Even the communist government's sparse official statistics could not hide the fact that the Albanians suffered a low living standard. From the mid-1970s, the economy struggled to produce enough food and consumer goods to supply the quickly growing population. In the early 1990s, serious difficulty in simply feeding the country forced the government to scrap its Stalinist economic policies and to appeal for foreign humanitarian relief to avert widespread hunger. Saving became an impossibility for almost the entire population.
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