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Legendary Greek Bon Viveur Zahos Hadjifotiou Dies at 99

Zahos Hadjifotiou
Zahos Hadjifotiou was laso a decorated Greek soldier in the Second World War. Public Domain

Legendary Greek bon viveur Zahos Hadjifotiou, the epitome of a larger-than-life personality, died in Athens on Friday. He was 99.

Hadjifotiou, who was also a successful businessman, journalist and author had been hospitalized for the last several months in a hospital in the Greek capital.

He was born in Plaka, Athens on September 28, 1923. At the age of 17, he escaped the German occupation of Greece and fled to Egypt, where he took part in military operations at the siege of Tobruk, and at Rimini in Italy where he joined the legendary Third Mountain Brigade – Rimini, the first to liberate Rimini. He was decorated for his bravery.

His book, “The Middle East Affairs” recounts Hadjifotiou’s adventures in legendary events of WWII, with all its tragedy and specific details, exactly as they were experienced by the writer.

All stories are true and based on the author’s experiences, not based on descriptions as are used by many war historian authors.

At the same time, it is a vivid depiction of the cosmopolitan and aristocratic urban environments of Alexandria, Cairo, and Beirut during those turbulent years when death was highly probable and people tried to enjoy life to the fullest.

Zahos Hadjifotiou turns to journalism

After the war, he returned to Greece to work in his family’s businesses (textile industry and trade) until 1956. From 1956 until 1962 he was the director of a publishing house in Paris.

In the period 1962-1970 he was active in shipping and from 1970 onwards he became a successful writer and journalist. He was a contributor to major Greek dailies such as “Kathimerini”, “Tachydromos” under the pseudonym “Iakchos” and “Ta Nea”. He also worked on television and became known from the show “Five minutes by Zachos Zahos Hadjifotiou.”

For most of his life he has been at the same time a legendary playboy and a prominent member of the Greek and international jet-set.

Among the many romances in his life was Tzeni Karezi, the Greek actress whom he married in 1962.

Karezi was not just an incredibly talented actress on stage and on camera but also a dedicated activist for a wide variety of issues up until the end of her life.

Their wedding was the social event of the year in Greece.

 

Man Kills Wife and Baby in Yet Another Femicide in Greece

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Femicide in Greece
The local community in Kavala is in a state of shock following the heinous crime. Credit: Greek Police (ELAS)

A man committed femicide by killing his partner and their 10-month-old daughter with a hunting rifle in the village of Lekani, near ​​Kavala, northern Greece on Friday.

The 56-year-old man took both victims to a cattle pen he owned and shot them dead. Soon after, he turned the same gun on himself and committed suicide.

The perpetrator and the 31-year-old victim were living together for the last 4 years. However, the woman left their home with the baby in July.

The victim, who was Greek-German, was preparing to return to Germany with the baby. Reports suggest she had filed for child custody and the perpetrator had threatened her not to leave and take the child.

Her family origins were from Lekani and she was born and raised in Germany to a Greek mother and a German father.

Police have roped off the crime scene as relatives and friends gathered outside the cattle pen in a state of shock.

Why such a rise in femicides in Greece?

The woman is the 13th victim of femicide in Greece alone in 2022. Over 20 young and older women were killed in the county by current and former partners in 2021, when the phenomenon started to reach unprecedented levels.

The case that drew the most international attention was that of Caroline Crouch, who was killed by her husband Babis Anagnostopoulos at the family home in Athens in May 2021.

In August two femicides that occurred within a few hours of each other at Rethymnon, Crete and on Zakynthos shocked public opinion in Greece.

“We are a deeply sexist and patriarchal society,” said Anna Vougiouka, a social scientist and expert on matters of sex at “Diotima,” the Female Studies and Research Center.

“Patriarchy means to control, it means I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” she explains. She adds that if a woman decides to leave a patriarchal man, violence usually escalates.

Femicide is traditionally connected to the devaluation of women, which is a symptom of patriarchy, said Anna Lazou, an assistant professor of Philosophical Anthropology at Athens University. “Women being murdered for their sex are being murdered predominantly by male boyfriends of husbands,” she says.

Dimitris Kioupis, an associate professor of Criminal Law and Procedure in the Athens Law university believes that it is about time that the term “femicide” was introduced to the Greek Penal Code.

