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The Republic of Albania, or Albania (Albanian: Shqipėria, meaning Land of the Eagles), is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro in the north, Kosovo in the north-east, the Republic of Macedonia in the east, and Greece in the south, has a coast on the Adriatic Sea in the west, and a coast on the Ionian Sea in the southwest.

Republika e Shqipėrise
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: None
Official languageAlbanian
PresidentAlfred Moisiu
Prime MinisterFatos Nano
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 139th
28,748 km²
 - Total (2003)
 - Density
Ranked 126th
 - Date
From the Ottoman Empire
November 28, 1912
Time zoneUTC +2
National anthemHymni i Flamurit
Internet TLD.AL
Calling Code355

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Administrative subdivisions
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External links
10 Official government websites


Main article: History of Albania

Albania has been the site of several Greek colonies, and was later part of the Roman province of Illyricum. After being conquered by a number of nations, it became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1478.

After the First Balkan War, Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but the country remained in unrest. Occupied by Italy during World War II, the (mainly communist) resistance led by Enver Hoxha seized control when the Italians left.

Until 1990, five years after the death of Hoxha, Albania was an extremely isolationist communist state, with little contact even with the other communist states. A multi-party democracy is emerging, but the country suffers from economic problems, organised crime, and a large number of Albanian refugees from Kosovo.


Main article: Politics of Albania

Head of state is the president, which is elected by the Kuvendi Popullor, or People's Assembly. The main part of the Assembly's 155 members are elected by the Albanians in elections every 5 years. The president is assisted by a council of ministers, which is appointed by the president.

Administrative subdivisions

Main articles: Districts of Albania and Counties of Albania

Albania is divided into 36 districts called rrethe. Several districts are then grouped into a county or prefecture called qark, of which there are 12. The capital city, Tiranė, has a special status. The districts are:

See also: List of cities in Albania (Note: some cities have the same name as the district they are in).


Main article: Geography of Albania

Albania consists of mostly hilly and mountainous terrain, the highest mountain reaching up to 2,753 m. The country mostly has a land climate, with cold winters and hot summers.

Besides capital city Tirana, with 520,000 inhabitants, the principal cities are Durrės, Elbasan, Shkodėr, Gjirokastėr, Vlorė and Korēė.


Main article: Economy of Albania

Albania is one of Europe's poorest countries, with half of the economically-active population still engaged in agriculture and a fifth said to be working abroad. The country has to deal with a high unemployment rate, corruption up to high government levels and organised crime.

Albania is aided financially from abroad, notably by Greece and Italy.

The country exports nearly nothing and imports a lot from Greece and Italy. The money for imports comes from the financial aid and from the money that refugees working abroad bring to Albania. This is a good status-quo business for both Greece and Italy. The Greek government also makes money by unofficially selling visass to Albanian citizens, who are not allowed to travel freely abroad. For this reason both countries have several visa consulates in major cities of Albania, and oppose indirectly every possibility of free movement from Albanian citizens in EU.


Main article: Demographics of Albania

Most of the population is Albanian (95% 1989 est.), but there is a sizeable Greek minority (3% 1989 est.). Many ethnic Albanians also live in bordering Kosovo. The language is Albanian, although some Greek is also spoken.

Since the occupation by the Ottomans, the majority of Albanians have been Muslim (70%), even though religion was prohibited during the communist era. The Eastern Orthodox (20%) and Catholic Church (10%) are the other main religions in Albania.


Main article: Culture of Albania

Miscellaneous topics

External links

Official government websites

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