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Old 10-15-2019, 06:32 PM   #771
Tomche Makedonche
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Default France objects to North Macedonia and Albania EU accession talks

https://www.ft.com/content/fce9e9a0-...e-4367d8281195

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France objects to North Macedonia and Albania EU accession talks

Paris wants bloc’s enlargement process be made more demanding and reversible

Michael Peel in Brussels and Valerie Hopkins in Budapest yesterday

The prospect of the EU triggering enlargement talks with North Macedonia and Albania hung by a thread on Tuesday after France mounted fierce opposition to the Balkan countries joining the bloc.

EU foreign and Europe ministers were haggling in Luxembourg in a final effort to win agreement ahead of an EU summit this week where many member states want to launch the accession process for Skopje and Tirana as part of a strategic battle for the western Balkans.

But the French objections have laid bare tensions over the bloc’s stance on a region surrounded by EU countries in which rival powers including China, Russia and Turkey are vying for influence.

Paris argues that Albania and North Macedonia need to implement more reforms before talks can begin. It also says the wider EU accession process needs to be made more demanding and reversible.

“The French are playing with fire,” said one EU diplomat from the majority group that supports launching accession talks with both countries. “This could threaten the stability of the region. It’s a very serious thing.”

EU diplomats said Paris stood alone in its opposition to North Macedonia, which has initiated a series of reforms demanded by the EU, including changing its name to end a decades-old dispute with neighbouring Greece.

“We hope that in the end France will live up to its European leadership aspirations and join the EU consensus on North Macedonia,” said an official from another member state.

North Macedonia, which resolved “impossible” talks over its name last year and “made a democratic U-turn at home”, has been waiting for 14 years to open EU talks, the country’s foreign minister, Nikola Dimitrov, told the Financial Times. Decisions on negotiations were postponed last year and again this summer due to EU disunity.

“What’s at stake is EU enlargement policy and the European perspective for the Balkans itself. The question is if the EU will keep the lighthouse lit,” he said.

The debate over Albania is more nuanced, as countries other than France — including the Netherlands and Denmark — are sceptical because of fears about domestic political instability, organised crime and the stalling of some reforms. Albania undertook a painful judicial vetting procedure in the hope of moving towards EU membership.

Albania’s foreign affairs minister, Gent Cakaj, warned that blocking negotiations would diminish the EU’s role in the entire region and “risks undermining reformist forces in the region”. A negative decision would “embolden third actors who have been waiting in the wings for a long time”, he warned.

A further complication has been a division between countries opposed to “decoupling” the cases of North Macedonia and Albania and others prepared to accept a refusal for Tirana as the price of advancing Skopje’s case — a position diplomats said was attracting increasing support.

France, which has historically been sceptical about EU enlargement in general, argues that the accession process needs to be reviewed before admitting new countries, a tension Mr Cakaj dubbed “a false dilemma”.

Paris is not wrong to question the current state of the enlargement process, but it needs to give Skopje a green light, said Gerald Knaus, executive director of the European Stability Initiative, a Berlin-based think-tank focused on south-eastern Europe and enlargement.

He noted that according to the EU’s own assessment, North Macedonia is more prepared for membership than Serbia, which, along with Montenegro, is considered a “frontrunner” for accession. “The current accession process does not work,” he said.

Mr Knaus proposed a Balkan free trade zone modelled on the pre-accession experience of Austria and Sweden. He argued that Paris should consent to open talks with Skopje and then support the creation of a South-east European Economic Area, which would steer the countries towards the common market — without the promise of membership.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s administration faces the perceived political threat that far-right domestic political rivals could use enlargement to push scare stories about Balkan criminal gangs and an influx of Muslims from Albania.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:34 PM   #772
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https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-no-offici.../30218294.html

Quote:
EU Ministers Fail To Approve Official Accession Talks With Albania, North Macedonia

European Union ministers have failed to give the go-ahead to begin membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, another blow to the Western Balkan nations' hopes of a speedy accession process.

