Excerpt: Lt. Col. C.A.S. Palmer’s report: Visit to Northern Greece, 9-14 April 1945

February 15, 2012

5. In a discussion with Major Sara[n]dis the latter admitted that the alleged massacres had taken place in March by certain elements from Corfu, approximately 60 people being killed. He admitted in general to previous actions taken by the Greeks against the Albanian minority. While affirming that actions, particulary those in March 1945, were taken against all orders by General Zervas and others in authority, he stated that the Albanians had richly deserved everything they had got by reason of their collaboration with the Italians and Germans against the Greeks. He gave as his opinion that should the Albanians return now to their homes similar action against them by the Greek population would take place, and could not be prevented by the authorities. Such was the hatred of the Greeks for this minority that elements of ELES and EDES would unite and drive them out again.
6. Major Sarandis reported that General Zervas had in Athens documents relating to the crimes committed both by the Albanian minority and by his Andartes.
7. EAM are claimed by Major Sarandis to have come to an agreement with the FNC at the time of their taking over control of Epirus in December 1944 about the return of the Albanian refugees.

1. It is probable that the Albanian minority did collaborate with the Italians during their war with Greece. This collaboration may have been caused by
(a) a desire to see Greek Camoria incorporated within the Greater Albanian border and/or
(b) the opportunity presenting itself of paying off old scores with the Greeks.
It would not appear possible to reach any conclusion as to who was initially responsible for the series of clashes.
2. The area in which this minority lived is Filiates, Paramythia, Margarillom, Egoumenitsa. They are stated to have lived in the richest parts of this area.
3. Consequently there has always been a feeling of hatred and envy on the part of the Greeks of that area towards the Camorians.
4. The number of the Albanian minority was claimed in 1919 by the Albanians to be 54,000. A total of 20,000 to 25,000 is probably a more accurate figure.
5. During the German occupation there is no doubt that many (Force 399 estimated the number at 2,000 to 3,000) of the minority collaborated whole-heartedly with the Germans throughout the area.
6. The Albanian Camorians claim to have had a battalion of 400 to 700 fighting with ELAS. This was probably so but their efforts are likely to have been directed more against EDES than against the Germans.
6. The local EDES followers, however, suffered considerably from the minority both as collaborators and as ELAS bands.

Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tirana: 1945 dos. 11

Published in: Book on Greece. Yugoslavia. Direkcija za informacije, Yugoslavia. Office of Information. Published by the Office of Information attached to the government of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, 1948.


Euro zone crisis escalates on Greek debt fears

May 10, 2011

(Reuters) – Fresh fears that Greece will have to restructure its mountain of debt, possibly as early as this summer, sent the euro and some euro zone bond prices tumbling on Monday as the bloc’s debt crisis escalated.
German government sources told Reuters in Berlin that they did not believe Greece, which sealed a 110 billion euro ($158 billion) bailout from the EU and IMF a year ago, would make it through the summer without a restructuring.
Market confidence was also hit by a new threat to Portugal’s pending bailout from the rise of an anti-euro party in Finnish elections.
The anti-euro True Finns party scored big gains in a Sunday vote and vowed to push for changes to a Portuguese rescue by the EU that is expected to total 80 billion euros when it is finalized by a mid-May deadline.
After a brief lull in the EU debt crisis at the start of 2011, it has blown up again and some analysts are now openly speculating that Greece and possibly other countries could eventually be forced to exit the bloc.
“You may see some countries deciding to leave the euro because they can’t deal with the fiscal straitjacket that it imposes on them,” Andrew Lynch, a fund manager at Schroders, told Reuters Insider.
A restructuring of Greek debt would be the first by a west European nation in over half a century and represents a challenge for EU policymakers struggling to reconcile the interests of their citizens with the costly steps needed to preserve the integrity of the 17-nation currency area.
Greece, saddled with a debt burden that is expected to swell to 160 percent of gross domestic product by 2013, has denied repeatedly that it plans to restructure. Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos warned on Monday it would have “catastrophic consequences.”
“To be clear, Greece has money,” when considering the public wealth that could be privatized, ECB Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi told Reuters Insider before a New York event sponsored by Chatham House, the home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
“You have the alternative of selling assets and accelerating privatization or going in the direction of major financial collapse, which would happen in the case of default or restructuring.”
But German newspaper Die Welt quoted an unnamed Greek minister as saying it was only a matter of time before the government took such a step.
And government sources in Berlin told Reuters that some form of debt restructuring now looked unavoidable and suggested Greece move fast, rather than wait until its funding situation gets critical next year.
“Decisive voices within the federal government expect that Greece will not make it through the summer without a restructuring,” a high-ranking German coalition source said.

European shares sank to their lowest close in three weeks on Monday and the euro fell more than two cents to trade briefly below $1.42, its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in nearly two weeks as the euro zone debt crisis rattled market confidence.
U.S. stocks also took a hit after Standard & Poor’s cut its credit outlook for the United States to negative in a reminder that the euro zone is not alone in suffering from high debt and deficits.
The cost of insuring Greek debt against default jumped and Spanish 10-year bond yields rose toward record highs near 5.6 percent, while Portuguese yields hit a new peak of 9.4 percent.
European officials have been at pains to stress that Spain can avoid the contagion that has forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek rescues. Its much larger economy could strain the bloc’s resources to breaking point if it did succumb to the need for a debt bailout.
Data on Monday showed an accelerated drop in Spanish housing prices in the first quarter and a surge in yields at a government treasury bill auction.
Spain faces a further test of demand for its debt on Wednesday when it aims to raise 2.5 to 3.5 billion euros with two long-maturity issues.

