The Albanian emigration between Greece and Italy

Luigi Di Comite, Università di Bari
Lucrezia Andria, Università di Bari

The political, economic and social changes that have occurred in Albania in the early 1990s have been accompanied by large-scale movement of transformation. The political transition from a dictatorial regime to a democratic system was accompanied by an economic transition from a centralized economy to a market economy and by many other changes. The unstable political situation and the complicated economic conditions during the 1990s generated “wild” urbanization and massive emigration of population. The destination of these streams has been strongly determined from geographic and cultural proximity, in a disorganized process of escape towards "the neighboring" countries like Greece and Italy. Frequently, the presence of the Albanian population in the destination countries is illegal and, consequently, it escapes to every statistics. Being aware of all limits concerning data sources, we will try to analyze the phenomenon of Albanian immigration in Italy and in Greece trying to outline convergences and divergences of the distribution models of immigrants in these countries. Moving from an analysis of the Albanian demographic situation during the last fifty years, and of the impact of migration movements on the structural changes of the Albanian population, the attention will be concentrated on the main motivations of these movements. Finally we will try to reach to one synthesis between the models of the Albanian emigration in Italy and Greece, on the base of common denominators and specific factors to every one of the two reality of reference. The data used are mainly from the official statistics sources of the three countries of study (Albania, Greece and Italy), accompanied by data from international organizations which have been differently interested in the study of Albanian migratory phenomenon, returned overbearing to the center of the public attention in 1990s.

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Presented in Session 60: International Migration and Migrant Populations