Friday, May 17, 2019

Serbian Assembly to hold special session dedicated to Kosovo

(Tanjug, file)
Serbian National Assembly president Maja Gojkovic has convened a special session for May 27.


The Assembly will debate a report on Kosovo and Metohija.

Gojkovic told journalists on Friday that she will invite President Aleksandar Vucic to attend the session, take part in the discussion and submit a report on Kosovo and Metohija. Vucic previously told RTS that he was ready to participate.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic will also be invited, as well as members of the government, and Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric.

"We expect that after the president's report, the debate will open and that all deputies of the National Assembly will take part in it, because this is a very important topic," said Gojkovic.

US Delivers Dozens of Military Helicopters to Greece


By Tasos Kokkinidis -May 17, 2019

Greek Reporter

Seventy OH-58D Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters and one CH – 47 Chinook helicopter have arrived in Greece from the US, in the context of agreements which have been signed by the two countries.

The helicopters were unloaded at the port of Volos on Thursday and subsequently flown by mixed US and Greek crews to the Hellenic Army Aviation air base at Stefanovikio, where, according to the latest information, the training of their crews will begin immediately.

The chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, Lieutenant General Georgios Kambas, accompanied by Army Aviation Director Major General Christos Iliopoulos, visited the area to oversee the process.

According to an army announcement made on Friday, the “air assets have been characterized as immediately usable and are expected to become fully operational soon.”

The ceremony to officially incorporate the helicopters into the Greek Army Aviation force is expected to be held in mid-June.

President warns that Pristina wants to move against Serbs

(Tanjug, file)
President Aleksandar Vucic has told RTS that the Kosovo authorities want to arrest 26 police officers from northern Kosovo, and another 15 people.

SOURCE: RTS FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019 | 09:52

According to him, the excuse for the arrests is that they had participated "in corruption, and the like."

Vucic also told the public broadcaster that "the vicious circle in Kosovo has not been closed."

"They want to arrest 26 Serb police officers from North Kosovo and Metohija and another 15 people, on the pretext that they had participated in corruption and various similar things - so that Kosovska Mitrovica would remain unprotected, and so they could do the dirtiest things against our people," he said.

According to him, this would be followed by "the final act of attempting to completely master the space where the Serbs live in Kosovo."

"Then they would say - we brought you before a done deal, like the Croats did with (Operation) Storm," said Vucic.

The president pointed out that Serbia has informed "international institutions" about this.

"The fact that (Kosovo Assembly president) Veseli speaks about Nis, Kursumlija and other places (in central Serbia) - it would be good if he came, to see what that looks like and how he plans to succeed. And Serbia will react with restraint, calmly, but will protect its people," said Vucic.

Έλληνες πολιτικοί: Μην μιλάτε για τη Χιμάρα, όλοι μαζί, έχετε φτάσει στο μηδέν ...


Αυτό που συμβαίνει με τη Χιμάρα δεν περιγράφεται σε καμία πολιτική κατάσταση της Ελλάδας.

Η Αλβανία διεξάγει Έθνικο Καθαριση στη Χιμάρα και η ελληνική κυβέρνηση Συρίζα, αλλά και η Νέα Δημοκρατία, δεν έχουν καταγγείλει στο ΟΗΕ και ΕΕ σε αυτό το γεγονός ....

Αλλά ... για τις ψήφους, όλοι γίνονται ψευδοπατριώτες και η Χειμάρα έρχεται και κατοικείται από Αλβανούς μουσουλμάνους.

Οι ελληνικές κυβερνήσεις έχουν μόνο ένα στόχο: θέλουν να έχουν τη θαλάσσια περιοχή μήκους 12 μιλίων με την Αλβανία και για τη Χιμάρα, ούτε ενδιαφέρονται για το τι γίνεται ...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

North Macedonia: Convicted terrorists say, "This is Albania"

(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)
"This is Albania," a group convicted for carrying out a terrorist attack in Kumanovo, North Macedonia, declared in the Appellate Court in Skopje on Thursday.


The group of ethnic Albanians appeared in court as they have been granted a retrial by the North Macedonia judicial authorities.

