Timeline of Albanian history to 1993

2nd century AD 1 to 11th century

  • In the 150 AD, Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria drafts a map. This map shows the city of Albanopolis (located Northeast of Durrës). Ptolemy also mentions the Illyrian tribe named Albanoi, who lived around this city. The area was part of Roman Macedon, specifically the Epirus Nova subdivision. Epirus nova or New Epirus or Illyria Graeca or Illyris proper was a province of the Roman Empire established by Diocletian (244-311) during his restructuring of provincial boundaries. The province, belonged to the Roman province of Macedonia. Later it became a theme of the Byzantine Empire. Dyrrachium (or Epidamnus) was established as the capital of Epirus nova. The region of Epirus Nova corresponded to a part of Illyria that was now partly Hellenic and partly Hellenized. The area was the line of division between the provinces of Illyricum and Macedonia.

11th to 15th centuries

The Arbanasi people are recorded as being 'half-believers' (non-Orthodox Christians) and speaking their own language in the Fragment of Origins of Nations between 1000-1018 by an anonymous author in a Bulgarian text of the 11th century.[14]
In History written in 1079-1080, Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates referred to the Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the duke of Dyrrachium. It is disputed, however, whether the "Albanoi" of the events of 1043 refers to Albanians in an ethnic sense or whether "Albanoi" is a reference to Normans from Sicily under an archaic name (there was also tribe of Italy by the name of "Albanoi").[15] However a later reference to Albanians from the same Attaliates, regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion in 1078, is undisputed.[16]
Arbanitai of Arbanon are recorded in an account by Anna Comnena of the troubles in that region during the reign of her father Alexius I Comnenus (1081–1118) by the Normans.[17]
12th century - Serbs occupy parts of northern and eastern Albania.
1204 - In the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, Venice wins control over most of Albania, but the Byzantines regain control of the southern portion and establish the Despotate of Epirus.
1258 - The Kingdom of Sicily seizes the Albanian coast and much of the hinterland from Epirus
1272 - Forces of the Charles I of Naples occupy Dyrrhachium (Durrës) and establish the Angevin Kingdom of Albania.
1280s - The Angevins launch an offensive to conquer Albania, but are repulsed by the Byzantines at Berat. BYzantine forces retake the country, but after ca. 1290, it begins to come under Serbian attack.
1385 - Karl Thopia, the Albanian ruler of Durrës, invites the Ottoman forces of Murad I to intervene against his rival Balsha II; subsequently, Albanian clans pay tribute and swear fealty to the Ottoman Empire.
1389 - Albanians join Serbian-led Balkan army that is crushed by Ottoman forces at the Battle of Kosovo; coordinated resistance to Ottoman expansion into the western Balkans collapses.
1405 - Gjergj Kastrioti born, later becomes Albanian national hero known as Skanderbeg.
1443 - After being sent in a battle near Nis, Skanderbeg turns in Albania, starts the long war against the Ottoman Empire and reembraces Roman Catholicism.
1444 - Skanderbeg proclaimed chief of the League of Lezhë.
1450 - The Albanians, under Skanderbeg, rout Ottoman forces under Sultan Murad II.
1466 & 1467 - The Albanians under Skanderbeg, defend Krujë against massive Ottoman armies led by Sultan Mehmed II
1468 - Skanderbeg dies.
1478 - Krujë falls to the Ottoman Turks; Shkodër falls a year later. Subsequently, many Albanians flee to southern Italy, Greece, Egypt, and elsewhere; many remaining are forced to convert to Islam.

17th Century

Early 17th century Some Albanians who convert to Islam find careers in the Ottoman Empire's government and military service.

17th century - 18th century About two-thirds of Albanians convert to Islam.

18th century

1785 Kara Mahmud Bushati, Albanian noble from the Bushati family, based in Shkodër, attacks Montenegrin territory; subsequently named governor of Shkodër by Ottoman authorities.

