Prizren’s Filigree Workers Keep Ancient Kosovo Craft Alive
A handful of artisans in the southern Kosovo city of Prizren are struggling to maintain a centuries-old tradition of handmade filigree jewelry, passing it from father to son.
Holed up in a corner of his shop in southern Kosovo city of Prizren, a small grey-haired man takes a small piece of silver and turns it into a finely twisted thread.
He then combines tiny metal threads and beads, using a blowpipe to give the metal different shapes. They will later become a necklace, he explains.
Nrec Gjini, 49, inherited this ancient craft from his father, who inherited it from his own father.
He never once thought of changing anything about the way he works, although times have been often hard and modern technology would have made it all a lot easier.
Right there, in his tiny workshop, in the corner, he’s happily alone with the silver.
“We work with twisted threads of silver,” says Gjini. Not everyone can master this art properly, he notes, explaining that besides artistic talent, it requires absolute precision, as the motifs and details of the silverwork are so minute.
Gjini is one of the few remaining jewelers in Prizren who still know and practise the art of filigree, a delicate lace-like kind of jewelry metalwork made with tiny beads and twisted threads. The art remains popular in Asia, especially India, but also in North Africa – but is rare in modern Europe……
Die Nepotismus Kultur des Auswärtigen Amtes, mit Kriminellen und Mördern ist schon erstaunlich. Wenn Dumm sich mit noch Dümmeren umgibt, zur Selbstdarstellung, dann kommt das Auswärtige Amte in Berlin raus.
Nennt sich von der Verbrecher Partei PDK: Aussenminister des Kosovo, wo die Frage ist, wie lange er noch im Amte sein wird. Besser verständlich als Sprecher der Drogen und Terroristen Organisationen aus dem Kosovo, identisch wie der Albanische Botschafter in Berlin: Arthur Kuko, uralter Drogen Adel mit der Familie des Lefter – Nard Koka, Agron und Armando Duko, welche die ersten Drogen Küchen in Shiak – Shkozet schon in 1998 errichteten und Geldwäsche Bauten ohne Ende. siehe auch der Barzani Clan, eine Kreation des Frank-Walter Steinmeier für einen uralten Verbrecher Clans, durch Nichts legitimiert, das die ein Generalkonsultat in Berlin haben, um Schleuser- Drogen Mafia Aktivitäten zutarnen. Identisch das Stuttgarter Konsulat; Made by Berlin Mafia: Die Shala Mafia in Stuttgart. Tausende von Kriminellen, welche neue Identitäten in Albanien erhielten.
Enver Hoxhaj: Ich glaube, was mit dem Berlin-Prozess begonnen hat, hat unglaublich großen und positiven Einfluss auf die Region gehabt.Die regionale Zusammenarbeit ist nicht mehr das, was sie vor Jahren war, und das, was Frau Merkel mit Berlin begonnen hat, ist eine tolle Initiative, eine tolle Leistung. Aber die Region ist in einer Art Stillstand so lange es keine gegenseitige Anerkennung von Kosovo und Serbien gibt – das wäre die völlige Normalisierung der Beziehungen zwischen den beiden Staaten. Deswegen sind wir sehr daran interessiert, eine letzte Phase des Dialogs mit Belgrad zu haben, die zu einer Anerkennung von Kosovo führt und Kosovo ermöglicht, einen Sitz in der UNO zu bekommen. Dadurch wurde auch ein Versöhnungsprozess zwischen der serbischen und der kosovarischen Gesellschaft beginnen. Abgesehen von den Beziehungen zwischen Kosovo und Serbien ist die Namensfrage zwischen Mazedonien und Griechenland ein Thema und auch die interne Situation in Bosnien. Diese offenen bilateralen Fragen sind weiterhin ein Problem, und ich glaube, die Mitgliedstaaten der Europäische Union sollten in den nächsten zwei bis drei Jahren einen Fokus darauf haben, wie wir wenigstens eine dieser großen historischen Herausforderungen lösen können.
…………….. Ich glaube, abgesehen von verschiedenen politischen Fragen, die dort gelöst werden sollten, braucht die Region mehr Unterstützung der Europäischen Union.
Noch ein dummes Geschwätz der Kosovo Politiker aus dem selben Haus, das je der Spezial Gerichtshof im Kosovo eine Funktion haben wird.
The president of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Ekaterina Trendafilova, told BIRN the new court has no ethnic bias, will protect its witnesses from intimidation and deliver justice impartially and independently.
Das desaströse Langzeit Debakel der EU, USA mit korrupten Institutionen und Justizbringer in Albanien, dem Kosovo. Justiz EU Missionen, sind eine Langzeit „Camorra“ identische Geldabzocke der EU und von Berlin, denn noch nie gab es eine Verbesserung der „Rechtstaatlichkeit“, aber der Reise und Abzocker Zirkus wuchs ständig heute mit einem kriminellen und korrupten Deutschen Justizminister Heiko Maas. Vor allem Augen finanziert die korrupte EU, KfW, die Zerstörung der Küste, Antiker Stätten, finanziert Geldwäsche Bauten der Mafia und illegales Bauen im Null Funktion Staat. Projekt Kontrollen und Kompetenz Null.
