Albania 2006

By | December 15, 2021


State of Mediterranean Europe, located in the south-western sector of the Balkan peninsula. At the 2001 census the population was equal to 3,087,159 residents (3,563,110 according to a 2005 estimate). Despite a birth rate of 15.2 ‰ (2005) and a high share of the young population, and despite the fact that, after the end of the Kosovo war (1999), the country now seems to be on the road to stabilization (both political and economic), between 2000 and 2005 the average annual growth was just 0.4%, due to still considerable emigration, directed above all towards Italy, Greece and Germany. For Albania travel information, please check

Cities have registered a significant increase in their residents, but the percentage of the total population living in rural areas is still significant (over 55 % in 2004, among the highest in Europe). The capital, Tirana, with its 353,400 residents (according to a 2003 estimate) it remains by far the largest Albanian city, both from a demographic and urban point of view; in fact, none of the other major agglomerations (Valona and Durazzo on the coast, Scutari, Elbasan and Coriza in the interior) touches 100,000 residents.

Between 1990 and 2003, GDP recorded, in real terms, an average annual increase of 2.4 %, with an acceleration trend in the latter part of the period (+ 3.4 % in 2002, + 6 % in 2003); however, the country’s economy still depends too much on international aid and emigrant remittances, while the negotiations opened with the European Union in February 2003 on the stabilization-association agreement (first stage towards accession) made it possible to take stock of the most urgent issues: relaunch of the agricultural sector, strongly backward, streamlining of customs and tax institutions, deemed ineffective, greater respect for minority law, modernization of infrastructure in the energy, transport and social and financial services sectors, which have serious shortcomings.


The fight against organized crime and corruption, institutional and economic reforms, adaptation to the requisites necessary for European integration were the challenges with which the Albania it was measured in the early 21st century. In October 1999Prime Minister P. Majko, defeated by F. Nano in the elections for the secretariat of the Socialist Party, resigned. His successor, I. Meta, assumed power despite allegations of corruption against him and some of the ministers he appointed, while the profound infrastructure crisis, the unreliability of the banking system, the high unemployment rate and the growing illegality fueled even more popular discontent. On the foreign policy front, the Albania, which had already made its territory available to NATO forces during the bombing of Yugoslavia, tried to ensure a leading role in the context of the question of Albanian minorities in neighboring countries, while consolidating relations with Greece and Macedonia. Local elections in October2000 confirmed the primacy of the Socialist Party, which obtained more than double the votes compared to the Democratic Party, headed by S. Berisha.

Although the fight against crime began to give some results, and the slow economic recovery started in 1998 – 99 continued, largely linked to remittances from emigrants and to trade (favored by the reopening of the east-west road axis), imbalances between the different parts of the country, especially between the coastal area, economically more vital, and the backcountry, while in the summer of 2000 there was a serious energy crisis, due to both the increase in consumption and the inadequacy of the plants. In January 2001 the Albania restored diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia (interrupted in 1999), while in the months immediately following he did not intervene in the crisis caused, in Macedonia, by the clashes between the armed forces and the local UÇK (which in this case is an acronym for Ushtria Çlirimtare Kombëtare, National Liberation Army), which he claimed for the Albanian community a status equal to that of Macedonian-speaking citizens; on the contrary, it condemned the violence of the KLA, while calling on the Macedonian government to grant greater rights to the Albanian population. The parliamentary elections of June 2001, won by the Socialist Party (73 seats out of 140), were harshly contested by a part of the opposition, grouped into a new party, the Union for Victory. Confirmed prime minister in August, Meta resigned in January 2002 due to accusations of corruption and patronage made by Nano, especially with regard to the role he had played in the energy crisis, which worsened in the winter of 2001-2002 ; Meta’s place was reoccupied by Majko.

The contrasts between the majority and the opposition had temporarily subsided, in July 2002 Albania Moisiu was elected president of the Republic, and in October of the same year the European Union gave its willingness to open negotiations (set for February 2003) for a Association and stabilization agreement, first step for the entry of the Albania in the Union. In March 2003, the country offered its military support to the Anglo-American coalition in the attack on Irāq. On the regional level, the Albania persevered in the efforts to consolidate the good neighborly relationship with Serbia and Montenegro (since 2002 the new name of Yugoslavia), also with the denunciation, in March 2004,of the anti-Serbian persecutions in Kosovo, however, gaining criticism from the Albanian communities of Kosovo and Macedonia. Domestically, Nano’s reputation was compromised by allegations of collusion with organized crime, while his excessive pressure on the media created widespread and severe discontent.

Yet another blow to its credibility was inflicted by the shipwreck in the Adriatic waters of a boat carrying immigrants to Italy (9 January 2004, 21 deaths): thus the problem of illegal emigration returned to the foreground, which in September 2003 Nano had declared to be definitively resolved. Despite the economic growth recorded in the years of his government (equal, however, to the increase in corruption), dissent against him resulted, in early 2004, in a series of popular demonstrations. The elections of July 2005 decreed the defeat of the socialist party and the victory of the democratic one. After eight years of opposition, the 3 September Berisha was re-elected prime minister, inaugurating his mandate with the creation of a broad center-right alliance and announcing an ambitious program of economic reforms (tax cuts and wages) and the fight against organized crime and corruption.

Albania 2006