Government Begins Demolition of Greek Minority Properties in Himara

The National Inspectorate for the Protection of the Territory (IKMT) has started today to demolish 19 buildings and houses in the center of Himara for the construction of a new boulevard.

The demolition of the buildings is being protested by the inhabitants of Himara, and a large number of police forces have set up a barricade between the protestors and the machinery of the IKMT.

Not only the inhabitants of Himara, which houses a Greek minority community, but also the Greek government has repeatedly argued against the decision of the government to demolish the houses in the context of an urban renewal project. They argue that the expropriations and demolitions violate the human rights of the Greek minority.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated previously:

The Albanian authorities appear to regard the violation of the Greek minority’s rights as more important than the country’s European course.

The destruction of these properties arguably violates one of the 5 five key priorities to secure the opening of EU accession negotiations.