Mit Kriminellen und Idioten, kann man keinen Staat aufbauen, was aber US, EU und Berliner System Politik ist seit vielen Jahren. Von Albanien, Ukraine bis Süd Sudan kommen nur noch „failed state“ heraus, wo Kriminelle, Mörder, Terroristen Partner der sogenannten Aussenpolitik sind.
„Konsens“ Politik, sabotiert praktisch jedes Demokratie System, vor allem wenn die dümmsten EU Gestalten seit 20 Jahren diesen Unfug im Sinne von Erpressung von kriminellen Clans, u.a. auch auf Regierungs Beteiligung wie nun in Albanien zum Kultur Projekt erklärt haben. Gewinner sind nun seit vielen Jahren immer hoch kriminelle Clans, oft mit Terroristen Verbindungen, welche jede Art von Gesetz und Rechtstaatlichkeit verweigern, was diese dummen Banden in Brüssel nie kapieren werden, wie die Ukrainische Kathastrophe ebenso dokumentierte, als man Unterschriften unter einen EU Betrag mit Stefan Füle erpresste und heute macht der Hirnlose und korrupte Johannes Hahn so weiter, wo mininmal Intelligenz wie bei Ashton, heute nicht vorhanden ist, oder Kompetenz. Man schreibt gefakte Berichte, Phantom Projekte ohne Nachhaltigkeit nur noch zum Geld stehlen, wie im korrupten Deutschen BMZ, mit der KfW und GIZ, was zum Kosovo Debakel ebenso führte und stiehlt Milliarden. Insider und im Deutschen TV: Der Jesuit Walter Happel erklärt das „Camorra“ identische BMZ System, IRZ Stiftung System wo die „Nghradeta“ längst ins Staunen kommt!
Im April 2016, gab es schon ein Ultimatum der Amerikaner, die Justiz Reform zuverschieden, was die extrem dummen Gestalten der EU Politik, die korrupte EU Botschafterin mit ihren dummen Sprüche wie der „Konsenz“ Politik permanent selbst sabotieren. Für die Verbrecher Kartelle, welche identisch mit der Albanischen Regierung ist, gehen deshalb auch der Drogen Anbau, die enorme Geldwäsche, erneut eine Steigerung für 2016 von fast 400 % Drogen Export weiter. Aufgebaut vom Ex-Innenminister Samir Tahiri, wurde nach 2000 mit der Ilir Meta Regierung dieser erneute kriminelle Polizei Aufbau mit Hilfe der Amerikaner, wo das TIMS Polizei Computer System permanent manipuliert wird, ungehindert man rund um Durres illegal aus- und einreisen kann, obwohl der halbe Zoll- und Polizei Apparat inzwischen ausgetauscht wurde. Jeder Kriminelle kann sich neue Identitäten kaufen, als System von Deutschland mit dem korrupten Bundesdruckerei Geschäft mit Ludgar Vollmer aufgebaut.
Die als „Verschlusssache“ eingestufte Studie des IEP kam bereits Anfang 2007 zu dem Schluss, dass das Kosovo „fest in der Hand der Organisierten Kriminalität“ ist, die „weitgehende Kontrolle über den Regierungsapparat“ hat. Auch deshalb, weil gegischsprachige Gruppen laut Jane’s Intelligence Review große Teile des Heroin- und Mädchenhandels in Europa kontrollieren. Zu diesem
Ergebnis kam auch der IEP-Bericht
womit dann Alles über die EU Botschaften, KfW, GIZ, Weltbank, EBRD, IFC, den sonstigen Institutionen gesagt ist, oder Dummschwätzern wie dem Österreichischen Botschafter: Stadler mit seinen uralten Mafiösen Sigurime Partnern vor Ort, welche den Bankrott der „Alpine“ mit verursacht haben.
56 % der Albanerwollen inzwischen auswandern, weil der „Failed State“, keine Perspektive, noch Schulen, Ausbildung und Kultur für die Kinder bieten
Amid a growing chorus of dissent within Albania’s opposition Democratic Party, concerns are emerging in Brussels and Washington about attempts to block the nation’s justice system reforms, writes Martinn Banks.
The reforms, aimed at ridding the courts of corrupt and incompetent judges and prosecutors, is a key prerequisite before EU accession negotiations can begin but was being blocked by a three-month parliamentary boycott led by DP leader Lulzim Basha. That was resolved after Socialist Party Prime Minister Edi Rama agreed to delay parliamentary elections by a week and allow the DP to appoint a number of “technical” ministers to the government during the electoral period.
However, factions are now challenging the reforms before Albania’s constitutional court, prompting international concern. “The much needed justice reform in Albania has once again come under attack,” a spokesman for the EU’s External Action Service said yesterday. “We call on all parties to complete the formation of the vetting institutions. Attacking the judicial reform rather than ensuring implementation of vetting, with close monitoring of the International Monitoring Operation, harms Albania’s present and future.”
The US embassy in Tirana issued a similar statement. “The Albanian people should be concerned about these efforts to weaken the reform, in order to defend corrupted judges and prosecutors, including the ones who have connections with the organized crime,” it said.
Simultaneously, criticisms are being aired about the JustizbringerDemocratic Party’s de-selection of a number of DP electoral candidates who had been supporters of the justice reform. In an exclusive interview with this website, one senior party member branded Basha a “petty autocrat”.
The DP member, a sitting MP, said that if, as expected, DP loses the general election on 25 June Basha should resign and “face the consequences.” The MP declined to be named for fear of further retribution.