“There are EU guidelines introduced into the Greek Penal system, but recent changes introduced by the government are distinguishing between murders committed in the heat of the moment and those committed in cold blood.”

Europe Braces for Mobile Network Blackouts

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Mobile blackouts
Officials express concern that a harsh winter would put Europe’s telecommunication infrastructure to the test. Credit: HLundgaard , CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikipedia

Power outages or energy rationing could cause blackouts to a portion of the mobile networks throughout Europe, International Business Times (IBT) reveals.

As a result of Russia’s decision to stop gas delivery through Europe’s primary supply route due to the Ukrainian situation, the likelihood of power shortages has increased. The shutdown of numerous nuclear power facilities in France for maintenance has worsened the problem.

Officials from the telecoms industry, according to the report, are worried that a severe winter will put Europe’s telecommunication infrastructure to the test and force organizations and governments to take preventative measures.

According to four telecom executives, speaking exclusively to IBT, there are currently insufficient backup systems in many European nations to handle large power failures, which increases the risk of mobile phone disruptions.

Attempts are being made by European Union nations to ensure that communications can continue even in the event of power outages, which could result in the hundreds of backup batteries on cellular antennas dispersed throughout the nations running out. These nations include France, Sweden, and Germany.

Mobile infrastructure may face blackouts

Around 500,000 telecom towers may be located in Europe, and the bulk of them have battery backups that can run mobile antennae for roughly 30 minutes.

IBT says that according to experts, the worst-case scenario under France’s proposed plan by electricity distributor Enedis could see power outages lasting for up to two hours.

Only some areas of the country would experience the general blackouts on a rotational basis. The sources further stated that vital services including hospitals, law enforcement, and the government will not be impacted.

Telecom officials worry that a severe winter could challenge Europe’s telecom infrastructure, forcing organizations and governments to take preventative measures.

The French government and sources claimed that during the summer, discussions on the subject took place with telecom companies, Enedis, a division of the state-controlled utility EDF, and other parties.

Enedis came under fire from the French Federation of Telecoms (FFT), a lobbying organization that represents Orange, Bouygues Telecom, and Altice’s SFR, for failing to exclude antennas from power outages.

Enedis responded to Reuters by stating that all regular customers would be treated similarly in the event of extraordinary outages.

It was asserted that it may isolate parts of the network to service priority clients, such as hospitals, significant industrial facilities, and the military, and that it was the responsibility of local authorities to include telecom operators infrastructure on the list of priority clients.

A member of the French finance ministry with knowledge of the negotiations said, “Maybe we’ll improve our knowledge on the matter by this winter, but it’s not easy to isolate a mobile antenna from the rest of the network.”

The IBT author says that Telcos in Sweden and Germany have also warned the governments about impending electricity shortages. This information is based on multiple sources with knowledge of the issue.

According to the Swedish telecom regulator PTS, it is working with telecom providers and other governmental agencies to identify solutions. This includes discussions about what would occur if the electricity were to go out.

 

Spartathlon: Runners Trace Footsteps of Pheidippides from Athens to Sparta

Spartathlon
Runners started from Athens on Friday. Credit: Sparta Photography Club/Spartathlon 2022

Hundreds of ultra-marathon runners are taking part in the historic Spartathlon race from Athens to Sparta that started on Friday.

The Spartathlon is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

The Spartathlon revives the footsteps of Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian long-distance runner, who in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, was sent to Sparta to seek help in the war between the Greeks and the Persians.

It was in September of the year 490 BC when, just 42 kilometers (26 miles) outside of Athens, a vastly-outnumbered army of brave soldiers saved their city from the invading Persian army.

But as the course of history shows, in the Battle of Marathon they saved more than just their own city: they saved Athenian democracy itself, and consequently, protected the course of western civilization.

According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens.

According to Herodotus, Pheidippides run back to Athens after delivering the message. His running to and from Sparta lasted an incredible three days.

Just as in the other version of the story the military courier ran from the battlefield at Marathon and then collapsed and died afterward.

Spartathlon the ultimate long-race run

In 1984 the International Association “Spartathlon” was founded, which since then has continuously organized the race each September.

In 2021, Greek runner Fotis Zisimopoulos won the 39th Spartathlon.

