Albania raises Cham issue in Euro2016

Kotzias attributed the new challenge to the attempt of certain forces to undermine the dialogue between Greece and Albania

Albania continues provoking on the non-existent matter of the ‘Chams’, while a group of Albanian fans raised a banner during the match between Albania and Switzerland at the Euro2016 accusing Greece of genocide in Cameria.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias spoke to MEGA TV channel and referring the provocative banners he said: “Of course there was no genocide of the Chams,”.

Kotzias attributed the new challenge of the Albanian nationalists to the attempt of certain forces in the neighboring country to undermine the dialogue between Greece and Albania and to prevent the creation of good climate in the bilateral relations.

He also noted the foreign ministry took immediate action and made clear that “we used all potential weapons of diplomacy.”

“These Chams that speak about changing the borders are isolated in Albania,” he stated. During his recent trip to Tirana, he said, the Albanian Foreign Minister reiterated four times that “Albania is faithful to the Helsinki agreement and recognizes the borders as stated in this agreement and that such demands are illegal.

Moreover, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Efstratios Efthymiou stated the following in response to a journalist’s question regarding the provocative banner:

“The hanging of a banner with provocative and incendiary content at the Albania-Switzerland soccer match constitutes a brazen act. This provocation flagrantly violates the regulations of UEFA, which is responsible for preventing the hanging of slogans of provocative content, and which should take immediate measures to punish those responsible.

The Greek government is already proceeding to stern expressions of protest to UEFA and the French organizers, from whom we expect explanations as to why, despite the increased security measures, the provocative banner in question was allowed to be brought into the stadium. A representation is also being made to the Albanian government, whom we expect to condemn this unacceptable and provocative action.

It is obvious that these provocative actions are being carried out by marginal groups that are displeased at the Greek-Albanian rapprochement and at the Albanian Foreign Ministry’s official admission that there is no “Chameria” issue.

The President of Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, referred also to the issue saying “If Albania wants to be dragged behind the allies and nostalgic of Nazis, it is its own problem. But in such case it cannot pretend being friends with Greece.”