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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Hospitable Neighbor

In response to "Albania's Ethnic Tension," Aug. 13.

I was astonished at the factual inaccuracies, not to mention errors of judgment, of Dr. Fuzeau's article on Albania, in which he expands on Greek-Albanian relations in a biased, distorted and negative spirit.

I will not enter into discussing his allegations, but I would like to point out two blatant inaccuracies concerning facts: First, regarding the kidnapping of the father of a candidate of Greek origin in the recent elections, said candidate never retired from the campaign, and the kidnappings were not unusual during this period. Second, there was never an incident of the Greek ambassador in Tirana being "held back when he sought to fly to Athens." The ambassador remained in Albania during the whole crisis, and he often traveled to various Albanian cities, wherever his duties took him. Moreover, Foreign Minister Pangalos and Deputy Foreign Minister Kranidiotis paid a number of visits to this country during the crisis.

Greek-Albanian relations are excellent and continue their upward trend. Only last year Foreign Minister Pangalos and six other ministers paid a very successful visit to Albania with a view to contributing to its reconstruction and agreed on five protocols of cooperation in various fields. We should not forget that Greece was the third country in terms of numbers to participate in the Multinational Protection Force; nor should we forget the 300,000 Albanians working peacefully and profitably in Greece, which receives them in a most hospitable way.

Greece's role as a stabilizing factor in the Balkans in recent years is recognized internationally and especially by the Balkan countries themselves.

Dimitrios Moustaklis

Press counselor, Greek Embassy

'American' Womack

In response to "Finnish Border Crossing Into Another Planet," Aug. 1.

I find that Ms. Womack uses a rather boring style of appealing to expatriate humor, about how life is bad in Russia, how dumb the border guards are, and all in all what a rather nasty country we find ourselves in.

Not wishing to be as personal as Ms. Womack, may I simply ask why she remains here if she finds it all rather intolerable? Also, perhaps Ms. Womack could have shown a little more of her American concern and generosity by not exploiting "poor old Valentina" by paying only 50,000 rubles, but by paying her a little extra. No doubt so-called New Russians in Finland are not such good ambassadors for their homeland, similar to the Finns in Russia and Ms. Womack in Moscow.

I am a British citizen and have been in Moscow for five years and thus feel fairly well qualified to comment that the down side of life in any major city or country is normally outweighed by the people, the culture, the religion and the people's friendliness. No doubt life for the normal expatriate in Moscow is not what it was five years ago, and, with this loss of status, it seems the only answer is to continuously act in a superior manner through such articles.


Note to our readers: Helen Womack is British.