Fatos Nano

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Fatos Nano
Fatos Nano 2003.jpg
25th Prime Minister of Albania
In office
31 July 2002 – 10 September 2005
PresidentAlfred Moisiu
Preceded byPandeli Majko
Succeeded bySali Berisha
In office
25 July 1997 – 28 September 1998
PresidentRexhep Meidani
Preceded byBashkim Fino
Succeeded byPandeli Majko
In office
22 February 1991 – 5 June 1991
PresidentRamiz Alia
Preceded byAdil Çarçani
Succeeded byYlli Bufi
Personal details
Born (1952-09-16) 16 September 1952 (age 66)
Tirana, Albania
Political partySocialist Party
Spouse(s)Rexhina Nano (1976–2001)
Xhoana Nano (2002–present)
Klajdi (step-son)
Alma materUniversity of Tirana

Fatos Thanas Nano About this soundlisten  (born 16 September 1952) is an Albanian socialist politician who was the Prime Minister of Albania several times; he was the first leader and founder of the Socialist Party of Albania and a member of the Albanian Parliament from 1991 to 1996 and 1997 to 2009. He reformed the Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist ideology of the Labor Party of Albania into social democracy for its successor, the Socialist Party.[1] During his leadership, the Socialist Party, as a result of reforms, joined the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists.[2][3] Nano was a candidate in the 2007 presidential election but did not win. He again tried in the 2012 presidential election,[4] but he did not even qualify as a candidate, because the leaders of parties in Parliament obstructed their respective MPs to elect him as candidate in the elections.[5]

Personal history[edit]

Fatos Nano was born in Tirana to Thanas Nano, a former director of Albanian Radio Television,[6] and Maria Nano (née Shuteriqi), a government official. He was the only male child among female siblings in the family. He grew up in Hoxha Tahsim Street in East Tirana, attended and graduated from “Sami Frasheri” High School, reserved for the children of the nomenklatura.[7][8] In the early years of adolescence, Nano was eager to learn foreign languages and used to play the guitar. In his second year of high school, he founded a rock group of which he was the lead singer; they played the music of the Beatles, strictly forbidden to the general public at the time.[6] He graduated in Political Economy from the University of Tirana in 1974.[9][6] After graduation in 1978, Nano worked in the management of the metallurgical mills of Elbasan until 1981.[6][10] From 1981 until 1984, Nano served as an economist at Priska's Agricultural Farm in Tirana.[6] In 1984, he was appointed as a researcher of socio-economic problems and reforms of market economies of Eastern Bloc countries in the Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies in Tirana, where he worked until 1990.[11][6] When Fatos Nano was working in the Marxist-Leninist Institute, he was under the observation of Nexhmije Hoxha, Enver Hoxha's wife. He was singled out for special favor. Nexhmije Hoxha reportedly followed his career and helped him at strategic points to move from job to job.[6]

Early political career[edit]

He began his political career in December 1990, where he was first appointed as Secretary General of the Council of Ministers.[6][12] In January 1991, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Prime Minister, still in the government of Adil Çarçani.[6][12] The fall of the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries forced President Ramiz Alia to gradually remove the old communist nomenklatura from power and government, so in the end of February 1991, Alia appointed Nano as Prime Minister of the transitional government with the purpose of organizing the first post-communist democratic elections in the country being held that year and to prepare the transition of the country towards liberal democracy and market economy.[12][6][13] The Parliamentary Elections were held on 31 March 1991 where the Labour Party of Albania won the majority. Ramiz Alia appointed Nano for the second time as the new Prime Minister.[14] However, his new government did not last longer than the first as one week after a General Strike organized by the independent unions forced him to resign a couple of weeks later.[15][13][6] The 10th Congress of the Labor Party was held in June 1991, which took three important decisions; first it changed the name of Labour Party to Socialist Party, then it expelled all the members of the Politburo, and then it elected Nano as the new leader of the Socialist Party on 12 June 1991.[16][13][6]


After the Democratic Party of Albania won the parliamentary election of 22 March 1992, the Parliament set up a commission in early 1993 to investigate the activity of Fatos Nano for alleged corruption and abuse with management of humanitarian aid given by the Italian state during the economic crisis that lasted from 1990 until early 1992.[17] This was a sophisticated way to imprison Nano due to his strong opposition to the autocratic signs of President Sali Berisha and due to the inefficiency and inability of the government headed by Aleksander Meksi to accomplish effective economic reforms.[17] Nano was right about this, because the government of the Democratic Party permitted the notorious Ponzi schemes (known as pyramid schemes in Albania) which resulted in the unrest of 1997 where the majority of Albanians lost their savings, instead of effective economical reforms.[18] On 27 July 1993 the Albanian Parliament approved the request of the General Attorney, Alush Dragoshi[19] to take off the legislative immunity for Nano.[20][21] On 30 July 1993 Nano was arrested in the office of the Prosecutor,[22] and charged with "abuse of duty and the falsification of official documents in connection with Italian aid" following the use of a single vendor which overcharged and delivered foodstuffs which were unfit for consumption.[21] On 3 April 1994, Nano was sentenced to twelve years in prison.[21] A petition signed by 700 thousand people was sent to President Berisha to free Nano from prison.[23] Nano was considered a political prisoner by the Socialist Party of Albania,[24] Amnesty International, Human Right Watch (former Helsinki Watch), Inter-Parliamentary Union, and other groups,[25] so he was let to be the chairman of it. To do his job from the prison, he used his ex-wife, Rexhina Nano, as intermediate to send directives to the party leadership, sometimes verbally, sometimes in written form.[26] After imprisonment, Nano decided that the party should be led by three Deputy Chairmen and one Secretary General to continue the party's political battle.[23]

Since the rejection of the revised Albanian Constitution during the 1994 Referendum,[27] the foreign relations between Albania, the European Union and the United States began to deteriorate due to autocratic manners of President Berisha in the matters of the state, but they also were sceptical about the abilities of the leadership of the Socialist Party to govern the country, in case the Socialist Party were to win the Parliamentary Elections of 1996.[28] The foreign diplomats also expressed concern toward the neutral stance the Socialist leadership (except Nano) held about Enver Hoxha and the positive stance toward Marxism-Leninism, which was implemented in the programme and the statute of the party by Servet Pellumbi. They called the socialist leadership (except Nano, who was not affiliated with Labor Party) as "dinosaurs from the old epoch".[28][29]

In 1996, Nano wrote a letter the 2nd Congress of the Party (Keshilli i Pergjithshem Drejtues), held on July–August 1996, to initiate a "Motion for Debate" to remove from the top positions of party anyone who was affiliated in any way with the Labour Party, because Nano thought that the top positions, i.e. the leadership of the party, should be held by intellectuals, like Rexhep Meidani, Pandeli Majko, Kastriot Islami, etc.[30] This was an imperative because it was part of the ongoing process to reform the party in order to join the Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists. The "Motion for Debate", requested by Nano, also required, to implement the recommendations made by State Department, European Parliament and European Council, for the solution of the political and institutional crisis, as official stance of the Socialist Party, also to propose the Congress to remove Marxist and statist concepts from the party's statute and programme,[31] also to deny Vladimir Lenin and Comintern and rehabilitate Karl Kautsky and Second Internationale.[29] The motion was supported by the majority of the socialist members and also by the civil society, and was approved as a consequence by the congress.[32]

In 1997, the collapse of Ponzi schemes marked the beginning of an armed popular revolt against President Berisha, who was forced to resign in July 1997.[33] Berisha called untimely parliamentary elections on 29 June and he decreed a general amnesty to all prisoners in March 1997; Nano too was released from prison.[34] Nano was found innocent by a court in Tirana for his alleged abuse of power and corruption in 1999.[35]

Second and third premierships[edit]

Fatos Nano in 2004

The parliamentary elections of 29 June 1997 were an overwhelming victory for the Socialist Party of Albania.[36] Nano was appointed Prime Minister by President Rexhep Meidani. The goal of Nano and the socialist government was to rebuild the ruined country, strengthen its economy and reconcile its people divided by political beliefs, but this was almost impossible with the destructive opposition led by former President Berisha. A coup d'état was attempted on 14 September 1998 by the leadership and the radical followers of the Democratic Party of Albania during the funeral of Azem Hajdari with the goal of taking power by force and murdering Nano.[37][38] To avoid his murder by the angry mob, Nano decided to flee to the government residence in Pogradec.[39] In the 1990s, Greece preferred and assisted Fatos Nano as Albanian leader due to him being Orthodox over Sali Berisha a Muslim, as Nano was seen as being friendlier to Greek interests.[40] The government of Fatos Nano was viewed by Turkey as having a pro-Greek orientation and expressed some dissatisfaction though during that time still maintained close military relations with Albania in rebuilding its armed forces and a military base.[41] During 1998 Albania's Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) membership was suspended and temporarily withdrawn by prime-minister Fatos Nano who viewed it as inhibiting Albania's European aspirations.[42][43][44][45] On 28 September 1998 Nano chose to resign and retired from political life.[36][46][37][38]

