With bilateral relations still hurting following the killing of an ethnic Greek man by police in Albania in October, Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned a decision by Albanian authorities to confiscate property belonging to ethnic Greek families in the south of the country.
The decision by Albania’s Council of Ministers, which also involves the sale of property belonging to ethnic Greeks in the areas of Himara (Himare), Avlona (Vlore) and Examilia (Ksamil) with an eye on tourism development, was signed by Prime Minister Edi Rama, prompting a warning from Athens over the Balkan country’s European Union membership ambitions.
In a statement, the Greek Foreign Ministry urged Tirana to cancel the decision, calling it a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as previous court rulings.
“Actions of this sort are not in accordance with Albania’s professed European aspirations and they run against [the country’s] relevant obligations,” the statement said.
The ministry said it would monitor developments while continuing efforts to build relations of trust and cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Omonoia organization representing the Greek minority vowed to use all legal means at its disposal with the aim of protecting the rights and interests of ethnic Greeks in the region.