Albania Contemporary History Part V

By | December 15, 2021

From the religious point of view, the coexistence of religions does not seem to give rise to serious drawbacks. There is no state religion. The Catholics who live in the great majority in the north of Albania religiously depend on Rome with the intermediary of an apostolic delegate. Negotiations are underway for the conclusion of a concordat with the Holy See. The Orthodox (about 172,000) who prevail in southern Albania, have in 1927, after long negotiations with the patriarchate of Constantinople, established the Albanian autocephalous church. Muslims (about 560,000), in accordance with the character of their religion, have no recognized spiritual leaders either in Albania or outside (see below).

To complete these news on the Albanian internal constitution, we report the figures of the budget for the financial year 1927-28:

The activity carried out by Ahmed Zogu during the last two years, however, has not been able for obvious reasons to ignore an iron regime, which fatigues the population, not accustomed to subjecting to a regular government, much less paying customs and taxes regularly.. Added to this is the irritation of a part of the Bey class, which the Zogu regime prevents from indulging in abuses. These difficulties are also reinforced and aggravated by the contacts that the numerous Albanian refugees abroad maintain with the discontented at home. The refugees can be divided into three groups: those who are mostly recruited from the Catholics of the north, such as Ndok Gjeloshi, Don Lorenzo Zaka, Don Lazzaro Shantoja, residing in Yugoslavia and largely provided with subsidies from this state to tie them to his interests; those residing in Bari or Zara, who mostly belong to the intransigent nationalist group and are headed by Hasan bey Prishtina and ‛Alī Klisura, and finally those residing in Vienna, who are headed by Fan Noli and are largely affected by Bolshevik tendencies and aid. The different interests which animate these refugees, however making their union difficult, facilitate defense for Zogu and will perhaps make possible later isolated and subsequent reconciliations. For Albania 2013, please check

The foreign policy of Albania, as soon as Ahmed Zogu assumed power in 1924, seemed at first to clearly lean towards Yugoslavia. Evidence of this Yugoslavophilic policy was immediately seen in the compliance shown by Albania on the occasion of the delimitation of the border with the cession of Vermoshë and San Naum to Yugoslavia. The work carried out by some Yugoslav circles, mainly that which was headed by the Serbian military league, by means of a large network of agents in Albania, culminating in the revolution that broke out in November 1927 in the region of the Ducagini and led by refugees from Yugoslavia, forced however Zogu to radically revise his foreign policy programs.

The friendship and security pact between Italy and Albania, which slowly matured, was signed on November 27, 1927 by the plenipotentiary minister of Italy, Baron Aloisi, and by the Albanian foreign minister, Hysen bey Vrioni.

With this pact “Italy and Albania recognize that any disturbance directed against the political, juridical and territorial status quo of Albania is contrary to their mutual political interest”, and “for the protection of the aforementioned interest the High Contracting Parties agree they undertake to lend their mutual support and cordial collaboration; they also undertake not to enter into political or military agreements with other powers to the detriment of the interests also defined in this pact “. The friendship pact was followed in November 1927 by an alliance treaty between the two countries.

Shortly after, in the first months of 1928, a simple motion by the deputy Feizi bey to obtain that the Albanian statute be revised in some points, almost suddenly led to the formal recognition of the order of things created in Albania by the long and beneficial stay of Ahmed Zogu to the presidency of the republic. In fact, when the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies met in a legislative assembly to bring the required changes to the statute, they found that this task belonged only to a constituent assembly for which special elections had to be called.

This decision had just been adopted when, in the first fortnight of June 1928, the discovery of an attack that was being prepared against the life of Ahmed Zogu came to confer still new prestige on his person. In the days preceding the opening of the assembly, which took place on August 25, rallies took place in all the cities of Albania that praised President Zogu and proclaimed the popular will to confer on him the crown of mbret, a title equivalent to that of sovereign., in recognition of the great services rendered to the country.

On 1 September the constituent assembly, under the presidency of Pandeli Vangjeli, proclaimed the monarchical form of the state and decided to offer the crown to Ahmed Zogu with the title of Zogu I, king of the Albanians. The same day the new sovereign took an oath before the assembly.

In the meantime, this continues the studies for the elaboration of the new statute, while Albania has solemnized with oriental pomp the coronation of the king who, consolidated the independence of the state and ensured foreign relations, as was also manifested on the occasion of the recognition by part of the foreign states of the new monarchical form of the country, leads it today with a firm hand, through internal pacification, to the already well underway economic and civil progress.

Albania Contemporary History Part V