The MP accused Basha of trying to “silence” critics in the party and blocking their selection as DP candidates in the upcoming election.
Those in the party who had supported judicial reforms opposed by Basha and partly designed to help pave the way for Albania’s EU accession negotiations to re-start, had “paid the price”.
Latest opinion polls show DP, which only recently lifted its boycott of the election, is likely to lose the poll to the ruling Socialist Party.
A poll by Italy’s Istituto Piepoli released on Tuesday (13 June) said that if the election were held today, the Socialist party would take 49-53 per cent of the vote, compared with 29-33 per cent for the DP. Potentially, the pollsters said the SP vote could bring the party close to achieving a majority in the 140-seat parliament.
In Brussels, one of the MEPs closely involved in mediation efforts prior to the election campaign said, “Nothing seems to have been resolved in Albania where one of the two mainstream political parties seems to be descending into political crisis and is dominated by an authoritarian leadership.” The MEP declined to be named…..
Rückblick, in die Ilir Regierung, wo auch schon Alles bekannt war.
Peinlich wenn die Fakten zeigen aus 2001, 2002 das schon damals die Skrapari Bande jede Justiz in Albanien verhinderte, wie Internationale Reports u.a. vom IWPR, oder Transparency International Corruption Report 2001 aufzeigten. Zitat: +++Albanian politicians have signalled a rare willingness to unite in the name of national interest. ***„Justiz unerwünscht, wurde damals schon bei Ilir Meta Regierungs festgestellt. Die Grundstücks Mafia war damals schon gut bekannt.
„Kultur der Straflosigkeit“ in Albanien
Ein Enthüllungsvideo war vor einem Jahr Anlass für die Demonstrationen gegen Korruption in Albanien. Vier Menschen starben. Der damalige Vizepremierminister, der auf dem Video zu sehen war, wurde jetzt freigesprochen.
Die Bürger Albaniens haben genug von der Korruption
In Albanien ist am Montag einer der spektakulärsten Korruptionsprozesse der vergangenen Jahre mit einem Freispruch zu Ende gegangen. Angeklagt war der Politiker Ilir Meta….
(gekaufte IT Gutachter, erhielten Staatsposten, widersprachen einem technischen FBI Gutachten, ein gekaufter Richter akzeptierte das und schon war Ilir Meta, erneut ohne Vorstrafen, organisiert von Spartak Braho, dem „Paten von Durres“)
Die Dominanz dieser Rechtspraxis erstickt dabei jedweden
S[ecurity]S[ystem]R[eform]-Prozess im Keim, da die Regeln des Kanun
bereits vom Ansatz her einer Etablierung rechtsstaatlicher und
demokratischer Strukturen zuwider laufen.
EU Delegation in Tirana statement for implementation of the Justice Reform
EU Member States Embassies and the EU Delegation in Tirana call on all relevant authorities to adhere to their full commitment to the implementation of the Justice Reform, which was unanimously voted in the Albanian Parliament almost a year ago. Vetting of judges and prosecutors, as envisaged in the legislation that has already been reviewed both by the Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court of Albania, needs to start. The EU recalls that credible and tangible progress on all five key priorities, the implementation of the Justice Reform, and in particular the vetting, are essential for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania.
The photos and videos show the extent of the US presence in southern Syria near the border with Iraq. This comes as the Tanf area of southeastern Syria has largely become a flash-point between US and Iranian-controlled forces. Read more →
Kosovo Mafia, stahl 320 Millionen €, wie die Staats Institution feststellte. Geldwäsche wie in Albanien mit System: Partner EU, NATO, Berlin, Weltbank
300 milionë euro, pasuria e politikanëve kosovarë
Pasuria e kabinetit qeveritar, si dhe e 120 deputetëve të Parlamentit të Kosovës vlerësohet rreth 300 milionë euro. Vetëm zëvendëskryeministri Ramiz Kelmendi ka deklaruar pasuri në vlerë prej 106 milionë eurosh, shkruan sot Gazeta „Zëri“
Pothuajse çdonjëri nga 120 deputetët e Parlamentit të Republikës së Kosovës ka pasuri milionëshe, duke përfshirë këtu patundshmërinë e deklaruar, si dhe depozitat e majme që i mbajnë në sistemin bankar.
Sipas formularëve të deklarimit të pasurisë të publikuar dje nga Agjencia Kosovare Kundër Korrupsionit (AKK), gazeta “Zëri” ka bërë një kalkulim të pasurisë së deklaruar të zyrtarëve të lartë shtetërorë në Kosovë, e cila rezulton të jetë rreth 300 milionë euro.
Më i pasuri nga të gjithë politikanët është zëvendëskryeministri në largim Ramiz Kelmendi, i cili ka deklaruar aksione në rrjetin e supermarketeve “ETC”, që vlejnë hiç më pak se 106 milionë euro.
Ai po ashtu ka deklaruar se ka në pronësi dy shtëpi në vlerë prej 230 mijë eurosh, toka në vlerë prej 45 mijë eurosh, si dhe 3200 euro para të gatshme në bankë.
Pas Kelmendit me pasuri aktualisht prin kryetari i Komunës së Mitrovicës Jugore Agim Bahtiri dhe pasuria, të cilën ky e ka deklaruar në Agjencinë Kundër Korrupsionit, është më e madhe se 7 milionë euro.
