Tension in Albania prompts official complaint

Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned lingering tension in Permet, a town in southeastern Albania, where local officials have reportedly clashed with members of the Greek Orthodox community while lodging a demarche with the Albanian authorities.

Scuffles broke out Friday as private security staff were allegedly sent by the local municipality to seize the Church of the Virgin Mary. Local officials claim the building that hosts the church is property of the municipality.

Priests reportedly clashed with security men as the latter removed precious items from the temple. An image shows the church bell lying on the ground.

The Orthodox Church says the building had been confiscated by the communist regime in 1968 and used as a cultural center.