They also said that they did not recognize the court, and that the lawyers assigned to them had no right to speak for them, North Macedonia-based website A1on is reporting.

"This court does not exist for us. This is Albania. The lawyers assigned to us have no right to speak on our behalf. We have been listening for four years, now you listen to us," said Genc Sefaj, one of the convicts.

They said that "the entire court process had been framed by the coalition of Nikola Gruevski and Ali Ahmeti" - and demanded to have as witnesses former Prime Minister Gruevski, former director of the Macedonian Security Service Saso Mijalkov, current head of the ruling Albanian party Ali Ahmeti, former head of the state of Gjorge Ivanov, Stojance Angelov, Musa Xhaferi, Sadula Duraki, as well as other senior former and current officials of the DUI - another ethnic Albanian party in North Macedonia.

After this, they left the public session of the Appellate Court, which continued only in the presence of their lawyers.

The Basic Court in Skopje previously sentenced the members of the group to seven life sentences, 13 prison sentences of 40 years, six to 20 years, one to 18 years, two each to 14 prison and 13 years - while four had been released for lack of evidence.

The court also sentenced 16 people to expulsion from the state and a permanent ban on entry into the territory of North Macedonia.

The terrorist attack in Kumanovo's Divo settlement took place on May 9 and 10, 2015, when Macedonian police clashed with more than 40 armed members "of an unknown organization, hiding in local houses."

Eight police officers were killed while 37 suffered serious injuries in the clashes. The police managed to overcome the attackers, capturing 27 of them.

«Financial Times»: Εάν η ΕΕ κλείσει την πόρτα στα Βαλκάνια θα έρθουν ανακατατάξεις


Μάιος 16, 2019. Echedoros

«Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση δεν πρέπει να εγκαταλείψει τα Βαλκάνια και οι ανεκπλήρωτες υποσχέσεις προσχώρησης μπορούν να αποδυναμώσουν τα μετριοπαθή και ρεφορμιστικά ρεύματα στην περιοχή», γράφουν οι «Financial Times».

Η γνωστή εφημερίδα σε άρθρο της για τα Δυτικά Βαλκάνια αναφέρει ότι η ΕΕ δεν πρέπει να κάνει το ιστορικό λάθος και ότι οι ηγέτες της ΕΕ στη διάσκεψη κορυφής του Ιουνίου πρέπει να αποφασίσουν για τις ενταξιακές διαπραγματεύσεις με την Αλβανία και τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία.

Όπως σημειώνεται «η απόφαση πρέπει να είναι ομόφωνη, καθώς ορισμένες χώρες, όπως η Γαλλία και η Ολλανδία, διστάζουν στο επόμενο στάδιο της διεύρυνσης της Ένωσης.

Η Γαλλία θέλει η ΕΕ να επικεντρωθεί στις μεταρρυθμίσεις της, ενισχύοντας τη ζώνη του ευρώ και αποφεύγοντας μέτρα που θα μπορούσαν να ενισχύσουν τα εθνικιστικά και λαϊκιστικά ρεύματα. Ωστόσο, αυτό μπορεί να στραφεί κατά της ΕΕ, καθώς θεωρεί  ότι τα Βαλκάνια είναι υπό τον έλεγχό της, πιστεύει ο Βρετανός συντάκτης.

Η αγγλοσαξονική εφημερίδα παραθέτει ένα παράδειγμα επίλυσης διαφορών όπως είναι αυτό μεταξύ των Σκοπίων και της Ελλάδας, όπου στα Σκόπια έχουν δείξει να εγκαταλείπουν τον αυξημένο εθνικισμό της προηγούμενης κυβέρνησης.

Ο λαός της Βόρειας Μακεδονίας αναρωτιέται εάν η ΕΕ θα ανοίξει τις θύρες της και εάν η τολμηρή διπλωματία και η διαχείριση της εθνικής διάστασης στη διαφωνία του ονόματος θα ανταμειφθεί με  τις ενταξιακές διαπραγματεύσεις, γράφει το δημοσίευμα.

