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Politics

Greece Wants EU Paying Attention to Jailed Ethnic Greek Mayor in Albania

ATHENS – The European Union needs to get involved in the case of the two-year jail sentence given ethnic Greek Fredi Beleri who was elected Mayor of the seaside town of Himare and said the trial was a farce to get him and protect Prime Minister Edi Rama’s business friends.

Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis said the case should be considered a matter for the EU and member states and not just Greece, which has said it would block Albania’s hopes of joining the bloc over it.

“Τhis is not a bilateral (case.) Whether a candidate country aspiring to join the European Union upholds the principles of the rule of law and respects the political rights of its citizens is not bilateral. It is a European matter, and we should perceive it as such and highlight it in all forums,” he told SKAI radio.

He also criticized how long it took Albanian authorities to charge the defeated Mayor, Joro Goro, with corruption. He held the post almost a year, Gerapetritis calling it “an affront to every concept of European rule of law.”

Albanian media reported that Goro had resigned from his duties a day after the country’s Court for Corruption and Organized Crime ordered his detention for an unspecified duration following his arrest on charges of alleged abuse of office.

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