Friday, April 3, 2020

EU Appoints Miroslav Lajčák Special Representative for Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue

EU Appoints Miroslav Lajčák Special Representative for Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue
Exit News

On Friday, the Council of the EU has appointed Miroslav Lajčák as EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues.

He will take up his duties immediately, with an initial mandate of 12 months.

In a press release, the Council clarified that the tasks of Lajčá will be to achieve comprehensive normalization of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo, improve neighborly relations and reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and improve effectiveness of EU action in the region.

Lajčak was Slovakia’s foreign minister (2012-2020), President of the UN General Assembly (2017-2018), and EU’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (20017-2009). He was proposed for the position by EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell, whose work Lajčák will be supporting.

His candidacy for the post was repeatedly criticized by Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi and some experts. Thaçi slammed both Borrell and Lajčák for coming from countries that do not recognize Kosovo (Spain and Slovakia), hence being unreliable to mediate an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. In addition, Thaçi accused Lajčák of stopping Slovakia to recognize Kosovo and voting against the country’s seat in UNESCO during the time he was foreign minister. Kosovo’s president favors a deal mediated by the US administration instead of EU.

Washington is stoking a new Balkan crisis

Washington is stoking a new Balkan crisis

While the coronavirus pandemic preoccupies Washington, the Trump administration is inadvertantly stoking a new conflict in the Balkans. In a hastened effort to forge a settlement between Serbia and Kosovo that would enable U.S. forces to leave the region, the White House could unravel many Western achievements since ending the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s by inciting new regional rivalries.

Kosovo is in the midst of a political crisis as the coalition government fell apart on March 25 because of disagreements over responses to the pandemic. But the real battle has pitted President Hashim Thaci, who has reportedly discussed Kosovo’s partition with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, against Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who is adamantly opposed to any border changes. Washington has evidently sided with Thaci in the forlorn hope that it can quickly settle the Serbia-Kosovo dispute.

The core of this Balkan standoff is Belgrade’s refusal to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. This inter-state paralysis hinders Serbia’s ambitions to enter the European Union and freezes Kosovo’s entrance into international institutions. Instead of agreeing on implementable steps toward bilateral recognition, Thaci and Vucic seem to believe that an exchange of territory will be a magic wand in normalizing relations.

The fall of the Kurti government and the resulting political turmoil provides an opportunity for Thaci to bypass government and parliament in making deals with Belgrade. The swirling rumors in Pristina about U.S. supported land swaps has even forced the State Department to issue a statement denying that there is any secret plan. But the wording of the statement did little to assuage growing fears that Thaci and Vucic are negotiating with Washington’s blessing.

If a land swap is considered by some officials to be such a great deal, then one wonders why it has only been discussed secretly and is regularly denied. If Washington supports territorial changes, it should be clear how exactly this will occur with full democratic legitimacy. A credible land exchange would require several preconditions: Serbia and Kosovo recognizing each other as independent countries; popular approval through a parliamentary vote or public referendum; necessary constitutional amendments; and assistance to citizens affected by the land swaps during their voluntary relocation.

Without such a comprehensive package, three immediate threats will surface: Domestic, regional and international. Half-baked border alterations are likely to create even more domestic conflicts in both Serbia and Kosovo. Without plebiscites and parliamentary approval, deals struck behind closed door will not be widely accepted and can accelerate feelings of grievance. In Kosovo this will intensify political conflicts especially if the country does not benefit from UN membership as a result of the deal. And in Serbia, the loss of any more territory could inflame nationalism if the deal does not culminate in EU entry. Such disputes are more likely to turn violent during times of economic disruption, fear and uncertainty that the pandemic has unleashed.

Regionally, border changes approved by the U.S. will encourage separatists and irredentists to interpret them as legitimizing national homogenization. With the principle of multi-ethnicity evidently jettisoned, demands for mono-ethnicity would escalate and potentially unravel several countries. Western institutions and NATO forces may find themselves woefully unprepared for the wave of instability that could engulf the region. Calls for several hundred American troops to be withdrawn from the vital NATO mission in Kosovo will add fuel to the flames.

