The issue of Fredi Beleri is not bilateral, it is European, Gerapetritis says

The issue of Fredi Beleri is not bilateral, it is European, Minister of Foreign Affairs George Gerapetritis said on Wednesday in an interview with Skai radio.

“It is not bilateral. The question of whether or not a candidate country seeking to join the European Union observes the principles of the Rule of Law and respects the political rights of its citizens is not bilateral. It is a European issue and this is how we should perceive it and this is how we highlight it in all fora,” the foreign minister said. “The fact that, almost a year after the local elections, the defeated mayor of Himare remained at his post with full authority was “an insult to all concepts of European rule of law,” Gerapetritis added.

More specifically, referring to the case in question, the minister noted:

“On May 14, 2023, the municipal elections were held in Himare. Two days before the elections, Fredi Beleri was arrested and remains in temporary custody to this day, having already been convicted at first instance for alleged bribery.

“On that day, the outgoing mayor, who was also Beleris’ opponent, was Goro. On May 15, Goro should have left his post, having lost the elections, and Beleri should have taken over, or possibly a replacement if he could not perform his duties. Instead, contrary to the provisions of Albanian law and contrary to any concept of the rule of law, Goro, the defeated mayor, remains in this post.”

“In other words, one year later, the defeated mayor remains in his position, with full authority, fully exercising his duties, making contracts, setting project terms and, as can be seen from his temporary imprisonment, is also under suspicion of corruption.”

“This is another link in the chain of the violation of the rule of law that we have, a violation of all concepts of European jurisprudence.”

Regarding the accident in Tempi, he said:

“Not only was there absolutely no cover-up in the Tempi accident, but there was an unprecedented effort on the part of the government to reveal all the aspects from all the agencies and organizations involved,” Gerapetritis underlined.
“I will say it unequivocally: there is absolutely no cover-up of Kostas Karamanlis and there is absolutely no cover-up of what happened,” he added.

Referring to the trial for the Tempi accident, Gerapetritis noted that “we have a very fast trial for the standards of Greek justice” and recalled that it was the government itself, which requested the absolute prioritization of the case.