After the Socialist Party won for the second time, in the Parliamentary Elections on 24 June 2001,[36] Nano returned to politics again after 2 years of inactivity by starting the movement called Catharsis, with the goal to cripple the agreement between Rama and Meta to share the political power between them for the next 10 years.[47][48][49]

In early 2002, Nano unsuccessfully tried to run for President of Albania, but on 25 July 2002 he was appointed by newly elected President Alfred Moisiu as Prime Minister for the third time. Just days after retaking office in August 2002, Nano came under attack by leading Italian weekly L'Espresso, which accused him of having ties to international organized-crime groups, and having been involved in a cigarette-smuggling ring with Naples-based mobsters.[50] Nano sued the magazine in a court in Rome which ruled in favor of Nano. The court found the article to contain untrue information and speculations with the purpose of harming Nano during his term in office. The news magazine was ordered to pay Nano €3 million euros, and sentenced the magazine's director Daniela Hamaoi and the authors of the article Claudio Papayani, Dina Nasecti and Giuseppe Roli with 18 months in jail for groundlessly connecting Nano to the crime and mafia in Albania.[51][52][53][54]

In the winter of 2004, a number of protests with over 20,000 people were organized by the opposition led by Sali Berisha demanding Nano to resign as prime minister which came known as the "Nano Go Away" Movement.[55] In 2004, the civil society group Mjaft! protested in front of Nano's office against the alleged import of waste from Italy to Albania.[56]


On 3 July 2005 the Socialist Party lost the elections and its majority in parliament.[36] Nano resigned as Prime Minister and also as the Chairman of Socialist Party on 1 September 2005.[6][36] Since then, he retired from public and political life. He rarely appears for interviews in some political talk shows.[39][57][58][47]

After 2005, Nano did not attend parliament regularly but only came in a 6-month interval to claim his monthly pay cheque.[59]

Presidential candidacy[edit]

In early 2007, Nano met with Sali Berisha to counter appeals from the Socialist Party to boycott the 2007 local government elections which would have triggered untimely parliamentary elections. Nano was elected candidate for President in the Presidential Elections of 2007 by the request of 20 Socialist MPs.[60] Most members of the opposition coalition led by the Socialist Party did not support him, however, and choose to boycott this Presidential Election. Nano received only three votes, while Bamir Topi of the Democratic Party won 75 votes. Topi did not receive enough votes to be elected, however.[61][62] The second round of voting was held on 10 July. However, the parliament still failed to elect a president, with Nano getting five votes and Topi receiving 74. Continued failure to elect a president would have resulted in an early parliamentary election,[63] but on 20 July Topi was elected.[64] In late August, it appeared likely Nano would found a new political party.[65][66] Nano tried again to run for Presidency in 2012, but he did not even qualify for candidate, because the leaders parties in Parliament obstructed their respective MPs to elect him as candidate.

New movement inside Socialist Party[edit]

After the election of President of Albania in June 2012, Nano formed a movement called "Nano Movement for the victory of socialist" with the goal of retaking the leadership of the Socialist Party, crippling the autocrasy established by Edi Rama, which exists in the form of the Party of the Leader. Although to most political observers this new movement is seen as too weak and too unpopular to unseat the incumbent Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Edi Rama. Nano's past unpopularity due to his backroom deals with the equally unpopular former Prime Minister Sali Berisha have tainted his credentials and Edi Rama's popular judicial, administrative and economical reforms ensure that the latter maintains his position as Prime Minister and Leader of the Socialist Party in Albania.[67][68]


The early life of Nano is narrated by the only biographical book for him in the Albanian language "Të jetosh kohën", written by his ex-wife Rexhina Nano and published in early 2008[69][70] which is extensively used as reference for the information provided in this article, also by Nano himself in his interview to journalist Blendi Fevziu in Opinion talk show during two episodes aired on TV Klan (Episode 1 and Episode 2).

