On January 31st 1925 Ahmed Zogu assumed Albania's presidency; on September 1st 1928 he had himself crowned King Zogu I.
In order to overpower his rival, Ahmed Zogu had relied on support from the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes; in 1926 he signed an Albanian-SHS border treaty favourable to the latter. To counterbalance the Serb influence, Ahmed Zogu sought support from Italy, which in 1920 had annexed the previously Greek island of SASENO just off the Albanian coast.
Ahmed Zogu brought a degree of stability to Albania, but his rule was dictatorial, based on a bureaucracy, an efficient police force and on Italian credits. The Great Depression had a limited impact on Albania as the country hardly had an industrial base and still was largely agricultural. Poverty was wide-spread, the (not implemented) land reform a burning issue; many peasants emigrated; the first communist organizations were founded.
Over time Fascist Italy emerged as Albania's sole protector. When Europe's post-World War I order was broken up by the Munich Pact (1938), the Anschluss of Austria (1938) and the German occupation of Czechia in March 1939, Italian troops occupied Albania; King Zogu abdicated and the country was annexed by Italy.
In 1930, the population of Albania numbered 1,003,097; by 1939 it had risen to 1,037,856. The largest city was capital Tirana with 30,806 inhabitants (in 1930). The main agricultural products were maize and wheat, main animals held were sheep, goats, cattle and chicken. By 1936, Albania had 12 km of railway and 2100 km of roads. Both state revenue and expenses in 1937/38 amounted to 26.2 million Gold Franc.