• The embassies' crisis: Albania 1990

    Afrim Krasniqi (see profile)
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    In July 1990, about 5,000 Albanian citizens broke into foreign embassies in Tirana, mainly those of the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy and France, in a desperate attempt to leave Albania. This was the largest exodus since 1945 and the first case of a mass movement of citizens against the policies of the communist regime. The "occupation" of the embassies brought about a political and humanitarian crisis. The crisis could be temporarily solved through UN mediation. The “Embassy Crisis” is one of the most important events that impacted politically the Albanian society in the nineties. It brought to the forefront a growing popular discontent, mixed with high levels of poverty, and a deep distrust in the ruling elite and in its promises of democratizing reforms. Albania appeared in the headlines of the western media. The western coverage of those 5000 refugees accelerated the fall of the one-party regime. “The Embassies’ Crisis: Albania of 1990" dwells upon the most important events of 1990, the role of political and cultural elites, the role of the Western democracies, the "Popaj" issue, the first anti-communist protests, the visit of Peres De Cuelar, and the internal processes in the leadership of the Albanian Party of Labour. The book analyses the developments at the foreign embassies in Tirana, the official internal communications between the diplomatic corps and the Albanian government, the official and secret talks on the crisis, whilst addressing the myths that arose following to embassies’ crisis and their impact on Albanian society and politics. For the first time, several thousand Albanian and foreign archival documents were published on the developments of 1990. The documentation related to the German, Italian and French embassies, as well as those of the State Security (Albanian secret police) and the Politburo occupy an important place in this publication. The book has 484 pages and is published in Albanian by the Institute of History (ASA) in Tirana.
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    4 months ago


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