19th century

1822 Albanian leader Ali Pashë Tepelena assassinated by Ottoman agents for promoting an autonomous state.

1830 500 Albanian leaders were invited to meet with Ottoman general in Monastir. They were trapped and killed in an ambush.

1835 Ottoman Sublime Porte divides Albanian-populated lands into vilayets of Janina and Rumelia with Ottoman administrators.

1848 Uprising of Albanians against Tanzimat reform.

1861 First school known to use Albanian language in modern times opens in Shkodër.

1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War. The Ottoman Empire is defeated by its rival Russian Empire, seriously weakening Ottoman power over Albanian-populated areas.

1878 Albanian leaders met in Prizren, Kosovo, to form the League of Prizren, initially advocating a unified Albania under Ottoman suzerainty, with the intention to oppose the Treaty of San Stefano, signed after the Russo-Turkish War, a treaty which assigned Albanian-populated lands to the Principality of Bulgaria, the Principality of Montenegro, and the Principality of Serbia; but Austria-Hungary and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland block the treaty's implementation. During the Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers overturn the Treaty of San Stefano and divided Albanian lands among several states. The League of Prizren begins to organize resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's provisions that affect Albanians.

1879 Society for Printing of Albanian Writings, composed of Roman Catholic, Muslim, and Orthodox Albanians, founded in Constantinople.

1881 Ottoman forces crush Albanian resistance fighters at Prizren. Prizren League's leaders and families arrested and deported.

1897 Ottoman authorities disband a reactivated League of Prizren, execute its leader later, then ban Albanian language books.

20th century

1906 Albanians begin joining the Committee of Union and Progress (Young Turks), which formed in Constantinople, hoping to gain autonomy for their nation within the Ottoman Empire.

1908 Albanian intellectuals meet in Bitola and choose the Latin alphabet as standard script rather than Arabic or Cyrillic.

1911 April 6 Albanian Highlanders (Malsorët) battle against the Young Turks regime of the Ottoman Empire by the command of Turgut Pasha in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro. The highlanders' were claimed victorious after raising the Albanian flag for the first time in over 400 years of Ottoman occupation. The commander/flagbearer for the Albanians was Ded Gjo Luli. Deda's word of victory later sparked to other events for the independence of Albania, which was finally reached the very next year.

1912 May
Albanians rise against the Ottoman authorities and seize Skopje.

First Balkan War begins, and Albanian leaders affirm Albania as an independent state.

Muslim and Christian delegates at Vlorë declare Albania independent and establish a Provisional Government of Albania.

Ambassadorial conference opens in London and discusses Albania's fate. Half of Albanian territories are given to neighboring states, the Kingdom of Serbia and Kingdom of Greece.

1913 May
The Treaty of London ends First Balkan War. Second Balkan War begins.

The Treaty of Bucharest ends Second Balkan War. Great Powers recognize an independent Albanian state ruled by a constitutional monarchy.

1914 March
William, Prince of Albania, German army captain, installed as head of the new Principality of Albania by the International Commission of Control, arrives in Albania.

New Albanian state collapses following outbreak of World War I; Prince Wilhelm is stripped of authority and departs from Albania.

1918 November
World War I ends, with the Royal Italian Army occupying most of Albania and Serbian, Greek and French forces occupying remainder. Italian and Yugoslav powers begin struggle for dominance over Albanians.

Albanian leaders meet at Durrës to discuss presentation of Albania's interests at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.


1919 January
The Kingdom of Serbia attack Albania's inhabited cities. Albanians adopt guerrilla warfare.

Albania denied official representation at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919; British, French, and Greek negotiators later decide to divide Albania among the Kingdom of Greece, Italy, and the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

1920 January
Albanian leaders meeting at Lushnjë reject the partitioning of Albania by the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, warn that Albanians will take up arms in defense of their territory, and create a bicameral parliament.

