The President of the Republic, Ilir Meta, during his official visit to Calabria, visited the Commune of Lungros, Italy, where he was welcomed by the Bishopric Donato Oliverio and the local authorities of Apreformosis. The local authorities and representatives of the Arbëresh community organized a grand reception with celebrations, songs and dancers dressed in traditional Arbëresh costumes.During his meeting with the religious leaders of Eparia of Ungaria, President Meta welcomed their proposal for the establishment of a Council that will work to preserve Arbëresh’s customs, features and rites, promising personal and institutional support, especially in this Nationwide Year of Our National Hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg.
“The Arbëresh are a precious asset, even international, because they preserved intact Arbër’s customs,, traditions, culture and language. Without Arbëresh there would be no Albanian National Renaissance, neither Albania, nor Kosovo would exist to this day, “the President of the Republic said.Later, the Head of State attended the holy commemorative Mass held at the Lungros Cathedral in honor and memory of our National Hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu. “Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg not only united Albanians, but was the pride of the entire Europe. He inspired Albanians during the National Renaissance to achieve the Declaration of Independence in 1912. With the example of his spirit, Albanians felt even more Europeans, “said President Meta.
During this celebration, the President of the Republic awarded the order”Knight of the Order of Skanderbeg” to Monsignor Donato Oliverio with the motivation: “With deep gratitude for the precious and great contribution in support of the Arbëresh community in Italy. For His Continuous Efforts in Preservation and Follow-up of Rituals and Church Traditions in Arbëresh Language “.