… Return of Properties for the Christian Orthodox Faithful, Only!/
MINUTES of the closed door session of the Commission on Foreign Policy.The Government’s Problem of the Confiscated Properties Cannot Be Resolved in Strasbourg, but Through Diplomatic Efforts/
By Sami REPISHTI/*
“ The (Albanian) Ministry of Foreign Affairs is of the opinion that the problem of the Chamerian properties cannot be solved at the Strasbourg Court, (The newspaper) PANORAMA discloses the discussions held at a closed-door meeting of the Commission on Foreign Affairs on December 10 (2013) where high officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on the relations with the regional neighbors. During the meeting, the Chamerian issue was also discussed. The General Secretary of the MFA, Qiriako Qirko, elucidated for the congressmen that the Chamerian issue should not be mixed with the “Law of War” with Greece.
“Those are two problems absolutely separate, and maybe there is room for clarification, and for the opinion of the experts.
When we speak about the Chamerian issue, we are dealing with a problem created somewhat formally, juridical, after the 1944 year. “The Law of War” dates from the year 1940 and has to do with the properties of Albanians; Chamerians, in 1941 were Greek citizens. After their genocide (of 1944-45) they were massively removed, and through legislative acts, they were dispossessed of their properties,” explained Qirjako.
He added:” What we hear today, which is what we have heard several times before, is a desire to solve the problem in a peaceful way, by presenting the case before the Strasbourg Court. It’s not possible to resolve it in Strasbourg, because the European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg Court, established to solve similar problems, have originated as Conventions only since 1953. Greece is a party to them since 1954, and the events (of expropriation) took place in 1944.
Therefore, the (European) Convention has no retroactive effects. The Strasbourg Court cannot solve problems created before the day when the “States” were committed to respect them, and their standards. It results that the solution of this issue, is an indisputable manner, rests on its political treatment. Thus, for the first time, these issues were introduced, and have without doubt been part of a joint political agenda; this will be the way we plan to proceed”.
“ The Law of War”
The official of the MFA qualified as “absurd” some statements that with “the Law of War” still in effect, Greece might use it to declare war on Albania. According to the General Secretary, Qirjako Qirko, “the Law of War” is still effective when it comes to the (former) properties of the Albanians. “Allow me to explain the essence of “the Law of War”, because it’s an absurdity to think that Greece will declare war on Albania, or the other way around. The concrete effect of “the Law of War” is its effect on the properties of the Albanians; therefore,, as soon as the decree by (the former) King George on the State of War (with Albania) was made public, immediately after another Decree followed placing ‘the conservative sequester’ on the Albanians’ properties. If an Albanian claims his/her properties, he/she is free to do so by going to a (Greek) Court; but, before doing so, he/she is required to get the approval of the (Greek) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on an individual basis – whether you are a person of Greek Orthodox faith, or not,- you can or cannot get approval. Clearly, here we have a “political gimmick” in this affair. So, this is the problem. Our goal is to free ourselves from this treatment, namely, not to have limitations/discriminations when it comes to claim the repossession of properties by any Albanian citizen”, declared Qirjako.
*(The Newspaper PANORAMA (Tirana,Albania) Friday,December 20, 2013)
(Translated into English from the Albanian original by Sami Repishti)