Zisimopoulos, 38, covered the 246 kilometers in 21 hours, 57 minutes and 20 seconds, followed by Czech runner Radek Brunner, 46, in 23:17:30, and Milan Sumny, 44, in 23:52:57.

Diana Dzaviza, 34, a Latvian athlete living in Austria, won the women’s race, clocking 25:23:59.

Greek veteran runner Yiannis Kouros, who won the first edition of Spartathlon, still holds the record time at 20:25:00.

Kouros has been called many things by his peers, running experts and the public: “The Running God,” “The Golden Greek,” “Modern Pheidippides,” “The Master of Pain,” “Unstoppable” and many others. And all these epithets are more than well-deserved.

Piraeus Metro Station to Link Port with Athens Airport

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Piraeus metro
The new Municipal Theatre metro station at Piraeus will connect the city with the airport in Athens. Credit: Twitter/Kostas Karamanlis, Ministry of Infrastructure

The new Piraeus metro station which is expected to open next week will link Greece’s biggest port to the Athens international airport.

The Piraeus metro station along with two more that will also open on Line 3 – Maniatika and Municipal Theatre – are expected to increase overall passenger traffic on the metro network by 132,000 commuters on a daily basis.

Furthermore, the circulation of cars will decrease by 23,000 daily, also reducing carbon dioxide by 120 tons/day, authorities claim.

The total duration of the journey from Piraeus port to Athens International Airport is estimated at just 55 minutes.

Piraeus Metro to turn city into a transport hub

The new Piraeus metro station will become a significant transport hub by connecting two metro lines (1 and 3) with the Piraeus port, the suburban railway and the tram line towards Piraeus.

Piraeus metro
The Piraeus station will connect the port with the airport in Athens. Credit: Twitter/Kostas Karamanlis, Ministry of Infrastructure

The extension of the Piraeus-bound metro line has come against major challenges since its last section is located near the sea and has brought to light over 10,000 significant archaeological findings.

These archaeological treasures will be on display in a permanent exhibition at the “Municipal Theater” station. Among these are an ancient water tank and a replica of a Roman aqueduct, the courtyard of an ancient house with its pebble floor and various everyday objects.

The most important findings are the pebble floors of the Alexandrian era that will be on display under a glass floor at the station.

New line for Athens metro

A new line is planned for the Athens Metro and it has been incorporated in the roadmap of Athens’s mass transit system since 2005.

The new line in its totality will extend over a length of 38.2 km, adding thirty-five new stations to the Athens Metro system. The cost of the entire project is estimated at 3.3 billion euros.

The first phase of Line 4 will be between Alsos Veikou and Goudi stations, predicting fifteen new stations and a length of 12.8 km of new track.

Fireships: How Greece’s Daring Sailors Destroyed the Turkish Fleet

Greek fireships during the Greek War of Independence
The painting ,”The Burning of a Turkish Frigate,” by Konstantinos Volanakis shows Greek sailors setting fire to a Turkish vessel during the War of Independence. Credit: Konstantinos Volanakis/Public Domain

Silently, with mute prayers to St. Nicholas and the Virgin Mary during the Greek War of Independence, Greece’s islanders — from the small islands of Hydra, Spetses, and Psara — pilot their floating bomb towards a Turkish frigate.

The bomb, an old, aging ship stripped of its fittings and filled with gunpowder and pitch with tangling yardarms and tinder-dry canvas, only awaits the spark.

These were the fireships of the Greek War of Independence.

In early modern naval warfare, fireships had been used in many naval encounters, as a way for smaller, more nimble, better-skilled fleets to counter the large traditional warships with their rows of cannon.

The technology is simple, and indeed fire as a naval weapon is as old as warfare itself.

Certainly, by 1821, most navies had countermeasures and the fireship was obsolete.

It was a weapon of necessity, which although technically obsolete, was still used by the skilled sailors of the Greek Navy to a devastating, asymmetric effect.

Fireships tended to be older, smaller vessels, which were refurbished with combustibles, such as gunpowder and pitch, to basically become floating bombs.

All the rigging, along with their sails, might be doused with various materials both to stoke the flames and to entangle with the target ship.

The fireship would have a skeleton crew who were among the most skilled and dedicated sailors and who would be able to escape using a small rowboat towed behind the fireship.

Hatches were cut at various intervals in the ships’ hulls to allow for air intake to further feed the flames.

