Location: Albania lies on the west coast of the Balkan Peninsula in South-east Europe. Albania was established as an independent state in 1912. Republic was formed in 1920. Albania's former communists were routed in elections in March, 1992, and a non-communist government was elected. There was economic collapse and social unrest. Became Europe's first Muslim state in Dec.1992.
History: Albania descended into anarchy and chaos in early 1997 when widespread protests over failed high-risk investment funds (pyramid finance scheme) turned into a drive to oust the government of Dr.Sali Berisha, which was blamed for allowing fraudulent investment schemes and accused of profiting from them. Violence erupted and Albanians fled by the thousands to Greece and Italy. Security Council authorized a UN force for Albania. Elections held in June-July saw the Democrats suffer huge losses. Berisha quit in disgrace in July. In 1998 - 99, thousands of refugees from the civil was in Kosovo flooded into Albania.
People are mostly Muslims, Public worship was outlawed in 1957. The right to practice religion was restored in 1990. Liberalisation measures included freedom to travel abroad. Albania left the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Aug. '98
Food & Crops: More than 40 per cent of the land is farm-land producing wheat, maize, sugar, beet, cotton, and tobacco and supporting a heavy livestock population mainly sheep and goats. Important minerals; coal, oil, chrome, copper and nickel. Industries : textiles, woolen fabrics, leather goods, petrol, cement, sugar, beer and cigarettes.
Visit National Tourist Organisation of Albania : www.albaniantourism.com