Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
24,900sq km (9,600sq mi) 2,095,800
Macedonian 65%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 5%, Romanian 3%, Serb 2%
Macedonian Orthodox 66%, Muslim 30%, Protestant 3%, Roman Catholic 1%
Denar = 100 paras
Climate and VegetationMacedonia's climate is mainly continental, with hot summers, cold winters, and often heavy snowfall. Rainfall is slightly heavier in early summer and autumn. Mountain forests of beech and oak are common, but farmland covers c.30% of Macedonia.
History and Politics(for history pre-1913, see Macedon)
The Balkan Wars (1912–13) ended with the flight of thousands of Macedonians into Bulgaria, and the division of Macedonia into Greek Macedonia, Bulgarian Macedonia, and Serbian Macedonia (the largest portion, in the n and centre). At the end of World War 1, Serbian Macedonia became part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). Macedonian nationalists waged an armed struggle against Serbian domination. Between 1941 and 1944, Bulgaria occupied all Macedonia, but a peace treaty restored the 1913 settlement. In 1946, President Tito built a federal Yugoslavia, and Macedonia became one of its constituent republics. Regional tension between Greece, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia remained strong. In 1990, multi-party elections produced the first post-war, non-communist regional government. The break-up of the Yugoslav Federation led to Macedonia's declaration of independence in September 1991. It renounced all territorial claims to Greek and Bulgarian Macedonia, but (under pressure from Greece) the EC refused to recognize its sovereignty, on the grounds that its name, flag, and currency were signs of its territorial intentions. A compromise was reached, and the country became known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM). In 1993, the UN accepted the new republic as a member and all the EU members, except Greece, established diplomatic relations with the FYRM. In 1994, Greece banned Macedonian trade through its territory. In 1995, it lifted the ban after Macedonia agreed to redesign its flag and remove any claims to Greek Macedonia from its constitution. In 1999, war in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo led to an influx of c.245,000 ethnic Albanian refugees. In 2001, conflict between government forces and Albanian rebels displaced 100,000 people. In 2001, the government and rebels signed a peace treaty and parliament approved a new constitution that gave greater recognition to the rights of ethnic Albanians. In February 2004, president Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash.