Thursday, October 3, 2019

Northern Epirus Issue: Vasilios S. Haseotes to be Honored with Prestigious Oxi Service Award on October 24


By Hellenic News -October 2, 2019

Washington, DC, October 2, 2019 – Vasilios S. Haseotes will be honored for his service to our country in WWI with the 2019 Oxi Service Award at a ceremony at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, DC on October 24, 2019. This ceremony is part of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation Courage and Service Awards.

Vasilios was born in 1892 in Politsani, a small village in the Epirus region of northern Greece, which at the time was under the Ottoman Empire. As the youngest child in his large family Vasilios quickly learned the meaning of hard work and developed a deep respect for his natural surroundings.

In 1904, Vasilios was sent to Constantinople to live with relatives and attend school where he learned English and he was inspired by the Holy City and its Orthodox Church.

In 1907 at the age of 15, he embarked alone on a journey aboard the SS Francesca, a freighter bound for America for a better life where his brother had written from a strange-sounding place called “Biddeford, Maine”. Following a journey that would have terrified many, the young Vasilios was detained for two weeks at Ellis Island because of his age.

He made his way up to Maine and joined his brother working in a local textile mill. Using the English he had learned in Constantinople, he became an interpreter for the other Greeks working at the mill as well as an advocate for them. After a period of time, the brothers relocated to Lonsdale, RI and worked in another mill with their fellow Greeks.

In 1917, Vasilios enlisted and joined the United States Army Infantry under the command of “Black Jack” Pershing to help quell the rumblings in Western Europe. To him, there was no decision to be made. America was his country now. And there was a job to be done.

Once again, he functioned as an interpreter; but this time it was to relay orders to his fellow Greeks who were fighting alongside him. Vasilios emerged from the forests of Verdun a hero, with shrapnel wounds and the effects of mustard gas. He was decorated by both the French and American governments.

After the War, Vasilios moved to Providence and became involved in a bakery business. But there were too many bakers for all of them to make a living so he sold fruit and produce until the Great Depression caused his business, and most everyone else’s, to fail. These were hard years for a man who had been raised to be independent and self-sufficient. But Vasilios was not discouraged. That word didn’t exist for him.

By 1927, he had married Aphrodite Bassis and in 1938, a new opportunity presented itself to them with a 110-acre farm in Cumberland, RI. Undaunted by necessary upkeep, Vasilios bought the property and somehow managed to scrape up an additional eighty-four dollars for a cow and a calf. He and Aphrodite would go on to have eight children – three sons and five daughters – who all helped on the farm in one way or another. As the family grew, a dairy business was being born. The cow and calf soon became twenty-five cows, and a local milk delivery route was established. Everyone in the area knew the Haseotes family, and even then considered them to be a remarkable success story. Within six years, they were selling 1,000 quarts of milk each day.

In 1956, the family opened its first jug milk store in Bellingham, MA. The Haseotes family revolutionized the region’s milk industry by shifting the emphasis from home delivery to milk stores. By 1962, Cumberland Farms stores were selling much more than milk. Customers could also buy groceries, beverages and health and cosmetic products in stores that stayed open long after other stores had closed for the day. This was the beginning of the convenience store era and the Haseotes family was at its forefront.

Cumberland Farms began in 1939 and this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Today, the company is the largest convenience store/petroleum marketer in the Northeast with approximately 562 outlets and 9,000 employees. Despite its size, the company still lives and succeeds by Vasilios and Aphrodite Haseotes’ original vision: deliver the highest level of convenience and customer satisfaction at the lowest possible price.

Vasilios was a founding member of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary parish in Pawtucket, RI and St. George parish in Centerville, MA. The title of Archon Depoutatos was bestowed upon him by the late Archbishop Iakovos in the 1960s for his devotion to the Church. Vasilios was also a supporter of St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, NY.

Vasilios’s generosity and responsibility to the community lives on through the various philanthropic initiatives of Cumberland Farms: Cups for Kids which benefits pediatric care programs at New England regional hospitals; The Hope Fund, an emergency financial resource fund for company employees; Vasilios and Aphrodite Haseotes Scholarship funds at the University of Rhode Island; the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute; and local support for communities in which the company operates.

The Vasilios S. and Aphrodite B. Haseotes Family Foundation continues to support Vasilios’s legacy at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece by funding the refurbishment of a library space as well as the new Haseotes Middle School building. It has also supported the Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Canton, MA, Perkins School for the Blind and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Vasilios was a loyal husband, a respected father and a beloved grandfather who will always be remembered for his allegiance to his country, his devotion to his Church and his exemplary character. He was a kind, generous and proud man.

