|Area Total||28,748 sq km|
|Climate||mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter|
|Natural Resources||petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land|
|Imports||$4.1 billion (2017 est.)
partners: Italy 28.5%, Turkey 8.1%, Germany 8%, Greece 8%, China 7.9%, Serbia 4% (2017)
|Population||3.1 million (July 2018 est.)|
|Ethnicity||Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.)|
|Language||Albanian 98.8% (official – derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)|
|Exports||Germany 12.5%, France 10.3%, US 9%, Spain 5.2%, UK 5.2%, Switzerland 4.6% (2017) – engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals|
News about Albania
- Rise in TikTok Ads Among Albanians Selling Smuggling Operations to UKby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 8, 2022
There has been a sharp rise in the number of ads on TikTok targeting Albanians wishing to get into the UK across the English Channel.
- Albanians Demonstrate Demanding Better Beach Securityby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 5, 2022
Thousands of Albanians took to the streets of the capital following the tragic death of a child off a beach, calling for improved security at the seaside.
- The Buccaneers: Spanish Drug Conviction Counts for Little in Albaniaby Entela Barjamaj (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 5, 2022
For years, Albanian authorities failed to probe the wealth and connections of two Albanians convicted of drug trafficking in Spain.
- Albanians Trade Accusations Over Beach Security After Child’s Deathby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 4, 2022
Calls to improve beach security following the death of a child, killed by a passing speedboat, have drawn an angry response from the PM who insists the problem is being exaggerated.
- Albania’s Rama Savages Media Reporting on Child’s Death at Seaby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 3, 2022
PM lashes local media reporting on a child's death at sea in an accident, slating 'those who wish and expect nothing but disaster'.
- Albania Needs ‘Functioning Market Economy’ Before Joining EU, Expert Warnsby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 3, 2022
EU expert Andi Hoxhaj tells BIRN that besides the usual governance-related issues, the ‘crony capitalism’ of its economy might delay Albania’s EU integration.
- In Balkans, ‘World’s Oldest Profession’ Remains in Legal Limboby BIRN (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 2, 2022
Sex work in most Balkan countries remains illegal and liable to prosecution – depriving many sex workers of access to health and social insurance and leaving them vulnerable to exploitation.
- ‘Secret Police Informer’ Claims Spark Political Bust-Up in Albaniaby Gjergj Erebara (Albania | Balkan Insight) on August 2, 2022
The ruling Socialist Party has proposed legal changes after media claims that ex-president and opposition leader Ilir Meta was a Communist-era secret police collaborator – but the opposition says false allegations are being used for political gain.
- Speculation Swirls around Sudden Death of Polish Arms Dealer in Albaniaby Vladimir Karaj (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 29, 2022
Andrzej Izdebski, a notorious arms dealer involved in a scandal-tainted procurement of medical ventilators in Poland, died unexpectedly in Tirana, aged 71. Oddities surrounding the death sparked speculation it had been staged.
- ‘Communist Informer’ Controversy Hits Albanian Ex-President’s Comebackby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 28, 2022
A claim that a senior official informed for the Communist-era Sigurimi secret police caused pro-government media to speculate that it was former president Ilir Meta, who has just returned to frontline politics as an opposition leader.
- Price Hikes Dent Tourist Industry in Western Balkansby Samir Kajosevic (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 28, 2022
While Montenegro and Albania blame a fall in tourist numbers on price rises, Greece is stimulating its industry by giving lower-income families vouchers to spend in resorts
- Albanian Ex-President Meta’s Comeback Greeted with Scepticismby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 27, 2022
Albania’s former President Ilir Meta’s return to frontline politics did not come as a surprise to anyone, but some doubt that his newly rebranded party will be able to compete successfully with well-entrenched Prime Minister Edi Rama.
- Balkan Ports Becoming ‘Growing’ Magnets for Smugglers, Report saysby Samir Kajosevic (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 26, 2022
Geneva-based NGO's report says combination of location and lax security has made some ports in Southeast Europe 'ideal' locations for drug and tobacco traffickers to conduct their illegal work.
- Balkan Flyers Suffer From Europe’s Airport Chaosby Milica Stojanovic (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 26, 2022
Huge delays at European airports this summer – due to revived demand for flights and staff shortages – have had significant consequences also for travel in the Western Balkans.
