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Albania History

Albania - national flagAlbania - national flag

The red flag with the black double thorn was adopted in 1913 after Albania's liberation from the Ottoman Empire. During the Italian occupation of 1939, it was officially abolished, but was used by the resistance movement. 1945-92 there was a red gold-edged star above the eagle, a symbol of communism. The double thorn goes as a symbol far back in time. The national hero Skanderbeg, who until his death in 1468 fought against the Ottomans, used a seal with a double eagle - the symbol of the Eastern Roman Empire - and a star over the eagle's two heads.

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Albania - history

Albania is one of Europe's youngest states, established in 1913, and populated by Albanians, who are one of Europe's oldest peoples.

Prehistory

The earliest finds are from the moustéri culture for approximately 40,000 years ago. Agriculture can be detected from approximately 6000 BC, and rich settlement finds - with the Balkans' oldest pile buildings at Dunavec and Maliq in central Albania - known from the following centuries. Manufacture of copper was introduced early, approximately 4000 BC, when local deposits were exploited. In the late Bronze Age and in the Iron Age, many fortifications were built. From these periods, burial mounds as well as petroglyphs and rock paintings are known. Trade, especially with Greece, culminated in the establishment of Greek colonies.

Albania History

The history of 1945

The Albanians, whose name may be derived from Albanian, the name of an Illyrian tribe north of Tirana in the 100th century, are descendants of Indo-European tribes, possibly Illyrians. They came to the Balkans around the same time as the Greeks around the year 1000 BC, but the name albanoi first appears in the sources in the 1000's. In the latter part of the Middle Ages, a number of Albanians also seem to have lived in the adjacent areas in addition to present-day Albania. Around the year 1100, the Byzantine Empire and the Normans in southern Italy fought for the area, but in the 1200's. it became part of the Greek despot Epirus. I 1300-t. it came under the rule of the Serbian Tsar Stefan 4. Uroš Dušan. Albanian forces took part on the Serbian side in the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389, in which the Ottomans destroyed the Serbian empire. A form of Albanian state formation did not emerge until the 1400's. in the battles against the Ottomans, where the Albanians under the leadership of Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti) long held out against the attackers. Skanderbeg died in 1468, but his capital Kruja just north of Tirana did not fall until 1478. In 1501, the Ottomans conquered the last Albanian city, the coastal city of Durrës, and a significant group of Albanians emigrated to southern Italy on that occasion. It was the beginning of a period of over 400 years of Ottoman dominance.

The Ottoman period

Under the Ottomans, the majority of Albanians converted to Islam. Albanian troops provided assistance to the Ottomans in suppressing uprisings in Greece in the 1700's and 1800's. and was known for bravery and cruelty. Many Albanians held high positions in the Ottoman administration and army, and the Albanians remained loyal to the Ottoman Empire for a long time, perceiving Ottoman rule as a lesser evil than the Christian neighbors. approximately In 1800, partly independent Albanian principalities were established in northern Albania and in present-day northern Greece, but by 1830, the sultan's control of the detached territories had been re-established - except for the mountain areas in the interior of the country, which were effectively independent under local chiefs.

An actual Albanian national movement only manifested itself at the peace conference in Berlin after the Balkan War of 1877-78, which ended with the Albanian territory remaining under Ottoman rule. At the same time, the Albanians worked for the creation of an autonomous Albanian territory with its own administrative and school language, which was to include present-day Albania, Kosovo (Kosovo), most of Macedonia and the Janina region (in northern Greece). But in 1881, Ottoman troops captured Prizren, and the national movement was banned. The work of spreading Albanian as a school language continued in the following years, but was fought by the Ottomans with often violent means. The struggle intensified after the Young Turkish coup in 1908. In the same year, an Albanian conference was held in Bitola, Macedonia, adopting political and cultural unity for all and the use of the Latin alphabet instead of Arabic. In 1910, an open revolt against the Ottomans broke out in Kosovo; it was initially defeated, but in 1912 the Albanians revolted again and occupied Skopje. This also set the Christian peoples in the Balkans in motion, and in the Second Balkan War of 1912-13, the Ottomans were almost driven out of the Balkans. On the Austro-Hungarian initiative, "

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During the two world wars

During World War I, the country was occupied by several of the warring parties, and in 1915, a secret agreement was reached in London to divide Albania, giving Italy control of most of the country. But the Albanians protested, and after the war, with American support, they succeeded in recognizing an independent republic within the borders of 1913.

