Fredi Beleri's model as the enemy of the Greek minority's cause in Albania

10 Maj 2023, 00:56Op-Ed Mero Baze

There have been several debates in the recent days about Himara, even though none of them were actually held in Himara. Most of these debates surfaced in the Greek and Albanian media outside the locality of Himara. It is all related to the bringing up of nationalist theses by Berisha’s and Meta’s candidate for the municipality of Himara, Fredi Beleri.

As a matter of fact, Beleri’s claims are not even real theses, but rather topics of conversation that make many Albanians feel that they are hearing speak an enemy. The comical aspect of this entire issue is that Beleri represents Berisha’s and Meta’s sovereign coalition, which among other things is also fighting against Western influences in Albania. However, they have chosen as their candidate for Himara someone who represents and old mentality that is not even part of today’s Greek politics anymore.

It is out of question that the historic identity of the Greek minority in Albania is their coexistence with Albanians. This is not merely a folkloric rhetoric, but real history. There is nothing that stands in between Albanians and the Greek minority in Dropull and Finiq, or even with those in Himara who identify as Greeks. They have shared their destiny as well as their problems, while working together to solve their issues whenever change was needed.

Meanwhile, Fredi Beleri’s profile as an old Greek nationalist seeking to win in Himara in the name of Albanian “nationalists,” while throwing divisive theses to the public is actually the profile of the real enemy of the Greek minority in Albania. The issues of this minority have been blown up exactly by extremists similar to Mr. Beleri, by leaving them without political representation in Albania.

In the beginning they lost their political representation because of inner divisions as who was more nationalist. This resulted in their electorate boycotting them for the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party. The same phenomenon is now spreading in the three municipalities where the Greek minority aims to win. The most favoured candidates in these municipalities are the ones who are in alliance with Socialist Party. Even their opponents from the opposition are in alliance with Berisha and Meta. In other words, political representatives of the Greek minority have lost the power run and win on their own, without the support of Albanian political parties.

The most balanced race is that for the municipality of Finiq where MEGA’s Romeo Cakuli runs with the support of the Socialsit Party, Leonidha Kristo runs for PBDNJ, while supported by Berisha and Meta, and Leonidha Papa running for the Democratic Party. So far, Cakuli is seen as more favoured to win precisely because of a tradition of coexistence and collaboration between Albanians and the Greek minority in Finiq.

In the municipality of Dropull on the other hand, the race seems closed with the Socialist candidate Dhimiter Toli as the most favoured to win. PBDNJ’s candidate on the other hand has placed his hopes on the votes of Albanian immigrants returning from Greece to vote.

At the end of the day, all of the above candidates speak of cohabitation between Greeks and Albanians. The only one who thinks he can win by declaring war to Albanians is Fredi Beleri who is running for the municipality of Tirana, using Greek nationalist sentiments, even though he is officially the candidate of an Albanian nationalist party.

Beleri is the product of a marriage between Albanian and Greek nationalists and whose expiration date has long passed. He is needed only by those who want to leave the Greek minority in Albania without political representation and thus commanded only by Albania’s bigger parties.

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