Μια πρόσκαιρα αρνητική θέση της ΕΕ θα μπορούσε να καθυστερήσει τις μεταρρυθμίσεις στη Βόρειο Μακεδονία, θα έβλαπτε την καταπολέμηση της διαφθοράς και του οργανωμένου εγκλήματος, και μάλιστα θα μπορούσε να αναβιώσει τον σοβινισμό των κατοίκων, εκτιμά η εφημερίδα.

«Εάν η θύρα της ΕΕ παραμείνει κλειστή, τα μετριοπαθή ρεύματα ενδέχεται να δυσφημιστούν, και υπάρχει ο κίνδυνος η θύρα να ανοίξει για τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία και η Αλβανία να παραμείνει σε αναμονή.

Μια τέτοια εξέλιξη  θα πυροδοτούσε με βενζίνη τον αλβανικό εθνικισμό», γράφουν οι FT και προσθέτουν ότι υπάρχει ο κίνδυνος να αναβιώσει η ιδέα μιας «Μεγάλης Αλβανίας».

Αναλύοντας τη γενικότερη κατάσταση, η βρετανική εφημερίδα θεωρεί ότι ένα τέτοιο σενάριο υπονομεύει περαιτέρω τις προσπάθειες επίλυσης του ζητήματος μεταξύ Βελιγραδίου και Πρίστινα και εντείνει τις εντάσεις μεταξύ Βόσνιων, Κροατών και Σέρβων στη Βοσνία και Ερζεγοβίνη.

«Εκείνοι που επικρίνουν τη διεύρυνση της ΕΕ έχουν δίκιο όταν λένε ότι στις βαλκανικές χώρες η ποιότητα της δημοκρατίας και του κράτους δικαίου είναι χαμηλότερες από τις προδιαγραφές της ΕΕ. Αλλά, η εμπιστοσύνη της περιοχής στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και ο ενθουσιασμός του λαού για τις δύσκολες μεταρρυθμίσεις που απαιτούνται για την ένταξη θα μειωθούν, εάν η ΕΕ δεν στείλει ένα θετικό μήνυμα στη σύνοδο του Ιουνίου», προσθέτει η βρετανική εφημερίδα.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Tirana Scraps Work Permits for Montenegrin, North Macedonia Albanians


Samir Kajosevic Podgorica  BIRN May 14, 2019

Ethnic Albanians who live in Montenegro and North Macedonia no longer need to apply for permits to work in Albania - part of a government initiative to boost ties between Albanians in the region.

Albanian PM Edi Rama. Photo: EPA/Filip Singer

Starting this week, Ethnic Albanians from Montenegro and North Macedonia now have the same access to jobs in Albania as locals, according to a decision made by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s cabinet, which was made public on Monday.

“Albanians from Montenegro and North Macedonia will enjoy the right to employment, just as Albanian citizens do, except when employment is specifically related to Albanian citizenship, in accordance with applicable legislation,” the Ministry of Finance and Economy said in a statement.

Albanian Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj said that the decision, which was officially approved on May 10, means that Albanians from Montenegro and North Macedonia now have the same rights to work in the country as Albanians from Kosovo and Serbia’s Presevo Valley area.

The Albanian government scrapped work permits for Albanians from Kosovo and the Presevo Valley in May 2014.

“Although it may look like a move without immediate impact or sounds like a completely symbolic initiative, this is a necessary step towards increasing ties with Albanians in neighbouring countries without differentiation [on grounds of citizenship],” Chakaj wrote on Facebook on Monday.

He added that the decision was part of a wider package of measures that Albania has planned to bring ethnic Albanians in the region closer together.

Ethnic Albanians make up about five per cent of the population of Montenegro, and they form the majority in the Tuzi area and much of south-western Montenegro.

While overall unemployment in Montenegro is around 16 per cent, the figure is closer to 20 per cent in areas such as Tuzi and Ulcinj, which are home to most of the country’s ethnic Albanians.

Only 2.8 per cent of the jobs on the state’s payroll are held by ethnic Albanians, according to a government report on the state’s employment of minorities, published in June 2011.

Albanians are the largest ethnic minority in North Macedonia, where they make up around a quarter of the population of two million, according to the 2002 national census.

Some estimates suggest that some 200,000 ethnic Albanianas from North Macedonia have left the country to work abroad, seeking better economic conditions.

