The homes are slated for demolition as part of an urban regeneration plan that critics have denounced as unconstitutional while Greece has warned it could hurt Tirana’s European Union aspirations.
The demolition of the buildings is being protested by the inhabitants of Himara. A large number of police forces have set up a barricade between the protesters and the machinery of the National Inspectorate for the Protection of the Territory (IKMT).
Members of the Greek minority in Himara, Albania look on and sing the Greek national anthem as authorities demolish their property.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Athens has its eye on developments there and is undertaking the necessary initiatives to safeguard the rights of the Greek minority in the Albanian seaside resort.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece released a statement and is "concerned with the fact that the Albanian government continues to promote measures for the demolition of property belonging to members of the Greek National Minority, within the framework of its policy to uproot the historical presence of Hellenism in the region of Himara. The decision of the Albanian authorities confirms that the recently passed law on minorities is a step backwards for the main minority in Albania. There are many who interpret it as an act aimed at distracting Albanian public opinion from the major political issue that has arisen with drug trafficking. We hope this is not the case."
Sources: Ekathimerini, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic | Photo source: Himara News