Unique and interesting facts about Albania

BY Ziya Springwala, 01 Aug, 2017

Global Jigyasa - Countries 101

Neighbouring Regions

  • Adriatic and Ionian sea to the West
  • Montenegro and Kosovo to the North
  • Macedonia to the East
  • Greece to the South

Albania, Albania-economy, Albania-freedom, Albania-ethnic-groups

Capital of Albania and Political System

The capital of Albania is Tirana.

Albania is a parliamentary republic. The President Ilir Meta is the Head of State and Prime Minister Edi Rama is the Head of Government.

Current Status of Albania

Albania is a country that has suffered for decades under the rule of several different countries such as Italy and Germany. After achieving independence, Albania became allies with USSR and then China. However, during this period, Albania remained isolated from the world. In 1992, Albania finally became a democratic nation after 47 years of being under communist rule. The agricultural sector contributes majorly to the economy of the country. More than 50% of the population of Albania is involved in agriculture and it contributes to about one fifth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While Albania is still one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe, its economy has grown. Albanians from all over the world support its economy through foreign remittances, which is a major source of income. Furthermore, the country became a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 2009. It also applied to become a member of the European Union in 2009. and was given candidacy in 2014. The government now strives and aims to become a complete member of the European Union within the next ten years. 

Issues of International Importance over the Years


Isolation and Struggle for Freedom

Albania’s isolation from the world began in the 15th century when Ottoman Turks began to rule it. This rule lasted for over four centuries and thus resulted in Albania being cut off from the West through that period of time. Towards the end of the 19th century, the country freed itself from Ottoman rule and attempted to open itself up to the West. In 1912, it achieved their independence through the Balkin War. However, this effort to end Albania’s isolation during the start of the 19th century failed. Eventually, Albania became a member of the League of Nations and got slightly closer to achieving political stability. The communists at the end of the war, took advantage of Albania’s plight, imposing a communist regime in the country which further isolated it from the world. The isolation of Albania worsened when it formed its alliance with China in 1961. This struggle continued until the end of the 20th century. Eventually, Albania became a democracy in 1992 and now finally strives to no longer remain isolated from the world. 


Albanian Civil War

The Albanian Civil War resulted from the failure of the Pyramid Scheme (A scheme where recruitment is made through promise of payment or enrolling others into the scheme) in the country. Around 90% of the civilians in the country lost approximately two billion dollars through investing into this Ponzi scheme. The protests in the country led to the killings of thousands and resulted in the overthrow of the president at the time, Sali Berisha. The country was declared to be in a state of emergency in 1997 as the violence in the country persisted. The United Nations feared that the uproar would lead to problems across Europe as refugees would enter bordering countries and to prevent the same, sent troops into Albania in March. A unity government was formed and eventually elections were held in June 1997. Socialist leader Rexhep Mejdani finally came into power on 24th July, 1997 resulting in the end of the Albanian Civil War. 


Albania and Serbia

The Albanian and Serbian conflict was caused due to Kosovo, a place that borders Serbia and Albania. Kosovo was within Serbia but was dominated by Albanians. Until 1989, it operated almost independently. However, a crisis occurred when it was made to follow all the laws set by Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The Albanians in Kosovo fought for their freedom and were attacked by Serbs in 1998. This led to a large proportion of the population being killed or fleeing Kosovo up to the intervention of the NATO in the conflict. Serbian troops finally withdrew from Kosovo and the region was placed under a transitional UN administration. In 2008, Kosovo finally achieved its independence. However, relations between Albania and Serbia have continued to be strained. 

Ethnic Group Distribution

  1. 6% Albanian
  2. 9% Greek
  3. 6% Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian and Serbo-Croatian
  4. 5% unspecified

Links for Detailed Research


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