Balkan (Englisch)

Remedy or Recipe for Disaster? CIA Vet Offers to Redraw Balkan Borders… Again

 At the same time, it’s obvious that the US and EU’s Balkan policy has proved inefficient.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Remedy or Recipe for Disaster? CIA Vet Offers to Redraw Balkan Borders… Again

Steven Meyer

© Photo: Pixabay

Steven Meyer, former CIA deputy chief of the Balkan Task Force, believes that the only way to ease tensions in the Balkan region is to yet again redraw the borders of former Yugoslavia creating a confederation of Orthodox nations in response to the emergence of the so-called Greater Albania.

Anti-terrorism units of Serbia’s Internal Ministry, Defense Ministry and special services stage exercise
© SPUTNIK/ OLEG IVANOV

Serbia Boosts Security Cooperation With Russia Amid Renewed Kosovo Provocations
The Balkan borders could be redrawn, Steven Meyer, a CIA veteran, who served as deputy of the US administration’s Balkan Task Force for five years in the 1990s, told Sputnik Serbia.
Known as a critique of the US’s policies in the Balkans, Meyer argues that the borders „more or less imposed“ on the Balkan nations by the US and its European allies following the collapse of Yugoslavia do not correspond to the true state of affairs.

Recalling the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Accords, signed in December 1995, the CIA veteran pointed out that the agreement, aimed at ending the bloodshed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was made in a hurry.

„They [US President Bill Clinton and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke] were so anxious to get a solution and to do it quickly. I understand that a good part of Dayton was ending the bloodshed in Bosnia and [President of Serbia Slobodan] Milosevic was anxious to please the US, he wanted aid from the US and he spoke for the Bosnian Serbs,“ Meyer told Sputnik.

In accordance with the Dayton agreements, the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina was established as the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the Republika Srpska.
„Holbrooke was very adamant, very tough about the solution. He convinced the [US] administration that it was the right way to go,“ the CIA veteran said.

However, according to Meyer, it was clear from the very beginning that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run.

„The country Bosnia exists on paper, it’s a fictional place, really,“ the CIA veteran said, „The power doesn’t lie in Sarajevo, it lies in other places, it lies with the ethnic communities, it lies with the American Embassy in Sarajevo, at least for the Federation.“

Meyer believes that the best way to solve tensions in the Balkan region is to redraw its borders… once again.

„It can be, it depends on how it’s done. We have already redrawn borders here. Montenegro, a very-very close vote, but Montenegro in Serbian borders have been redrawn,“ Meyer noted, in a reference to a controversial border demarcation agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro.

„Much of the world has recognized Kosovo,“ the former CIA official continued, „not everybody, five countries in the EU have not, but that is redrawing borders. And as I said earlier, Bosnia doesn’t really work very well and those borders are essentially redrawn.“

Meyer highlighted that borders should be redrawn peacefully and insisted that in that way it wouldn’t somehow violate international law.

„I think it should be done peacefully. There has to be some sort of creative leadership in the Balkans,“ he underscored.

„There is nothing sacred about borders. The international law doesn’t prohibit peaceful change of borders,“ Meyer said.

He drew attention to the fact that since the end of the Cold War, the world has seen a lot of border changes.
„Borders of the Soviet Union changed, we saw Czechoslovakia changed borders and we saw Germany changed borders,“ the CIA veteran said, „So it is certainly possible.“

As of yet, however, the only Balkan nation pushing ahead with the border change issue is the Albanians, who seek the creation of the so-called Greater Albania.

The Greater Albania doctrine envisions that the territories in southern Montenegro, southern Serbian territories including Kosovo and the Presevo Valley and northwestern parts of Macedonia should be incorporated into the existing Republic of Albania.

The CIA veteran doesn’t exclude the possibility of the establishment of Greater Albania. Likewise, however, according to Meyer, some sort of „Greater Serbia“ or a confederation of Orthodox populations of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and the Republika Srpska could be created.

He called attention to the fact that the Republika Srpska is also seeking the possibility to join Serbia.

Pedestrians walk by a billboard picturing US President-elect Donald Trump with an inscrpition that translates as Congratulations! Trump, Serb! published by Serbian daily newspaper in Belgrade on November 10, 2016
© AFP 2017/ OLIVER BUNIC
Pedestrians walk by a billboard picturing US President-elect Donald Trump with an inscrpition that translates as „Congratulations! Trump, Serb!“ published by Serbian daily newspaper in Belgrade on November 10, 2016
To accomplish such a bold task, the former Yugoslav nations should take their fate into their own hands, Meyer insists. According to the CIA veteran, the Balkan region needs „creative leadership.“

However, not all observers share Meyer’s enthusiasm, saying that the devil is always in the detail.