- Albania’s Retired President Returns to Active Party Politicsby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 25, 2022
Less than 24 hours after leaving the presidential office, Ilir Meta rejoined his Socialist Movement for Integration, SMI – and offered to collaborate with anyone who believes in democracy in Albania.
- Ukraine’s EU Candidacy Might be Opportunity for Western Balkansby Maria Alesina (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 25, 2022
War in Ukraine and the EU’s prompt response to the crisis have shown that the ‘icy stalemate’ over European enlargement has finally cracked.
- Albanian Ex-PM Sali Berisha Claims UK Banned Him ‘Based on Lies’by Gjergj Erebara (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 22, 2022
Albania’s former prime minister and president Sali Berisha said he is on a list of people banned from entering Britain because of alleged involvement in corruption, and blamed current premier Edi Rama and financier George Soros.
- US Warns of ‘Threat’ to Iranian Opposition Summit in Albaniaby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 22, 2022
US Embassy in Tirana warns of unnamed security threat to weekend summit of opposition Iranians in Albania, which hosts thousands of members of the exiled People's Mujahedeen of Iran, MEK.
- Albanian MPs Adopt Resolution Condemning Kosovo War Crimes Reportby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 22, 2022
Albanian lawmakers backed a resolution condemning a 2011 Council of Europe report that accused senior Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas of war crimes, after a debate marred by bitter wrangling between governing and opposition MPs.
- In Tune: Young Western Balkan Musicians Ready for Regional Tourby Xhorxhina Bami (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 22, 2022
Thirty young classical musicians from all over the Western Balkans are readying for a five-day tour of the region, all members of an orchestra set up to overcome the prejudices that bedevil the region.
- Albanian Loans Sharks Profit from Banks’ Stringent Conditionsby Sabina Veizaj (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 22, 2022
Documents seen by BIRN and testimonials shows a black market in loans is flourishing in Albania with the help of organized crime and corrupt politicians.
- Albania Approves New Judiciary Map Despite Lawyers’ Oppositionby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 21, 2022
Government approves new judiciary map reducing the total number of courts in the country – despite opposition from lawyers who claim it will make justice more expensive and less accessible to ordinary people.
- Balkan Countries Struggling to Curb Human Trafficking – US Reportby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 20, 2022
Latest US State Department Trafficking in Persons report says Balkan countries are making 'significant efforts' to stop human trafficking gangs but have yet to get on top of the problem.
- Albania, North Macedonia, Brace for First EU Accession Talksby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 18, 2022
EU officials have welcomed the 'historic' vote in North Macedonia's parliament at the weekend, which has opened the way to the long-delayed start to accession talks for both North Macedonia and Albania.
- Albania Blames ‘Massive Cyber Attack’ as Govt Servers go Downby Gjergj Erebara (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 18, 2022
Albanians were unable to use scores of government services on Monday as the main servers went down, following what the authorities called 'a synchronised criminal attack from abroad'.
- Deadly Verses: How Communist Albania Executed Poets for Subversionby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 15, 2022
Vilson Blloshmi and Genc Leka were executed on July 17, 1977 on the basis of claims that their poems constituted a threat to Albania’s Communist regime – even though they hadn’t been published.
- Farah case highlights fate of less famous victims of traffickingby Emily Dugan and Diane Taylor (Albania | The Guardian) on July 14, 2022
Home Office accused of prioritising exceptional cases in immigration decisionsAn 18th birthday is normally a milestone to be celebrated but for a teenager called Samet it marked the unravelling of the life he had built in Britain.After his father forced him to beg on the streets in Albania at 11, Samet was trafficked to Belgium and then smuggled to Britain […]
- Sunny Refuge: Ukrainian Refugees Find ‘Second Home’ on Albanian Seasideby Erjola Azizolli (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 13, 2022
Hundreds of women and children who escaped war in Ukraine have found a welcoming place to stay on the coast of a country they knew little about before the war.
- Albania Registers Sharp Increase in Visitors from Serbiaby Fjori Sinoruka (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 12, 2022
Visits by Serbian citizens have increased significantly in recent years, with Albania’s minister of tourism attributing the rise in tourism to the Open Balkan cross-border political initiative.
- Albania to ‘Consult’ on Draft Amnesty Law Criticised by Brusselsby Gjergj Erebara (Albania | Balkan Insight) on July 11, 2022
Albania will now hold 'consultations' about its controversial plan to grant a fiscal amnesty to holders of illegal wealth – which the European Commission has sharply queried, BIRN has learned from a source.