Albanian media has complained about the “Hellenism of Southern Albania”, historically known as Northern Epirus, particularly about road signs being displayed in the Greek language.
The outlet complained that the Albanian language is secondary to Greek despite the road signs being in an official area for the Greek National Minority of Northern Epirus.
Greek autonomy should exist in Northern Epirus under the Albanian state because of the Corfu Protocol signed on May 17, 1914.
It was signed by the representatives of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Greeks of Northern Epirus, headed by Georgios Christakis-Zografos – representing about 250,000 people, and the newly formed Albanian state headed by Prince William of Wied.
This was done with the mediation of the International Commission of the six Great Powers even though Greece liberated the region from Ottoman rule during the Balkan Wars.
The Greek Army liberated the Greek-majority area, but the Great Powers decided to award the region to the newly formed Albanian state.
With its signing, armed clashes between the Albanian forces and the Northern Epirotes (Holy Corps) ended and the autonomy of Northern Epirus was recognised, along with a series of rights for the local population.
The region officially gained its autonomy.
Other terms of the agreement prohibited military units from being located in the area, except in the event of war or revolution.
The teaching of the Greek language in schools was also allowed and religious teaching would only be done in Greek.
The Great Powers would guarantee the maintenance and execution of the above measures.
It was finally ratified on June 1, and a few days later the Albanian government finally accepted the agreement and handed over the official document of the protocol on June 23, 1914 to the autonomous government.
However, before the Corfu Protocol came into force, World War I was declared.
Although the Corfu Protocol was never revoked by a later treaty, after World War I, it was never implemented.
The Greeks of Northern Epirus lived in harsh repression during the communist era, and with its collapse in 1991, the situation did not improve.
To this day, Greeks in Northern Epirus are discriminated against by journalists and politicians, as reported by Greek City Times.
The Greeks also continue to have their properties confiscated without compensation, bilingual signs removed, and harassment from police and Albanian ultra-nationalists.