„Experts say that relations between the republics of the former Yugoslavia are now worse than ever since the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-2001. More and more republics and national entities in the Balkans are calling for redrawing borders and creating federations in already existing states,“ veteran journalist and RIA Novosti contributor Dmitri Dobrov writes, warning that the region risks becoming the „powder keg of Europe.“

In this context, the efforts aimed at creating the Greater Albania could become the trigger for a new Balkan war. That means that Meyer’s concept of a peaceful redrawing of borders in the Balkans may turn out to be nothing but wishful thinking.

At the same time, it’s obvious that the US and EU’s Balkan policy has proved inefficient.

„It is quite obvious that the 1990s policies of Washington and Brussels aimed at reconciling warring parties and creating multiethnic states in the Balkans have collapsed,“ Dobrov stressed.

Recently, religious and ethnic contradictions have intensified in the territory of former Yugoslavia. According to the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK), the Balkan region has been engulfed by 18 major and minor conflicts. Bitter contradictions continue to simmer between Slovenia and Croatia over border issues in the Piran Gulf; Serbia and Croatia still struggle to reach an agreement on the Island of Sarengrad and the Island of Vukovar; Republika Srpska signaling its interest in joining Serbia, while the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo remains a sore spot in relations between Serbs and Albanians.

The question arises whether the strategy aimed at „redrawing“ borders in the Balkans is a remedy or recipe for disaster.

Stupid EU Mafia in Tirana: Albanian Judicial Reform Faces New Court Challenge

Generalsekretär des Europarates: fordert unabhängige Ermittlungen in das Mafia Projekt der TAP Pipeline auch gegen die EU-Commission

Thorbjørn Jagland, the former Norwegian prime minister and Council of Europe secretary general has urged the Assembly President Pedro Agramunt to ensure „an independent external investigation body without any further delay.““

EU undemocratic & infested with fraudsters – ex-Thatcher aide

 

  King of corruption in Tirana from Georg Soros: Romana Vlachudin and the stupid Edi Rama 08 Jun 17

Albanian Judicial Reform Faces New Court Challenge

Two judges‘ associations have launched a fresh Constitutional Court challenge to parts of Albania’s judicial reform package – including the key law on vetting judges and prosecutors – threatening to derail the process.

Besar Likmeta
Tirana

BIRN

 
 Albania’s Constitutional Court. Photo: LSA

The National Association of Judges and the Union of Albanian Judges have filed a lawsuit with the Albanian Constitutional Court, challenging the legality of the Law on the Governing Institutions of the Justice System, the Law on the Status of Judges and Prosecutors and the Law on the Reassessment of Judges and Prosecutors, known as the ‘vetting’ law.

The lawsuit was filed on June 1 and BIRN has now obtained a copy of the document, which has not been made public.

The three pieces of legislation are part of a comprehensive judicial reform package, which is a prerequisite for Tirana to open accession negotiations with the European Union.

The lawsuit comes amid a hotly-contested campaign for the June 25 parliamentary elections, and at a point when an ad hoc parliamentary commission is selecting the lawyers that will be part of the vetting bodies.

In their request filed with the Constitutional Court, jusdes’ associations seek the disqualification of a number of articles of the vetting law which regulate the vetting of the integrity of judges and prosecutors in regards to their ties with organised crime.

The associations oppose as unconstitutional the scrutiny over ties between the judges, prosecutors and organised crime in the period going back to January 1, 2012.

Another provision of the law they reject relates to possible ties their relatives and people close to them might have or had with organised crime.

The lawsuit in particular challenges the procedure on which the vetting of the integrity of judges and prosecutors will be based and the way evidence will be collected by the Independent Qualification Commission and the Appels College – the two vetting bodies that are currently being created.

The associations argue that the vetting law’s provision on the way evidence will be collected by the ‘control groups’ during the reassessment period goes beyond what the constitution intended.

The judges oppose the use of evidence during the reassessment of testimony provided by protected witnesses of the prosecution, when their ties to organised crime might have been recorded.

They also reject the use as evidence in the vetting process of confidential information, like preventive wiretaps carried out by security services and information collected by police agents.

Another contested article of the vetting law regards the right of prosecutors and judges to resign in order to stop the reassessment process.

The law prescribes that the judges and prosecutors can make use of this right no later than three months after the law entered in force.

According to the judges’ associations, the article is unconstitutional and the subjects of the law should have the right to resign and stop the vetting at any given time of their choice.

This is not the first time the two associations that represent the powerful judges’ lobby in Albania, have appealed the Constitutional Court in order to challenge the judicial reform package.

In autumn 2016, they joined the opposition Democratic Party, in its court appeal against the law on vetting judges and prosecutors, which is a key component of the reform passed by parliament in July 2016.

Although the Constitutional Court, following a recommendation by the Venice Commission, refused to strike down the vetting law, the decision did not discourage the judges associations, which in April through another case managed to abolish some articles of the law on the Status of Judges and Prosecutors.

The ruling in favour seems to have buoyed the judges to seek a partial annulment of the other three laws.

The Constitutional Court is expected to convene on June 22 in order to hear the arguments on the new case.

