Albania, is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo (Disputed) to the northeast, Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian SeaDell Latitude E5420 Battery.
Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Unionsince January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009. Dell Latitude E5520 Battery
The modern-day territory of Albania was at various points in history part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia(southern Illyricum), Macedonia (particularly Epirus Nova), and Moesia Superior. The modern Republic became independent after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars. Albanians had for almost five centuries been at the heart of a sprawling empire in which they enjoyed a privileged position as administrators and generals. Dell Latitude E6120 Battery Albania declared independence in 1912 (to be recognised in 1913), becoming a Principality, Republic, and Kingdomuntil being invaded, during World War II, by Fascist Italy in 1939, and invaded again by Nazi Germany in 1943. In 1944, a socialist People's Republic was established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. In 1991, the Socialist republic wasdissolved and the Republic of Albania was establishedDell Latitude E6220 Battery.
Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to 421,286 of the country's 2,831,741 people. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania was chosen as the No.1 Destination in Lonely Planet's list of ten top countries to visit for 2011Dell Latitude E6320 Battery.
Etymology and terminology
Albania is the Medieval Latin name of the country which is called Shqipëri by its people. In Medieval Greek, the country's name is Albania besides variants Albanitia, Arbanitia.
The name may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of the Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandriawho drafted a map in 150 AD that shows the city of Albanopolis (located northeast of Durrës)Dell Latitude E6420 Battery.
The name may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon and Arbanon, although it is not certain this was the same place. In his History written in 1079–1080, Byzantinehistorian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. Dell Latitude E6520 Battery During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their countryArbër or Arbën and referred to themselves as Arbëresh or Arbnesh.
As early as the 16th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë gradually replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. While the two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles", they derive from the adverb shqip, which means "understanding each other".Dell Latitude D420 Battery Under the Ottoman Empire Albania was referred to officially as Arnavutluk and its inhabitants as Arnauts (officially,Arnavutlar). These terms remain the same officially and in common usage in the current Republic of Turkey. The word is considered to be a metathesis from the word Arvanite, which was the Medieval Greek name for the Albanians. Dell Latitude D430 Battery
The history of Albania emerged from the prehistoric stage from the 4th century BC, with early records of Illyria inGreco-Roman historiography. The modern territory of Albania has no counterpart in antiquity, comprising parts of the Roman provinces ofDalmatia (southern Illyricum) and Macedonia(particularly Epirus Nova). The territory remained under Roman (Byzantine) control until theSlavic migrations of the 7th centuryDell Studio 1450 Battery, and was integrated into the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century. The territorial nucleus of the Albanian state formed in the Middle Ages, as the Principality of Arbër and the Kingdom of Albania. The first records of the Albanian people as a distinct ethnicity also date to this period.
At the dawn of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire in Southeast Europe, the geopolitical landscape was marked by scattered kingdoms of small principalitiesDell Studio 1457 Battery. The Ottomans erected their garrisons throughout southern Albania by 1415 and established formal jurisdiction over most of Albania by 1431. Along with the Bosniaks, Muslim Albanians occupied an outstanding position in the empire, and were the main pillars of Ottoman policy in the Balkans.
Köprülü Mehmed Pasha was the most effective and influential Ottoman Grand Vizier ofAlbanian origin. Dell Studio 1458 Battery
Enjoying this privileged position in the empire, Muslim Albanians held various administrative positions, with over two dozen Grand Viziersof Albanian origin, such as Gen. Köprülü Mehmed Pasha, who commanded the Ottoman forces during the Ottoman-Persian Wars; Gen. Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed, who led the Ottoman army during the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664); and, later, Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt. In the 15th centuryDell Latitude D410 Battery, when the Ottomans were gaining a firm foothold in the region, Albanian towns were organised into four principal sanjaks. The government fostered trade by settling a sizeable Jewish colony of refugees fleeing persecution in Spain (at end of the 15th century). Vlorësaw passing through its ports imported merchandise from Europe such as velvets, cotton goods, mohairs, carpets, spices and leather fromBursa and IstanbulDell Inspiron 9100 Battery. Some citizens of Vlorë even had business associates in Europe.
