Nationalistic sentiments take over Katsifas’ funeral service

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 9, 2018 10:25

Nationalistic sentiments take over Katsifas’ funeral service

Story Highlights

  • No matter the draconian measures to maintain a civil and calm funeral, nationalistic sentiments and tones did take over the service, as reported by local media.

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TIRANA, Nov. 8 – Albanian police took drastic measures on Thursday at the Kakavije border point between Greece and Albania, as thousands of Greeks were expected to cross in order to attend the funeral of Konstantinos Katsifas, who died on Oct. 28, during a shootout with Albanian police.

Local media reported throughout Thursday morning that 670 foreign citizens had entered the Kakavije border point, all of whom were thoroughly checked by the police.

Additional sources reported at least ten people were kept from entering Albania, although it is highly probable a much bigger number was detained, as at least one right-wing Golden Dawn Party van filled with supporters was warned by the Greek side to be arriving.

Among the Greeks prohibited from entering were also those allegedly wearing shirts bearing nationalistic signs and anti-Albanian quotes mentioning Northern Epirus.

On the Albanian side, police forces from Tirana even arrived to Bularat, where Kotsifas was killed and buried, while the Gjirokastra police was placed in the periphery of Bularat, to make sure no incidents occur during the funeral, which took place at around 1pm.

On its side, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on all Greek citizens who decided to attend Katsifas’ funeral to demonstrate self-control and respect over Katsifas’ family and the funeral service , according to Greek media.

Katsifas was dressed in military uniform and close to 2000 people attended it.

No matter the draconian measures to maintain a civil and calm funeral, nationalistic sentiments and tones did take over the service, as reported by local media.

According to local broadcaster Top-Channel, the service  was accompanied by numerous Greek flags as well as nationalistic symbols which not only went against Albania, but also Macedonia.

After the religious service , the crowd allegedly accompanied Katsifas’ coffin by singing nationalistic chants and unfolding a flag where “Northern-Epirus” was written, as “Albanians leave, this is Greece” was heard being sang in the background.

After the entire funeral ended, the crowd of Greek citizens was reported by Top-Channel correspondent to have also gone to the Gjirokaster-Kakavije main road holding the unfolded Greek flag, creating traffic and blocking the way of vehicles passing there.

Konstantinos Katsifas, who was killed during a shootout with officers of the Renea Special Force on Sunday, as Bularat was commemorating the fallen Greek soldiers during the Greek-Italian war, caused a storm of nationalistic and radical statements that overtook the public discussion.

Katsifas was reported by Albanian media and police forces to have shot on the RENEA effectives who were gathered in Bularat to make sure nothing happened during the commemoration service, while the Albanian police said normal procedure was followed during the entire event.

Greek media, however, reported RENEA effectives lowered a Greek flag the minority member has placed to commemorate the fallen from the war and that caused him to shot at them and, in turn, be killed.

Throughout the week, protests overtook major Greek cities Athens and Thessaloniki, as many Greeks saw a hero in the face of Katsifas and called for investigations to go to the end of what happened.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 9, 2018 10:25