May 31, 2008

Greeks in Albania: Language Issues Land Mayor In Trouble

Sample ImageThe actions of a mayor attempting to highlight the marginalization of Greek language by removing Albanian road signs has landed him in trouble with Tirana.

Below is an article published by BalkanInsight:

An ethnic Greek mayor in Albania has been indicted after he ordered the destruction of road signs because they were not bilingual.

Mayor Vasil Bollano from the town of Himara on Albania’s coast, ordered the removal of the signs in December 2007 arguing that the signs should have also been in Greek, because he considers the area a Greek minority zone.

The removal of the signs caused road chaos because they were along a section of Albania’s coast which is very popular with tourists.

Prosecutors have filed charges against Bollano for abuse of power, arguing that his actions were against the law and cost Albanian taxpayers roughly €170,000.

Bollano’s statements have got him in hot water before. He previously declared large swathes of southern Albania are Greek land and claimed autonomy for the area.

Estimates of the Greek minority in Albania range from three to seven percent of the total population.