About Albania

Name Republic of Albania (Republika e Shqipërisë)
International Sign AL
Location On the west side of the Balkan Peninsula, surrounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece
Climate
Around the adriatic coast mediterrannean climate; in the eastern mountains continental climate, with a lot of snow in the winter.
Our opinion: While the mediterrannean climate in the Region of Tirana / Durres brings comfortable conditions, the summers can be very hot (Air conditionbs are common), and the winters can be quite cold (heating rarely exists).
Winter in the mountains typically is extremly cold and extremely snowy. Consindering the bad condition of the roads, this leads to problems.
Dimensions
28.748 km²
Compare – Austria: NÖ+OÖ 31.166 km², Germany: Brandenburg 29.654 km²)
Even if  the total area is quite small, trips to farther regions can take ten to twelve hours of driving (and coffee drinking). This is caused by the rather bad conditions of roads off the main routes.
Population
2,896 Mio.
Compare – Niederösterreich 19.186km², Oberösterreich 11.980km², NÖ+OÖ 31.166km²
Brandenburg: 2,449 Mio.
Religions 70% Muslims; 20% greek-orthodox; 10% Catholic, showing a remarkable amount of tolerance towards each other
GDP 10,3 Billion € (Source: Albanian Ministery of Finance, 2015)
Average annual income 3.360,- € (Source: Albanian Ministery of Finance, 2015)
Currency Albanian Lek (ALL); 140ALL ~ 1 EUR (longterm stable)
Language
Albanian (Shqip) is an illyric language
Shqip has to be considered an „exklusive“ language, being hard to learn. Out in the countryside, this can lead to problems; urban young citicens often adequately speak foreign languages (English und Italian, sometimes French und German).
In central Tirana, waiters typically can speak English. Finding Policemen that speak foreign languages, is a difficulty…
A thrilling source of misunderstanding is „Yes“ and „No“:
„Yes“ is „Po“ supported by turning the head to the left (looks like shaking the head)
„No“ is „Jo“ supported by nodding
As more and more Albanians recognize these misunderstandings, they often switch to the “western” style of head movement. This makes misunderstanding complete…
Capital
Tirana, 624.642 inhabitants; a bit south of Rome
(compare: Vienna 1.741.246 Einwohner, Graz 265.778 Einwohner)

Essentially, Tirana can be seen as trisect city: the center presents itself as a dynamic mediterranean city; Government offices and subsidiaries of most global companies are located here. A variety of pubs, coffe shops and restaurants can also be found here. Prices are higher than in the rest of the country, but still comparably low compared with Middle europe. Offices are for rent from 10 €/m² and up, for sale from 1.000 €/m² and up. A dinner is between 10 € and 40 €, a coffee / drink from 0,80 € and up, Taxi about 3 €. However, the development of the infrastructure doesn’t keep up with with the speed of changes, even in the center of Tirana. Even though City administration does great efforts, traffic situation is still chaotic. Concepts are missing for private and public transport. Maintenance is still a foreign word, electric power supply lacks reliability.
Outside the center, Tirana grows on one side up the mountains with ghetto-like areas for the Rich, and towards the airport and Durres. These areas are characterized by the total absence of city and regional planning.

 

Sources Used

  • Auswärtiges Amt (http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de)
  • Bundesministerium Europa, Integration und Äußeres (http://www.bmeia.gv.at)
  • Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (http://www.wko.at)
  • Weltbank (http://www.worldbank.org)
  • International Monetary Fund (http://www.imf.org)
  • Ministria e Financave (http://www.financa.gov.al)
  • Prime Minister´s office (http://www.kryeministria.al)
  • Albanian Investment Development Agency (http://www.aida.gov.al)
  • Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org)

  plus comprehensive research of our own