Albanians could also be found throughout the empire, in Iraq, Egypt, Algeria and across the Maghreb as vital military and administrative retainers. This owed largely to their early use as part of the Devşirme system. The process of Islamization was an incremental one, commencing from the arrival of the Ottomans in the 14th century (to this day, a minority of Albanians are Catholic or Orthodox Christians, though the vast majority became Muslim) Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery. Timar holders, the bedrock of early Ottoman control in Southeast Europe, were not necessarily converts to Islam, and occasionally rebelled; the most famous of these rebels is Skanderbeg (his figure would be used later in the 19th century as a central component of Albanian national identity). The most significant impact on the Albanians was the gradual Islamisation process of a large majority of the population, although such a process only became widespread in the 17th century. Dell Inspiron 1470 BatteryMainly Catholics converted in the 17th century, while the Orthodox Albanians followed suit mainly in the following century. Initially confined to the main city centres of Elbasan and Shkoder, by this period the countryside was also embracing the new religion. The motives for conversion according to scholars were diverse, depending on the context. The lack of source material does not help when investigating such issues. Dell Inspiron 1570 Battery
Albania remained under Ottoman control as part of the Rumelia province until 1912, when the first independent Albanian state was declared. The formation of an Albanian national consciousness dates to the latter 19th century and is part of the larger phenomenon of the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire.
Proposed boundaries of the Principality of Albania (1912-1914) dell inspiron 500M battery.
The first organization that opposed the partition of Albania and pushed for greater autonomy was the League of Prizren, formed on 1 June 1878, in Prizren, Kosovo. The League used military force to prevent the annexing of northern Albanian areas assigned to Montenegro and Serbia, and southern Albanian areas assigned to Greece by the Congress of Berlin. After several battles with Montenegrin troopsdell inspiron 600M battery, the league was forced to give up Ulcinj to Montenegro and then was defeated by the Ottoman army sent by the Sultan in order to prevent the league from achieving autonomy for Albania. The uprisings of 1910–1912, the Ottoman defeat in the Balkan Wars and the advancing Montenegrin, Serbian and Greek armies into the territories where Albanians were majority, led to the proclamation of independence by Ismail Qemali in Vlora, on 28 November 1912dell inspiron 630M battery.
Albania's independence was recognized by the Conference of London on 29 July 1913, but the drawing of the borders of Albania ignored the demographic realities of the time. The short-lived monarchy (1914–1925) was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928), to be replaced by another monarchy (1928–1939), which was annexedby Fascist Italy and then by Nazi Germany during World War IIdell inspiron 640M battery.
After the liberation of Albania from Nazi occupation, the country became a socialist republic, the People's Republic of Albania (renamed "the People's Socialist Republic of Albania" in 1976), which was led by Enver Hoxha (died 1985), and the Party of Labour of Albania.
The socialist reconstruction of Albania after WWII and the national liberation was launched immediately after the annulling of the monarchy and the establishment of a "People's Republic"dell inspiron 6000 battery. In 1947, Albania's first railway line was completed, with the second completed within eight months after. After new laws of land reform, land was granted to workers and peasants who tilled the land. Agriculture began to become cooperative labour and production increased significantly, leading to Albania becoming agriculturally self-sufficient. By 1955, illiteracy was eliminated among Albania's adult population. dell inspiron 6400 battery
Palace of Culture of Tirana, Albania whose first stone was symbolically thrown by Nikita Khrushchev
During this period Albania became industrialised and saw rapid economic growth, as well as unprecedented progress in the areas of education and health. The average annual rate of increase of Albania's national income was 29% higher than the world average and 56% higher than the European averagedell inspiron 9200 battery. Also during this period, because of the monopolised socialist economy, Albania was the only country in the world that imposed no imposts or taxes on its people whatsoever. Hoxha's political successorRamiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the "Hoxhaist" state during the wider collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the later 1980sdell inspiron 9300 battery.
Religious freedoms were severely curtailed during this period, with many forms of worship being outlawed. In August 1945, the Agrarian Reform Law meant that large swaths of property owned by religious groups (mostly Islamic waqfs) were nationalized, along with the estates of monasteries and dioceses. Many believers, along with the ulema and many priests were arrested, tortured and executeddell inspiron 9400 battery. In 1949, a new Decree on Religious Communities required that they and all their activities be sanctioned by the state alone. In 1967 Hoxha proclaimed Albania the world's first 'atheist state.' Hundreds of mosques, and dozens of Islamic libraries - containing priceless manuscripts - were destroyed. Churches were not spared either, and many were converted into cultural centers for young peopledell inspiron e1505 battery. The new law banned all "fascist, religious, warmongerish, antisocialist activity and propaganda," -preaching religion carried a three to ten-year prison sentence. Many Albanians, nonetheless, continued to practice in secret.
The People's Republic was dissolved in 1990, and the Republic of Albania was founded in 1991. The Communists retained a stronghold in parliament after popular support in the elections of 1991dell inspiron e1705 battery. However, in March 1992, amid liberalisation policies resulting in economic collapse and social unrest, a new front led by the new Democratic Party took power. The economic crisis spread in late 1996 following the failure of some Ponzi schemes operating in the country, peaking in 1997 in an armed rebellion that led to another mass emigration of Albanians, mostly to Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and North Americadell latitude d820 battery.
In 1999, the country was affected by the Kosovo War, when a great number of Albanians from Kosovo found refuge in Albania.
Albania became a full member of NATO in 2009. The country is applying to join the European Union.
Main articles: Counties of Albania, Districts of Albania, and Municipalities of Albania
Albania is divided into 12 administrative counties (Albanian: qark or prefekturë). These counties include 36 districts (Albanian: rrethdell latitude d830 battery) and 373 municipalities (Albanian: bashki or komunë). 72 municipalities have city status (Albanian: qytet). There are overall 2980 villages/communities (Albanian: fshat) in all Albania. Each district has its council which is composed of a number of municipalities. The municipalities are the first level of local governance, responsible for local needs and law enforcementDell Latitude E5500 Battery.
The Albanian republic is a parliamentary democracy established under a constitution renewed in 1998. Elections are held every four years to a unicameral 140-seat chamber, the People's Assembly. In June 2002, a compromise candidate, Alfred Moisiu, former Army General, was elected to succeed President Rexhep Meidani. Parliamentary elections in July 2005 brought Sali Berisha, the leader of the Democratic Party, while on July 20Dell Latitude E5400 Battery, 2007 Bamir Topi became president. The current Albanian president Bujar Nishani was elected by Parliament in July 2012.
The Euro-Atlantic integration of Albania has been the ultimate goal of the post-communist governments. Albania's EU membership bid has been set as a priority by the European Commission.
Albania, along with Croatia, joined NATO on 1 April 2009, becoming the 27th and 28th members of the alliance. DELL Latitude E5410 Battery
The workforce of Albania has continued to migrate to Greece, Italy, Germany, other parts of Europe, and North America. However, the migration flux is slowly decreasing, as more and more opportunities are emerging in Albania itself as its economy steadily develops.
The head of state in Albania is the President of the Republic. The President is elected to a 5-year term by the Assembly of the Republic of Albania by secret ballot, requiring a 50%+1 majority of the votes of all deputies. The current President of the Republic is Bujar Nishani elected on July 2012DELL Latitude E5510 Battery.
The President has the power to guarantee observation of the constitution and all laws, act as commander in chief of the armed forces, exercise the duties of the Assembly of the Republic of Albania when the Assembly is not in session, and appoint the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) dell latitude e6400 battery.
Executive power rests with the Council of Ministers (cabinet). The Chairman of the Council (prime minister) is appointed by the president; ministers are nominated by the president on the basis of the prime minister's recommendation. The People's Assembly must give final approval of the composition of the Council. The Council is responsible for carrying out both foreign and domestic policies. It directs and controls the activities of the ministries and other state organsdell latitude e6500 battery.
President Bujar Nishani PD 24 July 2012
Prime Minister Sali Berisha PS 9 September 2009
The Assembly of the Republic of Albania (Kuvendi i Republikës së Shqipërisë) is the lawmaking body in Albania. There are 140 deputies in the Assembly, which are elected through a party-list proportional representation system. The President of the Assembly (or Speaker), who has two deputies, chairs the Assembly. There are 15 permanent commissions, or committees. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four yearsDELL Latitude E6410 Battery Battery.
The Assembly has the power to decide the direction of domestic and foreign policy; approve or amend the constitution; declare war on another state; ratify or annul international treaties; elect the President of the Republic, the Supreme Court, and the Attorney General and his or her deputies; and control the activity of state radio and television, state news agency and other official information mediaDELL Latitude E6510 Battery.
The Albanian Armed Forces (Forcat e Armatosura të Shqipërisë) were first formed after independence in 1912. Albania reduced the number of active troops from 65,000 in 1988 to 14,500 in 2009 and the military now consists mainly of a small fleet of aircraft and sea vessels. In the 1990s, the country scrapped enormous amounts of obsolete hardware, such as tanks andSAM systems from China. DELL Precision M2400 Battery
Today, it consists of the General Staff Headquarters, the Albanian Land Forces, Albanian Air Force, Albanian Naval Defense Forces, the Albanian Logistic Brigade and the Albanian Training and Doctrine Command. Increasing the military budget was one of the most important conditions for NATO integration. Military spending has generally been lower than 1.5% since 1996 only to peak in 2009 at 2% and fall again to 1.5%.DELL Precision M4400 Battery Since February 2008, Albania participates officially in NATO's Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea. It received a NATO membership invitation on 3 April 2008. Albania became a full member of NATO on 1 April 2009.
Albania has a total area of 28,748 square kilometers. It lies between latitudes 39° and 43° N, and mostly between longitudes 19° and 21° E (a small area lies east of 21°). Albania's coastline length is 476 km (296 mi):240 and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian SeasDELL Precision M4500 Battery. The lowlands of the west face the Adriatic Sea. The 70% of the country that is mountainous is rugged and often inaccessible from the outside. The highest mountain is Korab situated in the district of Dibër, reaching up to 2,753 metres (9,032 ft). The climate on the coast is typicallyMediterranean with mild, wet winters and warm, sunny, and rather dry summers.
Inland conditions vary depending on altitude, but the higher areas above 1,500 m/5,000 ft are rather cold and frequently snowy in winterDELL Precision M6400 Battery; here cold conditions with snow may linger into spring. Besides the capital city of Tirana, which has 800,000 inhabitants, the principal cities are Durrës, Korçë, Elbasan, Shkodër, Gjirokastër, Vlorë and Kukës. In Albanian grammar, a word can have indefinite and definite forms, and this also applies to city names: both Tiranë and Tirana, Shkodër and Shkodra are usedDELL Precision M6500 Battery.
The three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula are partly located in Albania. Lake Shkodër in the country's northwest has a surface which can vary between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) and 530 km2, out of which one third belongs to Albania and rest to Montenegro. The Albanian shoreline of the lake is 57 km (35 mi). Ohrid Lake is situated in the country's southeast and is shared between Albania and Republic of Macedoniadell xps m1210 battery. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and a variety of unique flora and fauna can be found there, including "living fossils" and many endemic species. Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO. There is also Butrinti Lake which is a small tectonic lake. It is located in the national park of Butrintdell xps m1330 battery.
