Albania’s Democracy Day Marked by Political Forces in Their Own Ways

The 8th of December proclaimed as the National Youth Day in Albania to mark the start of the youth protests against the former communist regime in the end of 1980 was marked by all the political spectrum of this Balkan country each of them seeing it according to their political inclinations. Democrats and Socialists recalled that day as the start of democracy in Albania eyeing it according to their different political angles, while President and opposition took the opportunity to bring to the attention the current situation which, according to them, called for change on Tuesday.

"Time to Restart!" is the theme of President Ilir Meta in his message in which he said that the Albanian youth will take their destinies and those of the country into their own hands. Meta added that now is the time to dare and unite.

"'Time to restart!' for the restoration of democracy and accountability; to make Albania like all of Europe! I strongly believe in the energetic spirit of the youth of Albania and in the power of their abilities to transform and qualitatively improve the future of our people,” noted the President in his message.

The chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha made his public commitment in the framework of the 30th anniversary of the National Youth Day that after his coming to power he will limit himself to only two terms in the PM's post.

"Today I take a special commitment, which is to limit the power and mandate of the prime minister and the limitation to only two terms of the post of prime minister,” said Basha. According to DP’s head, a politician cannot be efficient in his more than 8 years.

Basha and former Prime Minister Sali Berisha paid homage at the monument to the hero of democracy, Azem Hajdari, killed in 1998 in an assassination which has still remained unclear regarding its real authors of the liquidation of one of the maverick leaders of the democratic youth movement. They laid wreaths in honor of the leader of the 1990 student movement.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Edi Rama conveyed a message on this occasion, which he accompanied with a photo of him as an active part of the student movement.

"30 years is a long way in the path of a man, but not so much in the path of a country's history, especially when it is time to move from an extreme dictatorship to a functioning democracy," said Rama, who is also the head of the Socialist Party.

"It has been 30 years today from the day, or more precisely the evening of the students taking the road without returning to the dictatorship. Extraordinary years in the life of our society and an extraordinary privilege of being an active part of the efforts along this path, together with the great honor of leading the country in the last 7 years, despite the ashes added with a dizzying speed in these years," he said in the message posted on Twitter.

US Embassy marks student movement’s anniversary

“We congratulate all Albanians as they celebrate National Youth Day, which this year marks the 30th anniversary of the student movement that led to the fall of communism on December 8, 1990,” said the US Embassy in Tirana in a note on Twitter. “This is a day to recognize the brave students who marched against dictatorship and brought democracy and freedom to Albania, and to recognize the progress made during these past 30 years by Albania, now a full NATO member and on its path toward the European Union.”

In conclusion the message said that it is also a day to make sure the sacrifices of those students made are remembered and to honor those still contributing to a better Albania. “The United States will always support the Albanian people in this journey,” concluded the message of the US Embassy. /