Republic of Albania
Republika e Shqipëri
Political Status: Independent state since 1912; Communist regime established in 1946; interim democratic constitution adopted April 29, 1991; permanent constitution approved by national referendum on November 22, 1998, and signed into law by the president on November 28.
Area: 11,100 sq. mi. (28,748 sq. km.).
Population: 3,069,275 (2001C); 3,157,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): TIRANË (TIRANA, 387,000), Durrës (107,000), Elbasan (90,000), Shkodër (83,000), Vlorë (80,000), Korçë (53,000).
Official Language: Albanian.
Monetary Unit: Lek (market rate November 1, 2008: 97.10 lekë = $1US).
President: Bamir TOPI (formerly Democratic Party of Albania); elected in the fourth round of voting by the People's Assembly on July 20, 2007, and sworn in for a five-year term on July 24, succeeding Gen. (Ret.) Alfred MOISIU (formerly Socialist Party of Albania). (Upon election ...