With its coastline facing the Adriatic and Ionian seas, its highlands backed upon the elevated Balkan landmass, and the entire country lying at a latitude subject to a variety of weather patterns during the winter and summer seasons, Albania has a high number of climatic regions relative to its landmass. The coastal lowlands have typically Mediterranean weatherdell xps m1530 battery; the highlands have a Mediterranean continental climate. In both the lowlands and the interior, the weather varies markedly from north to south.
The lowlands have mild winters, averaging about 7 °C (45 °F). Summer temperatures average 24 °C (75 °F). In the southern lowlands, temperatures average about 5 °C (9 °F) higher throughout the year. The difference is greater than5 °C (9 °F) during the summer and somewhat less during the winterdell xps m1710 battery.
Inland temperatures are affected more by differences in elevation than by latitude or any other factor. Low winter temperatures in the mountains are caused by the continental air mass that dominates the weather in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Northerly and northeasterly winds blow much of the time. Average summer temperatures are lower than in the coastal areas and much lower at higher elevations, but daily fluctuations are greaterdell xps m1730 battery. Daytime maximum temperatures in the interior basins and river valleys are very high, but the nights are almost always cool.
Average precipitation is heavy, a result of the convergence of the prevailing airflow from the Mediterranean Sea and the continental air mass. Because they usually meet at the point where the terrain rises, the heaviest rain falls in the central uplands. Vertical currents initiated when the Mediterranean air is uplifted also cause frequent thunderstorms. Many of these storms are accompanied by high local winds and torrential downpoursDell Vostro 1710 Battery.
When the continental air mass is weak, Mediterranean winds drop their moisture farther inland. When there is a dominant continental air mass, cold air spills onto the lowland areas, which occurs most frequently in the winter. Because the season's lower temperatures damage olive trees and citrus fruits, groves and orchards are restricted to sheltered places with southern and western exposures, even in areas with high average winter temperaturesDell Vostro 1720 Battery.
Lowland rainfall averages from 1,000 millimeters (39.4 in) to more than 1,500 millimeters (59.1 in) annually, with the higher levels in the north. Nearly 95% of the rain falls in the winter.
Rainfall in the upland mountain ranges is heavier. Adequate records are not available, and estimates vary widely, but annual averages are probably about 1,800 millimeters (70.9 in) and are as high as 2,550 millimeters (100.4 in) in some northern areasdell studio xps 1340 battery. The western Albanian Alps (valley of Boga) are among the wettest areas in Europe, receiving some 3,100 mm (122.0 in) of rain annually. The seasonal variation is not quite as great in the coastal area.
The higher inland mountains receive less precipitation than the intermediate uplands. Terrain differences cause wide local variations, but the seasonal distribution is the most consistent of any areadell studio xps 13 battery.
In 2009 an expedition from University of Colorado discovered four small glaciers in the 'Cursed' mountains in North Albania. The glaciers are at the relatively low level of 2,000 meters – almost unique for such a southerly latitude.
The lynx still survives in Albania.
Although a small country, Albania is distinguished for its rich biological diversity. The variation of geomorphology, climate and terrain create favorable conditions for a number of endemic and sub-endemic species with 27 endemic and 160 subendemic vascular plants present in the countrydell Studio XPS 16 battery. The total number of plants is over 3250 species, approximately 30% of the entire flora species found in Europe.
Over a third of the territory of Albania – about 10,000 square kilometers (2.5 million acres) – is forested and the country is very rich in flora. About 3,000 different species of plants grow in Albania, many of which are used for medicinal purposes.Phytogeographically, Albania belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Adriatic and East Mediterraneanprovinces dell Studio XPS 1640 batteryof the Mediterranean Region and the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region. Coastal regions and lowlands have typical Mediterranean macchia vegetation, whereas oak forests and vegetation are found on higher altitudes. Vast forests of black pine, beech and fir are found on higher mountains and alpine grasslands grow at altitudes above 1800 meters.