Kriminelle werden frei gelassen, als Wahlkampf Unterstützung so in Albanien, vor allem in Durres: hier Kashari aktuell, wo mit AK-47 Wahlkampf durch die örtliche Polizei gemacht wird am hellichten Tage. Und der Deutsche Innenminister, Verfassungschutz Präsident lügen, lügen rund um gefakte Identitäten, was sich in Deutschland aufhält und die grössten Verbrecher Clans, haben direkt höchste Deutsche und Albanische Protektion, wie der Visa Skandal schon zeigte. Man kennt sogar die Adressen, aber die SPD Parteibuch Fuzzis der korrupten Verdummung, fördern das bekanntlich was mit Heiko Maas anfängt, der zur Ablenkung die Rechte Gefahr erfindet.
Kosovo: Expected tectonic changes on the political scene
The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. IFIMES has prepared an analysis of the current political situation in Kosovo in the light of the early parliamentary election scheduled for 11 June 2017. The most interesting sections from the analysis entitled “Kosovo: Expected tectonic changes on the political scene” are published below.
Expected tectonic changes on the political scene
On 11 June 2017 the third (early) parliamentary election is taking place in Kosovo since the country proclaimed its independence for 17 February 2008 .
Kosovo Government lost the vote of no confidence on 10 May 2017, which was no surprise after constant conflicts between the two leading coalition partners: the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) led by Isa Mustafa and the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) led by Kadri Veseli. The Serbian List (SL) and other minority communities in Kosovo were the third coalition partner.
The Kosovo Assembly (parliament) has 120 members, of which 20 seats are reserved for representatives of minority communities as follows: 10 seats for the Serbian community, 3 for the Bosniak community, 2 for the Turkish community, 4 for the Roma (RAE – Romani, Ashkali and Egyptians) and 1 for the Gorans.
The Serbs as the largest minority community will compete with six electoral lists. If they competed with only one electoral list they could win a larger number of parliament seats. Those who support such option have a strong argument – better chances to win more seats. However, democracy is based on political pluralism, i.e. the possibility to present different political programmes. Since the Brussels Agreement was signed between Belgrade and Pristina in April 2013, the Serbian community has unified under the auspices of Belgrade, which has aggravated the position of Serbian community in Kosovo as it has had to follow the instructions from Belgrade.
There are in total 1,8 million voters who will have the right to vote at the forthcoming election in 38 municipalities.
Kosovo is one of the countries in the region (such as Macedonia) having problems with the unconsolidated and untrustworthy electoral roll – it is improbable to have almost 1.8 million voters in a country with a population of only about two million.
The right to vote is also given to Kosovo citizens registered as voters who are residing outside Kosovo, predominantly the Serbs who live mostly in Serbia. However, this time it will be possible for Kosovo citizens who live abroad to vote by post – they will simply print the ballot paper from the Kosovo Central Election Commission (CIK), fill it in and send it together with their personal identification document to the CIK address. This opens the possibilities for various misuses and manipulations, especially since the OSCE Mission will not send its observers to monitor the election due to a very short period of time till the election date.
THE MISSION OF THE SPECIAL WAR CRIMES COURT?
In 2014 the Kosovo Assembly adopted the Law on ratification of the International Agreement between the Republic of Kosovo and the European Union on the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo which envisages the formation of the special war crimes court and prosecution office which should try alleged human organ trafficking from the Council of Europe investigations based on the report drawn up by Dick Marty. It was expected to examine some serious allegations from the 2010 Council of Europe report and to prosecute the war crime suspects in Kosovo, especially some of the former commanders of Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK). However, no such court has been established yet.
Analysts believe that the special war crimes court is to be established in order to prosecute war leaders from UÇK, especially those currently performing the highest functions in Kosovo institutions. Despite the facts that Kosovo has its own national legislation, that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) operates in the Hague and that the EULEX Mission has been set up as the largest mission ever to be established in the field of rule of law – it is obvious that all these institutions have failed to fulfil their basic tasks. Unless the war leaders are eliminated from political and public life in Kosovo, it will be very hard to achieve any progress in Kosovo. Finding out the truth is the only way to justice and reconciliation. The leading world states are planning that after signing the Brussels Agreement most of the current leaders would be eliminated from the Kosovo political scene, including the incumbent President Hashim Thaçi. After the non-election of Nikola Gruevski (VMRO-DPMNE) in Macedonia it is expected that Thaçi will also leave the politics.
The country’s weak judicial system is not capable of carrying out quality and fair trials of suspects of war crimes, organised crime and corruption. The main nests of crime in Kosovo are the Privatisation Agency, public companies, customs control, public tenders etc. The roots of crime in Kosovo stem from its government-in-exile.
ABUSE OF THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN
The election campaign will only last 10 days. The incumbent Kosovo government (LDK – PDK) has abused the election campaign, as they had started it already before the campaign was officially launched. Kosovo laws do not provide for any sanctions in case of election campaign abuse. Spending public funds on the election campaign and the (ab)use of the media that are controlled by the government or political parties represent the country’s usual practice. The fairness and loyalty of the election campaign depends mostly on the media.
With many eyes on Macedonia’s political situation which has been made worse by foreign interventions from the EU and NATO which both support the Tirana Platform which would effectively destroy the unity of the Macedonian state, internal events in Albania itself may soon jeopardize stability in the region.
