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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 has played a largely helpful role in managing inter-ethnic tensions in southeastern Europe, and is continuing to work toward joining NATO and the EU. Albania, with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a strong supporter of the global war on terrorism.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 3,600,523 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Albanian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Albanian

Official Language(s): Albanian

Major Languages Spoken: Greek

Map of Albania

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Albania

Country Name (short form): Albania

Country Name (local long form): Republika e Shqiperise

Country Name (local short form): Shqiperia

Name of Capital: Tirana (Tirane)

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Albania: Macedonia, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro

Land Area: 27398 sq km

Water Area: 1350 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Maryland

Total Land Boundry: 720 km

Coastline: 362 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1912)

International Phone Code: 355

Currency Code: lek (ALL)

Internet Country Code: .al

US Embassy Location: Rruga e Elbasanit, Labinoti #103, Tirana

US Embassy Mailing Address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510


Albania flag

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