By Andi Bushati/ The paradox of being pro Beleri and against Greece

2023-09-18 20:30:00, Opinione CNA
By Andi Bushati/ The paradox of being pro Beleri and against Greece
Journalist Andi Bushati

The recent conflict between Tirana and Athens has raised a question that on the surface seems paradoxical: Can you simultaneously be against the policies that Greece pursues for Himara and against what is being done to the loudest representative of the Greek minority, Fredi Beleri? It is difficult to answer this dilemma with "YES", in a region where we are used to seeing things in black and white and where ethnic conflicts put before the choice, either with "us", or with "them". But, in fact, the truth lies precisely in the narrow path between the two extremisms: you may not be in the final clash, not even with what Athens is doing, or even less with the response that Tirana is giving. 

In our opinion, there are many who are irritated by Greek arrogance to dictate the approach of Albanian justice. The behavior of ministers, mayors and even Prime Minister Mitsotakis is one of those things that raise hairs.

When you see these in the background of the treatment that has been given to Albanian immigrants over the years, the policies of changing their names and Greekizing them, as in no other country in Europe, the issue begins to enter those, when for a flea, it can take flame whole quilt. 

Athens' tactics are the same in that area which the most extremists continue to call Vorio Epirus. In a study that sheds light on the strategy of the Hellenic state in Himare, Ardit Bido has scrupulously clarified these divisions. 

It is precisely this picture that has made many people say with a patriotic light-heartedness, every time the Beleri case is brought up, that "they did well to the Greek", "he deserved it", "he does not respect the Albanian flag", "he has a finger in the Peshkepi massacre", "he does not accept that Himara is ours", "he works for Vorio-Epiri".

But, in fact, the truth is completely different from this nationalist hype. Fredi Beleri is not being tried to punish the group's policies of Hellenization of the south. He is not in the cell, neither for the massacre of Peshpia, nor for the flag, nor for the figures of the minority in Himara. Therefore, all these, which serve as justification for the conclusion: "he deserved what they did to him", have no value. He is a political prisoner, who was shackled by the directive and publicly expressed will of the Prime Minister. It is the first and only case in Albania, when a candidate is arrested two days before the race. He notes a grim record of returning state security methods, using police infiltrators. He is a hostage to a justice system remotely controlled by government offices.  

You overlook all this, it means supporting the punishment of someone for who he is and not for what he has done, to deal with the person and not with the facts, to take revenge ethnically and not to reason juridically. "La raison d'Etat" is not compatible with a democratic system. If we justify the political will to imprison Beller by wanting to fight what he stands for, we have opened Pandora's box. With the same logic, we could amnesty, let's take it as a hypothesis, the state murder of Ervis Martin, in the name of his past, according to Rama's well-known expression: "they eat each other's heads". According to the same model, we should investigate the theft of the opposition's votes, since at the head of it is the 'non grata' of January 21 and Gërdec.  

What opportunity for abuse and where this way of thinking ends needs no explanation. 

Precisely for this reason, no matter how strange it may seem, the most correct attitude in the current conflict is to denounce the Greek attitude towards Himara, or the minority in general, but also to raise your voice against the political trap they made for Fredi Beleri. The first approach can never serve as an alibi to defend the second. And this has nothing to do, neither with our Greek neighbors, nor with the policies of Athens. It is, first of all, a problem of the Albanian society, because if we accept the "state reason" to justify someone's punishment, then in the place of the unfortunate candidate of Himara, each of us can see ourselves tomorrow.   

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