Today marks the 30 years since the statue of former Albanian communist dictator, Enver Hoxha was toppled by demonstrators who had gathered in central Tirana. This was one of the most important events which led to the total collapse of the communist regime in Albania and opened a new chapter for the country.
On 20 February 1991, tens of thousands of people gathered to topple this communist symbol, a few months after the old regime, which was in its last days, had allowed political pluralism.
The toppling of the dictator’s statue was provoked by the hunger strike which was started by several hundreds of students who no longer wanted their university to bear Hoxha’s name.
The statue was toppled at a time when the country was going through a serious political situation. The Democratic Party had been founded only two months earlier and authorities had declared the date for the first pluralist elections in Albania, which were going to be held on 31 March 1991.
20 February has been declared as the Day of National Memory for the martyrs and victims of the communist regime. This also marked the end of dictatorship in Albania. TemA