PANEPIROTIC FEDERATION CONDEMS ALBANIAN EXPANSIONIST GOALS VOICED
BY SALI BERISHA
The Penepirotic Federation strongly condemns the recent expansionist goals expressed by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, which reveal for all the world to see the deeply held ambition of Albanian leaders to usurp territory of their neighbors and create the “greater Albania” Berisha described. “If these irredentist views are not roundly condemned by the United States and the European Union, sooner or later Albanian nationalists like Berisha will try to pursue their expansionist ambitions and ignite renewed violence and instability in the Balkans,” warned the president of the Federation, Dimitrios Koutoulas. Support from the West that allowed Albanian nationalists to seize the Serbian territory of Kossovo and create a second Albanian state in the Balkans has fueled Albanian dreams to spread west and south into FYROM and Greece and forge the greater Albania they yearn for, Mr. Koutoulas said.
He noted that Albania did not exist as a nation until 1913 when it was patched together by the Great Powers with territory from other nations including the region of Northern Epiros, which has had a Greek identity and population since ancient times. “If anyone has legitimate territorial claims in the Balkans, it is Albania’s neighbors, not Albania,” Mr. Koutoulas said. He expressed the fear that the revived nationalism reflected in Berisha’s statement will lead to renewed hostility and abuse of ethnic Greeks in the country and noted that it was Berisha as president who launched a pogrom against the country’s Greek minority in the 1990s. “The Panepirotic Federation alerted the world then to Berisha’s effort at ethnic cleansing and forced him to end it,” he said. “And we will remain alert to any renewed effort to persecute ethnic Greeks in Albania.” He called on the Greece to be vigilant against the new aggressive policies of Albania, and he urged the American and European governments to take immediate steps to restrain Berisha from taking any action to fulfill his fevered dreams.