The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly opposes the new masterplan of Himara, which was approved yesterday by the Municipal Council. In a response to a journalist’s question, MFA spokesperson A. Yennimatas stated:
The Albanian authorities appear to regard the violation of the Greek minority’s rights as more important than the country’s European course.
The Greek minority in Himara has been protesting for several weeks against the new masterplan, which envisions the expropriation of many of their properties to make way for urban renewal projects. Last week, activists of Omonia interrupted the session of the Municipal Council, delaying the approval of the plan.
During one of the protests, at which also the Greek Ambassador was present, Omonia leader Alfred Bejleri stated:
Let’s not forget that we have two votes in the European Union and we will use them well against Albania. Greece and Cyprus are on our side, protecting our rights, and will be an obstacle for Albania so that it won’t become an EU member.
The session of the Municipal Council yesterday was accompanied by heavy debates, up to the point of the members of Greek minority party PBDNj leaving the Council. Council members from the PS, PD, and LSI voted in favor of the plan.