"It was not a moment of glory for Europe," Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn told reporters in Luxembourg on October 15 following a meeting of European affairs ministers.

Hahn added that an "overwhelming majority" of EU members supported the Commission's recommendation that talks begin but that they could not reach the required unanimous decision.

It was the third time -- following similar outcomes in June 2018 and June 2019 -- that the bloc's ministers failed to reach unanimity.

The issue will now be discussed by EU leaders when they meet in Brussels for an EU summit on October 17-18.

Several sources who asked not to be identified told RFE/RL that France played a key role in blocking the start of official accession talks with the two small nations.

Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland’s minister for European affairs, said after the meeting that "unfortunately, there were a few member states hesitant and one member state particularly against it."

"So, we were not able to reach that required unanimity in order to make the decision,"she added.

France and the Netherlands, in particular, have expressed reluctance to open the door to new members over concerns about corruption and the standards of the rule of law in some applicant nations.

French European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin said that Paris did not want to separate Albania's case from that of North Macedonia, which has broader EU support, as suggested by Finland.

France "is not asking for anything new" and "is not saying no," de Montchalin told reporters after the meeting.

"We are just asking that criteria set back in June 2018 be fully applied," she added, citing reforms that she said Albania and North Macedonia had not yet completely undertaken.

However, other nations have expressed concerns that delays over membership could aid attempts by Russia or China to increase their influence in the region.

Germany's Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth warned that a "possible political vacuum" in the region "will be filled by other powers that certainly have little in common with democracy and the rule of law."
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:03 PM   #773
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Macedonia should have changed its name to "EU".
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:20 PM   #774
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Emmerson asks: "Is Spain still committed to a European model of democracy?"

URL:
https://www.elnacional.cat/en/politi...30436_102.html

Marta Lasalas

Barcelona. Tuesday, 15 October 2019

British human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson has warned that Monday's court decision to give heavy jail sentences to Catalan pro-independence leaders places Spain on a "collision course with the United Nations, the international community and the international rule of law." "It is a dark day for democracy in Spain," said Emmerson, who is part of the legal team which presented the Catalan political prisoners' case to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions. The UN Working Group concluded that the Catalan pro-independence leaders who were part of the case (seven of those now convicted for sedition) were wrongfully held in custody and called for their immediate release, but Spain ignored the UN ruling.

Emmerson warned in a statement that the decision taken by Spain's Supreme Court, "torpedoes the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the political crisis in Catalonia" He said the court had "quite deliberately dropped an incendiary device into a tinder box". For this reason, he considers it vital for all parties to remain calm, and redouble their efforts for a negotiated solution, before the situation "spirals out of control".

The British lawyer says that the debate has now gone well beyond the question of independence: "It’s about whether Spain remains committed to the European model of democracy. This is a truly chilling decision for European democracy as a whole, which will reverberate throughout the continent."

Emmerson added, sharing his declarations on Twitter, that he believes the case has a significance that goes far beyond Europe: "If an EU Member State can get away with locking up democrats" on this basis, he asked, "what message does this send to oppressive regimes elsewhere in the world?"

The lawyer also used Twitter to share the comments made by prominent British left-wing activist Owen Jones in response to the Supreme Court verdicts: that a "supposedly democratic European state locking up political dissidents" was "grotesque". Emmerson expressed his relief that "finally" someone close to the main UK political parties had become aware of the broader "democratic" implications of the issue.


131 injured, including one eye and one testicle lost: first day of sentence protests in Catalonia

URL:
https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/i...30658_102.html

Organisations like Novact, Irídia, Iacta, ACDDH and La Fede have set up the platform Som Defensores (We Are Defenders) to defend and protect human rights during the protests in response to the sentences announced yesterday by Spain's Supreme Court against pro-independence leaders.

"The team Som Defensores was activated yesterday after the different protests announced after the sentence in the trial over 1st October [2017, referendum day] was announced first thing in the morning and it will remain on alert for the whole week," they say.

