June 14, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Clashes in Albania at the funeral of Greek grandmother Fredi Beleri

Clashes with police broke out in Albania at the funeral of the grandmother of Fredi Beleri, an ethnic Greek who was elected mayor of the city of Himare but is in prison.

How reports Greek edition of Ekathimerini, Beleri was brought to say goodbye to her grandmother at the cemetery under unprecedented security. Seeing the Greek, the mourners began to applaud and shout his name. Tensions increased when Bellery was only released from the police van for 10 minutes during the funeral while he was handcuffed.

People gathered at the funeral jeered police officers and clashed as they tried to get to the elected mayor before he was put back in the van and taken to prison.

Detained on charges of voter fraud following local elections in May, Beleri was given six hours leave to attend a funeral and wake at his grandmother’s home after the funeral service.

Albania has the status of a candidate country for accession to EU since 2014, but was stuck in the negotiation process for a long time. Greece recently threatened to block the next stages of Albania’s negotiations due to the imprisonment of ethnic Greek Fredi Beleri, who was suspected of buying votes ahead of local elections in 2023.

In May, Dionysios Alfred Beleri, a member of the Greek minority, was provisionally elected mayor of the Albanian coastal town of Himara. detained, allegedly on charges of bribing voters, our publication reported. The Greek Foreign Ministry then demanded Beleri’s immediate release, hinting that the case could negatively impact Albania’s bid to join the European Union.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that in response to the arrest of the representative of the Greek national minority in Albania, Fredi Beleri, Greece may oppose Albania’s accession to the European Union. The prime minister said this when answering a journalist’s question about how the arrest of a Greek in Himare would affect relations with his Albanian colleague Edi Rama and with Albania in general.

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