Greece, Israel Hit by Exodus From Albania
Surprised Greek officials struggled to put up hundreds of newly arrived Albanian refugees in makeshift shelters today, and Albanian Jews were arriving in Israel under relaxed travel restrictions.
Hundreds more Albanians trekked across frozen mountains and rivers today in the biggest exodus from their country since its Communist government promised reforms last summer.
Military sources in the northwestern Greek border town of Filiates said today that 632 Albanians, most of them ethnic Greeks, had crossed the frontier since daybreak.
On Sunday, at least 500 Albanians arrived in northern Greece seeking political asylum. In addition, 37 Jews flew to Rome from the Albanian capital of Tirana en route to Israel.
So far this month, more than 1,600 people from the tiny Balkan nation of 3.3 million have fled into Greece across the once tightly sealed 100-mile frontier.