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En librairie

Transformation de conflit, de Karine Gatelier, Claske Dijkema et Herrick Mouafo

Aux Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer (ECLM)


Paris, novembre 2007

Albania Country Profile

With a landscape including rugged mountains and a lengthy stretch of Adriatic coastline, Albania is home to a rich blend of religions and cultures.

Mots clefs : Travailler la compréhension des conflits | Equipes de Paix dans les Balkans | Reconstruire la paix. Après la guerre, le défi de la paix. | Albanie

  • Full name: The Republic of Albania

  • Population: 3.2 million (UN, 2005)

  • Capital: Tirana

  • Major language: Albanian

  • Major religions: Islam, Christianity

  • Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN)

  • Monetary unit: 1 lek = 100 qindars

  • Main exports: Chromium and chrome products, processed foodstuffs

  • GNI per capita: US $2,580 (World Bank, 2006)

  • Internet domain: .al

After World War II, Albania became a Stalinist state under Enver Hoxha, and remained staunchly isolationist until its transition to democracy after 1990.

The 1992 elections ended 47 years of communist rule, but the latter half of the decade saw a quick turnover of presidents and prime ministers.

Many Albanians left the country in search of work; the money they send home remains an important source of revenue.

During the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, nearly 500,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo spilled over the border, imposing a huge burden on Albania’s already fragile economy.

While there have been signs of economic progress with inflation under tighter control and some growth, the country remains one of the poorest in Europe.

Unemployment is high and poverty widespread. The infrastructure is crumbling and corruption deters foreign investment. Agriculture, an important sector, relies on antiquated equipment and old-fashioned methods.

In recognition of progress with political and economic reform in Albania, a Stabilisation and Association agreement with the EU was signed in June 2006 after three years of talks.

The EU is keen to encourage further reform, particularly as regards stamping out organised crime and corruption and developing media freedom and property and minority rights.


  • President:Bamir Topi

  • Prime minister: Sali Berisha

The centre-right Democratic Party led by the former president, Sali Berisha, emerged as the winner of general elections held in July 2005.

The vote was followed by wrangling over the count with re-runs demanded in a number of constituencies. It was nearly two months before the result was finally declared.

Although European monitors said the election had fallen short of democratic standards and it was followed by protracted bickering, there was relief when angry street protests, a feature of Albanian politics in the past, failed to materialise.

An erstwhile communist, Mr Berisha formed the Democratic Party in the early 1990s and in 1992 became Albania’s first non-communist president since the second world war

His bid to liberalise the economy fast increased hardship for the majority. His presidency came to an end in 1997 when the collapse of fraudulent pyramid investment schemes led to violent unrest and anti-government street protests.

He promises to stamp out corruption, reduce taxation, attract greater foreign investment, develop the infrastructure and work for Albanian integration into the EU and Nato.

Known for his fiery rhetoric, he has faced accusations of authoritarianism in the past. In the run-up to the elections he sought to reassure critics by saying he had changed.

Sali Berisha was born in 1944 and is a former heart specialist.


The public broadcaster, Albanian Radio and TV (RTSh), operates national radio and TV networks. It faces competition from private stations, which have mushroomed since the late 1990s.

Political parties, religious groups and state bodies are not allowed to own private TV and radio stations.

Many viewers can pick up Italian and Greek TV via terrestrial reception. Radio services in Albanian from the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America are available on FM or mediumwave (AM).

Sensationalism is often the norm in the print media. Political parties, trade unions and various societies publish their own newspapers; dependence on outside revenue tends to limit their objectivity.

The press

  • Shekulli - daily

  • Gazeta Shqiptare - daily

  • Rilindja Demokratike - daily

  • Koha Ditore - daily

  • Korrieri - daily

  • Zeri i Popullit - Socialist Party daily

  • Koha Jone - daily

  • Albanian Daily News - English-language news site


  • Albanian Radio and TV (RTSh) - public broadcaster, operates two networks.

  • TV Arberia (TVA) - private network.


  • Albanian Radio and TV (RTSh) - public broadcaster

  • Top Albania Radio - private

  • Radio Koha - private

  • Radio Kontakt - private

  • Radio Stinet - private

  • Radio +2 - private

News agency

  • Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA)