Athens Mayor Bakoyannis to Visit Himare: Expressing Support for Ethnic-Greek Community and Mayor-Elect Amidst Political Tensions

The Honorable Kostas Bakoyannis MPA ’04, Mayor of Athens, Greece

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis is set to embark on a journey to Himare on Monday, with the intent to engage with the ethnic-Greek community residing in the southern Albanian city. During his visit, he aims to extend support to the mayor-elect of Himare, Fredi Beleri, who has been under pretrial custody since his detainment in May on charges of vote-buying.

Despite the allegations, the 51-year-old Beleri firmly refutes the accusations. His arrest, which occurred in the lead-up to the local elections in Albania, has sparked tensions between the neighbouring countries. Athens has taken a firm stance, indicating that it may impede Albania's European Union accession aspirations if Beleri is not released and granted the opportunity to formally assume his position by taking the oath of office.

In Himare, Mayor Bakoyannis is scheduled to address a sizable gathering of the city's ethnic Greek population on Monday evening. This visit stands as an expression of solidarity and outreach, underlining the importance of cohesive interactions and mutual understanding within the region.

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