European Commission on the Greek minority in Albania: “Our services are closely following developments”

“The Commission attaches great importance to the protection of minorities and monitors this issue closely”

Her own response to the aggressive stance of the Albanian state towards the Ethnic Greek minority of Northern Epirus was given by the European Commission.

The Commission proceeded to this move following a question put by MEP Kostas Chrysogonas, who asked a series of questions in response to Albanian aggression.

MEP Chrysogonos mentioned in his question:

According to complaints by the Greek minority in the region and also by publications, the Albanian government proceeded to land expropriation in the area of the coastal line Avlona – Agioi Saranda, under the pretext of economic development“.

He also stressed that:

A significant proportion of these properties relate to land belonging to members of the Greek minority, which again demonstrates the Albanian state’s aggressive attitude towards the Greek minority, whose members have been afflicted for many years at an economic and social level“.

At the same time he underlined that:

Already organizations of the Greek minority speak of a flagrant violation of their rights, since the decision is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and preparing to go to the [international] court“.

The answer came through the European Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, who in his answer notes that the Commission attaches great importance to the consolidation of property rights and the rule of law for resolving property disputes throughout Albania.

Mr Hahn writes in his answer:

In its annual report on Albania, published on 17 April 2018, the Commission said that progress has not yet been made on improving the legal framework for registration, expropriation and compensation“.

The Commissioner also adds that:

“The Commission is aware of the concerns voiced by the MEP regarding the implementation of property rights throughout Albania and its services are closely following the developments in this respect. Also, given the complexity and importance of the issue of property rights, the Commission is currently examining the provision of financial and technical assistance to the country to address the shortcomings in this area. The Commission also attaches great importance to the protection of minorities and monitors this issue closely, inter alia as regards to the current legislation procedure”.