OMONIA, THE GREEK ETHNIC MINORITY IN ALBANIA, CALLS TO GENERAL COUNTING POPULLATION
“We call Albanian government to take in high consideration our request to respect human values and rights of minorities ethnic counting process”. HRUP menaces the government coalition. “Berisha, makes the general population counting or we will leave from collaboration”.
“We call Albanian government to take in high consideration our request to respect human values and rights of minorities making the General Ethnic Population Counting in Albania”” said the high represent of OMONIA (The Greek Ethnic Represent in Albania) last Sunday in Argirokaster, Southern Albania (Northern Epirus). The Central Committee of Omonia, declares to foreign agencies and Albanian media a ‘Ultimatum” to Albanian Government to take in high consideration the ulterior declaration from Greeks ethnic of Albania.
The developments in Balkan Region and Kosovo Issue, have opened a great discussion in Albania opinion, after Tirana called some days ago a decision for Kosovo Issue, “The independence of Kosovo is an important priority of Albanian Government to help Albanian Diaspora particularly the Ahtisari Project for independence of Kosovo ”. The new role of Tirana as factor directly about future status of Kosovo, has made in movements some other Balkan states including tow important states member of NATO and EU, Greece and Bulgaria.
Seeing the escalation of Sofia`s request to Tirana about Bulgarian Minorities in Albania supporting any possibility counting population, Athens urges Omonia to “menace” the Albanian Government to respect his promises to HRUP (The Human Rights Union Party, as strong represent electorate of Omonia in Albanian coalition government), for counting population process during 2001, but anything resulted failed.
In 2001, Omonia boycotted the process of Identity Card in Albania, declaring as step down of Albania to respect Minorities in Albania. The opposition leader Sali Berisha declared the boycott process of Identity cart by the Greek Minority as legitimate and urged in favor of Omonia to make the Counting General Population of Albania under ethnic requests including individual declaration of religion and nationality. In 2005 the politic coalition headed from Sali Berisha, wined the politic elections, while had as priority the request of Omonia. But nothing progress from Albanian government even Albania is waiting from Greek Parliament to ratify the Stabilization Process of Integration of Albania to European Union.
In June, the Pan Epirotic Federation of America, a strong brunch of Greek American Lobby in USA, urges to call Washington, EU and Athens to take extreme measures to Tirana including the stopping process of Albania to EU and NATO. Albania is only country in Balkan region, which has very problem inside the electorate process, counting population and politic elections. The last local election in February 2007, OSCE was very critic to Albanian politic parties, considering the elections as “Albania, is missing opportunities to prosperity of Albania in Europe, failing during the electorate process ”.
According to Albanian Government, the estimates for greek minority are 3% or 58 thousand ethnic greeks in albania, while greek american organiations said for 600 thousand greeks togather with vllahs who live in Albania. The first statistics of Albanian State in 1928, said for 3% greeks while the Greek Government claimed much morre than Tirana. In Peace Conference in Paris 1919 the Greek Prime Minister Elefteros Venizelos claimed to Great Powers for about 120 thousand ethnic greeks live in Albania.
Stavros Markos*(Journalist, Member of the World Security Network Foundation -Southeast Europe Office)