Protests throughout Albania have been going on for months as the main opposition Democratic Party and other activists have called for the Prime Minister Edi Rama to resign prior to elections scheduled for 18 June, 2017 . Many want a technocratic government to oversee the process, having lost all faith in democracy.
We have reached an impasse wherein self-proclaimed Albanian democrats no longer trust that their country is democratic. Impartial observers have been warning of this for years.
One can tell that the genie is fully out of the bottle when even the neo-liberal Financial Times admits that half of Albania’s GDP comes from drug sales and cultivation.
The truth of the matter is that Albania is a narco-state, built on top of a mafia state where the illegal drugs trade, organ trade, weapons trade, human trafficking and blatant corruption are the guided forces of business in both the private and public sectors.
The fact that this impoverished, broken state has imperialist ambitions heavily assisted by the US Deep state, threatening to annex neighbouring states including parts Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Montenegro is not only illegal and irresponsible but also deeply frightening.
Many in Albania are openly calling for a ‘Greater Albania’ which would encompass the sovereign territories of each aforementioned nation. But as it stands, Albanian leaders cannot even run the state that they have according to its current borders.
A lengthy report from a US based anti-corruption website, citing a variety of mostly western sources has found that corruption exists at almost every level of the Albanian state, including in private business dealings.
The EU is all rather confused about this. Albania’s corrupt mafioso elite are staunchly pro-EU and Albania is an enthusiastic member of NATO.
Some realists in the EU however realize that Albania’s cringe-worthy levels of corruption would be an economic and security disaster for the EU. More worryingly though, many EU officials prefer to look the other way or simply lie about the dire situation in order to continue pFatmir Mediu, Dr. Fatmir Mediu, Franz Jung. Agron Duka, Geht direkt zu Rheinmetall als gekaufter Politikerromulgating a narrative that Albania is an EU country in the making.
While the EU itself is deeply corrupt, Albania’s corruption is far more ‘old school’ in the sense that money talks and when it doesn’t, the bullets do the talking.
Albania’s terrorist proxies and violent separatists threaten to break up Macedonia and violate Serbia’s territorial integrity. When one realises that these people cannot control their own country, it puts things into perspective. The perspective is in a word: grim.
Corruption is a serious problem in Albania. It is one of the country’s greatest stumbling blocks, impeding its bid for EU candidacy and hindering its investment climate. The procurement and construction sectors are particularly affected by patronage networks and other forms of corruption. The judiciary is also hampered by corruption and political influence. The necessary anti-corruption legal framework is in place, but enforcement is poor and conviction rates are very low.Activeandpassive bribery,as well as thebriberyof foreign officials, are illegal under the country’sCriminal Code. The same applies for offeringgiftsorfacilitation payments, yet these practices are widespread.
Download a PDF copy of this report
Save it to read later, or share with a colleagueFatmir Mediu, Dr. Fatmir Mediu, Franz Jung. Agron Duka, Geht direkt zu Rheinmetall als gekaufter Politiker
Corruption in the Albanian judicial system is widespread and a very high risk for businesses. Bribes are often exchanged for favorable judicial decisions, and judges and prosecutors lack accountability (GCR 2015-2016; EU Progress Report, 2015). Public perception reflects this, as more than three-quarters of surveyed citizens believe the judiciary is corrupt (the judiciary is ranked as the most corrupt institution among the 12 institutions included in the survey) (GCB 2013). On numerous occasions, judges and prosecutors have failed to comply with declaration of asset requirements, yet no sanctions have been issued to date (EU Progress Report, 2015). Although the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the courts are subject to political pressure and intimidation (HRR 2015). The process of appointing judges is also opaque and plagued by corruption (EU Progress Report, 2015). In addition, the enforcement of court decisions is weak, particularly when they conflict with the government’s interests. There is also an apparent failure of the judiciary to properly prosecute theabuse of functions,which is pervasive among the political elite (BTI 2016). When sanctions in corruption cases are imposed, they are overly lenient (EU Progress Report, 2015).
Companies in Albania do not perceive the legal framework to be efficient when settling disputes or when challenging regulations (GCR 2015-2016). The business community believes the judiciary is an impediment to conducting business, so international arbitration is often sought as an alternative to dispute settlement (ICS 2016). Albania is a member of theInternational Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes(ICSID) and is a signatory to theNew York Convention 1958on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Businesses face a high risk of corruption when dealing with the police. Corruption and impunity are persistent problems, largely because of the low salaries of police officers, as well as a subsequent lack of motivation, diversity and leadership (HRR 2015). Accordingly, most Albanian households believe the police is corrupt (GCB 2013). In 2015, camera systems were installed in patrol vehicles to limit the bribery of officers – with success (HRR 2015). The government then expanded the automated system to include traffic tickets (HRR 2015). Businesses report that Albania’s police cannot be consistently relied upon to enforce law and order (GCR 2015-2016).
The public services sector presents business with a moderate risk of corruption. Bribes and irregular payments are at times exchanged to obtain utilities (GCR 2015-2016). Almost 20% of companies report giving gifts to officials to „get things done“ (ES 2013). Nevertheless, business registrations and licensing are improving through a growing network of one-stop shops such as the government platform e-albania, although local administrations need greater resources to effectively deliver services (Albania Progress Report 2013; EU Progress Report, 2015). Business registration is easy, yet licensing remains challenging for companies in some sectors (ICS 2015). On average, starting a business requires 6 procedures, takes 6 days and costs 10% of income per capita (DB 2016).
