„Persona non Grata“ in Washington: Mafia Mayor of Tirana: Lulzim Basha

 31 Jan 12 / 17:30:47
Albanian Media Embellish Mayor’s US Visit

A spokesperson for the mayor of Washington told Balkan Insight that the mayor did not invite Lulzim Basha to the US as local media have erroneously reported.

Besar Likmeta



Tirana Mayor Lulzim Basha

Tirana’s Mayor is visiting the United States and the government-friendly media in Albania have already added several twists concerning the nature of the visit, even though the municipality has given few details.

Contacted by Balkan Insight on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the municipality of Tirana, could not say if the visit was „official“ or who had invited Basha to Washington.

“We will compile a press statement later on and give details on the visit,” Erald Kapri said.

But pro-government newspapers in Tirana, citing sources inside the municipality, have for days filled their pages with stories about Basha’s visit, claiming he was invited to Washington by the city’s mayor, Vincent Gray.

A spokesperson for the mayor, Doxie McCoy, told Balkan Insight that no such invitation had been forwarded.

“A short meeting will take place tomorrow, Tuesday,” McCoy said. “A resident of Albanian descent asked Mayor Gray to grant the Albanian Mayor a courtesy visit and Mr Gray complied, as he often holds these kinds of meetings with visiting dignitaries,” he added.

Basha is a controversial figure in Albania. As Minister of Transport, in 2008 he was indicted for abuse of power in a highway project, which allegedly cost the state about 230 million euro. The indictment against him was thrown out by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

His election as Mayor of Tirana followed a controversial race. The battle for Tirana was seen as the key contest in the May 8, local elections , pitting former interior minister Basha, candidate of the centre-right government of Sali Berisha, against the opposition Socialist leader and incumbent Tirana mayor, Edi Rama.

After two months of legal wrangling, Albania’s Electoral College declared Basha the winner with a razor-thin victory, following a recount of miscast ballots, which opposition Socialists challenged as illegal.

The United States is Albania’s most important ally and local officials and the media have frequently distorted the nature of visits by officials to Washington.

After attending President Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, for example, the press staff of parliamentary speaker Jozefina Topalli passed around a photo of her posing with a “congressman,” Bill Hanbury, who later turned out to be a tour operator.

Although blaming the mistake on a staff glitch, Topalli had more trouble explaining the fabricated news on Albanian state television, TVSH, which claimed that she had met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit.

A similar case was reported in 2001, when Iir Meta –than Socialist Prime Minister –held a meeting with the former US Vice-President, Dick Cheney.

After coming out from the meeting with Cheney, Meta briefly ran into President George Bush in the corridor. This casual meeting was also blown-up by the media at the time.

Albanian politicians, both from the government and the opposition, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in lobbying in the United States.

A review by Balkan Insight of the filings of these lobbying companies under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, FARA, showed their activities were concentrated on securing meetings with American officials for Albanian politicians and media access during their visits.

The government of Albania pays currently for the services of two lobbying firms in Washington, the Podesta Group and Patton Boggs.

Lobbyist have been employed often in the past two decades also by the opposition Socialist Party and by the current government’s junior partner party, The Socialist Movement for Integration.

Die Drogen Mafia Partei LSI des Ilir Meta, hat einen Lobby Vertrag mit der US Firma: “Bluestar Strategies”

28.1.2012: Berufs Betrüger Lulzim Basha fliegt nach Washington: „Innovation in Albania: Changing Government’s Relationship to its Citizens“

Fake Meeting in September 2011 !

false meetings: gefakte US Treffen des PM Salih Berisha mit Obama und Aussenminister Edmond Haxhinasto mit Clinton
Alle angeblichen Treffen und Meetings, zwischen Salih Berisha, mit Obama und seiner Frau, ebenso des Aussenministers Haxhinasto mit Hillary Clinton (Fotos in der Albanischen Presse), sind zusammen gefaelscht, bzw, es sind alte Fotos, von frueheren Treffen. Es gab kein Haende schuetteln etc.. und Nichts ist in den Protokollen des Weissen Hauses erwaehnt.

Das war sowieso jedem im voraus klar, weil solche Treffen mit Profi Gangstern (im Null Funktion Staat) zu peinlich waere. Der Luegner Haxhinasto, einem uralt Partner des Super Verbrechers Ilir Meta und seiner Bande, behauptet er haette ein Treffen mit Hillary Clinton gehabt! Eine Luege, es gibt ebenso, keinen Vermerk, um US Statedepartment hierueber.