Albania's perversion of the 1997 crisis, for civil clash ...2019


Dont forget the article of British Media, The Indipendent, 1997, who explose the albanian totalitarism regim in 1997, which comes Albania in Civil War, now  equivalenmt with the article of Bild of German media 2019

Today same article to Bild:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Don’t play with fire: Serbian defense chief castigates ‘dangerous Greater Albania’ gambit

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin
World May 13, Tass

Greater Albania is the pan-Albanian idea of reunifying all territories, where Albanians live or used to live

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin © Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Albania’s expansionist ambitions jeopardize peace and stability in the Balkans, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said in an interview with TASS on Monday.

"A major threat to the Balkans right now is the creation of a Greater Albania and its attempt to gain a foothold in the territories of other states, starting with Montenegro, North Macedonia, the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and a part of Central Serbia," Vulin said. "The only country, which opposes this, is Serbia."

Moscow says renewed pan-Albanian rhetoric unlikely to contribute to Balkan stability
According to Vulin, after North Macedonia’s accession to NATO, all Albanians will live in a single political security zone, but the Albanian prime minister expressed his wish to "erase the borders among those states where Albanians live." "And they live in four countries, and this is alarming," he said. "Moreover, the European Union and NATO are turning a blind eye to the formation of a Greater Albania."

"If someone wants to solve the Albanian national issue in the Balkans, they should also iron out the Serbian national issue," the Serbian defense minister stressed. "We cannot give the Albanians something without giving the same to the Serbs. That’s why, I take this opportunity to warn the entire world: Don’t play with fire! Don’t create a Greater Albania on Serbian soil."

Greater Albania is the pan-Albanian idea of reunifying all territories, where Albanians live or used to live. In this case, the Albanians will seek to obtain a part of Greece’s territory, half of Macedonia, all of Kosovo and some territories of southern Serbia, as well as a half of Montenegro. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that Moscow was concerned since the EU was passive about the initiative about the so-called Tirana platform, which is a clear call for creating a Greater Albania.


Πρεσβεία ΗΠΑ στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο: Οι εγκληματίες πολέμου δεν έχουν θέση στην κυβέρνηση


Μάιος 14, 2019. Echedoros

Η πρεσβεία των ΗΠΑ στην Πρίστινα, εξέφρασε την ανησυχία της για την απόφαση της κυβέρνησης του Κοσσυφοπεδίου να προσλάβει μη ειδικευμένο προσωπικό σε θέσεις στην εκτελεστική εξουσία και να διορίσει άτομα τα οποία έχουν καταδικαστεί για εγκλήματα πολέμου καθώς και εκείνα που έχουν καταδικαστεί για σοβαρές εγκληματικές πράξεις.

Όπως σημειώνει η κοσοβάρικη Gazeta Express, ο Αμερικανός πρέσβης Φίλιπ Κόνσετ είχε νωρίτερα δηλώσει ότι οι κρατούμενοι για εγκλήματα πολέμου δεν έχουν θέση στην κυβέρνηση του Κοσσυφοπεδίου, και ότι τα άτομα σε υψηλές θέσεις θα πρέπει να πληρούν τις προϋποθέσεις για την εργασία που διορίζονται και κυρίως να έχουν μια πανεπιστημιακή εκπαίδευση.

Δυστυχώς, ο πρωθυπουργός του Κοσσυφοπεδίου, Ραμούς Χαραντινάι, έχει αντίθετη στάση σε αυτό το θέμα, γράφει το δημοσίευμα.

Η πρεσβεία των ΗΠΑ προτρέπει τους πολίτες και τους ηγέτες του Κοσσυφοπεδίου να εξετάσουν τι είδους άτομα θέλουν να παρουσιάσει η Πρίστινα στη διεθνή κοινότητα.

«Οι καταδικασθέντες για εγκλήματα πολέμου δεν έχουν θέση στην κυβέρνηση του Κοσσυφοπεδίου. Οι επικεφαλής όλων των κομμάτων πρέπει να σταματήσουν να υποστηρίζουν τέτοια άτομα. Μια τέτοια στήριξη θέτει υπό αμφισβήτηση τη δέσμευση του Κοσσυφοπεδίου στο κράτος δικαίου. Χαίρομαι που υπάρχουν ομάδες διαφορετικών κοινοτήτων που μιλούν με μια φωνή για αυτό το πρόβλημα», δήλωσε ο Κόνσετ.