Fireboats attack Turkish flagship in Greece
“Kanaris Burns the Turkish Flagship,” by Nikiforos Lytras. Credit: Public Domain

Fireships decisive in naval encounters during the Greek War of Independence

While Hydra and its fellow “nautical islands” in Greece, Spetses and Psara, possessed many ships manned by well-skilled crews, they did not possess naval ships in the traditional sense.

Many of their merchant ships were armed with cannons; this was the Mediterranean Sea, of course, which was filled with pirate ships.

The Aegean islanders were not above piracy and blockade-running themselves, but the armed merchantmen, though common in nineteenth-century naval warfare, lacked the punch of frigates.

Fireships were the obvious solution for the Greek islanders. They were easy to procure and the islanders had the skills and courage to use them effectively despite their clear limitations as weapons.

The proof was in the results for Greece

Greek fireships time and again proved decisive in naval encounters, destroying key Turkish naval assets, and just as importantly, causing panic amongst Turkish sailors.

Beyond the destruction of valuable Turkish vessels, the threat of Greek fireships kept the Turks from effective movement in the Aegean.

They prevented the more active reinforcement of Turkish attempts to defeat the Greek Revolution on the Greek mainland, which held out in spite of great odds (and plenty of internecine fighting).

The pilots of fireships were renowned for their dash, courage, and faith; they even attempted to burn the Egyptian Fleet (allies of the Turks) at Alexandria.

The day of the fireship was past; even at the end of the Greek War of Independence, steam-powered warships came onto the scene, as did ironclads a few decades later.

The new Greek Navy would spend considerable amounts of the state budget to procure the ships needed for the country’s defense and expansion, at times assisted by her diaspora.

This was most notable in the purchase of the Battle Cruiser “Averoff,” which, commanded by a Hydriot admiral, battered the Turkish fleet in the Balkan Wars and made land victories against the Turks more certain.

The fireship elan remains

In the Balkan Wars, too, a bit of the fireship elan remained when another Hydriot, Captain Nicholas Votsis, snuck a torpedo boat into the Thessaloniki harbor, still under Turkish control at the time, and sunk the Turkish cruiser Fetih Bulend.

Hydriots honor the legacy of the fireships in the annual “Miaouleia” Festival, a celebration in Hydra’s beautiful amphitheatrical harbor that culminates in the burning and fireworks on a small ship.

Today, the Greek Navy is one of the world’s finest fleets, drawing on the skills of an ancient maritime nation and the inspiration of three thousand years of victories at sea.

Its ships tend to be nimble and smaller, its sailors skilled and courageous, and its tactics daring and asymmetric, as has always been the case.

Honor is due.

Old Peritheia: Corfu’s Historic Ghost Village

Old Peritheia Corfu
Paris-based photographer Victor Lazareff captured Old Peritheia in a series of photographs, which reflect the village’s deep sense of time and nostalgia. Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

Old Peritheia is the oldest village of Corfu, which is located in the heart of Mount Pantokrator. Ruined stone mansions and semi-ruined temples with forever muted bell towers compose the landscape of Old Peritheia, a village which time has forgotten.

With houses from the 14th century, Old Peritheia is Corfu’s most ancient village. Strategically built to be safe from pirate attacks, it’s near the top of the island’s highest peak, Mount Pantokrator.

The village is surrounded by dense forest with views of the Ionian Sea. For decades, this village was deserted until it was completely abandoned in the 1960s, when tourism hit the island. Since 2010, the village has begun coming alive once again, as it continues to be loved by locals and tourists.

Feelings of nostalgia, time, and memory

In today’s village, which lies in ruins, one can walk through and get the deep sense of traveling in time. The natural beauty, unique architecture, and eerie atmosphere of another era have remained unchanged. The ruins of the homes invite visitors to get a taste of another time period, with stately tapestries, fireplaces, and ceilings still at least partially intact.

Paris-based photographer Victor Lazareff captured Old Peritheia in a series of photographs, which reflect the village’s deep sense of time and nostalgia for a time long gone.

Visitors can walk though the skeletons of the mansions and take note of old coats of arms belonging to families still occupying spaces. One really feels as if in another era altogether. In between half-demolished mansion doors, one might also notice rare decorations and objects dominating, further reinforcing the feeling of abandonment.

