Greek Minority

[in Albania]

by Stavros Lygeros

(“Kathimerini”, English edition, March 29, 2001)

In view of Albania’s parliamentary elections in June, the Socialist Party has already sounded out the ethnic Greek Omonia party about the possibility of forming a coalition. Albanian leaders favor such outcome because they need Athens’s political and economic support, especially if Silvio Berlusconi finally wins the Italian parliamentary elections.

However, the socialists have not abandoned efforts to capture the hearts and minds of the Greek minority.

A few months ago, they carried out extensive vote-rigging to prevent the election of the Omonia candidate in Heimarra. Now, they insist on support for their own candidate in the Dropoli district, promising rewards on other levels. But Omonia should not aim to increase its number of deputies in the next Albanian parliament. It should try to consolidate politically its position in ethnic Greek-dominated districts rather than be given parliamentary seats where the Greek element is numerically low...

Experience demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of minority deputies who were elected by other parties have failed to defend the institutional interests of the minority and have rather played into Albanian hands...

Athens has to finally realize that it is not just a question of moral obligation, it is also in its geopolitical interest that ethnic Greeks remain in their homelands, for they function as an obstacle to Albanian expansionist visions.


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