Σημειώνεται ότι αυτή δεν είναι η πρώτη αντίδραση της αμερικανικής πρεσβείας στην πρόσληψη κατηγορουμένων σε υψηλές θέσεις στην κυβέρνηση της Πρίστινα, σχολιάζει η σερβική Politika.

Αλβανία: «Η γειτονιά των ληστών της πολιτικής»


 «Η γειτονιά των ληστών της πολιτικής», το τετράγωνο με τις 122 λευκές βίλες που αγοράστηκαν με δισεκατομμύρια «μαύρα χρήματα»

Μάιος 14, 2019. Echedoros

«Όσο κουνάς ένα σακί με αποκαΐδια, τόση μαύρη σκόνη βγαίνει»

Στον δρόμο που συνδέει την πρωτεύουσα με το Ελμπασάν, πίσω από το πρώτο  σούπερ μάρκετ ή πιο απλά μόλις τέσσερα χιλιόμετρα από τα Τίρανα προς την Πετρέλα, υπάρχει ένας δρόμος, όπου παράλληλα με αυτόν, υπουργοί, διευθυντές υπουργείων και πρωθυπουργοί- που έκλεψαν και συνεχίζουν να κλέβουν το δημόσιο- έχουν την κατοικία τους.

   Είναι οι βίλες  των Βαλκάνιων ολιγαρχών, η γειτονικά των πάνω από 90 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ.

Οι οποίοι -ολιγάρχες - είχαν στιγματισθεί από τον πρώην επικεφαλής του αμερικανικού Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ, Τζον Κέρι, πριν από χρόνια στη διάσκεψη του Βερολίνου.

 Είναι οι νέοι Αλβανοί δισεκατομμυριούχοι που έγιναν πλούσιοι με το έγκλημα και τη διαφθορά. Ενώ ένα μεγάλο μέρος από αυτούς συνδέεται με τον κόσμο της μαφίας.

Έχουν δημιουργήσει ένα συγκρότημα κατοικιών με πολυτελείς βίλες, η μία δίπλα στην άλλη που οι ιδιοκτήτες τους έχουν όλα τα πολιτικά χρώματα που μπαίνουν και βγαίνουν  από το συγκρότημα αυτό, πηγαινο-ερχόμενοι στα Τίρανα, χρησιμοποιώντας την πρωτεύουσα ως τόπο διαπραγμάτευσης ή ως «καζίνο», όπου παίζονται δισεκατομμύρια με σημαδεμένα χαρτιά.

Υπάρχουν 122 λευκοβαμμένες βίλες, έκτασης 350 τ.μ. σε οικόπεδο πάνω από 600 τ.μ. που αγοράστηκαν με μαύρα χρήματα βουλευτών, υπουργών, πρεσβευτών, τηλεοπτικών συντονιστών, σχολιαστών των ΜΜΕ, κρατικών αξιωματούχων, εισαγγελέων, δικαστών, ανώτερων τελωνειακών υπαλλήλων, επικεφαλής πολιτικών κομμάτων, εγκληματιών, εμπόρων ναρκωτικών, εμπόριο λευκής σαρκός κλπ.

Υπάρχουν επίσης βίλες πολύ έμπειρων διπλωματών που κατηγορούνται για υποθέσεις διαπλοκής, οι οποίες ποτέ δεν εξιχνιάζονται γιατί ‘ο  όμοιος τον όμοιο δεν χτυπά’.

Το δημοσίευμα επισημαίνει ότι ο φουκαράς λαός τρέχει στους δρόμους της χώρας και του  εξωτερικού για το μεροκάματο, ενώ οι δισεκατομμυριούχοι της συνοικίας αυτής,  έχουν στα χέρια τους, τους πολιτικούς, δηλητηριάζουν τους νέους με τα ναρκωτικά ενώ τα δικά τους τα παιδιά τα στέλνουν σε σχολεία πολυτελείας στις δυτικές χώρες, όπως σημειώνει και η «».

