Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PM George Papandreou and FM Droutsas receive ethnic Greek political delegation from Albania

(ANA-MPA) -- Prime Minister George Papandreou met on Tuesday with the mayor of the Albanian coastal town of Himare, Vassilis Bollano, as well as the president of the country's Unity for Human Rights Party, Vangelis Dule, an ethnic Greek MP in the Albanian parliament.

After the meeting, Dule said the talks focused on all issues affecting the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, including a fatal hit-and-run incident involving an ethnic Greek shop owner in Himare last month, which Dule described as "motivated by ethnic hatred".

The issues discussed included those relating to property rights, teachers for ethnic Greek schools, cultural rights of the ethnic Greek minority, the ability to carry out infrastructure projects in the regions with sizeable ethnic Greek populations as well as Athens' systematic support for Albania's European perspective.

Dule told reporters that the delegation was concluding a round of contacts in Athens in the hope that, as until today, there will continue to be cooperation for the benefit of the members of the ethnic Greek minority, both those living in Greece and those remaining in their ancestral homes in southern Albania.

Immediately after their meeting with the premier, the delegation met Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas at the foreign ministry for further talks. (ANA-MPA)

Droutsas stressed that the Greek government has categorically condemned the murder of Aristotelis Goumas in Himare, and that "it is the obligation of the Greek government to stand at the side of the Greek minority, it is doing this and will continue to do this."

Earlier, Bollano -- who also serves as president of the Omonia organisation -- and Dule met with Parliament President Filippos Petsalnikos and New Democracy vice-president Dimitris Avramopoulos.

In talks with the delegation, Avramopoulos assured them of the support of ND and party leader Antonis Samaras, pointing to the party's immediate response after the murder of Goumas in August and its support of the minority's claims within the framework of Tirana's obligations vis-?-vis the EU.

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