Albania, country in southern Europe, located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the Strait of Otranto, the southern entrance to the Adriatic Sea. The capital city is Tirana (Tiranë). Albanians refer to themselves as shqiptarë—often taken to mean “sons of eagles,” though it may well refer to “those associated with the shqip (i.e., Albanian) language”—and to their country as Shqipëria. They generally consider themselves to be descendants of the ancient Illyrians, who lived in central Europe and migrated southward to the territory of Albania at the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2000 BCE. They have lived …(100 of 10545 words)
Previously part of the Byzantine and later the Ottoman empires, Albania gained independence in 1912. It became a Stalinist regime under Enver Hoxha after World War II and remained extremely isolationist in policy and outlook until the Communists lost power in 1992.
Albania ended 44 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven difficult as corrupt governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, a dilapidated infrastructure, widespread gangsterism, and disruptive political opponents. International observers judged local elections in 2000 to be acceptable and a step toward democratic development, but serious deficiencies remain to be corrected.
Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. 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.
Official Sites of Albania
The constitution, adopted in 1998, defines Albania as a parliamentary republic.
The legislative branch is the unicameral parliament (Kuvendi i Shqipërisë), the Cabinet, also known as Council of Ministers is the executive branch. The Chairman of the Council (Prime Minister) is appointed by the President; ministers are nominated by the President on the basis of the Prime Minister’s recommendation.