Greek ministries call for restraint, respect at Katsifas funeral


The Foreign and Civil Protection Ministries have appealed on Greeks planning to attend the funeral of an ethnic Greek who was shot dead by Albanian police last week to show restraint and respect towards his family, according to sources from the two ministries, cited by state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

The funeral of Konstantinos Katsifas will take place on Thursday in the village of Bularat in southern Albania, after authorities handed his body over to his family on Wednesday.

Greek police has tightened security near border crossings for cars and busses heading into Albania since Wednesday night, with similar actions taken by Albanian authorities on the other side of the border.

Members of the ethnic Greek community in Albania are concerned that extremists will try to hijack the funeral to promote irredentist claims that could further strain relations between Athens and Tirana.

Attempting to ease tensions, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania called on all sides to tone down “irresponsible noise,” and show respect for the other side.