The “Megali-Idea” and its Reflections in the Albanian-Greek Relations Cover Image
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The “Megali-Idea” and its Reflections in the Albanian-Greek Relations

Author(s): Pëllumb Xhufi
Subject(s): History
Published by: Qendra e Studimeve Albanologjike
Keywords: Megali-Idea; Reflections ; Albanian-Greek Relations; Albania; Albanian History;

Summary/Abstract: Up to the midst of the XX-th century, if we make exception of some short interruption as that of the government Pangallos (1925-1926), the policy of the Greek state towards Albania has been an authentic expression of the concept of “Megali-Idea”.In the year 1840 the Greek prime minister Colettis, defined Epirus as one of the main directions of the enlargement of the Greek state, just to realize the political programme of Megali Idea. The weakening of the Ottoman Empire on one side, and the unconditioned support which enjoyed Greece by the European chancelleries offered the possibility to realize such an aim. Such a support, reinforced even by the philohellenic sentiments which nourished European statesmen towards the homeland of Pericles, was clearly expressed on the occasion of the Congress of Berlin, in 1878. In fact, it was the well-known philohellenic, the prime minister of France, Waddington, who compiled and set forth for discussion the Protocol 13 which concerned exactly the annexion of Epirus by Greece. In the Congress of Berlin Greece was not invited to take part. But to lobby for the Greek cause went to Berlin distinguished emissaries, where didn’t lack representatives of the Greek patriarchate of Istanbul and adventurers as the false archaeologist Karapanos, who could establish confidential relations with personalities as Waddington and Gambetta, thanks to its fame as discoverer of the ancient Dodona. Apart from the small result achieved in the Congress of Berlin, Athens engaged to create on the terrain the conditions for the union of the territories of Epirus with Greece. To this end it exploited the dense network of the Greek consulates opened in the cities of Epirus, the Greek clergy appointed by the Patriarchate, but proposed by Athens, and the Greek schools, by means of which strove to shape, mould the “Greek” character of the Albanian Orthodox population. In this context, Athens paid a great attention to the creation and activation of the armed bands which provoked and terrorized the Albanian population of Epirus. Greece could realize the occupation of a great part of Epirus, including Çamëri, during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913). From that moment, ignoring even the decisions of the Conference of Ambassadors of London, Athens proclaimed as its turn objective the annexation of the so-called “Vorio-Epirus” (North Epirus). In the Peace Conference of Paris, after the I World War, Greece attempted unsuccessfully to convince the Powers about the “Greek sentiments” of the Christian population of “Vorio-Epirus”, in the impossibility to prove their Greek ethny. It is an attempt repeated even later on, in 1946, in the same Paris, after the II World War.[...]

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 01-02
  • Page Range: 019-062
  • Page Count: 44
  • Language: Albanian