Friday, July 3, 2020

Hellenic Navy ‘s 6th Roussen-class FAC arrives Salamis base after sea trials

Hellenic Navy 's 6th Roussen-class FAC arrives Salamis base after ...
Other warships in the base welcomed HS Karathanasis

July 3, 2020.

Hellenic Navy’s newest Roussen-class (Super Vita) guided missile fast patrol boat HS Karathanasis (pennant number: P-78) arrived Salamis Naval Base after performing sea trials, Hellenic Navy announced. The commissioning of HS Karathansis is scheduled in July.

Full operational integration of the ship is intended to be completed after the ship joined to the Fleet of the Hellenic Navy.

The Roussen class is a seven-strong class of British-design fast attack missile boats improved and customized for the Hellenic Navy, also known as Super Vita.

The design of the 62 meters fast attack craft is based on the smaller Vita class vessels already in service with the Qatar Emiri Navy and similar-sized craft built for Oman and other countries.

The first three vessels are armed with the MBDA (formerly EADS Aerospatiale-Matra) Exocet ITL 70A MM40 block II surface-to-surface missile. The following four vessels have the Exocet block III version. The vessel’s air defence missile system is the RAM (rolling airframe missile), to be supplied by RAMSYS, a consortium of MBDA (formerly EADS Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace), Diehl and BGT.

The craft’s main gun installed on the bow deck is the Oto Melara Super Rapid 76mm gun which is capable of firing 6kg shells at a rate of 100 rounds a minute to a range of 16km. Two Oto Melara 30mm guns are installed on either side of the upper deck to the stern of the main radar mast.

The vessel’s sensor suite includes the Thales MW08 3D G-band surveillance radar, Thales Nederland Mirador electro-optical target tracker, an integrated Thales Nederland Scout mkII low probability of intercept radar and Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton) Marine Bridgemaster-E navigation radar.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

MP Karamelos: The Albanian state puts huge pressure on us Greeks of Northern Epirus



MP Karamelos: The Albanian state puts huge pressure on us Greeks of Northern Epirus 4

Grigoris Karamelos, a Greek MP for Korytsa (Κορυτσά: Albanian: Korçë) in Albania, during an interview with Channel One on the “Logos kai Antiologos” show with Nikos Paraskeva, said that the Greeks of Northern Epirus are facing difficult moments because of Prime Minister Edi Rama and his government.

He said “on the one hand, Albania wants to join the European Union without meeting the criteria for membership and on the other hand it maintains close relations with Turkey.”

Karamelos spoke about the national hatred of the Albanian state against the indigenous Greeks of Northern Epirus in southern Albania, which is most evident through the management of the property issue, mainly regarding the Himarra (Χειμάρρα, Albanian: Himarë) coast, in order to alter the Greek-majority of the region to an Albanian one.

He also referred to the immigration problem where a law on the granting of political asylum to refugees is to be voted on for the first time in the Parliament. According to Albanian media, there is an agreement between Rama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to relocate 30,000 refugees and illegal immigrants from Turkey to Albania in the region of Northern Epirus where up to 120,000 indigenous Greeks live, as reported by Greek City Times in April.

Although Greece liberated Northern Epirus during the First Balkan War (1912-13), the Great Powers gifted the region to the new Albanian state. Greece would once again liberate the region, that has been majority inhabited by Greeks for thousands of years, in World War Two, but it was once again gifted to Albania by the Great Powers.

MP Karamelos: The Albanian state puts huge pressure on us Greeks of Northern Epirus 4
Karamelos spoke about the propaganda carried out in the region of Korytsa by both Romania and Bulgaria in villages in the region, in view of the census, which was to take place in October 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need a lot of preparation for the census whenever it happens, because we are a large percentage. In the 2011 census, 25,000 Greeks declared themselves Greek in Korytsa, but the Albanian state counted only 2,000,” he said.

“Greece must monitor the developments and support us,” said Karamelos, who also referred to the political situation of the National Greek Minority, emphasising that the situation requires unity by all Greeks.

He also raised the issue of propaganda on Albanian television channels, which completely distorts history.

“After we managed to keep our roots and our tradition during the Hoxha dictatorship, we can do it now,” said Korytsas, a Greek lawmaker, presenting proposals on how the Greek state can help Greeks in northern Epirus.

