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OMONIA’s Census: Greek minority constitutes 10% of population in Albania

OMONIA’s Census: Greek minority constitutes 10% of population in Albania
Tirana December 11, 2013 / Balkan Independent News Agency

Greek minority in Albania claims that it has carried out a census, where it resulted to constitute around 10% of the population. This figure follows the general census of the Albanian authorities and where the Greek minority constituted only 1% of the population.

Following the decision of the General Committee of OMONIA for the members of the Ethnic Greek Minority not to be involved in the October 2011 Census due to the numerous political, legal and practical problems, this body decided to register its members wherever they are.

“The general results that came out of this process reflect the numerical size and at the same time the geographical dispersion of the Greek Ethnic Minority”, says an OMONIA official.

All the figures

From the details secured today by balkaneu.com, it results that 286.852 individual questionnaires were filled, out of which 30% or 86.000 in an electronic way.

The distribution, the care shown while filling them and the gathering of questionnaires was carried out in a voluntary way from OMONIA’s branches which operate in all the districts of the country, minimizing the cost of carrying out this process.

Specialists say that 85% of the members of the Greek Ethnic Minority have participated in this process.

From the initial processing of the data, it results that 50% of the members of the Greek Ethnic Community permanently reside in Greece, but in the meantime, they maintain good contacts with their place of birth, because over 70% of them visit their country of origin more than three times a year.

85.841 individual questionnaires were filled in the branches of OMONIA in Vlora,, in Argirocastro’s branch 51.067, in Korca 33.561 and in the rest of the territory with Tirana as a referring point, 32.298.

Meanwhile, the rest of the questionnaires were gathered in Greece, different European countries, USA, etc. The old Diaspora was certainly involved in this process.

As far as another crucial element is concerned in the identification of the Greek Ethnic Minority, that of the religion, 90% of the respondents or 259.000 respondents belong to the Orthodox faith.

In the process for the declaration of the mother tongue, 65% or 186.454 respondents declared that Greek was their mother tongue and the rest is dominated by Vlach, with knowledge both in Greek and Albania.

The process also shed light upon a demographic data which relates to the places inhabited by Greek population, 60% live in rural areas and 40% in different towns and cities of the Republic of Albania.

OMONIA says that the results of the Registration of the Members of the Greek Ethnic Minority in Albania, carried out by this organization, “will act as a guideline for its internal activity and its positioning”.

Greek minority based on the 2011 Census

The last registration of the population and inhabitations in Albania was carried out in 2011. Albanian state has reported that Albanians of a Greek nationality constituted 0.9% of the population or 24.242 people.

Meanwhile, in the previous census in 1989, Greek minority consisted on 58.758 people or 1.8% of the population. This figure was extracted by the nationality registered in the Civil Registrar.

Minorities in Albania

Albania granted recognition to the Greek population as its own citizens through a declaration before the League of Nations in 1921, where the equality of Albanian nationals was recognized in the eyes of the law, regardless of the place of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.

Article 3 of the Declaration signed by Fan Noli says that “the people that have lived in Albania since before the war, along with their wives and their children under 18 years of age, must become Albanian citizens within two years from the date of this declaration should they request such thing”.

Self declaration in the 2011 Census

Based on the principle of the immutability of nationality, data have been collected on different minorities on the previous censuses carried out in Albania. In all of these cases, the data of the national civil registrar have been used to compile statistics over nationality.

Contrary to this principle, in the General Census of the Population and Inhabitations of 2011, Albanians were asked about their “ethnic and cultural affiliation” and were allowed to declare it at their own discretion, regardless of their status in the Civil Registrar.

This way, Albania didn’t comply with the obligations that emanated from the Declaration before the League of Nations in 1921. But the information collected by the 2011 has no legal effects.

In 2011, ethnic and national minorities consisted on 52,700 people or 1.9% of the population. /ibna/

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