Nano has a degree in political economy and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Tirana.[71]

He has published three books:[72]

  • Socialimperializmi sovjetik në ekonominë kapitaliste botërore (1987)
  • Die Sowjetunion: ein kapitalistisches, imperialistisches Land (1988)
  • Dosja Nano (1994)

Nano was elected as a member of parliament from the districts of Tirana in 1991, Kuçovë in 1992, Tepelenë in 1997 and 2001, and Sarandë in 2005. In 2012, he was elected Honorary Member by the Socialist Party.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 108, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008.
  2. ^ "XX Congress of the Socialist International", New York, September 9–11, 1996.
  3. ^ "PES Associate Parties" Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Fatos Nano, interviste ne Top Story" Archived 2013-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Sokol Balla, April 19, 2012.
  5. ^ "Takimi ne mbremje, Rama sot me Berishën: Nano, jo kandidat i PS" Archived 2012-06-08 at the Wayback Machine, Panorama, June 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Cable 97TIRANA1976, Biography of New Albanian Prime Minister", WikiLeaks, August 30, 2011.
  7. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 14, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  8. ^ "Cable 97TIRANA1976, Biography of New Albanian Prime Minister Par9", WikiLeaks, August 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 45, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  10. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 59, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  11. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 66, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  12. ^ a b c "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 93, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  13. ^ a b c "Opinion" Archived 2012-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, with Blendi Fevziu, February 4, 2010.
  14. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 101, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  15. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 102-103, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  16. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 108, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  17. ^ a b "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 123, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  18. ^ "Albania under the Shadow of the Pyramids", Carlos Elbirt, 1997.
  19. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 221, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  20. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 147, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  21. ^ a b c Jeffries, Ian (1996). A Guide to the Economies in Transition. p. 379. ISBN 978-0-415-13684-6.
  22. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 149-158, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  23. ^ a b "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 193, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  24. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 175-176, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  25. ^ "Cable 97TIRANA1976, Biography of New Albanian Prime Minister from Marisa Lino, August 8, ,1997", WikiLeaks, August 30, 2011
  26. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 247, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  27. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 312, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  28. ^ a b "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 356, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  29. ^ a b "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 408-409, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  30. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 389-393, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  31. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 390-392, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  32. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 411-413, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  33. ^ "Anarchy of thugs menaces Albania", Jane Perlez (The New York Times), March 12, 1997.
  34. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 430-432, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  35. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 470, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008.
  36. ^ a b c d e "Qeveritë e formuara nga viti 1912 deri në 2005" Archived 2012-05-09 at the Wayback Machine, Keshilli i Ministrave
  37. ^ a b "Troubled September in Albania", AIM Press, September 19, 1998.
  38. ^ a b "Fatos Nano's address to nation", BBC News, September 15, 1998.
  39. ^ a b "Opinion" Archived 2012-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, with Blendi Fevziu, November 4, 2010.
  40. ^ Konidaris, Gerasimos (2005). "Examining policy responses to immigration in the light of interstate relations and foreign policy objectives: Greece and Albania". In King, Russell; Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie (eds.). The new Albanian migration. Brighton: Sussex Academic. ISBN 9781903900789. pp. 80–81. "Greece's favorite candidate in these elections was clearly MR. Nano. As emerges from the interview material, he –unlike Berisha- was held in high esteem by the Greek side. It should not escape notice that Nano was by origin Orthodox Christian from Southern Albania, whereas Berisha was a northern Muslim... Greece's favour towards Nano was clearly demonstrated in June, when he was allowed to speak to a crowd of Albanian citizens at a pre-election rally in one of Athens' central squares. The police did not interfere and no arrests of illegal immigrants were made."