Territorial revisions in Kosovo could raise support for unification with Albania. Such momentum could spread to North Macedonia, where at least a quarter of the population is Albanian. Threats to North Macedonia’s territorial integrity would intensify ethno-nationalism and potentially bring both Bulgaria and Albania into an expanding conflict. The Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina can demand the application of the Kosovo precedent in splitting from Bosnia, likewise with the Croat population in western Herzegovina and the Bosniak population in Serbia’s Sandjak region.

Internationally, the prospect of land swaps adds another dimension to Moscow’s divisive plans in the Western Balkans and establishes usable precedents elsewhere. The most effective way to close doors to NATO and EU membership is to exploit inter-state conflicts so the disputants are viewed as unfit for accession. Moscow is well aware that various Balkan nationalists will pounce on the prospect of territorial acquisitions and can be encouraged to pursue even more ambitious irredentist claims. Russian officials can simultaneously offer regional settlements and inject themselves as mediators.

Kremlin support for Balkan land exchanges also establishes valuable precedents, particularly for its own partition of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and other targeted states. Moscow’s coerced border changes can be depicted as legitimate moves that mirror Western support for ethnic homogenization in the Balkans. This could reduce calls for economic sanctions against Russia for carving up its neighbors’ territories. Instead of pushing back on Moscow’s subversion and destabilization of the Balkans, U.S. supported border changes could turn out to be a gift for President Putin.

Janusz Bugajski is a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, D.C. His recent book, co-authored with Margarita Assenova, is entitled “Eurasian Disunion: Russia’s Vulnerable Flanks,” Jamestown Foundation, Washington, D.C.

L’Albania di Rama oltre la solidarietà: scandali, rapporti opachi, democrazia sospesa


Il Giornale

L’arrivo di aiuti economici, materiale sanitario e personale medico da parte di decine di stati stranieri nel nostro paese, oltre a dimostrare l’amicizia di cui l’Italia gode nel mondo, ha dato vita a un fenomeno che numerosi politologi hanno definito ”geopolitica della solidarietà”. In alcuni casi, l’invio di aiuti si accompagna a finalità di carattere politico e soprattutto i gesti di solidarietà (che senza dubbio apprezziamo in un momento difficile per la nostra nazione), non devono farci dimenticare responsabilità e comportamenti dei leader o dei governi nei propri paesi. È il caso del governo cinese che, al netto degli aiuti inviati all’Italia, ha responsabilità nelle fasi iniziali della diffusione del contagio e non può di certo essere preso come modello per una democrazia come quella italiana, ma anche dell’esecutivo guidato in Albania da Edi Rama.

Qualche giorno fa dall’Albania sono arrivati in Italia trenta medici, un gesto di solidarietà importante di cui siamo grati al popolo albanese ma che si è trasformato in uno strumento di propaganda eccezionale per il Primo ministro Edi Rama. Milioni di italiani hanno condiviso in buona fede il video di Rama in cui annunciava in italiano l’invio dei medici. La forma di governo in vigore in Albania è la Repubblica parlamentare, ciò significa che, come nel nostro paese, c’è un Primo ministro e un Presidente della Repubblica. Colpisce che quasi nessuno in Italia abbia citato o ringraziato il Presidente della Repubblica Ilir Meta, eppure lo stesso Meta ha espresso: “gratitudine e orgoglio per i nostri 30 medici e infermieri che daranno il loro sostegno nella regione più colpita dalla pandemia in Italia.

Questa solidarietà e questi sacrifici rafforzeranno ancora di più l’eccellente relazione tra i nostri due paesi e popoli”. Pochi sanno che in Albania è in atto uno scontro tra il Presidente della Repubblica Meta e il Premier Rama, ne avevamo parlato in un’intervista realizzata a Meta questa estate su “Il Giornale” in cui il Presidente albanese spiegava l’irregolarità delle elezioni avvenute a giugno senza la sua approvazione, rendendole perciò anticostituzionali: “in tutte sessantuno le municipalità in cui si votava hanno vinto i socialisti perché privi di opposizione come durante il regime comunista”, perciò oggi il Partito Socialista controlla il 100% del governo locale. Le elezioni sono state giudicate non regolari anche dalla missione di monitoraggio  dell’OSCE -ODIHR e dal Congresso delle Autorità Locali del Consiglio d’Europa a causa della presenza di un solo partito alle urne.

