Greek Premier Tsipras Warns Albania Over Plans Against the Greek Minority

Alexis Tsipras (R) warned Albania during his visit to Romania on Friday. Photo by Prime Minister GR Twitter page

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned the Albanian Government on Friday that the country will not join the European Union if it implements its plans, which include confiscations of properties that belong to the Greek minority in the country.

Tsipras referred to the decision of the Albanian State to obtain public ownership on properties that belong to members of the Greek minority in South Albania, a region historically known as Northern Epirus.

The decision of the Albanian government became public on Friday and includes confiscations of land and premises in the area between the cities of Himara and Sarandë (Agioi Saranta) in order to allegedly build tourist infrastructure.

On Saturday afternoon though, the text of the decision was taken down from the official website of the Albanian Government’s Gazette, without further explanations on whether the Albanian authorities decided to reconsider their strategy after Tsipras’ warning or not.

The dispute between the Greek minority and the Albanian Authorities is a long-lasting one. The Greeks who live there, accuse the Albanian government of authoritarian actions which deprive them of legal ownership of their lands.