Republic of Macedonia

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Република Македонија
Republika Makedonija

Republic of Macedonia
Flag of the Republic of Macedonia Coat of Arms of the Republic of Macedonia
(Details) (Details)
Location of the Republic of Macedonia
Official languages Macedonian¤,2
Capital Skopje
President Branko Crvenkovski
Prime Minister Vlado Bučkovski
 – Total
 – % water
Ranked 145th
 25,713 km²
 – Total (2005 est.)
 – Density
Ranked 140th
Independence 8 September 1991
Currency Macedonian¤ Denar (MKD)
Time zone
 – in summer
National anthem Денес Над Македонија (Denes Nad Makedonija: Today Over Macedonia)
Internet TLD .mk
Calling Code 389
2 All the languages of the ethnic communities with over 20% of representation in municipalities are municipal official languages. These include Albanian, Turkish, Serbian and Romany

The Republic of Macedonia¤, referred to by the United Nations as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), is an independent state on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is often called Macedonia, but this can cause confusion with the wider geographical region of Macedonia and the Greek region of Macedonia.

The lands governed by the Republic of Macedonia were previously the southernmost part of Yugoslavia. Its current borders were fixed shortly after World War II when socialist Yugoslavia established the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, recognising the Macedonians as a separate nation within Yugoslavia. Renamed as the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, it seceded peacefully from Yugoslavia without any further territorial changes. However, since then the country has been embroiled in a prolonged political dispute with Greece concerning its use of the name "Macedonia". Some international organisations and nations refer to the country as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the term used in its admission to the United Nations, but other countries recognise it under its constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia".



Main article: History of the Republic of Macedonia

The lands governed by the Republic of Macedonia were part of a number of ancient states and former empires; Paionia, the kingdom of ancient Macedon (which established the name of the whole Macedonian region), the Roman and Byzantine empires as well as medieval Bulgarian and Serbian states. In the 14th century the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

Following the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, and with the Bukurest peace agreement between Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, it was devided between Serbia and was known as Južna Srbija ("Southern Serbia"), Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania. After the First World War Serbia joined the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, the kingdom was officially renamed Yugoslavia and divided into provinces called "banovinas". The territory of the modern Republic of Macedonia became a part of the Province or Banate of Vardar (Vardarska Banovina 1).

In 1941, Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Powers. The Banate of Vardar was divided between Bulgaria and Italian-occupied Albania. Harsh rule by the occupying forces encouraged many Macedonians to support the resistance movement of Josip Broz Tito, who became Yugoslavia's president when the war ended. After the end of the Second World War, the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established, in which the People's Republic of Macedonia within Yugoslavia became one of the six republics of the Yugoslav federation. Following the federation's renaming to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1963, the People's Republic of Macedonia was likewise renamed Socialist Republic of Macedonia.

The Republic of Macedonia remained at peace through the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s but was destabilised by the Kosovo War in 1999, when an estimated 360,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo took refuge in the country. They returned quickly following the war but soon after, Albanian radicals on both sides of the border took up arms in pursuit of autonomy or independence for the Albanian-populated areas of the Republic. A short war was fought between government and ethnic Albanian rebels, mostly in the north and west of the country, in March-June 2001. It ended with the intervention of a NATO ceasefire monitoring force and the government promising to devolve greater political power and cultural recognition to the Albanian minority.


Main article: Politics of the Republic of Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy with an executive government composed of a coalition of parties from the unicameral legislature (Собрание, Sobranie), and an independent judicial branch with a constitutional court. The role of the President of the Republic is mostly ceremonial, with the real power resting in the hands of the President of the Government of Macedonia.

With the passage of a new law and elections held in 2005, local government functions are divided between 78 municipalities (opštini, singular - opština). The capital, Skopje, is governed as a group of ten municipalities collectively referred to as "the City of Skopje".

