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Republic in southeastern Europe
Albania ( (listen) a(w)l-BAY-nee-ə; Albanian: Shqipëri or Shqipëria; Gheg Albanian: Shqipni or Shqipnia also Shqypni or Shqypnia), officially the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë, pronounced [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːsə]), is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and maritime borders with Greece, Montenegro and Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological, hydrological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi). It possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg, Pindus and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. Historically, the country has been inhabited by numerous civilisations such as the Illyrians, Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans. The Albanians established the autonomous Principality of Arbër in the 12th century. The Kingdom of Albania and Principality of Albania formed between the 13th and 14th centuries. Prior to the Ottoman conquest of Albania in the 15th century, the Albanian resistance to Ottoman expansion into Europe led by Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg won them acclaim over most of Europe. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Albanians gathered both spiritual and intellectual strength which conclusively led to the Albanian Renaissance. After the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars, the modern nation state of Albania declared independence in 1912. In the 20th century, the Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy which formed Greater Albania before becoming a protectorate of Nazi Germany. Enver Hoxha formed Communist Albania after the Second World War and launched the Albanians on a path of oppression and decades of isolation. The Revolutions of 1991 concluded the fall of communism in Albania and eventually the establishment of the current Republic of Albania. Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the service sector, followed by manufacturing. It went through a process of transition following the end of communism in 1990, from centralized planning to a market-based economy. Albania provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens.The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC. It is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. It is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean. .... Learn more at Wikipedia
Transportation in Albania has undergone significant changes and improvements in the past two decades. Continual improvements to the public transport, road and rail infrastructure, water and air travel have all led to a vast enhancement in transportation. The international airport of Tirana serves as the premier gateway to the country, and it is the main hub for Albania's national flag carrier, Air Albania. The airport carries almost 2.5 million passengers per year with connections to many destinations in other countries around Europe. The country plans to progressively increase the number of airports especially in the south with possible locations in Sarandë, Gjirokastër and Vlorë. The highways and motorways in Albania are properly maintained and often still under construction. The A1 represents a major transportation corridor in Albania and the longest motorway of the country. It will prospectively link Durrës on the Adriatic Sea across Pristina in Kosovo with the Pan-European Corridor X in Serbia. The A2 is part of the Adriatic–Ionian Corridor as well as the Pan-European Corridor VIII and connects Fier with Vlorë. The A3 is currently under construction and will connect, after its completion, Tirana and Elbasan with the Pan-European Corridor VIII. When all three corridors are completed, Albania will have an estimated 759 kilometres (472 mi) of highway linking it with all of its neighboring countries. Durrës is the busiest and largest seaport in the country followed by Vlorë, Shëngjin and Sarandë. As of 2014, it is as one of the largest passenger ports on the Adriatic Sea with annual passenger volume of approximately 1.5 million. The principal ports serve a system of ferries connecting numerous islands and coastal cities in Croatia, Greece and Italy. The rail network is administered by the national railway company Hekurudha Shqiptare which was extensively promoted by the dictator Enver Hoxha. There has been a considerable increase in private car ownership and bus usage while rail use decreased since the end of communism. However, a new railway line from Tirana and its airport to Durrës is currently planned. The specific location of this railway, connecting the most populated urban areas in Albania, merely makes it an important economic development project.