The answer of the mayor of Athens when asked about the Albanians living there: They are as Athenians as I am
Excerpt from the interview in Euronews Albania of the journalist Bruna Çifligu and the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakojanis
Çifligu: Let's talk a little about the Albanian community in Greece. How has their role or integration in Greek society changed over the years?
Bakoyannis: You are talking about Athenians, real Athenians. As much as I am an Athenian, so are they. Their children grew up with our children, they go to school with our children. Many of them go to the Greek army with the children now. We work together with them. There are no more differences between us. And this is the great success of integration. That this community is now part of who we are, just as we are proud of all of Athens.
The comment on the integration and unification of Albanians in Greek society is even more valuable when it comes from a politician with the profile of Bakoyannis, the sucker of a large political door that has ruled Greece with very few breaks since the beginning of the last century, with a profile strongly right-wing and conservative, who does not have the promotion of immigration or internationalism on his political agenda.
He is the son of former Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, and the grandson of the historic prime minister who was persecuted by the military regime in the 1970s, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, who was one of the people who played a key role in opening the doors of Greece to tens of thousands of Albanians after the fall of the communist regime. Above all, he is the great-grandson and direct descendant of Eleftherios Venizelos, the architect of Greater Greece, whose goals and rhetoric for Albania were very different from that of Bakoyannis today in 2021.
Obviously, the presence and contribution of 800 thousand Albanians in the neighboring state has removed all historical divisions and prejudices and has created this very positive image that conveyed with his speech Bakoyannis.
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