NEWS

Figures on Albanian children in Greece?

Some 1,500 «unaccompanied children» from Albania have been taken to Greece over the past 14 years, a report said yesterday, adding that Albania’s government denied the minors had fallen victim to people-smuggling gangs. An Athens News Agency report from Albania said the figures were made public at an open meeting in Tirana organized by the Albanian Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, the European Council and the Balkan Stability Pact. It said that 1,500 unaccompanied minors had gone to Greece since 1990, and a further 4,000 to Italy. The report quoted Labor and Social Affairs Minister Engjell Bejtja as saying, «These are unprotected children… and not victims of people smugglers.» It quoted him as adding that there is a problem with children-smuggling gangs, against which Tirana is taking action.