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  Wikipedia: Republic of Macedonia

Wikipedia: Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Republic of Macedonia, known by most international organizations and foreign states as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM or FYR Macedonia)1, is an independent state on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe, with an area of 25,333 kmē and a population of just over two million. Its capital and principal city is Skopje (population 600,000).

Republika Makedonija
Република Македонија
coat of arms
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: ..
Official languages Macedonian and Albanian
Capital Skopje
President Boris Trajkovski
Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 145th
25,333 kmē
1.9%
Population
 - Total (2003 est.)
 - Density
Ranked 140th
2,063,122
81/kmē
Independence 8 September 1991
Currency Macedonian Denar (MKD)
Time zone UTC +1 (DST, yes)
National anthem Today Over Macedonia
Internet TLD .MK
Calling Code389

The Republic contains roughly 38% of the area and nearly 44% of the population of the geographical region known as Macedonia, the remainder of which is divided between neighbouring Greece (with about half of the total) and Bulgaria (with under a tenth). The lands governed by the Republic of Macedonia were known as the Province of Vardar before 1945 [1].

From 1945 until its proclamation of independence on 17 September 1991, the Republic of Macedonia was one of the six constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the others being Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia).

Naming dispute

Following Macedonia's independence, the Greek government raised objections concerning:

  • The name: Macedonia was claimed by Greece to be a Greek name, already in use for the Greek region of Macedonia.
  • The flag: the sixteen-ray "Vergina Sun" star that was to appear on the flag was a symbol of the ancient state of Macedon, to which Greece claimed to be the sole heir. (For more on this, see Vergina.)
  • A reference in the constitution to reuniting the three parts of the historical province of Macedonia which today belong to the FYROM, Greece, and Bulgaria.

As a result, the United Nations (and many states which had previously withheld the establishment of diplomatic relations) recognised the state in 1993 under the provisional designation "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". However, Greece, still dissatisfied, imposed a trade embargo on the FYROM in February 1994. As part of an agreement to lift this embargo in September 1995, the Republic of Macedonia's flag was changed to an eight-ray sun and not the former star and the reference to it in the republic's constitution was changed so as not to reflect any territorial claims.

Given the long name, the state is often referred to as Macedonia colloquially and in the non-Greek news media despite the ambiguity of the term with the region of Macedonia.

The state's name remains a source of local and international controversy. Internationally, the republic is known exclusively as FYROM in political and cultural organizations, notably the United Nations, the European Union, the European Broadcasting Union, NATO and the International Olympic Committee among others. Most diplomats are accredited to the republic using the FYROM designation. The usage of each name remains controversial to supporters of the other. A few countries, notably Turkey, refer to the state as the Republic of Macedonia, rather than FYROM. A permanent agreement on how the Macedonian republic should be referred to internationally has not yet been reached.

Languages

Some 1.4 million of the state's inhabitants speak Macedonian, a south Slavic language related to Old Slavonic. Prior to the Kosovo war of 1999, Albanian and Turkish were each spoken by about 250,000. There are an estimated 120,000 Romany speakers.

Recent history

The republic remained at peace through the violent nationality conflicts which convulsed the former Yugoslavia's western republics, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, in 1991-1995 but the influx of an estimated 360,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from neighbouring Kosovo in 1999 threatened to destabilize the republic.

A brief civil war in March 2001 involving Albanian rebels in the west of the country ended with the intervention of a small NATO ceasefire monitoring force and government undertakings to concede greater rights to the Albanian minority.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 / 2001.

External links

Official Government Sites

Other

Unofficial websites

Notes

¹ The location of this article is not meant to imply that Wikipedia takes any official position on this naming dispute.


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