Albania is an independent nation in Southern Europe. With the capital city of Tirana, Albania 2020 population is estimated at 2,877,808 according to countryaah. The Albanian people have an ancient history, but for a few thousand years the country was mostly occupied and subjugated by other states. Only at the end of the Second World War did Albania, under Communist leadership, succeed in freeing itself from foreign supremacy. It happened when the Nazi occupation power in 1944 was expelled by Albanian communists led by Enver Hoxha, who then took control of the country.
The Albanians are believed to be descended from the Illyrians, an Indo-European people who lived at the end of the Bronze Age (around 1000 BC) on the western side of the Balkan Peninsula. During the 20th century BC, the Romans began to invade the area to definitively subvert contradictory Illyrian clans in 9 AD. When the Roman Empire was divided in 395, Albania came to belong to the eastern part, Byzantium.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Albania, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
In the late 1300s, the Ottomans (Turks) began a conquest of the area, but the Albanian national hero Gjergj Kastrioti, usually called Skanderbeg (Skënderbeu), managed to unite the clans into a united resistance. For a quarter of a century, the Ottomans held the bar. Ten years after Skanderbeg’s death in 1468, Albania was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire and, despite several rebellions, remained under the sovereignty of the Turks until 1912. For Albania political system, please check computerminus.
The country becomes independent
From the struggle for the right to use the Albanian language, an increasingly stronger Albanian nationalism and more organized resistance developed during the second half of the 19th century. Several revolts were fought.
In the autumn of 1912, the states of the Balkans – Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro – declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Several of them, in the context of the war, made claims in Albanian territories, which contributed to the proclamation of Albania as an independent state by Muslim and Christian leaders in November 1912.
When a peace agreement was concluded at a major power conference in London in May 1913, Albania was recognized as independent, but about half of the Albanian population ended up in neighboring countries. Serbia got the province of Kosovo, among others, and Greece got other Albanian areas.
Communists take power
The great powers appointed a Prussian, Prince Wilhelm of Wied, to rule Albania, but popular resistance and the outbreak of the First World War caused him to leave the country after six months.
After the war, the country was threatened by a new division, which the Albanians succeeded in warding off at a peace conference in Paris in 1920.
After a few years of internal fighting, Ahmet Zogu, a clan chief from northern Albania, took power in 1925 with the help of, among others, Serbia. He ruled the country dictatorially and in 1928 declared himself king under the name of Zog I. He entered into a military and political alliance with fascist Italy, but in 1939 the Italians occupied Albania and established a Great Banana that included Kosovo and the Albanian parts of Macedonia. The king fled abroad with the Treasury.
In the fall of 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allies, and the Italian occupation troops in Albania were replaced by Germans. In July of that year, a partisan army had been established on the initiative of the Communist Party, which was formed two years earlier. The partisans and other armed organizations with nationalists and royalists fought against each other as they tried to expel the occupying power. The Communists won in the Civil War and in October 1944 they formed a provisional government led by Enver Hoxha. Shortly thereafter, the partisans had expelled all foreign troops.
Passport-free travel agreement
Albania enters into an agreement with Montenegro and Macedonia that the citizens of the three countries should be able to travel between countries without a passport, only ID cards are required.
Contested law on waste management
Parliament adopts a law on waste management, which, according to environmental activists, paves the way for the import of toxic material. They object to Albania turning into “Europe’s dump”. The government claims that the law benefits the country’s recycling industry. The Socialists promise to tear down the law at a change of government.
Success for the opposition in the local elections
The Socialist Party PS is making strong strides in local elections, but in Tirana, PD’s candidate is declared victorious after a protracted and bitter conflict over voting. Only a handful of votes separate the main candidates. The actions of the PD-led Electoral Commission are criticized by the OSCE, among others, and prompt the President of the European Commission to cancel a visit to Tirana.
Ex-ministers are being investigated for suspected corruption
Parliament deprives Deputy Finance Minister Prifti of his prosecution immunity so that he can face trial for suspected corruption; A preliminary investigation is being launched against former Deputy Prime Minister Ilan Meta for suspected corruption in connection with a power plant construction.
Four protesters are shot to death
The opposition’s demonstrations against alleged 2009 election fraud continue. At one point, security police shot dead four people during a protest operation in Tirana.