The Albanian government under Sulejman Delvina moves to Tirana, which becomes the capital.

Albania forces Italy to withdraw its troops and abandon territorial claims to almost all Albanian territory.

Albania admitted to the League of Nations as sovereign and independent state.

1921 November
The Royal Yugoslav Army invades Albanian territories they had not previously occupied; League of Nations commission forces Yugoslav withdrawal and reaffirms Albania's 1913 borders.

Popular Party, headed by Xhafer Bej Ypi, forms government with Ahmet Zogu, the future King Zog, as internal affairs minister.

1922 August
Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople recognizes the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania.

Zogu assumes position of prime minister of government; opposition to him becomes formidable.

1923 Albania's Sunni Muslims break last ties with the disbanding Ottoman Empire and Constantinople, pledging primary allegiance to native country.

1924 March
Zogu's party wins elections for National Assembly, but Zogu steps down after financial scandal and an assassination attempt.

A peasant-backed insurgency wins control of Tirana; Fan S. Noli becomes prime minister; Zogu flees to Yugoslavia.

Zogu, backed by the Royal Yugoslav Army, returns to power and begins to smother parliamentary democracy; Noli flees to Italy.

1925 May
Italy, under Benito Mussolini, begins penetration of Albanian public and economic life.

1926 27 November
Italy and Albania sign First Treaty of Tirana, which guarantees Zogu's political position and Albania's boundaries.

1928 August
Zogu pressures the parliament to dissolve itself; a new constituent assembly declares Albania a kingdom and Zogu becomes Zog I, "King of the Albanians".

1931 Zog, standing up to Italians, refuses to renew the First Treaty of Tirana; Italians continue political and economic pressure.

1934 After Albania signs trade agreements with Greece and Yugoslavia, Italy suspends economic support, then attempts to threaten Albania.

1935 Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy, presents a gift of 3,000,000 gold francs to Albania; other economic aid follows.


1939 March

March 17 In Rome, the German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Italy informs Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister of Italy that Nazi Germany is ready to support Italy in occupying Albania.

March 25 In Tirana, the Italian Ambassador to Albania hands over to King Zog an ultimatum demanding the surrender of Albania to an Italian protectorate.

April In the beginning of April, the Albanian army mobilizes.

April 5 Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, the heir to the Albanian throne, is born.

King Zog appeals to the democracies.

April 6 King Zog appeals to the Balkan Pact.

April 7 Italian invasion of Albania: 50,000 Italian marines land in the ports of Durrës, Vlorë, Shëngjin and Sarandë. The Albanian army resists, especially in Durrës.

King Zog's wife, Queen Géraldine Apponyi de Nagyappony, and their infant son Leka, Crown Prince of Albania flee to the Kingdom of Greece. King Zog follows them.

April 8 Italian troops occupy Tirana at 9:30 AM. During the afternoon motorized columns reach Shkodër and Elbasan. The Italian commander, General Alfredo Guzzoni, lands in Tirana and shortly afterwards the Italian foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, also arrives by air and tells an Albanian delegation that the Italian troops have come to ensure order, prosperity, and progress, without interfering with Albania's existence as a nation.

April 12 A Constituent Assembly, summoned by the provisional committee of pro-Italian notables which has taken over the administration, meets in Tirana and approves a personal union with Italy: Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III is to become the King of Albania.

Shefqet Bej Verlaci becomes prime minister. His cabinet includes Xhemil Dino (foreign minister), Fejzi Alizoti (finance), Xhafer Ypi (justice), Andon Beça (economy), and Ernest Koliqi (education).

Shefqet Bej Verlaci also becomes the acting Head of State until Victor Emmanuel III comes to the throne.

April 14 Albania withdraws from the League of Nations.

April 16 An Albanian delegation headed by the new prime minister goes to the Quirinale in Rome to formally offer the crown of Albania to Victor Emmanuel III. The King accepts the crown, holding the crowns of Italy, Ethiopia and Albania in personal union.

