Athens asks Tirana to act responsibly
Greece yesterday accused Albania of resorting to “unacceptable” generalizations that do not correspond to reality after Tirana urged Athens to crack down on what it called “extremist segments” that were allegedly targeting ethnic Albanians in the country.
Albania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had condemned the killing of four ethnic Albanians in Greece in the last two weeks and called on Athens “to denounce and put a brake on any efforts by Golden Dawn or other extremist segments to violate Albanians’ security and dignity.”
One of the victims was killed by an alleged Golden Dawn Greek supporter, while another, a drug trafficker, was shot dead by Greek police as he tried to cross the border illegally. A third reportedly died in prison. The latest incident was the killing of an 18year-old Albanian national in the northern Greek city of Kavala. Greek police said, however, that a Greek-Albanian teenager confessed to accidentally shooting the victim.
The Greek Foreign Ministry dismissed the accusations, saying that “the competent authorities immediately dealt with the situations referred to by Albania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which were investigated and have already been solved, as is mentioned in a relevant statement by the Hellenic Police.”
“The generalizations attempted by Albania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, connecting various criminal cases and attributing these to an undeclared ‘campaign of hatred and violence’ do not correspond with reality and are unacceptable,” said Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Yennimatas.
Given that the final report on the fatal shooting of Greek citizen Konstantinos Katsifas by Albanian police in October is remains pending, Yennimatas urged Albania’s Foreign Ministry “to demonstrate responsibility as well as the composure and self-restraint dictated by the circumstances.”