In addition to their eight children Vasilios and Aphrodite had 17 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren with one on the way. He died on March 26, 1980 at the age of eighty-eight. William Loeb, late publisher of the Manchester Union Leader wrote a column at the time of his death called “This is America” and he said “This newspaper pays its respects to Vaslios Haseotes, a man who dared to try-and did it so effectively, not only for his own family’s benefit, but also for society as a whole”. It can easily be said that Vasilios was an exceptional human being. His legacy proves it.

Previous Greek-American recipients of the Oxi Service Award include:

Alexander Martin Georgiades (2018)
George Possas (2017)
Colonel George Stavridis (2016)
James Moshovitis (2015)
Major Nicholas J. Bouras and James J. Bouras (2014)
Lt. Colonel Christopher Mehiel (2013)
Brigadier General Mike P. Cokinos (2012)
Andrew Athens (2011)
To secure tickets to this presentation, please click here.

Source: Washington Oxi Day Foundation

"Serbs face stark and brutal discrimination"

Tanjug/ Zoran Žestić
Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said Serbs face stark and brutal discrimination ahead of Kosovo elections


He pointed out that the only way to combat discrimination is to achieve a massive turnout in the October 6th elections.

Djuric told RTS that the Serbian List was forbidden to say "Serbia is calling," and others are not punished for saying that "Srpska List is a monster."

He urged all citizens of Kosovo and Metohija who are on the electoral roll to come forward, no matter what documents they have, to try on the spot to exercise their right to vote.

"Serbs face stark and brutal discrimination, and the only way to defeat it is through a massive turnout. I urge all Kosovo citizens on the electoral roll, regardless of what documents they have, to respond and exercise their right. We will report discrimination to international institutions", Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija stated.

He said that if there were more Serb votes than before, "Albanians cannot beat us."

Commenting on media allegations that Kosovo police may organize police raids on election day, Djuric said no one "should play with this."

"Serbia is always ready to protect Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. That is why I want to assure our people that mass turnout is of utmost importance. If there are 10 out of 10 Serbian MPs, it will not be possible to form a provincial government without a Serb vote, the Serbian vote will be louder", Djuric said.

According to him, it depends on the election results to what extent the position of the Serbs in the provincial institutions will be protected.

"We are proud of the call 'Serbia is calling' and the Serbs will respond to it, under any weather conditions", said the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija.

Albanian PM Dismisses Claim of Illegal Donation to Obama


Gjergj Erebara Tirana BIRN October 1, 2019

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s spokesperson said that allegations that the Albanian premier was behind an illegal $80,000 foreign donation to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign were not worth commenting upon.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. Archive photo: EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s spokesperson Endri Fuga told BIRN on Tuesday that he did not think it was necessary to comment on the allegation that the Albanian premier was behind an illegal foreign donation of $80,000 to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

“This is an old story and pretty much a clear one as regards the prime minister and we do not have any interest in dealing with who said what,” Fuga said, describing the claim as “vilification”.

US citizen William Argeros was sentenced on Monday to four months in prison for involvement in facilitating an illegal contribution from a foreigner to a fundraising committee for Barack Obama in 2012.

His defence lawyer told court the court that the foreigner was Albanian Prime Minister Rama, “who wanted a photo taken with Obama”, the Associated Press reported.

Rama denied the allegation when the charges in the case became public in 2016.

Bilal Shehu, an American-Albanian limousine driver, has also been convicted of involvement in the illegal payment.

In his plea deal, Argeros admitted to teaming up with Shehu to receive $80,000 “from a foreign source” and route it to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee supporting Obama’s re-election bid and other Democratic candidates. Foreigners are barred under US law from donating to US federal candidates.

In 2016, prosecutors in Tirana started a preliminary investigation into the case but have not made any announcements yet about their progress, if any.

In the past, Albanian politicians have faced various allegations of buying access to top politicians in Washington via US lobbyists.

The leader of the opposition, Lulzim Basha, is currently under investigation over money-laundering claims in relation to more than $825,000 that was paid to a US lobbyist but not declared as expenditure to Albania’s Central Electoral Commission.

Pompeo targets Albanian lobbyists

Image result for US Congressman Eliot Engel. albania

One of Kosovo's most extreme lobbyists has been targeted by fierce criticism of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "Vecernje Novosti" wrote today


The lobbyist in question is the creator of lies about the alleged rape of 20,000 Albanian women during the war in Kosovo - US Congressman Eliot Engel.

Although the conflict initially stemmed from a request for impeachment of US President Trump over the scandal involving Ukraine, the conflict between Pompeo and Democrat Engel practically reveals "dirty methods" used by Albanian lobbyists for years, assigned to some key positions in the US administration, according to "Novosti".

The war over foreign policymaking on various fronts, including resolving the Kosovo issue, which has long been smoldering between the State Department and parts of Congress, escalated on Tuesday, in an open letter sent by Pompeo to Engel, and posted on his Twitter account.