April 22 Francesco Jacomoni di San Savino is appointed the king's lieutenant-general (viceroy) in Albania.

1940 The constitution of Albania is voided. The Albanian Fascist Party is established. The Albanian army is merged into the Royal Italian Army. The National Assembly and the government are subject to the Italian viceroy and his officials. Italy wins partial support of the Albanian public by defending Albania's claims to Kosovo and Chameria. Respectively held at the time by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Kingdom of Greece.

October The Greco-Italian War begins. Royal Italian Army invades the Kingdom of Greece through Albania.

October 28 From Albania, Italian forces (157,000 men) commanded by General Sebastiano Visconti Prasca invade Greece. A contingent of Albanian auxiliary forces (12,000 men) participate in Italy's campaign against Greece.

1941 April Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Romania and the Croatian Ustaše perform a successful Invasion of Yugoslavia. Germany proceeds to invade Greece. The Battle of Greece ends with an Axis victory, with Crete holding out until June. The Axis occupation of Greece effectively partitions the country between Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. The Italians occupied the bulk of the Greek mainland and most of the islands. The Italians orchestrate the annexation of areas of Greek Epirus by Albania, citing the presence of a significant Albanian minority (the Cham Albanians). This plan is vetoed by Germany.[18]

October Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav communist leader, directs organizing of Albanian communists.

November Albanian Communist Party founded; Enver Hoxha becomes first secretary.

November 8 The Albanian Communist Party is founded.


December 3 Mustafa Merlika-Kruja becomes Prime Minister.

1942 September 1942
The Albanian Communist Party organizes the National Liberation Movement, a popular front resistance organization.

September 16, 1942

At the Conference of Pezë, the National Liberation Movement is established.

October 1942
Noncommunist nationalist groups form to resist the Italian occupation.

1943 August
The Kingdom of Italy signs an Armistice with the Allies of World War II. The Royal Italian Army and the Regia Aeronautica mostly disintegrate, the Regia Marina joins the Allies in Malta and Sardinia. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army, Italian Co-Belligerent Navy and Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force form in Southern Italy, joining the Allied cause. Nazi Germany establishes a puppet state in Northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic. Its armed forces form the Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano, the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, with a very small naval force forming the Marina Nazionale Repubblicana. Italian hold on areas outside the Italian Peninsula weakens. This includes Albania; Albanian resistance fighters overwhelm five Italian divisions.


Wehrmacht forces invade and occupy Albania. The Albanian Kingdom becomes a puppet state of Nazi Germany

1944 January
The Communist partisans, supplied with British weapons, gain control of the southern Albania.

May 1944
The Communists meet to organize an Albanian government; Enver Hoxha becomes chairman of executive committee and supreme commander of the National Liberation Movement.

July 1944
The Communist forces enter central and northern Albania.

October 1944
The Communists establish a provisional government with Enver Hoxha as prime minister.

November 1944
The Wehrmacht withdraw from Tirana, the Communists move into the capital.

December 1944
The Communist provisional government adopts laws allowing state regulation of commercial enterprises, foreign and domestic trade.

1945 January
Communist provisional government agrees to restore Kosovo to Yugoslavia as an autonomous region; tribunals begin to condemn thousands of "war criminals" and "enemies of the people" to death or to prison. Communist regime begins to nationalize industry, transportation, forests, pastures.

Yugoslavia recognizes communist government in Albania.

Sweeping agricultural reforms begin; about half of arable land eventually redistributed to peasants from large landowners; most church properties nationalized. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration begins sending supplies to Albania.

Soviet Union recognizes provisional government; Britain and United States make full diplomatic recognition conditional.

In elections for the People's Assembly only candidates from the Democratic Front are on ballot.


1946 January
People's Assembly proclaims the People's Republic of Albania; purges of noncommunists from positions of power in government begins.

