09 Feb 11

Greek Consul Statement Angers Albanian MPs

Albanian MPs have called for the removal of Greek Consul Theodhorus Ikonomus, who reportedly called on Albanians and Aromanians in the city of Korca to register as Greeks in the upcoming national census.

Besar Likmeta

MP Gazmend Oketa, a member of the ruling Democratic Party, called on the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take action against the consul and declare him “persona non grata” in Albania.

Oketa’s remarks came during a meeting of the foreign affairs commission in parliament on Wednesday, which was called to discuss Ikonomus’ statements.

According to local media, the Greek consul made the statement during a reception celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Greek minority organisation Omonia.

“Greeks should not be afraid to register their own nationality and for those in doubt they should look deep inside and discover that they are Greek,” said Ikonomus, according to daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare.

“Go to the cemetery and see the tombstones of your forefathers and you will see that they are written in Greek [because] this is Northern Epirus,” Ikonomos added.

During his speech, Ikonomos also called the Aromanian minority Greek and asked them to register as such in the upcoming census.         

Northern Epirus is a term used mostly by Greeks and is associated with territorial claims by Athens for large swathes of southern Albania.

Albania is due to hold a nationwide census in 2011, which includes a controversial question that asks for the voluntary declaration of nationality.

On Tuesday, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the Greek ambassador in Tirana, Nicolas Pazios, to ask for an explanation of the consul’s remarks.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made clear its position on the statement, calling it unnecessary and not representative of the Greek-Albanian relationship,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

27 Oct 16

Kosovo Urged to Protect Journalist after Death Threats

Media freedom campaigners condemned death threats made against tabloid editor Leonard Kerquki after he directed a television documentary on wartime crimes against Kosovo Serbs.

27 Oct 16

Serbia’s ‘Huge’ Tax Burden is a Myth

26 Oct 16

Belgrade's Festival Offers Trip to Planet Jazz

Premium Selection

27 Oct 16

Bosnia Federation Under Fire Over Rushed Privatizations

Bosnia’s Federation entity is accused of hurrying sales of state-owned assets at knock-down prices on the stock exchange to get hold of instant cash.

26 Oct 16

Russia Security Chief Advocates Closer Ties to Serbia

Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev has visited Belgrade amid speculation about Russian intrigues in Montenegro - and following alleged leaks from the Serbian police to a foreign intelligence service.

24 Oct 16

Traces of Empire: Serbia’s Roman Heritage