|National motto: None|
- % water
|Ranked 139th |
- Total (2000)
|From the Ottoman Empire|
November 28, 1912
|Time zone||UTC +2|
|National anthem||Hymni i Flamurit|
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 isolationist communist state. A multi-party democracy is emerging, but the country suffers from economic problems, organised crime, and a large number of Albanian refugees from Kosovo.
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.
Albania is divided into 36 districts, or rrethe. The capital city, Tirana, has a special status. The districts are:
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.
Albania is Europe's poorest country, 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.
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. Also unofficially Greece government makes money by selling visas unofficially 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.
Since the occupation by the Ottomans, the majority of the Albanians has been muslim, even though religion was prohibited during the communist era. The Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Church are the other main religions in Albania.
|Date||English Name||Local Name||Remarks|
|January 1-January 2||New Year's Day||Viti i Ri|
|February 11 (2003)||Small Bayram[?]||Bajrami i Vogėl||date varies, al-Eid saghir in Islamic countries|
|March 7||Teacher's Day[?]||Dita e Mėsuesve||non official|
|March 8||Mother's Day||Dita e Nėnės||non official|
|March 22||Nevruz Day[?]||Nevruz|
|April 20||Catholic Easter||Pashkėt Katolike|
|April 27||Orthodox Easter||Pashkėt Ortodokse|
|May 1||May Day||Njė Maji|
|November 25 (2003)||Big Bayram[?]||Bajrami Madh||date varies, Eid-ul-Adhain Islamic countries|
|November 28||Independence Day||Dita e Pavarėsisė|
|November 29||Liberation Day[?]||Dita e Clirimit|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Krishtlindje|
Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.