I problemi democratici non sono l’unico aspetto che colpisce il governo di Rama, secondo Sali Berisha, ex Presidente ed ex Primo Ministro: “l’Albania è diventata una specie di dittatura basata sul traffico di droga, un vero e proprio narco-stato”.

Un’accusa che spiega in modo dettagliato: “la nomenklatura del partito socialista amministra e governa i singoli territori e, invece di vigilare e combattere l’illegalità, non fa nulla. Ogni anno in Albania nasce un fondo da miliardi di dollari per riciclare il denaro della droga anche grazie a una cooperazione strettissima con i cartelli del sud America. Sono tonnellate di droga esportate verso l’Italia e l’Europa, basti pensare che per l’antimafia italiana il traffico di eroina è pressoché un’esclusiva della mafia albanese. Un narco-stato non può crearsi senza la complicità e la collusione della politica”.

Berisha non è l’unico a denunciare i legami tra il governo Rama e il narcotraffico, secondo Fatos Lubonja, uno dei principali intellettuali albanesi ed ex prigioniero politico per diciassette anni durante il regime comunista: “c’è una triangolazione di potere tra il mondo politico, economico e il narcotraffico” e aggiunge: “in Albania mancano i sistemi immunitari tipici della democrazia, il potere è in mano a bande, c’è un’economia instabile e non ci sono prospettive per il futuro”. Lubonja si sofferma poi su un altro aspetto legato al riciclaggio di denaro: “attraverso le nuove costruzioni si ricicla denaro sporco con prezzi fuori mercato nonostante lo spopolamento dell’Albania”.

Chi ha avuto un ruolo centrale nell’avvio dell’inchiesta sul narcotraffico è il giornalista investigativo Basir Çollaku, direttore delle news di Shijak Tv, un’emittente privata albanese che racconta l’organizzazione del narcotraffico in Albania: “qui agiscono decine di clan che operano in modo analogo alla criminalità organizzata in Italia”.

Ci vuole molto coraggio a denunciare pubblicamente le logiche e le dinamiche del sistema albanese, non è facile compiere liberamente il lavoro di giornalista investigativo senza subire pressioni e ritorsioni, Çollaku infatti ci dice di aver ricevuto varie intimidazioni che ha denunciato alle autorità. Come racconta Petrit Vasili, già Ministro della Sanità dal 2009 al 2012 con il governo Berisha, e Ministro della giustizia dal gennaio al maggio 2017 nel governo Rama, tra i problemi dell’esecutivo c’è anche la gestione della giustizia: “Il governo Rama ha compiuto una serie di forzature inaccettabili con la riforma della giustizia, una di questa è legata all’elezione del Procuratore Generale Temporaneo. La sua elezione è avvenuta solo con i voti della maggioranza socialista che sono stati 69 invece degli 84 richiesti e, nonostante fosse contrario alla costituzione, l’Unione europea ha accettato il voto. Finché non ci sarà un vero e proprio procuratore generale, una figura potentissima nell’ordinamento giuridico albanese, quello temporaneo è sotto il controllo di Rama con tutto ciò che ne consegue”.

L’ambito giudiziario è il tema più spinoso oggi in Albania perché esiste un groviglio di nomine di persone vicine al governo che impediscono la tradizionale separazione dei poteri.

Il Consiglio Supremo dei procuratori è guidato da Gent Ibrahimi, cognato della presidente della commissione parlamentare per le relazioni con l’estero, Mimi Kodheli, ex ministro della difesa del gabinetto di Rama, mentre il Consiglio giudiziario supremo è guidato da Naureda Llagami, una persona strettamente associata a importanti figure del partito socialista. Artur Metani, fratello della deputata socialista Eglantina Germani, ex ministro del governo Rama, è stato eletto Alto Ispettore della Giustizia, una nomina è contraria ai criteri costituzionali. Non si può non citare il ruolo ricoperto da Ardian Dvorani, presidente del consiglio per le nomine della giustizia che decide l’elenco dei candidati per la Corte costituzionale; l’unico problema è che l’attività della Corte costituzionale è sospesa da tre anni.