– See more at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/albania-s-key-judicial-reform-faces-new-court-challenge-06-08-2017#sthash.nv5BjUAZ.dpuf

Vlachudin under investigation


Romana Vlachudin, the ambassador of the European Union in Albania, is under OLAF investigation for purchasing a 350-square-metre house in Tirana for €1,6m. This is rather crazy since local experts say this specific house is not worth even a third of the selling price.

At the time of the sale, similar houses in the same area and bigger ones were priced at least €1m less than what the Commission paid.

This investigation is of particular significance because it was opened four weeks ahead of Albania’s general election on June 23.

On more than one occasion, Vlachudin has openly supported Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s ruling socialists. The fact, however, that the Rama-friendly EU Ambassador was placed under investigation before the election, may signify that given the circumstances, the European Commission does not wish to take sides in the electoral process of Albania.

Nevertheless, the good ambassador’s pick has few chances of winning the election – and no one wants to be associated with a loser, especially not the European Commission.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/vlachudin-under-investigation/

ZZ

Cecilia Malmström “I do not take my mandate from the European people.”

Die Justiz wurde beerdigt, jede Ansatz einer Rechtsstaatlichkeit erneut mit den korrupten EU und IRZ Banden gestoppt, welche in Tradition schlimmer wie die „Camorra“ ist, sogar „Nghradeta“ Milliarden Projekte in Albanien direkt finanzieren, wie die TAP Pipeline. Die Banden werden sogar für Gelddiebstahl in Milliarden Höhe und Bauschrott noch belohnt, mit Phantom Projekten ohne Kontrollen.

Sinn und Zweck ausländischer Botschaften, Institutionen, Geldgeber kann die Albanische Bevölkerung schon lange nicht mehr verstehen, wandert aus. Die korrupte und aufgeblähte EU Botschaft, OSCE Botschaft zeigen ein Langzeit Desaster.

7 Millionen € Reisespesen in wenigen Monaten, um private Bilder Galerien zu besuchen, eigene Bilder zu promoten und fast nie in Tirana zu sein. Verfassungsbruch, man hat das Reise Betrugs System der EU, Berlin kopiert und übernommen.

Justiz Minister Ylli Manjani zur Durres Justiz Mafia: „Ihr stehlt Tausende von Hektar mit gefälschten, falschen Dokumenten als Partner der Mafia“

EU Null Hirn Geschwätz, über Betrugs-, und Show Wahlen in Albanien: Ihr endloses Geschwätz über den Konsens

EU Null Hirn Geschwätz, über Betrugs-, und Show Wahlen in Albanien:  Ihr endloses Geschwätz über den Konsens

This is something that Vlahutin and all here jetset humanist colleagues fail to truly appreciate. Their endless babble about consensus, the inclusion of the opposition, full representation, etc., etc. has led to a political situation in which there is literally no choice.

2012: „A document obtained by BIRN shows that OLAF is investigating complaints against a tender held in May by the EU Delegation in Tirana.“

What Does Vote Buying Mean?

What Does Vote Buying Mean?

On Monday, EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin called upon Albanian citizens not to “sell their vote” during the June 25 parliamentary elections. This “don’t sell your vote” is a common mantra among the well-willing internationals in this country, as if vote buying were truly a great threat to democracy – a greater threat than the politicians that will be elected.

Because what is vote buying actually? Vote buying means that you give your vote to a party or candidate in exchange for money or goods – the famous bags of flour. But how is that different from voting for a party because they promise to lower taxes? Or because they promise to subsidize childcare? Or because they promise free education? All of these promises basically represent a monetary value for the voter, and especially lower-income households immediately feel the effect of changes in the subsidy and taxation system in their wallet.

So how are these promises for lower taxes or extra subsidies different from vote buying – the exchange of money for a vote?

What the internationals actually want to say is that you should vote for a party based on its content, its program, its values, its ideology, and not purely based on how much money will end up in your wallet. The elections, Ambassador Vlahutin wants to tell us, are about more than just momentary, individual gain; they determine the future of the nation, not just whether you can buy food the next week.

The problem is that Albanian political parties do not have any content, program, value, or ideology – or at least, they all have the same ones. As Gjergj Erebara from Reporter pointed out a week ago, the promises of the major parties in the elections are hardly distinguishable from those made in 2013, and hardly distinguishable from each other.

So citizens of Albania, faced with with a political situation in which all parties promise more of the same, and will all break those promises at the moment they are elected, has logically only one objective criterion for judging where to cast their vote: how much money do I get in hand, right now? Any future monetary gain – through free healthcare, employment, or subsidies – may well turn out to be a mirage, a promise made by everyone and kept by no one.

This is something that Vlahutin and all here jetset humanist colleagues fail to truly appreciate. Their endless babble about consensus, the inclusion of the opposition, full representation, etc., etc. has led to a political situation in which there is literally no choice.

