Albania s government is a parliament democracy. There branches of government
are Executive Branch President of Republic (chief of the state), Prime Minister (head
of the government), Council of Ministries (appointed by the President). Legislative
Branch People s Assembly (unicameral, 140 seats). Judicial Supreme Court.
Albania s GDP is $2.88 billion. 10% GPN per: $830 is natural resources: Oil,
gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron, and nickel. Agriculture is 55% of GDP: wheat, corn,
potatoes, sugar beets, cotton, and tobacco. 16% of GDP: Textile, timber, construction
materials, fuels, semi-processed minerals.
The Albanian language was one of the first languages in Europe and was not
derived from any other languages. Albanian s are recognized as the most ancient race in
southeastern Europe. Albanian s were Christian prior to the Ottoman era. Under the
Turks, however, a large percentage of the population converted to Islam. Albanian s
could practice religion freely until the Communist era. During this time mosques,
monasteries, and churches suffered damage and destruction under the government s
anti-religion policy. Religion was restored in 1990. 70% are Muslim, 20% Orthodox
Christian, and 10% Catholic.
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. It is the administrative,
cultural, economic, and industrial center of the Republic of Albania. The population is
about 300,000 people.
Durr s is one of Albania's oldest cities, the country's main seaport, and the second
largest industrial center after Tirana. Durr s lies on a small peninsula on the coast of the
Adriatic Sea. Its population is around 85,000 (the second largest city in Albania).
Attractions in Albania mainly focus on the beauty of the country. One city, which
can be visited to see this aspect of the country, is Butrini. The city of Butrinti (Bothrota)
is one of the parts of Albania's ancient cultural landscape. Set in the highlands in the far
south of the country Butrini is surrounded by dense vegetation. The city was doubly
protected by nature and by the fortifications, which were built by inhabitants in ancient
Albania has fascinated poets, playwrights, and composers to do inspired works.
Shakespeare set his comedy Twelfth Night in Illyria - Albania was known as this in
former times. Lord Byron, wrote some lines about the landscape in his poem Childe
Harold. Even Mozart included Albania in his comic opera Cosi fan tutte.
NATO and Yugoslavia
Wednesday, March 24, 1999, NATO began air strikes against Serbian military
targets in Yugoslavia over its actions against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Since the
bombings stopped in June, NATO soldiers have moved into Kosovo as Serb forces have
withdrawn, Kosovar Albanians are returning to their homes and investigations into war
crimes atrocities have begun.