however, that Ramiz Alia (see Alia, Ramiz), the last communist president of the country, supported the ethnic Greeks in exchange for their votes. Thus, the Albanian parliament changed OMNIA's status to that of a cultural organization and banned political activities by the group, in 1992. This act was considered by many as retaliation for Greek practices vis a vis Albanian refugees who were creating serious problems in Greek urban centers (see Politics in Post-Communist Albania). In turn, the parliamentary act could not fail to create adverse feelings toward Albania in Greece.
As pressure mounted on the Albanian government to honor its pledges of respecting human rights--pressure that was brought on not only by the Greek government but also by the Council of Europe--the Albanian parliament finally consented to permit the ethnic Greeks to form their own political party. The party was promptly established under the name of Union for Human Rights. This party was to participate in the coming elections. What this affair shows is that the sins of the past, created by the cynical disregard by the Western powers of ethnic problems in Eastern Europe after both world wars, are coming back to haunt the region. The disregard of ethnic boundaries in the name of the so-called principle of national self-determination could still result in a series of confrontations similar to those that are tearing apart Yugoslavia (see Kosovo).
Zanga Louis, "Albania Between Democracy and Chaos," Radio Free Europe Research Reports, 1.1 ( January 3, 1992), pp. 74-77.
Hoxha, Enver (1908-1985). Born in Gjirocaster in southern Albania, Hoxha graduated from the French lycaeum in the town of Korce in 1930. He enrolled at the University of Montpelier in France the following year on a government scholarship. While at Montpelier, Hoxha wrote articles for the French communist daily newspaper, L'Humanite, directed against Albanian King Zog. When his authorship was discovered, his Albanian state scholarship was terminated. Hoxha then moved to Brussels, Belgium, to work as a private secretary at the local Albanian consulate.
At Brussels, he studied law, but he also continued his antigovernment propaganda activities, which resulted in his dismissal. In 1936, he returned to Albania and found a job as a teacher at the gymnasium in Tirana and later at his alma mater at Korce.
After the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939, Hoxha was dismissed from his teaching position. Thereupon he moved back to Tirana and opened a tobacco shop, which become the center of clandestine anti-fascist activities. In November 1941, he was invited to head the recently established Albanian Communist party as secretary of the Provisional Central Committee.
He was a nationalist and, at the same time, a doctrinaire communist with a penchant for conspiracy. He believed in Marxist-Leninist doctrines with a messianic zeal. He was intent on modernizing Albanian society in a radical way. He spoke French, Russian, English, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian.
During the fateful years of 1943 and 1944, Hoxha was the guiding spirit behind