.'
President Obama spoke to the American people this afternoon about the country's latest mass casualty shooting. Last night 50 were killed at an Orlando gay nightclub
President Obama spoke directly to the LGBT community, noting that the nightclub was more than just that - it was a place where members of the group gathered to fight for their civil rights
President Obama pictured above speaking to the American people this afternoon. he said: 'We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer'
Trump said that he will deliver a speech on Monday to further address the attack, immigration and national security.
Following the attack, Trump and Clinton initially took to Twitter to express their reactions to the mass shooting.
'Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act,' Clinton wrote on Twitter, signing it with her trademark 'H' to show that the message was actually penned by the Democratic candidate.
In a statement made by her campaign later, Clinton also called for gun control.
Donald Trump suggested that many of his supporters were sending him 'congrats' for being right about radical Islamic terrorism, but he said it's not 'congrats' that he wants 
Donald Trump suggested that many of his supporters were sending him 'congrats' for being right about radical Islamic terrorism, but he said it's not 'congrats' that he wants 
Hillary Clinton reacted to the news of the Orlando shooting via Twitter, with her tweet then translated into Spanish, calling it 'devastating'  
Hillary Clinton reacted to the news of the Orlando shooting via Twitter, with her tweet then translated into Spanish, calling it 'devastating'  
Donald Trump initially just let his readership know about the Orlando shooting and then went back to attacking Hillary Clinton on Twitter
Donald Trump initially just let his readership know about the Orlando shooting and then went back to attacking Hillary Clinton on Twitter
Trump took to Twitter writing: 'Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?' 
Trump took to Twitter writing: 'Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?' 
'This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets,' Clinton said.
Trump made Twitter followers aware of the shooting, then went back to attacking Clinton - this time for a new general election ad - before penning more tweets about the tragedy in Orlando, in which a gunman entered a gay nightclub and mowed down 50 people, with another 53 left injured.
'Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!' Trump wrote.
He later released the statement that called for Clinton and Obama to step down from their respective roles.
Trump's initial reaction was to tweet that there was a 'really bad shooting in Orlando.'
'Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.'

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