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Finally some changes!

This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al

By Frrok Çupi

They had said that nothing would change again, that we would be stuck with the same government, with the same ambassadors, with the same EU and with the same arrogance.

But today we saw something else happen, something which may have been set in motion after the new president came in office in the USA in January 2017. Whatever happened here, was a result of what happened there. Even Donald Trump’s victory was read in two different ways: 1) “He will not be long in office”, something which was also inspired by officials and ambassadors of the old US administration and the other 2) “Let’s do whatever we can before time runs out…”.

Both of them aggravated the situation in our country. It went to prove that the axes were set in motion. This is where conservatives and liberals clashed, supporters of Trump and Brexit with supporters of anti-Trump and anti-Brexit; Soros’ strategy to turn Albania like Colombia and naïve efforts to make it look like something incidental.

A revolt of the most northern and forgotten city in the country, “awoke” everyone.

1.

The government felt fear.

The Prime Minister of the country, a tall man who was born among the dictatorship’s elite, had manifested all of his skills to show that he could trample down all of those who would stand on his way and the entire people if needed. He gathered around him “rabbits” who dared to bite lions believing that the PM would protect them. This government is inhumane and it has lost all credibility among people. A government which does not fear anything, may do us a lot of harm at a given moment. So far, it has misused funds coming from the taxes that people pay through their hard work; it has stolen and embezzled to such extent that the wealth of a minister could be measured to George Soros’; it has spread crime; it has destroyed the state; it has applied the strategy for the cultivation and the traffic of drugs the same way it was applied in the past with corn and wheat…

11 highlanders from Kukes who were imprisoned because they contested the government’s taxes, defied fear. After two days of protests with 30 participants, the Prime Minister was forced to withdraw from his “gigantic” decision to enslave Kukes and Kosovo. Now, the government which felt no fear, is trembling. Will it revoke the taxes?! No! Will it abuse as often as it’s given the chance? Yes, of course.

Nevertheless, we saw how the government felt intimidated by 11 imprisoned highlanders.

2.

US ambassador Lu’s sin was discovered.

The US State Department will soon launch an investigation on George Soros and Donald Lu for using American taxpayers’ money to cement the leftist government in Albania. This means that Lu and Soros are the masterminds of the project for the spreading of drugs in the country. Lu said that “the elections would be recognized even if the opposition did not participate in them” (something that no American has accepted). We find out that the ambassador, on behalf of the US president Donald Trump, was working against him.

Tomorrow, Lu’s conviction in America could lead to an investigation on Albanian government officials along with the Prime Minister himself.

3.

The revolt of the citizens was mined by the opposition.

Although what we saw happening today was a negative thing, it showed that things were set in motion. The opposition called for a protest which it called “civil disobedience”. It looked like they were calling on farmers to take to the streets and throw out excess milk. In three or four national roads, road circulation was blocked because militants obeyed the opposition’s calls. “Conservative” opposition used socialist instruments to slow down the speed of the nation instead of doing the opposite.

But by doing this, the opposition undermined the authority of the revolt of the citizens of Kukes by reflecting it as an amorphous street movement and it removed the real meaning of the revolt of Kukes, which aimed at protecting the nation from Turkey and Russia and not only from taxes.

The opposition served the government with the same instruments in order to keep the government longer in power. The opposition does not follow static policies in parliament. Instead, it is engaged in civic action on the streets. The opposition also acts like clock pendulum for the government in the very sense of existence: If Mr. Lu travels to America to undergo a probe on Soros’ funding from USAID, then Rama is connected to him. But, if the Prime Minister is put under investigation, the same thing will also be done by the opposition leader, Basha. America wants him because of the scandal with the Russian funds.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy

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Balkan News

Kosovo rules out the option of the “status quo” and exchange of territories

Three are the scenarios of the “Grand Finale” between Kosovo and Serbia, according to a study published by the Research Institute for Development and European Affairs (RIDEA) and the Balkan Policy Research Group (BPRG).

