Albanian government appears to have removed bill for seizure of Greek homes in Himara
Upon public outcry, the Albanian government appears to have removed the controversial bill from the online version of its Government Gazette. The bill prescribed the arbitrary confiscation and impounding of land and properties of Greek expatriate residents in the region at Himara.
Sources from the Greek Foreign Ministry argued that “the Greek Prime Minister’s position on the issue was very clear in his comments yesterday, leaving no room for any misinterpretation by the Albanian leadership concerning the prerequisite of absolute respect for the rights and property of Greek expatriates.”
The same sources additionally clarified that “Greece’s and EU’s views on the rights of the Greek minority in Albania have been repeatedly and clearly expressed at all levels.”
As far as the omission of the clause from the Albanian Government Gazette is concerned, Greek diplomatic circles sustained that “it remains to be seen if this move was the first step towards the complete withdrawal of the unacceptable decisions targeting the Greek minority and its property, irreparably undermining the European perspective of Albania,” and furthermore “a prospect based on respect for the rights of all minorities living in Albania, and which we expect to see in Albanian implemented law on minorities.”
In any case, public outcry from Greek diaspora organisations and the Greek government and publicity on the issue appears to have put temporarily the usurpation decree on hold.