|Posted by moodhacker on November 1, 2016 at 12:20 AM|
by Edi Rama, fb
Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama triggered a new provocation of the Albania-Greek relationships by claiming in a Facebook post that the monuments of the Acropolis were saved from total destruction in 1686, when the Albanian population of Athens at the time convinced the Venetians – engaged in a war with Greece’s Ottoman rulers at the time – to desist from doing so.
Athens dismissed the claim saying they were Nazi collaborators.
The provocative Facebok post follows the official Greek governement statement by the Ministry of ForeigAffairs that came as a reaction to the planned demolition of 19 homes belonging to ethnic Greeks in Albania's Himara region, and warnend that proceeding with such actions will jeopardise Albania's European perspective.
"Official Albanian agencies cannot claim urbi et orbi that minority rights are respected throughout Albanian territory at the same time as they are being violated in practice, creating a minefield for the country's European course," a Greek foreign ministry announcement said.
Albania's leadership was confusing its own mistaken understanding of history with Albania's commitments arising from international law and the body of European laws concerning the protection of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, which was native and had established rights, the foreign ministry said.
The actions of Albanian authorities pointed to the existence of an organised plan to violate the rights of the Greek minority, "with the events speaking for themselves," the ministry claimed. It noted, among others, that demolition notices as part of a plan for the redevelopment of Himara were all sent to individuals of ethnic Greek origin.
"Yesterday's statements by Albanian officials smack of an outdated logic that directly conflicts with current standards for the protection of minority rights in modern, democratic and European countries," the announcement continued.
The ministry was responding to an Albanian foreign ministry announcement on Monday, which said that there was no discrimination with respect to the law and that the legal procedures followed by the Himara municipality were all "transparent and in accordance with current legislation."
Greece had urged Albanian authorities on Sunday to cancel the demolition order giving residents five days to quit their homes and begin meaningful consultations with the owners concerning Himara’s redevelopment plans.
"If Albania sincerely wishes to join the European Union, it should demonstrate in practice that it functions according to the principles of the rule of law, protecting the rights of all its residents regardless of their nationality and origin, against abuses and illegal acts,"
the Greek foreign ministry had added.
Photo; The remains of the Church of St. Athanasius the Albanian authorities demolished the village of Dhermi, archive photo
On the Day pf the National Celebrtion of the OXI Day, the 28th of October, nineteen families of the Greek minority in Chimarra were informed on that they have five days to vacate their homes, which are scheduled for demolition.
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs by an angered statement on Sunday called Albanian authorities to cancel the demolition immediately and enter meaningful talks with the land owners regarding the redevelopment plans for Chimarra.
In its statement the Ministry underlined that protection of minority rights (including property) is one of five conditions set by the European Union for membership negotiations to begin. As such, Albanian authorities must demonstrate in practice that they may operate as a state of justice, by protecting the rights of all residents, irrespective of nationality and origin.
Τhe Greek diaspora in Albania held in Himare a protest on October 31 against the decision of the municipal authorities for the demolition of houses, and symbolically tore the notices of the Albanian Municipality's deadline that gave them five days to empty and leave their homes, by declaring that they will nor accept the compensations the Municipaity is paying them for the demolishion..
A Greek Minority protest in Heimara, Albania, on August 2016 for the demoslishion of the Greek fmilies' homes