Oggi il Partito Socialista controlla tutti e quattro poteri che dovrebbero rappresentare i pilastri di una democrazia: esecutivo, legislativo e giudiziario ed è riuscito a controllare la maggioranza del quarto potere (i media) anche attraverso alcune leggi anticostituzionali.

Tutto ciò avviene in un momento molto delicato per l’Albania con l’avvio dei negoziati per l’ingresso nell’Unione europea come ha scritto il giovane e valido opinionista albanese Nikola Kedhi in un recente articolo in cui spiega l’appartenenza della nazione balcanica alla cultura occidentale ed europea, un motivo in più per promuovere il suo ingresso nell’Unione europea, senza però dimenticare le opacità del governo Rama e pretendere maggiore chiarezza.

Rama sembra interessarsi più della forma che della sostanza; grande comunicatore, non è nuovo a iniziative propagandistiche e sembra aver creato la “Repubblica albanese delle sneakers”, tanto gli piace indossare le scarpe da ginnastica. Ambisce ad essere un Obama in salsa balcanica ma dietro la sua agenda politica liberal e favorevole alla open society, si nasconde una modalità di governo tutt’altro che trasparente e questo, al di là dell’aiuto inviato all’Italia di cui siamo riconoscenti, non può e non deve essere taciuto.

Albania’s Jan-Feb budget surplus trebles

Albania’s Jan-Feb budget surplus trebles
Author Klaudjo Jonuzaj

PublishedApr 03, 2020 16:44 EEST

TIRANA (Albania), April 3 (SeeNews) – Albania recorded a budget surplus of 3.9 billion leks ($33.0 million/30.3 million euro) in the first two months of 2020, compared to 1.3 billion leks surplus in the same period a year earlier, the finance ministry said.

Consolidated budget revenue rose 2.8% year-on-year to 70.8 billion leks, while expenditures decreased 1.1% to 66.9 billion leks in January-February, according to data published on the website of the finance ministry.

Tax revenue increased 3.7% to 67 billion leks, while value-added tax (VAT) proceeds rose 6.4% to 23 billion leks.

Last month, Albania’s government decided to cut its 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 2.0% from 4.1% originally projected in the budget law due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease on the economy, the finance ministry said.

Budget deficit in 2020 is now projected at 68.7 billion leks equivalent to 3.9% of GDP, up from 29.3 billion leks, or 1.6% of GDP forecast in the budget adopted by the parliament in December.

(1 euro = 126.683 leks)



Mar 21, 2020

“LABORATORIO GRECIA” è un viaggio che attraversa la Storia greca ed europea passata e recente: dalla seconda guerra mondiale alla crisi che viviamo. Un documentario di Storia e di tante storie. - Sito web dedicato (sceneggiatura/bibliografia/sitografia +extra): - Ufficio Stampa: - FB: @labgreece

Una produzione no profit Collettivo (2019)


Scritto e diretto da JACOPO BROGI

Ricerche documentali e inchiesta – JACOPO BROGI

Montaggio e animazioni originali: DAVID MITRANI ARENAL




Musica: Dance with Invisible Partners

Voci narranti: Riccardo Viciani, Antonella Guidelli, Daniele Viciani

 Durata: 165 min. Colore

Formato video: HD

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Vucic spoke with Putin and Macron: "Significant assistance and support for Serbia"


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic made phone calls with the President of Russia and with the President of France, exclusively learns

SOURCE: B92 THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020 | 16:36

The main topics of the conversation were the fight against coronavirus, continued cooperation with the European Union and confirmation of the closest friendly relations with Russia.

"Great talk with a sincere friend of Serbia, President of France. Serbia has received a lot of support in the fight against COVID-19 and on its European path," the President wrote on Instagram's profile.

He had first spoken with the President of Russia and stated that he had a very good conversation with Vladimir Putin.