In order to return Greece’s economy to a sustainable path, most economists agree that it needs to write off roughly half the value of its outstanding debt, hitting private creditors with significant “haircuts” on their holdings.
Greece’s debt load of 325 billion euros is nearly double the level most economists see as sustainable and far bigger than that of Argentina when it defaulted in late 2001.
But EU leaders have promised not to make private debt holders pay before 2013.
Doing so in the near-term, when the bloc remains vulnerable, could raise pressure on Portugal and Ireland to restructure their debt also, threatening bank balance sheets in the euro zone.
Winning creditor agreement for a milder form of restructuring, like a voluntary extension of debt maturities, is likely to be difficult.
And even if it does work, it would probably not make enough of a dent in Greece’s debt burden to ensure sustainability over the longer-term. Markets may view the “restructuring lite” option as merely the first step in a two-stage restructuring, with the real pain yet to come.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Portugal, representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund were meeting government officials on Monday to set the terms for the bloc’s third rescue in a year following multi-billion euro deals for Greece and Ireland.
After the election in Finland, however, that bailout could come under threat.
The anti-euro True Finns party which scored big gains in the Sunday vote, vowed to push for changes to the Portuguese rescue.
It may take weeks to find out whether True Finns will become part of a new government in Helsinki and be able to deliver on that threat. The party that won the most votes in Finland is pro-European and seems unlikely to compromise its stance even if it does end up in a coalition with True Finns.
But the result underscored the extent of public anger in northern Europe at the series of aid deals for stricken euro zone countries that mismanaged their economies and finances.
“It is extremely difficult for politicians in Europe to ignore the strong signal from Finland,” said Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Saxo Bank. “Ultimately this could mean a move away from bailouts with no burden sharing by private investors and banks.”
Any delay in approving the bailout deal for Portugal beyond May could leave the country scrambling for new sources of funding. It faces an election on June 5 and has warned it will run out of money around the same time.
(Reporting and writing by Noah Barkin; additional reporting by Al Yoon in New York)

Map of Chameria

April 21, 2011

Justin Godard: L’Albanie en 1921. Préface de M. D’Estournelles de Constant, sénateur; illustrations et cartes. Paris; Les presses universitaires de France,1922.

Ridiculous claims by Greek uploaders

April 19, 2011

If you listen attentively to this “Greek”, “North-Epirotic” song, three thousand years old, you’ll realize that its first line goes like this: “Hajde Shqipëri, moj…” (1:02). For all those who do not understand Albanian, it translates: “Come on, Albania…”.

Ahahaha! These guys have no shame at all!

Tragedy in three acts

April 12, 2011

1. Jeremić: Morocco won’t recognize Kosovo.
2. Morocco urges status talks for Kosovo.
3. Embassy of Morocco established in Kosovo.

The Peshkëpia Massacre

April 11, 2011

At 10.04.1994, 02:30 AM, 6-7 unidentified persons, wearing Greek military uniforms (motleys) and masks, entered Albanian soil via Greece, through the Bogaz pass, in the border post of Peshkëpia, a training center for recruits. They used shotguns to shoot and kill the outer guard of the post, named Arsen Llazar Gjini, 20 years old, originary from Seman, Fier. They also killed the first captain Fatmir Shehu, 34, opening fire on the recruits and wounding Eduard Vermishi, Frederik Kalemi, Janaq Xega and others. They retreated back to Greece via the Argyrochori military post. Responsible for the massacre were a Greek terrorist organization, called MAVI.

Read more (in Albanian)…

Aristotelis Goumas: Forensics say the accident was victim’s fault

April 6, 2011

Forencisc shed light on the ugly incident that cost the life of 35-year old Aristotelis (also Aristides) Goumas, a Grecophone  Albanian from Himara. It seems that Goumas made a bad maneuvre with his motorcycle, that would prove fatal. In the Greek press, this event was labeled a hate-crime, “fueling” old ethnic tensions in the region.

Read more (in Albanian)…

Greece: a strange country indeed!

April 4, 2011

Bebi and Maria Bajrami

An old Albanian couple, Bebi and Maria Bajrami, were refused entry to Greece, simply because they had the bad luck of having been born there. At the border check, the Greek clerk made them clear that if they wanted to enter Greece, they should change their birthplace. “Όχι Τσαμουριά!” – “Chameria no!”, was his reaction upon seeing their passports, reading: “Born in Margëlliç, Çamëria”. Originally from Margariti (Margëlliç), Bebi left Greece in the aftermath of WWII, when the Greek military forces expelled all Muslim Albanians from what is now Thesprotia prefecture, Northern Greece, for allegedly collaborating with the Nazis. After living in tents for a while, Bebi settled in Vlorë. He was sixteen at the time. His wife, Maria, also from Margariti, was only 20 days old.

Read more (in Albanian)…