Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Albanian population issue

by Fanis Malkidis*

(Part 5 speech in the Panelladiki Meeting of the magazine Ardin «NEW CLASS - MINORITIES – BALKANS - COOPERATION ON NATIONAL IDENTITY AND ECOLOGICAL CRISIS» EDESSA 28-31 AUGUST 2008)

Developments in the Balkans since 1991, except for the very important issues have highlighted the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the cycle of violence is perhaps the sovereign, and highlighted the modern Albanian issue. Kosovo was the beginning and followed the Tetovo and Presevo in Macedonia important tool to display the Albanian national goals has been the demographic issue. The ongoing argument of the Albanian civilian personnel to the mother - home to the locations of the Albanian population living in the former Yugoslavia and the Diaspora was booming of the Albanian population, which in a very short time to become a minority by the majority.

Thus, the population growth was the reason for seeking more rights for the creation of parallel structures health, education, security, etc., for the emergence of Albanian issues in international organizations and friendly governments for the activity through organized channels crime, funding of the «liberation struggle». The violence in Kosovo and Macedonia, who came from «repression of the Albanian majority», according to the official Albanian and international terms, has led to a new de facto reality.

Kosovo is the main point of reference of the Albanian population primacy. In 1871, the figures gave the Austrian General Peter Kukulj, represented a total population of 500,000 people, of whom 318,000 Serbs (64%) and 161,000 Albanians (32%). Again the Austrians in 1899 indicate a population of 182,650 Albanians (47.88%) and 166,700 Serbs (43.7%). In early 20 th century British journalist H. Brailsford estimated that 2 / 3 of the region's population were Albanians and 1 / 3 Serbs. The census of 1921 gave the Albanian population of 288,907 (65%) and 93,203 Serbs, while in 1931 gave 347,213 Albanians (62.8%).

The continued and dramatic growth of the Albanian population is continuing and subsequent years. The first number indicates the year inventory, the second overall population of Kosovo, the Albanian party, with the rate and the last the Serbs. 1971: 1,243,693, 916168 (73.7%), 228,264 (18.4%). 1981: 1584,558, 1,226,736 (77.42%), 209,498 (13.2%). 1991: 1,956,196, 1,596,072 (81.6%), 194,190 (9.9%). In 1995 the Department of Demography of Pristina, which was created by the Albanian parallel structures gave the following figures: Total population: 1,600,000 (and 600,000 abroad), Albanians: 1,360,000 (89.9%) and 1,960,000 together with the 600,000 of the 140,000 Serbs and the Diaspora (6.3%). The latest sources (2003) gives a total population of 1,900,000 to 1,672,000 Albanians (88%) and 133,000 Serbs (7%).

In Macedonia, the census of 2002, one year after bloody fights of 2001 that resulted in the Ohrid Agreement and sygkyvernisi Albanian policy, the figures show the Albanian population explosion. The total population of the country is 2,022,547 people, of whom 1,297,981 stated «Macedonians» (64.17%, including Goranci at a rate 5.86% and 509,083 Albanians (25.17%) Albanians show (figures 2006) on average 4.1 children per family and their population after the Second World War, rose 3 times from 8% in 1948, was 25% in 2002 and in accordance with the Albanians in 35% (707,891 people).
In Montenegro, according to 2002 census recorded 672,656 people of which 47,682 Albanians (7.09%) and in accordance with the Albanian sources constitute 10% of the total population.

In Presevo, in the Serbian region on the border with Macedonia, the census of 2002 gave 34,904 people, of whom 31,099 Albanians (89.1%) and 2,966 Serbs (8.5%). The Albanians in 1992, according to the demographic situation after the vote suggested areas of Presevo, Mentventa and Bougianovats to unite with Kosovo, which applied to the period 1999 and 2001, received military and form with «Liberation Army of Presevo , and Mentventa Bougianovats ».

Where there were no indigenous peoples alvanikoi for creating the appropriate climate came migration to do so (the case of Greece and therefore the Greek-Albanian relations). Albania is ranked in the top positions worldwide, in terms of migration, with the official rate of 20% of its population living outside Albania, namely 613,855 people, a number that does not respond but in reality, if we accept that only Albanians in Greece Immigrants are between 600,000 and 700,000, according to the Albanian embassy in Athens and the Institute Watson. (Statistics in 2001 showed that Albania has a population of 3,069,275 people and 1989 3,182,417, namely the critical period of migration showed a reduction in 113,142 people (3.56% rate), data show large gaps and does not reflect clearly reality. parallel, in 2001 the Greek census gave 445,000 Albanians.

The main objectives of the national strategy of Albania for the migration of its citizens, focusing on protecting the rights of Albanian immigrants in strengthening ties between the Albanian communities abroad, investment in development, formulation of a policy on labour migration, to facilitate Albanians to travel visa equipped with a limited duration and in creating the necessary institutional framework for immigrants.

The demographic movement of Albanian populations in the Balkans, but also the continued migration outside Albania, creates a very significant and substantive developments that signal major changes in the region. Indeed, if the demographic movement of the Albanian population in the Balkans, with these rhythms described, it will certainly create new data not only where there are already developments (Kosovo, Macedonia) but also elsewhere (Presevo, Montenegro), while it remains to be determine if the issues of rights of the Albanian population will be politically or by other means


Alexandroupolis - Thrace - GREECE

Democritus University of Thrace.

He is Doctor of Social Sciences and he is teaching at Democritus University of Thrace. Member of International Association of Genocide Scholars for the study and member of International League for Rights and freedom of Peoples. He has realised interventions for the Pontian question και more specifically for the recognition of genocide, the freedom of Greeks in Pontos (Turkey today) and for the Pontians refugees from former Soviet Union. He has been honoured by the Council of Press of National Communities of Canada for his contribution in the promotion of culture and the comprehension between the National Communities.

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