The land administration carries a high risk of corruption. The process of obtaining construction permits is plagued by corruption (ICS 2015). More than one-third of businesses expect to give gifts to obtain permits (ES 2013). Additionally, the problem of land ownership in Albania is among the greatest impediments to the development of the country’s real estate market (ICS 2016). This is due to cumbersome property registration procedures, and poor enforcement of immovable property rights, which are also subject to corrupt practices (ICS 2016). Furthermore, securing property titles is made more difficult due to illegal construction work (ICS 2016).
In early 2015, the mayor of Vlora, Shpetim Gjika, along with a municipal official and a construction company manager were arrested on charges of abuse of office, illegal construction, and the falsification of documents (Press TV, Feb. 2015). No further information was available at the time of review.
The tax administration carries a high corruption risk for business. Irregular payments and bribes are often exchanged when meeting with tax officials (GCR 2015-2016). Some improvements have been made in the tax administration (such as the establishment of an e-filing tax system), but corruption persists (particularly during inspections), negatively affecting the business environment (Albania Progress Report 2013). Paying taxes is more time consuming and more costly in Albania compared to neighboring countries, taking 357 hours per year at a total tax rate of 37% of profit (DB 2016).
Corruption is a very high risk for businesses dealing with Albania’s customs administration. Bribes and irregular payments are frequently exchanged when importing and exporting, and transparency at the borders is poor (GETR 2014). Corruption is more widespread when importing than when exporting (GETR 2014). Companies also complain about the unequal application of base pricing by customs officials when they assess taxes and duties on imported goods (ICS 2015).
Recent years have shown progress regarding administrative and operative capacity of the Albanian customs administration, with an improvement of internal investigation activities and in the internal IT system (Albania Progress Report 2013). Additionally, a 24-hour camera surveillance system at border-crossings was extended, further limiting the possibilities of corruption (Albania Progress Report 2013). However, more is required regarding IT compatibility with EU standards and in simplifying customs clearance procedures (Albania Progress Report 2013).
The public procurement sector carries a high corruption risk for business. Irregular payments and bribes are frequently exchanged in the process of awarding contracts and licenses (GCR 2015-2016). In the same vein, more than a quarter of companies expect to give gifts to officials to secure government contracts (ES 2013). Favoritism is also a problem in procurement as officials are perceived to often favor well-connected companies and individuals. Companies in Albania experience non-transparent processes when competing for public tenders (e.g. ‚fixed‘ technical specifications) as a means to exclude potential bidders (ICS 2015). The diversion of public funds to companies and individuals due to corruption is also a problem in Albania (GCR 2015-2016).
Albania now has an obligatory and fully operational e-procurement platform (ICS 2015; EU Progress Report 2015). Regulations can be found at the official website of the procurement system of Albania, which also publishes a list of companies that have committed irregularities during the procurement process. However, in practice, companies guilty of corruption are not effectively prohibited from participating in future procurement bids. To mitigate corruption risks associated with public procurement in Albania, investors are advised to exert caution when bidding on public tenders and are recommended to use a specialized public procurement due diligence tool.
In one case, the former governor of the Central Bank, Ardian Fullani, and his close aids were investigated during 2014 for the embezzlement of ALL 700 million from the bank’s reserves (BTI 2016). Under Fullani’s term, most of the bank’s employees enjoyed family connections to prominent politicians (BTI 2016). Fullani was later released from prison, despite the prosecutor ordering that he be put in isolation; the prosecutor was later removed from the case (BTI 2016). Fullani was eventually acquitted of the charges, while two former employees received 10 and 20 years of prison respectively for embezzlement (NiT 2016).
In another case in 2013, a former Minister of Defence was involved in a corruption case for the alleged violation of tender laws; in 2015, the prosecutor withdrew the file and closed the case (BTI 2016).
The Albanian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ALBEITI) becamefully compliant with the EITI Standard in 2013. EITI compliance ensures an effective and transparent process for annual disclosure and reconciliation of all revenues from Albania’s extractive industries.
Albania has a legal anti-corruption framework in place, yet frequent amendments subject to conflicting interpretations have undermined the legal certainty of the laws (EU Progress Report 2015). Furthermore, the government does not implement these laws effectively (HRR 2015).
The Criminal Code criminalizes active and passive bribery, bribery of foreign officials, influence peddling, abuse of office and money laundering.These provisions apply to both the public and the private sectors (U4 2011). Active corruption is penalized with prison terms ranging from six months to three years, and passive corruption can result in up to twelve years‘ imprisonment. A public employee is not allowed to accept any gifts, money or services for performing their service duties, according to the Law on Prevention of Conflicts of Interest in the Exercise of Public Functions and the Law on the Rules of Ethics In the Public Administration. Civil servants are allowed to accept gifts only of a symbolic traditional value or traditional hospitality of a value not clearly defined in legislation. In the case of an offered unfair advantage, a public official must report to their superior or risk a fine between ALL 10,000 and ALL 100,000. A Code of Ethics regulates the conduct of civil servants, and high-ranking officials are subject to asset declaration laws. Albania’s Constitution puts restrictions on the immunity of high-level public officials and judges; nonetheless, no high-level officials have been successfully prosecuted for corruption (ICS 2016). Financial investigations, money laundering measures and asset confiscation are rarely implemented or used in Albania (EU Progress Report 2015). Other relevant anti-corruption laws include the Law on Conflict of Interests. The protection of whistleblowers is not adequately provided for by the current legal framework (EU Albania Report 2015).