Pompeo warned Engel, who is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to stop "intimidating and and summoning State Department professionals to give depositions."

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic points out that Pompeo has made it clear that he will not allow bullying of State Department diplomats conducted by Engel.

"When Engel puts such pressure on the State Department, you can only imagine what he is doing to other countries regarding Kosovo. He has received millions of dollars from Pristina and openly lobbies for an independent Kosovo because Albanians in the United States support him and vote for him. On the other hand, a US Congressman said that the Serbian diaspora is the best because it does not ask for anything in return for its votes. We are fools, voting for someone without expecting anything in return, nobody in the world does that", Dacic said, "Vecernje novosti" reports.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

"United States make efforts to revise Brussels agreement"

Foto: Tanjug/AP/Craig Ruttle
Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov says United States intend to revise Brussels agreement, in part related to Union of Serbian Municipalities


In that way, the US is trying to "pull Kosovo into NATO" and keep its military base there.

In that context, Lavrov recalled that four years ago, an agreement was signed to form a Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo, guaranteeing the linguistic, cultural and religious rights of Serbs, TAS reports.

"This community is not territorially compact - there is north, where the territories are close to each other, and there are enclaves, which are also part of this community. This community has its flag, anthem and coat of arms. The agreement has remained on paper for four years. Attempts are now underway to carry out its review by all means, with the active involvement of the United States, with a view to developing a situation in which Kosovo could be drawn into NATO, together with Europe's largest base in Europe, Bondsteel", Lavrov said at the 16th Annual Think Tank Meeting in Moscow, "Valdai Discussion Club".

Lavrov has previously stated that the US and some of its European partners intend to draw Bosnia-Herzegovina into NATO.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Αλβανία: Παραιτήθηκε ο Εισαγγελέας που είχε τον φάκελο του Κωνσταντίνου Κατσίφα

Image result for Κωνσταντίνου Κατσιφά usa

Οκτώβριος 2, 2019. Echedoros

Ο Εισαγγελέας Σοβαρών Εγκλημάτων Νιάζι Σεφέρι παραιτήθηκε.
Όπως έγινε γνωστό η παραίτησή του οφείλεται σε λόγους υγείας, ένα αίτημα για το οποίο απευθύνθηκε στην Ανώτατη Εισαγγελία, αναφέρει το αλβανικό ‘Politiko’.

Ο Σεφέρι κρατούσε στο αρχείο του, τον φάκελο του Κωνσταντίνου Κατσίφα, ο οποίος δολοφονήθηκε από την αλβανική αστυνομία στους Βουλιαράτες στις 28 Οκτωβρίου 2018.

Αξιοσημείωτο είναι ότι για την υπόθεση, που κοντεύει ένας χρόνος, δεν έχει περάσει στη διαδικασία εξέτασης, όπως σημειώνεται.

Σύμφωνα, επίσης, με την αλβανική  «Dosja», η υπόθεση της δολοφονίας του Έλληνα μειονοτικού ήταν πρόσφατα στο επίκεντρο των ελληνικών αρχών.

Ο Έλληνας υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Νίκος Δένδιας, ζήτησε πρόσφατα την άμεση ολοκλήρωση των ερευνών και εξέφρασε τη δυσαρέσκειά του για την καθυστέρηση της υπόθεσης από την Αλβανική Εισαγγελία.


Όπως αναμενόταν, η έρευνα για τη δολοφονία του Κωσταντίνου Κατσιφά θα αποτύχει. Η αλβανική πλευρά δεν ήθελε να διερευνήσει την αλήθεια της δολοφονίας, ότι ο Κατσιφάς ήθελε να το παρουσιάσει στο αλβανικό κοινό ως «Έλληνας εθνικιστικός εξτρεμιστής» και ότι δεν υπήρχε περιθώριο για περαιτέρω διερεύνηση.

Η υπόθεση "Κατσιφά" είναι η ίδια με το ζήτημα του θαλάσσιου συνόρου, στο οποίο η Αλβανία δεν θέλει να διατηρήσει επίσημα τη συμφωνία αυτή, κατηγορώντας το ανύπαρκτο συνταγματικό δικαστήριο. Ομοίως, η αλβανική εισαγγελική αρχή, βλέποντας τις προθεσμίες για το κλείσιμο των ερευνών, τιμά τους Εισαγγελείς προκειμένου να εξετάσει την υπόθεση από την αρχή, ανταποκρινόμενη στο αίτημα της Αθήνας για έρευνα από το μηδέν.