Sali Berisha, traf in einem hochgeheimen Treffen,  Williams Burns !

4 Tage, die Protokolle des Weisses Hauses und des US Statedepartsments, ueber alle Treffen und Fakten.

23 Shtator, 2011

Flash / Politikë | nga AMA-News

Provat/ Zbulohen mashtrimet Berisha-Haxhinasto, për takimet Klinton-Obama
Për të gjithë lexuesit e agjencisë AMA, për shkak të konfuzionit që është krijuar për vizitën e kryeministrit Sali Berisha në SHBA dhe zëvendësit të tij Edmond Haxhinasto, po japim një sqarim të plotë dhe me prova. Zyra e Kryeministrit dhe Ministrit kanë njoftuar këto ditë zhvillimin e takimeve të rëndësishme me Sekretaren e Shtetit Hillari Klinton dhe Presidentin Barack Obama.

Peinlich, was wir schon länger sagen und für praktisch fast alle Politker gilt in Albanien:

  Former US ambassador in Tirana, John Withers

“Unfortunately, the Albanian leaders, even when they are at the age of Prime Minister Berisha or Lulzim Basha, they lack of this trust. It has a vital importance for Albania to find other leaders, men or women, young or old, from whatever religion or ethnicity, but that have democracy fire is still shining”, Withers” Top-Channel


“Gerdeci, government concealed truth”
16/03/2012 19:30

Gerdeci, government concealed truth

After the letter sent to Top Channel, through which he explained his role regarding the cables sent to Washington and the critical declarations on Voice of America, for the danger that threaten Albania, the former US ambassador in Tirana, John Withers, launches harsh critics towards the Albanian government, for which he says that it reigns, rather than governing.

In an interview for JAVA Magazine, Withers considered the Gerdeci tragedy a criminal act about which the Albanian government has concealed the truth.

“The government’s reaction about the Gerdeci strategy remains one of its biggest failures. We must not forget that Gerdec was a human tragedy, and people lost their children and relatives in an event that can be described only as a criminal act. It is a basic responsibility of this government to guarantee justice, so that the victims of this terrible deed can see the people who bear legal and moral responsibility to answer for their actions. But the Albanian government not only has neglected finding the truth about Gerdec, but it has also used its maximum power for not allowing the truth to come to light”, Withers declared.

The former US diplomat to Tirana analyzed the verdict that doesn’t mention the word “death”, although 26 people were killed.

“After the Tirana Court verdict, other questions have surfaced. No one has defended more than me the independence of the Albanian judicial system. But even those who strongly believe in the autonomy of courts, these verdicts are strange and disappointing. The court verdict was about the violation of the security regulation at work, and property destruction due to negligence. But how is it possible that they avoided the key element, the central fact of the Gerdeci tragedy: that 26 innocent people were killed by those explosions, and that someone is responsible for those lives?”, Withers underlined.

“Albania needs new leaders”

What should change in the behavior of the Albanian politicians? This is the answer given by John Withers:

“What should change most than everything in the Albanian political elite, is the mentality. The Albanian ruling class is based on an old and regressive concept, thinking that they enjoy more privileges compared to the common people, that they are immune to the rule of law, that they do not have to submit to the people’s will. Nothing has influenced more than these archaic behaviors of the ruling people for undermining the democratic progress that the country needs. Albania is a young democracy. In the last 20 years, after the fall of communism, their biggest need was the construction of the basic democratic institutions: an independent and reliable judicial system, a free media, a honest and free electoral system, a rule of law that really fights corruption. Nothing of these has been achieved”, Withers emphasized.

“Look at the current government. The work that they have left behind is completely against the concept of democracy construction. They have consistently threatened courts, even under the facade of an anti-constitutional lustration law. They have attacked the Prosecution with the most humiliating way, while they tried to find an answer for the tragedies of Gerdec and for the January 21st events. They have tried to limit the media freedoms through non-democratic laws and through pressures in the media premises. They have manipulated the most basic and democratic right, the electoral process”, he underlined.

For this situation to change on behalf of the Albanian citizens, the former Ambassador Withers gives some suggestions.

