By Christina Agathou
Greeks in Albania are so frustrated that they asked the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recall the Greek Ambassador in Tirana, Nicolaos Pazios.
No official response has been made yet by the Greek government. Greeks of Albania are frustrated by Pazios’s latest public statement in the Albanian newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare, saying that “the treatment of past issues (meaning Northern Epirus) and often the misinterpretation of history according to the interests and well-known practices of nationalist elements using history for their personal interests, not only is harmful but also dangerous.”
When asked what Northern Epirus actually is, the Greek Ambassador gave an extensive answer, which the Greek Minority didn’t find pleasing at all.
“As you must already know, the Balkan region has suffered greatly by foreign interventions, suppression and lack of democracy, by wars and conflicts. In order to deal with the factors that have historically stirred up our region, I believe that cooperation based on equality, peaceful coexistence and the European integration (of Albania) set the terms that could guarantee a quiet present and a better future. Under this perspective, the treatment of past issues and often the misinterpretation of history according to the interests and well-known practices of nationalist elements using history for their personal interests, not only is harmful but also dangerous,” he stated. “A realistically emotionless evaluation of reality…should prevail at some point,” he added, stressing that “development, progress and political stability” are what Balkans need, not “tensions.”
The Greek Foreign Ministry hasn’t made any public announcements in regards to the issue. The Greeks in Albania look forward to an official response to make their own conclusions.
The Northern Epirus issue does not belong to the “past”; history is not meant to be disregarded in the shake of “progress.”