Albania: Edi Rama Acknowledges Greeks of Himara

HimaraEdi Rama became the first prime minister in the history of Albania to recognize and acknowledge the Greek community of Himara. Until recently, Albanian prime minister believed that the city’s population was considered bilingual.

During his speech at the latest meeting of the Albanian Parliament, he mentioned that a Greek minority lives in Himara.

After the confrontation between the prime minister and the president of political party Unity for Human Rights Party (KEAD), Vangjel Dule, the parliament approved a reform that divides the country in 61 administrative regions.

Vangjel Dule, who is also deputy president of the Albanian Parliament, voted against the new territorial reform, while Greek-Albanian Vangjel Tavo abstained and another Greek-Albanian MP Andrea Martos of the Socialist party voted in favor of the new territorial division. The Greek community has rejected the new reform, because Himara will be incorporated in a Muslim region with different economic interests, and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.


  • Virgilios Arvanitopoulos

    That’s because there is. A Greek minority although mixed with Albanians does exist in Albania and is large. Also Edi Rama has Greek Albanian roots too, in fact his mother is from Himara. This is good, we are one people essentially. Also just want to note that “because Himara will be incorporated in a Muslim region with different economic interests, and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. ” all that is true but not the Muslim region, for religion in Southern Albania is generally Orthodox and either way it plays little significance to us.

  • hankz

    FREE NORTHERN EPIRUS..

  • edi

    Mr Arvanitopoulos, I am glad that you acknowledge that Albanians and Arvanites (modern Greeks) are the same people. History kept us apart mainly due to religious reason then mixed with nationalism which brought mistrust among us. I hope time will solve these issues i hope…

  • SoCalGreek

    Albanians and Hellenes have been coexisting and intermarrying since the Byzantine era. The only break was cause by the Ottomans forcibly converting the Catholic Albanians. So I have always believed that the Arvanites are a mixed people to begin with. Their language like Tsakonian should not be allowed to die.

  • edi

    Anyone who has lived or traveled in some areas of Greece (Thiva,Spati, Markoply or some areas of Peloponnese) has come across with lots of arvnaites( Albanian) who speak fluently their language especially the elderly .
    Arvanitika is dying because of a long history of oppression by different Greek governments which fairly enough tried to establish a new Greek identity among all these tribes that were settle in these territories since Bizantinoum times and continue up today with ex Soviet immigrants from Abcasia.

  • SoCalGreek

    Agreed. Unfortunately the Albanian government has attempted to do a similar thing to the Northern Epriots. Hopefully this announcement will lead to a continuation of friendship between Albanians and Greeks will go a long way.

  • edi

    I am afraid I have to disagree with you. IF you ever visit greek minority villages in southern Albania you will notice that they are free to speak and live Greek unlike Albanian community in Greece.In all layers of Albanian society you will meet Greek minority representatives despite 1.5% of overall popullation. Even Hoxha treated better then Albanians themselves… Anything oyu hear is simply propaganda to gain political clout in Athens by Greek minority leaders

  • SoCalGreek

    1.5% of Albania is Greek I thought the number was a lot higher.

  • Virgilios Arvanitopoulos

    It is, that’s only Greeks from GREECE. The number of married families is VERY HIGH and the Greek population of pure Greek blood is around 5-8%.