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George Soros answers: "We're attacked by those who failed with their countries"

Open Society Foundations reacted after recent accusations launched against the American billionaire philanthropist, George Soros. 

Laura Silber, Chief of his Press Office, said for "Birn” that Soros was attacked by non-liberal governments which want to shift attention away from unemployment, corruption and weak economic perspectives.

“Civil society plays an important role to make governments accountable and reinforce democracy. We are proud to support organizations that improve peoples' lives”, she commented.

The name of George Soros was mentioned several times in Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, in campaigns launched against non-government organizations.

Such campaigns do often escalate during elections, when activists and journalists get accused of not being patriotic enough.

After the elections of December 11th, former Prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, attacked foreign funded NGOs promising that his party would fight to remove Soros influences from his country.

The Macedonian Foreign Minister declared for an Italian media this January that activities led by Soros are being seen as unacceptable in Macedonia. Some pro-government voices have made similar comparisons in Romania, by even considering the leaders of recent popular protests as Soros agents.


Michelle Obama becomes part of the show "Masterchief Junior"

Michelle Obama is not amymore the first lady of the state, but the wife of Barack Obama will be part of a TV show.

Michelle will be Judge of the series fifth season of the show "Masterchief Junior" aired on FOX TV. "Los Angeles Times" wrote that the former jury member, Graham Elliot, will not be part of the season, but in his place Mrs.

Obama, while the names of the other members are not done yet known. This is not the first time Michelle appears in such a spectacle, because earlier it was part of Barefoot in Washington, the Food Network, format similar to "Masterchief Junior".

Obama family really left the White House, but that does not mean it will be removed from media attention.



Prime Ministre Rama make sure that "A billion for reconstruction" do not end up as "Albania one euro"

Former Finance Minister Arben Malaj comments on the project recently announced by the Albanian government, "One billion for reconstruction". He says the government should structure the project better.

According to Mr. Malaj is necessary to design a package that contains many elements together resources come from money, the state budget, donors, increasing the quality and efficiency of the use of funds, as would be obtained from the private sector and where to invest.

In this interview with "Voice of America", Malaj also commented on recent developments in the country clash between the attorney general and US ambassador Adriatic Lala in Tirana Donald Lu.



Italy, Ermal Meta wins cover prize in Sanremo

Ermal Meta won the cover prize in Sanremo, Italy's most prestigious light music festival. The singer born in Fier, Albania, immigrated to Italy since he was 13. His performance with "Amara Terra Mia" of Domenico Modugno was applauded by the public and even by critics and journalists.

Ermal Meta came up with a new profile, using two different types of voices within the same song, a very bold and interesting move. The Albanian songwriter was considered as one of the possible winners of Sanremo, with his song "Vietato Morire". Besides performing, Meta has written songs for many important Italian artists, such as Giusy Ferri, Patti Pravo, etc. Several of his songs were also used in famous movies.



Apartment prices are growing

The Bank of Albania says that after five years of a dropping tendency, apartment prices in the Albanian capital are raising again.

The Bank says prices in 2016 were 4.6% more expensive than one year ago, varying from 400 EUR per square meter furthest from the center, to 2500 or 3000 Euros per square meter near the city center.

The Bank says the prices have followed the pace of the economic growth. The demand for buying new apartments is revived again, which has also impacted the price raise.


PD gives evidence of a deformed translation, for vetting law

Just one day after the US Ambassador said that the DP was delaying the Vetting law because they feared justice, the biggest party of the opposition through Oerd Bylykbashi stood to its version of a wrong translation of the Venice Commission Law.

Oerd Bylykbashi presented a series of what he calls evidence that the Vetting Law was intentionally deformed.

"DP has supported the removal of corrupted Prosecutors when the Constitutional amendments were passed. But you cannot do this by manipulating the translation. Official contacts show the translation was made by Euralius. The Venice Commission made full transparency with the documents published online. They have both the law with the wrong text, and the translated one that was sent later. Other websites, including EURALIUS, have removed their previous translations from their websites", Bylykbashi said.

"PD experts presented this deformation of the law to the Constitutional Court, which sent it back to the Venice Commission and undertook another translation with licensed experts from the Ministry of Justice. 

We need to know which is the state authority that wanted to manipulate with the wrong translation. The Constitutional Court sent the official translation, which is correct, and the Venice Commission has published this one by removing the older one. 
There is also another big mistake. The Venice Commission says that the first version of the law is not October 28th, neither November 16th, but October 16th. Who had the interest to send the Venice Commission to a wrong direction?", Bylykbashi added. 



EU reacts to errors in translation.

spokesperson of the European Commission for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations Maja Kocijancic, reacted for the first time over the Vetting Law translation problem. Kocijancic said that only Albanian authorities are responsible for the translation. Kocijancic: The forwarding of official translations is a responsibility of Albanian institutions.

The EU condemns the false accusations claiming that EURALIUS and the EU delegation have been involved in deliberate errors. Actions or statements, which artificially aim to create confusion, have the sole purpose of trying to delay the implementation of the justice reform, including a reassessment of Judges and Prosecutors. The EU is determined to continue to provide all necessary assistance to the Albanian citizens so they can have access to a reliable and responsive justice system.