Mitsotakis letter to EU Commissioner over appropriation of lands in southern Albania belonging to ethnic Greeks

13 December 2018
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Main opposition Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday added his voice to official Athens’ condemnation, a day earlier, over a decision by the Albanian Cabinet to appropriate lands owned by ethnic Greeks in the neighboring country for commercial exploitation.

The decision would swift ownership of the lands, located in the southern coastal district of Himare, to Albania’s tourism ministry.

Mitsotakis said he has sent a letter to European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, regarding what he called the “unacceptable” decision by the Rama government.

“The decision constitutes a direct violation of the Greek national minority’s human rights, and contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights,” Mitsotakis said, in echoing the foreign ministry statement.

On Tuesday, Greece’s foreign ministry stressed that “… Both the decision and the relevant proposed bill of law amount to a flagrant violation of human rights, including the rights of ownership of the Greek indigenous national minority in Albania. Such actions are not consistent with the declared European aspirations of Albania and are contrary to its relevant obligations.

“We call upon the government of Albania to rescind this decision and reconsider the law, ensuring that ownership deeds be immediately granted to all lawful owners without exception.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to follow the case while reiterating its commitment to building relations of trust and cooperation with our neighbour Albania.”

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