“What Albania needs are not politicians who are younger in their age, but a new mentality. The real men of states, such as Nelson Mandela in South Africa, or the late Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, were very old aged men, but their trust on democratic principles was the essence of their character and their being. Unfortunately, the Albanian leaders, even when they are at the age of Prime Minister Berisha or Lulzim Basha, they lack of this trust. It has a vital importance for Albania to find other leaders, men or women, young or old, from whatever religion or ethnicity, but that have democracy fire is still shining”, Withers added. http://www.top-channel.tv/english/artikull.php?id=5127

Der Ukrainische Oligarch: Rinat Akhmetov, will die bankrotte Serbische Stahlfirma: „Smederevo“ kaufen

Der Vetrag zum Abkauf des Eisenwerks Smederevo unterzeichnet Drucken


 Der serbische Premier Mirko Cvetkovic und Vertreter des amerikanischen Unternehmens „U.S. Steel“ unterzeichneten den Vertrag zum Abkauf des Eisenwerks Smederevo, sodass die Regierung der Republik Serbien zum Eigentümer dieses Unternehmen wurde. Im Namen des „U.S. Steel“ unterzeichnete den Vertrag der stellvertretende Direktor für Europa David Lintur. Cvetkovic betonte dabei, dass die Regierung keine Absicht hat, Inhaber und Leiter des Eisenwerks zu sein, aber sie werde alles tun, um einen guten strategischen Partner zu finden, und die Zukunft für diese Fabrik abzusichern. Die Regeirung werde sich bemühen, die Herstellung aufrechtzuerhalten, einen strategischen Partner zu finden, und dass die Fabrik nach einer Krise wieder mit Gewinn wirtschaftet, so Cvetkovic.

Ukrainischer Stahl, wurde schon vor über 10 Jahren, auch nach Albanien geliefert, Zeitgleich mit Kokain, weil neue Drogen Wege erschlossen werden mussten.

Rinat Akhmetov, Ukrainian tycoon in Serbia
Owner of ‘Shakhtar’ FC to buy steel factory in Smederevo

Ukrainian king of steel Rinat Akhmetov is interested to purchase the steel factory in Smederevo. As ‘Blic’ learns his closest associate was in Belgrade on Monday where he talked with Serbian leadership about takeover of the ‘US Steel’, a company that Serbia Government yesterday purchased from the Americans for one Dollar.

Rinat Leonidovič Ahmetov, Ukraininan businessman and oligarch

Akhmetov (46) is owner of several steel factories in Europe and Ukraine. An individual from Ukraine well acquainted with his business claims that Akhmetov is the most important steel manufacturer in the EU but a serious trader with electric power as well. As ‘Blic’ learns the talks with Ukraine are being led at the highest
‘His biggest competitors are German steel factories but also the ‘US Steel’ in Serbia. That is the reason for such serious interest. On the other hand, he meets all requirements you set’, our source says.

In Ukraine Akhmetov is known as someone who is permanently introducing contemporary technologies in production and whose workers are receiving regular pays. In public he is also known as the owner of the ‘Shakhtar’ FC.

Due to low prices of steel on European market and high production costs in Serbia, the steel factory in Smederevo has extinguished the first furnace last year. The second furnace as well as the plant in Slovakia continued working with decreased capacity.

Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine with Rinat Ahmetov at football mach

Americans decided to leave Serbia two weeks ago. It was then that Serbia Government decided to takeover the company.

Serbia President Boris Tadic confirmed the other day that ‘Serbia Government has negotiated with a strategic partner’.

‘The future strategic partner has to fulfill two conditions, to have iron ore and coke necessary for production of steel’, Tadic said.

Serbia Government yesterday became formal owner of the steel factory for a symbolic amount of one Dollar. One could say it was a good deal since the Americans shall write-off up to 450 million Dollars in business books what the book-keeping value of the plant is. After signing of the contract Prime Minister Cvetkovic said not to be happy about such outcome.

‘We feel sad today because we remember how successful the ‘US Steel’ once was. When we learned that the partner from America intends to leave, the Government had two options – to close the factory and leave 5400 people without job or to takeover the factory and find a strategic partner as soon as possible. We chose the least bad option’, Cvetkovic said.

Costs 200 millions

The ‘US Steel’ yesterday publicized business results according to which the last year loss at the steel factory in Smederevo was 200 million Dollars. John Surma, President of the Company from Pittsburgh explained that ‘because of the costs the best option for the Company was to leave the steel factory to the Government of Serbia’.