"A very good conversation with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. A confirmed friendship and significant assistance comes to Serbia. I want to thank Vladimir Putin and the Russian people," Vucic wrote.

These discussions are followed by meetings of the COVID-19 Crisis Staff to combat the contagious disease and to eliminate the possible adverse consequences of the COVID-19 infectious disease in the economy field.

After that, President Vucic will address the public. You can watch his address live on and B92 TV.

The United States will give the next blow to the fired Prime Minister Kurti


April 1, 2020

The United States has once again come out against the positions of the now dismissed Prime Minister Albin Kurti,

The establishment of reciprocity by the incumbent Government, Kurti, has led the United States to oppose this decision and issue a statement.

Donald Trump's envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell, shared on his Twitter account the position of the US Embassy in Kosovo, which states that they are against imposing reciprocity measures on Serbia.
The US Embassy has previously stated through an official statement that it is in favor of a complete 100 percent tax exemption, without imposing reciprocity.

In this announcement, it is said that these measures endanger the people of Kosovo and stifle the economy of the country itself.

“The United States was clear that Kosovo should abolish all tariffs and not create new barriers because these policies hurt the people of Kosovo and stifle Kosovo's economy. We remain opposed to recent action to implement reciprocity measures against the flow of goods from Serbia. These measures create more problems at a time when the United States believes that air, rail, and highway agreements reached between the two sides will boost economic development when implemented, and create the conditions necessary for successful dialogue, ”reads the response.

Ambassador Richard Grenell also reacted to this with a 'retweet' on his Twitter account, as expected after the US has been against reciprocity since its inception.

We recall that for the tax issue, it was one of the reasons why the LDK overthrew Kurti in the Assembly with a no-confidence motion that was supported by 82 members of the Assembly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Edi Rama: ‘Bonucci would be my defence minister!”


MARCH 31, 2020

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama joked that he would like Giorgio Chiellini to be his Interior Minister and Leonardo Bonucci as the Defence Minister.

Speaking to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Albanian PM talked about the contribution his country has made to fighting the Coronavirus in Italy by sending 30 health workers while also admitting his lifelong love for Juventus.

He began by explaining how the mission to send doctors and nurses to aid Italy came about.

“It comes from a strong memory: my generation lived by their skin during both the dark times of the dictatorship and the ferocity of the sea of ​​freedom, when we left the communist bunker to swim to our America: Italy!.”

“But perhaps it also stems from fear, from the awareness that the “bolt” of every European state can turn into collective suicide, while the invisible enemy attacks us with a pressure never seen before.

“Looking at Italy left alone became more embarrassing every day: every member of the European house cannot remain closed in his room. And so better to follow the advice of Mother Teresa: ‘Instead of cursing the dark we light our candle.”

“I got the first spark from Di Maio’s reaction when I hinted at the idea with shyness: 30 people are a candle that cannot heat a cathedral overflowing with suffering like today’s Italy or European cold. Luigi said to me: “But jokes, it would be unforgettable!”. I did not expect this emotion, which is pleasing and gives chills: it derives from Italian suffering and solitude. We do it perhaps precisely because we are poor. In the flood of comments I read in Italian I was struck by that of a boy from the South: “Albania reminded me of my dad. He said to me: ‘don’t forget the poor. In times of need, they will be the only ones to help you.”

Rama has often been pictured in his Juventus jacket while having travelled to the Juve stadium to meet management and players, so what does the club mean to him?

“The emanation of the spirit that gives everything to win, even against all odds. They photographed me with club jackets: they are beautiful, they are good in hard times like these. It’s worth the risk of losing some voters, especially Interisti!”

“Juventus memories? They are not happy are linked to two people, I shiver only to mention the surnames: Rep and Magath. And that’s enough because I don’t want to talk about a strange guy with the whistle who refereed against Madrid … There are so many happy ones that I leave alone: ​​better not to provoke the readers of the broad anti-Juventus front!”

“The Allianz? More than a beautiful stadium, it  is an impressive den that guards the Juventus spirit. It was an honor to meet President Agnelli, whose audacity I esteem as he “survived” in the shadow of the great lawyer.