In the following years, Yugoslavia and Italy fought for influence in the country. In 1925, the exiled politician Ahmed Zogu was installed as president with Yugoslav support, but his agreement with Italy in 1926 opened the door to Italian infiltration and was followed up in 1927 by an Italian-Albanian military alliance. To limit Italy's influence, the president made himself king in 1928 under the name Zogu I, which, however, did not hinder Albania's development into an Italian sound state. This was completed in 1939 by the country's incorporation into Italy.

Albania was to serve as a starting point for an Italian attempt to conquer Greece in 1940, but the Greeks went on the counterattack and conquered part of the country. Germany then intervened and in 1941 destroyed the Greek army. From 1942, Italian rule in the country was threatened by a nationalist and a communist resistance movement. The last to cooperate with Tito's Yugoslav partisans was led by Enver Hoxha, who later became the leader of the liberation government.

History after 1945

The post-war period

In the elections to the National Assembly in December 1945, Hoxha's National Democratic Front won a clear victory, and in 1946 the Albanian People's Republic, a communist one-party state with Hoxha as prime minister, was proclaimed. Until his death in 1985, he became the autocratic leader of the new Albania.

Albania entered into close economic cooperation with Yugoslavia after World War II, but after Yugoslavia's break with the Soviet Union and KOMINFORM in 1948, close ties were established with the Soviet Union. The relationship with the neighbor became tense. The country was transformed into a Stalinist-inspired, planned economy state with forced nationalization of the private sector and a collectivization of agriculture that was not completed until 19 years later. From 1949 the country was a member of COMECON, and in 1955 it became a member of both the UN and the Warsaw Pact. The latter left Albania in 1968 as a protest against the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia. In the conflict between the Soviet Union and China, which began in 1960, Albania sided with China, triggering strong Soviet criticism, culminating in a breach of diplomatic relations in 1961. when Albania left COMECON. Thereafter, Albania was isolated in Europe, and the only partners other than China were North Korea, North Vietnam and Cuba. China was broken up in 1977-78 after Mao Zedong's death and after his widow was overthrown (1976).

In the period that followed until 1986, the country found itself in a self-imposed isolation. The population was kept in tight reins; thus, religion, private car driving and tourist travel abroad were banned, but the Stalinist planned economy failed to change the country's status as Europe's poorest state.

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After Hoxha's death in 1985, his widow tried to play a political role, but was outmaneuvered by the new party leader, Ramiz Alia. Recognizing the need for decentralization, in 1987 he embarked on a moderate course of reform with a relaxation of planned economic policies. In connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a democratization of political life began, and the government launched reforms to transform the country into a market economy state. In addition, freedom of movement and religion. In 1991, the first multi-party parliamentary elections were held, with the Communist Party winning in rural areas but the opposition in major cities. That same year, the Communist Party changed its name to Albania's Socialist Party, and President Alia resigned as party leader. Subsequently, the first government was formed with the participation of several parties. Following the rise of the opposition in the 1992 parliamentary elections, Alia had to resign and opposition politician Sali Berisha took over the presidency.

From 1992 to 2005, Albania was marked by strong opposition between political forces, which had their roots in the Hoxhat era, but to varying degrees distanced themselves from it, especially Sali Berisha (President 1992-97), leader of the Democratic Party, and leader of the Socialist Party 1991. -2005, Fatos Nano, Prime Minister under Ramiz Alia, who in 1993 was deprived of his parliamentary immunity and in 1994 was sentenced to prison for abuse of office and violation of civil rights. The new regime embarked on a strongly westward course, which in 1992 manifested itself in Berisha's request that Albania be allowed to join NATO. In 1994, he unsuccessfully tried to implement a constitutional reform that would have significantly strengthened the powers of the presidency. In a change of government the same year, a younger generation of politicians was drawn in, and succeeded in having the foreign debt of the Albanian state written down by approximately 60%. But the crisis intensified, and the government's legal action against its political opponents intensified. In 1996, the parliamentary majority passed an election law favoring the ruling party, and in the 1996 parliamentary elections, the opposition led by the Socialist Party withdrew its candidates in protest of widespread electoral fraud. But Berisha declared himself the winner and rejected recommendations for re-election from the OSCE and the European Parliament. and in the 1996 parliamentary elections, the opposition led by the Socialist Party withdrew its candidates in protest of widespread electoral fraud. But Berisha declared himself the winner and rejected recommendations for re-election from the OSCE and the European Parliament. and in the 1996 parliamentary elections, the opposition led by the Socialist Party withdrew its candidates in protest of widespread electoral fraud. But Berisha declared himself the winner and rejected recommendations for re-election from the OSCE and the European Parliament.

