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Old 02-13-2018, 08:55 AM   #24
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Estimates of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania range from two to seven percent of the total population, but the generally accepted view is that today there are approximately between 45-50,000 ethnic Greeks in Albania, roughly 2 percent of the total Albanian population. According to the 1961 census, the number of Greek speakers was 40,000, and by 1981 the figure had risen to 58,758, a rise in proportion to the general increase in Albania’s population. Most Greek sources, however, claim a Greek minority figure of 250–300,000. Yet this could only be realistically achieved if we include Orthodox Albanians as well as the Vlach community, who are also Orthodox by faith.

In Albania it is generally believed that many of those who are considered part of the minority are in fact Albanians, who just happen to speak Greek due to their having worked in Greece or to their proximity to the minority, or that they are really Vlachs in origin and have been classified as minority persons due to their Christian Orthodox religion. Confusingly, Vlachs often claim to be Greek to get Greek passports and visas, and there has also been a high rate of ‘conversions’ of Muslim Albanians to Orthodoxy as a result of economic pressures. Given the urge by many to escape Albania at all costs, it would certainly be tempting to claim Greek consciousness.
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