Spring People's Assembly adopts new constitution, Enver Hoxha becomes Prime Minister of Albania, foreign minister, defense minister, and commander-in-chief; Soviet-style central planning begins.

Treaty of friendship and cooperation signed with Yugoslavia; Yugoslav advisers and grain begin pouring into Albania.

26 October: Two British ships destroyed by mines off Albania's coast in the Straits of Corfu, see Corfu Channel Incident, .

Albania breaks diplomatic relations with the United States after the latter withdraws its informal mission.

1947 April

Economic Planning Commission draws up first economic plan that established production targets for mining, manufacturing and agricultural enterprises.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 22 recommends that the International Court of Justice settle the dispute between the UK and Albania regarding the sinking of two British ships in the Straits of Corfu in the Corfu Channel Incident.

A United Nations commission concludes that Albania, together with Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, supported communist guerrillas in the Greek Civil War; Yugoslav leaders launch verbal offensive against anti-Yugoslav Albanian communists, including Hoxha; pro-Yugoslav faction begins to wield power.

Albania refuses participation in the Marshall Plan of the United States.

1948 February-March
Albanian Communist Party leaders vote to merge Albanian and Yugoslav economies and militaries.

Cominform expels Yugoslavia; Albanian leaders launch anti-Yugoslav propaganda campaign, cut economic ties, and force Yugoslav advisers to leave; Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, becomes national hero in Albania.

Hoxha begins purging high-ranking party members accused of Titoism; treaty of friendship with Yugoslavia abrogated by Albania; Soviet Union begins giving economic aid to Albania and Soviet advisers replace ousted Yugoslavs.

First Party Congress changes name of the "Communist Party of Albania" to Party of Labour of Albania.

1949 January
Regime issues Decree on Religious Communities.

Albania joins Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon); all foreign trade conducted with member countries.

Albanian communists considered supporters of Josip Broz Tito, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, are purged.

1950 Britain and United States begin inserting anticommunist Albanian guerrilla units into Albania; all are unsuccessful.

A new constitution is approved by People's Assembly. Hoxha becomes minister of defense and foreign minister.

1951 February
Albania and Soviet Union sign agreement on mutual economic assistance.

1954 July
Hoxha relinquishes post of Prime Minister to Mehmet Shehu but retains primary power as First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania.

1955 May
Albania becomes a founding member of the Warsaw Pact.

1956 February
In February, Nikita Khrushchev's delivers his famous speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences". In the speech, Khrushchev criticized actions taken by the regime of Joseph Stalin, particularly the purges of the military and the upper Party echelons, and the development of Stalin's personality cult, while maintaining support for the ideals of Communism by invoking Vladimir Lenin. He also introduced the concept of peaceful coexistence between Communist and Capitalist states. Enver Hoxha adopts an Anti-Revisionism stance, comdemning these ideological moves; close relations with Soviet Union become strained.

1959 Large amounts of economic aid from Soviet Union, East European countries, and China begin pouring into Albania.

Khrushchev visits Albania.

1960 June
Albania sides with China in the Sino-Soviet split; consequently Soviet economic support to Albania is curtailed and Chinese aid is increased.

Hoxha rails against Khrushchev and supports China during an international communist conference in Moscow.

1961 February
Hoxha harangues against the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia at Albania's Fourth Party Congress.

Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations; other East European countries severely reduce contacts but do not break relations; Albania looks toward China for support.

1962 Albanian regime introduces austerity program in attempt to compensate for withdrawal of Soviet economic support; China incapable of delivering sufficient aid; Albania becomes China's spokesman at UN.

1964 Nikita Khrushchev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, is forced to resign in October. He was facing considerable opposition by an alliance led by Leonid Brezhnev, Alexander Shelepin and Vladimir Semichastny. Enver Hoxha hails the fall of Khrushchev; diplomatic relations between Albania and the Soviet Union fail to improve.