And in such a thoroughly cynical environment, devoid of any potential for a different future, staying at home or selling your vote becomes the only rational thing to do…

http://www.exit.al/en/2017/06/06/what-does-vote-buying-mean/

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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records relating to their funding of the political activities of the Soros Open Society Foundation – Albania (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)).  The lawsuit was filed on May 26, 2017.“

Albanians Corruption Mafia Nr. 1: Romana Vlahutin: The EU Delegation in Tirana, A History of Maladministration

Vlachudin under investigation

Verbotene Wahlkampf Hilfe nach der Genver Konvention: Europa Tag in Gjorokastre 8.5.2017: Edi Rama

Romana Vlachudin, the ambassador of the European Union in Albania, is under OLAF investigation for purchasing a 350-square-metre house in Tirana for €1,6m. This is rather crazy since local experts say this specific house is not worth even a third of the selling price.

At the time of the sale, similar houses in the same area and bigger ones were priced at least €1m less than what the Commission paid.

This investigation is of particular significance because it was opened four weeks ahead of Albania’s general election on June 23.

On more than one occasion, Vlachudin has openly supported Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s ruling socialists. The fact, however, that the Rama-friendly EU Ambassador was placed under investigation before the election, may signify that given the circumstances, the European Commission does not wish to take sides in the electoral process of Albania.

Nevertheless, the good ambassador’s pick has few chances of winning the election – and no one wants to be associated with a loser, especially not the European Commission.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/vlachudin-under-investigation/

Vertuschen, Stehlen mit kriminellen Partner und Federica Mogherini, fordert wieder den Unfug einer Konsenz Politik

Der Konsens Betrug – Mashtrimi me Konsensusin, altes und aktuelles Justiz Modell der Albaner Mafia

Smart Serbia to sign Free Trade Deal with Russian led EuroAsian Union

Smart Serbia to sign Free Trade Deal with Russian led EuroAsian Union

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Belgrade has been making progress on negotiating a free trade agreement with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Marko Cadez, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Sputnik on Thursday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

In mid-May, Russian President Vladimir Putin said countries comprising the EAEU had agreed to launch consultations with Serbia on the free trade deal.

“The negotiation [on the free trade deal with EAEU] and the dialogue is in the process, I am informed we are really moving forward,” Cadez said on the sidelines of SPIEF.

Cadez also spoke about the chamber’s role in drafting the agreement.

“We, as the chamber of commerce of Serbia, are there just to put or give a data on some issues, some products; to say how to make the best of opportunity first of all for Serbian companies but also of course keeping in mind all sides to pursue with the perfect and final draft of an agreement,” he added.

SPIEF, held in Russia’s second largest city between Thursday and Saturday, is a major global platform for communication between business representatives and discussion of crucial economic issues.

Macedonia Parliament Approves New Gov’t in Georg Soro’s Mafia Style: „zero tolerance for corruption.“

Georg Soro’s Style:
31 May 17

Macedonia Parliament Approves New Gov’t after Prolonged Stalemate

Macedonia’s parliament has approved a new Social Democrat-led coalition government, headed up by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who has vowed economic prosperity, EU and NATO integration, and zero tolerance for corruption.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN

Skopje

Macedonia’s new government. Photo: MIA

Macedonia’s new government was elected Wednesday night with the support of 62 MPs in the 120-seat parliament. Its establishment is expected to put an end to the prolonged political crisis in the country. The previous government, led by the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party stood accused of allegations of wiretapping and corruption.

“I will be a prime minister [working] for everyone. I announce a responsible, reformist, European government!” the new prime minister, Zaev, said in his announcement to MPs.

Zaev said his government would be based on civic principles and focus on three key goals: Boosting the economy, enabling justice and the rule of law, and integrating the country into the EU and NATO. He also pledged to have zero tolerance for corruption.

Among other things, the new prime minister announced the formation of a special court wing that would solely focus on processing high-level corruption cases instigated by the Special Prosecution, and thorough reforms in the judiciary in order to remove party influence.

„I want no revenge and revanchism, but everyone will be held responsible acourding to their deeds“, Zaev said.

The bulk of the new cabinet comprises 17 ministers proposed by the alliance led by the Social Democrats, SDSM. The largest Albanian party, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, which controls ten seats, has appointed six and the Alliance for Albanians, which has three MPs, has appointed two.

Besa [Oath], the second-largest ethnic Albanian party, decided not to join the new government and not to vote for it despite initially supporting the new majority. However, Besa said it may support some of its policies.

– See more at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonia-parliament-approves-zaev-s-new-govt-05-31-2017

Peinlichkeiten der absoluten Inkompetenz und Lüge: Federica Mogherini und F.W. Steinmeier

OSCE gets involved to save Zaev from Court Appearance

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Zaev’s Court Appearance for accepting 163,000 euros in bribes by a Strumica businessman has been postponed for the ninth time.
This time, quite shockingly, it was OSCE who stepped in to save Zaev from appearing in Court.

It is as if this a Crime Syndicate network. Previously, multiple foreign Embassies have stepped in to prevent Courts from starting the bribery case against Zaev. It was the Italian, Swedish, US, French and German embassies who all made up meetings for Zaev to attend on the day the Court date was scheduled well ahead of time. Clearly, he is being assisted and this is very obvious even to those who don’t wish to see.