Old Peritheia Corfu
The semi-destroyed skeletons of the stone mansions give you the feeling as if you have entered a time capsule. Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

At the same time, as you enter the ruins, you notice the dates of the houses eloquently written on the walls—”1334″ or “1200,” informing visitors that this village was once a glorious center of civilization.

Viewing the semi-dilapidated stone mansions gives you a sense of watching a movie. The old, abandoned homes evoke sadness and nostalgia, and the fact that little is known about the families that lived inside these once beautiful mansions gives you the chance to draw your own conclusions of what life for them might have looked like.

Old Peritheia Corfu
The ruins give you a sense of nostalgia and sadness, as if you are watching a movie. Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

The monasteries and old churches highlight the village’s strong religious character. Eight picturesque churches belonging to various families of the village are preserved. At the entrance of the village stands the remarkable bell tower of St. James of Persia. On the opposite side of the village is its oldest pre-Cristian church, St. Nicholas of Petra.

Old Peritheia Corfu
The monasteries and old churches highlight the village’s strong religious character. Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

Visiting Old Peritheia can also be combined with adventurous hiking opportunities among the numerous beehive farms, abandoned churches, and ruins of the ancient village.

The Corfu Trail, which runs from the northern to the southern part of the island, passes through Old Peritheia.

A few traditional tavernas provide visitors with homemade Corfiot food and a chance to witness a very unique and quiet side of the island. Visitors can enjoy lunch and homemade wine by the old abandoned monasteries.

History of Corfu’s ancient village

Although little is known about the inhabitants and history of the village, it is said to be the oldest village on Corfu, as it was built in pre-Christian years, when the few inhabitants of the time were seeking a safe refuge from the natural disasters that pounded the island. Its population later substantially increased, as it became a safe haven from pirate attacks due to its strategic location. Essentially, you can view the ocean from there, but ships from the ocean cannot view the village.

Old Peritheia Corfu
In 1966, the Ministry of Culture declared the village a ‘historic monument.’ Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

In addition, Old Peritheia was the first seat of the municipality of Kassiopi. During the years of 1866 to 1912, it was the seat of the northern part of the island. The 130 stone mansions of the village possess a unique Venetian architectural style.

Old Peritheia Corfu
Credit: Victor Lazareff/Studio Lazareff

In 1966, the Ministry of Culture declared the village a historic monument.

50 Cent, Argyros Announce Surprise Concert in Athens, Greece

Konstantinos_Argyros_50_Cent
Konstantinos Argyros will perform with 50 Cent, October 29, at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece.

Legendary rapper 50 Cent will be in Athens, Greece to participate in a unique concert with Greek popular singer Konstantinos Argyros. The concert that will take place at the Olympic Stadium in Athens will be the final act of Argyros’ highly successful summer tour.

Argyros, one of the most beloved Greek singers of his generation and 50 Cent, one of the most iconic rappers in the world, will join forces on October 29th in order to offer their Greece-based fans a unique music experience.

The concert will be opened by Josephine, FY, and The Kings. Special guests include Light and Rack.

Both the Greek folk pop singer and the American rapper posted the poster of their upcoming joint concert on their personal Instagram and Twitter accounts.

 

50 Cent appreciates Greece

Curtis James Jackson III, known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American rapper, actor, and businessman. Known for his legendary impact in the hip hop industry, he has been described as a “master of the nuanced art of lyrical brevity.”

50 Cent has sold over thirty million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and four BET Awards.

The rapper has shown his love for Greece multiple times. Earlier in August, the rapper was on Mykonos enjoying some moments of relaxation on the island. He also performed at a well-known nightclub.

50 Cent and Konstantinos Argyros: a blend of Greek folk pop with rap

Konstantinos Argyros is an uber-famous Greek folk pop singer, whose music career in recent years, has skyrocketed. His popular song “Athina Mou” became a global hit. He has released a total of seven studio albums which have sold thousands of copies across Greece.

Will they Perform a Duet?

Performing with 50 Cent will offer Argyros’ audience a unique experience in which Greek folk pop meets rap music, something not yet seen in the Greek music industry. It’s still unknown whether the two will perform an unknown duet, but the certain thing is that their concert will surely offer the audience something new and pave the way for future Greek artists to perform and experiment with international genres.