1966 February
Hoxha initiates Cultural and Ideological Revolution.

Albanian Party of Labor "open letter" to the people establishes egalitarian wage and job structure for all workers.

1967 Hoxha regime conducts violent campaign to extinguish religious life in Albania; by year's end over two thousand religious buildings were closed or converted to other uses.

1968 August
Albania condemns the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, subsequently Albania withdraws from Warsaw Pact.

1976 September
Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China, dies. A period of power struggles begins. The so-called Gang of Four (Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan) maintains power for about a month, ousted by a coup in October. Hua Guofeng rises to power and begins abandoning the mandates of the Cultural Revolution. He is replaced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, which also marks the beginning of a major economic reform in the People's Republic of China. Enver Hoxha becomes increasingly critical of the new Chinese regime(s), leading to a cooling of the relations between Albania and China.

A new constitution promulgated superseding the 1950 version; Albania renamed to Socialist People's Republic of Albania.

1977 Top military officials purged after "Chinese conspiracy" is uncovered.

1978 July
China terminates all economic and military aid to Albania.

1980 Hoxha selects Ramiz Alia as the next party head, bypassing Shehu.

1981 December
Shehu, after rebuke by Politburo, kills himself, possibly murdered on Hoxha's orders.

1982 November
Alia becomes chairman of Presidium of the People's Assembly.

1983 Hoxha begins semiretirement; Alia starts administering Albania.

1985 April
Hoxha dies.

1986 November
Alia featured as party's and country's undisputed leader at Ninth Party Congress.

1987 August
Greece ends state of war that existed since World War II.

Albania and Greece sign a series of long-term agreements.

1989 September
Alia, addressing the Eighth Plenum of the Central Committee, signals that radical changes to the economic system are necessary.


1990 January
Ninth Plenum of the Central Committee; demonstrations at Shkodër force authorities to declare state of emergency.

Alia declares willingness to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and the United States.

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, visits Albania.

Regime announces desire to join the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. People's Assembly passes laws liberalizing criminal code, reforming court system, lifting some restrictions on freedom of worship, and guaranteeing the right to travel abroad.

Summer Unemployment throughout the economy increases as a result of government's reform measures; drought reduces electric-power production, forcing plant shutdowns.

Young people demonstrate against regime in Tirana, and 5,000 citizens seek refuge in foreign embassies; Central Committee plenum makes significant changes in leadership of party and state. Soviet Union and Albania sign protocol normalizing their relations.

Government abandons its monopoly on foreign commerce and begins to open Albania to foreign trade.

Alia addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Tirana hosts the Balkan Foreign Ministers' Conference, the first international political meeting in Albania since the end of World War II. Ismail Kadare, Albania's most prominent writer, defects to France.

University students demonstrate in streets and call for dictatorship to end; Alia meets with students; Thirteenth Plenum of the Central Committee of the APL authorizes a multiparty system; Democratic Party of Albania, first opposition party established; regime authorizes political pluralism; draft constitution is published; by year's end, 5,000 Albanian refugees had crossed the mountains into Greece.

1991 January
First opposition newspaper Rilindja Demokratike begins publishing. Thousands of Albanians seek refuge in Greece.

Albania and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations after a 35-year break. Thousands more Albanians attempt to gain asylum in Italy.

First multiparty elections held since the 1920s; 98.9 percent of voters participated; Albanian Party of Labor wins over 67 percent of vote for People's Assembly seats; Albanian Democratic Party wins about 30 percent.

Communist-dominated People's Assembly reelects Alia to new presidential term. Ministry of Internal Affairs replaced by Ministry of Public Order; Frontier Guards and Directorate of Prison Administration are placed under the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Justice, respectively. People's Assembly passes Law on Major Constitutional Provisions providing for fundamental human rights and separation of powers and invalidates 1976 constitution. People's Assembly appoints commission to draft new constitution.