Among its first activities was to monitor those most seriously wounded by the police's response to the protests. According to the platform, they are aware of 29 cases of injuries caused by police during yesterday's protests. Six of the cases were people hit by foam bullets, five were hit with police batons on their heads and 16 injured on other parts of their body. They also confirmed that one person was seriously injured in one of their eyes, and another in a testicle. "The observers are also aware of kettling, limitations of movement and verbal attacks. We also highlight that 11 journalists have been injured."

"It's intolerable that foam bullets have been used again in Catalonia. Despite the Parliament's ban being only legally binding on the Mossos and not the [Spanish] National Police Corps, we understand there's a political agreement which PSC forms part of and which the Spanish government should respect", said lawyer Andrés García Berrio, a member of Irídia acting as spokesperson for Som Defensores. García Berrio will be responsible for giving legal assistance to the victims.

The lawyer also says that they "detected foam projectiles being fired directly at people who weren't doing anything and at people's heads." He adds that in many cases both Mossos and National Police Corps officers used their batons hitting from high to low, contrary to protocol.

The platform also said that "observers have suffered retentions, attacks and been identified by the security forces despite being accredited". On the other hand, they say there were Mossos officers who didn't have their ID numbers on their backs.


Incidents in Barcelona - 90 second video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUhR_FkkqvY

Video: Car accelerates at protesters blocking road in Catalonia:
https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/v...30805_102.html










17 minutes of footage of clashes, incidents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpHwFdWFIhw

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Old 10-15-2019, 11:09 PM   #775
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Good maybe this will wake people u......oh wait, no it won't......
I shoulda know when they bowed and became Fyromainians to not keep any hope up. I already ranted on this in the Germany thread.
But, very typical of EU, and typical on the carrot chasers....and Balkan boneheads. Speaking of which, how about those Bulgarians in the football match? That's just the kind of thing the EU types will look at and think "Why another country from that region?"
Not that The Central Balkan Republic (Yes, the CBRdonians!) has western Euro ideals anymore than the rest of the Balkans....

I think I'll go bother the neighbors with some sad guitar sounds.....(And maybe make that soundcloud account finally)
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:21 PM   #776
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Catalonia ‘separatists’ bad, HK ‘pro-democracy protesters’ good: Orwell’s 1984 becomes user’s manual for Western ‘free media’

George Galloway

15 Oct, 2019

URL:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/470992-cata...-media-orwell/

When supporters of Catalan leaders jailed for organizing a democratic vote advance on Barcelona airport, media make a fuss over ‘separatists’ causing chaos. When the same tactic’s used in Hong Kong, it’s a ‘pro-democracy’ protest.

In George Orwell’s 1984, The War Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Peace. Truth was Lies, Hate was Love. But author Lewis Carroll got there first.

In ‘Through the Looking Glass,’ first published in 1871, Humpty Dumpty tells Alice, and in rather a scornful manner, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice “whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that's all.”

Humpty Dumpty has indeed been put back together again, in our newsrooms and in the mouths of our politicians. As so often happens, it finds its apogee in Syria.

One man’s ‘terrorist’ is, of course, another man’s “freedom-fighter” – but now it’s becoming ridiculous. The so-called ‘Free’ so-called ‘Syrian’ so-called ‘Army’ –the FSA– are now being denounced all over the world for the savagery of their conduct in the Turkish incursions in north-east Syria.

The problem is that the Humpty Dumpties fulminating into their fountain-pens against it are the very same Humpties who told us for years that these were ‘moderate-rebels,’ ‘secular’ soldiers fighting for ‘democracy’ against ‘dictatorship’ in Syria. So much so, we had to give them the guns with which they are now reportedly gunning down Kurdish civilians, and over which we are now oh so appalled…

Those of us who drew attention to the fact that one of the FSA commanders had, in a former role, cut out a prisoner’s heart and eaten it on YouTube, were banned from social media-platforms, branded “Assad-apologists” or “Putin-apologists” or, in my case, both. That the so-called ‘democratic’ opposition was merely an alphabet-soup of Islamist fanatic forces in white-helmets wearing Mrs Clinton’s lipstick was a truth which simply could not be uttered.

