An event under the title “103 years since the Autonomy of Northern Epirus” took place on Monday March 27th in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was organized by the Greek European MP Notis Marias and the “European Conservatives and Reformists” (Anti-federalists) and it was co-hosted by the “National Association North Epirus 1914”.
Mr. Marias mentioned the importance of the Northern Epirus issue for Greece and he stated the actions he has taken to promote the problems of the Greek minority and inform his colleagues about them.
In her speech Violeta Nika, Secretary General of the “National Association North Epirus 1914”, presented the historical facts that proof the continuous presence of the Greeks in the area that is now known as Northern Epirus (Southern Albania) from the antiquity all the way to the Byzantine era until today.
Mrs. Nika underscored the fact that the issue of the autonomy of Northern Epirus is still open according to the decision of the four winning Powers of World War II.
Spyros Gagalis analyzed the current problems of the Greek minority in Albania and the violations of the Human Rights. The fact that the Albanian state refuses to recognize as “Minority Zones” areas that are clearly inhabited by Greek like Himara, the illegal confiscation or demolition of property of Greeks etc. all of which demonstrate the silent and slow ethnic cleansing operation that the Albanian state has being conducting.
Mr. Gagalis finished by mentioning one by one the arguments that make the request for the application of the autonomy of Norther Epirus (that the Protocol of Corfu was granting) still relevant and imperative.
The president of the “National Association North Epirus 1914” Lefteris Priftis, spoke about the stance of the Greek political world towards the problems of the Greek minority and compared them with the way other neighboring countries, including Albania, are claiming things from Greece they have no right over.
The journalist Theodore Asvestopoulos, commented on the irony of the fate, since his grandparents’ village is just 10 km away from the villages of Mrs. Niki’s and Mr. Gagalis’ grandparents, but they are on the opposite side of the borders, as these were drawn in a so unfair and irrational way, something that is the cause of all the problems of the minority and the area.
Mr. Marias, finally, mentioned that his family is also scared by a similar story in the area, which is one of the reason why he is so sensitive about this issue.
After that there were a number of questions by journalists that had come for this event.
The members of the “National Association North Epirus 1914” also distributed press kits with all relevant information about the Greek minority of Northern Epirus.