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SERBIA & MONTENEGRO


 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
GDP
Millions of US $ 15,555 10,900 8,100 75
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,400 930 122
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Serbia & Montenegro

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
102,350

Population 
10,655,774

Capital 
Belgrade 

Currency 
New Dinar

President 
Boris Tadic

Private sector 
% of GDP 
40% 

  

Update No: 088 - (27/08/04)

Democrat and Radical lead mayoral race 
Public opinion researcher Srdjan Bogosavljevic said on August 16th that Belgrade's mayoral election could echo Serbia's presidential poll, with candidates from the Democratic and Radical parties fighting it out in the second round. 
Bogosavljevic, who heads research firm Strategic Marketing, said that Democratic Party candidate Nenad Bogdanovic and the Radical Party's Aleksandar Vucic are the early favourites for the September 19th election. 
Marten Board International analyst Dejan Vuk Stankovic pointed out that the election will be of critical significance for Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia, after its disastrous results in the Serbian presidential election when its candidate trailed behind the leading contenders. Stankovic added that he expected a strong campaign from Bogoljub Karic's Power of Serbia Movement, observing that the party's real power will be apparent after the mayoral poll

Vuksanovic party quits Kostunica caucus 
MPs from the National Democratic Party have split from the Democratic Party of Serbia caucus in the Serbian Parliament. 
National Democratic Party spokesman Miroslav Jankovic, announcing the move on August 17th, said that his party had split from Kostunica's party in the parliament "for practical reasons." The party will contest local elections in September independently, said Jankovic, and will be better placed to promote party interests if it is independent in the parliament. 
Party leader Slobodan Vuksanovic told media that "in principle" the split had no connection with the fact that Kostunica's party had not supported his candidature for the Belgrade mayoral election. 
The National Democratic Party will continue to support the government in the parliament.
Kostunica's government is caught between protesting workers who want subsidies and pay raises and international lending institutions that want restraint and spending reform. It is likely to remain unpopular, as would any incumbent administration in Serbia right now.

Serbian hardliner urges war crimes fugitives not to surrender
Things are not helped for Kostunica because he is being outbid in his nationalism on the radical right. A prominent ally of former president Slobodan Milosevic urged war crimes suspects on August 15th to resist appeals to surrender to the United Nations tribunal.
Alleging that the UN court is biased against Serbs, Aleksandar Vucic, the secretary general of the Serbian Radical Party, called on Serb fugitives to remain in hiding rather than face the "unfair and inhuman treatment" received by the party's leader, Vojislav Seselj, who surrendered to The Hague, Netherlands-based war crimes tribunal in February 2003. 
Vucic's comments came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters during a visit to neighbouring Bosnia that he "won't be happy" until Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic stands "before the bar of justice in The Hague." Former Bosnian Serb military commander general Ratko Mladic is also among 14 of 22 fugitives still sought by the UN court. 
Seselj, a Milosevic ally, has pleaded not guilty to charges that paramilitary troops under his control murdered and tortured non-Serbs during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Judges in The Hague have denied Seselj's motion to be set free until the start of his trial. 
Vucic repeated earlier claims that Belgrade had reneged on a pledge to support those who surrender on their own. "The authorities did not back Seselj because they are too afraid of his political strength and influence," Vucic said. 
The Radicals are Serbia's strongest party, with 82 of 250 seats in the Serbian legislature. 
A top Belgrade official handling relations with The Hague tribunal has offered his own appeal, asking suspects to come forward for the greater good of Serbia. Minorities and Human Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic told private BK Television that authorities were "most seriously" trying to determine whether Mladic is in Serbia

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Kosovo telecom authority grants telephone service operation licence to PTK

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority [ART] issued the operation licence to the Post Telecommunication of Kosovo [PTK] for providing land, mobile and Internet services, after it agreed to pay 10 million euros to the budget, KosovaLive web site reported.
In the signing ceremony, the head of the ART, Anton Berisha, said that this is a step forward for Kosovo's development and, as he put it, "a good omen."
"It took three months of talks and a lot of efforts to reach the final agreement for licensing of the PTK," said Berisha.
The agreement will be in effect as of 2nd August. "And thus would pave the way to the PTK to be structured into a modern company, and make serious investments in the telecommunication infrastructure in raising of quality of services and protection of consumers, which also includes determining the fees according to the European standards," Berisha said.
Gavin Jeffrey, the PTK's managing director, said: "This is a big day for the PTK, after many months of discussions and negotiations with the ART, today we are going to sign a licence for landline and mobile phone, which for the first time will put us in the legal framework within the provisional institute of self-government of Kosovo."
According to Jeffrey, ART will be in charge only for numerator of Vala 900, but not for its budget. "We have paid 10 million euros for the licensing. We will continue to fulfil our obligations to the budget of Kosovo. To date, the PTK has paid the government 77 million euros in tax duties. The PTK has always contributed to the budget of Kosovo and in future we will continue to pay all of our taxes and obligations. The PTK is not a drain in the public budget, it is a contributor to it," said Jeffrey.
The PTK is the only official provider of fixed and mobile telephony, which due to the disagreements between the logical and international officials has not obtained the formal licence till now.

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TRANSPORT

Companies mull Serbian motorways

Italian and French companies have voiced interest in building the Belgrade-South Adriatic and the Belgrade-Uzicka Pozega motorways, the Serbian Government's online news service quotes Serbian Minister of Capital Investment, Velimir Ilic, as saying following visits to Italy and France recently. Italian ministers and representatives of the Italian national road company have welcomed a project for the construction of the Belgrade-South Adriatic motorway, part of Corridor 10, Ilic told a press conference. According to initial estimates, building works for the Belgrade-Uzicka Pozega motorway would take up to three years and would call for an investment of some €800m, the minister said. The Ministry of Capital Investment is due to submit proposals to the Government, Ilic pinpointed, adding that tenders will be launched once the government approves the projects, New Europe has reported.


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