Albanian Greeks seek official language

Aug. 19, 2008 at 9:53 AM

TIRANA, Albania, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A Greek minority group in Albania has petitioned the government to declare Greek a second official language in the country, local reports said.

The group called Omonia sent the request to Prime Minister Sali Berisha in Tirana, noting that neighboring Macedonia had already declared Albanian its second official language, Macedonian Radio & TV reported Tuesday.

Albania's Koha Jone newspaper said the group contends such a move would show Albania is respecting various minority rights conventions it has signed.

While there has been no official response from the Albanian government, the newspaper quoted an anonymous source as saying the population numbers don't make it feasible. The official noted 40 percent of Macedonians speak Albanian, while in Albania, only 4 percent of the population speak Greek.

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