Albania Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Albania. Domestic politics continued to be characterized by contradictions at the highest level within the ruling Socialist Party. According to, Albania Independence Day is November 28. A split ensued as a result of Prime Minister Fatos Nano’s open support for the US war in Iraq and the decision to contribute a smaller troop force.

Land area 28,748 km²
Total population 3,074,579
Residents per km² 106.9
Capital Tirana
Official language Albanian
Income per capita $ 12,500
Currency Lek
ISO 3166 code AL
Internet TLD .al
License plate AL
Telephone code +355
Time zone UTC +1
Geographic coordinates 41 00 N, 20 00 O

In July, his arch-rival Foreign Minister Ilir Meta resigned, accusing Nano of authoritarian leadership style and of failing efforts against the galloping corruption. According to a calculation, nearly half of the country’s gross national income came from criminal activities. Tirana police chief claimed in an open letter that organized crime largely controlled politicians and the justice system in Albania. He warned that it posed a threat to democracy.

At the beginning of the year, Albania began negotiations with the EU on an association and stabilization agreement, a first step towards an application for membership in the Union. Albania also, together with Croatia and Macedonia, signed a partnership agreement with the United States. The purpose was to help the Balkan countries on the path to NATO membership.

Albania Border Map