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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 6,124 4,695 4,100 109
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,740 1,380 1,340 120
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Albania

Update No: 157 - (27/06/10)

Albania's EU aspirations
During his first official visit to Albania on June 8, Romania's President Traian Basescu reiterated Romania's support for Albania's European prospects, voicing hope that Albania will take important steps toward fulfilling the requirements for acceding to the European Union (EU). Time was when the Roman Emperor Trajan in the second century AD decided who would belong to Dacia, the Balkan province of the Roman Empire. Now it is a more humdrum affair, the Balkan extension of the EU.

In relation to the liberalisation of visas for Albanian nationals travelling to Romania, Basescu said in his conversations with President Bamir Topi he encouraged the speeding up of efforts to clarify technical aspects that will allow for a positive outcome this autumn. 'I believe that extending the liberalised visa regime to include the Albanian nationals will consolidate the Albanians' trust in the concrete aspects of their European prospects,' said Basescu in a joint news conference with Albanian President Bamir Topi.

Basescu also mentioned that a Romanian-Albanian business forum was scheduled to be held this autumn. 'I underscored the importance for solutions to be sought to consolidate economic cooperation so that the effects of the world recession will not affect the bilateral economic ties. The documents signed today in the areas of communications and information society as well as in the area of maritime transport is a first step in the process of consolidating the bilateral economic ties,' said Basescu.

Albania filed a membership application with the European Union in April 2009.

Aromanian aspirations
Aromanians are a Romanic people of northern and central Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Romania and Bulgaria, whose number is put at 100,000. Their language is a Romance language called Aromanian, which linguists say is one of the four main dialects of the Romanian language. The fate of the Aromanians is naturally of great concern to the Romanians,

President Basescu requested that the Aromanian community of Albania be granted the status of a national minority. 'In my conversations with Mr. President, I requested that the Aromanian community of Albania be granted the status of a national minority. I explained to Mr. President the importance attached by Romania to the rights of national ethnics as well as the treatment extended in Romania to the Albanian minority, in conformity with the Constitution of Romania. Romania believes that Aromanians are loyal to Albania, which has been proved along history,' Basescu said at a news conference following a private meeting with Albania's President Bamir Topi.

Basescu also said that in his conversations with Topi he also discussed the legal awards to be granted in the case of the Iorga House at Saranda, as ruled by the Albanian judiciary.

'Together with Mr. President, I analysed the political situation in our geographical area, the Balkans, and discussed the Kosovo issue, on which Romania has preserved its official stance previously stated,' Basescu told a joint news conference with President Topi.

The house of a historian
On February 20, 2006, then Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu met his Albanian counterpart Besnik Mustafaj in Bucharest to discuss the situation of the house that belonged to famous Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940) at Saranda, southern Albania. Ungureanu voiced hope that his Albanian counterpart will help him solve the dispute over the building that had been going on for more than a decade.

The Iorga House was built on a plot of land that Iorga received from Albanian King Zog for having penned the first history of Albania. The building was nationalised in 1939.


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