Debates within majority in Albania about the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of liberation

Debates within majority in Albania about the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of liberation

IBNA Special Report

Tirana, June 27, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, a debate has sparked within the parliamentary majority about the celebrations relating to this year’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of the country from fascist and Nazi invaders.

Parliamentary group of SMI (Socialist Movement for Integration), the second largest party of the majority, demanded a hearing with deputy prime minister Niko Peleshi. This hearing was held without the presence of the opposition MPs.

Vice chairman of SMI and its MP, Luan Rama said that the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism is one of the most important events in the history of Albania and for the role that it has had for the fate of the Albanian people, this event can be categorized immediately after the proclamation of Independence.

According to him, the stand toward the liberation war and the victory of this war is a stand which cannot be conditioned by changing conjectures. Rama MP said that the stand toward this victory is a proof of the political maturity and that this stand expresses the dignity of a state and political culture of a country.

He criticized the stand of the right wing which refuses to consider the armed efforts of Albanian people from 1939 to 1944 as a war against invaders.

“With the advent of the liberation day, instead of an understanding spirit that humanity has known for 3 thousand years, instead of dividing crime from freedom, the opposition is happening. Efforts are being made to join freedom with crime”, said Mr. Rama.

He said that the Albanian people must proudly celebrate this year, not with fear, but by holding their head high. “We want the people to see and feel that this victory is celebrated by its government, political administration, state offices and the entire society and every Albanian wherever he might live and work”.

Rama demanded on behalf of SMI for the deputy prime minister to provide information about the agenda that the government has prepared for this jubilee, what will the protocol activities be, what will the commemorating and scientific activities be and what will change for the better in terms of judging the past.

He criticized the fact that half of this jubilee year went by without any organization.

“Half of this year has gone by without many events which should have been part of an official agenda of celebrations, commemorations and state honors”.

Rama said that the 70th anniversary of the anti fascist war is important because the entire Albanian people is sensitive about this victory. “Every attempt to forget the generation of anti-fascist warriors and their merits by blaming events that happened later, is anti historical and immoral”, said Mr. Rama.

Deputy prime minister Niko Peleshi is also chairman of the State Commission for the organization of activities for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Albania.

He said that a special program has been prepared and that a part of the activities have been perceived to involve as many young people as possible. “According to us, it would be unforgivable if November 29 and National Liberation War is just a holiday for the new generation. Thus, the aim has been to convey to them the traditional message of this war, to convey the message of idealism, desire for peace and freedom that lead the war, which are necessary values for the true integration in Europe”, said Peleshi.

Deputy prime minister said that the government will take all measures to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the country with dignity. Some of the activities which will be organized will include photo exhibitions; the issuing of the postal stamp series containing the theme of the 70th anniversary of the country; the catalog of the Albanian currency from 1917 to 2014; the issuing of the bank notes commemorating the 70th anniversary of liberation; the creation of the medal of the 70th anniversary of the liberation to be given to the veterans of war; infrastructural interventions at the martyrs’ cemeteries in 30 towns and cities, etc.

These activities didn’t seem to please SMI a lot. On its behalf, Luan Rama demanded from the government to allocate concrete funds for the 70th anniversary. “ This historical anniversary needs concrete projects and concrete funds, which relate to investments in the reconstruction of the martyr’s cemeteries or monuments of war which link our time with that glorious time. The funds need government decisions, therefore you should have come up today with concrete funds, with the government decisions and procedures that have been launched”, said Rama.

In this point, deputy prime minister Peleshi announced the figures: The government has allocated around 200 million USD as far as the restoration of cemeteries is concerned and this includes 36 cemeteries of martyrs. /ibna/