Albania. This fall’s local elections were relatively calm, although some irregularities occurred, especially in those parts where the majority are ethnic Greeks. The Socialist Party (SP, Partia Socialiste e Shqipërisë) strengthened its position, while the Democratic Party, DP (Partia Demokratike të Shqipërisë) noted a decline. The election result led to crows, among other things. in Tirana, in the border areas to Kosovo and in the north of the country, where Albania’s former president Sali Berisha has his strongest foothold. In the town of Bajram Curri in the fairly lawless mountain area near the Kosovo border, five people were shot dead when a police station was stormed. There were suspicions that the riots had been staged by Sali Berisha and that he had even paid hooligans to attend. At one point, Sali Berisha was arrested and held for a couple of hours.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Albania. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
In spring Albania signed the European Protocol for the Elimination of the Death Penalty. The Albanian authorities, with the help of Norway, the USA and Germany, collected 100,000 small arms for smelting. The weapons were stolen from military stores in 1997, when anarchy erupted since the so-called pyramid games collapsed and thousands of people lost their savings. Over 1,200,000 weapons were stolen, and most were still in operation at year-end. Albania continued to be a transit route for the smuggling of heavy drugs to the rest of Europe, from where stolen cars were smuggled into the country.
Albania was also a hub for the smuggling of very young women from Eastern Europe – in particular Romania and Moldova – into the western European cities, where they are forced into prostitution. Especially the port city of Vlora was used for this traffic, which went by boat to Italy where pimps paid SEK 25,000. per woman. Only from Vlora, more than a dozen women were estimated to have been smuggled out each day. Refugees from poor countries were also smuggled through Albania for ample payment, and taken in dangerous journeys by boat to Italy. In the summer, however, Prime Minister Ilir Meta and his Italian colleague Giuliano Amato reached an agreement that Italian police should be placed on the Albanian mainland to prevent the boats from embarking.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Albania in 2000 was 3,129,132, ranking number 131 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.100% yearly, and the population density was 114.2060 people per km2.