Prime Minister Edi Rama today met with Albanian citizens living and working in Greece, expressing them the gratitude for their civil and political commitment.
Highlighting the importance of the services that Albanian citizens receive through the diplomatic missions of Albania in Greece, the Prime Minister stressed that these services will significantly improve as the range of online services will further expand by the end of this year.
“I want to express my gratitude for all your civic and political commitment. I wish I could meet you more frequently, but you know the current circumstances. I would like to apologize to all immigrants – in fact, after so many years, the word “immigrant” is not the right word today, because you are integrated citizens, but you still have a forced relationship with our mission – but given the fact that our mission here has not lived up to its commitment and duties, it has failed to deliver its services with dignity. Moreover, during the phase of renewal of cards, passports, the situation has been even more difficult as a result of COVID restrictions. But I am confident that things will improve. I have said that over and over again. I am sorry that the staff and the head of the embassy did not come up to expectations, yet we should not blame all this on the staff, this is our responsibility and I apologize to all emigrants, for all the concerns and inconvenience caused as a result of indecent service in the Albanian embassy in Athens, also in our representation in Thessaloniki.
However, I believe that things today are much better than they were, for the fact that we have launched the online services now. You are familiar, since you live here and naturally use these instruments. With online services we have saved you the trouble of red tape and delays. We will introduce more services and by the end of the year, the vast majority of public services in Albania will be online.
“Yet this cannot completely replace the face-to-face service,” the Premier said while introducing the newly-appointed Ambassador to Greece.
We have appointed a new ambassador, a dedicated and committed young woman. She has worked for several years in the Agency for Communication and Dialogue at the Prime Minister’s office as part of the co-governance platform. She has developed extensive experience in dealing with complaints and requests of citizens and the only message I have given to her, is that we are in charge of policymaking, your priority is to handle the requests and claims of Albanians living in Greece.
The Premier shared with our fellow citizens some opinions on the joint efforts to tackle some of the daily life issues in the neighbouring country, as well as the relations between the two countries.
“I am delighted to tell you that we are in a very positive situation with the Greek government ready to address all the issues you are familiarized with. “The step taken by Prime Minister Mitsotakis to push through parliament the driving licenses was an act of goodwill and a testimony to his sincerity to maintain excellent relations between the two countries.
We still have to handle a number of pending issues. As you know there is a senseless war law in effect to this day with Greece. The abrogation of the war law is the building block of a new era as it clears the whole mist that all sorts of wolves, hyenas and dogs take advantage of. It actually clears the way for actions of property claims to be brought to national or international courts.
We talked about the issue of a final solution to the problem of defining reciprocal maritime spaces. I believe we are on the right track. I continue to think that the best way is to turn to a third party or the International Court. Let’s see what will happen in the coming days, but we both agree that these things should be resolved without wasting time.
On the other hand, it is undoubtedly legitimate that just like we are consistently interested in the quality of life and the rights of the Albanians living in Greece, the Greek side too, the government and the Greek Prime Minister are interested in the rights of the Greeks living in Albania. It is mutual and not only is it a legitimate request of each party to the other party, but it is also a moral, civic, state obligation that both Albanians living in Greece or Greeks living in Albania feel all at home in all aspects, including their rights, from the right to property to the right of children to be taught in their mother tongue, to the right to work and so on. We have definitely adopted always a positive approach towards the minority, but it is also definitely true that just like all Albanian citizens and Albania face problems the same problems encounter the Albanian citizens with Greek nationality, but, when it comes to them, this issue carries double sensitivity. It is our sensitivity; it is also the sensitivity of the mother state and the mother country.
I think we have the right partners in Athens; we have the right partners at the right time for the right solution.
I am convinced about that. I just had a meeting with the Foreign Minister, a highly educated, cultured, civilized and eager to establish positive relations between the two countries and take them to the level of the relations between our people.
20 October 2020Prime Minister Edi Rama hosts the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Nikos Dendias
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