Δικαίως έχει βαφτιστεί αυτή η συνοικία «Lagja e hajdutëve të politikës»/ «Γειτονιά των ληστών της πολιτικής» που είναι μια έκταση 226 χιλιάδων τ.μ. εκ των οποίων οι 79 χιλιάδες τ.μ. είναι βίλες που η κάθε μία είναι της τάξης των 500 χιλιάδων ευρώ.

Monday, May 13, 2019

US, Europe condemn violence in Albania opposition rallies



Posted May 13, 2019
Protesters try to remove a metal fence during clashes with police outside the Government building in Tirana, Saturday, May 11, 2019. Thousands of supporters of the Albania's center-right opposition protested in Tirana Saturday, calling for the left-wing government to resign and for an early parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

TIRANA, Albania — The U.S. and European Union lawmakers are calling on Albania’s centre-right opposition parties to restrain from violence in their anti-government protests.

Protests over the weekend turned violent with opposition supporters showering police officers with Molotov cocktails while police responding with tear gas. Injuries were reported on both sides.

The opposition has been holding protests since mid-February, accusing government officials of corruption and of stealing votes in the parliamentary election two years ago. They are demanding a transitory government and an early election.

A U.S. embassy statement in Tirana Monday called on opposition leaders to condemn violence and “ensure that all future public protests are orderly and peaceful.”

European parliamentarians also called on Albanians “to restrain from all forms of violence.”

The Associated Press

Έντι Ράμα: Οι Αλβανοί στην Αλβανία και το Κοσσυφοπέδιο είναι αδέλφια και πρέπει να ενωθούν


Μάιος 13, 2019. Echedoros

Οι Αλβανοί στην Αλβανία και το Κοσσυφοπέδιο είναι αδέλφια που ζουν σήμερα σε δύο διαφορετικές χώρες και πρέπει να ενωθούν, δήλωσε ο πρωθυπουργός της Αλβανίας, Έντι Ράμα, όπως σημειώνει η εφημερίδα του Βελιγραδίου ‘Blic’.

Σε τηλεοπτική συνέντευξη, ο Έντι Ράμα, δήλωσε ότι βλέπει αυτή την ενοποίηση ως τμήμα της πορείας προς την ΕΕ.

Ο Αλβανός πρωθυπουργός ισχυρίζεται ότι υποστηρίζει μια ενιαία περιοχή των Αλβανών χωρίς σύνορα. Δεν θέλω σύνορα με το Κοσσυφοπέδιο, το Μαυροβούνιο, τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία και τη Σερβία. Πρέπει να εργασθούμε για να επιτρέψουμε να γίνει κάτι τέτοιο, είπε ο Ράμα σύμφωνα με την ‘Blic’.

Πρόσθεσε ότι η Σερβία πρέπει να αντιμετωπίσει την πραγματικότητα και πρέπει να αναγνωρίσει ότι το Κοσσυφοπέδιο είναι ένα ανεξάρτητο και ελεύθερο κράτος.

 Ο Ράμα είπε ότι ποτέ  δεν μίλησε για τη λεγόμενη Μεγάλη Αλβανία και ότι είναι ένας όρος που εφευρέθηκε για να χρησιμοποιηθεί εναντίον των Αλβανών.

 Είπε ότι πιστεύει πως οι Σέρβοι και οι Αλβανοί μπορούν να κάνουν τα Βαλκάνια αυτό που έκανε η Γαλλία και η Γερμανία για την Ευρώπη, σημειώνει η εφημερίδα του Βελιγραδίου.

Το δημοσίευμα αναφέρει ακόμη ότι ο Νταούτ- αδελφός του πρωθυπουργού του Κοσσυφοπεδίου Ραμούς Χαραντινάι- μαζί με τον πρόεδρο του Κοσσυφοπεδίου Χασίμ Θάτσι, τις επόμενες ημέρες θα έχουν ανοικτή ακρόαση στο Ειδικό Δικαστήριο στη Χάγη.