“Children in Alabania who recently survived the earthquake met Cristiano and Buffon: I saw two colossal players with great heart. I think they always remember when they were nobodies.”

Has Sarri’s team convinced you on the field so far?

“Ah, I’m not saying anything because in Italy there are enough people who know everything without ever having touched a ball! In football, I watch fragments of life, I learn different ways to win. For me, great coaches are masters of leadership, like Mourinho.”

“The Juventus players have agreed to cut their salaries? It is the strength of that spirit of which I said before and which makes Juventus a religion, not simply a great football team.

“My favourite Juve player has been, and will always be Dino Zoff. In my Government, I would like Giorgio Chiellini the Interior Minister and Leonardo Bonucci as the Defence Minister.” Link

US to help Turkey in war with Syria if Ankara abandons S-400


The United States is once again trying to undermine the situation in Syria and drive a wedge into relations between Turkey and Russia, making Ankara attractive offers.

During a telephone briefing on Wednesday, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson said that Washington would assist Ankara in the war with Syria if it gets rid of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

We hope that Turkey will be able to repulse Syrian aggression with the support of Russia, as a result of which many Turkish soldiers were killed. We hope that we can put together a package of assistance to Turkey. We hope that Turkey will not place the Russian air defense system in its country - it holds back the potential that we can provide them to counter Syrian aggression.

Concluding the statement, the American Permanent Representative expressed the hope that the Turks will remove the Russian air defense system, which is located in the very center of Ankara.

The statement, which would have been relevant a month ago, now looks out of place against the background of the agreements reached between the presidents of Russia and Turkey on March 5 to introduce a ceasefire and joint patrol of the M4 highway.

Yes, it cannot be said that everything is smooth and the agreements are fully implemented.

However, do not forget that Russia, unlike the United States, did not suit the coup attempt in Turkey, and always fulfilled its obligations. Link

"You do not have to pay taxes and contributions now, the state will pay"

Foto: Tanjug, Dragan Kujundzic
Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said that a package of economic measures to help the economy in coronavirus epidemic will be 50 percent of the Serbian state budget


Yesterday's press conference presented an economic program to help the economy with 5.1 billion euros, and, according to the minister, it is aid amounting to 11 percent of Serbia's gross domestic product.

The measures, Mali told RTS, have two goals, preserving jobs and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

He states that the minimum wage will be paid to 900.000 entrepreneurs, tailors, physicians, taxi drivers.

"We will, if you have no income, pay three minimum wages starting May 1, which is about 90.000 dinars of aid for each of them. All businesses that want to be part of the program must not lay off more than 10 percent of employees they had on March 15", the finance minister points out.

According to him, one of the biggest demands of entrepreneurs was for the state to exempt them from paying taxes and contributions.

"You do not have to pay taxes and contributions now, the state will pay. If you do not have enough funds to pay for the net salaries, the state will pay the minimum wages", Mali points out.

He explains that the state will deposit the money into a new, dedicated company account, but directly to workers' accounts.

"Non-payment of taxes and contributions means that we will have 161 billion dinars less money in the budget. We will have to replace it, but the whole package is made so that the biggest burden of the crisis will be borne by the state. You will receive money from us so that we can get out of the crisis with the least possible consequences", the minister points out.

When it came to helping the citizens with the aid of 100 euros, Mali said the citizens would get the money on their accounts a few weeks after the state of emergency was lifted.

"You see how strong our state is, we are stable now. Let's raise our optimism and go through the crisis together, but also show the strength of our country. That money will be spent, in order to be spent, someone has to produce, you will turn your economy around”, Mali points out.

Talking about the health of the President of Serbia, who is not feeling well, Mali said that Vucic's fatigue and exhaustion have caught up with him.

"You know he has health problems, he has not been able to present an economic program. He lives for the economy, he heads the Crisis Coordination Body, but he has not been able to come. These are his measures. Without him, these measures would not have been possible. I hope that he will recover quickly”, the minister said.

He reiterated that the president would address the citizens in the next 48 hours.

259 total COVID-19 cases confirmed in Albania, 15 victims

COVID-19/ Ekspertët amerikanë ngrenë alarmin dhe
TIRANA, April 1 - Sixteen new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours in Albania, bringing the total number of infected people to 259.