This tragic farce is, in fact, ending as it began, when Hillary Humpty Dumpty Clinton's launch of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria literally died on her lips when it was pointed out that many of the countries in the coalition were the unfree-est, most anti-democratic countries on earth!

The name changed but the flow of guns, money, political and propaganda support never did.

Space and ennui precludes my adumbrating the full set of the false-teeth in the Syria story, so let me pay homage to Catalonia.

The democratic government of Spain in the democratic European Union has just handed out a hundred years of prison sentences on democratic Catalan politicians for organising a democratic vote in Catalonia. Worse, a “mob” of their supporters have advanced on...the airport in Barcelona! Commerce, holidays, trade are being WRECKED, wrecked I tell you, by this undemocratic form of protest.

But, when the exact same tactic is used in Hong-Kong, the demonstrators are NOT a mob, they are not wreckers, they are ‘democracy-protesters.’

When the Hong-Kong protesters confront the Chinese police with Molotovs, knives, even guns, it is the policeman stabbed in the neck who is the villain. When the French police literally disarm Yellow-Vest protesters –that is, to blow their hands off– even Humpty Dumpty runs out of words, so a complete media veil of secrecy is thrown over the removal of eyeballs, hands and even lives by the gendarmes.

George Orwell’s novel 1984 was supposed to be a dystopian work of fiction, a warning of the perversions of truth which would be required to sustain totalitarianism if we were not careful.

In 2019, it has become a User’s Manual, a play-book
, and some of the worst hypocrites in the world – otherwise known as the free-media in free-countries – deploy it to the nodding approbation of the political-classes they serve.

As Humpty Dumpty said, “The question is, which is to be master – that’s all.”
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:50 AM   #777
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There are obvious double standards. I wouldn't call it an Orwellian conspiracy but simple human bias.

I think it come down to perception. I people look at how stable and affluent the country is and assume that countries like France and Spain or stable democratic and prosperous and therefor anyone who stands up to those establishments must be a trouble maker. They look at China, Syria, and others as undemocratic and unstable places and therefor anyone who stands up to those establishments is obviously just seeking democracy.

Bias due to political orientation is also a factor.

You also have to take into consideration where and who the media gets its information from. Investigative journalism isn't what it used to be. Very few outlets send anyone out into the field to actual investigate. They rely on 2nd and 3rd hand sources. Most of the time the only people on the ground are government affiliated or employed and control the narrative. That is also not to say its some coordinated conspiracy to mislead. If you are a government employee working in an intelligence service, your job is to further the interests of your country, you are going to have a clear bias on any given situation depending on how that situation relates to your national interests.

If anyone is to blame for this its media companies who have basically abandoned journalism for sensationalist talk shows, because talk shows are cheaper to produce and bring in much more viewership. Society is also to blame, because we prefer to watch biased talk shows because actual journalism is sometimes dry. Then we get upset when we discover we have been mislead. We encourage and reward the media for acting in this manner.

Don't watch Rachel Maddow, and Sean Hanity and demand that news outlets go back to actually having boots on the ground.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #778
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Is Zaev planning to resign as a result of the EU veto??

https://www.magazin.mk/%d0%b7%d0%b0%...1%d0%bb%d0%b5/
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:06 AM   #779
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Macron opens door to North Macedonia, Albania EU accession talks

URL:
https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pm...ccession-talks

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that if the results of an EU Commission report in March on North Macedonia and Albania were positive, he would back opening negotiations for them to join the bloc.

“We are waiting for the report in March… depending on that if the results are positive and confidence is established then we should be in a position to open the negotiations,” Macron told the Munich Security Conference.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:38 AM   #780
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Default A petition to protect Macedonian Language and Minorities in EU

I found this well written petition to protest the Bulgarian attacks on the Macedonian language and Macedonian minority in Bulgaria:

https://www.change.org/p/diplomatic-...e-is-a-reality
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