Albania; key historical events

Page last modified 22/9/2019

 

Home Page

 

See also Eastern Europe

 

1999, Large numbers of refugees entered Albania from Kosovo. Ilir Meta, 32, became Albanian President.

7/3/1997. Albania dissolved into chaos, and military firearms depots were looted. The cause was a failed pyramid selling sheme, impoverishing many Albanians. King Zog’s son, Leka, attempted to become King but failed.

1992, In further Albanian elections, the opposition Democratic Party won. Sali Berisha became the first non-Communist President.

31/3/1991, Albania had its first multi-party elections. The Communists were returned to power, now calling themselves the Socialist Party.

9/3/1991. Albanian troops fired on 4,000 people trying to board a boat to flee to Italy. In Yugoslavia, a crowd of at least 70,000 fought with riot police in Belgrade. The crowd was demanding an end to Communist control of the media. One 18 year old youth was killed by a rubber bullet and over 70 others were injured. Police used live ammunition and water cannon as well as rubber bullets. The crowd marched on parliament and the television centre.

20/2/1991, The President of Albania, Ramiz Alia, dismissed the government headed by Prime Minister of Albania Adil Carcani in an effort to stem prodemocracy protests. Fatos Nano was sworn in as Prime Minister on 22/2/1991.

7/1/1991, 5,000 Albanians of Greek ethnicity fled to Greece as chaos mounted in Albania.

1/1/1991, Albanian President Ramiz Alia promised that elections would soon be held, ending 43 years of Communist dictatorship. There was frustration at the slow pace of political reform in Albania.

13/7/1990, 4,500 Albanian refugees arrived at the Italian port of Brindisi.

15/9/1987, West Germany established diplomatic relations with Albania.

11/4/1985. In Albania, Communist leader Enver Hoxha died, aged 78,after 41 years in power. He was succeeded as Head of the Albanian Communist Party by Ramiz Alia.

22/11/1982, Ramiz Alia became new Head of State in Albania.

1976, With the death of Mao in China, Albania lost its main ally and became totally isolated.

1968, Albania was ejected from the Warsaw Pact. Foreign travel from Albania was banned, and many killed in political purges.

1961, Albania was ejected from Comecon.

1956, Hoxha fell out with the USSR. He refused to accept criticism of Stalin, and he moved the country towards closer relations with China.

1967, Albania declared itself an atheist State; most churches and mosques were closed.

1955, Albania became one of the founder members of the Warsaw Pact.

30/5/1950. Yugoslavia and Albania severed relations.

11/1/1946. General Enver Hoxha’s “Democratic Front” won 95% of the vote in Albania and proclaimed a People's Republic. King Zog of Albania had been deposed on 2/1/1946. See 7/4/1939.

2/1/1946. King Zog of Albania was deposed in his absence. He was born Ahmed Bey Zogu, a member of the Zogolli family. The Zogolli led a powerful Moslem faction in the mountains of Albania, so when in 1912 Zog joined the powerful anti-Turkish movement, pressing for Albanian independence, Muslims abandoned traditional religious ties in a push for national freedom. Under King William, Zog achieved high office and in 1922 became Prime Minister. He was forced to flee abroad in 1924 but returned to Albania in 1925 to become President of Albania. He played off various opposing factions within the religiously divided state and gathered enough personal power to have himself declared King in 1928. However he was unable to withstand Mussolini in Italy and had to allow the Italians to invade in 1939 to prepare to invade Greece. His credibility ruined, Zog was easily ousted by the Communists in 1946.

10/11/1945, The Communist Enver Hoxha established a Republican government in Albania, recognised by the UK, USA, and the USSR.

15/10/1944, Sali Berisha, President of Albania, was born.

For more events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany

10/1942, In Albania the Balli Kombetar,the national resistance movement to Axis occupation, was formed. Led by Ali Klissura and Midhat Frasheri, it was a liberal-Communist organisation. It wished to include Kosovo in a future independent Albania; however the other A;lbanian resistance movement, the Communist resistance (under pressure from their Yugloslav backers) did not desire Kosovo to be part of Albania. Under Allied insoistence these two resistance groups joined forces in 1943. After World War Two ended the leaders of Balli Kombetar were mostly purged as Enver Hoxha strove to eliminate all internal dissent to his regime.

1941, Enver Hoxha began organising a Communist-based resistance to Italian occupation.

1939, Italy invaded Albania. Italian occupation ended in 1944.

1/9/1928. Zogu was proclaimed King Zog I of Albania.

24/12/1924. Albania was declared a republic. Zogu, the President, decalerd himself ‘King Zogu’ in 1928.

4/6/1924, Anti-government forces in Albania took Shkoder.

30/5/1913. Turkey signed a peace treaty with the Balkan League (the Treaty of London), ending their war.  Under this Treaty Salonika was formally assigned to Greece. The Great Powers formally recognised Albanian sovereignty. It was not until 1921 that the neoghbouring countries of Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy formally recognised the borders of Albania.

25/12/1912, Italy sent troops to Albania to suppress unrest there.

13/7/1878, The Treary of Berlin gave Austro-Hungary sovereignty over Albania (formerly Ottoman). However this transfer was resisted by both Catholics and Muslims in the region. Unrest continued in the area until Albanian independcence was recognised in 1913.

1760, Mehmet Bushati, local Ottoman chieftain, declared an independent Kingdom of Scutari, this was recovered by the Ottomans in 1831.

1571, Antivari and Dulcigno, the last Venetian possessions in Albania, fell to Ottoman Turkey.

1502, Durazzo, Albania, taken by Ottoman Turkey.

1478, Krofa, Albania, taken from the Venetians by Mahommed II, Ottoman ruler.

1431, Ottoman Turkish conquest of Albania began, with the occupation of Iannina.

1366, Start of the indigenous Balsha Dynasty rule in Albania; lasted until 1421.

1204, The Crusaders captured southern Albania from the Byzantines, see Roman Empire 13/4/1204. However the Serbians were expanding their rule southwards from northern Albania and under Stefan Dushan (1331-1355) a large but short-lived ‘Empire of the Greeks, Slavs and Albanians’ was established.

1014, Byzantine Emperor Basil II cruelly defeated the Bulgarians in southern Albania (see Roman Empire 6/10/1014).

861, The Bulgarians conquered southern Albania. However Durazzo, on the Adriatic, remained under Byzantine rule.

9/4/809, The Bulgars captured Sofia.

640, Northern Albania was invaded by the Serbo-Croats. Serbia then ruled it until 1360.

535, Justininian recovered Albania from the Goths, who had invaded it in the 4th and 5th centuries.

186 BCE, Rome conquered Illyria, which included modern-day Albania.

 

Back to top