A country-by-country look at the Balkans
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Current Crisis: The government has lost control in the north and is still recovering from massive riots in 1997. Rebels from Kosovo use Albania as a sanctuary and weapons source.
Unresolved land claims: There is sentiment for a "Greater Albania," which would include parts of Yugoslavia and Macedonia.
Government: Made up of former Communists. Extremely unstable.
Infamous for: Hundreds of thousands of mushroomlike concrete bunkers built by Communist dictator Enver Hoxha.
Balkan relations: No allies.
Religion: Mostly Muslim, with Christian Orthodox and Roman Catholics.
Population: 3.3 million.
Defining moment: Mr. Hoxha's isolationist communism made Albania Europe's poorest and most backward country.
Reason to be optimistic: Albania, though supportive of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, has showed restraint in the crisis next door.
Current crisis: By agreeing to let NATO use its territory for possible action against Yugoslavia, Bulgaria risks retribution from the Serbs.
Ethnicity: Slavic Bulgarian, Turk (8.5 percent).
Unresolved land claims: Although they recognize Macedonia, radicals have claims to Macedonia.
Government: Strong parliamentary system. Hampered by corruption.
Infamous for: Europe's leading producer of pirated music and computer software.
Balkan relations: Neutral.
Religion: Christian Orthodox, Muslim (17 percent).
Population: 8.2 million.
Defining moment: Joined losing sides in both world wars.
Reason to be optimistic: Trying to join NATO and European Union, though still far away.
Current crisis: Hard-line and moderate Bosnian-Serb leaders are protesting an international ruling in which Croats, Muslims, and Serbs will control the town of Brcko. Since the outbreak of war in 1992, Brcko was ruled by Serbs, who had "ethnically cleansed" the Muslims and Croats. The hard-line president of the ethnic Serbian half of Bosnia was recently fired, and the moderate prime minister resigned.
Ethnicity: Muslim (43 percent), Serb (31 percent), Croat (17 percent).
Unresolved land claims: Although the groups in Bosnia do not claim outside territory, they still argue over internal land between the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation.
Government: A complex multi-ethnic, three-man presidency overseen by the United Nations, and large degree of autonomy in the two halves.
Infamous for: The term "ethnic cleansing" was coined in Bosnia earlier this decade, during Europe's bloodiest war since World War II.
Balkan relations: Surrounded by hostile neighbors with land claims and ethnic brethren in Bosnia.
Religion: Serbs are Christian Orthodox, Croats are Catholic, "Bosniaks" are Muslim.
Population: 3.4 million.
Defining moment: The structure of today's Bosnia was drawn up during a 1995 peace conference in Dayton, Ohio.
Reason to be optimistic: Former hard-line Bosnian-Serb leader and war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic has been marginalized. Moderates are gradually gaining power, and the economy is growing.
Current crisis: Nationalist President Franjo Tudjman, who is severely ill, rules through fear and deprivation.
Ethnicity: Croat, Serb (12 percent).
Unresolved land claims: Croats want southern Bosnia.
Infamous for: Ustashe fascists, who fought alongside Nazis in World War II.
Balkan relations: Bitter enemies with Serbs.
Religion: Catholic, Christian Orthodox.
Population: 4.7 million.
Defining moment: Gained independence during violent break from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Reason to be optimistic: A coalition of opposition political parties could soon challenge Mr. Tudjman.
Current crisis: An ongoing conflict with Turkey flared last month when the Greek Embassy in Kenya was found to be hiding Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish separatist leader accused of terrorism in Turkey.