Today, OSCE officials from their office in Skopje sent a note requesting to meet with Zaev at 7am to discuss the Parliament incident, while his Court appearance was at 8am.
Using this ‘invite’, Zaev skipped yet another Court appearance.

Mayor Zagreb: Milan Bandic Nepotismus : Zagreb Could do Without its New Mountain

12 May 17

Zagreb Could do Without its New Mountain

Borna Sor

The inhabitants of the Croatian capital have long lived in the shadow of a mountain – but now they have a second one to contend with, not filled with bears, but with pestilence, garbage, and corruption.

Zagreb’s Jakusevec „mountain“. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Branko Radovanovic

The capital of Croatia is an ever-growing city. Situated on the slopes of Mount Medvednica, it has doubled in size each post-war period. And God knows, there have been too many wars in this corner of our continent.

Now reaching its first million in population, the cornerstone of the country’s economy, and, since Croatia’s entry into the EU, doubling its tourist numbers, Zagreb can truly be called prosperous.

And yet, its citizens don’t seem too pleased. Maybe you have heard how the citizens of Zagreb – known as «Purgers», from the German word «Burg», meaning «town», not the English «purge» – are generally considered arrogant.

We are. And proud of it. Legend says that long ago our ancestors came to live in the shadow of the holy Bear Mountain, where for generations they fought with the bears over territory, berries, and honey.

Five great wars were fought, with no clear victor. The bloodshed did not stop until the ancient Purgers, led by a vision that only a new mountain would keep them away, built the legendary Bear Castle – Medvedgrad.

And so the bears were defeated, not physically, but psychologically. Within the castle’s strong walls, our ancestors boldly mocked the bears from the inside, coming up with new insults and jokes, slowly pushing them deeper into the forest.

What worked on bears, worked on humans, too. For centuries, Zagreb was protected by its castles, and the population grew confident and proud, claiming the mountain all for itself.

So, yes, we knew we would grow and were not surprised to see so many people coming to live in Zagreb. With the bears gone, that was to be expected. That part we like.

The reason why so many people believe we are not going in the right direction is a matter of another mountain.

Our Mayor, Milan Bandic, has been with us for over 16 years now.  That is 16 year as a mayor, not as a living human. That is longer than your full education should last and longer than all my past relationships combined. And, like all relationships that last for over 16 years, it is either great or something is very wrong with it.

When your boyfriend drunk-drives and runs away from the police, your parents may be worried but you are not going to dump him.

Even when he gets the cop fired, and later forces him to godfather his child in a stunt, you will forgive him. If you really love him, so what if he is under corruption investigations and if the public construction work is as transparent as water in the dark. «All the paperwork is there, you just can’t see it.»

And so the pile of evidence grows. The same roads constantly repaired, the same fishy companies, the same accusations, everything new tainted by suspicion of corruption, every building, square, and fountain ruined by greed.

When something new is built in Zagreb, it feels like being robbed. Whistleblowers come out, the local population revolts, journalists connects the dots, ex-partners confess to police, but, still, nothing can make you dump him, can it, Zagreb? Why?

Why do you love him so much? Is it because he paid you? It is true, he pays those media handsomely that glorify him, or look the other way. But it is not his money to give, so you are not just selling yourself, you are stealing with him.

Or is it because your family loves him? Because he hired them, so creating the biggest local bureaucracy in the region, where nepotism is so high that dating work colleagues is forbidden for the fear of incest?

He also hired them with our money. What seems like saintliness to you seems like thievery to me. And while you look away, the pile of evidence grows – and is now a mountain. It is one hidden by corrupt law officials far away from the public eye. But can you truly hide a mountain and sweep it under the rug? A metaphorical one, maybe, but not a real one.

Over years of and years of accusations, Mayor Bandic has always replied: «I am clean. Everything is clean!» and people believed him, because everything was clean, literally. The streets were so clean, that people from all over the world would come to Zagreb and say «Oh my, it is so clean here.» And we proudly responded, «Yes! Everything is clean.»

– See more at: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/blog/zagreb-could-do-without-its-new-mountain-05-11-2017#sthash.9E0He41l.dpuf

VAT on tourism 6%, minister: It formalizes the sector

VAT on tourism 6%, minister: It formalizes the sector
The reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 20% to 6% for the sector of tourism, will help this sector to formalize, but at the same time, it will also attract more tourists into the country.Such fact has been announced by the minister of Finance, Arben Ahmetaj, according to whom, all the negative effects caused as a result of the reduction of VAT, will be countered by the increase of taxed basis.

His declarations come at a time when the Parliamentary Economy and Finance Committee approved the reduction of VAT for tourism to 6%.

