Status and Foreign Policy : At the Conference of Yalta (Feb. 1945), Albania was allocated to the British sphere of influence, together with Greece and Yugoslavia. Yet, when the German troops withdrew, Albanian Communist partisans were in control of the country, and Britain at first spent limited energy and attention on the remote mountainous region. A Provisional Government, dominated by the Communists, was recognized conditionally by the Big Three in December 1945. Britain did not recognize the communist Albanian government, the Bank of Britain froze prewar Albanian assets. Albania severed diplomatic relations. Britain, heavily involved in the (costly) Greek Civil War, did not pursue a similar policy in Albania; the communist administration was to stay. When two British navy vessels ran into a minefield in the Corfu Channel, this incident lead to a further deterioration of British-Albanian relations.
Albania supported the Greek Communists in the Greek Civil War. (Democratic) Greece claimed Northern Epirus. With Soviet support, Albania maintained a relatively large army and fortified coastal positions. Late in 1948 diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia were severed; Yugoslav advisors were expelled from Albania. These measures increased the country's dependence on the USSR; with the Greek Civil War coming to a close, Soviet interest in Albania declined. When COMECON was established in 1949, Albania became a beneficiary of economic aid without becoming member of the organization.
Domestic Policy : A People's Assembly was formed representing the country; it was dominated by the communists. Enver Hoxha was chairman of the council of ministers since 1946. In 1946, Albania introduced Universal Womanhood Suffrage. All political parties except the communist party were outlawed, a One-Party-State established. 1947 and 1948 saw Stalin-style party purges; in 1948 politicians branded as supporters of Tito were purged from the Communist Party . In 1948 Catholic schools were closed, a number of church leaders executed.
The Economy : Albania is one of Europe's economically most backward countries. When the communists took over, Large landowners were expropriated, collective farms established. Albania benefitted from relief supplies by the U.N.R.R.A. A Five-Year-Plan, following the Soviet model, was implemented in 1945. In 1946 Albania and Yugoslavia formed a monetary union; 1 Yugoslav Dinar valued as 1 Albanian Lek. In 1945-1948, Albania benefitted from Soviet as well as Yugoslav aid; the sudden decision to cut relations with Yugoslavia (1948) resulted in the geographical isolation of Albania and the necessity for increased Soviet aid; the monetary union with Yugoslavia was cut. The first Five Year Plan was scrapped, and replaced by a provisional Two Year Plan.