Freedoms of expression and of the press are guaranteed by the Constitution, and the government generally respects these rights in practice (HRR 2015). Libel and defamation are illegal. Most media outlets are biased in favor of one of the political parties, and the links between politics, business and the media have led to increased censorship among journalists (NiT 2016). In 2015, the mayor of Elbasan was recorded warning journalists not to ask difficult questions and pointing to the potential consequences (NiT 2016). Media ownership has become more transparent, yet hidden ownership and lack of transparency of financing remains a source of concern (EU Progress Report 2015). Access to government information is provided by the law, yet authorities did not effectively implement these provisions (HRR 2015). The press environment in Albania is considered „partly free“ (FotP 2015).
Freedoms of assembly and association are guaranteed by law, and NGOs are not restricted (HRR 2015). Compliance with registration requirements is easy. Civil society organizations were widely involved and consulted in the formulation of the country’s anti-corruption strategy (2015-20) and action plan (2015-17) (EU Progress Report 2015). Furthermore, civil society representatives are to be included in the bodies monitoring the proper implementation of the strategy (EU Progress Report 2015). On the other hand, however, attempts by politicians to co-opt NGO representatives into the political parties‘ agendas have undermined the impartiality of civil society (BTI 2016).
“ bribery of foreign officials“
Bei den Betrugs Projekten rund um Aufforstung kann man viel Geld verdienen, was Ratten aus der EU und Weltbank anzog und praktisch ist Alles heute schlimmer wie vor 10 und 20 Jahren.
Immerhin hat Lefter Koka als Erster Minister einige Erfolge vorzuweisen, ansonsten sind Hunderte seiner Inspektoren, Adminstrativen, wegen kriminellen Aktivitäten verhaftet worden und praktisch Nichts funktioniert Real.
Das alle Gelder zusperren, Einreise Verbote für die Kriminellen zu verhängen, macht das korrupte Gestrüpp der USA; EU, in Berlin so weiter und überhäuft Verbrecher mit Milliarden, welche spurlos verschwinden. Die „Werte“ der Angela Merkel und EU eben, man ist Partner nur noch mit Verbrechern, finanziert Terroristen.
Wenn man Frauen zusammenschlägt, vergewaltigt das finden Angela Merkel,
Frank Walter Steinmeier normal, deshalb holte man Hunderttausend von primitiven arachische Kriminelle nach Deutschland, obwohl man die Vorstellungen dieser Kultur und Bildungslosen Chaoten aus einem Spiegel Artikel über die Zustände in 1956 in Frankreich und in Schwimmbädern schon kannte.
Arbana Xharra: Am Parkplatz vor der Wohnung in Phristina gezielt abgefangen und zusammen geschlagen, nicht der erste Vorfall gegen seriöse Journalisten im Albanischen Raum.
Heute wurde der Regierung Kosovas im Parlament das Misstrauen ausgesprochen. Die Regierung Mustafa ist Geschichte. Es herrschte bei vielen das Prinzip- „ Der Dieb schreit haltet den Dieb“. Abgeordnete der Regierungspartei PDK führten sich auf wie eine oppositionelle Kraft. Mit diesem Trick versuchen die kriminellen Millionäre in den schnell anstehenden Neuwahlen durchzukommen. Der Organisationsleiter der „Bewegung für Selbstbestimmung“ VETËVENDOSJE (VV) Dardan
Congressional delegation jets to increasingly tense region where failed Soros-Obama policies are still in force.
House Judiciary Chair, Republican Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is leading a 15-member delegation on an urgent mission to Greece, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Italy as evidence mounts that Obama-era favoritism continues — to the detriment of citizens, local institutions, and regional stability.
The Congressional Delegation (known as a codel) departed Saturday for a ten-day investigation during the congressional recess.
A House Judiciary communications staffer refused to comment citing security concerns.
Although six of the nine members traveling are Republicans — including conservatives such as Steve King (IA), Tom Marino (PA), and Jason Smith (MO) — the nature of Congressional foreign travel makes a codel dependent on the State Department; in this case, Ambassadors in each country are Obama administration holdovers who continue to implement inherited policies.
It’s hard to imagine the delegation getting unbiased information from embassies that have been highly interventionist in local politics according to significant communities in each country.
General Prosecutor vs. Embassy Tirana
A nasty stand-off emerged this year between Albania’s Office of the Chief Prosecutor, a politically neutral national entity, and Chinese-American Ambassador Donald Lu.
“Prime Minister Edi Rama, backed by the U.S. Ambassador, has destroyed the independence of our judiciary,” declared a prosecutor speaking from Tirana by phone to The AmericanSpectator. “Under the banner of judicial reform, they are succeeding to politicize it.”
Edi Rama, longtime leader of the Socialist Party, is a close friend of George Soros, whose network is deeply involved in Albania, partnering with the U.S. Embassy on numerous projects, including an $8.8-million USAID project on…you guessed it, judicial reform.
