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Hundreds of people gather inside an unfinished building
On November 28, 2012, Albania celebrated its 100th Anniversary of its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Huge gatherings took place in Vlora, the city where independence was declared.
U.S. Embassy Tirana

Albania was the last of the central and eastern European countries to embark on democratic and free market reforms, and it started from a disadvantaged position due to communist leader Enver Hoxha's catastrophic economic policies. The democratically elected government that assumed office in April 1992 launched an ambitious economic reform program meant to halt economic deterioration and put the country on the path toward a market economy. However, the collapse of the infamous pyramid schemes in 1997 and the instability that followed were a tremendous setback. The country subsequently recovered and is now pursuing its Euro‐Atlantic integration agenda. In June 2006, the Albanian Government signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU), the first step in the EU accession process. In April 2009 Albania became a NATO member country and in December last year (2010) visa liberalization within the EU was granted, both major milestones in the country’s history. However, also in 2009, the GOA formally submitted their application for EU membership, but that application has languished

Last updated: July 18, 2014

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