 Θα βρεθούν ενώπιον των δικαστών για εγκλήματα που έχουν διαπραχθεί από μέλη του Απελευθερωτικού Στρατού Κοσόβου (UCK) εναντίον των Σέρβων και άλλων μη Αλβανών στο Κοσσυφοπέδιο. Οι πρώτες ποινές αναμένονται να γίνουν γνωστές στη διάρκεια του έτους, γράφει η εφημερίδα.

A Journey Into Greece’s Land of a Thousand Stories


New York Times

One writer chronicles his voyage to the island of Ithaca, where Odysseus was once reputedly king.

By Pico Iyer

May 13, 2019
I STEPPED INTO a taxi on my arrival in Athens and mentioned the name of one of the city’s most central five-star hotels. The driver was thrown into a frenzy, and not only because he seemed to speak no English. As we zigzagged at high speed through the jampacked streets, he tapped frantically on his smartphone and started calling friends, none of whom were any help at all. When, finally, we pulled up at the entrance, I was greeted by a wild-haired, gesticulating front-desk man who said, “We’re so sorry, sir. We have a problem, a big problem, today. So we have made a reservation for you in our other hotel. Half a block away.”

The problem, the taxi driver conveyed, was that every toilet in the hotel had flooded.

In the fancy new place where I ended up — it took us 20 minutes to go around the corner thanks to narrow, one-way streets — I walked into an elevator to be confronted by two thickly bearded Orthodox priests in full clerical dress crammed into the same small space, cellphones protruding from their pockets as they wished me, in easy English, “Good evening.” The mayhem of the little lanes I’d just come through, the sunlit dishevelment of the buildings, which seemed to be collapsing as much as rising up, the graves in the middle of the city: I felt, quite happily, as if I were not in Europe but in Beirut or Amman.

The real antiquity in Greece, I thought — and this is its enduring blessing, for a visitor — is its daily life; on this return trip, retracing a course I’d followed 35 years before, from the classical sites of the Peloponnese (ill-starred Mycenae and healing Epidaurus) all the way to Odysseus’ storied home on Ithaca, I was noticing that it’s precisely the slow, human-scaled, somewhat ramshackle nature of arrangements here that gives the country much of its human charm. Yes, you can still see Caravaggio faces around the Colosseum in Rome; along the ghats in Varanasi, India, you’re among the clamor and piety of the Vedas. But in Greece, it’s the absence of modern developments — of high-rises and high-speed technologies — that can make you feel as if you’re walking among the ancient philosophers and tragedians who gave us our sense of hubris and catharsis.

Locals of the town of Nafplio fish at the harbor, which overlooks the Argolic Gulf on the eastern side of the Peloponnese.
Alex Majoli

Locals of the town of Nafplio fish at the harbor, which overlooks the Argolic Gulf on the eastern side of the Peloponnese.CreditAlex Majoli
Forget the fact that the Klitemnistra hotel is down the street from Achilles Parking; what really gives Greece its sense of being changeless is that the Lonely Planet guidebook gives you a cure for the evil eye, and a man is crossing himself furiously as he attempts to double-park. The Grecian formula that keeps the place forever young — and old, and itself — has less to do with the monuments of kings and gods than simply with the rhythms of the day: Fishing boats are heading out before first light and the shepherd’s son is leading the priest’s niece under the olive trees in the early morning. Black-clad women are gossiping in the shade and donkeys clop and stop over ill-paved stones in the siesta-silent, sunlit afternoon. At night, there’s the clatter of pots from the tavernas and the sound of laughter under lights around the harbor.


All in a landscape where the deep blue sea surrounds you on every side, and the indigo and scarlet and orange flowerpots are bright with geraniums and begonias. It’s not just that you feel the presence of a rural past everywhere in Greece; it’s that, amid this elemental landscape of rock and cobalt sky and whitewashed church, you step out of the calendar altogether and into the realm of allegory.