However, as he pointed out, “Greece is now sitting and the Bulgarians are financing…”

However, Romania and Albania are both colluding to Romanianise Vlahoi Greeks. Although the majority of the Latin-speaking Vlahoi in Albania identify as Greek, Romania is working very hard to Romanianise them and in 2013, a Romanian Information Center  opened up in Korytsa that teaches the Romanian language, culture and heritage for free – and on top of that, even offer some students free travel to European Union member state, Romania.

In order to put pressure on the Greek minority in Northern Epirus and control the social awakening of Hellenism, Albania recognised a Romanian-Vlahoi minority in 2012. Romania believes that because the Vlahoi speak a language similar to Romanian, they are in fact Romanian and not Greek, as reported by Greek City Times.

As Albania knows it occupies Northern Epirus, which seeks union with Greece, weakening Greek identity with strong Romanian backing serves a powerful agenda for both of their countries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rama with footage from the KLA war: Serbs were not bombed by Thaci and Veseli


He illustrated the speech with footage from the KLA war and the 1999 bombing of Serbia.

Rama gave full support to the former KLA leaders, and his visit to Pristina is obviously dedicated to collecting political points on national motives.

"I'm getting tired from counting post-war statements about the need to create a new court. Serbs were not bombed by Thaci and Veseli. The democratic world is not an aggressor, and Thaci and others rebelled against the aggressor. That is a fact," Rama told lawmakers at the last session of the Albanian parliament, Koha reports.

In the description of the video, Rama wrote: "Good morning from Pristina, I wish you all a good day."

Sunday, June 28, 2020

EU borders likely closed to US travellers and others

EU borders likely closed to US travellers and others 2

European Union member states have drawn up a list of safe non-EU countries to open borders to.

14 non-EU countries and four states can enter the EU, including those coming from Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan and Serbia, as well as North African countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

In contrast, the United States, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, North Macedonia and Albania were excluded from the list.

The list also includes China, provided it implements a reciprocity policy and allows EU nationals to travel to China.

The crucial criterion for inclusion in the list was the epidemiological data of the countries under consideration, which had to be corresponding or lower than the EU average (16 cases / 100,000 population in the first fortnight of June). However, some Member States have sought to include countries with the highest number of cases, such as Portugal’s persistence, which was ineffective, to include Brazil in the second phase of the list.

For Athens, further delays in opening up to the rest of the world threatens to deal another major blow in efforts to save the tourist season. Greece in meetings with permanent representatives of the member states, expressed strong objections to the prospect of further extension of travel bans.

Yesterday afternoon, the Greek government announced that it would open the country’s gates to the rest of the world, with the exception of nine countries, signalling its intention to move unilaterally.

Countries that, under different circumstances, would be its natural allies in pursuing the fastest possible opening, have taken a more cautious stance due to the severe health blow suffered by the pandemic. Italy has been particularly cautious in its discussions, noting that the opening of the Schengen area was enough for tourist movements and that there was no reason to take any further risk by opening the external borders.

Spain, for its part, despite being in a better position to Italy, made it clear that it did not intend to open unilaterally unless there was an agreement. “It is a vital agreement at the European level,” the Spanish government spokesman said yesterday.

However, there are concerns that the list needs to be updated every two weeks.

Northern countries such as Sweden, Denmark (which originally intended to keep its borders closed even with EU countries until August 31), Finland and the Netherlands made sure the initial list of countries was small enough.

“It is important for us that there is an agreement at a European level to open the borders and that this agreement is based solely on health criteria,” a Dutch diplomat said.

In case of disagreement and unilateral opening of Member States to third countries, he warned, “we may be forced to close our borders” to that Member State.

Border policy is the responsibility of Member States. The European Commission since the beginning of the health crisis has taken steps to promote the coordination of Member States in this area and to restore free movement within the Schengen area – but with limited success. Union member states have reacted to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe by closing their borders even to other Schengen members.

"If Trump wins, it will be easier for Serbia"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated that if the current US President Donald Trump gets a second mandate, the position of Serbia would be somewhat easier.


"I do not believe in big changes in American policy, but I do believe in small changes in the US policy, which would be of great importance for Serbia," Vucic said in an interview with today's "Kurir".

He added that he could not elaborate on the details because it would make Serbia's position worse and put the American partners in an awkward position.