Golden eagle–the national symbol of Albania. dell Studio XPS 1645 battery
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the European Environment Agency, the territory of Albania can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Illyrian deciduous forests, Pindus Mountains mixed forests andDinaric Alpine mixed forests. The forests are home to a wide range of mammals, including wolves, bears,wild boars and chamoisdell Studio XPS 1647 battery. Lynx, wildcats, pine martens and polecats are rare, but survive in some parts of the country.
There are around 760 vertebrate species found so far in Albania. Among these there are over 350 bird species, 330 freshwater and marine fish and 80 mammal species. There are some 91 globally threatened species found within the country, among which the Dalmatian pelican, Pygmy cormorant, and the European sea sturgeon. Rocky coastal regions in the south provide good habitats for the endangered Mediterranean monk sealdell Studio 17 battery.
Some of the most significant bird species found in the country include the golden eagle – known as the national symbol of Albania – vulture species, capercaillie and numerous waterfowl. The Albanian forests still maintain significant communities of large mammals such as the brown bear, gray wolf, chamois and wild boar. The north and eastern mountains of the country are home to the last remaining Balkan Lynx – a critically endangered population of the Eurasian lynx. dell Studio 1749 battery
Albania's troubled transition from communist to free-market capitalism has been largely successful. There are signs of increasing investments, and power cuts are reduced to the extent that Albania is now exporting energy. Its GDP per capita (expressed in PPS—Purchasing Power Standards) stood at 28 percent of the EU average in 2010dell Studio 1745 battery. Still, Albania has shown potential for economic growth, as more and more businesses relocate there and consumer goods are becoming available from emerging market traders as part of the current massive global cost-cutting exercise. Albania, Cyprus, and Poland are the only countries in Europe that recorded economic growth in the first quarter of 2010. International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted 2.6% growth for Albania in 2010 and 3.2% in 2011dell Studio 1747 battery.
Albania and Croatia have discussed the possibility of jointly building a nuclear power plant at Lake Shkoder, close to the border with Montenegro, a plan that has gathered criticism from Montenegro due to seismicity in the area. In addition, there is some doubt whether Albania would be able to finance a project of such a scale with a total national budget of less than $5 billion. Dell Inspiron 1440 Battery However, in February 2009 Italian company Enel announced plans to build an 800 MW coal-fired power plant in Albania, to diversify electricity sources. Nearly 100% of the electricity is generated by ageing hydroelectric power plants, which are becoming more ineffective due to increasing droughts.
The country has some deposits of petroleum and natural gas, but produced only 5,400 barrels of oil per day as of 2009. Dell Inspiron 1750 Battery Natural gas production, estimated at about 30 million cubic meters, is sufficient to meet consumer demands. Other natural resources include coal, bauxite, copper and iron ore.
Agriculture is the most significant sector, employing some 58% of the labor force and generating about 21% of GDP. Albania produces significant amounts of wheat, corn, tobacco, figs (13th largest producer in the world) and olives.
Tourism is gaining a fair share of Albania's GDP with visitors growing every year.
Law Enforcement in Albania is primarily the responsibility of The Albanian Police. Albania also has a counter-terrorism unit calledRENEADell Inspiron 14 Battery. In Albania, organized crime is common with an estimated 15 Albanian Mafia clans that operate drug operations and various criminal activities throughout the country.
Main article: Science and technology in Albania
Expenditure for scientific research and Development in Albania does not exceed 0.18% of GDP, which marks the lowest level in Europe. Economic competitiveness and exports are low, with the economy still heavily skewed towards low technology. From 1993 human resources in sciences and technology have drastically decreasedDell Inspiron 1464 Battery. Various surveys show that during 1991–2005, approximately 50% of the professors and research scientists of the universities and science institutions in the country have emigrated.
However in 2009 the government approved the "National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Albania" covering the period 2009–2015. It aims to triple public spending on research and development (R&D)Dell Inspiron 15 Battery to 0.6% of GDP and augment the share of gross domestic expenditure on R&D from foreign sources, including via the European Union's Framework Programmes for Research, to the point where it covers 40% of research spending, among others.