Presidents
Period President
1925-39 Ahmed Zogu, from 1928 King (Zogu I)
1939-43 (country occupied by Italy)
1946-48 Enver Hoxha
1948-53 Omer Nishani
1953-82 Haxhi Lleshi
1982-92 Ramiz Alia
1992-97 Sali Berisha
1997-2002 Rexhep Meidani
2002-07 Alfred Moisiu
2007-12 Bamir Topi
2012- Bujar Nishani

The situation exploded in early 1997, triggered by popular outrage not only over Berisha's increasingly dictatorial leadership, but also over the so-called pyramid schemes, where large sections of the population were encouraged to save, but ended up being deceived by their money as originated from the privatization of the housing stock. A popular uprising originating in southern Albania developed into a regular civil war. Its arms dumps was robbed, wherein more than 1/2mio. weapons came into circulation in the Balkans. The opposition called on the OSCE to intervene, and in March Albania sent a request for military aid after the government lost control of large parts of southern Albania. In April, a temporary international protection force was deployed under a UN mandate with Danish participation. In June 1997, new parliamentary elections were held, which gave a major victory to the Socialist Party and its allies. A simultaneous referendum rejected by a large majority the reintroduction of monarchy. Socialist Rexhep Mejdani was elected president and veteran Fatos Nano prime minister. Berisha did not acknowledge the result; he called for new elections and continued opposition to the new government under Fatos Nano.

In September 1998, the continued unsolved assassination of the Democratic Vice President triggered unrest in Tirana, which led to Fatos Nano's resignation as Prime Minister. The General Secretary of the Socialist Party, Pandeli Majko (b. 1967), took over shortly after the post, and in November 1998 the constitutional dispute was resolved when Albania's first democratic constitution was ratified with 93.5% of the votes cast, reflecting only a turnout of 50.6 %. During the military conflict between NATO and Yugoslavia on Kosovo erupted in March 1999, NATO troops located in Albania, and was granted international humanitarian aid to up to one 1/2mio. ethnic Albanians fleeing across the border from Kosovo near Kukës. In domestic politics, strife within the Socialist Party led to Pandeli Majko being replaced in October 1999 by Ilir Meta (b. 1969) as Prime Minister, while Fatos Nano continued as party leader. The government pursued a cautious policy closely with the West during the unrest in Macedonia in 2001.

Albania in the early 2000's.

The governing coalition won the 2001 parliamentary elections, and the socialist Fatos Nano became prime minister again. Nano was briefly replaced by Pandeli Majko as head of government from February to July 2002. Alfred Moisiu was elected as the joint compromise candidate between the governing and opposition parties for five years in July 2002. Despite economic progress and increasing stability, widespread corruption led to a split in The Socialist Party, where Ilir Meta broke out in 2003 and formed a new party, a weakening of the Socialist Party in particular. The center-left governing coalition lost in the 2005 parliamentary elections, and a coalition of right-wing parties led by the Democratic Party formed the government, and in September 2005 Sali Berisha became the new head of government. Fatos Nano resigned as leader of the Socialist Party. In October 2005, the prominent mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, was elected as the new party leader of the Socialist Party. The long-standing political agreement on Albania's integration into Europe through membership of NATO and the EU came a little closer when the Stability and Association Agreement with the EU was signed in June 2006 following negotiations that began in 2003., which has meant Albanian troops for the US war in Iraq. In foreign policy, the changing governments have maintained a pronounced pro-American course, which has meant Albanian troops for the US war in Iraq.

 

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