  41. ^ Lani, Remzi; Schmidt, Fabian (1998). "Albanian foreign policy between geography and history". The International Spectator. 33 (2): 79–103. doi:10.1080/03932729808456809. p. 90. "In a broader Balkan context, Turkey has always seen the Albanians as its natural allies in the Balkans. If the Greeks and Serbs have stood on one side of the scale, the Turks and the Albanians have stood on the other. Although some kind of dissatisfaction with Nano's government is felt in Ankara over what is seen in the Turkish capital as Tirana's pro-Greek orientation, Turkey continues to have close military ties with Tirana; indeed, it is playing an important role in the re-organization of the disintegrated Albanian army. Albania's most important military base, which was destroyed during the armed uprising last year, will be rebuilt by Turkey."
  42. ^ Duijzings, Gerlachlus (2000). Religion and the politics of identity in Kosovo. London: Hurst & Company. ISBN 9781850654315. p. 164.
  43. ^ Clayer, Nathalie (2003). "God in the 'Land of the Mercedes.' The Religious Communities in Albania since 1990". In Jordan, Peter; Kaser, Karl; Lukan, Walter (eds.). Albanien: Geographie - historische Anthropologie - Geschichte - Kultur - postkommunistische Transformation [Albania: Geography - Historical Anthropology - History - Culture - postcommunist transformation]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-631-39416-8. pp. 14–24.
  44. ^ Mueller, Karl; Castillo, Jasen; Morgan, Forrest; Pegahi, Negeen; Rosen, Brian (2006). Striking first: preemptive and preventive attack in US national security policy. Santa Monica: Rand Corporation. ISBN 9780833040954. p. 233.
  45. ^ "Official website of the OIC". Retrieved 11 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 461-467, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008
  47. ^ a b "Opinion" Archived 2012-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, with Blendi Fevziu, September 24, 2009.
  48. ^ "Prapaskenat e rikthimit në politikë të Fatos Nanos", Elisabeta Dosku, Tirana Observer, October 20, 2010
  49. ^ "Apologjia e katarsisit", Andi Bushati, Revista Klan, May 13, 2012
  50. ^ "PM To Sue Italian Magazine Over Smuggling Allegations", Jeffrey Donovan and Alban Bala, August 09, 2002.
  51. ^ "Tre milionë euro nga kontesti gjyqësor për Nanon", Jeffrey Donovan and Alban Bala, August 09, 2002.
  52. ^ "Fatos Nano to buy hotels in Ohrid with compensation paid by weekly newspaper", FOCUS Information Agency, January 26, 2010
  53. ^ "Фатос Нано ќе добие три милиони евра отштета од италијански неделник" Archived 2015-06-21 at the Wayback Machine, Нова Македонија, January 21, 2010
  54. ^ "Nano: Fitova gjyqin me L'Espresso, burg gazetarëve" Archived 2015-06-21 at the Wayback Machine, Parajsa.com, Aristir Lumezi, January 23, 2010
  55. ^ "Thousands join Albania protests" BBC News, 21 February 2004
  56. ^ "Fatos Nano nuk e mban dot më në duar çadrën e tij" Archived 2012-05-06 at the Wayback Machine Shqiptarja.com, Andi Bushati, May 3, 2012
  57. ^ "Opinion" Archived 2012-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, with Blendi Fevziu, February 4, 2010.
  58. ^ "Opinion" Archived 2012-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, with Blendi Fevziu, February 11, 2010.
  59. ^ "Nano dieta nga Kuvendi pa shkuar ne asnje seance" Gazeta Shqiptare, 19 March 2009
  60. ^ "Constitution of Albania" Archived 2011-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, Compulsory condition by the article 87 of the Constitution.
  61. ^ "Albanian parliament set to vote for new president", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), July 8, 2007.
  62. ^ "Albania edges toward elections after presidential vote fails", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), July 9, 2007.
  63. ^ "Standoff in Parliamentary Ballot to Pick New Albanian President" Archived 2007-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, birn.eu.com, July 11, 2007.
  64. ^ "Albania's new president Bamir Topi sworn in", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), July 24, 2007.
  65. ^ "Albania's ex-PM aiming a political comeback" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, dtt-net.com, August 30, 2007, but he didn't.
  66. ^ "Albania's Ex-PM Nano Sets up New Group" Archived 2011-01-29 at the Wayback Machine, birn.eu.com, September 20, 2007.
  67. ^ “Lëvizja Nano për fitoren e socialistëve” Top Channel 06.2012
  68. ^ Lëvizja Nano: Nismë statutore për largimin e Ramës Archived 2013-04-05 at the Wayback Machine Gazeta Panorama 06.2012
  69. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008.
  70. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008.
  71. ^ "Të jetosh kohën", Rexhina Nano, page 45, Botimet DUDAJ, 2008.
  72. ^ Google Books

Further reading[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by
Edi Rama
Political offices
Preceded by
Adil Çarçani
Prime Minister of Albania
Succeeded by
Ylli Bufi
Preceded by
Bashkim Fino
Prime Minister of Albania
Succeeded by
Pandeli Majko
Preceded by
Pandeli Majko
Prime Minister of Albania
Succeeded by
Sali Berisha