This study is based on interviews with policymakers, experts, activist of civic society and diplomats.

The first scenario which has been suggested is the continuation of the “status quo”, which is not seen as a viable solution by the majority of respondents.

The second scenario includes the signing of an agreement which aims at fully normalizing the relations between the two countries, leading to a mutual recognition.

The majority of respondents opted for the scenario, however, a more realistic version of this scenario is the one where countries sign a legally binding agreement, in which Serbia accepts the state of Kosovo, including its right to join international organizations, but without formally recognizing its independence.

The third scenario includes full normalization of relations, including mutual recognition through border adjustments.

Given that this alternative is supported by Belgrade and not by Pristina, it contains several dangers, including the possibility for the destabilization of the region.

Such agreement for border adjustment (exchange of territories) is only possible once the two states recognize each other.

However, this option has been rejected by the majority of respondents. /balkaneu.com/

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Balkan News

Over 1 million counterfeit goods enter FYROM every year

Around 1 million counterfeit goods enter FYROM each year. These data have been provided by the country’s Customs Directorate.

“Each year, customs seize around 1 million forged goods. China and Turkey are on the list of the states where these goods come from”, says Semir Musa, official at the Customs Directorate.

The most encountered types of counterfeit goods are textile products, shoes, cosmetics, car parts, mobile phones and different electronic parts.

Authorities in the country have taken measures to prevent the entry of counterfeit goods in the country, as a part of them also harm consumers’ health. /ibna/

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Balkan News

FYROM fears the Balkan route is still active

Refugee camps in FYROM’s southern border with Greece are almost empty now, say activists of the Red Cross, but they still fear a possible new wave of refugees.

FYROM is on the so called Balkan route, which two years ago was used by many illegal refugees from Syria, Iraq and countries of Middle East.

FYROM’s Interior minister, Oliver Spasovski says that although the intensity of refugees on this rout has fallen, it is still active.

According to him, although this route has been officially closed, there are many smugglers who exploit victims of trafficking.

Tamara Pogusev, regional head of the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI), sdays that measures will be taken for a possible new wave of refugees.

“I truly believe that the EU has long term objectives to stop a possible new wave of refugees, like the one we saw in 2015, because this is not a problem for Europe, but for the entire world”, Pogusev said.

During 2015 and first half of 2016, the number of refugees who went through FYROM was between 800 thousand to 1 million and according to the ministry of Interior, only 200 of them have applied for asylum in the country. /balkaneu.com/

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Balkan News

11 million euros in the national agricultural scheme for agritourism

Albania has all the potential to benefit a significant amount of EU funds which need to be used for the development of agritourism, because although it is a small country, it has a rich culinary and many myths and legends, which could be attractive for many foreign tourists

The Albanian minister of Agriculture, Niko Peleshi declared today that Europe has 88 thousand agritourism outlets, 5 million beds, while employing 500 thousand people.

Stressing that the government is working to develop this new sector of the Albanian tourism, Peleshi said that the national scheme for the support of agriculture has 11 million euros which will be spent for the development of agritourism.

According to Peleshi, the aim of the Albanian government is to attract tourists 365 days a year, as this would increase the contribution to GDP by several times. /ibna/

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Balkan News

The challenge of tourism in Albania

The main challenge of Albania in the sector of tourism is to respond to the growing demand.

This was declared on Friday by the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, at the opening of the 2nd Edition of Tirana 2018 Mediterranean Fair with tour operators from the entire Mediterranean region ahead of the tourist season.

Rama said that there’s an increase in the revenues in the country thanks to the growth of the number of foreign tourists, while last year, this growth was 10%.

But, according to the PM, this growth is conditioned by restrictions in meeting demands, as demand is higher than what can be offered by accommodation outlets in the country.

“This is the main challenge for us: we should offer more in order to be able to cope with a growing demand”, Rama said.

The PM said that Albania is located in a region which is one of the main tourist destinations in the world, the Mediterranean, which receives 25% of revenues from global tourism and 80% of tourists coming from Europe. /ibna/

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