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Albania is still in the process of political and economic transition after almost five decades of Communist rule that ended in the early 1990s. During that period, Albania's natural resources and raw materials were regularly exploited, and little was done to promote environmental awareness. Since the shift to a market economy, environmental problems have been further exacerbated as the country has become more urbanized and industrialized. Albania is still one of the poorest countries in Europe and is the least developed country on the continent. Because of its temperate climate, Albania experiences cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Destructive earthquakes often lead to major environmental damage, as do alternating floods and droughts.

Fluctuating weather conditions present great risks for the 57 percent of Albania's workforce ...

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