Albanian PM Rama seizes land owned by Greeks in Chimara

11 December 2018
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In a provocative move, the Albanian authorities have issued a decree seizing lands belonging to Greeks in the area of Chimara in Northern Epirus, as website himara.gr reports.

According to the report, the unprecedented decision has the full approval of the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, as the document appropriating the land bears his signature.

The decision concerns the registering and the concession of lands to Albania’s Ministry of Tourism. The fact that there are no ownership titles of properties in the coastal zone of the region of Chimara, allowed the Albanian Prime Minister to designate all property as “state-owned”.

Indeed, following legislation on the free allocation of land to “strategic investors”, Albania’s prime minister signed the relevant decision of 21/11, 708 of the Council of Ministers, which stipulates that 46 land plots on the southern coast of the country are transferred to the Ministry of Tourism for the purpose of exploitation.

Meanwhile, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing its deep concern over the decision by the Cabinet of Albania to “arbitrarily hand over to the Department of Tourism, land plots that include private property of Greek expatriates.

“This decision is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, but also to Albanian court decisions”, the statement read.

Despite the law referring to “state property”, site himara.gr points out that, in fact, there is a violation of private property, citing relevant maps accompanying the legislation. More specifically, from 46 plots covering a total area of 1,614 hectares, the 41 plots of 1,377 hectares in size are located in the municipality of Chimara and only five pieces, covering an area of 237 hectares, are located in Avlona and Examilia.

The land being appropriated by Albania’s Ministry of Tourism, with a view to selling it for one euro, belongs to the Greek Orthodox Christians of the Municipality of Chimara, as the site writes.

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