Greek ambassador to Tirana, Leonidas Rokanas, sent a demarche to the Foreign Ministry of Albania on behalf of Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. The formal appeal made by Greece calls for the trial of those responsible for attacks on Dervotsama, a Greek minority village near Gjirokaster, by Albanian ultra-nationalists who terrorized villagers, torched their cars and smashed storefronts. “We will burn you Christians!” they yelled.
The Greek-language media in Albania said that those responsible for the attack were from Lazarati village. Himara.gr reported that some villagers were wounded, others fired warning shots in the air and the church bells tolled in alarm as the intruders wreaked havoc.
The episodes noted at the football game between Serbia and Albania were the impetus for the attacks. The match was stopped after a drone carrying a flag of “Greater Albania” – that also included large chunks of Greece – flew over the pitch causing chaos and riots to occur in Belgrade. The incidents also incited hatred in Albanians within their own country.
Mr. Rokanas asked for measures to be taken to arrest and punish those responsible for causing problems before the October 28 Greek public holiday that commemorates Greece’s entry into World War II. The ambassador said that further nationalistic episodes would wake Balkan memories that should be left in the past and urged Albania to think of its future as a member of Europe.