Row between Athens and Tirana
A dispute has broken out between Albania and Greece after Albanian authorities decided to knock down the homes of 19 ethnic Greek families in the town of Himara. The authorities say the plans are part of an initiative to make the area more attractive for tourism. The foreign ministry in Athens has harshly criticised the move. The Greek press is also furious.
Rama putting Albania's EU membership at risk
The violation of the rights of the Greek minority is an obstacle on Albania's path to EU membership, stresses Protagon.gr:
“Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on social media that the acropolis is still standing today thanks to the Albanian Gjergj Dushmani, who urged the Venetians not to destroy Athens [in 1696]. Prior to that the Albanian foreign ministry had rejected the Greek foreign ministry's demand that it take measures to protect the Greek minority in Himara. Albania is in fact obliged to do this if it wants to join the EU, the Greek foreign minister reminded Rama. But all we hear from Tirana is insults. ”
Turkey is behind Albania's policy
The reasons for Albania's behaviour regarding Greece are clear, Dimokratia believes:
“Traditionally Tirana acts counter to Greece's interests. Albania and its sponsors [including Turkey] are irked by the presence of the Greek minority on Albanian soil. And the fact that their country is economically dependent on ours has repercussions for the national pride of Albania's ruling class. ... When Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spews nonsense about the Acropolis, [the small town] Himara and the Greek minority he is persecuting, it's out of anger or frustration. Rama is promoting Turkey's agenda in the Balkans and hopes that Albania will be able to annex parts of Greece. Because for him, Greece is a weakling.”