Republic of Albania
Republika é Shqipërisë
CAPITAL : Tiranë
FLAG : The flag consists of a red background at the center of which is a black double-headed eagle.
ANTHEM : Hymni i Flamúrit (Anthem of the Flag) begins "Rreth flamúrit të për bashkuar" ("The flag that united us in the struggle").
MONETARY UNIT : The lek ( L ) of 100 qindarka is a convertible paper currency. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, 50 qindarka, and 1 lek, and notes of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 leks. L 1 = $0.0079 (or $1 = L 126.53) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Small Bayram, end of Ramadan, 16 December 2001*; International Women's Day, 8 March; Catholic Easter, April**; Orthodox Easter, April**; Great Bayram, Feast of the Sacrifice, 6 March 2001*; Independence Day, 28 November; Christmas Day, 25 December.
*Dependent on the Islamic lunar calendar and will vary from the dates given.
** Dependent on religious calendar, and also will vary.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
Generally regarded as descendants of the ancient Illyrians, the Albanians make up about 95% of the population. Ethnic Greeks comprise as much as 3% of the populace. Other groups, including Gypsies, Vlachs, Bulgarians, and Serbs, make up the remaining 2%. The Albanians themselves fall into two major groups: the Ghegs in the north and the Tosks in the south, divided by the Shkumbin River.
Fishing is an important occupation along the Adriatic coast. In 1958, a development program for inland fisheries was begun, and the results were improved exploitation and conservation as well as increased fish reserves and catches. Annual fish production was estimated at 3,320 tons in 2000 of which 995 tons came from marine fishing. Exports of fish products amounted to almost $5.4 million in 2000.
Albania has no territories or colonies.
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