|Type||bi weekly newspaper|
Laiko Vima (Greek : Λαϊκό Βήμα, "People's Tribune") is a bi-weekly newspaper published in Gjirokastër, that serves the local Greek communities in Albania. It was founded in 1945 and was the only newspaper printed in the Greek language during the Socialist People's Republic of Albania.
After World War II, Albania as part of the Eastern Bloc, was governed by a Communist regime led by Enver Hoxha. Communist Albania was one of the last surviving Stalinist regimes worldwide,in which press remained under tight dictatorial control until the collapse of the Eastern Bloc political class.
This regime suppressed the local Greek communities, and took measures to disperse it or at least keep it loyal to Albania.Under these circumstances, ethnic Greeks, who are traditionally concentrated in parts of the country's south (Northern Epirus), were subject to serious human rights abuses, particularly in terms of religious freedom, education in Greek language and freedom of publication.
Laiko Vima was founded on 25 May 1945,by the local branch of the Party of Labour of Albania and was the only newspaper in the Greek language for the needs of the local communities. Laiko Vima was published in Gjirokastër, home to large number of Greek minority members, and was distributed only to Gjirokastër District. The newspaper was an organ of the local branch of the Party of Labour, and every article was subject to heavy censorship.
In 1956 Laiko Vima started to host a literary page, initially edited by Panos Tsoukas, who was an active member of the Party of Labour. During 1960–1968 the literary page was suspended but reappeared in 1968–1988, this time edited by the poet Andreas Zarbalas. From 1988 to 1991 it evolved into a separate literary magazine with the title: The people's literary tribune (Greek : Λογοτεχνικό Λαϊκό Βήμα). This featured poems and prose pieces by both established and new writers, for whom it functioned as the antechamber for further publishing. Moreover, various poems used allegory and metaphors in order to evade censorship.
In 1970, after 25 years of circulation, the newspaper was awarded by Enver Hoxha as having played a major role in the revolutionary education of the Greek minority.
In early 1991, following the fall of the communist regime and liberalization in Albania,Laiko Vima continued to be published but now as a private newspaper owned by local Greeks in Gjirokastër. Besides Laiko Vima, which is still in circulation, several other Greek newspapers as well as magazines are published in the areas in which ethnic Greek communities live and are also available in parts of nearby Greece.
Enver Hoxha was an Albanian politician who served as the First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania, from 1941 until his death in 1985. He was also a member of Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania, chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania, commander-in-chief of the armed forces from 1944 until his death. He served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Albania from 1944 to 1954 and at various times served as foreign minister and defence minister of People's Socialist Republic of Albania as well.
Northern Epirus is a term used to refer to those parts of the historical region of Epirus, in the western Balkans, which today are part of Albania. The term is used mostly by Greeks and is associated with the existence of a substantial ethnic Greek population in the region. It also has connotations with political claims on the territory on the grounds that it was held by Greece and in 1914 was declared an independent state by the local Greeks against annexation to the newly founded Albanian principality. The term is typically rejected by most Albanians for its irredentist associations.
Chronology of Important Events of Albania:
Adil Çarçani was an Albanian politician who served as the 24th Prime Minister of Albania in the Communist regime led by Enver Hoxha. He served as the titular head of the Albanian government in the years immediately preceding the fall of the Communist regime.
Labëria is a historic region that is roughly situated in southwestern Albania. Its inhabitants are known as Labs and its boundaries reach from Vlorë to Himara in the south, to the Greek border near Sarandë, incorporating the Kurvelesh region of Gjirokastër District and extending east to the city of Tepelenë.
Albania is an ethnically homogeneous country, where the overwhelming majority of the population speaks Albanian, which is also the official language. It has two distinct dialects: Tosk, spoken in the south, and Gheg, spoken in the north. However many Albanians speak Italian, Greek, French, German, English amongst other languages too, due to the high numbers of Albanian diaspora and Albanian communities throughout the Balkans.
The Greeks of Albania are ethnic Greeks who live in or originate from areas within modern Albania. They are mostly concentrated in the south of the country, in the areas of the northern part of the historical region of Epirus, in parts of Vlorë County, Gjirokastër, Korçë and Berat County. The area is also known as Northern Epirus. Consequently, the Greeks hailing specifically from South Albania/Northern Epirus are widely known as Northern Epirotes. The Greeks who live in the "minority zones" of Albania are officially recognised by the Albanian government as the Greek National Minority of Albania.
The Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was a short-lived, self-governing entity founded in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars on February 28, 1914 by Greeks living in southern Albania.
The Protocol of Corfu, signed on May 17, 1914, was an agreement between the representatives of the Albanian Government and the Provisional Government of Northern Epirus, which officially recognized the area of Northern Epirus as an autonomous self-governing region under the sovereignty of the prince of the newly established Principality of Albania. The agreement granted the Greeks of the districts of Korytsa and Argyrokastro, which form Northern Epirus, wider religious, educational, cultural and political autonomy, inside the borders of the Albanian state.
The National Liberation Movement, also translated as National Liberation Front, was an Albanian communist resistance organization that fought in World War II. It was created on 16 September 1942, in a conference held in Pezë, a village near Tirana, and was led by Enver Hoxha. Apart from the figures which had the majority in the General Council it also included known nationalists like Myslim Peza. In May 1944, the Albanian National Liberation Front was transformed into the government of Albania and its leaders became government members, and in August 1945, it was replaced by the Democratic Front.
The Tosks are one of two major dialectal subgroups of Albanians differentiated by their cultural, linguistic, social and religious characteristics.
The Democratic Front of Albania was the largest mass organization of the Party of Labour of Albania which united all other mass organizations of the Party within it, was responsible for carrying out the Party's cultural and social programs to the masses, and was in charge of nominating candidates in elections.
Panteleimon of Gjirokastër was a bishop of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. He was the metropolitan bishop of Gjirokastër (1937–1941) and a member of the exiled Northern Epirus lobby after the end of World War II.
Eulogios Kourilas Lauriotes (1880–1961) was a bishop of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. He was the Orthodox metropolitan bishop of Korçë (Korytsa) in Albania between 1937 and 1939, and a professor of philosophy and author on religious matters. He later became one of the leaders of the Northern Epirus movement, propagating that Greece should annex southern Albania.
The Politburo was the leading organ of the Party of Labour of Albania. It comprised key government ministers and Central Committee secretaries and served as the main administrative and policy-making body, convening on a weekly basis.
Takis Tsiakos was a Greek poet, representative of the poetic style of Kostis Palamas.
Andreas Zarbalas is an Albanian-born Greek poet and journalist.
Javer Hurshiti was an Albanian military and political figure.
Bedri Spahiu was an Albanian politician and Lieutenant-General and one of the most prominent figures of the Albanian Labour Party up to 1956.
Gjirokastër is a city in southern Albania, in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, at 300 metres above sea level. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate". The city is overlooked by Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years. It is the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha, and author Ismail Kadare.