Nineteen Greek expatriate families living in Himare, Albania, were ordered by local authorities to evacuate their homes within five days because they will be demolished.
The evacuation notices were served on October 28, Greece’s National Day. According to local authorities, the 19 houses will be demolished as part of a town redevelopment plan.
The Greek Foreign Ministry called for the immediate cancellation of the demolition and that the Albanian authorities should consult with the homeowners on the issue.
The Foreign Ministry sent an official complaint to Tirana asking Albania to respect European Union laws on private property and, most importantly, to respect minority rights of Greeks living in Himare.
In the complaint it is stressed that if Albania wants to become a member of the EU, it should abide by EU laws and regulations. “Τhe protection of property rights, and minority rights in particular, is an integral part of the five conditions that the EU has set for the start of Albania’s accession negotiations with the EU,” it is stated.
“If Albania sincerely wishes to join the European Union, it should demonstrate in practice that it operates as a state where the law protects the rights of all residents regardless of nationality and origin,” the statement continues.
The Greek Embassy in Tirana is monitoring the situation closely and has informed the competent Albanian authorities, international organizations and pertinent officials of the international community.
Also, the Finance Ministry statement criticizes Himare Mayor Jorgo Goro for choosing Greece’s National Day to sign the demolition notices served to the town Greeks.