Home Page
 
News 10 Dec 12

Greece Laments Nationalist Fervour in Albania

Athens has complained about a rise in Albanian nationalism following controversial statements by Prime Minister Sali Berisha during Albania's centennial celebrations.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

“The rise in nationalism of late – in a region like the Balkans, which has suffered greatly from nationalistic, irredentist conduct and stances – needs to be brought under control,” the Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras said.

“I think this is in Albania’s interest and in the interest of the Albanian people, whom Greece has supported all these years,” he added.

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos cancelled a visit to Tirana last Wednesday after Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said a Greek town had once been Albanian. 

Avramopoulos had been expected to join other heads of state and foreign dignitaries at celebrations marking the 100th year of Albania’s declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire.  

Prime Minister Berisha had recalled a day earlier that the declaration of independence in 1912 had applied to all majority Albanian areas in the region, stretching from Preveza in Greece to Presevo in Serbia, and from the Macedonian capital of Skopje to the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica.

The existence of a large Albanian diaspora outside Albania's borders dates back to the circumstances of the Balkan wars of 1912/13, when Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria overran most of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, dividing it up among themselves.

While Berisha has said he was only referring to past history, the tone of the Albanian leader's words has ruffled feathers in Greece. 

“It needs to be clear that we will not tolerate moves and nationalistic stances that drag our region back,” Delavekouras said.

“We need to look to the future and, together build our common European future,” he concluded.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

europe-s-balkan-hour-03-23-2017
23 Mar 17

Europe’s Balkan Hour

As EU officials seek to rediscover and re-engage with the Balkans, we bring a series of articles on what the EU should and should not be doing in the Balkans, along with a variety of stories picked from across the region, not least one about Bosnia’s ‘pyramids’.  

23 Mar 17

Albania Reforms Senate Caucus to Boost US Ties

23 Mar 17

Kosovo MP's Move to Cut Jail Terms Slated

Premium Selection

bosnia-s-pyramids-get-celebrated-from-unusual-perspective-03-23-2017
23 Mar 17

Bosnia’s 'Pyramids' Get Celebrated from Unusual Perspective

Brussels-based photographer Thomas Nolf embraces Visoko’s famous so-called pyramids for offering a divided country a positive ‘ground-up’ version of history.

romania-accused-of-inaction-over-slavery-in-italy-03-22-2017
23 Mar 17

Romania Accused of Inaction Over ‘Slavery’ in Italy

After the latest UK media exposure of the slave-like conditions endured by Romanian migrant workers in Sicily, the government has been accused of making an inadequate response. 

22 Mar 17

Vanished Mural Sparks Protests in Novi Sad

22 Mar 17

Belgrade Tween Conquers World of Music