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Albania Greeks and Other Minorities
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The Greek minority, Albania's largest, has deep roots in the country's two southeasternmost districts, Sarandë and Gjirokastër, in an area many Greeks call Northern Epirus (see fig. 1). Estimates of the size of the Greek population in 1989 varied from 59,000, or 1 percent of the total (from the official Albanian census); to 266,800, or 8 percent (from data published by the United States government); to as high as 400,000, or 12 percent (from the "Epirot lobby" of Greeks with family roots in Albania). Greeks were harshly affected by the communist regime's attempts to homogenize the population through restrictions on the religious, cultural, educational, and linguistic rights of minorities. Internal exile and other population movements served as instruments of policy to dilute concentrations of Greeks and to deprive Greeks of their status as a recognized minority. Despite improvements in Greco-Albanian relations during the late 1980s and a significant increase in cross-border visits, reports of persecution, harassment, and discrimination against Greeks, as well as other minorities, persisted.

    Smaller ethnic groups, including Bulgarians, Gypsies, Jews, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, and Vlachs, altogether accounted for about 2 percent of the total population. Persons of Macedonian and Bulgarian origin lived mostly in the border area near Lake Prespa. The Vlachs, akin to modern Romanians, were most numerous in the Pindus Mountains and in the districts of Fier, Korçë, and Vlorë. A few persons of Serbian and Montenegrin derivation resided around the city of Shkodër. There were small Jewish communities in Tiranë, Vlorë, and Korçë; and Gypsies were scattered throughout the country.

    Data as of April 1992

    NOTE: The information regarding Albania on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Albania Greeks and Other Minorities information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Albania Greeks and Other Minorities should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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