Thousands of people marched through central Athens on February 23 in a protest over alleged persecution of ethnic Greeks in Albania.
GV ZOOM TO SV Crowds outside Athens University showing young girl chained to a cross in protest (2 shots)
GV & CUs Crowds with banners protesting the treatment of Greek Orthodox in Albania (3 shots)
GV PAN & SCU Demonstrators listening to speaker (GREEK SOT) (3 shots)
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Background: Thousands of people marched through central Athens on February 23 in a protest over alleged persecution of ethnic Greeks in Albania. About six thousand demonstrators gathered outside Athens university. They shouted slogans calling Albanian leader Enver Hoxha a murderer and demanded the resignation of Greek Public Order Minister Yannis Skoularikis over the forcible removal of two Greek-Albanian hunger strikers from in front of the Albanian Embassy on February 19. The protestors, including many Greek Orthodox clergymen, heard speeches alleging that 25,000 members of the 400,000 strong ethnic Greek minority in Albania were being held as political prisoners. The demonstration culminated in a rally outside the Albanian Embassy, where protestors sang hymns and chanted. Police said youths smashed the windows of a car belonging to State television, but reported no other incidents. Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou has told Albania that he will not tolerate any discrimination against ethnic Greeks. Greek government spokesman Dimitrios Maroudas said his country wants a dialogue with Albania on the issue of Greek ethnics, as well as discussions on trade relations and the ending of the state of war that has officially existed between the two countries since 1940.