The Greek Foreign Ministry slammed the Albanian government over the reconstruction of Tirana’s main Skanderbeg square claiming to symbolize “union of Albanian territories.” As one can suspect, some of the stones paving the square is from a region of Greece, Albanian nationalism claims to “reoccupy”. In a statement, the Greek Foreign Ministry condemned “the action that cultivates and conceals irredentism.”
Tirana’s main Skanderbeg Square was renovated last month. Now it is paved with slabs of stones from different parts of the Balkans to display “Albanian unity.”
Greek Foreign Ministry statement:
We condemn the placement, in Tirana’s redeveloped central square, of stones from various regions of the Balkans, including from the Greek region of Filiates. These stones, on which their regions of origin are inscribed, constitute a work that symbolizes the “unity of Albanian territories” and is clearly a state action that cultivates and conceals irredentism.
It is yet another provocation from the Albanian government, which is openly undermining good neighbourly relations. This is tangible proof of the central support for irredentist tendencies against the countries bordering Albania, given that the names of regions of various Balkan states are literally etched in stone.
The Foreign Ministry has proceeded and is proceeding to all of the necessary representations, notifying friends, partners and international organizations with regard to the matter. Respecting the election process in our neighbouring country, we have not, until today, issued any public announcement that might be misinterpreted as or distorted into interference in the pre-election process.
This in no way means that we will tolerate conduct that is inconsistent with the European spirit of peaceful coexistence and cooperation and that flagrantly violates the fundamental principle of maintaining good neighbourly relations, which is one of the key prerequisites for Tirana’s European course. Even today, unfortunately, dangerous and obsolete mindsets of the previous century are undermining the region’s progress and prosperity, creating a stone obstacle to Albania’s European future.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said during the inauguration ceremony that Skanderbeg is the “square of our national and European identity.”
Rama’s nationalist vision of a “Greater Albania” cause the country’s neighbors to shiver.