A demonstration was held in Athens yesterday (Tuesday) calling for the return to Greece of the Epirus region in Southern Albania.
University; demonstrators with flags; girls hold wreaths; demonstrators marching, throw leaflets, lay wreath.
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Background: A demonstration was held in Athens yesterday (Tuesday) calling for the return to Greece of the Epirus region in Southern Albania.
The demonstration co-incided with the 56th anniversary of the proclamation of autonomy for Northern Epirus - (Southern Albania.)
Headed by the leader of the Liberation Movement of Northern Epirus, Mgr. Serafim, Metropolitan of Jannina, the marchers included a number of Athens University professors, other Greek intellectuals and young girls in traditional Epiotic costumes. They marched from Athens University to the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and laid a wreath. The demonstrators distributed pamphlets describing as "inhuman" the living conditions of the Greek population in Northern Epirus under the Government of Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the Albanian Central Committee.
The pamphlets also called for the support of all Greeks in the struggle for the 'liberation' of the Northern Epirus region.
The demonstration on Tuesday was held amid efforts by the Greek Government to improve relations with its communist-led neighbours. Greece and Albania recently signed a commercial agreement.
Northern Epirus became part of Albania in 1914 after an agreement between the Great Powers of that time. The Liberation Movement claims that the predominantly Greek-speaking population of the region would prefer to come under the jurisdiction of Greece.