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Gerapetritis: The Freddy Beleris issue is not bilateral, it is European

Featured Gerapetritis: The Freddy Beleris issue is not bilateral, it is European

The issue of Freddy Beleris is not bilateral, it is European, underlined the Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Gerapetritis, speaking, this morning, on Aris Portosalte's show on SKAI 100.3 radio.

"It is not bilateral. The question of whether or not a candidate country for joining the European Union observes the principles of the Rule of Law and respects the political rights of its citizens is not bilateral. It is a European issue and this is how we should perceive it and this is how we highlight it in all fora" said the foreign minister characteristically and noted that the fact that almost a year after the elections the defeated mayor in Himarra is in his position with full authority is "an insult to every concept of European rule of law".

Specifically, referring to the case in question, the minister noted:

"On May 14, 2023, the municipal elections will be held in Heimarra. Two days before the elections Freddy Beleris was arrested and remains in temporary detention until today, today having already been convicted at first instance for alleged bribery.

"On the same day, the elected mayor, who was also Mr. Beleris's opponent, was Mr. Goro. On May 15, Mr. Goro should leave his position, having lost the elections, and take over, under the conditions he would assume, Mr. Freddy Beleris, possibly replacing him if he could not perform his duties. Instead, contrary to the provisions of Albanian law and contrary to any concept of the rule of law, Mr. Goro, the defeated mayor remains after May 14 and the elections and remains to this day.

"That is, one year later, the defeated mayor is in his position, with full authority, fully exercising his duties, making contracts, creating project conditions and, as can be seen from his temporary detention, also with suspicions of corruption.

"This is another link in the chain for the affront to the rule of law that we have, an affront to every concept of European rule of law."