Let us recall that in 2016, revenues from tourism reached record levels of 1.5 billion euros, according to the Bank of Albania, while the number of those who visited Albania was 4.7 million, 15% more than the previous year. /balkaneu.com/

OP/ED: The EU’s tragic mistakes in the Western Balkans

OP/ED: The EU’s tragic mistakes in the Western Balkans

OP/ED: The EU's tragic mistakes in the Western Balkans

The dissolution of Yugoslavia with the active participation of several EU countries opened up Pandora’s box as far as current developments in the region of the Western Balkans are concerned; a region which underwent civil and ethnic cleansing in the heart of Europe for the first time since World War II.The EU’s responsibilities are great as far as the history which was written after 1991 in Europe is concerned. However, despite the bad experience that should have been a lesson in European policy for the course which Western Balkan countries would follow, the EU continued to make the same mistakes, pushing countries that are in the process of joining the Union into new conflicts.

The EU’s first mistake was the loss of impartiality with regard to its relations with the accession states. By moving the goal posts according to the country the EU is losing its credibility and creates contradictory expectations for the accession countries.

On the one hand there is Serbia, which accepted the West’s hatred during the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and on the other, countries such as Croatia or Albania and FYROM have a more privileged relationship than the country that is a barometer for developments in the Balkans, but that also has a strong state, an important factor in the accession talks.

Serbia, which accepted most of the responsibility for the conflicts following the breakup of Yugoslavia, became the black sheep and was targeted as no other country in the region. No one can forget the severity of the Belgrade bombings when Croatia and Bosnia did more or less nothing in the 1990s.

Considering that there were powerful Serb populations in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, the only way, without the horrors of the Serbs, was to defend the integrity of their ethnic nationals. This, of course, does not relieve Serbia of its responsibilities.

But this practice reinforced ethnic controversy, since there was implicit support for any form of independence of these countries from the countries of the West.

The breakup of Yugoslavia, the upsurge of Albanian nationalism, the need for new countries‘ policies for funding, and the loosening of structures to combat corruption and organised crime have made the rise of corruption and organised crime possible.

The downfall of the Western Balkan states following the breakup of Yugoslavia and the fall of totalitarian regimes in the region turned a prominent number to drug trafficking, smuggling and every illegal act that brought black money.

Albania, Kosovo, FYROM, Montenegro, Bosnia became the crossroads for trafficking drugs, smuggling goods, weapons, and exporting extremist-terrorists.

The EU, following the promises it made without the criteria of its Treaties being fulfilled, gave hope to governments for membership, while Union officials such as Romana Vlahutin, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and others acted as bad consultants in countries like Albania , FYROM, and Kosovo thus strengthening the arbitrariness of their governments…………………..

http://www.balkaneu.com/oped-the-eus-tragic-mistakes-in-the-western-balkans/

Congressional delegation jets to increasingly tense region where failed Soros-Obama policies are still in force.

The Delegation starts on 10/05/2017 in Albania

Georg Soros Mafia Staff in Albanien: Romana Valuhtin – Edi Rama (Olsi Rama)

The delegation of US Congress arrives in Albania tomorrow to enquire over Soros’ political connections
14:00, 09/05/2017

The American SpectatorAmerican Spectator,American Spectator,
„Al Capone“ der Inkompetenz und der Mafia Clans, rund um Drogen, Geldwäsche und Betrug

foreign policy: „have transformed Albania into a Banana Republic“ : Samir Tahiri, Arben Ahmeti, Ilir Meta, PM: Edi Rama

May 8, 2017, 12:04 am

In Albanien gedeiht das organisierte Verbrechen – Decoding Albanian Organized Crime

In Albanien gedeiht das organisierte Verbrechen – Decoding Albanian Organized Crime

 

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The expansion of organized crime across national borders has become a key security concern for the international community. In this theoretically and empirically vibrant portrait of a global phenomenon, Jana Arsovska examines some of the most widespread myths about the so-called Albanian Mafia. Based on more than a decade of research, including interviews with victims, offenders, and law enforcement across ten countries, as well as court files and confidential intelligence reports, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime presents a comprehensive overview of the causes, codes of conduct, activities, migration, and structure of Albanian organized crime groups in the Balkans, Western Europe, and the United States. Paying particular attention to the dynamic relationships among culture, politics, and organized crime, the book develops a framework for understanding the global growth of the criminal underworld and provides a model for future comparative research.

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520282810

Albania: Under The Yoke Of Rising Oligarchs – OpEd

The New Year will bring elections for Albania and its people, meanwhile Mr. Edi Rama and his confidants have allocated large sums of money and plan to feast a large number of staffers in the Prime Minister’s office at the expense of Albania’s taxpayers.

In 2017, his last year in office, Mr. Rama and his associates are expected to continue with their luxurious life (at home and abroad), while their fellow countrymen are living in the worst conditions ever experienced in the last twenty six years of their transitional democracy system.

As the Albanian Parliament approved the National Budget for 2017, it supplied many more suitcases – in addition to the millions of euros generated by massive marijuana farming from Vermosh to Konispol – filled with the money paid by Albania’s taxpayers, to Mr. Edi Rama and his corrupt ministers, who have stashed their wealth abroad and continue to be ranked as Europe’s richest oligarchs.

