Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday that he had reached out to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen regarding the detention of Fredi Beleri, a Greek minority candidate running for mayor in Himara, Albania. Mitsotakis expressed his concerns about Beleri’s arrest, stating that the charges against him were unsubstantiated.
Taking to social media, Mitsotakis emphasized the firm stance of Greece and the EU, stating, “Albania needs to understand that Greece and the EU will not accept any compromises on the rule of law and the protection of the rights of the ethnic Greek minority.”
During his visit to the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, the Greek premier reiterated his position, saying, “If Albania wants to come closer to the European Union, it has an obligation to ensure free and fair local elections and to immediately release those who have been imprisoned, so that they can participate in the electoral process.” (Ekathimerini)
Beleri was apprehended by Albanian police special forces shortly after midnight on charges of vote-buying.