Albanian authorities released the body of ethnic Greek Konstantinos Katsifas on Wednesday, with a delay that caused desperation and anger in his family. The body release was reportedly after an intervention by the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and the the head of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, Archbishop Anastasios.
Early afternoon, the body arrived at his hometown Vouliarates, where the 35-year-old was killed on October 28th.
Mourning family members, relatives and friends accompanied the casket all the rough way up to his family home dead to his home where it will remain over night.
A Greek flag was laid over Katsifas body.
Mourners chanted “Immortal” when the casket reached the family home.
The circumstances under the member of the Greek minority in Albanian was killed have not been clarified yet, with his family and the Greek Foreign Ministry to be waiting for answers.
According to Albanian authorities, Katsifas, a supporter of unification of “North Epirus” with Greece, had taken a rifle and was firing against Albanian police. He was killed in an exchange of gun shots, so the official position.
Katsifas had a double Greek and Albanian citizenship.
His killing triggered nationalist outbreaks on both sides.
The funeral is scheduled to take place short after Thursday noon. Dropolis Municipality to which Voiliarates belongs will come up for the funeral cost.
Associations of the Greek Minority of Albania have chartered buses that will leave several Greek cities and facilitate anyone who wants to attend the funeral to do so.
Given the tense atmosphere, authorities on both sides of the borders have reportedly increased security measures.
The village Vouliarates is located in South Albania, 6 km form the borders to Greece.