Albania - the world's only remaining Stalinist state - has celebrated worker solidarity this month with many May Day celebrations.
Albania - the world's only remaining Stalinist state - has celebrated worker solidarity this month with many May Day celebrations. The largest display was in the capital Tirana, where thousands of workers paraded.
SYNOPSIS: Communist Party Chief Enver Hoxha reviewed the parade with other party leaders as the crowds marched down Tirana's main "Nation's Martyrs" Boulevard.
Young Pioneers also took part dancing and singing of worker solidarity achievements.
With Mr. Hoxha on the review stand was Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu. The two men are long-standing members of Albania's Labour Politburo, the party which remains firmly committed to Stalinist policy. Last year Albania officially celebrated the 97th anniversary of Stalin's birth. Mr. Hoxha, who has led the party since 1946, is the longest-serving Communist leader in Europe, after Yugoslavia's President Tito.
Albanian citizens begin their military training at school and are encouraged to be "ever-vigilant". Albania, frequently described as Europe's most isolated country, broke off friendly relations with the Soviet Union more than 16 years ago and for a long time depended on China as an ally.
Recently, however, observers have noted that relations are cooling between china and Albania. Instead, Albania has initiated tentative links with Greece. A new direct air service has been established between the capitals of Tirana and Athens and trade agreements have been signed. Western observers believe this move reflects Tirana's concern about future developments in the Balkans, once President Tito is no longer in charge in Yugoslavia.