Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama did not let the Greek government’s comments on developments within Albania slide by.
Last week, police and employees of the Himare Municipality in Albania had entered the Orthodox Holy Church of Saint Athanasios and attempted to remove objects and icons from the structure’s interior and tear down part of the roof with the justification that it has been illegally built. The Greek Foreign Ministry had strongly criticized this action.
“The violent removal of faithful from, and prevention of faithful from approaching, their place of religious worship, the removal of icons and sacred objects from the church, as well as the extensive destruction carried out by employees of the Municipality of Himarë, are unacceptable and condemnable acts, regardless of any legal claim, and they are very clearly not components of a country that wants to become a member of the European family,” Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson Konstantinos Koutras had commented on the incident.
In response to a question posed on Twitter regarding the Greek Foreign Ministry’s comments and whether it constituted Greek interference in Albanian affairs, Rama claimed that Greece’s approach is not something new.
“They did it often in the past, they still do it but not as much. It will take some more time for them to realize that.”