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Albania Country

Albania Explanation ::-- Albania History || Albania Geography ||Albania Administration || Albania World Heritage Site


Albania officially known as the Republic of Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009. Albania has the distinction of being the only Muslim-majority sovereign country wholly within Europe, although the population is largely secular.

Republic of Albania

Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is HOME to approximately 600,000 of the country's 3,000,000 people. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania was chosen as the top country in of ten top countries to visit for 2011.


Albania’s unicameral People's Assembly (Kuvendi Popullor) consists of 140 seats; a regional proportional system determines representation. All members serve 4-year terms. The Speaker of Parliament (Jozefina Topalli) has two deputies, who along with eight permanent parliamentary commissions assist in the process of legislating Albanian affairs.


The President is the head of state. The current President was elected by a three-fifths majority vote of all Assembly members. However, changes to the Constitution in 2008 mean the next President will need only a simple majority in the Parliament to be elected. The President serves a term of 5 years with the right to one re-election.


Although the position is largely ceremonial, the Constitution gives the President authority to appoint and dismiss some high-ranking civil servants in the executive and judicial branches, and this authority can have political implications.


The President is also commander in chief of the armed forces, and chairs the National Security Commission. The current President's term expires on July 23, 2012.


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The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and approved by a simple majority of all members of the Assembly. The Prime Minister serves as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (cabinet), which consists of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and other ministers. Members of the Council of Ministers are nominated by the Prime Minister, decreed by the President, and approved by a parliamentary vote.



Albania's civil law system is similar to that of other European countries. The court structure consists of a Constitutional Court, a Supreme Court, and multiple appeal and district courts. The Constitutional Court is comprised of nine members appointed by the Assembly for one 9-year term. The Constitutional Court interprets the Constitution, determines the constitutionality of laws, and resolves disagreements between local and federal authorities. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal and consists of 11 members appointed by the President with the consent of the Assembly for 9-year terms. The President chairs the High Council of Justice, which is responsible for appointing and dismissing other judges. The High Council of Justice is comprised of 15 members--the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the High Court, the Minister of Justice, three members elected by the Assembly, and nine judges of all levels elected by the National Judicial Conference.


Situated off the Adriatic coast in south-western Albania, Vlora is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Beautiful beaches and lagoons, as well as ancient and medieval monuments make it an appealing travel destination. Vlora is also famous for its biodiversity and its wine, olive oil and fish. "The Vlora power plant will contribute to an increase in Albania's electricity production, diversify domestic generation and reduce excessive dependence on electricity imports," says Iftikhar Khalil, World Bank manager for the project


Tirana - People across the Balkans have much in common, forget the conflicts of the recent or distant past, and the efforts of politicians to convince them how "different" or "distinctive" they are. It takes only a couple of days for a Serb to figure in Tirana how children go to "skholla", just as Serbian children go to "skola". Their parents could work in "kancellari" (office) in Tirana, or "kancelarija" in Belgrade. At HOME, they tuck into that fermented yellow cheese "kachkavali" in Tirana or "kackavalj" in Belgrade, while watching "reklame" (advertisements). Afterwards in either country they might have some "supa" (soup) or "pita" (pie). And in either country you could go shopping for "bluze" (blouses) and "pantalone" (trousers). After hundreds of years both countries of today spent under the Ottoman Turkish rule, language and ways had to find commonness. But it is more than language that evokes similarities.

albania map

It's just everyday ways that are so similar. In the Albanian city Shkodra, 150 km north of the capital, neatly dressed pensioners sit on park benches, regardless of the heat, playing chess. The picture can be strikingly similar in Serbian capital Belgrade or Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

And like the other nations in the region, Albania is looking for new wealth through tourism. That has brought some healthy competition, but also cooperation, with many countries looking at least in part for tourists continuing on their way from the other. Meanwhile, like many other people in the region, large numbers of Albanians live off remittances sent by family members who migrated abroad. Remittances make some 13 percent of country's gross national income. Remittances had kept many going in Serbia during the years of the sanctions, from 1992 until 2000. Work was not an option at the time, just as it is not in today's Montenegro. "This makes people lazy," environmental activist Arian Gace told IPS. "But it cannot be stopped; we lack the culture of parents being strict with their children. They let them do whatever they want, as if they want to recover the time lost in the past when we had nothing." "We have so much in common, all people around," Ajet Nallbani, manager of the Berat Institut of Cultural Monuments told IPS. Albanians, Bosniaks, Kosovars and Montenegrins are all "on the same road," he said. "That is the road to Europe, the only one for us." And that, finally, should dissolve some of today's political differences. "Once we are close to Europe, we'll have to put behind all those nasty things we carry around, like wars and ethnic tension. That is the only real chance for us, and people here are ready for that," Nallbani said.