A rare piece of official newsfilm from Albanian Television gives western eyes a glimpse of central Tirana, capital of Albania.
GV Traffic along main street
GV Central square in Tirana, with Public buildings & cultural centres
SV Group of students enter building (4 shots)
GV PAN Square to statue of 15th century fighter
SV Lenin statue
SV ZOOM OUT statue of freedom-fighter
SV ZOOM Statue of Stalin
SV PAN Apartment buildings
GV Street with trees in F/G
Initials SGM/1456 SGM/1513
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Background: A rare piece of official newsfilm from Albanian Television gives western eyes a glimpse of central Tirana, capital of Albania.
The most striking feature is the absence of privately-owned cars in this Peking-aligned Communist state. There are only a few lorries and vans, most of them of Chinese origin, to be seen in the tree-lined boulevards.
The break with the Soviet Union occurred ten years ago, yet statues of Soviet heroes, are still to be seen in Tirana's centre.
To western eyes the people are relaxed and unfrantic, unspoiled by over-industrialisation and its consequences.
SYNOPSIS: This is one of the central thoroughfares of Tirana, capital of Albania, rarely seen by western eyes since the end of the war. The most striking feature is the absence of privately-owned cars in this Peking-aligned Communist state. Only a few lorries and vans are to be seen, most of them of Chinese origin. Albania has for 10 years been the most constant European ally of Mao Tse Tung, and Western diplomats estimate the country has received between 300 and 400 million U.S. dollars in development aid and credit. Education has been given a high priority by the Albanians, at Tirana University here, in the capital, and throughout the country. In Tirana alone there are now more than 85,000 school pupils and students, and the city had only a total of 60,000 inhabitants in 1945.
Since 1969, when the first high-level Chinese military delegation visited Tirana, stopping on the way in Bucharest, Rumania, The People's Republic of China has sought to build up diplomatic influence in Tirana, to resist Soviet pressures here, and in Bucharest and Belgrade. yet the boulevards of the city are still decorated with statues of Soviet heroes, as well as those of Albanian freedom-fighters. Party officials say they have no quarrel with the Soviet people, only with the leadership. So they still maintain statues of Stalin, alongside those of Lenin.
Rented flats in Albania, officials claim, are cheaper than anywhere else in the world, and there is much new building going on. Western travellers speak of an easy-going people and a capital city which are completely unspoiled by over-industrialisation and its consequences.