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Friday, 24 July 2015

“F” the EU Nuland Uses Doctored Wiretaps To Pull-Off Another Regime Change, This One In Macedonia


Macedonia’s political leaders have reached agreement on an interim government and an independent investigation into allegations of illegal wiretapping, electoral fraud and state-backed corruption in the former Yugoslav republic.Political leaders said the deal brought to an end a poisonous political dispute in the EU candidate country, which had been gripped by mass demonstrations and deadly clashes that echoed the country’s 2001 violent inter-ethnic conflict.

Johannes Hahn, the EU enlargement commissioner who mediated the talks, told local reporters on Wednesday that the country’s leaders had brought Macedonia closer to its ambition of EU membership by reaching a deal.

The crisis began in February, when the opposition SDSM party began releasing thousands of secret recordings of government phone calls which revealed a “massive invasion of fundamental rights” according to an expert report produced for the European Commission in June.

Reinhard Priebe, author of the EU report, said the tapes suggested senior government officials appeared to be directly involved in “electoral fraud, corruption, abuse of power and authority, conflict of interest, blackmail, extortion, criminal damage.”

The government in turn accused opposition leaders of treason and espionage and said the tapes had been manufactured by foreign intelligence services.

Tensions reached a peak in May, when at least 18 people were killed in a special forces operation against an armed group in Kumanovo, a town in the north of the country.

The violence sparked fears of a return to unrest in the ethnically divided country of 2m, where an estimated 130 were killed in inter-ethnic strife in 2001 before a 3,500 strong NATO force arrived to quell the unrest. The latest violence prompted EU and US mediators to launch talks between Macedonia’s leaders in May.

The political parties agreed last month to prepare for early elections in April but the role of Nikola Gruevski as prime minister remained a key obstacle, with the opposition claiming free and fair elections would be impossible without his resignation.

Talks remained stalled for much of June but people familiar with the discussions said the arrival of Victoria Nuland, US assistant secretary of state, in Skopje this week added urgency to the efforts to reach an agreement.


Mr Gruevski has now agreed to resign in early January, allowing an interim leader 100 days to prepare for the elections on April 24. SDSM MPs will return to parliament at the beginning of September and nominate key ministers to take up positions in October. A special prosecutor will be appointed on September 15 to investigate the wiretap recordings.

Observers welcomed the agreement but warned that previous commitments had been discarded by both the government and opposition and urged the EU and US to hold the country’s leaders to their commitments.

“Without close and continuous monitoring of the deal, both by Brussels and member states, the government may well return to business as usual,” warned Goran Buldioski, co-director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

“A key test of this [agreement] will be appointing the new special prosecutor to investigate the wiretapping revelations; will it be an independent outsider from the Balkan region or simply another insider?” he added.

Members of the Democratic Union for Integration party, Mr Gruevski’s ethnic Albanian coalition partner, said by agreeing to investigate abuses of power, the country had moved closer to EU membership.

“We need a catharsis of the political scene,” said Artan Grubi, a DUI member of parliament. “This is the key moment when we can embrace Europe by ensuring that corruption and abuse of power is unacceptable.”

Impatient protesters begin digging up Confederate general’s grave — themselves!

A group of anti-Confederate protesters aren’t happy enough with the declaration by the city of Memphis that it wants to dig up and move the remains of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest

A group of anti-Confederate protesters aren’t happy enough with the declaration by the city of Memphis that it wants to dig up and move the remains of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.

They want it done now.

A group surrounded a shovel Wednesday and ceremoniously removed a chunk of grass and soil.

“We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis,” Isaac Richmond with the “Commission on Religion and Racism” declared to awaiting TV cameras, CBS 3 reported.

Forrest grave protesters

Richmond ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year.

He believes if the general who died 137 years ago can just be eliminated, that will really help things.

“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone,” he said, shovel in hand. “We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.”

Others see their actions as little more than destruction of property.

“They can protest all they want. Just because they don’t like it, doesn’t mean they are right. Digging up the park is just pure and simple vandalism,” says Lee Millar, spokesman Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“We really don’t want to make this a confrontation. We just want to say hey, we want to get on with it!” Richmond insists.

In early July, the Memphis city council voted unanimously to dig up Forrest’s body and move it somewhere else.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” City Council member Myron Lowery said at the time.

Because of the bureaucracy, Forrest’s remains and the statue dedicated to him are regulated by different agencies.

WREG reported:

According to the city council’s attorney, Chancery Court would also have to sign off on the removal of the remains and the family of Forrest would be involved in the decision as well.

The removal of the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest is a separate issue.

The removal of the statue has been proposed as an ordinance before the council which will have to be read before the council three times before it can be approved.

From there it will be presented to the Tennessee Historic Commission but there is no timeline for when they will make a decision.

That’s all taking too long for the activists. They want it done now.