VIENNA — Albania, the last bastion of Stalinist communism in Eastern Europe, celebrated its national day Thursday, declaring that it has no need of Gorbachev-style reforms and denying reports of a crackdown on unrest.
The Albanian Communist Party newspaper, which Wednesday accused Albanian exiles of trying to foment a popular uprising and restore the monarchy, dismissed the perestroika reforms of Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
"The prescriptions of the capitalist road, of \o7 perestroika \f7 and bourgeois reformism are unacceptable to our people and party," the daily Zeri i Popullit said.
An editorial marking the 44th anniversary of the founding of the republic said the Albanian people fully support the policies of Communist leader Ramiz Alia.
"Our country develops and progresses relying completely on its own forces, being independent from the foreign powers or their economic, military and political blocs," the paper said.
The popular uprisings in the rest of Eastern Europe have left ultra-orthodox Albania isolated in its dogged pursuit of Stalinism.
The head of the Orthodox Church in neighboring Greece, meanwhile, warned the Albanian government that its present policies will lead to bloodshed and its downfall.
"I am warning the Tirana regime the policy it has followed up to now will lead to international isolation and certain collapse," Archbishop Seraphim, the primate of the Orthodox Church in Greece, told a rally in Athens.
After the rally, about 5,000 demonstrators marched through Athens chanting, "Stop the Murder Now," then went to the Albanian Embassy to demand immediate religious and political freedom in Albania.
Seraphim said the Albanian government must grant human rights immediately to its citizens "if it wishes to avoid bloodshed."
About 400,000 ethnic Greeks live in Albania, which has a population of around 3 million.
Greek-Albanian relations have become increasingly tense since Greek Foreign Minister Antonis Samaras called for religious freedom last month.