So far, tests have been conducted on 1823 people. Out of the total 79 hospitalized patients, 7 are under intensive care, four of whom require ventilators, while the rest of the patients remain in stable condition.

According to the Ministry of Health, the average age of the patients who tested positive for the coronavirus is 50.

Two patients who were under intensive care died on Tuesday, a 77-year-old man from Kavaja and a 69-year-old from Has, bringing the number of victims in Albania to 15.

However, the Ministry of Health also announced that 67 patients who previously tested positive for the coronavirus in Albania have now recovered. However, they will have to be quarantined at home for 14 days.

The Albanian government has restricted movement of automobiles and pedestrians throughout the territory by imposing strict curfews from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m, with only one person per household being authorized to move starting from Monday. On Sunday, citizens are prohibited from going out at all. All international air, sea and land travel is banned and schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, concert halls and parks are also closed.

US Citizens Stranded in Albania Return Home

View image on Twitter
From: Exit News

The U.S. Embassy in Tirana has thanked Prime Minister Edi Rama and Air Albania for helping them with the repatriation of 64 American citizens and residents living in Albania.

In a tweet, the embassy expressed gratitude to all those who showed solidarity and helped them to organize the flight.


Over the past two days, we have helped 64 U.S. citizens and residents fly out of 🇦🇱 with the assistance of the government of Albania. Thank you: @airalbania1, @ediramaal, and to all whose generous solidarity helped them depart Albania so they could continue their journey to 🇺🇸!

In a separate message, Ambassador Yuri Kim extended additional thanks to the UK and Germany, possibly countries of transit for the American passengers.

Έξι μήνες φυλακή σε Αλβανό στρατιώτη που λιποτάκτησε


Μάρτιος 30, 2020. Eche

Δικαστήριο των Τιράνων καταδίκασε τον  Αλβανό στρατιωτικό Ρενίλντ Αγιάζι , σε έξι μήνες φυλακή, ο οποίος εγκατέλειψε την στρατιωτική αποστολή του ΝΑΤΟ στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, όπου ήταν σε εκπαιδευτική αποστολή.

Ο Αγιάζι ήταν διοικητής της μονάδας «Zall Harry» και έφερε τον κωδικό «Soldier IV», τον Οκτώβριο του 2017 με εντολή του Υπουργού Άμυνας πήγε στην Αγγλία να συμμετάσχει στην εκπαίδευση «Cambrian Patrol 17» στο Γουέλς.

Ωστόσο, εκμεταλλεύθηκε την ευκαιρία αυτή για να παραμείνει στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και λιποτάκτησε, χωρίς καμία ειδοποίηση,  όπως γράφει αλβανικό δημοσίευμα.

Ο στρατιωτικός που κατάγεται από την περιοχή Γκραμς της Αλβανίας κρίθηκε ένοχος και καταδικάστηκε ερήμην.
The Hellenic Information Team

Monday, March 30, 2020

Έξι μήνες φυλακή σε Αλβανό στρατιώτη που λιποτάκτησε


Μάρτιος 30, 2020. ech

Δικαστήριο των Τιράνων καταδίκασε τον  Αλβανό στρατιωτικό Ρενίλντ Αγιάζι , σε έξι μήνες φυλακή, ο οποίος εγκατέλειψε την στρατιωτική αποστολή του ΝΑΤΟ στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, όπου ήταν σε εκπαιδευτική αποστολή.

Ο Αγιάζι ήταν διοικητής της μονάδας «Zall Harry» και έφερε τον κωδικό «Soldier IV», τον Οκτώβριο του 2017 με εντολή του Υπουργού Άμυνας πήγε στην Αγγλία να συμμετάσχει στην εκπαίδευση «Cambrian Patrol 17» στο Γουέλς.

Ωστόσο, εκμεταλλεύθηκε την ευκαιρία αυτή για να παραμείνει στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και λιποτάκτησε, χωρίς καμία ειδοποίηση,  όπως γράφει αλβανικό δημοσίευμα.

