Vindication for the Himariotes – Mayor Goros was exposed.
It was the day of our national anniversary, 28th of October 2016, when the first notifications were sent, to residents of Himara, through which they were being asked to evacuate their homes, as they would be demolished as part of a supposed developmental project of the area. 100 year old residences have been targeted by vested interests. Homes of native Greeks, had to be demolished so the project “New Himara” or “Himara e re” as the current mayor calls it, could take place, through the project “Urban redevelopment of municipality of Himara”, which will be carried out by Fondi Zhvillimit funded by the Bank of the European Council (CEB) .
Reaction was immediate and massive. For the first time in many years the vast majority of Himariotes united for the same cause. Led by OMONOIA, a mobilization was organized in all fronts.
With the assistance of the Greek Embassy in Tirana and the support of the Greek state, international bodies and foreign embassies in Tirana were informed, while delegations of the European Union, the European Council and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) turned up in Himara to inspect the situation. Protests took place, people continued with legal procedures, the Ombudsman of Albania confirmed violation of the residents’ rights during the designing and implementation of the project.
An attempt has been made to reach out to the government and even to the mayor of Himara, whose attitude towards our demands all this time as been the most hostile.
The whole issue went viral in Greek, Albanian and international media. All this has been achieved with the cooperation of Himariotes from Tirana and Athens to Washington. A significant part of the albanian public opinion sided with our rightful demands despite its timeless reluctance towards the Hellenism of Himara.
After the court veto that canceled the project, the ones involved were forced to negotiate. After hours of consultations, a new plan was designed, according to which no demolition would take place. The vast majority of the residents stood in favor of the new plan, during the presentation, on 17th of October. Besides FondiZhvillimit, the mayor of Himara had to sign it, too. There is no greater proof than that when it comes to the rightfulness of our demands. This outcome of course, exposes the mayor of Himara, that as a local leader, proved that all these two years he wasn’t serving the interests of his land, as he became an obstacle to any solution.
At the same time, a commitment was made, that the registration of the properties at the mortgage registry will be completed with fast track procedures that have already started by the respective ministries. The residents of the center of Himara have already filed the documents needed and are waiting for the process to be completed. The registration of the properties and property titles, are a permanent request of the residents of Himara since 1991. The emerging solution to this issue will solve the problem of uncertainty and exploitation of properties by forgery and other manipulations. In case the commitments are not met and any obstructions appear, the mobilizations will continue. We assure everyone who is involved, that now we know very well what we are dealing with and our effectiveness is for granted.
During this process we had to face strong financial interests and political points of nationalistic nature. We went through hard times and were under huge pressure, these 2 years fighting against the demolitions and financial extermination. But finally we made it, to show to all sides that owner of this land is the Himariote. From now on every each one of our fights to come will start with taking this fact for granted.