Αυτή είναι η Αλβανία, αφενός η Ελλάδα που βοηθά με όλες τις ανθρώπινες και οικονομικές ευκαιρίες και αφετέρου, εξαλείφει κάθε προσπάθεια των Ελλήνων από τη Βόρεια Ήπειρο να ζουν στην επικράτειά τους με αξιοπρέπεια.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Μπορίσοφ σε Σκόπια: «Εάν θέλετε ΕΕ να πείτε ότι είστε Βούλγαροι»


Εκτός από την Αλβανία, η οποία καταγγέλλεται από το VETO για την παρεμπόδιση της διαδικασίας ένταξης της ΕΕ από την Ελλάδα για την παραβίαση του ελληνικού πληθυσμού στα νότια της Αλβανίας, τώρα η Βουλγαρία έχει ανακηρύξει ξαφνικά VETO στη βόρεια Μακεδονία, τη διαδικασία της ΕΕ

30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2019

Ο πρωθυπουργός της Βουλγαρίας, Μπόικο Μπορίσοφ, δήλωσε ότι η ένταξη των Σκοπίων στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι σημαντική, «αλλά αυτό δεν μπορεί να γίνει εις βάρος μας με «ανασχηματισμό» (διαστρέβλωση) της ιστορίας».

Ο Βούλγαρος πρωθυπουργός έκανε τη δήλωση αυτή μετά από συνάντησή του με τον ρωσόφιλο πρόεδρο της Βουλγαρίας, Ρούμεν Ράντεφ, όπου συζητήθηκαν οι σχέσεις με τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία.

«Ας αποδεχτούν ότι είμαστε αδελφά έθνη», είπε ο Μπορίσοφ, ζητώντας στην ουσία από τον σλαβόφωνο πληθυσμό των Σκοπίων να ομολογήσει ότι είναι Βούλγαροι.

Η Γερουσία των ΗΠΑ προειδοποιεί για ενδεχόμενη στρατιωτική σύρραξη σε Βοσνία-Ερζεγοβίνη


Σεπτέμβριος 30, 2019. Echedoros

Η Επιτροπή Άμυνας της Γερουσίας των ΗΠΑ, συζήτησε την κατάσταση στη Νοτιοανατολική Ευρώπη και τα συμφέροντα της Ουάσιγκτον στην περιοχή καθώς και την αυξανόμενη επιρροή της Ρωσίας και της Κίνας, γράφει η ηλεκτρονική έκδοση «Sarajevo Times».

Ο Γιανούς Μπουκάσκι του Κένρου για την Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική Ανάλυση στην Ουάσιγκτον, δήλωσε κατά τη διάρκεια της συνάντησης ότι ενδέχεται μια νέα σύγκρουση μεταξύ Σερβίας και Κοσσυφοπεδίου, αλλά δεν απέκλεισε και μια ένοπλη σύγκρουση  στη Βοσνία-Ερζεγοβίνη.

«Δεν πιστεύω ότι η ηγεσία της Δημοκρατίας Σέρπσκα θα το ήθελε αυτή τη χρονική στιγμή. Αλλά, παίζουν συνέχεια με την ιδέα του διαχωρισμού, παίζουν με την ιδέα ότι (η Βοσνία-Ερζεγοβίνη) είναι ένα δυσλειτουργικό και αποτυχημένο κράτος. Θα έλεγα ότι η Μπάνια Λούκα έχει καταστεί στην πραγματικότητα, ο τόπος με τη μεγαλύτερη ρωσική επιρροή στην περιοχή. Ίσως μεγαλύτερη από όσο στο Βελιγράδι», δήλωσε ο εμπειρογνώμονας.

Εξέφρασε την πεποίθησή του ότι ο Ειδικός Αντιπρόσωπος των ΗΠΑ για τα Δυτικά Βαλκάνια, Μάθιου Πάλμερ, θα ανησυχούσε περισσότερο για τη Βοσνία, από ό, τι για το διάλογο Βελιγραδίου – Πρίστινα.

Οι συμμετέχοντες στη συνάντηση συμφώνησαν ότι απαιτείται μεγαλύτερη συμμετοχή των ΗΠΑ στις διαδικασίες.

«Τα ασταθή και αντιφατικά Βαλκάνια, υπονομεύουν την αμερικανική εθνική ασφάλεια και μια διπλωματική υποχώρηση θα αποτελούσε σημαντική ήττα των ΗΠΑ. Αν θυμάστε έχουμε επενδύσει τεράστια διπλωματικά, πολιτικά και στρατιωτικά κεφάλαια στην περιοχή τα τελευταία 20-30  χρόνια. Για εμάς οποιαδήποτε ήττα και νέος πόλεμος, ειδικά στη Βοσνία ή μεταξύ Κοσσυφοπεδίου και Σερβίας θα ήταν μεγάλη καταστροφή. Όχι μόνο η Ρωσία και η Κίνα θα επωφεληθούν από αυτό, αλλά θα χρησιμοποιήσουν αυτή τη νέα δυναμική για να υπονομεύσουν άλλες ευρωπαϊκές χώρες», κατέληξε ο Μπουγκάισκι.