Albania History: The Collapse of The Communist Regime Part II

The presence of a multinational protection force and the new socialist government finally seemed to favor the internal pacification process and to recreate, with the help of companies and foreign governments, the right conditions for economic recovery. The war events in neighboring Kosovo, however, once again conditioned the political and economic life of Albania, forced to welcome thousands of ethnic Albanian Kosovar refugees, and caused armed clashes with the Yugoslav militias on the border. Meanwhile, in October 1999, Prime Minister Majko, defeated by the former premier Nano in the race for the presidency of the Socialist Party, resigned and the leadership of the executive was taken over by the deputy prime minister Ilir Meta. In the same year, to comply with the request of the Council of Europe, the Albanian Constitutional Court abolished the death penalty. Therefore, during the years of government, all efforts were concentrated in the construction of infrastructures, in particular in the energy and transport sectors, and in the strengthening of political and economic relations with the countries of the European Union and NATO, the Meta socialists in 2001 saw once again, with the legislative elections, the majority in Parliament confirmed. At the end of January 2002, however, it was Meta who resigned and, in his place, at the beginning of February, Majko was appointed again. In June of the same year, following an agreement between the Socialist Party and the opposition, General Alfred Moisiu was elected head of state, thus succeeding Mejdani.

The following month, on the basis of a decision taken by the socialist leadership, which required the party leader to take responsibility for leading the country’s government, Fatos Nano, former prime minister in 1998, became the new prime minister, replacing Majko. The following two-year period was characterized by a phase of stability, which favored the process of modernization of the public administration and basic services. In 2003, the US signed a political-military agreement, the “Adriatic Charter”, with Albania, Croatia and Macedonia which was a prelude to the entry of these countries into NATO. From that year, in fact, the long period of instability following the exit from the totalitarian regime and the planned economy, whose conclusion sanctioned the definitive entry of Albania into the West, seemed to disappear. In the two-year period 2003-2004 under the premier of Nano, the government offered full cooperation to the EU to combat organized crime and promote an adaptation of political and economic structures that would be appreciated by Western countries. Within this new framework of international relations, the government has fixed with the Italy economic agreements also aimed at combating illegal immigration. A further rapprochement with the USA also took place, materialized with agreements regarding the immunity reserved for Americans in Albanian territory and with the dispatch of a small military contingent for the war in Iraq. The legislative elections of July 2005 were won by the Democratic Party of former president Sali Berisha. In 2006 the Presidency of the Republic was assumed by B. Topi, also a member of the Democratic Party. Also in 2006, following the signing of a stabilization and association agreement, a free trade area was born between Albania and the European Union. In 2009, as a country located in Europe according to, Albania joined NATO, thus strengthening its relations with Western powers. Go up Berisha, challenged for irregularities by the opposition. The center-right government quickly lost popular favor due to the difficult international economic situation and the difficulties encountered in the government which could count on a majority of only four MPs compared to the opposition. In 2012 the Democrat B. Nashani was elected to the Presidency of the Republic. At the 2013 legislative elections, the center-right was defeated by the center-left which obtained 53% of the preferences. Thus a new government was established, presided over by E. Rama. In 2017 the new President of the Republic was elected in the person of IR Metaj, and Rama was reconfirmed as premier, at the head of the Socialist Party, which obtained an absolute majority of seats in Parliament. Following the elections, protests broke out from the opposition, accusing Rama of having manipulated the elections. President Metaj then decided to postpone the local elections in June, but the majority ignored the decree. The vote therefore took place on 30 June 2019, but was boycotted by the opposition parties amid growing tensions. Elections in April 2021 confirmed Rama for a third term.

The Collapse of The Communist Regime Part II

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