Prime Minister Fatos Nano and rest of cabinet resign after trade unions call for general strike to protest worsening economic conditions and killing of opposition demonstrators in Shkodër. Coalition government led by Prime Minister Ylli Bufi takes office; Tenth Party Congress of the Albanian Party of Labor meets and renames party the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA); Albania accepted as a full member of the OSCE Minsk Group; James Baker, Secretary of State of the United States, visits Albania.

Sigurimi, notorious secret police, is abolished and replaced by National Information Service.

Up to 18,000 Albanians cross the Adriatic Sea to seek asylum in Italy; most are returned. People's Assembly passes law on economic activity that authorizes private ownership of property, privatizing of state property, investment by foreigners, and private employment of workers.

United States Embassy in Tirana opened. Albania joins International Monetary Fund.

Coalition government dissolves when opposition parties accuse communists of blocking reform and Albanian Democratic Party withdraws its ministers from the cabinet. Prime Minister Bufi resigns and Alia names Vilson Ahmeti as Prime Minister. Alia sets March 1992 for new elections.

1992 February
The People's Assembly prevents OMONIA, the party representing Greek Albanians, from fielding candidates in the elections planned for March.

March 22 and 29
In the midst of economic freefall and social chaos, a decisive electoral victory is won by the anticommunist opposition led by the Democratic Party. The Democrats win 62% of the votes and achieve an overall majority with 92 of the 140 seats in the parliament. The Socialists, with 26% of the vote, win 38 seats. Turnout is 90%.

April 3
Alia resigns as president and is succeeded on April 9 by Sali Berisha, the first democratic leader of Albania since Bishop Noli. The first non-Communist government, headed by Aleksander Meksi, is elected on April 13. Its stated priority is to establish law and order to transform the paralyzed economy through a reform program emphasizing a free-market economy and privatization.

April 16
Eduard Selami is elected chairman of the Democratic Party.

Albania signs the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Pact with ten other countries, including six former Soviet republics. The Pact establishes the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

The Albanian Communist Party is outlawed, and its chairman, Hysni Milloshi, is arrested in Tirana and charged with illegally carrying a gun.

July 26
Four months after its March defeat, the Socialist Party makes impressive gains in the country's first democratic local elections. The Democratic Party wins 43.2% of the vote, compared to 41.3% cast for the Socialists. Continued economic hardships, general apathy, and a split within the Democratic Party contributed to its poor showing. It holds local administrative control in most large cities, while the Socialists control much of the countryside.

Former President Alia is detained, joining eighteen other former communist officials, including Nexhmije Hoxha, who are charged with corruption and other offenses.

November 3
The split in the Democratic Party grows into a rift when a group of reform-minded Democrats break away and form a new party, the Democratic Alliance.

Albania is granted membership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and in the same month applies to join NATO, becoming the first former Warsaw Pact country formally to seek membership in the Western alliance.

1993 January 27
Nexhmije Hoxha is sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, having been found guilty of embezzling state funds.

Former prime minister Vilson Ahmeti is placed under house arrest, following charges of corruption.

Manfred Wörner, Secretary General of NATO visits Tirana.

Albania recognizes the Republic of Macedonia.

April 25
Pope John Paul II makes a historic visit. (The last pope to travel to Albania - in 1464 - died en route.)

Nexhmije Hoxha's prison sentence is increased by two years.

Albania expels a Greek Orthodox cleric, who is alleged to have distributed maps showing southern Albania as Greek territory. Greece subsequently deports thousands of illegal Albanian migrant workers.

July 30
The leader of the Socialist Party, former prime minister Nano, is arrested on allegations of abuse of power.

Alia is arrested on charges of abuse of power.

Ahmeti is sentenced to two years' imprisonment.

President Berisha and President Momir Bulatovic of Montenegro meet in Tirana to discuss ways of improving Albanian-Montenegrin relations.

Greece recalls its ambassador for consultations after a series of border incidents and alleged human rights abuses in Albania.