ALBANIA

Information about travelling to Albania

Albania is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

Facts about Albania
Population3,619,778 (July 2008 est.
CapitalTirana (Tirane)
Time zoneUTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begin
Location Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece in the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

General info about Albania
Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997, however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges of reducing crime and corruption, promoting economic growth, and decreasing the size of government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward. Albania was invited to join NATO in April 2008 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.
Languages spoken
Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
What about drugs?
increasingly active transshipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis transiting the Balkan route and - to a lesser extent - cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; limited opium and growing cannabis production; ethnic Albanian narcotrafficking organizations active and expanding in Europe; vulnerable to money laundering associated with regional trafficking in narcotics, arms, contraband, and illegal aliens
Ethnic division
Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.) note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
NA
Climate
mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Resources
petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower
Economy
Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth has averaged around 5% over the last five years and inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad representing about 15% of GDP, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. The agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on hydropower, and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in attracting new foreign investment. The completion of a new thermal power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and plans to improve transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.
Environment
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial and domestic effluents

Cities in Albania

bajram curri     ballsh     berat     bilisht     bulqize     burrel     cerrik     corovode     delvine     durres     elbasan     erseke     fier     fierze     fushe-arrez     fushe-kruje     gjirokaster     gramsh     himare     kamze     kavaje     kelcyre     kerrabe     klos     konispol     koplik     korce     kraste     kruje     kucove     kukes     kurbnesh     lac     leskovik     lezhe     libohove     librazhd     lushnje     maliq     mamurras     memaliaj     milot     orikum     patos     peqin     permet     perrenjas     peshkopi     pogradec     polican     puke     roskovec     rreshen     rrogozhine     rubik     sarande     selenice     shengjin     shijak     shkoder     tepelene     tirana     ulze     vlore     vore    


Airports in Albania
RinasTIA


Beer in Albania (0.33l)
Tirana~ 0.4 EUR

Posts about Albania
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