Why is Albania so poor

Albania

Such remains of an amphitheater can be seen in the city of Durrës. It dates from the time of the ancient Romans.

Albania is a country in southeastern Europe. It lies across from Italy on the Adriatic Sea on the Mediterranean Sea and thus belongs to the Balkans. There are a lot of mountains, but also a flat coast.

Albania is slightly smaller than Switzerland and has only a third as many inhabitants. Many Albanians live in other countries. Albania is now a republic. Parliament has a lot of influence. The capital is called Tirana. The currency is the Albanian Lek.

Most of the people in the country speak Albanian. But there are also many minorities in Albania who speak other languages. There are different religions in Albania: Muslims, Orthodox Christians and people without religion.

What happened earlier in Albania?

The country belonged to the Ottoman Empire for a long time and only became independent in 1912. Many Albanians left the area before independence to live in other countries. Many later went to the United States.

During the Second World War the country was occupied by Italy, against which many Albanians resisted. After the Second World War, Albania became a communist country. The rulers ensured that Albanians had little to do with foreign countries. First the Albanian communists worked with Yugoslavia, then with the Soviet Union and later with communist China. All religions were banned in Albania during this time.

Communism collapsed in the 1990s. As a result, the country got even more problems. That is why a third of the Albanians fled their country in the following years. There were always conflicts over the borders of Albania, especially over the area of ​​Kosovo, which had long been part of Yugoslavia and in which many Albanians live. Albanians from Albania were also involved in the war in 1998 and in the armed conflict in neighboring North Macedonia in 2001.

How do people live?

Much is still the same as it used to be, for example this timber transport by horse and cart.

In the years from 1990 onwards, the Albanians felt badly. The economy has since recovered. Many businesses were renewed. Roads were also renewed and expanded. Tourism increased. Nevertheless, Albania is still one of the poorest countries in Europe today. Around every sixth inhabitant has no job. Around every eighth inhabitant is considered poor. The water often only flows for a few hours a day.

In 2006 the neighboring country Bulgaria shut down its nuclear power plant. As a result, Albania could no longer buy electricity from there. This then kept failing. In the meantime Albania has renewed its hydropower plants and the situation is getting better and better.

A lot of natural gas and oil are stored in the soil of Albania, but they are not extracted. There are also metals such as copper, but also coal, clay and other mineral resources, some of which are mined and sold abroad. That also creates jobs.

There are many different animal and plant species in Albania. Many are even exclusively here. They are called endemics. Together with the beautiful areas, this attracts many tourists, especially from countries that are nearby. This also creates jobs and income for many Albanians.