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EU Threat From Greece to Albania

Greek  Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yorgos Gerapetritis, stated that the continuation of the detention of the mayoral candidate of the Greek minority, Alfred Beleri, who was detained before the local elections held on 14 May and arrested on 22 May, will harm the country’s European Union (EU) membership bid. He argued that he would.

Gerapetritis made a statement to the Greek Public Television (ERT) about the detention of Alfred Beleri in Albania.

In this context, Gerapetritis stated that Albania’s EU membership process will not progress if “the rule of law is so disregarded” in the country, and that he clearly stated this in his contacts with EU officials and that the tension is not beneficial to the country and EU goals.

Gerapetritis described Beleri’s pre-trial detention as unlawful, arguing that by doing so, Albania was “shooting itself in the foot”.

Beleri was detained on 12 May on charges of “active corruption in elections”.

In the investigation conducted by the Albanian General Directorate of Security, it was noted that Beleri was suspected of involvement in vote-buying activities, stating that “citizens in Himara and its villages were offered certain amounts of money in exchange for voting for one of the candidates competing in the election”.

In the local elections held on 14 May, Beleri was elected as the Mayor of Himara.

The Albanian judiciary had ordered Beleri to remain in detention pending the investigation on 22 May.

The detention of Beleri, a member of the Greek minority in the country, caused reactions from political parties and authorities in Albania and Greece.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to the rejection of Beleri’s request for release to assume the post of Himara Mayor.

Source : Balkannews