Sheep graze near a cemetery outside Ithaca’s isolated village of Anogi.
Alex Majoli


Sheep graze near a cemetery outside Ithaca’s isolated village of Anogi.CreditAlex Majoli
MY FIRST FULL day in Greece on this trip — I’ve been visiting the country for more than 50 years — I made my way to Mycenae, the 3,300-year-old acropolis 75 miles from Athens that was the turbulent base for the House of Atreus. After five decades of reading about the slaughter of Agamemnon in his bathtub, I was chilled: by the stubby rocks across the forbidding hillside, by the sound of the wind whipping in my ears, by the silence even amid the crowds. The whole site is monitory and stark, and the watchtower hilltops, made for spotting invaders, go with the tholos tombs and Bronze Age relics that encircle the red-tiled villas of the Peloponnese.

Barely 30 miles away, Epidaurus is tonic light to Mycenae’s shadow, a reminder of why we cherish ancient Greece as the home of harmony and wisdom. I stepped into the sunken dormitory known as the Abaton, inside Asclepius’ sanctuary there — the walls tell of visitors 24 centuries ago being healed by their dreams — and couldn’t resist the curative spell. The amphitheater in the distance offers up perfect proportions and acoustics; yellow butterflies were flitting between groves of trees along the so-called Sacred Way. Mycenae may be the black-and-blood-red landscape of Greek tragedies, but Epidaurus gives us the clarity and higher geometry of Pythagoras. In Homer, of course, both worlds magically converge in stories of how people try to clear their minds of the bad dreams of jealousy, murder and nostalgia.

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Yet in all honesty, it was in Nafplio, my everyday base for these excursions across the Peloponnese, that I heard most consistently the whisper of the past. There was a raggedness to the narrow passageways of its Old Town, the uneven stones along its steep staircases, that jolted me into a sense of intimacy; as I roamed around the climbing lanes, I could hear bells clanging and the sound of cups rattling, a spoon against a pan. The interiors of the little homes were dark, cozy, plain, and there was a Sunday-morning stillness that took me back to the unhurried corners of the world.

Crones were walking, arm in arm, down to the water as the sun declined, past cafes where nine or 11 men sat together, nursing their small coffees in silence. Chants came down to us from a 15th-century shrine to the Virgin, tucked into a crag overlooking the sea. Candles flickered in little memorials along the waterfront, around framed portraits of lost sons, much as they might on the mountain roads of Bolivia.

Returning to my hotel room, I walked out onto my terrace and saw a onetime executioner’s home in front of me, a few hundred yards across the water. Up above was the Palamidi castle, thick with prison cells and “murder holes” through which defending warriors could project arrows and scalding water. Visiting another hotel that morning, I’d stepped out of the breakfast room and found myself on the battlements of a cluster of fortresses known to Venetians and Crusaders. Just down the street, in the incense-haloed church, a painting recalled this as the site where the first governor of an independent modern Greece had been assassinated, in 1831, by one assailant bearing a knife, one carrying a pistol.

New York Times

A bust of Odysseus in another of Ithaca’s northern villages,

Stavros.Credit Alex Majoli

GROWING UP IN England, I was encouraged to feel that Greece was the alpha and omega of the ancient world as my friends and I puzzled over its strange letters in our little green copies of Xenophon and Plato. My classmates regularly took off for Mount Athos, the independently ruled peninsula of 20 Orthodox monasteries that British travelers from Robert Byron and Patrick Leigh Fermor to William Dalrymple and, in fact, Prince Charles, have long haunted. Even now, one can watch monks there observe the Julian calendar and tell the hours, as Colin Thubron notes in his recent novel, “Night of Fire,” “in the old Byzantine mode.”

The frescoes on the holy mountain “seemed to return us to a primitive, purer time,” Thubron writes, “closer to scripture,” and this sense of Greece as an antechamber to the modern moment has never seemed to die. “There must be a God,” Bruce Chatwin wrote as he surveyed “an iron cross on a rock by the sea” on Mount Athos. The famously whimsical nomad startled his friends by planning to be baptized on the island; his funeral was held in the icon-cluttered Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia in Central London.

I thought of all this as I began riding buses around the Peloponnese, reminded at every turn that it’s precisely what makes Greece something of an outlier in the European Union that gives it its almost Asian magnetism. The first time I boarded a long-distance bus, for the two-hour trip from Athens to Nafplio, I saw six good-luck charms plastered on its windows and another dangling from the driver’s mirror. The trucks that passed us, as in India, bore hand-painted signs that said “God bless.”