Currently there are two main motorways in Albania: the dual carriageway connecting Durrës with Vlore and the Albania-Kosovo HighwayDell Inspiron 1564 Battery.
The Albania-Kosovo Highway links Kosovo to Albania's Adriatic coast: the Albanian side was completed in June 2009, and now it takes only two hours and a half to go from the Kosovo border to Durrës. Overall the highway will be around 250 km (155 mi) when it reaches Pristina. The project was the biggest and most expensive infrastructure project ever undertaken in Albania. The cost of the highway appears to have breached €800 million, although the exact cost for the total highway has yet to be confirmed by the governmentDell Inspiron 17 Battery.
Two additional highways will be built in Albania in the near future: Corridor VIII, which will link Albania with the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, and the north-south highway, which corresponds to the Albanian side of the Adriatic–Ionian motorway, a larger regional highway connecting Croatia with Greece along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. When all three corridors are completed Albania will have an estimated 759 kilometers of highway linking it with all its neighboring countries: Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and GreeceDell Inspiron 1764 Battery.
Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza
The civil air transport in Albania marked its beginnings in November 1924, when the Republic of Albania signed a governmental agreement with German Air Company Deutsche Luft Hansa. On the basis of a ten-year concession agreement, the Albanian Airlines Company Adria Aero Lloydwas established. In the spring of 1925, the first domestic flights from Tirana to Shkoder andVlora began. Dell Studio 1440 Battery
In August 1927, the office of Civil Aviation of Air Traffic Ministry of Italy purchased Adria Aero Lloyd. The company, now in Italian hands, expanded its flights to other cities, such as Elbasan, Korça, Kukësi, Peshkopia and Gjirokastra, and opened up international lines to Rome, Milan, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Belgrade, and PodgoricaDell Studio 1535 Battery.
The construction of a more modern airport in Lapraka started in 1934 and was completed by the end of 1935. This new airport, which was later officially named "Airport of Tirana", was constructed in conformity with optimal technological parameters of that time, with a reinforced concrete runway of 2,700 m (8,858 ft), and complemented with technical equipment and appropriate buildingsDell Studio 1536 Battery.
During 1955–1957, the Rinasi Airport was constructed for military purposes. Later, its administration was shifted to the Ministry of Transport. On 25 January 1957 the State-owned Enterprise of International Air Transport (Albtransport) established its headquarters in Tirana. Aeroflot, Jat Airways, Malev, Tarom and Interflug were the air companies that started to have flights with Albania until 1960. Dell Studio 1537 Battery
During 1960–1978, several airlines ceased to operate in Albania due to the impact of the politics, resulting in a decrease of influx of flights and passengers. In 1977 Albania's government signed an agreement with Greece to open the country's first air links with non-communist Europe. As a result, Olympic Airways was the first non-communist airline to commercially fly into Albania after World War II. By 1991 Albania had air links with many major European citiesDell Studio 1555 Battery, including Paris, Rome, Zurich, Vienna and Budapest, but no regular domestic air service.
A French-Albanian joint venture Ada Air, was launched in Albania as the first private airline, in 1991. The company offered flights in a thirty-six-passenger airplane four days a week between Tirana and Bari, Italy and a charter service for domestic and international destinations.
From 1989 to 1991, because of political changes in the Eastern European countries, Albania adhered to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dell Studio 1557 Battery, opened its air space to international flights, and had its duties of Air Traffic Control defined. As a result of these developments, conditions were created to separate the activities of air traffic control from Albtransport. Instead, the National Agency of Air Traffic (NATA) was established as an independent enterprise. In addition, during these years, governmental agreements of civil air transport were established with countries such as Bulgaria, GermanyDell Studio 1558 Battery, Slovenia, Italy, Russia, Austria, the UK and Macedonia. The Directory General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was established on 3 February 1991, to cope with the development required by the time.