Ο στρατιωτικός που κατάγεται από την περιοχή Γκραμς της Αλβανίας κρίθηκε ένοχος και καταδικάστηκε ερήμην.
The Hellenic Information Team

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The West is holding on to the Albanian narco-state

EC Recommends Accession Talks With Albania, North Macedonia ...

Fatos Lubonja "Volkskrant" Newspaper, March 24, 2020

In the spring of 2019, Albanian opposition parties left parliament. Co-operation between organized crime and the ruling Socialist Party during the elections was clear. They stated that they no longer wanted the democratic facade of a narco-state. 'The Independent' calls Albania 'Columbia of Europe'. The protests and civil disobedience should have alarmed public opinion in the country and Western politicians. But Brussels condemned the opposition and clearly backed the government. The main argument: You have made progress towards our standards, so you should not leave parliament. And now the Netherlands is also agreeing that the EU should start accession negotiations with Albania.

Why this support for Albania's autocratic and corrupt government, which increasingly cooperates with organized crime? Because the European Union and the US prefer 'stability' before democracy. There is also the risk of increasing Russian or Turkish influence in the region. It is important for the US that the Albanian government accepts a group of Iranian mujahideen as refugees. Yet the main cause of aid lies elsewhere.
The transition from communist countries to the Western model was based on two semantic paradigms: Fukujama's 'end of history' and Huntington's 'divisions'. The pro-Western elites in the eastern countries (in contrast to the eastern mentality of their peoples and hence the "Huntingtonian" divisions ") had to lead their people to the 'Promised Land' that the West had already reached (Fukujama). This so-called 'transition' would bring about the expansion of the West according to a model that would conquer the world.
Leaders of the people

Western political elites would oversee Eastern European countries in this transition. The Eastern elites - under their legitimacy - would serve as guides for their peoples. They would compete on who would best meet the demands of the West. Some countries are now part of the EU. The Western Balkans, the last part of the caravan, is said to be encouraging.

In reality, with Trump, Brexit and sovereign movements in EU countries, the West shows that it has not achieved the promised land. With autocratic developments in Hungary and Poland, and with Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia in the waiting room; the prospect is even grimmer.
The Albanian economy has always been weak, informal and criminal - but in recent years it has been increasingly funded by organized crime.

The massive explosion of construction in Tirana is nothing but money laundering from the proceeds of Albanian organized crime in Europe. Albanian politics has increasingly promoted these interests. It has become increasingly autocratic, with limited democracy. Traffickers and murderers have managed to get into Parliament, and mayors have been elected in many cities, which would not have been possible in the 1990s.

Many Albanians have left the country in recent years. According to the Gallup research agency (2017), 56 percent of people want to emigrate. In 2100, Albania now has 2.87 million inhabitants, with only 512,000 remaining.
Albania is not in a transition towards EU membership. An authoritarian narco-regime is increasingly stabilizing in the country. But why do European bureaucrats insist that Albania has made progress? The cause must be sought in the neo-liberalism that was applied in the West, as well as in countries like Albania, and which failed. The difference between western and eastern countries lies in the extent of this disease and in their immune systems.

In the West, neo-liberalism and globalism have spawned 'post-democracy' (Colin Crouch), in which politicians are simple stewards of the economic interests of some, with the majority remaining without political representation. Countries like Albania are the most dramatic example of this post-democracy. There the dictatorship went directly to a post-democracy, without proving democracy. Those 'few' in Albania are largely exponents of organized crime that have seized the state, making its institutions nothing more than tools for expanding their economic power.

US and EU support for the Albanian narco-state stems from their refusal to acknowledge the failure of neoliberalism and globalization both in their own countries and with regard to the European Union project. They want to preserve the transition myth that countries like Albania are 'different' because of their communist past; that they will overcome these differences with the help of the EU. Euro-bureaucrats, like the corrupt elites of the Western Balkans, want to continue the outdated transition narrative in order to maintain their power. They warn the public of left and right populist movements (or of countries that are geopolitically hostile to Russia).

But it is the EU itself and the US that have set up post-democracy - human or inhumane - in Europe.

  "Volkskrant", March 24, 2020)