According to an estimate conducted last year by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mr. Rama has amassed a net worth of over US$200 million, an amount that has certainly and proportionately grown during the third year of his term as Prime Minister considering that he receives at least twenty percent as a commission from the total amount of every public project that is executed by his trusted private companies who acquire public bids in the sectors of: infrastructure development, public works, health services and information technology.

According to Panama Papers and other reliable sources, Mr. Rama’s wealth is deposited in international banking accounts established by his family circle and close associates that work together on sustainable development projects in Albania and who have been deeply involved with the Venezuelan economist Ricardo Hausmann, projects that have had little to no impact on the lives of average Albanians. Mr. Anastas Angjeli, Edi Rama’s close associate, Albanian MP and a Former Minister of Public Finances, drives a brand new Audi A8 in the streets of Tirana. Moreover, Mr. Taulant Balla, another member of Albanian Parliament, is responsible for employment opportunities in the current Albanian Government; he has established a fee of two thousand euros to be paid beforehand by every candidate who aspires to be a public servant. On the other hand, Mr. Genti Gazheli, Mr. Edi Rama’s envoy to the Republic of Turkey, has a tarnished record from his service in Albania’s border Customs Agency, a time when he would reportedly hide large sums of money  whenever he had an opportunity to allow large shipments of commodities to enter Albanian territory, thus avoiding payment of taxes by his random ‘clients’.

In 2017, the Prime Minister’s office will see the faces of 641 new employees, meanwhile in the National Assembly there are only 405 staffers who help organize the daily activities for 140 Members of Parliament, including its Speaker and three Deputy Speakers. The Prime Minister’s office has more employees than: the Ministry of Economy (with over 580 employees); Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (with less than 440 employees); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (with 506 employees including its diplomatic missions abroad); the Ministry of Integration (composed by 113 employees).

While Mr. Rama’s number of staff members will reach over 640, the Albanian President’s support staff does not exceed seventy six; moreover the Prime Minister’s annual budget is over 27.6 million euros and the President’s Budget is barely 1.5 million euros.

The luxurious lifestyle of Albania’s Prime Minister is not only based on the large number of servants that are in his courtyard, he will enjoy large sums of money to be spent over the new fiscal year, almost 28 million euros, an amount that is equal to the salary of 1,200 Albanian retirees or the equivalent of ten thousand university scholarships abroad. Every employee in the Prime Minister’s Office will spend approximately 43 thousand euros per year (or 3,600 euros/month) said in other words, every staffer in Mr. Rama’s cabinet will cost Albanian taxpayers an equal amount that is needed to pay twenty retirement salaries every month.

Moreover, Mr. Rama has plans to spend over one million euros to rent luxurious cars, an amount that is equivalent to twenty vehicles (latest generation) from Mercedes Benz; for their government offices there will be spent an additional 6.6 million euros in furniture, remodeling and other maintenance expenses.

The interaction between Mr. Rama’s Government and Albanian Citizens is as chilling as ever before; it is a testimony of Tirana’s attitude towards handling the nation’s overwhelming poverty, a behavior that violates the well-known concept of Charles Horton Cooley, “the Looking Glass Self,” while suggesting that Albanians represent a glass that is viewed by Tirana’s administration and the latter reacts according to the conduct of its constituents. On Mr. Rama’s glamorous level of personal expenses we see that his constituents’ persistent responses are meaningless let alone being a source of reflection and humbleness.

The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed in this article.
Edi Rama

The Albanian villa saga is not over

Question: Is the EEAS aware of any relatives, of members of the Albanian government, who are working for the EU-delegation? If yes, could you please provide us with the respective names?

Reply: The EEAS confirms that to the best of our knowledge no member of staff currently working for the EU Delegation in Tirana is a relative of a high-ranking member of the Albanian government.

The same could be said of Kim Jong-un – that “to the best of our knowledge, His Excellency is not a criminal”.

OP/ED: The EU's tragic mistakes in the Western Balkans

OP/ED: The EU’s tragic mistakes in the Western Balkans

By Spiros Sideris / Published on: 02-05-2017, 00:03

US und EU Politik System

The EU’s responsibilities are great as far as the history which was written after 1991 in Europe is concerned. However, despite the bad experience that should have been a lesson in European policy for the course which Western Balkan countries would follow, the EU continued to make the same mistakes, pushing countries that are in the process of joining the Union into new conflicts.

The EU’s first mistake was the loss of impartiality with regard to its relations with the accession states. By moving the goal posts according to the country the EU is losing its credibility and creates contradictory expectations for the accession countries.

The breakup of Yugoslavia, the upsurge of Albanian nationalism, the need for new countries‘ policies for funding, and the loosening of structures to combat corruption and organised crime have made the rise of corruption and organised crime possible.
Albania, Kosovo, FYROM, Montenegro, Bosnia became the crossroads for trafficking drugs, smuggling goods, weapons, and exporting extremist-terrorists.

