Thursday, March 3, 2011

Albania Announces Greek Population Census

The Albanian government has announced its decision to take a census of the Greek population within its boarders. The last census was taken in 1989. At that time, according to official results there were 59.000 Greeks living in Albania, however, given the circumstances of total lack of freedom, the results of that census cannot be considered as credible.

The government of Sali Berisa has programmed the census to be taken in April. In general, the procedure, as it has been already planed, meets the international standards. Among the questions to be asked, are some concerning religion and nationality.

Nevertheless, on the occasion of this census, nationalist groups in Albania intensify the anti-Greek propaganda. There are widespread rumors of Greek claims on Albanian land and appeals for national awakening. The opposition party has already taken advantage of those circumstances and the government of Berisa can even be accused of national treason.

The question remains, what will Greek foreign policy do in order to ensure full compliance with the legal procedures of the census, assuring to the free will of the Greek community in Albania.

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