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Albania - Country facts

Map

Small map of Albania
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Flag

Country flag: Albania

Capital

Tirana

Currency

lek (ALL)

Internet Code

.al

Location

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and Serbia and Montenegro

Background

Between 1990 and 1992 Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven difficult as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks with links to high government officials, and disruptive political opponents. International observers judged parliamentary elections in 2001 and local elections in 2003 to be acceptable and a step toward democratic development, but identified serious deficiencies. Many of these deficiencies have been addressed through bi-partisan changes to the electoral code in 2003 and 2005, but implementation of these changes will not be demonstrated until parliamentary elections in July 2005.

Climate

mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter

Terrain

mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Population

3,563,112 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Albanian 95%, Greek 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, and Macedonian or Bulgarian) (1989 est.)
note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)

Religions

Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in

Languages

Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects

Map of Albania

Large map of Albania
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