7 recruits of Albanian origin in Greek army under investigation over hand gesture

Social media photo shows soldiers making symbol of Albanian nationalism in Greek army camp

The Hellenic Army General Staff is launching an internal investigation following revelations that 7 recruits in the Greek army of Albanian background had posted a photo on social media depicting them making the sigh of the of the Albanian eagle with their hands, a nationalistic symbol of Albanian irredentism. The picture of the soldiers, who were recently drafted in the Messolongi bootcamp at the 3/39 Evzones Regiment, caused an uproar raising questions as to how they managed to smuggle a camera or phone into the military camp and who the 8th soldiers holding the camera. After initial military investigations of the incident, which surfaced on Saturday, it was found that the soldiers were newly recruits and had not yet been sworn in. A troubling issue, besides seeking the responsibilities of those who allowed such a provocation to take place, is the fact that following the revelations the Army General Staff issued a lenient statement saying that the culprits would not be assigned battle-ready specialties but would be transferred to border posts, despite the fact that according to military regulations providing for strict penalties. According to a military source, the 7 recruits were scheduled to take their oath on February 3, adding that they would be transferred to separate units in their first transfers after the incident. The Army General Staff has said the legal services of the military were looking into the matter to conclude if the 7 proponents of Albanian nationalism would face charges.