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Yearbook 2016

2016 AlbaniaAlbania. Parliament adopted a series of constitutional amendments in July with the aim of reducing the political influence over the judiciary and combating corruption and organized crime. The reform package was a key condition of the EU for Albania to start membership negotiations. It was adopted unanimously after 18 months of negotiations in which the Democratic Party, which is leading the opposition, has long opposed foreign experts to participate when judges are appointed. After mediation by the US and the EU, and the threat of withdrawing the country's candidate status in the EU, agreement was reached. Despite this, the opposition subsequently appealed against the legislative changes, but the Constitutional Court finally approved them in December.

2016 Albania

According to countryaah, the second royal wedding in Albania's history was held in October, when 34-year-old Crown Prince Leka married actress Elia Zaharia. The semi-official wedding ceremony was conducted by the mayor of Tirana, while representatives of both Muslim and Christian communities gave their blessing. Leka is an adviser to the Foreign Minister. The only royal wedding held in the country was when Leka's grandfather King Zog married in 1938, a year before he was expelled from power and the monarchy in practice ceased.

Around 20,000 Albanian Catholics participated in the Blessing of 38 Catholics executed or tortured during the Communist era, between 1945 and 1985, in November. Representatives of the Vatican also attended the ceremony, in a cathedral in Shkodėr.

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