“When we expressed any professional opinions different from the U.S. Embassy — professional opinions on different approaches, Lu got angry,” said the prosecutor, unwilling to be named. She explained the European Union’s Venice Commission, designed to help vet reform proposals for compliance with European law, often sided with the Albanian prosecutors in these technical disputes.
The prosecutor added, her office tried to prioritize drug trafficking and criminality, major issues in Albania, while the U.S. embassy dismissed massive cannabis cultivation and export as “not a U.S. problem.” Divergent priorities held by Albanian legal authorities and the U.S. embassy is confirmed by independent news site Exit.al.
Donald Lu punished the prosecutors and judges who disagreed with him by revoking U.S. visas, already granted, to some 70 judges and prosecutors according to Chief Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla.
In response, Llalla blasted Ambassador Lu, accusing him of manipulation and blackmail, in a scathing letter posted on the office’s website and in a press conference February.
Llalla also accused Lu of trying to prevent his office from investigating corrupt practices by a major Chinese-owned firm, Bankers Petroleum.
Not satisfied to mismanage his own country, Edi Rama has reached into neighboring Macedonia, provoking profound instability in an aggressive effort to help fellow socialists — and fellow Muslim Albanians.
Rama convened a meeting of three Macedonian-Albanian political parties (some 15-20% of Macedonia is ethnic Albanian) and drafted the so-called “Tirana Platform,” a dangerously separatist document threatening Macedonia’s very identity.
These Albanian parties then entered into coalition with the Macedonian socialists and are demanding the right to form a new government — against the ruling conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, which has, until the current crisis, managed the most successful free-market economy in the Balkans.
Across the country, Macedonians are protesting en masse against the Tirana Platform and against Ambassador Jess Baily, considered biased against VMRO. Most recently, conflict erupted inside the parliament.
Again, most local officials have different priorities than the embassy: Macedonians have suffered centuries of incursions from neighbors. They are mostly concerned about security, while the Americans are feeding ginned-up NGOs money for “mobilization” and “activism.”
As Macedonian-American leader Bill Nicholov wrote in late April, “The US State Department and US Embassy in Macedonia are… meddling in Macedonia’s internal affairs, and it has wreaked havoc and perpetuated attacks on Macedonians’ ethnic origin and sovereignty.”
Nicholov begs President Trump to reverse course in the small country, north of Greece.
Albania’s socialist prime minister, Edi Rama, is the only foreign leader who came to the U.S. to trash talk Donald J. Trump last year, possibly at the behest of his close friend, George Soros. “God forbid” Trump wins the Republican nomination Rama told CNN’s Richard Quest. Trump’s election would “harm a lot America and it […]
Small but mighty Macedonia is the mouse that roared this year, declaring war on George Soros, 86, and his U.S. Government handmaidens, who, incredibly, have financed a left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power. It was the kind of Obama Administration manipulation that was so routine that it passed […]
Kosovo Ignores Call to Enforce Monastery’s Land Claim
Authorities in Pristina have remained silent after the EU called for enforcement of a court ruling that upheld a Serbian Orthodox monastery’s claim to disputed land, angering some Kosovo Albanians.
The Visoki Decani monastery. Photo: Visoki Decani monastery.
The Kosovo government has declined to respond to an appeal from the EU office in Pristina to enforce a ruling of the country’s Constitutional Court on a land dispute case involving the Serbian Orthodox monastery at Decan/Decani in western Kosovo.
The judgment issued in May 2016 said the land in the dispute belonged to the monastery and not to two private companies.
The office of Prime Minister Isa Mustafa did not respond to a BIRN query about the EU call.
But sources close to the prime minister’s office told BIRN on condition of anonymity that the government plans to ignore the ruling, which is unpopular among Kosovo Albanians.
On Thursday, the EU office expressed concern over the “continued lack of implementation of this ruling” and condemned “any actions to block access to or otherwise disrupt life at the Visoki Decani monastery”.
“The EU calls on authorities at all levels to demonstrate respect for the rule of law as a fundamental democratic principle. Full implementation of the ruling should take place without delay,” it said.
The mayor of the Decan/Decani municipality, Rasim Selmanaj, which contests the Serbian Orthodox Church’s right to the land, said that while the rule of law must be respected, the municipality had no intention of honouring “influential and illegal decisions.
“We remain ready for good relations with the monastery, but not for giving away properties that stifle the economic development of Decan,” Selmanaj said.
The League of Kosovo Historians’ office in Decan/Decani also condemned the statement by the EU office, saying that decisions about land made in the era of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic from 1989 to 1999 were “unenforceable in our country”.
The land was the focus of demonstrations in 2012 after the Supreme Court ruled that the disputed 24 hectares belonged to the monastery and not to two Kosovo companies, which have claimed it ever since the Kosovo war ended in 1999.
After 16 years of litigation, the Constitutional Court in May last year confirmed the monastery’s right to the 24 hectares, equal to 59 acres.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court sparked protests by Kosovo Albanians, some of them holding up banners reading: “The Constitutional Court Trespassed on Justice.”
21 Apr 17Kosovo MP Haradinaj Faces Ethnic Hatred LawsuitA Kosovo NGO said it will file a criminal complaint against MP Daut Haradinaj for threatening that Serbs could be expelled from Kosovo if his brother, ex-PM Ramush Haradinaj, is extradited to Belgrade.