Athens decries extension of Himare mayor’s detention

23 Maj 2023, 09:07Politics TEMA

The extension of the detention of Fredi Beleri, the recently elected ethnic Greece mayor of Himare in Albania, “is contrary to the common sense of justice and the European concept of the rule of law,” the Greek Foreign Ministry underlined in a statement on Monday.

The issue concerning Beleri, who remains in custody in Albania for more than 10 days, was raised by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias during a meeting with his Albanian counterpart, Olta Xatska, on the sidelines of Monday’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

His detainment has strained ties between Athens and Tirana. Beleri was arrested just two days before local elections in Albania on charges of vote-buying. Beleri’s candidacy, as the president of the local branch of Omonia, had garnered support from the Greek Minority Unity for Human Rights Party (known as KEAD in Greece) and Omonia, as well as the opposition coalition led by the Democratic Party, headed by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, and the left-wing Freedom Party, led by former President Ilir Meta.

Throughout his campaign, Beleri had faced vehement attacks from both sections of the media and Prime Minister Edi Rama. Athens has the issue could hinder Albania’s European Union aspirations. (Ekathimerini)

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