Zëri i Rinisë 1990

Newspaper of the Union of Youth

Summary of Key Articles – curated and translated by Prof. Artan Puto

13 January pg. 1 has an interview with Politburo member Foto Çami, given to the Albanian Radio Television (RTSH), in which he denies rumors about anti-communist demonstrations in some Albanian towns. These rumors are intended to foment trouble and prepare the scenario for protests as in other East European countries, Çami says.

21 February edition has an article by Napoleon Roshi, who writes about the so-called “freedom of press in western journalism.” The author says that the “freedom of press so widely propagated by western propaganda is not a true freedom as it serves the interests of the big magnates.”

10 March pg. 2 has an interview with Fatos Tarifa, professor of philosophy at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Enver Hoxha University, who summarizes a meeting in Vienna convened by UNESCO about problems in the family. Tarifa writes about the crisis of the family in the West and praises the Albanian family during the socialist period.

14 April pg. 2 has another article by Fatos Tarifa with the title “Sociological Poll – an Efficient Mechanism to Know Public Opinion.” The author introduces the notion of needing to know what the public thinks to develop effective policy (as opposed to the all-knowing wisdom of the party).

2 May pages 3-4 have the speech of Lisien Bashkurti, secretary of the youth organization, at the meeting of the organization’s Central Committee. He presents the changes in Albania as guided by Ramiz Alia. (Note: Bashkuri later became ambassador to Hungary in the Sali Berisha government.)

23 June pg. 2 article by the economist (and future Socialist Party head and Prime Minister) Fatos Nano with the title “New Economic Mechanism Spurs Progress and Civic Engagement to Work and Create.” The author addresses the impact of the economic mechanism in which enterprises are allowed to manage their own funds. He argues that, in the current situation, Albania needs qualitative changes in its economic relations.

30 June edition runs a short press release on the visit to Bulgaria of Alia’s foreign policy advisor, Sofokli Lazri, where he meets with President Mladenov and delivers a message from Alia.

4 July pg. 1 has a government statement criticizing the thousands of people who stormed different western embassies in Tirana, calling them hooligans.

5 September pg. 3 has an article by Ardian Klosi with the title “For Our Publications from the Foreign Literature; Correcting the Notion.” The author expresses his opinion that the translations of foreign-language books and literature into Albanian are very poor quality.

3 October pg. 4 has an editorial without author entitled “A Testimony to the Prestige and Rising International Authority of Our Country.” The article summarizes Ramiz Alia’s speech at the UN General Assembly.

6 October pages 3-4 have an interview with Besnik Mustafaj with the title “Searching Everyday and Continuously for the Truth.” Mustafaj condemns the use of the arts for propaganda and conformism. (Note: while not touching on politics, articles like this began to offer gentle critiques of the status quo.)

27 October has an editorial on pg. 1 entitled “BRPSH – A Separate Subject in the Draft for the Popular Assembly Elections.” The piece addresses the issue of the BRPSH (union of youth) participating in the forthcoming elections as a separate entity – a further indication of the country’s democratization. (Note: this was consistent with Alia’s policy at the time to introduce changes within the party’s control – later articulated as pluralism of thought rather than pluralism of parties.) On the same pg. there is also a short government statement about Ismail Kadare asking for political asylum in France, thereby “putting himself at the service of the enemies of Albania and the Albanian nation.”

3 November pages 2-3 have the speech of Foto Çami, secretary of the PLA’s Central Committee, to a conference of young artists in Korça. He combines the need to improve school textbooks with contemporary literature and the argument that Albania needs only the “pluralism of thought” rather than pluralism of parties, which could not function in Albania.

17 November pg. 1 has an interview with Çerçiz Loloçi, secretary for the youth organization of Tirana, who says that, although the youth organization has to present itself as an independent organization in the upcoming elections, it will “refer to the party, which has led this process for 50 years, refer to its program in the interest of progress and national development.”

1 December pg. 1 has an interview with Lisien Bashkurti, first secretary of the youth organization, who says that the democratization process has put an end to longstanding autocratic methods that imposed pre-fabicated programs. He says the BRPSH will run as an independent association in the elections and non-members can candidate.

22 December pg. 2 has an interview with the writer Dritero Agolli entitled “Democracy, Pluralism and Intelligentsia.” Agolli considers political pluralism to be a new phase of the country’s development. He says that “pluralism of thought prepared the ground for the more advanced political pluralism” and considers Alia as the principal intellectual and “promoter of the democratic process.”

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About Fred Abrahams

Author of Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy (NYU Press, 2015)

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