Books on Serbia & Montenegro
% of GDP
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941 was resisted by various partisan bands that fought themselves as well as the invaders. The group headed by Marshal TITO took full control upon German expulsion in 1945. Although communist in name, his new government successfully steered its own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In the early 1990s, post-TITO Yugoslavia began to unravel along ethnic lines: Slovenia, Croatia, and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia all declared their independence in 1991; Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in 1992 and, under President Slobodan MILOSEVIC, Serbia led various military intervention efforts to unite Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." All of these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In 1999, massive expulsions by Serbs of ethnic Albanians living in the autonomous republic of Kosovo provoked an international response, including the NATO bombing of Serbia and the stationing of NATO and Russian peacekeepers in Kosovo. Blatant attempts to manipulate presidential balloting in October of 2000 were followed by massive nationwide demonstrations and strikes that saw the election winner, Vojislav KOSTUNICA, replace
Update No: 087 - (27/07/04)
Tadic triumphs as new president
The pro-Westerner reformer Boris Tadic, who earlier this year won the leadership of the Democratic Party following the assassination of reformist prime minister Zoran Djindjic, was elected President on June 27, defeating ultra-nationalist candidate Tomislav Nikolic. He took some 53 percent of the vote compared to his rival's 45 per cent in the second round. The government candidate did badly, weakening its standing, as Premier Vojislav Kostunica has admitted. Kostunica ally Dragan Marsicanin came fourth in the election's first round on June 13.
Speaking after his election, Tadic pledged to follow through on his campaign promises of greater integration with Europe: "Serbia's path to Europe has no alternative. Serbia has chosen a European path and European values."
Tadic has dedicated his victory to Djindjic, a leader of the democracy movement which toppled nationalist ex-president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 only to be shot dead by sniper fire in front of government house in March last year.
Tadic has been sworn in as Serbia's first non-communist president, filling the top post which has been vacant for more than 18 months. Tadic took the oath on July11th before the 250-member Serbian parliament and the government of Kostunica at a formal session.
"I swear to devote all my efforts to preserve the sovereignty and territory of Serbia, the realisation of human and civic freedom and rights, to preserve and defend the constitution and the law and the peace of all the citizens of Serbia," Tadic said in the oath.
In his brief address to parliament, the president said Serbia's near future "will be marked by its intention to join the European Union. I assure you that in this regard I will be absolutely responsible and that I will contribute to the stability of the institutions and of our community with my all capacity and ability."
Government position now weaker
Serbia's ruling coalition has been weakened by the defeat of its candidate in June's presidential election, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said in mid-July, hinting at the possibility of early parliamentary polls. The presidency is largely ceremonial, but has a high profile. There is no doubt that Tadic's election has strengthened the hand of the Democratic Party. Kostunica and Tadic should work closely together to promote reforms, including to the constitution.
Kostunica, whose minority government took office four months ago after general elections in December, appeared to blame others in the coalition for the poor electoral showing.
"The government exists while it has the support of a parliamentary majority, but it is substantially weakened," he told a board meeting of his conservative Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS).
"Some parties around us have election phobia but the DSS is not one of those parties. We are ready for elections whenever they happen," Kostunica was quoted as saying, the broad hint that this might be soon.
He said there were many misunderstandings between the parties in government, which relies on the backing in parliament of ousted Slobodan Milosevic's Socialists. Kostunica's coalition groups his DSS, the liberal G17 and two small royalist parties.
Western diplomats hope that the election of Tadic will help end feuding among the pro-democracy politicians who toppled Milosevic in 2000, but later split acrimoniously. They want Serbia to arrest and hand over Serb suspects still at large to the U N war crimes tribunal in The Hague, saying Belgrade must do this before it can build closer links with the EU and NATO.
FREE TRADE ZONE
Macedonian, Kosovo finance ministers discuss free trade agreement
Kosovo aims to reach a Free Trade Agreement [FTA] with Macedonia, as Macedonia is one of the key factors for economic cooperation and fulfilment of consumer demands in Kosovo, KosovoLive web site reported.
These were the comments of the Kosovo minister of economy and finance, Aliu Sadriu, following a meeting with his Macedonian counterpart, Nikola Popovski, in Shkup.
Minister Sadriu stressed the government's position to sign FTAs with as many countries as possible. Sadriu says that currently there are some problems on customs policies, where the Macedonian goods are taxed at only 1 per cent while entering into Kosovo, according to an agreement between the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] and Macedonia reached in 1996, which is also recognized by UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo].
The government, on the other hand, aims at invalidating this agreement, and drafting a new one.
"We discussed with Popovski the ways to overcome the problems on the free circulation of people and goods. I proposed to both countries to set up working groups, in order to draft a new FTA," Sadriu said.
Popovski said that their cooperation with Kosovo is based on the agreement signed in 1996 with Yugoslavia. However, he added that cooperation would be intensified, in order to make a new deal on the FTA.
Popovski had a very positive stance regarding resolving of concerns. Popovski admitted that the exchange of goods is unbalanced in favour of Macedonia. He told the media that they have talked on many issues related to economic cooperation.
Sadriu also had a meeting at the Macedonian parliament. He was hosted by the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Issues and the head of the Committee on Financing and Budget. He is also to meet with Deputy Prime Minister, Radmila
Hit opens resort in Montenegro
Slovenian tourism and casino company Hit on June 4th opened its largest foreign investment to date - €29.3m hotel resort on the Montenegrin coast, New Europe reported recently.
The renovated resort Maestral, located near the prestigious Sveti Stefan resort, boasts 16,000sqm of hotel facilities. According to Hit, Maestral has 171 hotel rooms and nine suites, two restaurants, a casino with 100 slot machines and 12 playing tables, as well as a conference centre, a health and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and other amenities. Hit claimed that Maestral is the biggest such resort on the south Adriatic coast. The company counts on vacationers from Italy, Russia, Great Britain and German-speaking countries. Purchased in 2001, the resort was open in the summers of 2002 and 2003, yet it took until this year for Hit to completely refurbish the outdated facilities.
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