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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-11-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't eyes citizenship for ethnic Greeks of Albania

  • [01] Gov't eyes citizenship for ethnic Greeks of Albania

    Registered members of the ethnic Greek minority of southern Albania will be able to qualify for Greek citizenship under certain conditions, according to a decision reached at an Inner Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

    The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos reminded that the delay in settling the long-standing issue emanated from a previous lack of guarantees by the Albanian state regarding the property and political rights of eligible ethnic Greeks in case of dual citizenship.

    He explained that the decision to naturalise eligible and registered members of the ethnic Greek minority follows revisions to the Albanian constitution and after negotiations with Tirana. Naturalisation procedures can start immediately, depending on when an individual was registered by the Greek state as a member of the ethnic Greek minority, he said.

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis underlined that the government was responding to a long-standing demand by members of the minority, while pointing out that there was broad-based agreement amongst Greek political forces on the issue.

    She also underlined that the Albanian constitution now guarantees its citizens the right to hold a dual nationality, whereas Albania is taking steps to harmonise its legal framework with the European acquis and to fulfil EU criteria.

    Earlier, the prime minister held a separate meeting with Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, centre, is shown with officials of the ethnic Greek villages of Dermisi and Aliko, both in the Gjirokastr district of southern Albania, during a tour of the region in January 1999. Karamanlis, who was the main opposition leader at the time, was on a hand for the ground-breaking of a new aqueduct. Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios is also shown standing to the right of Karamanlis. ANA-MPA photo / A. Voutos.

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