Hoxha’s photos make comeback at Peza festivities, lead to angry reactions

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 18, 2015 11:03

Hoxha’s photos make comeback at Peza festivities, lead to angry reactions

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  • Anger over communist dictator's photos shown at WWII memorial event

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TIRANA, Sept. 17 – Festivities commemorating the Conference of Peza, a WWII anti-fascist event, have been accompanied by controversy after nostalgic supporters of the late communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, appeared with his portraits and chanted his name.

A group of veterans and members of the Communist Party, went to the monument commemorating the events of the National Liberation War in Albania after the end of the official ceremony attended by the Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and several MPs from the ruling Socialist-led coalition.

Veliaj distanced himself from the photographs, saying they were not part of the ceremony organized by the municipality.

Such appearances of Hoxha supporters have increased in the past few years, always leading to controversy led by representatives of former political prisoners under his regime and center right opposition, which this week called Peza appearances “provocations” of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“What makes this even worse is that the event was paid with taxpayer money,” said Edi Paloka, the leader of the Democratic Party’s parliamentary group.

The event was organized by the Municipality of Tirana as a big youthful party to teach young Albanians about the anti-fascist resistance during WWII.

Hoxha ruled Albania with iron fist from the end of WWII until his death in 1985. Thousands of people were executed or jailed for political reasons. There is widespread condemnation of his rule in Albania, and the numbers of those who have nostalgia for the communist regime are tiny.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 18, 2015 11:03