16 January, 2006
Greek-Albanian relations and Athens' support towards the neighboring country dominated an event on Sunday in the northwest city of Ioannina, where five school buses were handed over to a same number of regions in Albania that host sizeable ethnic Greek communities.
Speaking during a brief handover ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis noted that Greece's total aid to Albania reaches the 184-million-euro mark, while up to 40 schools are being constructed or repaired at the present time via Greek funding.
Among others, a major school complex is being planned for the Himara region, similar to a facility opened recently in the town of Korce.
"The Greek government is systematically working to promote a series of projects in Albania. Our goal is to support the European orientation and the inclusion of all the western Balkan countries into the European family," Stylianidis concluded.
Greek officials added that a tender will be awarded within the year for construction of a cross-border highway connecting the Sayiades region of Thesprotia prefecture, in extreme northwest mainland Greece, with the southwestern Albanian towns of Konispol and Sarande.
Source: Athens News Agency