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Albanian police shoots dead Greek for hoisting Greece’s flag on Oxi Day

Albanian police shot and killed a member of the Greek minority in the South of the country on Sunday afternoon. Kostantinos Katsifas, 35, was killed during an alleged fire exchange with special police forces in the village Vouliarates (Bularat), 6 km from the Greek-Albanian border.

“Police forces called on Katsifas to surrender, but he did not answer the police called. He opened fire at policemen setting their life in danger,” an Albanian police statement said.

He was shot with one bullet in the head and on in the chest.

The man was on the run since Sunday morning when, according to the Albanian media, had fired at police when Albanian police attempted to bring down a Greek flag the man has hoisted to commemorate the Greek national Oxi Day.

The incident took place on Sunday morning in the cemetery for Greek soldiers who were fallen in the Greek-Italian war in 1940-1941.

After the incident the man reportedly fled, special forces arrived in the village and several hours later they located him at the water depot of the village where he was hiding.

“North Epirus Greek Soil,” is allegedly the flag the man apparently hoisted according to local media.

Other Albanian media post this picture:

According to Albanian media, the 35-year-old man got furious when police tried to bring down the Greek Flag and started to fire at police with a Kalashnikov gun.

Video by Albanian media: “Special Police Forces arrived at Bularat to capture the Greek extremist.”

It is worth noting that in the context of the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement, commemoration ceremonies were held in the military cemeteries both in Vouliarati and Kleisoura. It should be stressed that the Greek flag is hoisted together with the Albanian flag in both cemeteries.

According to Greek Minority, they decorate the streets with Greek flags every year on the national holiday.

Earlier, members of the Greek minority told minority media they are concerned about the man’s life fearing that Albanian authorities may use him as a ‘scapegoat.’

Albanian media speak of “a Greek provocation by an extremist” and describe the Bularati as “radical village.” They claimed that Konstantinos Katsifas was calling for “the uprising of the Greek minority in so-called Northern Epirus” on his social media account.

On 23. October Katsifas posted on Facebook: “Tsipras and Rama make plans without the Houseman, They should be sure of one thing. The hardcore youth of North Epirus will not rtemain as a spectator. All Greeks of Northern Epirus are called to send a message at any direction on 28. Octoer. GREECE or DEATH.”

On his profile he wrote he was from Ioannina in Epirus, West Greece. It is currently unclear whether he origins were from Himara, as Greek media information citing Albanian media.

The region of Himara is predominantly inhabited by Greek population. Ethnic tensions in the area are high despite the improvement of the Greek-Albanian relations in the last couple of years.

The murder on Katsifas was announced half an hour earlier than this post was written, there is no reaction by the Greek Foreign Ministry so far.

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  1. Fanaticism like the one shown here by the Greek always lead to disaster.
    In Denmark it is illegal to hoist any other flag than the Dannebrog. Of course you can hoist another flag but then you need additionally to hoist Dannebrog at a higher position.

  2. No it appears that the village of Bularat was full of greek flags that day and i don’t think that a flag was the cause. The youngster in his poster shows a clear premeditation to cause trouble in 28 october. And he carried it out by shooting at albanian police, that was their because from Greece in that area was a greek minister who was called a traitor by this men. Imagin of he killed the Greek minister the implication beetwen the 2 states.

  3. Christos Homenidis

    I must tell you that whenever I find myself in conversation with Greeks who feel inordinately proud of their unadulterated Greekness, I love making them mad by reminding them that several of the revered heroes of the 1821 Greek Revolution such as Markos Botsaris, Kitsos Tzavellas and Andreas Miaoulis were Albanian-speaking warriors. And, furthermore, that Theodoros Kolokotronis himself wished for a bilingual country, with both Greek and Albanian inhabitants. From the time the modern Greek state was founded in 1830 to today, the conflict between the concepts of an open-minded, extrovert, cosmopolitan Greece and a small yet honorable, racially and religiously clean and proper Greece has never ceased. It goes without saying that I side with the former and not with the latter, and that any kind of multiculturalism fascinates me.

    Where does Homenidis get the indication that Kolokotronis desired such a country? Kolokotronis memoirs?

    According to Ljaljas research however, the number of Albanians living in today´s Greek territory is much larger than currently estimated because during the period from 1856 to 1858 two thirds of the population (66%) living in Greece was Albanian. The Albanians even had their own representatives in the Greek parliament. It was during this period that the Greek Parliament openly debated the issue of making the Albanian language a second official language of the Greek state. But that did not happen.
    Georgios Kountouriotis (Greek: Γεωργιος Κουντουριώτης) (1782 – 1858) a Prime Minister of Greece. He was born in 1782 on the Saronic island of Hydra to an Albanian-Greek family[1]. He was the brother of Lazaros Kountouriotis who fought in the Greek War of Independence and grandfather of Pavlos Kountouriotis who fought in the First Balkan War and later served as first President of the Greek Republic.

    When the War of Independence broke out, Georgios, along with the rest of the Kountouriotis family, supported the effort with generous donations as well as with their ships. He was often at odds with other Hydriot sea captains, but ultimately was the wealtiest. Georgios Kountouriotis became a member of the executive committee of the Greek Revolution and served as its President from 1823 to 1826 during the crucial time of the siege of Messolonghi.

    After independence, he became a member of the cabinet of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece. He was a semi-independent adherent of the French Party mostly due to his antipathy to the Russian Party and his fellow Hydriots of the English Party. During the period of French Party ascendancy in the reign off King Otto, he served as Prime Minister. He died in 1858.

    President and Prime Minister. The “Albanian-Greek family” text that appears to indicate a part Albanian – part Greek origin for Koundouriotis is a misrepresentation, as it is a known fact that George could not speak Greek. Furthermore, nowhere does Trudgill indicate a part Albanian – part Greek origin, his reference to Koundouriotis is within the scope of the Arvanitika language in Greece, hence the ‘Albanian-Greek’ term. See below:

    Here is something else from Trudgill, who suggested that at the time of the Ottoman conquest, what came to be known as Greece was 45% Albanian.

    And another Koundouriotis, this one called Pavlos.
    Pavlos Kountouriotis (Greek: Παύλος Κουντουριώτης, 1855-1935) was a Greek admiral of Arvanite descent [1], naval hero during the Balkan Wars and twice President of Greece.

    Pavlos Kountouriotis was a member of the historical Kountouriotis family which originated from the island of Hydra, Saronic Islands as many of the heroes of 1821; many members of the family took part in the Greek War of Independence, including his grandfather, Georgios Kountouriotis, who was Prime Minister of Greece under King Otto. The original family name was Zervas but was changed to Kountouriotis, since one of their ancestors lived for a while in the village of Kountoura, Megarida.

    My, my, what a fine ‘Hellenic’ family of Albanians, one an Admiral, another the President, and the other a Millionaire. Is there anything famous about the ‘independence’ war that isn’t Albanian?

    • Populations come and go on this tormented region. Yes it is true for the time being and after occupation of Turks, Albanians were transferred to the northwest of that area and many Greeks lived among Albanians. So Albanian speaking Greeks are still Greeks. As Greek speaking Albanians remain Albanians (today). Your argument on the linguistic part is invalid. Language doesn’t alter heritage of these people involved in the independence. They were Greeks having heritage from Epirus which let me remind you was an ancient Greek region. Albanians came later. You cannot make anyone mad. Anyone that knows the truth. And the truth is that the Greece is the best piece of Cake in the southern Europe. Everyone wants a bite. Albanians,”wanabe Macedonians”, Turks etc… You l get nothing. 🙂