Train on the Durrës to Tiranë railway line
As of 2007 Albania has one international airport: Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza. The airport is linked to 29 destinations by 14 airlines. It has seen a dramatic rise in passenger numbers and aircraft movements since the early 1990s. The data for 2009 is 1.3 million passengers served and an average of 44 landings and takeoffs per dayDell Studio 1735 Battery.
Main articles: Rail transport in Albania and Hekurudha Shqiptare
The railways in Albania are administered by the national railway company Hekurudha Shqiptare (HSH) (which means Albanian Railways). It operates a 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge (standard gauge) rail system in Albania. All trains are hauled by Czech-built ČKDdiesel-electric locomotives.
The railway system was extensively promoted by the totalitarian regime of Enver Hoxha, during which time the use of private transport was effectively prohibitedDell Studio 1737 Battery. Since the collapse of the former regime, there has been a considerable increase in car ownership and bus usage. Whilst some of the country's roads are still in very poor condition, there have been other developments (such as the construction of a motorway between Tirana and Durrës) which have taken much traffic away from the railwaysDell Inspiron 1210 Battery.
According to the 2011 Census results, the total population of Albania is 2,821,977. Its population is relatively young by European standards, with a median age of 28.9 years. The fall of the Communist regime in 1990 Albania was accompanied with massive migration. External migration was prohibited in Communist Albania while internal one was quite limited, hence this was a new phenomenon. Between 1991 and 2004, roughly 900,000 people have migrated out of Albania, Dell Inspiron Mini 12 Battery about 600,000 of them settling in Greece. Migration greatly affected Albania's internal population distribution. Population decreased mainly in the North and South of the country while increased in Tirana and Durrës center districts.
Albania is largely ethnically homogeneous with the majority of the population being ethnic Albanian and only a few minorities.. The last census that contained ethnographic data (before the 2011 one) was conducted in 1989. Dell Latitude E4300 Battery Macedonian and some Greek minority groups have sharply criticized Article 20 of the Census law, according to which a $1,000 fine will be imposed on anyone who will declare an ethnicity other than what was is stated on his or her birth certificate. This is claimed to be an attempt to intimidate minorities into declaring Albanian ethnicity, as the Albanian government has presumably stated that it will jail anyone who does not participate in the census or refuse to declare his or her ethnicity. Dell Latitude E4310 Battery However, Genc pollo, the minister in charge has declared that: "Albanian citizens will be able to freely express their ethnic and religious affiliation and mother tongue. However, they are not forced to answer these sensitive questions". Also, Greek representatives part of the Albanian parliament and government invited their co-ethnics to register as the only way to improve their status. The amendments criticized do not include jailing or forced declaration of ethnicity or religionDell Vostro 1310 Battery, only a fine is envisioned which can be overthrown by court.  On the other hand, many Albanian intellectuals,political parties and other organisations have expressed their concern about the political implications of the inclusion of ethnic and religious affiliation in the questionnaire. According to them, this might be exploited by Greece, which has been offering pensions and travel benefits to Albanian citizens who declare themselves GreeksDell Vostro 1320 Battery. Increasing the size of the Greek minority would allow Greece to extend a territorial claim to the southern part of Albania.
Albania recognizes three national minorities, Greeks, Macedonians and Montenegrins, and two cultural minorities, Aromanians and Romani people. Other Albanian minorities are Bulgarians, Gorani, Serbs, Balkan Egyptians, Bosniaks and Jews. Regarding the Greeks, "it is difficult to know how many Greeks there are in AlbaniaDell Vostro 1510 Battery. The Greek government, it is typically claimed, says that there are around 300,000 ethnic Greeks in Albania, but most western estimates are around 200,000 mark (although EEN puts the number at a probable 100,0000...) The Albanian government puts the number at only 60,000."  The CIA World Factbook estimates the Greek minority at 3% of the total population and the US State Department uses 1.17% for Greeks and 0.23% for other minorities. Dell Vostro 1520 Battery