 

Greek Chess Prodigy Ranked 3rd in the World

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Greek Chess Evangelia Sisko
Evangelia Siskou has taken bronze in the World Individual Championship in Georgia and now ranks 3rd in the world in chess  for the under-10 girls’ division. Credit: AMO Galaxias Thessaloniki/Facebook

Greece is proudly rising in global chessboard as ten-year-old Greek chess champion Evangelia Siskou has won bronze in the World Individual Championship, which concluded on Tuesday in Batumi, Georgia. The Greek chess prodigy now ranks third in the world.

Evangelia Siskou was among the 101 female chess players from thirty-six countries, who participated in the championship in the under-10 girls’ division.

Her victory followed that of fourteen-year-old Nikos Poupalos, who was ranked fourth in the World Individual Championship in Romania just a few hours prior to her taking the bronze.

Greece Chess Evangelia Siskou
Greek chess player Evangelia Siskou made country proud—she won bronze in Georgia. Credit: AMO Galaxias Thessaloniki/Facebook

In an announcement, the Greek Chess Federation in congratulating the athletes said, “The young athlete with her performance, as well as fourteen-year-old Nikos Poupalos, who, a few days ago took fourth place in the individual world championship under 14 in Romania, prove that the future of boys and girls in our sport is optimistic and bright.”

Chess_Evangelia Sisko
Evangelia Siskou was among the 101 female chess players from 36 countries participating in the championship in the under-10 girls’ division. Credit: AMO Galaxias/Thessaloniki

Greek chess champs are doing well internationally

Earlier this year, Greece proudly saw another win when 21-year-old Greek chess master Evgenios Ioannidis won the Masters event at “Serbia OPEN 2022” at the International Open Chess Championship, which was held in Novi Sad between June 28th to July 6th.

According to Chessdom magazine, the tournament attracted more than four hundred entries from forty-one countries with a sensational display by the young Greek who won the Masters event in a field of thirty-nine grandmasters and sixty-eight international masters. The Greek player scored an outstanding 8/9 points with performance of 2858 and clinched the winning prize of 7,500 euros, grandmaster norm, and 40.8 rating points.

Furthermore, in August, Greece’s chess prodigy, Nikolas Theodorou, won the silver medal in the chess Olympiad that took place in India. Twenty-two-year-old Theodorou, who holds the title of Grand Master, came second in the Board 2 Open Section behind Nihal Sarin of India.

Albanian Residents Leaving Greece for Wealthier Countries

Albanian immigrants with valid residence permit constitute more than 61 percent of foreigners in Greece. Credit: Ministry for Migration and Asylum

Many legal Albanian citizens with a valid residence permit are leaving Greece for wealthier countries, according to data released in August by the Hellenic Ministry for Migration and Asylum.

According to the data issued by the Ministry in August 2021, 422,954 immigrants from Albania had a valid residence permit. This constituted 63.07 percent of legal resident foreigners in Greece. However, the data suggests that, in 2022, there are 291,868 Albanian citizens with a valid residence permit in Greece.

The decrease in the number of Albanian immigrants in Greece is related not only to the stricter procedures for issuing residence permits and obtaining Greek citizenship but also to a dynamic movement of Albanian workers and their families to other European countries with better conditions and prospects.

They choose other European countries

A large number of Albanians who lived in Greece have emigrated to Northern Europe and Great Britain after facing difficulties in Greece in terms of employment and rising prices.

The 2022 number issued by the Ministry includes the 13,329 Albanian citizens who are identified by the special designation “homogeneous” on their ID cards. This officially identifies them as individuals of Greek minority from Albania.

In total, there could potentially be more than half a million Albanian-born individuals in Greece who along with their children have been granted Greek citizenship over the years.

Italy and Greece still host the largest number of Albanians living abroad, with the number increasing in Italy while it decreases in Greece due to economic hardship.

Albanian immigrants integrate better in Greece than other foreigners

Albanians have a long history of Hellenization, assimilation, and integration in Greece. Despite social and political problems experienced by the wave of immigration in the 1980s and 1990s, Albanians have integrated better in Greece than have other foreigners.

A portion of Albanian newcomers change their Albanian name to Greek while others also convert to Orthodoxy. Even before emigration, some individuals from southern Albania adopted a Greek identity, including name changes, adherence to the Orthodox faith, and other assimilation tactics in order to avoid prejudice. In this way, they hoped to get valid visas and eventual naturalization in Greece.