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 ALBANIA
     

Coat of arms


National anthem

   
   


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 General information

Between 1990 and 1992 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. 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. 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. Albania is continuing to work toward joining NATO and the EU.

  • 3-Letter abbreviation: ALB
  • 2-Letter abbreviation: AL
  • Country common name: Albania
  • Country official name: Republika e Shqiperise
  • Continent: Europe
  • Capital: Tirana
  • Other major cities: Durrës, Elbasan, Shkodër, Vlorë, Korçë
  • Currency: Lek
  • Official languages: Albanian
  • Motto: "Workers of the world, unite."
 Geographic information
  • Surface area: 28,748  km²
  • Highest point: Maja e Korabi 2,753 m
  • Neighbouring countries: Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Macedonia
  • Neighbouring seas and oceans: Adriatic Sea
 Population
  • Population (in millions): 3.58
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant (in US dollars): 4,500
  • Density (inhabitants per km²): 124.61
  • Average age (in years): 26.5
  • Life expectancy at birth (in years): 72.37
 Telephone & Internet communication
  • Country international telephone code: + 355
  • Internet code: .al
  • Number of Internet users: 75,000 (2005)