The Republic is a member of a number of international organisations such as the United Nations and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is seeking to join NATO and the European Union, although its accession to either is unlikely to occur before 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Within the Republic of Macedonia, the main political divergence is between the largely ethnically-based political parties representing the country's Macedonian majority and Albanian minority (25 %). The issue of the power balance between the two communities led to a brief war in 2001, following which a power-sharing agreement was reached.

International relations

The Republic of Macedonia has generally amicable relations with the outside world, but since its independence in 1991 it has been embroiled in a dispute with Greece over the country's official name, national symbols, and constitution.

The United Nations admitted the Republic in 1993 under the temporary name of "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM). Many international organisations adopted the same convention, including the European Union, the European Broadcasting Union, NATO, and the International Olympic Committee, among others.

Some UN member-states recognise the Republic as FYROM but most others, including three of the UN Security Council's five permanent members – the United States, Russia, and the People's Republic of China – use the "Republic of Macedonia" name instead. Given that both names are rather long-winded, the state is often referred to simply as Macedonia by non-Greeks.

The dispute over the Republic's national symbols and constitution was resolved in an agreement reached in 1995, but no solution has yet been reached on the naming issue.


Main article: Geography of the Republic of Macedonia

Map of the Republic of Macedonia
Map of the Republic of Macedonia

The Republic of Macedonia encompasses only a part of the geographical region of Macedonia: the remainder is divided between neighbouring Greece (with about half of the total) and Bulgaria (with under a tenth).

The terrain is mostly rugged, located between the Šar and Rhodope mountains around the valley of Vardar.

The region is seismically active and has been subject to destructive earthquakes in the past, most recently in 1963 when Skopje was heavily damaged by a major earthquake.

The Republic's biggest city by far is Skopje, the capital, with an estimated 600,000 inhabitants. After Skopje, the largest cities are Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, and Tetovo, with populations ranging from about 50,000-120,000 people.


Main article: Economy of the Republic of Macedonia

The Republic was one of the poorer areas of the former Yugoslavia. Its economy suffered from the same problems faced by other former socialist East European countries. With the combined effects of its post-independence move to an open market economy and the collapse of the internal Yugoslav economy arose various economic and political problems with a great number of its main trade partners. Additionally due to the negative impact of the Yugoslav wars, the Kosovo war [1], the following UN-mandated sanctions against Serbia (which accounted for 60% of its markets prior to the disintegration of Yugoslavia) [2], the 1994-1995 economic trade embargo imposed by Greece [3] and the 2001 Albanian crisis [4], economic difficulties persisted until early 2002. It has since made a sluggish recovery, though the extent of the unemployment and gray market, combined with relatively poor law system continue to be of grave concern. Its per capita GDP remains one of the lowest in Europe.


Main article: Demographics of the Republic of Macedonia

The mother tongue of 1.4 million of the state's inhabitants is Macedonian, a south Slavic language. Albanian is spoken by around 400,000 people and Turkish by 80,000. There are also smaller numbers of speakers of Serbian, Aromanian and Megleno-Romanian. The majority of the population are members of the unrecognised Macedonian Orthodox Church 52.4%, other Christian 0.2%, Muslim 16.9%, other and unspecified 30.5% (2002 census). Most Albanians are Muslims, as are a small percentage of the country's Slavic population, known as Macedonian Muslims. There are an estimated 50,000 Romany speakers.


There are many minorities in Macedonia. According the 2002 Census the biggest minority groups are the Albanians (409,000 people or 20% of the population), the Turks (78,000 or 3.9%), the Roma (54,000 or 2.7%) and the Serbs (36,000 or 1.8%).


Main article: Culture of the Republic of Macedonia The Republic of Macedonia has a proud cultural heritage in art, architecture, and music. It has many ancient religous sites which are protected.

See also

External links

Official government sites

Other, unofficial web sites


¤ The term Republic of Macedonia and related terms are the subject of a naming dispute with Greece. Wikipedia's use of the term is guided by the principles of its naming conflict guidelines and does not constitute an endorsement of either side's positions on the issue.

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