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Council of Europe: Albania Is A Multiethnic State

35 % of Albania's citizens are not ethnic Albanians. Which Balkan country is next in line for some sort of a Framework Agreement is anybody's guess. (Pogradec would be a great location to sign it).  An old Macedonian proverb says: "a bear that dances in neighbor's house will soon dance in yours." (Mechka shto igra vo komshii, kje igra i vo kukja) By Irina Gelevska

The official report on minorities by the Albanian Government says that only 2% of the population in Albania are not [ethnic] Albanians. This information has been presented to the public since the time of the ultra-communist ruler Enver Hoxha. [Compare CIA's info.]

Last October, Council of Europe's mission visited Albania and formed a Center for Ethnic Research in Tirana. In April 2002, the Center delivered a questionnaire of 33 questions to the Albanian population all over the country.

"The results of this research show that about one million or 35% of the total population in the country are members of minorities. This makes Albania a multiethnic state," said the Director of the Center for Ethnic Research in Tirana, Kimet Fetahu.

According the initial research results, seven minority ethnic groups live in Albania: Macedonians, Greeks, Vlachs, Egyptians, Roma, Serbs and Montenegrins.

The biggest minorities are the Macedonians and the Greeks. The smallest minorities are the Serbs and the Montenegrins. There are 5 organizations of Macedonians in Albania, 2 of the Vlachs, 2 of the Roma, 2 of the Egyptians, 1 of the Greeks and 1 joint organization of the Serbs and Montenegrins.

The minority organizations cooperate poorly with the media, the political parties and NGOs in Albania. A large degree of discrimination exists in the education and employment policy of the Albanian Government. These results are expected to be included in the Year Report of the Council of Europe for minorities in Albania at the end of September 2002.



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