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Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents. Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections. The 2009 general elections resulted in no single party gaining a majority of the 140 seats in Parliament, and the Movement for Socialist Integration (LSI) and the Democratic Party (DP) combined to form a coalition government, the first such in Albania's history. The Socialist Party (SP) contested the results of the 2009 parliamentary elections and the 2011 local elections. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.


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Military

Military branches
Land Forces Command, Air Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command (2010)

Military service age and obligation
19 years of age (2004)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 731,111
Females age 16-49 780,216 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 622,379
Females age 16-49 660,715 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 31,986
Female 29,533 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 99
1.49% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Albania (Tirana):


  GPS points from Albania (Tirana)

Qafe Sheshit Bardhes Qarku I Elbasanit

Kep Durres Qarku I Durresit

Vokopol Qarku I Beratit

Mal I Metohijes Qarku I Shkodres

Vidhas-hasgjel Qarku I Elbasanit

Galigadi Qarku I Elbasanit

Zhapokike E Siperme Qarku I Gjirokastres

Vranjti Qarku I Dibres




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