The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strong statement in response to the demolitions of real estate in Drymades Heimarra, which is owned by members of the Greek National Minorities in Albania. The Foreign Ministry’s announcement points out that such actions hamper the European course of Albania, as it violates both European rules and the rule of law that govern the EU.
The statement of the Foreign Ministry
Greece is in favor of the European perspective of the Western Balkans, including Albania. However, as a prerequisite of this European path is the commitment of these countries to European rules and the principles of the rule of law. The violation of these principles by a candidate state means that in reality it does not want its European path.
We recall that the building of the rule of law and protection of minority rights, which is explicitly linked to the protection of the property rights of members of minorities, has been set by the EU Council of Ministers as a sine qua non for the start of the accession negotiations of Albania.
Unfortunately, by circumventing every concept of the rule of law, the Albanian authorities began today the demolition, in Drymades Heimarra, of tourist properties belonging to members of the Greek National Minority. This demolition was made in derogation from the provisions of the Albanian law and before the final court rulings were issued.
The fact that demolitions took place in the middle of a tourist season, despite contradictory legislative provisions prohibiting such activities in that period, confirms that Albania has failed to understand the requirements of the EU Council of Ministers.
Greece and the EU have made clear the European requirement for securing the rights of the native Greek National Minority. Progress in consolidating the rule of law, as well as the protection of fundamental rights of minorities, including property rights, are clear preconditions under the EU for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania./IBNA