The EU, following the promises it made without the criteria of its Treaties being fulfilled, gave hope to governments for membership, while Union officials such as

Romana Vlahutin , Vlore

Romana Vlahutin, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and others acted as bad consultants in countries like Albania , FYROM, and Kosovo thus strengthening the arbitrariness of their governments.

Large amounts of money from the EU became political money, while black money from the drug trade funded almost all political parties. The rise of nationalism came to be added to the agenda of the policies of several countries from the Western Balkans, causing tensions and instability in the region…IBNA-balkaneu

Letter from Albania: Why I want to leave

Dear Alan,

You ask me why, I, as a successful professional with a good job and a husband who works for a successful company living in a small but comfortable flat, want to leave Albania.

I’m looking at my young son who is happily drawing.

He’s an intelligent little boy who likes to help people. He has an enquiring mind but His enquiring mind gets him into trouble with teachers who see his questions as a challenge to their authority. I want him to be able to learn from a stable educational system, which teaches him the skills of crucial analysis that makes him competitive to his peers in developed countries. I want him to grow kind and helpful without their being seen as a weakness to be laughed at. In our culture, men shouldn’t be kind. They learn this in the playground.

He works hard, but this is not enough. Some of his teachers expect some sort of monetary recompense at exam time otherwise he stands no chance of passing. The teacher herself possibly received the job through payment to the headmaster and who knows whether the headmaster paid the Education director for his. These days, it seems that the teaching profession has attracted many of who are not interested in being teachers and who do not want to teach. This is an insult to those teachers who genuinely want to. =
Daad-logo Ohne-schrift Osi-kl

Original Georg Soros und DAAD System

It’s not the worst thing. What really matters to me is that the values of honesty or decency are not taught. On the contrary, they are seen as a barrier to survival in our country. The parents of his friends realise this and indulge their children’s every whim and train them to fight to get what they want, regardless of anybody else around them.

My child turns on the television and see politicians – his role models – calling each other names and behaving like spoilt children who cannot get their own way. And he will meet the children of many of these people driving fast cars and avoiding police fines or receiving university diplomas and jobs through the simple expedient of paying bribes or using the name of their father. If these ‘role models’ have managed to accumulate material goods without working for them honestly, how can my son appreciate hard work, either as a means to an end or for its own sake? Knowing this teaches children to grow up with a sense of hopelessness and apathy. They think the only thing left for them is to drink coffee, gossip about each other and recycling the same news which is usually from a media controlled by one of the main parties and which continue the name-calling and insults. I don’t want my child to grow up in this environment.

He, like me will get a job, possibly even a good one. But he, like me, is super-conscientious. This means he will focus on getting the job done even if that means doing other people’s work because they are too lazy to do it themselves (possibly because they got the job through a ‘friend’ so they know their job is safe). Then so be it. He must be prepared, like I am, to be treated as naive for working so hard. He will suppress his natural intelligence lest the boss sees him as a threat.

I want him to live in a country where he pays his taxes and knows that the taxes will be used for the country rather than into a speedboat, a villa or a fast car for somebody’s son. I want him to know that the taxes go to paying decent wages so that he doesn’t have to bribe the doctor or the policeman. I prefer his taxes to go into a kidney machine to save the life of his grandmother or to mend the hole in the main road so that his father’s car doesn’t get damaged: it’s better than paying for a Rolex watch or a smart suit for somebody who doesn’t deserve it. I want him to know that if he has a dispute in court, the judge will make a decision based on the merits of the opposing cases rather than on the number of zeros in the opposing bank notes.

I wanted to stay and change the system from inside but I cannot do it alone. I know that many of my fellow Albanians have a tendency to vote for the politician who promises them a job, bribes them or threatens them. Maybe I cannot blame them for doing it: they have to live. I can certainly blame those politician who sees government jobs, not as positions of responsibility that are given to the most deserving candidate but rather as favours to be dispensed to repay moral debts in the way that kings bestowed titles to friends in sixteenth century Europe or as despotic minister give jobs in 21st century Africa. And as new people with no experience are given responsible jobs after every election and as new rules are made simply because the old rules ‘were made by the previous government’, the whole system is paralysed and stagnant.

I know that foreign governments who could help us will not interfere because they respect the right of our leaders to misrule and the right of the electorate to mis-vote for them. The fact that so many of us want to leave might suggest that we want foreigners’ moral code to intrude on our sovereignty, although, of course, our politicians do not.

So as the international community won’t come to me, I‘ll try to go to them. We’ve had 25 years of pseudo-democracy that has overseen a decline in morality and, given the current educational system, there is no reason to believe there won’t be another 25 years of it.

While I may be able to grit my teeth and live through it, I don’t want my child to.

Alan, that’s why I want to leave

Article reproduced with kind permission of The Tirana Times www.tiranatimes.com

https://albanianblogger.com/2017/04/09/